Have you ever had a dream that predicted the future in some way? I have had a few of those types of dreams. Dream interpreters will tell you that dreams are products of your subconscious mind. The way I see it is that dreams happen when your brain decides to put its contents on shuffle. Everything you see, hear, touch, smell, taste, or otherwise experience during your life gets cataloged in your brain. Even if you don’t consciously remember things that happened when you were six, they are still there in your subconscious mind.
I don’t really think a dream can predict the future, even though some of the ones I’ve had have come darn close, down to very precise details. One time, I dreamed about a boy who took a banana that belonged to me, and in real life, I ended up taking a banana from a boy who looked exactly like the one from the dream. It may have been some bizarre sexual metaphor, but the real life event caused me to remember the dream that “predicted” it. It wasn’t as though I consciously went around trying to actualize my dream… but perhaps, unconsciously, I did. The mind is a powerful psychic tool with plenty of undiscovered abilities.
I do believe in the symbolic nature of dreams. Dreams are not meant to be taken literally, but they are meant to be links to what your unconscious desires are; things you cannot have in real life. Maybe, if we have a dream that is prophetic, we come to the realization later that we may have unconsciously been acting out in real life the desire evoked in the dream. It’s complicated. Just because you have a dream about talking animals doesn’t mean you’ll wake up one day and start a conversation with your dog. The talking animals might be symbols for something else significant in your life.
I like to write down dreams I have, to try and see what the meanings behind their symbols and imagery might be. It’s fun. Dreams give me something to ponder during the day… and of course, they can definitely give birth to awesome story ideas!