Dreams function for us, although we may not agree how they do so. A modern theory is that we practice in dreams, for situations we encounter in our waking hours. That could be reassuring, if one has fears of, say, being buried alive, and discovers in dreams a way out. Now, if that way out is flying, the practice might be an exercise in faith, but that, too, can certainly be beneficial.
In my family, we discuss dreams as we would a book, a movie, or another real experience. We each have a unique method of escape. My mother floats above any attacker or danger; my father in law also floated; my daughter flies away—often in an airplane. I can breathe underwater, and thus swim to safety. Once I had to dive into a square opening in a floor, down a chute, into an ocean where I swam a forever distance and surfaced, able to breathe as normally above water as I had underwater. (In my waking life I can barely tread water.) For other escapes I must crawl through openings not big enough for a cat or under buildings almost flush to the ground. I’m claustrophobic and thus glad to know that I survive these terrors. Maybe the practice will eventually cure my claustrophobia or take the edge off it. Meanwhile, of course, I don’t get as much rest as modern theory says I should, given all the practicing.