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Can Dreams Affect Our Reality?

dreamingFor years, psychologists have wondered if dreams affect reality and if reality affects dreams. The two are definitely connected and countless studies have shown that there is a strong connection between the conscious mind when we are awake and the subconscious mind when we are asleep. Scientists and researchers have worked for decades to find a definitive answer as to whether our dreams impact our reality. What is known with a great deal of certainty is that our dreams are impacted by the reality we live each and every day. Some researchers theorize that if reality impacts dreams, then dreams can just as easily impact our reality.

It has long been known by psychologists that everybody dreams, but not equally. Neurologist Patrick McNamara reaffirmed this in 2001 when he began working on a hypothesis based on the idea that social relationships can have a direct impact on our dreams. His team tested and observed 300 university students . Each student was categorized on their level of attachment security, or how comfortable they were in their relationships and how alone or included they felt in their daily lives. Attachment status was classified as either “secure” or “insecure.” McNamara found that students on the insecure attachment end of the spectrum reported having more dreams every night. Not only this, but the dreams of the students in the insecure group were also reported to be much more morbid, intense, and traumatizing than the other group’s dreams. This brings to question again the idea of whether or not our dreams impact our reality. One could argue that there is somewhat of a cycle going on. Isolation and poor attachment gives rise to these morbid dreams, these in turn could cause trauma and issues for the individual that make it hard to reach out and connect to others, therefore further compounding the problem and keeping the spiraling cycle going.

Another interesting aspect of the connection between dreams and reality can be found in the research and studies conducted by Dr. Robert Stickgold. He had done research on the dreams of amnesiacs and those with involuntary mental disorders such as Tourette’s and created a hypothesis about why the dreams of these individuals were often so bizarre. The theory was that amnesiacs keep memories in their subconscious that are accessed only during sleep, and the dreams are the brain’s attempt to reassemble the puzzle pieces. The same was for those with Tourette’s and other mental disorders; the brain is simply trying to make sense of things and it is the subconscious mind trying to overpower the defective conscious mind. Dr. Stickgold’s theory is that the seemingly bizarre dream is the brain indexing different stimuli to find connections. A dream about your high school girl friend going to the prom with you but your dog being the limo driver is an attempt of your brain to make connections. Your brain, for whatever reason is processing data on your old girlfriend. At the same time it is accessing information about your beloved dog. These bizarre dreams are your brain’s attempt at finding any connections that might exist between the two. Another study found that the sheer bizarreness of dream coincided with increased activity from the right amygdala, an area of the brain that is associated with memory formation. This helps to strengthen the idea that the stranger a dream is, the harder the brain is working at developing a connection. These studies also point to the possibility that dreams can impact our reality. The dreams may be caused by the subconscious mind and while it is most active during sleep, it is still functioning when a person is awake and can still impact their thoughts, actions, moods, and decisions.

Perhaps some of the strongest evidence for the impact dreams can have on our waking reality comes from a study conducted in 2004 by Mark Blagrove, Laura Farmer, and Elvira Williams. They found thast feelings of anxiousness, depression, or feeling neurotic could stem from nightmares. In this study they asked 147 students to fill out a questionnaire every morning when they work up, for two weeks, in order to measure the frequency of their nightmares. At the end of the testing period, the students were given assessments with the EPQ-RS and the POMS-BI tests which help psychologists to evaluate a person’s psychological state. At the end of the research and evaluation, there was a strong connection between the number of nightmares a student had each night during the week and their state of well-being during the day. The more nightmares, the worse their evaluations were. While it is true that nightmares may be the result of the mental conditions and not the cause, it is a strong correlation that cannot be overlooked. Either way, nightmares seem be able to step out of the realm of the sleeping mind and into the realm of the waking mind.

While there may be no conclusive evidence that definitively answers the question of whether or not dreams impact reality, there is evidence that the two are closely related. Our waking moments can impact our sleep and dreams and what we dream can affect us when we awaken. For years, psychologists have wondered if dreams affect reality and if reality affects dreams. The two are definitely connected and countless studies have shown that there is a strong connection between the conscious mind when we are awake and the subconscious mind when we are asleep.

