Whatever we experience in life that has some emotional content attached to it such as joy, happiness, fear, anger etc, leaves a mark on our personality. It remains recorded on our inner being. It may recede from our conscious mind but stays in the subconscious like those files on your computer that do not open until clicked upon. Just as a lot of unnecessary files compromises performance of a computer, a lot carried by a human compromises human performance too. Some memories with strong emotional content exist as multiple copies every time we think and relive those experiences in our conscious hours.
This store house of experiences is what makes human personality, different and unique for each individual. Even clones or identical twins are different because experiences of no two can be exactly alike. Some experiences strengthen a personality and others weaken and compromise it. The worst are buried memories of traumatic experiences that can compromise a human severely in a condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. However, even when one does not have such a severe condition, every human is compromised to varying degrees by negative memory baggage.
A natural way that a human deals with memories is in sleep, when the conscious mind is shut down and the operating system of consciousness is free to examine stored files and deal with them in an order of urgency it deems best. This order seems dependent on a combination of how recent the experience is and how strong its emotional content. Given the time one has to dream, some experiences may thus get bypassed for decades before they are dealt with. If there is a lot of stuff to deal with from the day just spent, as happens in the lives of very busy persons and minds, the subconscious deals with that first. When we dream, we can observe the process, not fully understanding it but weaving a story around it to make sense of it, a story that is part real and part imagined. That is what dreams seem to be. Not only does the semi-awake consciousness observe these doings, it also experiences the emotions that are being raked up.
Often students who have gone through a stressful examination experience a dream later, sitting in the examination hall and imagining their hands are paralyzed so they cannot write. The paralysis bit is imagined to recreate the buried subconscious fear of the event. But through this reliving, the experience is resolved, the file deleted and the human becomes free off this fear and unnecessary baggage. Mystics call this a dissolving of karma of the event. In the experience of the author, once the deeply emotional baggage is sorted from the depths of the mind, the less emotional one is removed at great speed. One could try and draw an analogy with clearing a large hall full of stuff. Heavy things are removed slowly but lots of lighter things can be removed quickly. One may get up from such episodes of sleep panting and repeating ‘oof’ from the relief. The self seems to be ever eager to remove what the mind has collected and what is unnecessary.
Those who meditate daily, free and calm their mind so that when they sleep their mind is calmer to go through old experiences. Some herbs help in this direction too, for example a tea spoon of dried Ashwagandha powder before bed time is a great help. For severer conditions such as PTSD, a glass of cannabis drink in milk is a stronger aid wherever legal. There are articles in this blog on these with a link at the end of this note and that can also be searched in through the tool in the left sidebar. Alcohol does not help because the mind remains intoxicated through sleep and can mess up the files rather than sort them out properly. If it happens when sorting out was badly needed, a human may end up with psychosis when he or she wakes up, something called alcoholic psychosis, a condition that will disappear rapidly it seems when alcohol is given up. The primary help alcohol may provide, aside from its recreational use, is to reduce the sorrow or trauma of a situation when it is ongoing or recent during conscious hours but only when it is not a strong drink but a light one like beer or wine. It does not seem to help with buried trauma.
It is amazing how the mind deals with very old memories when free to do so. I wrote this note today after dreaming of an incident last night dating back to September of 1976. I had visited Dubrovnik for a scientific conference on Heat Transfer then, where I had submitted a paper on the subject. On the last day, we had a lot of wine at the banquet that ends such gatherings. I had not been used to much wine then. The result was that I overslept and just woke up in time for the flight. There was no time even for a shave or to pack up properly. But somehow I just made it and it was a fearful experience indeed. I recall shaving and washing my face etc. in the tiny toilet of the flight later. This fear remained buried in my psyche ever since. Last night, I relived the experience, mixed up with other events as happens in dreams, and this fear buried deep within was washed out after so many years of carrying this unnecessary piece of baggage. Wonder how much other junk lies buried in the vaults still.
One may wonder what does a mind dream of it has no substantial emotional issues to deal with? I have passed through that too in life to in my forty year long studies of dreams, for as the Father of Yoga Patanjali stated, one may evolve through the knowledge gained from dreams. In that state, the mind ponders on issues and problems a person is dealing with in life. At times, great solutions are the result as also prediction of future events (especially dreams near morning). Some of the greatest of scientific discoveries have been a result of some dreams such as the structure of a basic organic compound - Benzene
On a five week program to ease PTSDhttp://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2015/07/five-weeks-to-freedom-form-ptsd-5-x-5.html
This method combines together several concepts and practices described in different notes of this blog into a doable simple and enjoyable practice that assists greatly those suffering from PTSD rapidly over a matter of few weeks.