Q & A with dream expert Lauri Loewenberg

By Laura Johnson | 08.12.10

What dreams may come …

Either Leonardo DiCaprio is the hottest man alive (speculation allowed here) or the film he stars in, “Inception” was No. 1 at the box office for three weekends in a row because people are becoming obsessed with dreams and what they mean for everyday life. As in the film, there are many out there who believe dreams are very important to existence. No matter what happens after you read these pages know dreams are the only thing in the world no one else can experience with you … unless for some reason you’re part of a science-fiction story.

Had a “naked” dream before? You know, the one where you’re standing in the middle of some crowded place? Well the naked one and the dream where you’re being chased are the most common. When we are young and we have a nightmare our parents assure us everything will be OK because, in a term, it was just a dream. However, there are some who believe our dreams are far more informative than we may believe.

The Weekender’s own Dream Zone columnist, Lauri Loewenberg agreed to be interviewed about the most personal dialogue we have with our subconscious n our dreams.

Weekender: What got you into this gig?

Lauri: I was able to remember my dreams when I was two. I have been documenting them since then. I started by drawing them and then moved to writing them down. In college I took a dream psychology course (although I don’t have a degree in this as there isn’t such a thing) and was extremely impressed at how much sense it made. Dreams are important, powerful and actually logical once you break them down. Because dreams are something everyone has, I knew I could help essentially everyone by getting into this job. I started it as a column and then moved to the radio and finally wrote a book. I am extremely passionate about what I do.

Weekender:Is this a full time job for you then?

Lauri: Yes, 24/7. Even when I’m sleeping! (laughs).

Weekender: So what is your official job title?

Lauri: Dream analysist n in a word, dreamologist

Weekender: So you’re not a psychic then?

Lauri: Not at all. I can’t predict the future. I simply help people to find their realities within a dream. I ask questions to help them find their own answers

Weekender: Do dreams really mean something or are they just excess thoughts?

Lauri: I can understand how it’s easy to dismiss dreams as nothing. But they are not nonsense. You need to give your dreams more credit than that n your subconscious more credit than that really. Yes, they are presented to you in a different language than you are used to but that just means you have to be able to crack the code. If you listen you can really solve your own problems.

Weekender: So dreams are not to be taken literally at all?

Lauri: Not at all. But they are always about you and about the present.

Weekender: When you’re gathering information about someone’s dream do certain things always mean the same thing (example: seeing bugs in a dream represents something is bugging you in real life) for every person?

Lauri: Those are referred to as archetypes and yes, they do mean pretty much the same thing for everyone. That’s the point of dream symbolism. But sometimes things can take a different turn which is why I always ask questions so each person can make their own conclusions. Like the common “naked” dreams means there is something we’re having anxiety about and we’re concerned how we may appear to others or it could mean we feel we’ve opened up or exposed ourselves too much.

Weekender: What about the other common dream, the “chase” dream?

Lauri: This dream interestingly enough, more commonly reoccurs with women than men. It usually means you are trying to avoid or get out of some sort of issue.

Weekender: Is it hard to listen to people’s dreams sometimes? Because it seems to us the only people who care about one’s dreams is the person themselves.

Lauri: I can see why they can be boring to others but I find it interesting because it’s like a big puzzle and a window into what’s going on with a person. I want to help people see what the issue is and show them advice about the dream.

Weekender: What about dreams that predict the future … almost premonition like? Why does that happen?

Lauri: Those are what’s referred to as EPS dreams. I’m personally a little skeptical of them. But I suppose anything is possible because time isn’t really linear. Also, when we’re in the REM stage of sleep our brain waves have slower frequency and could possibly pick up on things flowing around. Who’s to say?

Weekender: In your words, what are dreams?

Lauri: They are an emotional state n an honest reflection about who you are. I mean your eyes are closed the whole time they happen giving you a razor-like focus on yourself. Sometimes people don’t want to think about themselves, that can be too scary, but in dreams you are forced to do so.

Weekender: What about a nightmare? What does that reflect?

Lauri: Those are warnings. Only your own body can tell you what your need, and that’s what it does in dreams.

Weekender: In the wake of “Inception” dreams are becoming a hot topic. Do you think people will be able to infiltrate other people’s dreams in the future?

Lauri: I would not doubt it. With technology like an MRI scan we can watch dream patterns. In Japan they have created a dream VCR that reportedly records images from dreams. 100 years ago the Internet would have thought to be impossible. We’ll see.

Weekender: Why should we interpret our dreams?

Lauri: It’s really pretty practical, it’s not New Age at all. Dreams don’t ever lie, and in this world, that’s rare.

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“I have recently had a string of dreams that your online dictionary helped me decode and i feel i am on the right path now and it just made everything make sense. Thank you for making this so readily available to us. keep up the good work.”   – Deborah, Salt Lake City, UT