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Hmm...I believe that normally dreams are just a lot of unfiltered information...just junk kinda floating around in your head. However I think that if a person is willing, the state of mind your in when dreamig can be used to explore your consciousness on a deeper level. Unlike you I do believe in the soul, although I don't follow any particular religion or believe in God in a "bearded" sense. I recently had a couple of *very* strange experiences with sleep paralysis, which is a very spooky thing in itself. Anyway I won't go into the experiences but I will say that they were what made me rethink my opinions on consciousness and the existence of a soul. I think the brain by itself is just an organ that controls movement of the body and physical things like that, but i believe that thoughts originate in the soul.
A recent article I read was about some modern scientists trying to investigate the "neurological mechanics" of enlightenment. Laughed my ass off, almost. But anyway, consider this sentence (quote from memory):
Scientists have isolated the part of the brain responsible for having religious and spiritual experiences. However, they still don't know if it is just brain or the subjects are really experiencing some other, spiritual, reality
[end quote, italics is mine]. To this I say: dude, have you found yet the part of the brain responsible for scientific research in general and brain research in particular? LOL
What does this have to do with dreams, you say? Dunno....
just another attempt of a finger to point at itself