Term Paper - Dreams

OUTLINE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DREAMS Thesis: The occurrence of dreams is associated with our memories and experiences which can help us find out more about ourselves. I. Introduction A. Definition of Dreams………………………………………………………. 1 B. The Cause of Dreams……………………………………………………… 2 II. Body A. Dream Associations 1. Dreams and Memories………………………………………. ……2 2. Dreams and Ourselves…………………………………………….. 3 B. Dream Theories 1. Robert’s Theory………………………………………………. ……3 2. Yves Delage’s Theory………………………………………. ……. 4 C. Typical Dreams 1. Dreams of the Death of Beloved Persons…………………. …… 6 2. Dreams of Falling in Terror and when One Flies with

A Feeling of Ease…………………………………………. …………7 3. Dreams of Nakedness……………………………………. ………. 7 4. Dreams of Examination……………………………………. ……… 8 5. Dreams of Being Attacked by Friends…………………….. …….. 8 D. Usual Symbols that we see in a Dream 1. A Cat………………………………………………………….. …….. 9 2. A Lock and A Key……………………………………………….. …9 3. Two Rooms which was previously One ……………………………… 9 4. A Royal Family ……………………………………………….. ……. 9 5. A Room………………………………………………………. …….. 9 6. Small Animals and Vermin………………………………. ………10 7. Two Pathways………………………………………………… ……10 E. Factors that affects the Presentation of Dreams 1. Dream Intensity…………………………………………….. ….. 10 2. Interest………………………………………………………….. …. 10 3. Dream Composition……………………………………… ……….. 10 Conclusion: Dreams as a guide……………………………………………………. 11 Bibliography………………………………………………………………………….. 13 “To sleep or perchance to dream” (Shakespeare, 1599). As you succumb to closing your eyes and dozing off, little do you know of the dream activity that will go on in your brain that night. Although some people argue that they don’t ever dream, there are those of us who dream constantly, night and day. And while the majority of us say that we can’t even remember our dreams, one thing is scientifically certain, dreams exist.

We will write a custom essay sample on
Term Paper – Dreams
or any similar topic only for you
Order now

Because the topic of dreams has yet to be extensively researchable, there are still many unanswered questions. True, everyone agrees that dreams occur; however, far more complex is the study of the purpose of dreams. With much evidence, dream researchers have proven dreams to have various meaning and also play an important role in unconscious and conscious human activity. A dream, as defined in The World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, is a sequence of images that appear involuntarily to the mind of somebody who is sleeping, often a mixture of real and imaginary characters, places, and events.

It is simply a thought or sequence of thoughts that occurred during sleep. Dreaming is a form of mental activity that occurs during sleep. The nature of dream activity has been characterized by many clinical and laboratory studies. These studies show that dreams are more perceptual than conceptual: Things are seen and heard rather than thought. In terms of the senses, visual experience is present in almost all dreams; auditory experience in 40 to 50 percent; and touch, taste, smell, and pain in a relatively small percentage.

A considerable amount of emotion is commonly present—usually a single, stark emotion such as fear, anger, or joy rather than the 1 modulated emotions that occur in the waking state. Most dreams are in the form of interrupted stories, made up partly of memories, with frequent shifts of scene. Many dreams collected in sleep laboratories are rather ordinary, but most people have at least some bizarre dreams (Gutheil, 1951). As cited in http://wikipedia. org, general observation shows that dreams are strongly associated with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, during which an electroencephalogram shows brain activity to be most like wakefulness.

It is a state during sleep where brain waves become small and fast and eye movement becomes very rapid. It is a period during sleep that induces visual dreaming. “Dreams are ever-present excitations of long-term memory, even during waking life. This can be proven by its relation to the Hippocampus (a brain structure crucial to memory)” (Jung, 1934). Dreams are indeed meaningful. Studies of the hippocampus (a brain structure crucial to memory, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and a brain wave called theta rhythm suggest that dreaming reflects a pivotal aspect of the procession of memory.

In particular, studies of theta rhythm in sub primate animals have provided an evolutionary clue to the meaning of dreams. They appear to be the nightly record of a basic mammalian memory process: the means by which animal form strategies for survival and evaluate current experiences in light of those strategies. The existence of this process may explain the meaning of dreams in human beings (Winston, 1989). For humans, it could be that our innermost thought transpose 2 into our dreams. “When we’re awake, we have to concentrate on being a rational, self-aware, and an accepting member of society.

