Why We Dream

There are many theories about why people dream and what significance (if any) those dreams have. This morning I had a dream that may shed some insight into the field. (Incidentally, this week’s Piker Press has a story that ponders this question as well.)

This morning I had a dream in which I was in a busy office, waiting my turn to talk to the overworked woman sitting behind a desk. I overheard two Americans in Prague (incidentally, I think they were executives at a company I used to work for, but that’s neither here nor there) having the following conversation:

American in Prague 1: How’s it going?
American in Prague 2: Not bad. Last night I went running. It’s been a long time, but it felt great!

My new favorite theory about dreams is that they are to help you accept all the bizarre things you see in your daily life. Dreams are often really crazy because frequently you have to make sense of the most bizarre events in the waking world. Take the above dream, for instance. It was in no doubt a response to a frightning, downright unsettling thing I saw last night. I saw someone running.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen people run here in the past. Sometimes it can be quite comical — those little old ladies can really move when they need to — but in general if you show you’re making an effort the tram driver will wait for you.

But last night was different. There was no tram nearby, no bus stop. The person was dressed in sweats and was cruising through my neighborhood at a measured pace. I accepted this image as something beyond my comprehension; perhaps somewhere the dream part of my brain was telling the waking part “don’t worry, I’ll come up with something later” so that the waking brain could continue to function. How many times does the dream brain make that promise each day?

So then the dream. The most important part of the explanation: the runner was American. There aren’t many of them in this neighborhood, but it explains the rest. Dream brain came through once again.

One thought on “Why We Dream

  1. I had a dream last night that McDonald’s brought back the McRib Sandwich. Except where I was didn’t look like a McDonald’s, it looked like a Taco Bravo. And the woman who was taking my order had no idea what she was doing because it was her first day on the job, but she was bossing everyone else around anyway, and they were letting her.

    The meaning of this dream is clear. Obviously, Dream Brain is telling me that I should buy shoes.

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