'Dreams can act like safety valves'

New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Ever dreamt that you are flying over tree tops or streaking across the sky? It could mean that you have fallen in love or are simply happy, says dream interpreter Madhu Tandan.

New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Ever dreamt that you are flying over tree tops or streaking across the sky? It could mean that you have fallen in love or are simply happy, says dream interpreter Madhu Tandan.

Tandan, who has just released her book, 'Dreams and Beyond: Finding Your Way', says dreams serve a purpose at many levels.

'People often have flying dreams. They fly over tree-tops and streak across the sky like Superman. One minute you are in a room and the next moment you are flying like a bird. It could mean you are either happy or have found a new talent or have fallen in love,' Tandan told IANS.

Every night, the sleeping brain dreams. Psychologists say a neuronal switch is turned on within the brainstem which activates the visual areas in the brain, and a dream is born. Everyone dreams a minimum of four dreams for every six hours of sleep.

'Even though there is a wide variety of dreams, current lifestyle stresses are perhaps spurring anxiety-related dreams. However, these dreams can sometimes act like safety valves, which discharge tensions that have not been accepted by us while awake.'

Dreams also help solve problems, comment on health, anticipate events, touch on death and be the interface with spiritual aspirations.

Tandan's book deals with four broad and comprehensive aspects of dreams - scientific, psychological, paranormal and spiritual.

She lists five popular generic anxiety dreams. 'People often dream of being chased, but the pursuer never catches up with the dreamer. There is an element of passivity in this dream where the dreamer does not have to confront the source of terror, but interpreted broadly, it might mean that the dreamer is not in control of his or her life,' Tandan said.

Two other recurring dreams are those of mixing up examintion schedules and a sense of complete loss in the examination hall.

'Students and sometimes even adults dream that they are clueless about the answers to questions during examinations or they have prepared for history when the paper is that of geography,' Tandan said.

Interpreted, it could symbolise a daughter's wedding wherein the father is stressed or the dreamer is anxious about coping with a situation.

A 38-year-old woman once dreamt that she had missed a train. It could mean that contrary situations were pulling the dreamer apart or situations were running ahead of the subject in question.

The writer presented an audio-visual slide show of a case study to illustrate her point about the variety of dream types, as also the multiple meanings of a single dream.

A 45-year-old woman that Tandan interviewed dreamt that her father had been discharged from the hospital after a prostate complication.

'She saw her husband bringing her father out of the hospital and they both stood at the entrance, waiting for the car. Suddenly, her dead uncle arrives in a car and asks her father to sit in the front seat of the car and drives away. She watches them drive into an underpass,' Tandan narrated, explaining the sequence of the dream.

'The dream can be interpreted by noting the alterations the dream had made to the real events. For example, the mother and not the husband had gone with the dreamer to the hospital to discharge the father. Could the inclusion of the husband in the dream indicate the nature of the relationship between the husband and wife?

'The woman wanted to help her ailing father, but the husband just stood there without helping the father into the car. Perhaps the dream is highlighting her loneliness by depicting that she had no option but to fall back for support on her dead uncle. An obviously absurd scenario reminding her that she can rely only on herself,' she said.

But the dream also had another overtone. When the author met the subject three weeks later, the woman reminded her of the strange dream and revealed that her father, who was healthy, had suddenly died.

She asked, 'Could the dream have been an anticipation of the death of the father?' After all, his driver is from the world of death and the dead uncle seats the father besides him and drives away with him into an underpass that takes you to the 'other' side or another world.

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