Friday, September 17, 2010
Sleep, Glorious Sleep
I love my bed.
Every day I look forward to changing into my comfy pj's, climbing in between the sheets, pulling the heavy quilt folded at the end of the bed over me, and nestling my head into my favorite down filled pillow.
No, I'm not depressed. I like being awake just fine, but I'm so glad that God created sleep.
Do you ever think about how weird sleep is? It's like something out of a science fiction movie, that every sixteen hours or so, we climb into our pods, close our eyes, and let our consciousness unplug from its socket. We drift off into another way of being. We still our bodies and let our brains go wild.
Ever since I heard author, teacher, and Jungian analyst Jim Hollis speak of dreams as an "extra-conscious forms of cognition," I've tried harder to remember and examine my dreams, to see what God may be trying to say to me through them.
My daughter is great at this. Sarah keeps her cell phone next to her bed, and the moment she wakes, even in the middle of the night, she texts herself what happened in her dreams. Then she reads it the next morning and tries to make sense of it. I'm afraid this method wouldn't work for me. I have a hard enough time pushing those tiny buttons when I'm awake. By the time I managed to focus, any dreams would have dissolved! So I keep a pen and pad by my bed. Sometimes I remember to write things down. It has been an interesting exercise.
What do you think about your dreams? Does God still speak to people through them, as God did throughout the Bible? Has God spoken to you through your dreams? Or do you see your dreams as messages sent to you, not necessarily by God's presence within you, but by your own subconsciousness?
I find this fascinating.
Maybe that's why I so enjoyed The Edge of Dreaming. Have you seen it? It's a beautifully done documentary on NPR's POV. Here's the synopsis from the website:
Scottish filmmaker Amy Hardie has built a career making science documentaries that reflect her rational temperament. When she dreamed one night that her horse was dying, only to wake the next morning and find the horse dead, she dismissed the incident as a coincidence. Then she dreamed she would die at age 48 — only one year away. When Hardie does get ill, just as the dream predicted, she visits neuroscience experts and eventually a shaman. The Edge of Dreaming is an evocative, intimate chronicle of that year and a fascinating investigation into the human subconscious.
If you have the opportunity, I hope you'll watch the film. It's really a piece of art, and it may raise all sorts of interesting questions.
I found it fascinating to watch her trying so hard to look at her experience rationally, from a scientific point of view, but finally delve into the spiritual to get her rational explanation.
As a biochemistry major and a science teacher myself, it's not hard for me to see the spiritual woven throughout the scientific--maybe that's why I so love this documentary. Plus, it's just a gorgeous film to watch.
But perhaps you've seen it already. If so, I'd love to talk with you about what her dream might mean. Tell me in your comments, or shoot me an email. I have my own theory and I'd love to hear yours!
So what do you think of dreams? And your bed and your pj's and your pillow?
I wish you deep sleep and sweet dreams!
Photo by photoA.nil, creative commons