TOWARDS A THEORY OF DREAMS
In understanding the dreams we have we must first study what the dream mind actually does. The dream mind or unconscious mind as it is popularly known is linked to the intuition. The intuitions that we have are critical to our mind. Life is full of situations were we do not have the information necessary in order to make a rational decision. We constantly have to make a "best guess". For instance we may make the following judgment - "My son is nearly ready to walk to school on his own. I know he wants more independence but I am still worried about some of the older children being a bad influence on him. But I cannot hold on to him forever. He will have to go out into the wider world sometime.”
dreams and the intuition also look at things in a wider sense. For instance a mother may have the following thoughts "I know that my son is nearly ready to walk to school on his own. Maybe it’s me. I am not ready to let go of my son. He is still my little baby".
The intuitions that we have then deal with that inner voice. That conversation we have with ourselves. Those graphic and personal thoughts. Those thoughts which are even more personal than a diary. They may link to fantasies, paranoia’s or to simple ordinary thoughts. Here are a few examples.
"I really am living the dream . I have started to succeed now. I have my new suit and my new car and I felt really confident when I went into the board room. I really convinced them I was the right man."
"I can see that they were feeling sorry for me. They pity me. I could read it in their eyes."
"My colleague is really not qualified. She rambles on about nothing and just seems to drift off in no coherent direction. I really am in a very poor team. I am getting sick of it"
"I am going to kill her. I hate her now. I will kill her in front of her stupid friend. She will be begging for forgiveness. I will just laugh in her face."
"I have got to start being more careful. She is starting to sense that I dont love her any more. "
"I think I have known how to improve my surfing. I studied how my mate coped with this big wave and I will try to copy that."
"I wonder if policing is the right job for me. I really did not cope yesterday. I was trained for that exact kind of crisis. yet I just stood there and did nothing"
"I am just going to ignore him next time. He did not make eye contact. I thought we had a good thing going. I mean we were having sex hours before and now he just treats me as if I were nothing. I will just ignore him and act as if he means nothing to me."
"that thing on TV disgusted me last night. That guy treated his girlfriend like dirt. I am determined that I will never ever ever ever fall again for someone like that"
"I have got to drive more responsibly. I just fly off trying to impress people. yet I nearly had an accident yesterday. Driving is dangerous. I got away with it but it could have been so different."
In short the dreams we have are linked to the thoughts that dominate our minds and the conclusions we are coming to about life in general.
So we need to realize that dream will in some way link to the main function of the dream mind - the intuitions and judgments that we make in ever day life. Dreams are not easy to decode yet we know that in someway they would - if translated - link too exactly to the kinds of quotes listed above. The conceptual feelings and intuitions that dominate our lives. The graphic and often extreme thoughts that create our moods. The ever changing emotions that come and go like the English whether.
The best way to translate a dream is to try to reduce it to the types of quotes that are listed above. They link to conceptual thoughts and mind processes. It’s much easier to simply quote some conceptual feeling than go into some lengthy explanation.
So how exactly can we translate dreams into conceptual thoughts? Take for instance the following dream
THE DREAM - I am a soldier. I am with sharpy - a fictional character on TV.
The dream then is only very short. What could it mean? Surely its just random nonsense! In truth this short dream captured a key conclusion the dreamer had about the previous day. He had destroyed a vital piece of camera equipment by acting recklessly. He was convinced that things could not go wrong. yet the dangers were obvious in how he acted. The fictional character Sharpy was an invincible soldier who took many senseless risks and always ended up the hero. In dreamming about Sharpy the dreamer was realizing that he was acting recklessly. That he - like sharpe - had acted in an invincibkle fashion and felt that nothing could ever go wrong. Instead the dangers he took were reckless and a vital piece of camera equipment was broken. In reality life is not like the world that sharpy inhabits. If we act like sharpy in real life then we will get into real trouble. So if we were to try to translate this dream into a conceptual thought then it would perhaps translate in the following way - "I was stupid yesterday. I acted in a very irresponsible way. In truth if I act like some fictional war hero in real life taking enormous risks with equipment then its going to get me into trouble".
Just one simple short dream and yet it contains one powerful message that truly captured some key conceptual thought process from the day before. Now try taking a look at YOUR THOUGHTS from the day before. We need to emphasize the issues and thoughts that are dominant right now.
Freud and Jung tend to emphasize the big issues and the deep psychological problems. They tend to try to summaries our lives in general. Yet the dream mind or intuition does not really concentrate on these issues. Do we really dwell so much on these issues that plague us. Yes we maybe troubled about things that haunt us. Yet we need to understand that dream will only touch on long term issues when they touch on our lives in some modern context. To truly understand a dream we must understand the thoughts and moods that triggered the dream. Yes a woman maybe troubled by an incident when she was sexually used and then discarded that happened many years ago. But she would only think about it if the issue was again triggered in some modern context. Say she met a new friend who was describing her boyfriend. Something that she says reminds her of how she used to act and how she was used. So the dream is not about this issue endlessly regurgitating in her mind. In fact it was about this issue having relevance in her current life. That she recognized something in how this woman acted and how it was similar to how she allowed herself to be used and abused by her old boyfriend.
