Dreams come in an endless variety of styles and types. Some people find themselves in wild fantasy landscapes with mind-blowing narratives, but some find themselves never being able to escape their office due to recurring dreams surrounding their workplace. Dreams can cover the entirety of someone’s imagination leaving them scared in a nightmare or happy after being visited by a deceased relative.
Although there is still much that we don’t understand about the nature of dreams and their complexities, it is generally agreed in the medical and psychological communities that dreams reflect, at least in part, our subconscious workings.
PATRICIA ELTINGE in her book THE DREAM CLASS talks about the different types of dreams and their significance.
Each category of dreams below can be a distinct, “stand-alone” experience. It is also common to have a dream with several characteristics at the same time. For example, a dream may simultaneously include a current event, metaphor, problem-solving, and fantasy. Although dreams are often complicated and difficult to understand, even partial awareness and insight can be helpful.
1. Current/Recent Event Dreams. This is one of the more common types of dreams, where events that occurred during the past 24 to 48 hours are directly or indirectly reflected in the dreaming. For instance, one might have a dispute with a romantic partner and have an argument dream, or watch a car chase in a movie and have a chase dream. Details in a current or recent event dream are not always so literal as waking events. Some representations are metaphorical or symbolic as well.
2. Metaphorical/Symbolic Dreams.These dreams help us process life events (current or from the past) metaphorically. For example, if a person is having a hard time completing a work project, she might have a dream where she’s struggling up a mountain alone without gear, while other climbers work in teams and are better equipped. Metaphorical dreams are instructive in that, properly interpreted, they can provide insights for personal development. In the mountain climbing dream above, the lesson could be to ask for help and collaborate when needed, instead of trying to accomplish everything by oneself.
3. Fantasy/Comfort Dreams.Another fairly common type of dream involves fantasies or comforting experiences (especially when times are tough). Fantasy dreams are often aspirations, wish-fulfillments, or compensations in response to the ups and downs of daily life. Comfort dreams may evoke positive people and experiences from the past or present. For example, a child who is bullied in school may dream that he is a superhero, or an older adult who feels alone may dream about travels with friends when she was young.
Among other functions, both fantasy and comfort dreams may be the subconscious’s way of helping the dreamer soothe and release from the stressors of waking life. The dreamer gets to take a “dream vacation” from their anxieties.
4. Creative/Problem-Solving Dreams. Some dreams are inspirational and can provide either creative ideas or long-sought solutions to problems. The dreamer may wake-up feeling that a revelation has occurred. Two well-known dreams of this type are singer/musician Paul McCartney’s dream of a melody which became the song “Yesterday”, and Nobel Prize laureate James Watson’s dream about snakes which led to devising the structure of DNA.
5. Nightmares.A nightmare may occur following a recent stressful event (i.e. a family problem, an incident while driving, upsetting news in the media, etc.). Nightmares may also be the result of unresolved anxieties, fears, or traumas from the past. Some nightmares are attempts of the subconscious/unconscious to work through issues. The nature and cause of nightmares can be multi-faceted. In some cases, there may be biological, neurological, chemical, dietary, as well as psychological factors at work.
If you have nightmares fairly regularly, consider seeing a qualified mental health professional and/or sleep doctor for support.
6. Lucid Dreams.One of the most interesting (and potentially fun) types of dreams is lucid dreaming, where the dreamer is aware that she or he is dreaming while the dream is taking place. Frequently, lucid dreaming allows the dreamer to “control” her or his actions while the dream is taking place as if one is the lead actor of one’s own action/adventure/romantic movie. This type of dreaming is not only fun and enjoyable in many instances, but gives the dreamer the power to problem-solve (i.e. deciding to turn and fight instead of running away from a pursuer; choosing to fly over rather than be blocked by an obstacle), which may have real-life applications and benefits.
7. “ Supernatural” Dreams.Perhaps the most striking and memorable type of dreaming is what may be called “supernatural” dreams. These dreams tend to happen rarely for most people. But when they do, the experience can be so unique and special that the dream is often profoundly remembered months or even years later.
