Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Are You Having Apocalyptic Dreams?



(Please note: Because of the prevalence of this phenomenon, I’ve changed my poll, please vote)

I’m hearing a common theme amongst a lot of people out there. Several friends and relatives have mentioned it and I myself have been suffering from it for several years now; end-of-world dreams.

It was during a recent comment posted by Courtney Mroch that had me realizing that it wasn’t just a phenomenon amongst those I know, but was far-reaching across the country, perhaps the world.

In my frequent end-of-the-world dream scenarios, I’m on the road with strangers. It’s a day-to-day survival theme. I get frustrated at some point and gather everyone together, pointing to strangers and saying “you get water,” “you find a cave,” “you pick berries…” I feel as though civilization has given up and lost their intelligence and I’m the only one who sees what needs to be done. That is perhaps just a reflection of how I see myself in real life when faced with the witless cell-phone attached zombies in cars on the roadways who seem to have forgotten how to use turn signals and merge. Running into folks who don’t seem to know how to say “thank you” or “excuse me” or calm their screaming kids down while in a store. It seems like daily I encounter a civilization that’s acting a bit like, well…the honeybees.

When I managed to get over how bleak and scary the dreams were, I moved into noting how I react to the end-of-world and it’s very practical and methodical and without emotion or fear or sadness. It just is what it is. I like to step away from the potential premonition connotations of the dreams and move on to seeing them as a state of how I feel in my world; as if everyone’s an a-hole and I’m the last one standing with commonsense.

Think about it, the past decade we’ve lived with things like red/orange/yellow warnings from the government, terrorist attacks, Anthrax, H1N1/bird flu, and financial collapse. Can you get a better theme to run through your dreams? It’s the background muzak of our daily lives.

Is this a sign that things are culminating in an end-of-times scenario? I seriously doubt we all got psychic together to predict such things. I know my mother and father (had me late in life) lived through the depression era and said that everyone had the same dreams that their crops had dried up and there was no food, that they went to find a job line and the door closed.

In bad times, dreams are amplifiers of every fear that daytime hours seep into our souls.

When I first had my son, for the first few years I kept having the same recurring nightmare; I’d be driving somewhere and realize I left him at home. My baby is at home alone, screaming, scared, lonely, hungry. All I can think of is the panic of getting to him as soon as possible before calamity befalls him. It was no prediction; it was an expression of my constant daily anxieties; can I be responsible for this little being who needs me for everything? What if I screw up? What if I forget something? What if I turn my head for one minute?

So, do our collective end-of-world dreams mean we’re facing end-of-times? Nope. These are nothing more than a individual reaction to a collective social dilemma. If these dreams bother you, take some time and consider how you react to them. How you react to the events in your dreams says how you feel about your coping skills in your daytime life. If you’re getting hysterical and hiding in your dreams, it’s a sign that you’re not acting on the events in your daytime life but reacting. If you take control in the dreams and find ways out of situations, you’re coping skills are up to snuff and these challenging dreams are doing nothing more than keeping your skills at the ready.

Hope this helps those suffering. I’d like to hear if any of you have been plagued by this phenomenon of late. Please feel free to comment.

(Oh, and I found a new blog that's lots of fun and magic and helps relieve the stress of the apocalypse, I've just started following it and enjoy it, thought I'd share hedgewitchhollow)

22 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Sorry...posted it, then realized my spelling and sentence structure sucked...here it is again:

    I voted "many times". I have had apocalyptic dreams since I was a kid.

    When I was in high school (around 1993-1997), I had dreams about my middle school. But it WASN'T my middle school. It looked very much like the school in Silent Hill---but Silent Hill didn't exist then. Then I found out my twin sister had the SAME dreams, but the school was painted in bright primary colours that were peeling and rusty looking (as some parts of the school were simply metal in the dreams).

    Of course, I have many zombie dreams, and end of the world dreams that aren't very exciting (I watch a lot of apocalyptic/zombie movies, as well as Supernatural). Doesn't help that I usually only dream when stressed out (I don't hit REM sleep until just before I wake up, which is abnormal).

    Hope that made sense to you, and anyone else reading this. :)

    Aelwyn
    http://hedgewitchhollow.blogspot.com

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  3. Aelwyn;
    You'll see the link mentioned at the end of this post. You sound like you have a dream world very similar to mine. I find my dreams go the same way, first off the bat after falling asleep I have disturbing upsetting ones (letting of steam), then I have constructive ones (end of world problem solving or traveling in foreign countries) and then in the morning I have the fun ones (sex dreams). I wish I could sleep in until about 8:30 every morning because from 6:30 onward--great dreams. If you do any kind of art, you might want to try and recreate those dream scenes. I paint with oils (quit a few years ago) but I think I want to pick them back up. I've always sucked at painting scenes I see or from pictures, but my psychic reads are so clear to me in my head, that I'd like to try and portray how they appear inside my head on canvas, let people know what psychic visions look like--sometimes a picture within picture sort of scenario like a TV set.