By studying the issues and way the intuitional mind works then we can make some basic assumptions
1. The dream mind is conceptual and deals with ideas and conclusions about life. It refines thoughts and makes judgments about the issues that dominate in our lives
2. The dream mind tends to be caught up in the present. It dwells on the moods and thoughts that we have. The paranoia’s and fantasies that we have as we lie awake. The worries that we cannot let go of. The projects that we are trying to think through. the relationships that we are thinking about and trying to improve. It will draw on the past but only when it is directly relevant.
So expect our dreams to work in a similar way to the intuitional mind itself. The dream maybe difficult to understand and hidden in deep metaphors but try to look and second guess what issues the dream mind is going to dream about. It’s that simple. If something big happens the day before then you will almost certainly dream about it. The bigger the issue then the greater the certainty. The dream may not obviously link to reality in any way. It may not feature any people involved. But work on the assumption that dreams link to big recent issues that you are thinking about from the day before.
If you are trying to work out a dream first try to write down some quotes that highlight what is important to you right now. Second guess what the dream mind is thinking about. Write down quote like the following.
"We had real problems at work yesterday. My boss was acting just like he always does."
"My sister was acting strangely yesterday. She does not seem her normal self. I wonder if she is hiding something. I think something is wrong."
Your dream is very likely to link to one of these quotes. Look for similarities between the dream symbols and their meanings and real life emotions. If tiredness featured in some way the day before in your thoughts then look for symbols that can express tiredness.
STUDY THE SYMBOLS AND MAKE ASSOCIATIONS
The next step is to study the dream and the symbols within it. Some symbols will have text book meanings whilst others will tend to have very personal meanings. Look through the dream dictionary and look up the symbols. It’s a fairly small dictionary but it features the most common of dream symbols. If the exact symbol does not appear then try to look for something similar. The dictionary features quotes and questions which are designed to help you trace the source of the dream. Rather than provide answers they give you ideas for possible meanings.
Try to make associations. If a dream features a beach then think back to anything that links with beaches and coastlines. Even if you just watched a TV program that featured a beach the day before. The dream maybe about that. This program may have got you thinking.
If a dream features people then try to compare them to other people. Does the man behaving over confidently remind you of someone the day before? Perhaps you were overconfident? Perhaps it refers to someone who was over confident? Just try to make loose connections. By making such a loose connection you are not directly linking the dream to this incident or person. You are merely thinking laterally. Take the following dream
THE DREAM - I have a recurring dream that I am back at school. I am taking my French oral exams.
This is the dream of a DJ and radio presenter. It’s very simple to understand this dream. But you have to think laterally and make associations. The dream features an oral exam. What possibly could that symbolize? Well a French oral exam involves the obvious link that you are being tested on the ability to speak French. That’s the most obvious association but that’s probably not the meaning of the dream. French oral exams also test something else - the ability to speak fluently. We then make a connection to real life. The dreamer is a DJ and TV presenter in real life and one of the main aspects of his job is to speak confidently and fluently in an entertaining way. He works at a very high level and so his standards are expected to be high. So in real life the dreamer is constantly expected to pass the test of speaking fluently.
Some dreams are easier to interpret than others. They may feature a very strong emotion. In such cases try to make a connection between that very strong emotion and real life. Take for instance the following dream.
THE DREAM - I am on a long march. The road appears to be endless. I am tired.
Here the symbols obviously seem to work together sp look for some connection to this pretty obvious and coherent metaphor. In real life the dreamer was involved in a long and difficult work project. It was very tiring so the dream merely captured his current mood - his despair and frustration with the work project. In many ways such dreams are very similar to poetry and are therefore very easy to solve. They hang together well and the storyline seems to make sense.
However, many dreams use many symbols and join them together in a rather random way. The metaphors that they use seem to jump about in some rather disjointed way. The story seems to be totally bizarre. Suddenly you are in a countryside setting for no reason. Then parachutes appear and then a tiger is being swallowed by a snake. Such dreams do have meanings yet many people just give up and laugh at the bizarre nature of the dream.
