Electric Dreams

Your Fantasy and Dream Thoughts are Important

Scott Hughes 

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Hughes, Scott (2001 May). Your Fantasy and Dream Thoughts are Important. Electric Dreams 8(5). Retrieved December 30, 2001 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams  


This article is from a recent lecture and reprinted with the permission of Scott Hughes:
Hughes, Scott (2001) Your Fantasy and Dream Thoughts are Important. Juarez, Mexico. Saturday, March 17, 2001

I'm not going to try to dazzle you today with facts from endless publications in an attempt to justify my viewpoint. I have no "credentials" in the scientific or psychological communities. I have no degrees to protect. I don't practice psychotherapy either. So in my theories I can take a liberty with ideas that others might be afraid to take because of their professional responsibilities.

From the depths of those ideas I presently believe in, I share with you some of my ideas on fantasy and dream thoughts.

Your mind

Your mind is filled with ideas. Some of these ideas you identify with. You decide to 'own'. You believe in these ideas and they are called 'beliefs'. Your beliefs then generate other ideas. I call those other ideas coming from your beliefs 'thoughts'. Fantasies and dreams are types of 'thought'. I will start by talking a little about fantasy thoughts.

Fantasy Thoughts

On one level, your world-view is composed of fantasies (and what is a fantasy but a meaningful collection of images described by a story.)

It is widely believed that the contents of your fantasies are unimportant - that you should fantasize about anything -- it is simply unimportant what their contents are. I disagree with this viewpoint. This view is an extension of the belief that there is no real relationship between your imagination and the world you experience as reality. This just isn't so. There is a magical relationship between imagination and reality. Many things you imagine tend to seek materialization.

The contents of fantasies are the responsibility of the person creating them.
If this responsibility is neglected, a gulf appears between reason and imagination. Reason loses its firm basis in the imagination, while the imagination loses the guiding force of reason.

Fantasy characters

Your imagination is peopled by all kinds of characters playing many distinct roles. You have many different fantasy selves. They each have their own agendas. Many will try to materialize themselves, at least symbolically. Without conscious intent on your part to give them continuity, many of these selves will just pass into the background of your psyche to be replaced by others.

Fantasy characters each have their own ways of relating to the mental environments in which they dwell. Some of them resemble people you know in waking life and some don't. They may instead look like people you have seen in the media. It can be a little scary facing these images as many of them are segregated from the usual orientation of your reasoning mind.

There is a tendency to fill out your fantasy characters in your physical life.
You are inclined to become like certain of those characters you fantasize about -- whether they are heroes or victims. Other characters you seek to project onto others. Many of these fantasy selves could help improve your life, but it would be necessary for you to sort those selves out from the rest. Such sorting is impossible if you are not taking responsibility for the contents of your fantasies. If you are not making conscious choices in the creation of your fantasies, the characters you identify with are probably not going to meet entirely with your own approval or with the approval of others.

Fantasy victims

No matter how much of a victim you play in physical life -- in your imagination avoid this role. Don't imagine yourself a victim of circumstance. Don't fantasize about being helpless unless it suits your purposes. This is part of taking responsibility for the contents of your imagination. You aren't just answerable for your physical life, but also for your mental life for it is from your mental life that your physical life emerges. If you have been mentally playing the victim all your life, it could take a while to
retrain your imagination, but as your thoughts change, so will the reality you experience.

Most unexamined fantasies are inclined to lean heavily on the past. This can lead to feelings of being stuck in the past. Instead, project many of your fantasies into the future. Use your imagination to create your future. Don't just meekly accept any old future coming your way.

Use your imagination to improve your self-image. Mentally see yourself as an important and an attractive person. Avoid relying on others to do this for you. Trusting others to create your self-image puts you in a weak position. You will be depending on their conceptions of you. You will count on their visions to maintain your self-image. In some ways, you are letting them chart the course of your life. They are telling you how they see you, and you are believing it and living it. Instead, utilize your own imagination to formulate your self-image.

Your fantasy thoughts are made of your vitality. They are fashioned from your beliefs. In your fantasies visualize your immediate environment as a part of a living, conscious world. The objects you see are materialized ideas. Improve your economic condition from within your imagination. Mentally see your fantasies filled with abundance and watch this abundance spill out into your life. If there is a person, place, or situation you don't want to be drawn to, as much as possible, take them out of your fantasies. Avoid letting them enter your imagination. Don't be a victim of your fantasy thoughts.

Dream Thoughts

Returning to the subject of dreams…

I don't think any of us need intermediaries between ourselves and our ideas -- especially between ourselves and our dream and fantasy thoughts. Our dreams produce hints as to our true purposes in life, while our fantasies show us what kind of past, present, and future we are mentally constructing.

You learn from your experiences and I think that should include dream experiences. Socialization is important in your outer development, but remembering and working with your dreams lets you socialize with your inner psyche. Plenty of opportunities to learn are available from just remembering your dream thoughts.

Personal messages to the dreamer

Dreams are generally personal messages to the dreamer. And association is one of the best ways to uncover what a dream message means. Your dreams generally apply to your personal life and situation. Today's dreams belong to today's situations. Your current dream thoughts are connected to your present challenges.


One important aspect of dreams is understanding your association of personal symbols. Take any symbol or situation in a dream of yours and think of what it reminds you of - this is association. Dwell on an association and let it expand into other associations. Don't dismiss it. Where is this dream symbol leading you?

Look for the similarities between the people and situations you see in your dreams, and the ones you encounter in your physical life. This will help you to remember future dreams as you will train your mind to create associations between your physical and dream lives. Your mind will get used to thinking about dreams during the daytime.

