It’s Time to Reexamine What We Were Taught About Memory, Dreams, and Past Lives
Navigating dream logic teaches us to be more at peace with uncertainty, with the inability to understand, and with life not making sense
The reason I started studying dreams was simple: I had a profound and undeniable waking life experience of a dream come true.
Oddly enough, the dream itself wasn’t extraordinary. It wasn’t a national disaster or a novel chemical equation. It was an interaction with two four-year-olds preparing dough to be turned into challah, a traditional bread baked on the Jewish sabbath.
One of the four-year-olds was my daughter, and the other was a preschool classmate of hers. The conversation was silly, as conversations with four-year-olds typically are, but it was sillier for me, as it was one I had already with the two girls…in a dream. And I knew it. I just couldn’t prove it to anyone.
It wasn’t the first time I had the experience of déjà vu, or more precisely, déjà-rêvé (a waking life experience one has already dreamed about). But this time there was a level of certainty, combined with a self-confidence and determination I didn’t have when I was younger. Turning 40 does that to a woman.
It was then I started carefully tracking my dreams. I wanted to prove it was happening — that I was dreaming the future.
At first, it felt important to prove it to others like my husband and my friends. However, in an attempt to prove it to others, I ultimately proved it to myself. Suddenly, their approval no longer mattered.
In the years since the conversation with the four-year-olds over challah dough, I’ve tracked more than 1300 dreams. About five years ago, I started tracking my dreams on a notes app on one of my devices. I found this is handy when it comes to déjà rêvé experiences: if suddenly in waking life you have that feeling of “I’ve been here before,” you can search certain terms on your device:
“Town center with fountain”