Arnold-Forster, Mary - Where do dreams come from?
Type of Spiritual Experience
Mrs Arnold Foster kept a detailed record of her dreams and produced quite an in depth book on what she had observed. The following is helpful because it describes learning dreams – dreams that are simply the end result of the learning process
A description of the experience
Mrs H. O. Arnold Forster – Studies on Dreams
I have very carefully recorded my dreams, and I find that the greater number of them are clearly suggested or modified by whatever has been the dominant thought or chief interest at the time.
For instance, in my records of the dreams of deep sleep during the period from August to December, 1914, and also in 1915, 1916 and 1917, I find that a very large proportion of them were founded on or were modified by the war, which was the natural preoccupation of all minds during those months and years.
The anxieties that it involved, the local activities connected with the war, the organisation for the housing and care of war refugees — these thoughts seem to have suggested the greater number of my dreams, or to have worked their way into their fabric..................
.........Besides dreams which arise from the predominant thought of the day, there are others which have their origin in any book that we are reading, especially if it be read late at night. The tenor of the book will probably be greatly altered in the dream, for the dream mind will seize upon some problem suggested in its pages and will work it out afresh after its own manner. It may, for instance, take the outline of a story, transforming it completely, and evoking something so different from the original that it is hardly to be recognised................
..............Other dreams there are which grow out of some remembered word or name — a place-name very often. A name which he may have almost forgotten by day starts into prominence when the control of the normal mind ceases. Such a name or word is often the point of crystallisation from which a dream of adventure will radiate. In such a dream each fresh incident that occurs suggests another, and this in turn suggests some other associated idea or fragment of memory. All these float up from the reserves where thousands of remote, half-forgotten impressions must be stored away. The dream mind connects them all together and strings them into a whole, elaborating each incident and each memory in turn. Our intelligence, which, as M. Bergson says truly, does not surrender its reasoning faculty during sleep, insists all the time on finding explanations for every apparent discrepancy, bridging over the gaps.