The Dream Enigma – The Internal-External Dilemma

This article was originally published on >>>> The Echo World (November 2020 Issue)

The Covid-19 crisis and subsequent lockdowns have ensured that many more of us have extra time to dream and reflect on their meanings. In this period there has been a noticeable rise in the number of people reporting extremely strange and vivid dreams and nightmares, yet the media often only put such dreams down to the very real stresses of isolation, fear of death and infection that come from our everyday experiences of Covid-19. With the advent of MRI machines that have helped us map which parts of our brain are active when we sleep, scientists have furthered our understanding about dreaming. But what if the majority of scientists and psychologists have missed something about where our dreams originate? What if dreams don’t always come from within, such as from the experiences of the world of Covid-19 around us that we absorb from day-to-day interactions with others and the media, but from without as well? What if every dream has a purpose? To miss this point may show that God, the universe, angels, spirits (take your pick!), may be talking to us, but nobody is listening.

Modernity has brought to fruition popular frameworks for interpreting dreams that are trivial or highly sexualised, that oftentimes make people wary of sharing their dreams with others through fear of being publicly shamed, embarrassed, or labelled stupid or boring for being so audacious. Covid-19 has changed these relations, but not removed the way we frame and interpret our dreams. Whilst Freud importantly reaffirmed to the masses the belief that many dreams are indeed symbolic, he also left a lot of baggage in the popular imagination that helped stimy better understandings of dreams and what they could mean. Additionally, science and industry taught us to perceive ourselves as machines, with inputs and outputs, that leave little room for gods and spirituality, and this can often be reflected in the rationalistic scientific hegemony of dream interpretation with all of its rigid boundaries on our imaginations seen today. These approaches point to an internal process within ourselves that create dreams from the inputs gained from our senses in our waking lives, rather than an external one that is set aside from our own daily experiences.

Yet, what of the many reported prophetic dreams throughout history that the media miss that may point to an external source for dreams? Thinkers like author of An Experiment With Time, J. W. Dunne, believed that dreams challenge the perception that time is linear, and that we can send information subconsciously back through time and connect to data in our future minds in our dreams – what he called serialism. An array of scientists, such as Dr Julia Mossbridge, are also beginning to see such theories as possible, theorising how time itself may be much more complex than recently thought. Mixing such theories of time with new breakthroughs in quantum physics makes for a perfectly reasonable approach to prophetic dream visions from within ourselves, but, as yet, does not sufficiently answer several important questions concerning dreams. These are premised on the most basic aspects of dreams – why are they often symbolic and in code when we could otherwise receive useful information that could help our daily lives in the present without it? And how does this rationalistic point of view explain shared or highly symbolic dreams that permeate all societies? How does it explain how some people help police find missing people and items through dream visions, or see through the eyes of others and think their thoughts as well?

What’s more, if dreams were actually sent externally by a higher power that did not want us or others to be completely certain they exist, then perhaps there is little hope that the dreams would appear on command in the laboratory. Should we really discount the potential for external unknown influences on our dreamscapes? It seems that before Freud external sources for dreams, their predictive qualities, and their relation to events unknown to us in the ‘real’ world appeared to be the norm. The Greeks and Romans saw gods coming into our dreams and controlling them. Morpheus, the god of dreams, and his brothers, the Oneiroi, would enter peoples’ sleep and take many forms, showing loved ones that their dear ones had passed over to the other side for instance. The Incas used dreams to find things in the external world, such as helping shepherds find lost flocks. Some Native American tribes such as some of the Iroquois, also used dreams to survive and believed that the future could be seen through them, and rituals were thus created in order to avert potential disasters. Seeing the unseen and unpredictable cannot be explained by our own minds only, but only somehow in conjunction with an external element, or if we are to believe in a shared consciousness; an internal-external element that exists beyond us. But even this throws up problems in understanding dreams.

Who is it that decides to pass us recurring dreams of psychics that show us what happened to missing people? If there is a shared consciousness that exists for the living, what about when we see through the eyes of others and think the past thoughts of the now dead? Do we see the future because we pass it to ourselves or because it is passed to us by the gods or spirits? The great thing about dreams is that when we carefully watch and log them, many answers and new questions about life arise and this is why they are so crucial to our understandings about it. There are, and have been, many wise dream-interpreters that have helped us make sense of life and dreams, but what if we were the only person left on Earth? Would we still dream and have the capacity to interpret them? – of course we would! You are powerful.

My own experiences of dreams tell me that when I go to a place in the waking world that I saw in a dream, then whoever can influence or send me my dreams knows where I have been, and what I have done. They (spirits? God? The universe?) see me doing what I do. Once in the waking world I visited a stream and went in the wrong direction in order to find something special related to what I had seen in a dream. Afterwards, another seemingly unrelated dream told me to ‘Go left’, through a supposedly inaccessible tunnel. It is only after this dream guidance that I found an item directly linked to a person I had seen in my first dream related to the stream. It was an incredible experience and changed the way I think about how and why we receive some of our dreams. In another dream I dreamt of signs in the sky when I was near a bridge, which I later saw in the sky in the waking world when I visited this precise bridge (see picture above). Not only this but a flashing green light/orb gave me visual clues when I arrived on a second occasion (more on this another time)! There IS an outside too.

Dreams often only take on meaning in hindsight, but what important hindsight that is! Without the outside world, dreams would all be meaningless; life can give meaning to dreams, but so too can dreams give meaning to life in these sometimes-bleak times. Dreams are not simply amalgamations of our everyday lived lives – they are much more than that. We must take back the old traditions of remembering and sharing our dreams. If we want to wake up, we must go to sleep.  

By Dream Prophecies

In my waking life I studied international journalism and international relations in Liverpool. I attended The Arthur Findlay College in London, where I studied mediumship. My most important education however occurred whilst sleeping! I write about my dream experiences at You can contact me at and follow me on Twitter @DProphecies. God(s) Bless.  

Copyright © 2020 Daniel J Taylor


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