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Dream Trek: Flying Dreams FAQ

Linda Lane Magallón

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 Magallón, Linda Lane (1999 November). Dream Trek: Flying Dreams FAQ. Column. Electric Dreams 6(11). Retrieved July 13, 2000 on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams

1. How common are flying dreams?

More than a third of the dreaming population reports having had at least one flying dream. And, if you have one, you're very likely to have more. Your chance of having a flying dream doubles if you are a lucid dreamer (you are able to become awake and aware as you dream).

2. Did flying dreams exist before the invention of airplanes?

You bet! They can be traced back to earliest recorded history (the Babylonians and Egyptians). They have also been found world-wide: throughout Europe, Asia and Africa; among the Pacific Islanders and North American Indians; in Australia and South America.

3. Why do I have them? Am I weird to have them? Or not to have them?

Are you especially creative? Do you have an imaginative personality? People with these characteristics (poets, writers, musicians, painters, graphic designers, etc.) are more likely to have flying dreams than the average population. People who do public speaking are prone to have them, too. Not surprisingly, folks who fly planes and hang gliders have flying dreams, although they tend to fly without their vehicles, like Superman.

4. How old do you have to be to have a flying dream?

Flying dreams have been shared by 3, 4 and 5 year olds. At the other end of the age spectrum, flying dreams are reported by the physically infirm elderly. Children and young people tend to have more flying dreams than the older population. But with deliberate dreaming, the numbers increase.

5. What do flying dreams mean? Doesn't flying in dreams mean that I'm not grounded in physical life? Or have sexual problems? Or am too proud? Or...?

There are many, many interpretations of flying dreams, some contradictory. They are metaphoric (sign of freedom), prophetic (omen of death), spiritual (journey to other realms) and cultural (for the Crow Indians: you are sick, but in Central Africa: you have good health). My favorite is that flying dreams are symbolic of the out-of-body experience.

6. Will you interpret my dream?

No, I don't do symbolic interpretation for other people. I'm more interested in what's initiating your dreams (the cause), and only you can track that down. When you do, you can use that information to vary the quality and quantity of your flying dreams.

7. So, what causes flying dreams?

Many explanations have been offered. Here's a few examples: psychological (expression of emotion), physiological (due to breathing), physical (movement of bed), psychic (precognitive of airplane trip) and astral (consciousness in motion).

8. Why do I have the same flying dream over and over?

A symbolic interpretation: it's an omen that you will lose everything you possess. A causal explanation: the dream was induced by something in your life that had a great impact (environmental, bio-chemical, work-related, etc.). Either the impact hasn't dissipated yet, or the dream is being triggered by a similar stimulus, again and again.

9. What is it so hard to get off the ground?

A symbolic interpretation: the dream is a pun for being "grounded" in waking life, that is, restricted or limited in some way. A causal explanation: you are still dealing with physical, psychic, emotional or mental fatigue that hasn't yet been processed by a full, deep night's sleep.

10. Why would I want to have flying dreams?

Because they're fun! How many enjoyable dreams do you have?

11. How can I have flying dreams?

One technique: develop a phrase (such as "Tonight I fly") and hold it vividly in your mind as you fall asleep.

12. Can I control or influence my flight?

Yes, using the tools of incubation (before you dream) and lucidity (in the dream).

13. What experiments have been done with flying dreams?

Flying dreams are related to the vestibular system, which regulates body equilibrium. With this in mind, lab research confirms that certain physical stimuli that affects balance can induce flying dreams when the subject is asleep (wearing a blood pressure cuff, rocking in a hammock, raising and lowering the bed). In the laboratory, lucid dream subjects have more flying dreams than do nonlucid subjects. As measured by an electrooculogram (record of eye movement), a lucid dream of flying took the same time as the dreamer's account related upon waking.

14. What about field research?

Field research experimentation, case studies and statistical analysis of dreams has found flying to be positively related to nightmare resolution, superheroic dream feats, lucid dreaming, astral projection, extrasensory perception and mutual dreaming.

15. How can I use flying dreams to deal with nightmares?

At the very least, you can fly away. View the situation from a wider perspective or turn and confront your problem backed with a sense of strength and flexibility. Deliberate incubation of flying dreams promotes a positive dream experience, overall.

16. What's their link with fantasy?

Flying without technical support is a magical event. Flying dreamers are also likely to experience similar fantastic feats such as mutability, time travel and teleportation in their dreams.

17. What's the link with lucid dreams and out-of-body experiences?

Even more than sexual dreams, flying is the favorite activity of lucid dreamers. Lucid dreams of flying score low on confused thinking and perhaps this is why some dreamers can use flying as a cue to lucidity. Flying dreams can induce lucid dreams. They foreshadow, parallel and merge with the out-of-body experience.

18. What is their link with psychic dreams?

Flying dreamers tend to believe in and experience extrasensory perception. Flying dreams have been produced in telepathic experiments in which the sender used a picture target with a flying theme.

19. Are flying dreams just for loners?

No, people like to talk about their flying dreams. Flying dreamers are more likely than most to call someone on the phone to share their dreams. The majority of mutual dreamers (those who deliberately dream with other people) have the ability to fly in their dreams.

20. Where can I find more information?

At *Dream Flights,* the web site for flying dreams.