PS 265-1 Abnormal Psychology
Dreams have been objects of fascination and mystery for humankind since the beginning of time. These compelling images seem to arise from some source other than our ordinary conscious mind. Dreams contain a mixture of elements from our own personal identity which we recognize as common along with a quality of otherness in the dream images that bears a sense of the strange and eerie. The bizarre and nonsense for characters that we portray; and the plots in dreams point to deeper meanings and contain rational and perceptive comments on our waking situations and emotional experiences. The ancients thought dreams were messages from the gods.
Sigmond Freud called dream-interpretation the via reggia, or the royal road to the unconscious, and it is his theory of dreams that has best stood the time over a period of more than seventy years (many of Freuds other theories have been disputed in recent years).
Freud reportedly admired Aristotles assumption that dreaming is the activity of the mind during sleep (Fine, 1973). It was the use of the term activity that Freud most appreciated in this brief definition for, as his understanding of the dynamics of dreaming increased, so did the impression of persistent mental activity which was
different in quality from that of ordinary waking life (Fine, 1973).
We dream every single night whether it stays with us or not. It is a time when our minds bring together material which is kept apart during our waking hours. As
Erik Craig said while we dream, we entertain a wider range of human possibilities then when awake; the open house of dreaming is less guarded (Craig, 1992). Superficially, we are all convinced that we know what a dream is. But the most general investigation into the dreams root suggests that after describing it as a mental something which we have while sleeping, and perhaps, in understanding the experiments currently being carried out in connection with the physiological supplement of dreaming, such as Rapid-Eye Movements (REM), the certain stages, and depths of dream activity as reflected in changing rates of our vital signs (pulse-rate, heart-beat, brain-waves), and the time of night when different dreams occur, brings us to what the philosopher Immanuel Kant called the Ding-An-Sich (thing-in-itself), and find ourselves unable to penetrate further into the hidden nature of this universal human experience (Fromm, 1980).
It has been objected on more than one occasion that we in fact have no knowledge of the dreams that we try to interpret, or, that we have no guarantee that we know them as they actually occurred. There is a reason to suspect that our memory of
dreams is not only incomplete, but inaccurate and falsified. On the one hand it may be doubted whether what we dreamt was really as hazy as our recollection of it, and on the other hand it may also be doubted whether in attempting to reproduce it we do not fill in what was never there, or what was forgotten (Freud, pg. 512).
The reason I picked this subject is because I am fascinated by dreams and how they can affect our own minds and make us to think that something does exists. Just
to be able to learn how dreams work and to be faced with the dilemma of is the dream to be regarded as real?? It is true that common language sometimes speaks of dreams
with despite. If we ever find our expectations exceed an event in our dreams one would say, I should never have imagined such a thing even in my wildest dreams! I know that I have said that many times and you probably have too.
I have always found that really knowing what you dream about and understanding how dreams work is really cool! It is really cool to alter your dream cycle to understand how it works as well as how it may affect you when you wake. I didnt know that much about dreams until I had read up on it. I really didnt realize that who you are and what you do in your daily life and what is happening around you can change your dream cycle as well as the actual dream and make your dream bad or good in many circumstances.
Craig, E. (1992) Article presented to the Association for the study of Dreams.Charlottesvile, VA.
Dentan, R K. (1988) Butterflies and Bug Hunters: Reality and Dreams, Dreams andReality, Psychiatric Journal at the University of Ottawah, Vol.13 (2).
Freud, S. (year unknown) The Interpretation of Dreams, Basic Books: A division ofHarper Publishers