4 of our most common dreams and why we have them

4 of our most common dreams and why we have them
by Jennifer LB Leese
Staff Writer

How many times have you had the same dream? Were you flying high above the city? Were you free falling beside a cliff's side? Did someone chase you again? If so, I'm going to help you interpret your dreams and find out why you are having them.
Dreams are a fascination to many. We spend approximately one-third of our lives sleeping, giving ample time to dream. Some wake remembering the dreams - often vividly. Others don't recall them at all.
Some of our dreams leave us with questions; others allow us to accept. But what are dreams and why do we seem to repeat them?
Chuang-tzu, a Chinese philosopher from fourth century B.C., left us with the following mystery:
While men are dreaming, they do not perceive that it is a dream. Some will even have a dream in a dream, and only when they awake they know it was all a dream. And so, when the Great Awakening comes upon us, shall we know this life to be a great dream. Fools believe themselves to be awake now.
Once upon a time, I, Chuang-tzu, dreamed I was a butterfly, fluttering hiter and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of following my fancies as a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individually as a butterfly. Suddenly I was awakened, and there I lay myself again. Now I do not know whether I was a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am a butterfly now dreaming I am a man.
Many traditional cultures put dreaming alongside everyday consciousness. One of these cultures includes the Australian aborigines with the 'Aboriginal Dreamtime'. Dreamtime is Aboriginal religion and culture that explains the origins and culture of the land and its people as they believe every meaningful activity, event, or life process that occurs at a particular place leaves behind a vibrational residue in the earth, as plants leave an image of themselves as seeds.
Sigmund Freud theorized that dreams have something to do with our psychological dynamics. "One of his more important discoveries is that emotions buried in the unconscious surface in disguised form during dreaming, and that the remembered fragments of dreams can help uncover the buried feelings. Whether the mechanism is exactly as Freud describes it, many people have derived insights into themselves from studying their dreams, and most modern people consider dreams emotionally significant, unlike our ancestors who often saw them either as divine portents or as the bizarre side-effects of indigestion. Freud argues that dreams are wish-fulfillments, and will ultimately argue that those wishes are the result of repressed or frustrated sexual desires. The anxiety surrounding these desires turns some dreams into nightmares." (Sigmund Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams (1900))
Recent analysts believe that dreams are little more than the remains of a recent experience.
Sometimes we can interpret our own dreams (or with the help of a friend). If we had a recently heard a story that disturbed us, we may dream about it, but more in depth. Or if we don't want something to happen, we will dream that it did, and we will see the result of our actions.
What do you believe?
Being Chased
This dream is thought of as an indication of you either running from a situation or as the chaser, running toward a situation. These situations can pertain to a job, people, or even a responsibility or obligation. If you have these dreams more often than not, ask yourself, Am I running from something or someone? Am I avoiding something? Whatever you determine the cause may be, stop and try to figure out what to do next.
Being naked in a dream is perhaps one of the most common and humbling dreams you may ever have. This type of dream suggests that you feel vulnerable to how others see you, being ashamed, or quite simply feeling exposed in whatever your situation may be. Nakedness like a newborn baby may indicate the need or desire for freedom. However, I don't know about you, but whenever this type of dream pops into my unconsciousness, it usually occurs in front of a large group or people - mainly friends and family - or I'm at work.
If this reminds you of your dreams, then find out if you open your heart (and mouth) to too many people or sit back and think about what you could possibly feel ashamed of. Oh and one last question, do you really care how others perceive you? You may think and say you don't, but your dreams may be telling you otherwise.
Flying is, I believe, the number one dream of all time. Dreaming of flying has occurred even before the invention of airplanes or the actual thought of humans ever getting off the ground when Artemidorus of Daldis, a dream interpreter from Ephesus, Greece during 140 AD, mentioned flying in dreams in his book Oneirocritica (The Interpretation of Dreams). The Oneirocritica s links the remote past with present day theories of dream interpretation.
The act of flying is, thought of by occult and metaphysical writers, as undergoing an out-of-body experience while sleeping.
Sigmund Freud believed flying is associated with sexual desire. Alfred Adler (1870) suggested it means having the will to dominate others and Carl Gustav Jung (1875) thought of flying as a need to break free of restrictions. Both studied under Sigmund Freud.
James R. Lewis, author of The Dream Encyclopedia, mentions that flying "can reflect a sense that one is "flying high" or that one has "risen above something" and that it "represents freedom and joy"."
Along the same realm as flying, falling is another widespread dream. Many believe that if you fall, then hit the ground in your dream, you will die. Lauri Loewenberg, author of So What Did You Dream Last Night? suggests otherwise. She says, "I've yet to speak to any dead people who told me that's what they were dreaming at the time of their death!"
Falling is interpreted to mean several different things:
1) delve from our experience as toddlers first learning to walk;
2) failing or "falling down" in life,
3) or feeling overwhelmed or out of control.
Whichever one, it's time to step back and look at what's going on in your life.
Whatever you figure the cause of your dreams to be...just remember, the rules of reality don't apply in the fantasy world of dreams, so there may not always be a clear and logical explanation.

Sources: So What Did You Dream Last Night? by Lauri Loewenberg, The Dream Encyclopedia by James R. Lewis, Wikipedia.org, Dream Moods A-Z Dream Dictionary, The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud,