To celebrate the launch of the Trouserless Nightmare, (our latest campaign), we’ve enlisted the help of internationally recognised lucid dreaming author and consciousness researcher, Daniel Love. Once a week for the next month, Daniel will be analysing your trouserless nightmares here on the blog.
“In each of us lives a poet, philosopher, and scientist – each offering unique and equally valuable perspectives towards existence.”
Daniel has been exploring the wonders of the psyche and alternative states of consciousness for over two decades, dedicating his life to the promotion and education of lucid dreaming and personal psychological exploration.
Dreamer: Dear Daniel,
I keep dreaming that my grandma is taken from her bed in the middle of the night wearing the pink nightie that I always wore as a little girl when I stayed over there.
She is taken by her son (my uncle) and put on a stake in next door’s driveway and then set on fire… I know it is awful but I’ve had the dream for years – what does it mean?
– Helena Stevens
Daniel: This certainly seems like a very distressing dream. Firstly, let me reassure you that you needn’t worry, as we covered in previous articles, dreams of an unpleasant nature are a reasonably common event, perfectly natural, and can be easily dealt with.
Unfortunately, unless one resorts to the woo of superstitious dream interpretation, which simplifies the diversity of human thought and experience to a simplistic catalog, and is an activity I would highly recommend not wasting your energy on, it is near impossible to crack the foundations for such a dream without deeper discussion and psychological exploration.
The interpersonal relationships of your family, your private memories, and experiences are, of course, infinitely more complicated that can be gleaned from a few lines of text.
However, to speculate a little, unless there are dramatic events from your past that I am unaware of, it is likely that this particular dream is an example of the incorporation of fiction into your dreamscape. It is likely that a disturbing film, TV series, book or some other form of media wove itself into your subconscious as a child and is piggybacking on this dream-collage of memories.
The human mind possesses an incredible creativity and this is expressed in a very compelling form when it is allowed the untethered creative freedom of our dreams. Furthermore, our emotions are equally unbounded in dreamspace, creating a kind of feedback loop, where dream experiences stir up our emotions, which, in turn, act as the seed upon which further dream experiences are founded. Consider dreaming a form of “telepathic virtual reality”, where the landscape of the dream is formed from your reactions, emotions, and thoughts towards the current content of the dream. In a way, dreams are a form of magic-mirror, reflecting that in our storehouse of memories upon which we give attention.
It’s an amazing symbiotic creative process, however under certain circumstances, especially when our minds are seeded with the dramatic, shocking and sometimes violent content of the entertainment industry, this can spiral downwards into this form of nightmare imagery.
In my book, Are You Dreaming?, and in my workshops, I explore the importance for those with an interest in dreaming to be a little more discerning in their choice of media. Our brain is a hungry sponge, gobbling up and storing everything it comes into contact with. This is especially true of dramatic and novel experiences, the exact content that is so abundant in fiction.
So, to avoid future nightmare experiences, it may be wise to choose your entertainment wisely.
For this particular dream, I would recommend spending some time each day visualising this dream with an alternate and pleasant outcome, working to override and replace the current narrative. It may also be worth casting your mind back and attempting to discover the seed of the negative imagery embedded within this dream. Often simply recognising the source of such dreams can be enough to rob them of their impact and, in turn, allow them to dissipate.
I wish you sweet and pleasant dreams!
For a chance to have your Trouserless Nightmares analysed by Daniel, submit your dream to firstname.lastname@example.org either anonymously or publicly – whichever you feel most comfortable with!