Examples of “supernatural” dreams include:
Premonition Dreams. Dreams in which the dreamer has a vision of a future event which later becomes true.
Telepathic Dreams. When the dreamer receives communication about a person or an event occurring elsewhere without the dreamer’s waking knowledge. After the dreamer awakes, details of the dream are verified to be true.
Shared Dreams/Communion Dreams. When different people have the same dream at approximately the same time.
Visitation Dreams. Dreams in which a recently deceased family, friend, romantic partner, or pet appear. These dreams are often vivid, loving, instructive, and sometimes life-changing.
Although these “supernatural” dreams are beyond the scope of current scientific understanding and insufficiently researched, they occur with many people around the world and point to the possibility that consciousness may expand beyond the individual, at least during the dream state.
Having discussed different types of Dreams, today we are going to concentrate on FANTASY DREAMS and try and understand a bit more about them.
Fantasy dreams are one of the very common types of dreams. They are often aspirations, wish-fulfillments, or compensations in response to the ups and downs of daily life. Among other functions, both fantasy and comfort dreams may be the subconscious’s way of helping the dreamer soothe and release from the stressors of waking life. The dreamer gets to take a “dream vacation” from their anxieties.
Why Do We Have Fantasy Dreams?
There is no particular reason behind it, but people who are imaginative and creative tend to have more Fantasy Dreams. A dominant right brain will conjure up elaborate fantasies to co-relate to the reality of the dreamer.
What Does Having a Fantasy Dream Indicate?
Fantasies have to do with future goals and dreams. They could be romantic, professional, even physical. That is why fantasy is so crucial to how we lead our lives. We are infused by our fantasies. They can help establish goals and provide motivation to strive for them.
A long-lasting fantasy indicates something important to us, a goal to achieve or a symbol of one’s personality. You would have to examine the details of a persistent fantasy and compare them to the details of your life to reasonably determine what message is attempting to be communicated. Some people who have done that have opened a door; it’s been a motivating process, while others have just learned a little bit more about themselves. And some people have simply found the connections too elusive.
Fantasies are indispensable to having a fulfilled life, yet there has to be a happy medium. Without fantasies your life is impoverished. If you’re flooded with fantasies, there’s no reality. You need fantasy, but there has to be a way to put the brakes on.
Dreaming of fantasia in the background symbolizes your need to keep things refreshed and new in your life. You may become bored easily. This sort of dream can help promote positive feelings. It can also represent your duality. The physical and spiritual sides of you. Dreaming of fantasia is a sign your subconscious has hidden secrets trying to rise to the surface.
Fantasia featured in a dream can also signify you are doing some inner work on yourself. During this, your emotions may come to the surface. You may have to learn how to deal with these. Or, find a new perspective so you can move on. It could be a time where much turmoil surrounds you or, the other extreme, your life is full of joy and happiness.
Fantasia dreams represent hopes, emotions, achieving goals, and messages delivered through your subconscious. Dreaming of fantasy scenes with horses featured means that you wish to relive your childhood. A time of happiness, freedom, and no responsibilities. You want to relive those happy days gone by, spent with family and friends. This can bring unexpected visits from people from your past.
A fantasy of fast-moving psychedelic colors means you are having a lucid dream where everything mixes together. It is a message that very soon something completely mind-blowing will happen to you. Dreams of the universe or abstract paintings can be a sign you are having an out of body experience.
These dreams can represent your true feelings in real life. Dreams involving scary fantasies represent your fear of being publicly exposed or embarrassed. This can mean you have a guilty conscience. Dreams featuring bright colors mean you are truly happy. Probably the happiest you have ever been.
You may have come through a period of turmoil that has now been resolved or the time has helped it to mend. Fantasy featured at night can come when you are going through tough times. They are a reminder to have hope. Believe in yourself. Have hope everything will work out for the best in the long run.
If this glimpse into the Dream World fascinated you and you want to explore it more, we highly recommend THE DREAM CLASS by PATRICIA ELTINGE. This book will open up your mind to a whole new world of fantastic possibilities.