What Are Dreams?

Dreams are the product of the brain’s auto mechanism to restore its chemical balance. Emotions like excessive dejection or elation produce chemicals in the brain which tend to be highly disproportionate to its capacity to store or release. The brain cures the chemical imbalance caused by such extremes of emotions. Human beings experience negative and positive emotions daily in life. While other organs of the body have their own mechanisms to restore balance, such as contaminated food is either thrown up or thrown out, infections under the skin erupt as rashes or blisters, high intake of salt or sugar causes diseases requiring medication, the brain excretes the excesses of neuro-chemicals through the dream mechanism. Dreams can be wet, sweating, crying, scary, frightening, cautionary, enormously satisfying, informative or instructive depending on the source of the stress. A hungry person may dream of a royal banquet and feel mighty satisfied with the feast in dreams. Ordinarily scrutinized such a dream will look simply imaginary, but the production of the chemical in the brain to satisfy the hunger is the same as eating at it. Whether the food triggers the secretion of the chemical or its dream, the supply of the required chemical is the same to the brain. Most desires are filled by the brain through the mechanism of dreams when life offers little to realise them.

Life is full of struggle. Love and hate occupy our thoughts to a very great extent. These two powerful emotions account for more than half the negative and positive thoughts in our day to day life. Depending on success or failure in realizing our ambitions, we are filled with happiness or disappointment, hope or despair, elation or depression, lust for life or suicide, attachment or detachment, family or asceticism, materialism or spiritualism, mundane or superior thoughts and several other very powerful ideas. We tend to swing from one extreme to the other, taking quantum jumps from time to time, scanning heaven and earth in a moment. In normal conditions it is easy for the human brain to handle this bombardment of neurons and the resulting chemical blasts, but when abnormal activity overtakes the process, the brain suffers oversupply of the chemicals that it has no space to store. The brain is possibly the only organ, the master organ of the body, that suffers no unnecessary garbage accumulation, like we tend to store in our homes. It must get rid of it immediately. It has no outlet, encased as it is inside a solid bone structure of a skull, to throw up or throw out or eruptions of the skin to discharge the excess. It does so by way of converting the garbage in to electrical signals and discharging them in the form of dreams. Through dreams, the brain discharges all the chemicals not required and restore the balance. There are several problems troubling the mind which require solutions. It might require the total concentration of the mind, activation of the passive memory, application of the available information and tools in a totally undisturbed environment. Sleep alone can provide that. It needs special chemicals. The brain has those chemicals in secret store. It is conscious of the immense value of those chemicals. Hence these chemicals are not released by the brain every now & then, but only on special occasions. When the mind in that state of sleep makes the application to the brain, the brain processes the request and if it finds the request of the mind justified, releases the special chemical in the required quantity only. In that precious moment, the mind finds the solution for the problem, triggering wakefulness of the person and in an instant the individual cries eureka! On attaining full wakefulness, the person recreates the dream sequence and analyses the result. The discovery gives immense satisfaction to the troubled soul, the troubled mind.

The journey of the mind from deep sleep to wakefulness has been described by different people differently. In meditation and other spiritual pursuits it has been called “revelation” and in psychology solution to problems. Whatever it may be called, it looks as if it is a special kind of activity of the mind, which is 24×7 engaged on seeking solutions of problems affecting the individual in any given circumstance, according to the capability of the person. It is total consciousness, the division of superior and inferior consciousness being made only to facilitate an understanding of the phenomenon of consciousness. It transpires, then, that dreams are the collective exercise of the mind, brain and consciousness. It is a stage of supreme consciousness when the whole universe becomes one, akin to a full circle called the zero or shoonya.

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