Dreams are Meaningless!

United States
April 9, 2012 10:22pm CST
I've found myself repeating my own personal philosophy on dreams many times on these boards. My personal thoughts being that dreams are meaningless. They hold no prophetic, symbolic, or subconscious meaning to be deciphered. They are merely the products of the imagination making sense of random nerve firings happening in the brain. Perhaps some memory sorting in there as well. I've been interested in dreams and the theories behind them for basically my whole life. I've read so many books on dream theories, dream interpretation, and lucid dreaming, but ultimately I realized that most of what I read sounded about as specific as horoscopes. The only stuff that was really solid was very technical (as in, this is what your brain looks like while you're dreaming, this is the sleep cycle in which you dream). And from what I've experienced from my own dreams, I have yet to find any meaning in them even through personal attempts at translation as the dream-symbolism believing psychologists suggest. So I'm curious. Does anyone else out there share my theory or something similar about dreams? If not, what are your theories and why do you believe them?
3 people like this
15 responses
• Philippines
10 Apr 12
Hey, I think the same too. I think that dreams are really meaningless. Sometimes I think they want to warn about something but sometimes everything is a blur to me. I wonder often now if dreams really don't mean anything aside from the fact that it represents our inner beliefs and imaginations.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Apr 12
Nice to see I'm not entirely alone! I pretty much think of dreams as an extension of the imagination these days. I love dreams, even if I think they're essentially meaningless I find them inspiring and entertaining.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Apr 12
Some dreams just seem so far off from what I think. I dream about things that I never think about in waking life, you know? That's why I lean towards dreams being products of the imagination.
• Philippines
12 Apr 12
Yes, most of the time, my dreams doesn't make any sense to me. They don't explain anything. Sometimes I think maybe they reflect to what I think, but sometimes they are just what I'm imagining.
1 person likes this
@GADHISUNU (2162)
• India
10 Apr 12
Not all dreams have significance. Dreams could sometimes be our tired mind's relaxation technique.It could be symbolic in the sense of the psychologists' view--that they are an enactment of our deepest fears, hopes and concerns in vague symbols which sometimes are difficult to decipher.There are some who do get precognitive dreams. In fact I have had at least one precognitive dream,which I did remember very well, but in what way could I help? No way. I too tried keeping a dream diary and tried following it up, but couldn't find much use for it. As for me I look at dreams as the "subconscious' reconstruction of its unsolved problems, hopes and fears, but since subconscious works more in terms of symbols that are sometimes very difficult to even comprehend,it does not help much in the ultimate analysis. But, if someone has the patience to study the symbolism of one's subconscious long enough then, may be, one could benefit a lot. But do we have the patience and the time to follow up on our dreams in this fast paced world of ours?
1 person likes this
@GADHISUNU (2162)
• India
11 Apr 12
Way back in 1996-7(?). The date must be checked with some GK book records. It was in the month of September-October. I dreamt that I am at an Electric Crematorium. Bodies are being brought in by hundreds and being pushed into the furnace with as little ceremony as possible. This crematorium is very peculiar in that it has a terrace that overlooks wilderness! The scene ahead almost wears a deserted look. Smoke billowing out the chimney. Mnay tearful faces. I am at both places near the loading point of the bodies as well as on the terrace sometimes with tear-filled eyes. Barely a week later there was news of a devastating Earthquake in a place called Latur, in Maharashtra India.That was on the starting ady of what we called Navaratri days- a Ten-day intense worship period of the Goddess. I cried in silent prayer. I was just preparing to go into worship mode when this Newspaper headline arrested my attention. I instantly reran my dream in the mind. Such a dream hasn't ever occurred. I say it was useless because neither the date not the place were visible to me so that any predictive statement could be made to anyone. All I could understand, was that a great natural calamity was about to happen.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Apr 12
Part of the reason I tend not to take dream interpretation seriously is because it's so vague, even when it's being done by certain "experts". I just feel like they're stretching to make the pieces fit together. What precognitive dream did you have? I'm curious.