This web site features many complex dreams. Try the following pages as many well understood dreams are analysed in depth - CLICK HERE: A list number of complex and well understood dreams
DREAMS AND SCIENCE
From experience, it seems that dreams seem strongly linked to the day before. People and places from the day before often appear in dreams. Why should this be? Well if dreams are linked to the mind and to vital brain processes then it would seem logical that they are connected to the thought processes and feelings that are dominating our mind. Dreams then are likely to link to key moments within our feelings and new conclusions about the changing circumstances in our lives. They should link to the projects that we are undertaking and the ways in which we are tackling them. They will link to the relationships that are troubled or the ways in which we are trying to read the body language if those around us. They can link to our paranoia’s and fantasies. They can also strongly link to the ways in which we are trying to motivate ourselves to deal with coming problems.
Studies of the brain would seem to support the link between dreams and the day before. Human brains are constructed in a very efficient way. Everything that we experience during a day is stored not in long term but in short term memory blocks. We only truly begin to learn at night time. That’s why we get improved results after a nights sleep. If we had to process information during the day our brains would have to be so much bigger. Instead we process information at night time. During sleep vital brain waves appear - theta waves. These represent the brain reordering information. The mind thinks through the events of the day before and new feelings. It then integrates them into long term memory blocks. The short term memory blocks get whiped ready for the day to come.
If we suffer from sleep deprivation then the human mind ceases to work. We do not have enough space to store new information. Our brains are overloaded.
DREAMS AND LONG TERM CHANGES
It seems that there is a strong connection between dreams and recent events. There is also a strong link between dreams and thoughts about events that are just about to happen. But some of the most difficult dreams are linked to long term changes. Some of these are easier to spot than others. If we are undergoing major changes in our lives then we are likely to have dreams which represent the changes in circumstances. If major long term relationships have ended then we are of course likely to dream about these events. They after all dominate our lives. Even if major events occur then we are still likely to be thinking of those major long term changes. If you are saddened by the end of a relationship then even if you go to a party then your thoughts will link to how you miss your ex boyfriend or girlfriend. You will compare new boyfriends to your ex. You may still be haunted by the hurt or simply not ready to move on. So yes dreams will link to long term events. But the dream will still be in the here and now. They will deal with how our thoughts change and how circumstances are changing. There is still usually some trigger. Some event that is provoking some new response within us.
PREMONITIONS AND TELEPATHY
Premonitions and telepathy are certainly hard to prove. Dreams by their nature use metaphors. Students of the English language constantly argue over what inspired writers and poets. A dream is very similar in that an atom bomb exploding is very difficult to link to premonitions. That atom bomb may simply link any number of causes. The fact that some terrible event took place the day after an atom bomb dream does not directly prove anything.
There does seem some evidence to support premonitions though. Personally I believe that premonitions exist. I have for many years linked events to dreams that took place the day before. Then one day I woke up and had a dream that left me thinking something terrible would soon take place. After analyzing the dream it seemed connected to one person. On that very day that person died. So personally I have never been a non believer since then.
There seems no good reason why this takes place. Many people seem to have dreams that predict terrible events but it does not stop them happening. It is not easy to develop such skills so that we can call on telepathy or premonitions at will.
Premonitions do seem to have something in common with normal dreams. They seem to be very much in the here and now. Some people claim to have had premonitions deep into the future. But many people seem to link premonitions specifically to the day of the dream. So a premonition can often capture some strong event that takes place that day. It may not be something particularly life changing.
I often try to put some perspective on matters. Many people from a science background have much stranger views on the world than psychics. A psychic merely thinks that we can see into the future. Those who study the nature of time and the beginnings of the universe think on a completely different level. They suppose that many different worlds exist side by side. Each time some random event occurs the whole universe creates two different copies each of which continue on separately. Ask the question - who is the craziest one? One day we may begin to truly understand the nature of time and space. Then premonitions and telepathy may be understood. Those who close their minds to the existence of premonitions may then be exposed. Many people of a scientific nature will never ever debate with psychics. The psychics are equally as bad as they will often close their minds off. They turn the psychic world into some quasi religious experience. It maybe that premonitions and telepathy come through in a completely random way.
There is one thing that will always be true. It is totally impossible to explain a dream with 100 percent accuracy. With maths we can look up the answer at the back of the book. If we are correct then we can know that we have understood the subject. Thats not the case with dreams. We can make reasoned guesses. We may link it to the day before. We may be able to argue that a dream is a premonition of some event. But no one can truly prove any dream has a particular cause. The psychoanalysts can only present arguments in the same way as psychics can. In the end the dream mind retains its mystery. You may guess but its language is not clear. It talks in poetry yet never explains its metaphors clearly It may use some simple metaphor or a much more complex one. It may be about yesterday but may equally be about something that is about to occur. For instance if a couple is continually arguing then who is to say what a dream about arguing is linked to? It maybe about an argument that just took place. It maybe about one about to take place? It maybe about an argument that we fear may take place. Our understanding of dreams is just not that good to understand the cause of such dreams.
