I’ve found that the quickest way to end a conversation is tell someone about a dream. It’s especially uncomfortable if my dream is about them. Dreams are certainly discredited these days.

I don’t understand what happened. In Biblical times, dreams held enormous importance. They stirred prophets to action and changed the course of nations. Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams got him promoted from slave to Pharaoh’s second-in-command. He used the wisdom he found in dreams to save his country from famine.

Psychologist Carl Jung certainly recognized the significance of dreams. He said, “We have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions.” Forest Park psychotherapist Rose Mattax also believes that dreams give us inner wisdom and have the capacity to guide us.

She identifies different types of dreams: predictive, corrective and recurrent. Rose once led a dream support group, where members shared their dreams by recounting them in the first-person, present tense. The group discussed the emotional and symbolic content of their dreams. Rose said it was a fun, rich experience. She likened dreams to parables: They keep coming back until they make sense.

Rose recommends going beyond discussing dreams to acting on them. I’ve done this. I had a dream about a high school classmate I hadn’t seen in years. In the dream, he needed $100,000 to open a restaurant, and I had the brilliant idea that he should ask a hundred people for $1,000 apiece. I called him the next day. It turned out he wasn’t going into the restaurant business, but we reconnected and have been hanging out since.

Just a few weeks ago, I had an action-packed dream about an uncle who passed away decades ago. He was flying me and his children to Florida but had to make an emergency landing at a Citgo to buy five bucks worth of gas. I thought the dream might have some significance. I called my cousin to tell him the dream and learned that his desperately ill brother had just been released from the hospital.

I guess that would be a predictive dream, like the one where I pictured a high school senior at a rock concert venue, where the atmosphere was unusually sedate. Proviso Math & Science later held its graduation at the UIC Pavilion, fulfilling my dream.

My recurrent dream is that I’m naked in public. It’s mortifying, especially at Bears games. I always wish I had grabbed something – an apron, a handkerchief. Someone suggested it might mean I feel vulnerable. It could also be telling me to go out and buy some clothes.

Anyway, if you think dreams can be teachers, Rose said she’d be willing to lead a dream group in Forest Park. I think it’s a great idea but I’ll have to sleep on it.