@Maggiepie (7816)
• United States
14 Jan 13
[b]Some are meaningless...some are not. I've had some come true. NOT necessarily a Good Thing... Sorry to take so long answering; still catching up on all the mail I missed while in the hospitals & rehab centers. Hope this finds you well. Maggiepie[/b]
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jan 13
The idea of dreams coming true has always struck me as a little weird, maybe because I've been a dream-recording fanatic my entire life and I've never experienced it myself. I tend (in my sound unbelief) to dismiss such things as mere creepy coincidence. No worries, I hope you're doing better now that you're out.
• Southend-On-Sea, England
16 Apr 12
I don't see dreams as being in the slightest bit prophetic, but I do think that the symbolism within them can mean a great deal to us on a personal level, although different symbols will mean different things to different people. All through my life (and I have always had extremely vivid dreams), they have in a symbolic way, mirrored what has been going on for me at any given time, be it good or bad. Those dreams have taken a bit of working on and analysis to sort out what their symbolism means to me, but once I've managed to do that, then I've been able to pinpoint what's been wrong with my life and taken steps to put it right.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Apr 12
I've tried interpreting dreams on a personal level, but I never learned anything I didn't already know about myself in waking life. A lot of the time I just don't see any symbolism, and if I can think of a particular symbol then it's just painfully obvious. How is it that you determine what's symbolic to you?
@lacieice (2060)
• United States
14 Jan 13
I do believe dreams are meaningless. They are just the brain taking a vacation. But, I would like to describe one unexplainable incident in my past. I did dream once, when I was pregnant with my second child, that I fell down the cellar stairs. I told this dream to my husband, and he informed me he had dreamed the same thing. Later, I did fall down the cellar stairs, and my husband and I never shared any negative dreams. Do I believe it was prophetic? I don't know. It was probably just a coincidence, but it was a weird one.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jan 13
I'd call it a pretty bizarre and slightly creepy coincidence. I've said a number of times in this discussion, I'm an unbeliever! Probably because I've been remembering and chronicling my dreams my entire life and nothing remotely similar has ever happened to me. Though to me, if I were to dream about falling down a staircase.. it would probably be just cause it was something I was likely to do.
@tkonlinevn (6008)
• Vietnam
21 May 12
I'm too. Dreams is meaningless. I don't care them much. I almost don't remember them much after I get up on morning.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 May 12
I remember my dreams very well, but I don't try to interpret them or anything because I don't think there's any point. They aren't going to reveal something about me that I don't know or tell me something that's about to happen. It's good to know I'm not the only one who thinks this way.
@SinfulRose (3527)
• Davao, Philippines
10 Apr 12
I don't have any theories on dreams. But so far, I know that dreams is a world within each person that mirrors the real world. It can show you your greatest happiness, desires and wishes and even your greatest fears. You also have the ability to bring a certain object from the real world to your dream world. And you can alter your reality in some way, from your dreams. Let me explain the last two statements by using an example: I was given by my professor a project that I wouldn't normally be able to write within a day but because of my extreme desire to solve the assignment I made it a goal to solve it that afternoon. I tried writing codes but they show something different from what I had intended so I failed. That night I slept and within the dream, I was already answering the assignment, solving the problem. The next day, I tried coding again. Whatever it is I saw in my dreams, I placed on my computer and viola. I did it. (end of example) I don't see symbols in my dreams. But whenever I see money, I get motivated to earn myself money. So in a way, my dream showed me a symbol that says money in my life... I guess your dreams depends upon you and it's up to you on how to interpret them. Most of my dreams were telling me stories. Well it's no wonder because I AM a storyteller. It's no use interpreting these because they are meant to be written and published( and let me earn money). But I have to admit also, there are times when my dreams foretell something. Whenever it happens in my reality, I always have deja vu. But I just let it be. I'd go crazy if I start interpreting my dreams one by one considering I have tons of them in one sleeping( and I dream everyday unless if very tired or stressed). Yes, I can already determine those dreams that foretell and those that are normal over the years but I tend to forget those foretelling dreams because I don't want to worry myself about them. I don't know if you believe me. But this is my share. Have a nice day and Happy MyLotting!