Asleep, our brain reaches into the memory files for image information and experience, weaving these into a story” (Kopecky, 1995). Every generation has to learn from their mistakes which are stored in memories. To know what we’ve done in the past is important, which makes memory so valuable to us. A memory is where a dream begins, which is why dreams can be so valuable to us. Dreams are sophisticated, powerful, primal works of art created by your inner healer and artist: the unconscious.

Your hidden artist weaves past, present and future into intricate and bizarre patterns that on the surface may seem to make no sense, and yet are strangely compelling. From its unlimited palette of memories, emotions, sensations and images, it creates masterful and sometimes frightening self-portraits. Your dreams, even your nightmares, carry positive messages if you face and embrace them (Klein, 1999). Our dreams get to be so far out of our memories and experiences that we may think that these dreams have nothing to do with ourselves and reality. However, they do. Says Robert Stickgold, “The human brain is an association maker.

It will find associations between two images presented side by side or sequentially” According to this theory there would be no dream if the external and internal sensory stimuli did not repeatedly wake the mind, according to Robert the impulse to dream lies in the mind itself. It lies in the overloading of the mind, 3 which demands discharge, and Robert considers, quite consistently, that those causes conditioning the dream which depend on the physical condition assume a subordinate rank, and could not incite dreams in a mind which contained no material for dream-formation derived from the waking consciousness.

It is admitted, however, that the phantasm-images originating in the depths of the mind may be influenced by nervous stimuli. Thus, according to Robert, dreams are not, after all, wholly dependent on the somatic element. Dreaming is, of course, not a psychic process, and it has no place among the psychic processes of the waking state; it is a nocturnal somatic process in the apparatus of mental activity, and has a function to perform, to guard this apparatus against excessive strain, or, if we may be allowed to change the comparison, to cleanse the mind.

Another author, Yves Delage, bases his theory on the same characteristics of the dream- characteristics which are perceptible in the selection of the dream-material, and it is instructive to observe how a trifling twist in the conception of the same things gives a final result entirely different in its bearings. Delage, having lost through death a person very dear to him, found that we either do not dream at all of what occupies us intently during the day, or that we begin to dream of it only after it is overshadowed by the other interests of the day.

His investigations in respect of other persons corroborated the universality of this state of affairs. Concerning the dreams of newly-married people, he makes a comment which is admirable if it should prove to be generally true. But of what does one dream? Delage recognizes that the material of our dreams consists of 4 fragments and remnants of impressions, both from the last few days and from earlier periods.

All that appears in our dreams, all that we may at first be inclined to consider the creation of the dream-life, proves on closer investigation to be unrecognized reproduction, “souvenir inconscient. ” But this representative material reveals one common characteristic; it originates from impressions which have probably affected our senses more forcibly than our mind, or from which the attention has been deflected soon after their occurrence. The less conscious, and at the same time the stronger an impression, the greater the prospect of its playing a part in our next dream.

These two categories of impressions- the insignificant and the indisposed-of- are essentially the same as those which were emphasized by Robert, but Delage gives them another significance, inasmuch as he believes that these impressions are capable of exciting dreams not because they are indifferent, but because they are not disposed of. Still more entitled to a role in the dream than a weak and almost unnoticed impression is a vivid impression which has been accidentally retarded in its elaboration, or intentionally repressed.

The psychic energy accumulated during the day by inhibition or suppression becomes the mainspring of the dream at night. In dreams psychically suppressed material achieves expression. Unfortunately Delage does not pursue this line of thought any farther; he is able to ascribe only the most insignificant role in our dreams to an independent psychic activity, and thus, in his theory of dreams, he reverts to the prevailing doctrine of a partial slumber of the brain: In short, the dream is the product of wandering thought, 5 ithout end or direction, successively fixing on memories which have retained sufficient intensity to put themselves in the way and block the passage, establishing between them a connection sometimes weak and loose, sometimes stronger and closer, according to whether the actual work of the brain is more or less suppressed by sleep. There are two types of this dream. The first type of which is when the dreamer remains unmoved. We may conclude that these signify something that is not contained in them, that they are intended to mask another wish of some kind.

