Shubhada Limaye is a member of the Indian Association for study of dreams. She is conducting an ongoing research project about the healing properties of dreams. According to her, “Dreams by themselves heal, that is their purpose. While we go through the daily grind there may be some incident or matter we are unable give adequate attention or unwilling to acknowledge. All this stored in the subconscious and comes back to us in form of dreams. It serves as an outlet for the all that is bottled up during the day. It serves as a filing system, keeping what seems important and discarding the rest. If there are minor issues they get resolved and the dreams concerning the topic stop. But if there are recurring dreams then it means there are unresolved issues needing attention”.
Most of the illnesses are psychosomatic in nature, they are a manifestation of something bothering a person emotionally or intellectually. Says Shubhada, most people are aware of the symptoms of the ailment bothering them but are unable to pinpoint the origin of the problem. Analyzing dreams could cure the symptoms by getting to the root of the problem and understanding it. Suresh had a recurring dream. He would dream that he was in a situation where he had to speak before an audience but something would go wrong in the setting. Such as, the mike would not work or he is speaking and others are unable to hear him. It was a recurring dream. When the dream was analyzed its origin was traced to the his school days. He had failed to deliver his speech due to stage fright. This bothered him to the present day, so much so that he was still afraid of public speaking. He would always find some excuse not to speak if the need arose and hand over the task to a colleague. After getting insight about where the problem lay he lost his stage fright completely and did not shy away from presentations in his work place.
Nitin had a recurring dream where snakes would appear from all sorts of unexpected places and look give him a malicious smile and then disappear. He was very disturbed by these dreams. On analyzing it was traced to the time he was a kid and a member in the boxing team. He was a very puny chap and the coach would make fun of him. Ever since that time he associated term ‘Snake in the grass’ with the coach. So whenever he felt threatened or felt that people were making fun of him he would think of the same term and would have associated dreams. The snake in his dream represented his coach who made him feel small and eroded his self worth.
Says Mrs. Limaye, “The subconscious takes all the terms use by the conscious brain very literally, like the snake in the dreams was a representation of the term ‘Snake in the grass’. She illustrated this with another example. Anurag, a senior executive had a dream that he was a small boy and in an office setting. A dog constantly barked at him. The dog was symbolic of the term ‘Dog eat dog world’. Anurag was having this dream because he was feeling threatened by a colleague at the office who he thought was after his position in the company.
Dreams can be programmed to cure as a doctor found out. Dr. Aban Darbari was suffering from an earache for a considerable amount of time. She had tried a lot of medicines but she did not get any relief. In the spirit of experimentation after attending one of the meetings of Indian Association for study of dreams of which she is a member, she asked for her ache to be cured through a dream. Next morning though she could not remember what she had dreamt of she did not have the ache anymore.
Mrs. Limaye says that dreams are very efficient. They can address multiple issues on multiple topics all at once. A dream can warn you of health dangers, predict the future, point out personality flaws (or credits) and solve a current problem all in one dream. Some dreams are worthy of repeated analysis, and just because you can come up with two or three interpretations, does not mean that only one can be right, in fact they could all easily be right. “When I need you in my arms, all I have to do is dream dream dream goes Cliff Richard’s song. Dreams have seemed to have had the power to make the impossible possible. The secret of good health may lie in the unlocking the mysteries of the dream world. Some tools have been developed to tap these sources and gain more insight into ourselves but most of the answers to our question still lie in dreamland”.