In researching lists of common dream themes from various sources, I find that the following are usually on the list of the top ten.
- Being chased
- Failing an exam
- Being late
- Displaying nudity
- Having problems with teeth
Various studies have been done at universities where there is a captive audience to determine the frequency of occurrence of various dream themes. The common themes appear to be cross-cultural, although particular symbols will vary across cultures. In my own case, I commonly find myself in the environment of a university or the place where I was employed for over thirty-five years. This is not surprising when I consider that I was a full-time student for the first third of my life and spend over half of my life in the same career. I have repeatedly stated that the subconscious mind constructs dreams using associations that are meaningful to our conscious selves.
If you have a dream with one of the common themes listed, then you have a lot of company. As I have stated in previous posts, the key to the meaning is found in your daily life. If you dream you are late for an exam, for example, examine your life to see what test or challenge you are late in accepting or meeting.
There is a strong caveat that I would like to add concerning dream themes. The themes change with age and degree of awareness. I discuss this point in my book as it has related to my own life. The common dream themes of college students are not likely to be the same as for people in mid-life or old age, and as your self-awareness grows, spiritual themes will become much more prevalent. In addition to an increase in spiritual themes with an awakening, dreams of precognition and universal awareness will be more common.
The studies conducted at universities that I have reviewed seem to miss the connection between meditation and dreams. When Edgar Cayce was asked by an individual how to improve his psychic ability, he was told to first examine his purpose and then with the right purpose to meditate. Regular meditation improves our intuition and activates the higher levels of mind in dreams. I will say more about this connection in a later post.
The fact that most people share common dream themes is not surprising because they share common experiences in their conscious lives. However, if you want to rise above the common themes and explore the unlimited potential of dreams, you must first apply the guidance you receive to resolve current issues. This takes some effort and sincerity. As you heal old wounds and become more aware, greater dimensions will open up.
You will notice that precognition is not on the list of common dream themes. This is because most people either do not experience precognition in their dreams very often, if at all, or do not recognize it when it occurs. One of the great potentials of the human mind goes largely unnoticed by both dreamers and researchers alike. An Organization like the Association for Research and Enlightenment provide a broader, more enlightened view of dreams and is a good source for someone who wants further study. The book Dreams Your Magic Mirror by Elsie Sechrist, first published in 1968, is based on the author’s experience as National Director of The Study Group Program for the A.R.E. where she had an opportunity to review thousands of dreams of ordinary people.
This past year I reviewed this book, which I first encountered when I started my own dream work over forty years ago. I found that the themes and guidance in my dreams is consistent with that reported by the early study group members. What I can do and have done through my dreams is certainly achievable by the ordinary person with desire and willingness to be open, sincere, and not averse to making some daily effort.