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  4. I don't remember having an end of the world dream, but I have had dreams when my first born was ill, or in accident or had even died. They were so real, I was devastated; what a relief when I awoke to find that it was all a dream. I hate those dreams!

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  5. Oh I read this interesteing article, check it out http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/07/discovery-species-papua-new-guinea

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  6. Sandra;
    I saw that recently and all I could think of was one of my favorite made-for-tv movies of the 70s..."Food of the Gods"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuSwwZ1n6KU

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  7. autumn, this is totally off-aubject, but the 1-hour movie "crouch end" was on at 3 am saturday...great scary stephen king short story from the book 'nightmares & dreamscapes'!

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  8. Most of the time my dreams are just weird crazy nonsense. However I've had three apocalyptic dreams that I can recall off the top of my head. One a few years back where suddenly my town was getting attacked by the N. Korean's or Chinese. The sounds of guns, guns, bombs, planes, and air raid sirens was prevalent. All I could think of was during it was "I gotta get to my girlfriend (now my wife) and make sure she's ok."

    Then last year sometime I had a dream that there was a zombie outbreak. It was somewhere in the early stages of it, so most people were going about life as usual. Zombies were still a growing threat though, so people were preparing for the zombie deluge. Anyways my apartment needed a new door in the dream, but the stupid maintenance guy refused to install one and I had to barricade the entryway with items while trying to keep a couple zombies out.

    Then about a week or so ago I had one where I was in some weird house where things made no sense (sort of like the Winchester Mansion, but with M.C. Escher elements). I was there holding up with some people because a fungal thing had spread across the populace mutating and zombifying people at the same time.

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  9. Libby;
    I'll have to look that one up--sounds good!

    Naveed;
    When you have one of those again, note what's going on in your life. They're usually a kind of metaphor for an ongoing struggle. Sounds like you have your head on straight in emergencies, and your reaction to want to protect your girlfriend was dead-on, you were in a relationship in which you were taking on the protector position. The mind has a way of preparing you for new roles and new realities that way, sort of like mind drills.

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  11. Sometimes I dream the world runs out of wine. I fear that more than any apocalypse. :)
    love your blog
    Juz

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  12. I have all kinds of TEOTWAWKI dreams.
    Zombies (I was at at a car wash holding them off with the pressure sparayer and wondering how many quarters I had left)
    Showers of flaming meteorites crashing into buildings at random and wondering if it was going on all over the world)
    Nuclear attack (seeing a mushroom cloud in the distance and figuring if I was that close I'm pretty much boned)
    Biblical Apocalypse (high winds that could pick you up off the ground, blinding snow, multitudes of steam vents opening up in the ground, and seven huge winged figures appearing in the Eastern sky).
    In one dream I was in a nearby city with my parents when suddenly buildings all around started exploding in huge fireballs. My mom told me to come with them and I said "Y'all go on, I'll go home and check on everything and either get in touch or come out later". My mom looked at me and said "You're enjoying this, aren't you?!"

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  13. Justin;
    I'd tell you to start stockpiling wine now, but I'm afraid that you'd probably tap that before we ever seen the end. Then again, if it were to come, you probably would be in a good mood for it... (there's always good with bad). I'm glad you like the blog. Love your comics!

    Gummer;
    Yeah, it'd be interested to get inside your noggin in the REM state. I'm sure they're bigger production than an action flick. I like your descriptions. It sounds like you have the cat syndrome--every time there's a bad scenario in your dreams, you land on your feet. That's a good statement as to how you feel about yourself and your coping skills. When I lived in LA, people would rush to the beach with 6-packs during tsunami warnings to witness it. Yeah, I could see you providing the booze. Hee hee :-)

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  14. First off, thanks for the shout out Autumnforest! Who knew my comment would spark all this, but...

    After reading what you had to say, I was happy I made my post! I was worried after you might think I was wacky, but of course you didn't! WOOHOO!

    Your end of the world dream interpretation brought me a measure of comfort. I wonder if some of it has to do with what you pointed out, how our world is in more turmoil/on alert/state of panic mode. It could be.

