STEPS IN THE BIRTH OF A DREAM. The psyche’s nightly review goes something like this:
A QUICK FIRST SCAN AND SORT. Like a high-speed computer, the psyche scans how the day’s activities, thoughts, feelings, and observations, match up. It compares your new experiences to your similar past experiences. The psyche further observes how these new observations stack up against your goals, ideals, hopes, and wishes. During this first pass, the mind creates two piles: (1) the “completed” pile and (2) the “still needs attention” pile.
ITEMS IN THE “COMPLETED” PILE ARE FILED. The psyche first addresses the actions, thoughts, and feelings that were adequately handled and completed during the day. The items that have no emotional leftovers or loose ends are stored in memory. This is the equivalent of filing a stack of papers that no longer need your attention.
A SECOND, DELUXE SCAN TAKES PLACE FOR THE “STILL NEEDS ATTENTION” PILE. During the first scan, the “completed” pile was filed. During a second, more detailed scan, the psyche tackles the “still needs attention” list of unresolved thoughts, feelings, actions, and decisions that were triggered by the day’s events. As if the mind were a high-speed computer, the psyche prioritizes your issues and flags the questions, unfulfilled desires, and problems that require your attention. It also compares unresolved issues against your current and past experience. The end result is a set of conclusions and suggestions about what could be done to resolve those issues, conclusions that the mind now needs to transmit back to you.
THE PSYCHE’S FEEDBACK IS CONVEYED AS A DREAM. After evaluating your ongoing concerns, the psyche cranks out a report to summarize whatever may have escaped your attention, as gleaned from the previous day’s bulletin board notes. This report from the psyche may offer you a fresh perspective, a new insight, or a suggestion to get further information about a half-processed topic. As you sleep, this mini report is relayed to you in the form of a visual memo about your unresolved feelings, concerns, and decisions. You heard it here first—this mini report is otherwise known as a dream.
WHAT DOES A DREAM COMMUNICATE? A dream memo from the psyche can include one or more of the following topics:
• An overview of unresolved feelings or issues.
• Past influences or reactions that are relevant to a current issue.
• Current unnoticed factors that affect a topic.
• Feelings with which you may not be in touch.
• An invitation to change a perspective or a goal.
• Advice on how to deal with an issue.
• General or specific insights into a problem or concern.