Among the bridges between consciousness and the unconscious, dreams are possibly the most autonomous and elusive – while we might be able to stop ourselves from, say, painting, there is nothing we can do to stop dreams from happening. Any definition we might give to the concept of dreams is always partial, incomplete, influenced by current scientific ideas. Various disciplines have tried to explain what dreams are, what they are for, where they come from. Yet, no definition can clarify and exhaust such an exceptional and complex phenomenon. Possibly, only by maintaining an open mind can each of us, in the uniqueness of our own inner experience, access a personal understanding of dreams.
When we go to sleep, consciousness slowly withdraws and, like in Alice in Wonderland, we find ourselves in the realm of the unconscious, which works very differently from the conscious world. It is the world of metaphors and symbols – an underground world of enigmatic shadows. That is why our dreams often appear bizarre and incomprehensible. What makes dreams slightly different from the other imaginative bridges is that our conscious mind is at its lowest point in dreams, so we are most receptive towards unconscious contents.
Having, reflecting on and playing with dreams supports the dialogue between unconscious and consciousness, allowing consciousness to expand and become more flexible. This type of imaginative exploration can surely be part of our journey together, should you wish to walk over the bridge of dreams and be curious about what’s on the other side.