What if your dreams served a different purpose you have never thought of? What if you’re strange and cryptic fantasies, nightmares and time spent in dreamland were filled with hidden messages and relics only you can identify? It is has been theorized that during your sleep and dreams, fragments and pieces of the past, present and future can be found if you pay close attention and learn how to recognize them, and maybe, just maybe, you can use these hidden messages to your advantage.
As crazy as this might sound J.W. Dunne, an engineer and philosopher in 1925 published an essay, “An Experiment in Time” stating just this. He believed that different images in our dreams might not be of a random nature but might be images linked to our past, present and future, in a fashion directly dictated to us as they should be in equal proportions for our personal use in seeing into time.
Dunne believed that our brains during consciousness weren’t able to access the future, a roadblock of sorts that prohibits us from peering into the distant “will be”. He believed that in the dream state, however, we can access time on a different level and quite literally, travel in time, whether it be forward or backward. He wrote: “Backwards and forwards in Time; and the dreamer’s attention, following in natural, unhindered fashion the easiest pathway among the ramifications, would be continually crossing and recrossing that properly nonexistent equator which we, waking, ruled quite arbitrarily athwart the whole.”
Dunne created an experiment that any person can do to test this and bend the rules of time travel. He discusses how one can find pieces of the future in their dreams and learn to recognize them. The steps are as follows:
- Keep a dream journal and write down every dream you have right when you wake up. He even suggests keeping a dream journal under your pillow to write in so that you don’t forget the dream.
- After the dream try and visualize the single most prominent aspect of that dream. What stuck out the most clearly to you if you were to choose one thing about the dream? He has this to say: “As a rule, a single incident is all that you can recall, and this appears so dim and small and isolated that you doubt the value of noting it down. Do not, however, attempt to remember anything more, but fix your attention on that single incident, and try to remember its details. Like a flash, a large section of the dream in which that incident occurred comes back.”
- Next he tells us to write down all specific dream items that you can remember, even if from another dream. He has this to add: “What is more important, however, is that, with that section, there usually comes into view an isolated incident from a previous dream. Get hold of as many of these isolated incidents as you can, neglecting temporarily the rest of the dreams of which they formed part. Then jot down these incidents in your notebook as shortly as possible; a word or two for each should suffice.”
- The next step is to go back over your dreams and try to fill in as many areas and details as you can. Dunne says: “Now take incident number one. Concentrate upon it until you have recovered part of the dream story associated therewith, and write down the briefest possible outline of that story. Do the same in turn with the other incidents you have noted.”
- Next, read the outline you have created and merge it into one story, while you can still remember the dream or dreams. Dunne goes on to say: “Finally, take the abbreviated record thus made and write it out in full. Note details, as many as possible. Be especially careful to do this wherever the incident is one which, if it were to happen in real life, would seem unusual; for it is in connection with events of this kind that your evidence is most likely to be obtained. Until you have completed your record, do not allow yourself to think of anything else.”
- Lastly, after you have created a record of your dreams, go through it. Look for similarities and patterns in your dreams. Look for things, details and items specific to you and items that stick out regularly or repeat. Match the images in details of your dreams to your past as best as you can, along with the present. Dunne states that after you do this that you will be able to begin to match imagery and details from your dreams to your future and you will be able to link imagery from your past dreams to the future also.
It is important as with any dream remembrance or lucidity training to write it down as soon as you possibly can, as dreams fade quickly. If you want to begin to notice the patterns involved in your dreams you need to be diligent in their analysis and recording.
You can download his work “Experiment in Time” for free here.