by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
In recent studies, the brain stem, the portion of the brain at the base of the skull, is the originator of electrical impulses in which, dreams are the result. The brain stem makes contact with the other portions of the brain that control hearing, movement, vision and memory. Several studies have implicated that the limbic portion of the brain, which activates our emotions, may also receive impulses from the brain stem. The brain stem contains cells that turn REM sleep on and off. These studies have been based on the use of Positron Emission Tomography (PET scans) of the brain.
Considering the brain as the main sorter of information, it tries taking random information from both our conscious and subconscious levels and attempts to impose patterns on the unpatterned stimuli.
“Making order out of chaos is a highly innate behavior” says Martin Seligman, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. “Humans are creatures of order”.
Dream analysist and scientist, Allan Hobson, along with a large number of the population, believe that dreams do, in fact, “have meaning and reveal truths about ourselves”.
The left brain, which controls the right side of the body, perceives the world through the language of deductive reasoning and logic. Analyzing all things in a linear sequence of cause and effect. The left brain is responsible for speech, writing understanding mathematics, numbers and language. The left brain reacts as though it knows we are thinking, therefore, taking on the role of our conscious thought.
The right brain, which controls the left side of the body,perceives the world as the big picture. The overall aesthetics, our creativity, metaphorical language and the way we register symbols is the job of the right brain. The right brain seems to take on the role of our unconscious thought. Dreams, which are symbolic in nature, are created using the symbolic side of the right brain. But, it is the left brain that seems to interpret these symbols of our dreams in an analytical sense.
Often times, right brain oriented symbols in our dreams, from this unconscious thought region, are called “thoughts from our higher self.” Learning to pay attention to these symbols and interpreting them on a conscious level, can be the first step in getting in touch with our higher selves. By applying the symbolic language of dream interpretation to our everyday lives, we maybe able to see further into the connection between these dreams and seemingly random events.
By connecting these seemingly random events between the conscious body and the subconscious mind, we can see how happenings that seem accidental, maybe symbolic messages from our higher selves. This connection between meaningful coincidence was noted by psychiatrist, Carl Jung, which he called “synchronicity”.