• United States
10 Apr 12
Well it seems that you're described dreams themselves pretty accurately. They are a sort of inner world built from personal imagination and the brain's own amazing capacity to create stunning sensory illusions. I've read that the brain is actually more active when you're asleep, so it makes sense to me that it would be able to problem-solve in your dreams. I think you're capable of creating or problem solving faster than you can actually think in coherent thoughts, which really comes out in dreams. I've never had a dream foretell something personally, and I've been dream-journaling since I was 12, been remembering and reciting my dreams since I was six. That's part of the reason I find it hard to believe that dreams can foretell, because it's never happened to me personally. Which is a weak reason, I admit. But it's also because most dream-foretelling stories I hear sound real fishy to me.
• United States
10 Apr 12
I probably should have specified what I meant by fishy. I guess the way I describe it is too broad a coincidence. Like someone saying they dreamed of an earthquake three weeks ago and then there's a big one on the news. Then there's the deja-vu kind of dream that I think matches pretty close with an obvious parallel, but it's a situation that could easily be duplicated. You said yourself, you had the situation of you coming down to a bright lit hall almost every other day. I don't mean to attack your specific dream-fortelling/deja vu scenario.... I'm just being an unbeliever. I think that when we dream, we obviously incorporate elements of everyday life into our dreams, and once in a blue moon we dream something that hits a few notes close to reality and thus we have deja vu. We have so many dreams during our lives, I think it's possible to have pretty eerie coincidences but no true prophet dreams.
• Davao, Philippines
10 Apr 12
It is true that brains are more active when asleep. It's because they can focus more on other tasks than when they do when the body is conscious and awake. Our brains work best when it focuses, it seems. Why would it sound fishy? I mean your dream-foretelling stories. My foretelling dreams are only very mundane. Very simple and straight to the point but very vague too because I won't know it was like that until it finally happened. For example, there was this one dream that I was walking down a very dark corridor then later flood in light and then I got to meet halfway the person who I really don't like at all--then the dream abruptly ends because I forced myself awake. The reality went like this, (it happened a few weeks after I had the dream) I was walking down the 3rd floor corridor of my school. It was dark because on both sides are rooms, either closed or filled by a class. I walked down to the ground floor about to go home. It was very bright compared to the 3rd floor because there was no wall to blot out the light of the sun. (I really never got to think that I've already dreamed this happening because this situation of coming down to a bright lighted hall happens almost every other day until this next thing that happened). When I looked up, I saw the person I saw in my dream. See? The parallel between the two is so obvious. I won't believe other dream-foretelling stories that sounds like a horoscope when my dream is too stupid simple. It's too simple that I just let it be and keep it to myself. I don't also know when my dreams become reality until I am at the end of the story and realize, "oh, I've seen this one"/deja vu. And most foretelling dreams I experience are only mostly centered on me and the people who affects me. I'm no supernatural that can go beyond that. It's no more, no less for me.
1 person likes this
@megamatt (14292)
• United States
10 Apr 12
I have a thought that is rather similar but rather different at the same time. I think dreams are just our own brain's ability to troll ourselves, much like a bothersome Internet poster who tends to be annoying and obnoxious. Our brain tends to rather go right on a wild wide, as we seem to see a lot of things right to them, things that we obsess over, that we reflect over. I think the true meaning is to really get us thinking about something, to confuse us. That is the real meaning of dreams right in the nutshell. It is just some ability for the human mind to really lead us on a wild mental goose chase, right through the great mysteries of life, which never may be solved. We are just being fooled by ourselves. It is some mental game.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Apr 12
That is the best theory I've ever heard on dreams! Five stars! Two thumbs up! I'm adopting your theory and I'm going to repeat it to all my dream-enthusiastic friends. There have been times where I've felt like my brain was trolling me. Like how I keep having zombie dreams when I never watch or read anything that has zombies in it. Sometimes I feel like my own head is snarking at me.
@ryanong (9665)
• Vietnam
10 Apr 12
I still believe that there is some meaning hide our dreams but I haven't known what is exactly corresponding with dream contents.
• United States
10 Apr 12
What kind of meaning? Prophetic? Symbolic? Subconscious? Is it different for every person? I think if I did believe in dream interpretation then I would say that it would be different for every person and dream dictionaries would be pretty useless in that case. But I don't really even believe dreams have meaning on a personal level.