This is the case in the dream of the aunt who sees the only son of her sister lying on a bier the dream does not mean that she desires the death of her little nephew; it merely conceals the wish to see a certain beloved person again after a long separation- the same person whom she had seen after as long an interval at the funeral of another nephew. This wish, which is the real content of the dream, gives no cause for sorrow, and for that reason no sorrow is felt in the dream (Freud, 1911).

The second type of this is those in which the dreamer feels profoundly grieved by the death of the beloved person, even expressing this grief by shedding tears in his sleep. This signify, as their content tells us, the wish that the person in question might die it is satisfied with concluding that the dreamer has wished them dead at some time or other during his childhood. But it does not mean that you wanted anybody dead at this time. A dream may represent a wish and it doesn’t mean that all wishes that it represent are current. It may be a wish 6 hat you had fifteen or more years ago. They may also be bygone, discarded, buried and repressed wishes, which we must nevertheless credit with a sort of continued existence, merely on account of their reappearance in a dream. For example, you may have wished the death of someone beloved to you when you were just a kid and this wish was made the foundation of the dream (Rain, 2004). One may conclude that these dreams reproduce impressions made in childhood- that is, that they refer to the games involving rapid motion which have such an extraordinary attraction for children.

To express the matter in a few words: the exciting games of childhood are repeated in dreams of flying, falling, reeling and the like, but the voluptuous feelings are now transformed into anxiety. But, as every mother knows, the excited play of children often enough culminates in quarrelling and tears (Kopecky, 1995). During dreams of nakedness one doesn’t feel embarrassed. It signifies ones desire to exhibit oneself to the public. The foundation of such dream is said to be ones childhood memories.

Only in our childhood was there a time when we were seen by our relatives, as well as by strange nurses, servants and visitors, in a state of insufficient clothing, and at that time we were not ashamed of our nakedness. The case of many rather older children it may be observed that being undressed has an exciting effect upon them, instead of making them feel ashamed. We may say that it shows your feeling on wanting to display yourself to other people (Freud, 1911). 7 Dreams of examination vary depending on one’s attainment.

Everyone who has received his certificate of matriculation after passing his final examination at school complains of the persistence with which he is plagued by anxiety-dreams in which he has failed, or must go through his course again, etc. For the holder of a university degree this typical dream is replaced by another, which represents that he has not taken his doctor’s degree, to which he vainly objects, while still asleep, that he has already been practicing for years, and so on.

These are the ineradicable memories of the punishments we suffered as children for misdeeds which we had committed- memories which were revived in us of the grueling examination at the two critical junctures in our careers as students. The examination-anxiety of neurotics is likewise intensified by this childish fear. When our student days are over, it is no longer our parents or teachers who see to our punishment; the inexorable chain of cause and effect of later life has taken over our further education.

Now we dream of our matriculation, or the examination for the doctor’s degree- and who has not been faint-hearted on such occasions? – whenever we fear that we may be punished by some unpleasant result because we have done something carelessly or wrongly, because we have not been as thorough as we might have been- in short, whenever we feel the burden of responsibility (Santrock, 1986). When one dreams of being attacked by friends, this may be a manifestation of fear of friendship. It may also signify that something is wrong with your relationship with a friend (Freud, 1911). 8

A cat within a dream symbolizes a need to use one’s intuition. For English speakers, it may suggest that the dreamer must recognize that there is “more than one way to skin a cat,” or in other words, more than one way to do something (Kelly and Lencioni, 2007). The symbolism of a lock and a key has been gracefully if broadly employed as a representation of marriage (Freud, 1911). An interesting relation to the sexual investigation of childhood emerges when the dreamer sees in his or her dream two rooms which were previously one, or finds that a familiar room in a house of which he or she dreams has een divided into two, or the reverse. In childhood the female genitals and arms are considered of as a single opening according to the infatile clonea theory, and only later is it discovered that this region two separate cavities and opening which may be what the rooms symbolize (Holloway, 2006). A royal family usually symbolizes a family most commonly of the dreamer himself or herself, where the “Emperor” and the “Empress” symbolizes his or her father and mother respectively, while the prince or princess symbolizes himself or herself (Freud, 1911).

A room in a dream generally represents a woman, a room having various entrances and exits which can be likely compared to a woman’s attitude (McCarley, 1978). 9 Small animals and vermin are substitutes for little children, most specifically undesired sisters or brothers; to be infected with a vermin is often the equivalent for pregnancy (Freud, 1911). Two pathways, right and left, are to be understood in dreams in an ethical sense. The right-hand path always signifies the way to righteousness, the left-hand path the path to crime.