    But I was having these dreams before 9/11 and all that's since come with it. Also, I've never been in the after the end of the world survival mode. I always am dreaming of the chaos as it's ending. I like your version better! I'd much rather be in control like that than watching the destruction.

    What I really liked about this post was that you gave people a new way of viewing these dreams. Way cool. Thank you.

    And Aelwyn, I also have zombie dreams!!! Doesn't help, like you said, that I love those kind of movies... (And speaking of Aelwyn: Autumnforest, THANKS for the tip about her blog. A new one added to the list!)

    (Oh, and one more thing, I was a late in life to my parents kid too! My parents sound a smidge younger than yours. They were actually children of the Depression but it made an impression on them and they raised me with those values too.)

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  15. Hey Courtney;
    Yeah, when I was a kid, my parents were ancient--born in 1919 and 1924!!! JEEZ! It's funny because nowadays parents their age are very common, but when I was growing up, people were always complimenting them on their "polite" granddaughter. I've had natural disaster, plane crash, and end of world dreams most of my life too. I grew up around a lot of people in crisis and have had very few quiet moments in my life. I never cause problems, but my family was always high in drama and chaos. So, I tended to dream about things going nuts around me and me having my sh@$ together. I can tell the premonition dreams because there's no interaction between me and the characters and I feel no personal threat. When there is interaction and I can feel a personal threat, then I know it's me letting off steam in my dream state.

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  16. Interesting topic....and one that I have not discussed much with anyone I know, but I have apocalyptic dreams 2-3 times a month.

    Some of the recurring images are those of buildings in a state of heavy damage, rubble, etc.

    Sometimes the threat/cause is viewed as tornados in the distance, firestorms, sometimes the cause is unknown.

    I'm always aware of a sense that most of "us" are no longer around.

    I'm also aware of a limited range of colors in the visuals. I don't believe I always dream in black and white, but these dreams are decidedly so. I say "limited range" because I distinctly remember a few being interspersed with yellow skies and things like that.

    These dreams are always followed by a great sense of relief when I wake up from them.

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  17. D;
    You're absolutely not alone. I agree about the usual limited spectrum of color in dreams. I have the apocalyptic ones at least once a week, sometimes more depending on what's going on in my life and the world. I do have the sense that we might be the only ones left so we need to find safe place, food supplies, and hunker down for the long haul. I recall a few bits of color from the caves we stayed in and sometimes food wrappers on the ground and junky debris left from the "last" civilization. It's interesting how a whole culture can have these dreams simultaneously. The amount of people having these is really significant, but then, we all have the repeat ones where we're in school and forget our locker combination, are naked in public, losing our teeth, being chased by something unseen...they're universal themes. I think our themes change depending on the culture we're in. My parents in the Depression era had a lot of ones where they had to walk endlessly to find food and I think that really was a reflection of what was happening--they didn't have cars, lived in rural areas, had to travel by foot as kids 5 or more miles to school every day with an empty belly. I don't worry about premonitions, but I am interested in what people do in these dreams-do they fight back? Band together? Take charge? Run and hide? That's where the state of our citizens is really revealed....

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  18. Im also having those dreams too everyday now it used to maybe 2-4 a year zombies and end of world dreams just like alot of ones i read on this website, the difference is i have others dreams of family an friends or people ive never seen and run into them later in life, since i could remember and just about of them came true, my baby girl a (tween) is now having zombies end of world dreams i pray them away so she wont be scare, but this is going to happen in are life time gods just try to show you get prepared good luck god bless!!!!

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  19. II have had weird "powers" I feel uncomfortable even saying that because it sounds crazy" since I was a small child. I have a knack with ghosts, trances, "knowing things and seeing things" and a strong force with wind and rain. I have been having apocolypse visions forever. I know there is 13 witches that help that evil side. They don't know it's bad at first. 7 get out and 6 stay there. The numbers 11, 21 and 6 are also somehow significant. I'm not sure how. The special people are sought out to help this side way before hand. They all have significant gifts and knowledge. They actually find each other before they are found and they may choose a diff path with what they know. If this sounds familiar pls contact me @mellyawill@gmail.co

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  20. I know that the woman who posted this knows exactly what I am talking about . This is a way to find the others. : )

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  21. running from volcano like dreams ....even though i like volcanoes...for the past few weeks...last night i had one that litterally said there was a storm coming and i had to clean up my room

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    1. I always say, it doesn't matter what the theme and elements of the dream are - they can be affected by many things during the day, but the actual theme and how you react to it are important. Always watch how you handle the emergency, it says how you feel about how you're handling your life now.

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