• India
10 Apr 12
Hello,i don't think dreams are always meaningless..they show us the message indirectly..those who have mastered in it can only know its true power..i watched an episode in discovery channel called Stan lee's super human..in this episode a man can predict the future through his dreams!!This guy has really mastered it..but this dream does not tell anything direct..it is always indirect..so we should also have the potential of understanding the dream..So i think dreams do come true!! Happy Mylotting!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Apr 12
That's the thing about dream interpretation that really turns me off I guess... that it's so indirect. I feel like most of the time the conclusions reached are stretching the bounds of reason just to make the dream fit reality. But I will look for the episode you mentioned and watch it if I can find it.
@lifes97 (884)
• United Arab Emirates
10 Apr 12
hi there, i think should i say, that dreams are not always right or true, i think some are about warning signs and some are just from the creation of your deep mind, not sure which is which but i think that what dreams are, i do not depend dreams to take a decision or so, but to some limit if im comfortable to something i do not care abou the dream but if im not comfortable about it i don no way do it, so dreams are not a big deal for me, but i think in some situations they are a warrning signs or so, thank
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Apr 12
A warning of what? Sort of like a prophetic dream? I don't really believe in those personally. Never had one in all the years that I've been dream journaling. I just don't think any dream-prophecy stories amount to much more than coincidence. Sometimes it's not even a very convincing coincidence.
@SarahAlyx (181)
• United States
10 Apr 12
I don't always believe my dreams but I do believe that some dreams do have meaning. I believe that dreams are the way your subconcious speaks to you, whether it be about something that happened in the past, present or maybe the future. Maybe you had a dream about something that seems entirely meaningless to you but you're subconcious picked up on it without you knowing even the smallest little thing. The hardest part is finding out what the dream was related to in your reality. For example I had a dream about opening a t-shirt shop. Something with the name graffiti in it. I owned my own shop and was getting big because of the uniqueness of my shop. When I woke up the next morning I had no clue as to why I dreamt that because I've been wanting to open my own pet shop but how does that relate? Well I came to the conclusion that in highschool I was top in my art class because my artwork was unique and individual and that maybe I should consider opening a t-shirt shop maybe my brain was telling me that thats where my true talent lies. But maybe not. I do not know and I have no plans to create a self fulfilling prophecy but I will keep that idea in mind because it's not impossible. Overall I think dreams like I said before are a way for your subconcious to communicate with your brain. Sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it doesn't.
• United States
10 Apr 12
It seems like a pretty big stretch to connect the two to me... not that the subconscious would make it clear but most of the time I feel like any kind of dream interpretation is stretching beyond reason to make connections that just aren't there. I feel like if my subconscious is trying to communicate with me, then it's delivering mixed messages and messages that make no sense. It's more logical to me to conclude that my subconscious isn't communicating with me. As I said though, it's just a personal theory regarding dreams. As a human race, we still don't know much about dreams which is part of the reason I find them so fascinating. For as far as we've come, we still haven't gotten the most widely experienced phenomenon figured out.
• Philippines
10 Apr 12
dreams are weird. really. haha when i recall what my dream last night was, it feels weird because the places and the persons in there aren't that clear. haha but i dont believe on them. it's such a funny thing because why do dreams appear quite weird sometimes. haha
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Apr 12
Dream do get pretty darn weird. I could make a list of bizarre dreams I've had a mile long. When you're asleep, the logic center of your brain is turned off, you know.
@roshigo58 (4859)
• Pune, India
16 Mar 13
Hi, I think the dreams are related to our mind. Whatever is going on in our mind we used to watch them in our dreams. But I also feel that the dreams are meaningless. Because they are not based on reality. So we should not be upset by bad dreams. But we can enjoy good and happy dreams, even if there is nothing to do with reality.
@KrauseHome (36449)
• United States
22 Jan 13
I guess from my stand point, there are all different kinds of dreams, and dream states, and not all of these are we supposed to remember. The ones we remember are often the important ones, or the ones we need to focus on. Sometimes they can be revealing a part of us we are trying to keep hidden, or something we have been thinking about that God is trying to tell us. Overall I would never consider them meaningless. Just some are not always as important as others.