you know me, Jack, forever the skeptic. I don’t believe that dreams have predictive abilities — at least they are much more readily explained as amalgams of past experiences. Take the Pinkola Estes anecdote from your essay — did she predict having to fight over her records at the dentist the next day? More likely, her brain combined her nervous anticipation of her dental appointment with past experience of administrative mishaps in similar situations.
But dreams & dream-making are wonderful, even for a materialist skeptic like me, who rejects romantic worldviews & psycho-spiritual notions.
I occasionally find, in dreams that I recall at least for a few fleeting moments of the morning, a sense of astonishing clarity. Examples:
- dreams where I grapple with & solve an intractable problem I’ve been dealing with;
- dreams where I compose a wonderfully coherent poem or fictional narrative.
Proofs of a soul, or god, or such thing — um No. More a testament to the brain’s ability to take shreds of past events & construct something yet unseen. What in a conscious state we call imagination.
Sadly — it is all an illusion. As I gain full woken consciousness, the more I try to recall that brilliant solution to my problem, or that wonderfully coherent narrative that is sure to proper me to the NYTimes best-seller list or Poet Laureate status … turns out to have been a seductive mind-trick.
Cheers, Joe Váradi