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Genius Awakening was created to lead people to a better understanding of self and others in order to navigate our world at a higher and more awakened level of being. Together we will explore the depths of consciousness in order to evolve beyond our current paradigms into a world of love, joy and peace. Oksana and Larry Ostrovsky are passionate guides of this space.
  • Kurt Forrer

    Like neurologist Patrick McNamara, I have come to the conclusion that dreams impact waking and vice versa. I have compared this to a stream that flows underground (subconscious) and then rises to the surface (waking consciousness) in order to disappear again underground ad infinitum.

    The BIG QUESTION is, of course, which is the PRIMARY IMPETUS? In my 60 years of perpetual research I have found that Dr. Stickgold comes closet to the ANSWER of this CRUCIAL QUESTION: “Dreams may be caused by the subconscious mind and while it is most active during sleep, it is STILL FUNCTIONING when a person is awake and can still impact their thoughts, actions, mood, and decisions.”

    I have gone a step further in my own perception of things. I maintain that the dream is the BLUEPRINT of waking, indicating, which way we are to act, much in the way it happens in a POSTHYPNOTIC EXPERIMENT. In this experiment a subject under hypnosis may be told by the hypnotist (the subconscious) that he/she will have to pour that vase of flowers over the hypnotist’s head, exactly five minutes after waking up from the trance. Part of the hypnotic command will be a memory block, which prevents the subject from remembering the command given. Exactly 5 minutes after waking up from the trance the subject will do as he/she was told. When asked why he/she did this, the subject is quite able to give a perfectly rational answer. Alas, it will be wrong and the answer can only be regarded as a rationalisation of the action.

    This is precisely what we do in ordinary waking circumstances. We seem to know why we made this or that decision, but there is no way that we could prove this in any way.

    But THERE IS A WAY of showing that it was a dream that gave us this or that idea for an action or statement. Apart from innumerable reports from artists, writers and inventors that they had got the idea for their works from a dream, there is a scientific procedure that will come down in favour of the dream being the motivator and inventor. Electric Dreams has posted an example of this on the Web. If you ask for Kurt Forrer, Dream Interpreter, “The Cinderella of Science”, you will be able to access it.

    In that same essay I have supported my conclusion by the experimental research of Professor Libet of the University of California. He showed that our motor sensory system is ready to perform an action up to half a second before we are told what this action is to be. Other researchers have found that this anticipatory gap can be as long as six seconds.

    In addition to this electro-mechanical support of my premise, there is yet another one that everyone can do, providing they are familiar with the sexual interpretation of the dream, which Freud was using in his clinical work. This substantiation of my contention is no less scientific, since it involves PREDICTION and subsequent VERIFICATION, the only acceptable method of proving a theory scientifically.

    I have described this METHOD of VERIFICATION in my two books: “Pregrams of Tomorrow” and “Tomorrow in your Dreams”. The latter is available from Amazon as paperback and from Kindle Select as eBook.

    Briefly the method I have used is this: Note your dream of the night. Look at the plot and transpose it in the Freudian manner. Then, on the DREAM DAY (not Freud’s retrospective dream day) but the day, which the last dream ushered in, observe your sexual state. You will find that your dream has anticipated your sexual disposition: your sexual activity, abstinence, frustration, indifference etc.

    But it is imperative that you familiarise yourself first with the Freudian interpretation and more. When I say more I am referring to Freud’s habit to ignore the plot of the dream and in fact his deliberate going against the direction of the plot on occasions.

    All this will, of course, need some practice. And then there are some exceptional circumstances to be taking into account. By this I mean that in a good and happy relationship the manifestation span of the sexual plot will mostly be on the dream day; that is after the dream. In cases where there has been a long period of absence or abstinence, the dream may be ahead by some days of its manifestation.

    There is probably no better proof that the dream is the blueprint of waking than a ‘wet dream’. There the sexual activity is taking place on the way to waking up. The dream’s command and its result merge at the point of waking, and, at such occasions, the dream is revealed unquestionably as the PROMPTER at the FOOTLIGHTS of the WAKING STAGE.

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