Associate between dream reality and physical reality. One important result of writing down your dreams is the associations with waking events this brings to mind. The contents of the dreaming psyche are organized by association. Your memories are also grouped together through association. As an example: when you encounter an emotional event and then start telling someone a long story about something you relate to it. You continue making more associations as the story grows. You will eventually associate yourself right out of your story and start talking about something else.

Memories rise and fall in our consciousness through association. Dream memory helps to increase the scope of those associations. It assists you in associating to other memories long forgotten often of physical origin.

Dream symbols are different for people of separate backgrounds and beliefs. This is because they put their subjective worlds together in distinct ways. They use different ideas. This causes them to associate memories and ideas together in unique ways.

Many people confine their associations to the physical world. This limits their associations and hampers dream recall. When you are remembering people and events, learn to let your associations delve in and out of your dream memories.

The reason I think association is such a powerful tool in dream interpretation is that when traveling in the dream world you go from one situation to another situation through association. It is in many ways the dream world's equivalent of physical time. Dreaming is much like telling someone a story, except while dreaming you live the story.

The contents of your dreams are transformed as you move through the various phases of your life. Dream characters come and go. The plots you face shift too. As the emotional substance of your associations change -- your dreams change too.

When I talk to others about their dreams, one of my primary goals is to inspire in them an attitude conductive to dream recall. This is beyond any interpretation of a dream story.

Dreams are good-in-themselves

Even when your dream thoughts resist interpretation accept them emotionally. Dreams are good-in-themselves. In a certain manner, many dream images are perceptions. By remembering your dreams you extend your perceptual field. By closing them off, you limit your perceptions.

Paths in the study of dreams

Dreams are a great teacher. By focusing on your dreams you will have access to the inner parts of your psyche. It is a big step to trust your dreaming psyche, especially if you belong to a culture that discourages this.

There is an inner healer in each of us if we only turn within and listen. Dream recall in itself provides a certain therapy. It naturally activates the inner healer. By becoming aware of your dreams and fantasies you learn about what is going on in your psyche. Writing them down in a notebook is especially helpful. Then reading back through this notebook re-familiarizes you with your dream and fantasy consciousness. It familiarizes you with the contents of your unconscious. No interpretations are necessary.

It can be very taxing following the path of another instead of your own. The trail through life is never exactly the same for two people. You may have heroes you admire, but their way isn't necessarily your way. You need to strive to find your own true path through life. I realize it is hard for many to understand whether or not they have found a true and meaningful path. By remembering your dreams and fantasies, you will be provided with many helpful hints as to your proper route through this world. Your true path is one you have consciously created yourself.

You have the power of following a path of your own creation or to follow one of the numberless paths provided by society. Of course, you may also travel through life aimlessly and not commit yourself to any one trail.

When studying your dreams the question of your proper path is an important one. There are many books on the subject of dreams. There are many paths different people have taken in this study. Which is the one for you? Reading various books on dreams is like reading assorted books by several authors on a faraway country.

Which books are true and which aren't? The only way to discover this is to write your dreams down. Go to this faraway country yourself (which is as close as the next time you sleep), and bring back your own stories. Dream knowledge will then spill onto the path you are traveling down. It will enrich each of your moments.

Also, if you are a student of dreams, don't ignore your fantasies for they directly influence your future. Writing your fantasies down can be just as beneficial as writing down your dreams. Take the time to understand the contents of your imagination. In one manner or another, some of your fantasies are pursuing physical materialization. Seek the patterns within your fantasies and change those you dislike. This will assist you in creating a very desirable path through life.

What paths you travel down have a lot to do with what roles you decide to play. In your dreams and fantasies, roles are played that are never meant to be played in waking life. Remembering these roles, and learning from them enriches your life. I have heard it said, you should learn from your past experiences, but it isn't usually mentioned that you should also learn from your past dream and fantasy experiences. This learning is much more powerful when you remember your dreams than when you don't. There is no better way to improve dream & fantasy recall than to take the time to write down some of them. Learn to associate dream, fantasy, and waking events together into a meaningful whole.

Divisions of the self

Sometimes I have been seen by others as making to many divisions when I describe my vision of the self. I refer to waking selves, fantasy selves, dreaming selves, inner selves and outer selves. It isn't as though I don't have a different self for every day of the week. Perhaps, ideally people should have only one unified self without distinctions, but practically speaking, people are like collages of many selves, some of which are operating more or less independently of the others. One of the biggest divisions of the self, and one that is affecting most people, has been the branching off of the dreaming self from the waking personality.

Many people claim not to remember their dreams, or only to remember a few dreams, far and in between (often nightmares,) yet modern dream research has shown most sleeping people dream each night. What happens to those dreams people never remember? Could it be they have gathered an ego around them similar to the one we use in facing the physical world? An ego that is used instead to face the dream world? I would like to claim the inner and outer are one, but this isn't what most people are experiencing as reality. They are simply not remembering their dreams.

The inner land of dreams has branched off from the physical world of events. It is like each person has two separate personalities, living in two different worlds: a dreaming world and a waking world, and neither personality is aware of the other. This state of divided forces causes people to dispel much of their creative energy.

You encounter the deepest levels of your psyche in your fantasies and dreams. But you must make the effort to believe and trust yourself. You need to take time amidst the countless physical distractions, the information age presents you with, to observe your own inner thoughts. These inner thoughts are no substitute for your own good judgment, but they are important. Learn from the wisdom of your fantasy and dream thoughts.

You can chat with Scott Hughes online at the ASD Dream E-Study Group, Cyberdreaming. To learn about the ASD E-Study groups go to http://www.asdreams.org/study

Learn more about Scott Hughes and his work at: