Being a chronic insomniac, I only got an estimated two hours of sleep last night. But this was enough for me to enjoy a couple of vivid, and beautiful, dreams. I have always cherished my dreams and I’ve even been known to write some of them down.
Everybody dreams, though not everybody remembers their dreams and not everybody even remembers that they dream. But what goes into our dreams? For those who watch television or movies, there is little doubt that the powerful imagery of those media impacts their dreams. It is likely that the dreams of those who watch television regularly are heavily contaminated by television imagery, symbolism, values and personalities. Television celebrities become part of the mind of the dreamer and, even if the celebrities do not appear in their real-life faces and real-life names, they are likely there symbolically. Here is a question to ponder: How much time does a regular television watcher spend focusing on his favorite actors and actresses – compared to how much time he spends focusing on his own parents or siblings? This in mind, we should ask: Which ones is he more likely to dream about?
Perhaps I am not being fair in describing the dreams of consumers of television and movies as “not their own”. After all, each one of us is subject to a variety of life experiences and inputs. Who is to say that television and movie input is less legitimate than the input from our work, our vacations or our family contacts? My answer is that, unlike those other experiences, television and movies are carefully engineered. They are artificial. They are the Twinkies of our life experiences while our real-life experiences are our meat and potatoes (or vegetables and tofu if you are vegetarian). The experiences we get through television and movies is pre-packaged for us. Its ingredients are carefully formulated and, as most of us already know, there are subliminal messages hidden within such entertainment. Those messages are seldom wholesome or truthful.
We get another angle on this from Anthony Megna on Helium.com:
Movies have their place, and there is nothing like a good movie. But realize that it is anothers’ view. Not yours. You don’t really have the power to daydream with a movie. It happens too fast on anothers’ time table. All those images speeding by and your brain trying to make sense of the images. With reading, you can stop and ponder. You can go back and reread a passage. You can build your own fantasy out of the raw material in the book. There is no substitute for reading.
When we read books, even fiction, our minds must create the imagery so the fantasy – and the dreams that follow – are the fruits of our own minds more so than had we watched a movie instead.
Our inner mind is a great resource. Buried beneath layer upon layer of the refuse from our mundane lives, it becomes more and more difficult to tap into as we progress through adulthood. For those of us fortunate enough to remember our dreams, their purity should be a priority. Ignorant and free of the pop culture spread by television and movies, I can ask myself, upon awakening, “what is my inner mind trying to tell me?” There is little need to worry that, instead of my inner mind, it is instead an impostor interloping from the land of the unclean.