WHAT ARE DREAMS It seems that dreams maybe linked to vital processes in the intuitional mind. EWach symbol expresses an element of some conceptiual thought. Dreams then are linked to how the dream mind stores concepts, ideas and feelings. So a snail can express some thought that is linked to the slowness of a snail. However, understanding a dream is never easy because that dream may equally be using the snail in a different way. It may express a totally different feeling such as a feeling of disgust at the thought that a slug could move along your hand. The dream then could be comparing some horrible and lecherous person who touched you personally the day before. Who you would compare to a horrible slug like creature. That is what makes difficult to analyse. Each symbol may mean several different things.
Understanding a dream may not necessarily be of any benifit to you. Its a fascinating process and its extremely fulfilling when you understand the meaning of a dream . Yet ultimately dream probably link to vital brain processes. Understanding how a dream works probably has little value. In the same way understanding how a car gear box works does not help you get from one destination to another any quicker. People look to dreams to give them clear and unequivocal guidance in some issue. You believe that if you can understand a dream then you will somehow gain the answer to life. Yet in reality dreams probably link simply to the intuitional mind and the doubts and uncertainties. You may even have several dreams in the same night each which if understood may give different meanings. A dream early on in the night may for instance show your disgust at how someonbe treated you the day before. You may be ready to gain some revenge. Yet later on it the night you hagve perhaps mellowed. Dreams then link to our complex and ever changing emotions. The moods that come and go.
Yet It may also be the case that dreams link to premonitions. One day we may understand the process by which this works. But the majority of dreams do seem to link to mundane processes within the brain. To the inner mind and inner voice that is constantly computing and making judgments about the word we live in. So its always best to assume that any dream is linked to ordinary day to day thoughts and worries.
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DREAMS AND THE MIND
JUNG AND FREUD :A critique of Freud and Jung
DREAM THEORY :Towards a theory of dreams
THETAWAVES :Understanding the brain processes which underly dreams.
DREAM SYMBOLISM :Neural patterns and their relevance to dream interpretation
ROBERT STICKGOLD:Robert Stickgolds studies of dreams and the game Tetris
DYING MAN'S NIGHTMARE: Making sense of a medical condition by dreams.
DISTURBING DREAMS : Nightmares.
NIGHTMARES : Childrens Nightmares.
WORLD WAR ONE NIGHTMARES : Dreaming of the front line.
NIGHTMARES : A practical study of nightmares showing what individual nightmares meant
CONFRONTING FEAR IN NIGHTMARES : By Dorian Paul
HYPNOPOMPIC AND HYPNOGOGIC IMAGERY :Hallucinations and dreams
HYPNOGOGIC IMAGERY :Example dreams
SLEEPWALKING :Dreams and sleepwalking
SLEEP DEPRIVATION :The TV reality show "shattered"
CIRCADIAN RYTHMS :Dreams and melatonin
ANIMALS IN DREAMS :By Dorian Paul
ANIMALS IN DREAMS : Animals in dreams
COLOURS IN DREAMS : By Urban
COLOURS IN DREAMS : By Kafka
Archetypes and myths : Jungs archetypes by Dorian Paul
INDIVIDUATION : understanding the Jungian approach
ARCHETYPES : Jungian archetypes
EVIL ARCHETYPES : By Dorian Paul
Heros and archetypes : by Dorian Paul
DREAMS AND MUSIC : by Dorian Paul
CRUSH DREAMS : The archetype
DREAM DICTIONARY? : Are we influenced by the dream dictionary we use by "Comrade Bart"
PREMONITIONS AND TELEPATHY
PREMONITION STUDY - A personal study showing how dreams can link to the future
HEART TRANSPLANTS - Does the heart have a memory
DAVID MANDELL :Psychic paintings?
OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCES :OBEs and psychic phenonoma
Premonitions :places deep into the future?
NEURAL IMAGING:Attempts to prove or disprove the existence of ESP
SCIENCE :Towards an understanding of premonitions
EXPERIMENTS :Premonition studies and false premonitions
EMOTIONAL DREAMS : Using dreams as a way of expressing your emotions by Dianne Porter
BIG BROTHER : A study of the Big Brother reality show
THE SPIRITUAL APPROACH : By Always Dreaming
INSPIRATION : By Dorian Paul
THE FUNCTION OF DREAMS Why do we dream
COMMUNICATION SKILLS : Dorian Paul on left and right brain issues?
MEDITATION :Using meditation to expand your mind
FAITH AND DREAMS : By Weiss
DREAM JOURNAL : dream diaries
MONTAGUE ULLMAN : Swedish researcher
DREAM FORUMS : Helpful advice
ETHICAL GUIDELINES : By Dorian Paul
FACTS ABOUT DREAMS : Some thoughts
FAQS : Some frequently asked questions
Links page :Reciprocal links
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