Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Curious World of Dreams

I have always been fascinated by dreams and as a result, I have kept a dream journal for many years.  If at some point during the night I am awakened by a dream, I am always quick to note as much about the dream as I can as well as the time that I was awakened.  The reasons for this are many and are not important here.

At 5:18am this morning, I was suddenly awakened by a dream that I had been in a plane crash.  I was on a small plane waiting for permission to depart from the gate.  The plane was unusual, looking more like a public transit bus on the inside and had almost no nose that is typical of an aircraft.  At one point, our plane was “bumped” by a truck moving on the tarmac and the pilot went out to inspect the damage.

Returning to the aircraft, he indicated that we were going to attempt departure again and suddenly we were taxiing down the roads of my hometown 4500 miles away, looking for a break in traffic that would allow us to gain appropriate speed to lift off.  The road was wet and we had a mix of light snow and rain falling.

Eventually the pilot saw his opportunity, throttled up and just as we lifted off , the pilot suddenly yelled “This is not working”, the plane inverted and we were killed.  We knew we were dead and waited for people we knew who had died previously to “come and get us”.

A strange dream amongst a collection of billions of dreams that occur around the world on a nightly basis.

So what.

But this morning, I awakened to the news that one of the main arteries in my city was closed due to a fatal accident.

In the accident, two semis were responsible for moving a very large crane and were accompanied by a traffic directing vehicle known as a pilot.  The rear semi was “the pusher”, bumping up against the front semi to assist in moving the heavy load and at some point, an event occurred where the rear semi rolled over and became ensnared in the lead vehicle.

The driver of the rear vehicle, the one that had rolled over, was killed.

The accident occurred less than 3 miles from where, at the very same moment, I was noting my dream of pilots, roll overs, wet roads and fatalities.

Don’t worry – I’m not about to undertake a career as a psychic or dream counsellor.  In fact, my uber analytical, Comp Sci / math brain struggles with such a world.

However, I do find it very curious that I had dreamt about an event very similar to an event that actually occurred and at almost the exact same moment.

So what does this mean?

Maybe nothing.

Maybe everything.

I guess it depends on who you ask.

I recognize the power of dreams and how they sometimes offer insight into problems that we are trying to solve in our physical, conscious world.  Some of the most brilliant people in the world have revealed that their greatest discoveries came to them in their dreams.

In recognition of the fact that dreams sometimes have nuggets of information buried in them, I could spend days analyzing this dream, the accident and everything else in a vain attempt to connect dots which may not be connectable.

Or I can acknowledge that whatever the connection is, if any, it is not worth the effort to even try to connect the dots.

At least not yet.

Many things in our lives are like that

We can spend a lot of time connecting dots that are not connectable, not meant to be connected or not meant to be connected just yet, attempting to force something that is not meant to be forced.

Or we can focus our time on what matters and what makes sense at the moment, allowing things that are meant to be revealed (if at all) to be revealed when it makes sense for them to be.

All things in this world have purpose, a purpose that is revealed when the time is right.

The purpose, value and timing are often only discovered when we allow things to unfold as they are meant to, not when we deem it important based on our own time table, agenda, needs, intentions, desires or interests.

Do you try to bend the events of the world to your own will or do you follow the flow of events and people around you, being alert, enabled and thus capable of seizing opportunities when the timing fits a greater plan as opposed to your own.

Are you sure?

How do you know?

Life is a combination of listening to and following your dreams, learning from them or creating them (and helping others do the same) while simultaneously living in the world of realities.

I think success comes from finding a healthy balance of both.

What do you think?

In service and servanthood,


Addendum  - July 6, 2013

I am again reminded of the curious world of dreams with the crash of Asiana flight 214 in San Francisco today.  Six nights ago, I had a dream about being on a plane that was flying up and down as the pilot fought to save it before it finally crashed.

Here is a screen shot from my phone-based dream journal (anytime I wake up suddenly, I record what I remember onto my phone, later copying it into my hard copy journal).  Note the top entry.


If I dreamt about plane crashes all the time, it would be nothing more than a coincidence.

But I don’t.

Is it still a coincidence?

I don’t know – what do you think?

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