DREAM PSYCHOLOGY: UNDERSTANDING HOW DREAMS WORK, THE LAYERS OF CONSCIOUSNESS, AND DREAM INTERPRETATION
Natalya Pazdnikova's Explanation on Dream Psychology and How Dreams Work
Everything stated in this article about how dreams work is not a scientific report. This knowledge of dream psychology, layers of consciousness, dream interpretation and the meaning of dreams, as well as lucid dreaming, is based on my personal experiences and acquired studies.
Dream psychology and dream interpretation have been of the most intriguing and fascinating topics for me since I was a child. As I study and work to understand the phenomenon of how dreams work, I naturally came to be very much in touch with my dreams. My interest began at the age of 18, when I was given an assignment in the psychology course to write down my dreams every morning.
Dream Psychology and How Dreams Work Explained
There are, of course, a great number of theories on the topic of dream psychology. To understand my answer to how dreams work, as well as my perspective on dream interpretation and the meaning of dreams, you must first understand the human consciousness / soul.
Along with our physical bodies, we also have life-force energy - the fuel for the body to live. Just like the fuel of a car, this is the vital energy that allows trees to grow and flowers to bloom. We are all one and the same energy but as separated streams of this energy manifested in different physical forms. Humans are the most self-aware and intelligent manifestations of this energy stream on earth. So, again, we are this vital energy operating through our physical bodies. We are not SEPARATE FROM, rather, we are a CONTINUATION OF the common life-force energy.
Understanding The Layers of Consciousness
Between the source of that life energy and your physical body, there are ‘layers’ of consciousness. This is vital information to understand while discussing dream psychology. We are going to break down the various layers of consciousness from a 3D linear perspective only for the purpose of unfolding my point. Otherwise, these layers should be viewed from a multidimensional perspective as they are all ultimately one and the same.
The Physical body (no explanation needed).
Layer of Aura
The second layer of consciousness - it is the part of your soul / life-force / energy stream that never leaves the body as do the two ‘layers’ I mention below.
Your aura always stays with your body until it disintegrates as your energy slowly transforms into a different form. Think of a dying tree that has not fully dried out; until it's completely dry, there's still some life energy in it.
Layer of Emotional Body
The third layer of consciousness - similar to the aura but with one difference - our emotions follow our thoughts, and our thoughts are almost always somewhere.
For example, a breastfeeding young mother who is separated from her baby begins to lactate at the very same moment the child gets hungry. This type of connection is not just a result of physical processes in the body but also the result of emotional and mental attachment. This might seem too mystical to some, but things like this actually happens around us all the time if we pay attention.
Another example, as two people fall in love they start to speak in unison, think about the same things simultaneously, finish each other’s phrases, etc. This happens even in a long distance relationship, or even if they have only known each other for a week or so. The reason for that is because of the strong focus on one another, and the emotional and mental attachment that develops from it.
Layer of Thoughts
The fourth layer of consciousness - this is the lightest part of your energy. Meaning, if you think of the city Paris, you are instantly taken to Paris with your thoughts. There is no dimension of time.
One single thought has no density until we accumulate energy around that thought by focusing on it and bringing similar thoughts together. When we focus long enough we eventually manifest that thought into the physical world.
For example, excessive negative thinking leads to headaches which creates tension in our heads. This can lead to an emotional breakdown which ultimately leads to physical illness. Everything starts with thought before it becomes physical, whether we talk about health conditions or a physical creation of some sort. Before you create something - you must think of it first.
So What Are Dreams and How Do Dreams Work, Anyway?
DREAMS are the disintegration of the last two layers - the layers of emotion and thought. While aura remains with the physical body, the emotional layer (the so-called astral body) and layer of thoughts ‘fly away’ and fully immerse in a non-physical form.
As for the exact definition of dreams, that's tough to say. It's impossible to define dreams using all the presented theories in the world, rather, each theory adds up to the whole understanding of this phenomena. The reason being that it is not just a phenomenon. It is largely a third of our human existence, and very much worth exploring. Answering 'what are dreams?' in one way would be very limiting. It's similar to how we try to define God. No one has one single right answer, but all of the answers from different perspectives united could very well be the right answer.
Carlos Castaneda, an American author on Shamanism, spoke of dreaming in the waking state, which I find very similar to how I see things regarding dream psychology and how dreams work. A dream is a journey to the non-physical, which we are never separated from in the waking state anyway. A dream is also a journey to your subconscious, which you always have access to in the waking state as well. Not only do you always have access, but your subconscious IS you. It is the biggest part of you and it runs your life. It's crucial to know this while trying to understand dream psychology. So, what happens when we expand our consciousness? We bring conscious awareness to our subconscious which is also connected to the limitless superconscious (will speak later on that).
Inner Workings of the Subconscious Mind and Dream Interpretation
Some of us often experience falling sensations in our dreams which wakes us up in a lot of stress. I perceive this as a failed attempt to let go and let the layers "separate." People who experience this phenomenon often usually have vulnerability over expressing their emotions and the fear of losing control. Also those who practice astral travels and lucid dreaming will agree that these experiences are extremely real and emotional.
So the dream is a journey of our thoughts and emotions, but what are the meaning of dreams and why are they so strange?
We humans, have invented language, words, and sentences through which we explain our thoughts. We tend to think in a specific language as well, but if we dig deeper into our subconscious - we see that it is a world of pictures, metaphors, associations, and abstracts. The same goes for dream psychology and how dreams work, as well as how dream interpretation works. We can understand the meaning of dreams, personally, if we understand what is buried in our subconscious.
The older you are the more information you accumulate throughout life. Let me give you an example. Perhaps your brain, in a strange way, once consciously associated the color blue with a vicious dog because as a child you were scared by a dog while walking passed a blue house. Now you would have never guessed that your brain made that association. The combination of the color blue and a vicious dog only appeared once in your childhood as a scary experience that made a huge impact. Let’s say you are going through something in life which builds up a lot of fear in you and it manifests into you having a nightmare. You end up dreaming about drowning in the deep blue sea while hearing a dog bark on the shore. This is a simple example of dream interpretation and how you can decipher the meaning of dreams. We all know how absurd our dreams can get as our subconscious world is very messy and metaphorical.
Dream interpretation is a skill. If you think that you will never be able to properly analyze your dreams and understand your own dream psychology, that's not true. You are very much capable of dream interpretation like anyone else may be. It just takes some practice. I ask all my clients to keep a dream journal and write their dreams down every morning immediately after waking up. This is how I started my journey with learning how dreams work, dream interpretation, and understanding the meaning of dreams. It's a great self-help practice that connects you to your subconscious mind. You get to know yourself on a deeper level. You become friends with your mind, and eventually, you can even learn lessons through dreams, receive valuable information, and even be guided towards the right decisions in life.
Just imagine for a second how much information goes through the head of a modern day citizen in todays era of the internet. We live in tough times for our psyche which also deeply affects our dream psychology. We have never seen such statistical rates on insomnia, and healthy sleep is a vital component for a healthy psyche. Creating and sticking to a healthy sleeping routine is more important than ever and should be prioritized even above having a healthy diet.
Subconscious Dreams Versus Superconscious Dreams
Dreams are not just a journey to your subconscious, or the process of sorting out information or forming memory, but it is also a doorway back to the limitless superconsciou