Thus the left may signify homosexuality, incest, and perversion, while the right signifies marriage, relations, etc. The meaning is always determined by the individual moral standpoint of the dreamer (Gutheil, 1951). In the waking state we commonly very soon forget a great may sensations and perceptions because they are too slight to remember, and because they are charged with only a slight amount of emotional feeling. This is true also of many dream images; they are forgotten because they are too weak, while the stronger images in their neighborhood are remembered (McCarley, 1978).

We should remember that the fact that most people take but little interest in their dreams is conductive to the forgetting of dreams. Anyone who for some time applies himself to the investigation of dreams, and takes a special interest in them, usually dreams more during that period than at any other; he remembers his dreams more easily and more frequently ( Freud, 1911). In order that feelings, representations, ideas and the like should attain a certain degree of memorability, it is important that they should enter into 10 onnection and associations of an appropriate nature. If the words of a verse of poetry are taken and mixed together, it will be very difficult to remember them. “Properly placed, in a significant sequence, one word helps another and the whole, making sense, remains and is easily and lastingly fixed in the memory. Contradictions, as a rule, one retained with just as much difficulty and just as rarely things that are confused and disorderly. ” Now dreams, in most cases, lack sense and order.

Dream composition, by their very nature, is insusceptible of being remembered, and they are forgotten because as a rule they fall to pieces the very next moment (Alexandria, 1990). Though physic dreaming won’t likely hit all of the Earth’s population, many people have these experiences. Because many of us won’t likely experience such awe inspiring dreams can cause us to believe that the population of physic dreamers simply are phonies and simply making their stories up. However, those who saw importance to their dreams recorded them in a manner before the related event happened in real life.

Napoleon Bonaparte was said to have used his dreams to plan his campaigns. He actually based some of his military strategies on his dreams. When he awoke, Napoleon would jot down the details of his nightly visions. Later, the French General would test the strategies by positioning toy soldier in a sandbox. Before he confronted his enemies on the field at Waterloo, Napoleon supposedly had a dream about a black cat that ran between opposing armies, and he saw his own forces decimated. If this is true, he chose to ignore the dream’s warning and his defeat at Waterloo was a result 11 (Jung, 1934).

Though the opposing arguments dismiss dreams to be a significant importance of our lives; they have yet to gather enough information to overrule the years of researched interpretations. Dreams have their own meaningful logic that is more creative and richer than the logic of waking reality. “Jung said that every time an idea rises from an individual’s unconscious to his conscious, or a symbol ascends from its latent archetype to its manifest position in a dream, a vision, or in artistic creation, the process involved is like that of the expulsion into light of an infant from the dark. ” (Gutheil, 1951). It’s an idealistic but nevertheless awesome idea that closing in on your dreams may personally allow you to achieve to your most creative potential. 12 BIBLIOGRAPHY Books: Freud, Sigmund (1911). The Interpretation of Dreams (3rd ed. ). Chicago, USA: Roads Publishing. Gutheil, Emil A. (1951). The Handbook Analysis. United States: Routledge Publishing. Holloway, Gillian. (2006). The Complete Dream Book: Discover What Your Dreams Reveal about You and Your Life. Illinois: Sourcebook, Inc. Jung, C. G. (1989).

Memories, Dreams, Reflections, New York, United States, Random House, Inc. Kelly, Matthew and Lencioni, Patrick. (2007). The Dream Manager. 77 West 66th Street, New York: Beacon Publishing. Kopecky, Gini. (1995 ). American Health :Make Your Dreams Work For You. USA: Brown Publishing. McCarley, Robert W. (1978). Where Dreams Come From: A New Theory. New York: New Line, Inc. Rain, Mary Summer. (2004). In Your Dreams: The Ultimate Dream Dictionary. 1125 Stoney Ridge Road Charlottesville: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc. 3 Santrock, John W. (1986). Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behavior. Unitd States of America: Wm. C. Brown Publishers. Tarnow, Eugen. (2003). The World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia. (Vol. 3, pp. 459) Chicago: World Book, Inc. , Electronic Sources: Klein, Ann S. (1999). “Interactive Dreaming. ” Retrieved Febuary 12, 2009 from http://dreamcd. com/cd0000a. htm Dream (2009, January 17). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Retrieved January 20, 2009 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Dream. 14

×

Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out