Looking over our archives, I'm noticing we like to post about sleep and sleep-related habits. Last winter, Higgins wrote a fabulous post about lucid dreams, or dreams you can control. Ransom has had a few cool posts on dream-related topics, including an exceptional one asking readers whether it's smart to wake a sleepwalker or not.
I've long been fascinated by dreams and even used to keep a dream journal when I was going through a Freudian phase, obsessed with his writings in The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud thought dreams were full of symbolism tied to our deepest desires—things repressed by the super-ego during our waking life. But asleep, the more primitive id is free to frolic and work out wish fulltime through two separate layers: manifest content, which is what the dream seems to be about on the surface, and latent content, or the hidden meaning of the dream.
Of course, Freud was hardly the first to place great importance on dream-states. In ancient Egypt and Greece, dreams were thought of as the most direct means of communication with the Gods. I've also read that in ancient Rome, some physicians even used dreams to help them diagnose illnesses.
Lately, my dreams have been seriously supersized. Not sure if it's the new vitamins I'm taking or what, but last week, for instance, I had the wildest dream in which I was playing the viola! Mind you, I don't know the first thing about playing a string instrument. As you saw in monday's On Music post, it's quite difficult. But in the dream I had full mastery of the instrument and was producing the most glorious, richest tone I'd ever heard. Don't exactly remember what music I was playing, but I woke from the dream thinking I should call a violist friend, borrow his axe, and see if, in fact, I really COULD play the viola. That's how vivid the dream was. As of this posting, I'm still trying to figure out the latent content (though I'm sure I know what old Freud would say about that viola bow).
What about you guys? What's the coolest, most vivid dream you've ever had? Or the scariest? The most surreal? If you're not certain what it meant, maybe another _floss reader can help you out with her/his own interpretation.