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Who was that woman I dreamed about last night?

By By Lloyd Albritton
Columnist
Some people believe dreams are communications from God, or from loved ones who have passed on to the "other world." My mother believed in dreams as premonitions. She used to call me on the telephone sometimes in the middle of the night to make sure I was alright after having a disturbing dream about me getting run over by a truck on the highway or some other tragedy. She saw her father in dreams after he died too. She depended upon her father's advice and strength while he was living and she felt he continued to talk to her after his death in her dreams.
Major political movements and religious organizations have been built on the dreams of their founders. Some of these visionary movements have turned out to be obvious fly-by-night cults or flim-flams, while others have taken root and grown into large and mainstream institutions, this success being evidence in itself, to each movement's members and followers, of the veracity and divinity of the founder's dreams.
I have also heard claims of creative works of art, literature and music coming to people in dreams. I have had plenty of dreams of my own and some of them are pretty wild, perhaps even creative, so I do not question dreams as a fountain of creativity. I am not certain of the source of dreams, but there are many rational theories which seem to me more likely than spiritual or extraterrestrial manifestations.
One theory, for example, is that many sensory perceptions are subliminally input into our brains through conscious thought or by our five external senses each and every day. When we relax our brains through sleep or meditation, this unorganized mass of data may take the form of a random mental vision seemingly unrelated to anything in our conscious experience.
Another theory which I find viable is that the words and thoughts of others, those now living, as well as those who have lived in the past, may be indelibly engraved upon the same air waves which carry wireless signals in modern telecommunications. These perpetual communications may linger in space for an indeterminate period of time, even thousands of years, until one day a living brain's receiving component may inadvertently tune into the very frequency in which this communication is contained and BAM! a descrambled revelation, an idea, a dream, is conceived.
Telepathic communications commonly pass between the minds of two people who live in harmony with one another, as in the case of a husband or wife suddenly expressing the very thought that is on the other's mind. It is an accepted physiological fact that the brain sends instructions to all the other organs of the body through electrical impulses. It does not seem such a stretch to suppose that some of the brain's strongest impulses might even transcend the body and launch themselves upon the airwaves to be subsequently received by another, either instantaneously or at a later time.
Whatever the source of dreams and other subconscious visions and thoughts, they all seem to have one thing in common. No matter how real or impressionable a dream may be during subconsciousness, it quickly fades upon return to a conscious state, as if teasingly transcribed onto the surface of an erasable drawing slate, lifted upon awakening. When, however, a subconscious dream is recalled immediately after awakening and perhaps permanentized through written notes and conscious reflection, it then becomes more deeply etched into our memories for later recall. That's why some people keep a pad and pencil, or perhaps a tape recorder, by their bedside, so as to capture their fleeting dreams for later analysis. This is a great idea, but personally, I can never remember to do it. I already have too many bedtime rituals. Sometimes I can't even remember to take my socks off.
This forgetfulness factor is no-doubt a built-in safety feature because some dreams are bad, even downright scary, and are better forgotten. Anybody caught taking notes on their nightmares has got to be crazy. Then there are those erotic dreams some people have which might actually be nice to recall, but I don't think even the most detailed post-dream notes would do one of those dreams justice. Besides, such pornographic dreams don't always have the right people in them and are usually better forgotten in the interest of marital harmony.
Some people are called daydreamers because they frequently drift off into a state of semi-consciousness during which they indulge themselves in willful fantasies (not necessarily erotic). Others practice the art of meditation to explore the possibilities when their brains are shifted into neutral. Both these deliberate practices evoke a hypnotic state which can be used to effect dramatic and powerful changes in a person's personality, either positive or negative.
Controlling one's own dreams in a semi-conscious daydreaming state is one thing, but nighttime dreams have a life of their own. You can't manipulate them. You just have to take them as they come. Once dreamy sleep is disrupted for a drink of water from the kitchen or a trip to the bathroom, it's all over. You can't go back to bed and get back to where you were in your dream. If dead people and angels and distant friends really do communicate with us through our dreams, I can imagine that jumping up to run to the bathroom in the middle of a dream must be something like putting a telephone caller on hold to take another call-waiting. It's downright rude and I don't blame the calling party for hanging up. But still, I wish they could leave a call-back number. There is a beautiful woman who has been visiting me for several years in my dreams and I don't even know her name. Shoot, I can't even remember what she looks like!
Lloyd Albritton publishes The Albritton Letter on the Internet at www.Lloyd-Albritton.com, along with many current movie and book reviews. He can be contacted at LloydAlbritton@aol.com.