I've been recently asked whether dreams can predict our future. Are dreams and visions the same thing? Here's my two cents about this topic.
Dreams are the projection of our subconscious knowledge interacting with our phenomenal field in the here-and-now. This means that dreams are based on information that is relevant to you right now. Your mind tries to organize that information subconsciously and presents it to you in a way that makes sense to you. Of course, we don't consciously understand the dream by its content, rather we explore it and try to understand the message the dream is trying to pass on to us.
Too much Jake? Well, wait till you hear this...
Jung's Collective Unconscious
Carl Gustav Jung, who is notoriously known for his influential work on dreams, coined the term "Collective Unconscious". Jung believed that our personal unconscious mind is only a layer sitting on top of a universal layer. The Collective Unconscious is the inherited human psyche we possess even though we haven't experienced it personally! This means that Jung claimed that there is a universal field containing inherited information that can be translated into our personal experience.
Jung describes different archetypes. They have been expressed as myths and fairytales, and at a personal level in dreams and visions. In mythology, they are called 'motifs', in anthropology 'représentations collectives'. German ethnologist Adolf Bastian referred to them as 'elementary' or 'primordial' thoughts that he saw expressed again and again in the cultures of tribal and folk peoples. But they are not simply of anthropological interest; usually, without knowing it, archetypes shape the relationships that matter in our lives.
I see you dosing off...WAIT!
We can explore the Jungian Archetypes another time, however, the point of the collective unconscious is that there can be a connectedness between us, our history, and our future. This connectedness contains information that is sometimes transmitted to us in our dreams.
Does this mean it can predict our future?
However, our dreams contain information from our past, present, AND possibly future. Dreams however only contain messages which are relevant to you and your needs. They are not direct visions of what is literally going to happen! If you had a dream which was so vivid and real, don't panic! Rather, explore the elements of the dream. Try to understand what message you can take from that dream and take it as a warning sign that some reflection is needed before taking action!
Remember, you are the architect of your dreams. If you think your dream is showing you a vision, it is more likely that the dream is trying to warn you about something you are worried about in the future than something which is actually going to happen!
If you had a dream which came true or want to explore a dream which you are sure is showing a part of your future comment down below! :)