Let’s Talk Dream
“Dreams,” I say, my dear.
Do you dream too?
Almost every morning, I wake up from a movie-like dream and wake up to reality. The dream seems to me like meeting myself again in another being.
Since I embarked on the adventure of writing, I started to take my dreams more seriously and write more. Yes yes, I write my dreams. I have dozens of written dreams, some of which are meaningful and some are meaningless. Most of the time I don’t know where they are trying to take me. I did not think of analyzing any of them with a Freudian or neoFreudian stay, by making sense of the shapes. On the contrary, the question I asked myself every time was: “What does this mean for me?” Every character I saw in my dream must have been telling a part of me.
Now think about the last dream you had. The beginning and the end. Is it so pointless? Well, keep the image in your mind.
During one of my dreams, during my psychodrama training, we worked with the late Emre Kapkın. As you can see, the subject of the training was “dreams”. While we were sitting among the other participants in that training hall, our eyes met.
The words “I have a dream” spilled from my lips. “But that’s it. I just had a meaningless dream and could hardly remember the details.”
“This is enough,” said Emre Hodja.
He invited me to the middle of the circle formed by the participants, which is called the “stage” in psychodrama. He gently tapped my shoulder for encouragement. I was on stage now. We started walking as if we were floating with short steps. I closed my eyes. Emre Hodja was asking questions in the tone of tunes echoing from the sky.
“Think about the images reflected in your mind from the dream. Where are you? Who is in this dream?”
What is this! One by one, the images were spilled.
“A boat by the lake!” I replied.
“What kind of boat?” “How big?” “Who is on this boat?”
At the end of the last hour, I encountered many selves within myself.
Since walking activates the right and left brain at the same time, it activates the hippocampus (brain’s library), I would find out later. How did Zerka Moreno, the founder of psychodrama, know this?
Years passed. This morning, I woke up from a movie scene again and opened my eyes. My rib cage was holding back my heart, which was trying to dislodge. I’ve learned that when the primitive brain amygdala is activated, recall is stronger. Before the dream, the stress that spread to my body was even more effective. My eyes were closing as my hands were trying to transfer the words that poured out of my pen that I was holding on to the page. I fell asleep right after I wrote the last sentence. I was in bed.
When I woke up, I started researching.
Our dreams are shaped by our memories. It occurs not when our brain is asleep, as we think, but when our neurons are interacting. A small area in the brain stem prevents us from moving. Except for our eyes, all parts of our body become paralyzed. When we fall asleep, the frontal lobe, which is responsible for forming thoughts and reasoning, shuts down. This is exactly why we have dreams filled with strange visuals. The hippocampus, the library of our brain, and the amygdala, the primitive brain, are at work. Emotional intensity is therefore built up, and we remember our dreams. During REM (Rapid eye movement), where dreams occur, the emotional brain is active, the logical brain becomes passive.
Physiologically, dreams are defined as a reaction or response to neural processes during sleep, while psychologically they are seen as reflections of the subconscious. Some spiritual scholars believe that dreams are intermediaries that inform about the future. For this reason, istikhara is used in many cultures to consult the divine realm.
In the past, it was believed that dreams were messages from the gods. It seems that there were dream analysis studies in Egypt three thousand years ago. This appears even earlier in Mesopotamian hieroglyphs. During the reign of the Roman Empire, it was tried to give meanings to the shapes seen in dreams. Then, of course, the turn comes to the relatively recent past. In the Victorian era, they began to believe that dreams were because we could not digest food. In the 1880s, dreams began to be studied in the brain.
Then dear Freud! He is a neuropsychologist. He began to give meaning to shapes. To him, dreams were images of repressed desires in different forms. Soon after, Jung included dream symbols, saying, “It’s not just sexual.” He argued that dreams also feed on a third source called the ‘collective unconscious’. Then a Sage appeared. “Dreams, my dear,” he said, and it ends when he wakes up. It’s like a fairy tale.