Dreams are a communication of body, mind and spirit in a symbolic communicative environmental state of being. Our brains are in constant activity. Different states of consciousness like awake, asleep, alert, drowsy, excited, bored, concentrating or daydreaming cause different brain wave activity. Our conscious mind, or the part we think with, our "window" into life, only takes up a very small portion of our brain activity, which many people say is only 10%. Other areas control things like breathing, heartbeat, converting light to vision, sound to hearing, balance when we walk, etc.
etc. This too has it's own small percentage. Another area controls imagination. This area is widely an undiscovered frontier. Imagination is more then dreaming of a new car. When you look at clouds and see shapes, or wood grain and see images, this is the "order from chaos" part of your imagination.
The mind cannot deal with chaos very well; in fact it will resist it and sometimes manufacture order. (Very important to the dreaming process. ) This too occupies a small percentage of brain activity. Then there is the section of the brain that stores memory.
Memory is a huge portion of your brain and I believe it occupies more of the brains resources then most people think. Dreams are a little piece of the brain that we have not discovered much about yet. I think that to a certain extent, we dream all the time but the process is functioning in our subconscious mind, out of view from our "window." If defined precisely, they may not be referred to as dreams technically, but the activity is very closely related. During certain cycles of brain activity while asleep, we can "view" these dreams with our conscious mind and record them in our memory this is why we sometimes remember our dreams for a short period of time. With the above kept in mind, especially the order from chaos part which was explained in the beginning of this essa and try to imagine this.
Your brain, mind, and spirit, while at rest "review" and analyze in their own way long term, short term, and spirit memory. The brain kicks around emotions, thoughts, ideas, actions and interactions of the short-term memory. It has in its background the trends of your life and philosophy to influence it. Your mind is also processing spiritual data, your beliefs, whether or not you violated them, your information gained through psychic intuition, which we all have to a certain degree. All this data, as well as your subconscious "reading between the lines" of what people do and tell you, is then processed unsupervised by you. All this data is a form of chaos, and your mind like seeing images in wood grain or clouds puts it all together in a form of visual "screenplay" or image, with sound, emotion, and imagined interactivity.
The end result is a dream. If dreams were meant to be analyzed simply but discussion all of the fun would be taken out of science. Dreams are easily influenced by factors in your life and spirit, and these influences create "categories" that are almost infinite. We do broadly categorize them in terms like "prophetic, standard, physical, and nightmare" just to name a few. We study each of these categories separately, in order to gain benefit from them.
I look at it this way: Our mind and spirit together with our brain, is actually the greatest computer ever devised To understand it's processing is to learn more about ourselves, God, our future and each other then we could ever imagine. Many things can be gained from dreams, some of which are; better health (mental and physical), entertainment, and even financial gain (dreaming of a invention or idea). Now that you know some of the basics about dreaming and what dreams are, for the most part you should have a better grasp on how to understand and use your dreams.