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What are dreams?

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What are dreams?
PostPosted: Fri 14 Dec, 2007  Reply with quote


Dreams are series of sounds,images, feelings,ideas, and emotions that show up while we sleep in the REM stage. But what do they mean geenidee .No one really knows for sure. There are many theories ranging from the idea that dreams are random or they are bits of imagination, desires, experiences put together in your mind as dream imagery and there have been theories about dreams being mirrors of your deep unconscious. It's up to you what to believe. Here are some theories that have been studied by some of dreams most famous philosophers and scientists.

People have been recording their dreams dating all the way back to the Sumerians in 3100 B.C yes . King Gilgamesh told his mother, Ninsun, about some of his reoccurring dreams and Ninsun made the first dream interpretation.

Ancient Hebrews believed dreams were messages from god himself bow2 . The biblical figures Solomon, Jacob, Nebuchadnezzar and Joseph were all visited in their dreams by God or prophets, who helped guide their decisions. The Talmud, which was written between 0 and 500 A.D, states that "dreams which are not understood are like letters which are not opened." The greeks also believed that Gods gave messages through dreams.

The Chinese thought that your spiritual body ,or hun, would leave and wander to the land of the dead astral . Cultures such as Chinese and Egyptians went to incubate in Dream Temples in which some judges and government officials were required to go for insight and wisdom. So as you can see, dreams were taken very seriously long ago.

Hippocrates (469-399 BC), the father of medicine and Socrates' contemporary, wrote that “during the day, the soul receives images; during the night, it produces images. Therefore, we dream.” That sounds logical. wink

Aristotle (384-322 BC) thought that dreams could be indicators of conditions within the body, such as illnesses that we weren’t aware of yet.

Artemidorus wrote “as the best source we have for the dream interpretation practices of antiquity." His theory is extensive, but within the five books he wrote, he describes two classes of dreams: somnium, which forecasts the future; and insomnium, which deal with contemporary matters and are affected by the state of the body and mind. He stated that the dream interpreter should have information about the dreamer including:
1.images that are natural, lawful and customary for the dreamer;2. circumstances at the time of the dream;3.dreamers occupation and personality.

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist that believed that dreams are just wish fulfillment cloud9 and repressed feelings .He also heavily thought that dreams were sexual desires/frustrations(when i look in dream dictionaries, i see that a ton of things may reference sexual topics uhh ) Freud was famous for his book The Interpretation of Dreams which impacted dream studies greatly.

Freud listed four transformations applied to wishes in order to avoid censorship:
Condensation — one dream object stands for several thoughts.
Displacement — a dream object's psychical importance is assigned to an object that does not raise the censor's suspicions.
Representation — a thought is translated to visual images.
Symbolism — a symbol replaces an action, person, or idea.

A man named Carl Jung agreed with the basics of Freud’s theories but Jung thought dreams were more complex than that. Jung thought that dreams were a reflection of the whole unconscious and mostly are made up of repressed feelings. The two had mailed letters to each other and arranged to meet. But they called it off due to differences in their beliefs of dreams.

As you can see, people on this earth have been studying dreams for thousands of years!! eek2 ! The true meaning of dreams is a question asked long ago and is still being asked today.

What's their purpose?

That also has been debated. Yet we don't know ! The theories include:

1. Dreams are meant to keep our mind busy while we sleep so we don't wake up(FREUD)
2.Dreams are used so we can be visited by gods.(CHINESE)
3.Dreams may compensate for one-sided attitudes held in waking consciousness(JUNG)
4.Dreams may communicate things that are not being said outright(Ferenczi)
5.Dreams may be the clean-up of unneeded and unwanted memories and other "junk".

The purpose and causes of dreams remain unknown. Many people have their own ideas, but we still don't know for sure. Well, that's what they think. What really matters is what YOU think. Thanks for reading. biggrin . See ya...

Read more: at wikipedia... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream
www.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/misc/johnlocke/esosa/dreams_a nd_philosophy.rtf
www.chevroncars.com/learn/wondrous-world/what-are-dre ams

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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2011  Reply with quote


I think that dream are our soul expression within his own creativity and imagination.

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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2011  Reply with quote

I've read in a scientifical magazine, about the theory, that dreams move information from our temporary/short memory to the long lasting memory. That's why while in a dream, studying, practicing something is very efficient. Though, this is only a theory.

Another one would be that dreams stimulate our senses so that we can wake up, ready to do our daily routine.

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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2011  Reply with quote

I've once read that dreams could be a way of tidying up any loose ends in the brains from things we saw or thought during the day, but we didn't fully process yet. Maybe these loose ends (neurons) are still firing, causing related images to pop up in our dreams, but also closing the loose ends at the same time. It seems logical that a complex system with tons of input like your brain needs to have some way to tidy itself up once in a while.

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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2011  Reply with quote

A lot of information!

But I don't actually need any theories, I mean I dream, and when I'm lucid I don't care whether those are images, or repressed feelings or gods or something else.

Scientific proves I can accept but the things about gods and that things are crazy. But ok, everybody accepts what they want!

My point is, when I'm lucid I have a great time, and I'm feeling great when I wake up, and that's important to me, also experiences from other dreamers are great. We can learn from them. Knowing that you can [which is also theory but also proven to some point] reach to your subconscious is great. And for that dreams are to me, to learn about my self and to have a damn good time while sleeping 10+ hours.

But it would be great to know what dreams are actually! grin

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PostPosted: Thu 29 Mar, 2012  Reply with quote

personally i view dreams from both a spiritual and psychological point of view, they can be messages from God but are mostly reflections of the subconscious but all take place in the mind. (this is my view, i understand and respect others views)

i know, a lot of people will disagree, i understand and its ok everyone has their own opinions and views, i just thought i'd share mine. even though i do believe in the spiritual side of dreams, i also know they are made up by the mind. however that doesn't make dreams any less interesting, in fact with lucid dreaming it makes dreaming much more interesting, because while lucid you have access to parts of you and your subconscious that you normally don't while awake and you can learn a lot about yourself.

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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jun, 2012  Reply with quote

I really liked your artical, and I have my personal beliefs that Dreams are the brain's TV and we (The Dreamers) are the actors of the show. (Dreams) My theory of what their purpose is that they are to give us ideas for Movies, Shows, Art, Games, ECT. To make.

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PostPosted: Sun 16 Sep, 2012  Reply with quote

Nice survey of all of the explanations for dreams SLS93!
There is a very nice survey as well to be found in Stephen LaBerge's first book, Lucid Dreaming...unfortunately, it was out of print last time I checked cry ...so, if anyone wants to check it out, you may need to find a second hand copy, or a library that happens to have the book.

Paulius wrote:
I've read in a scientifical magazine, about the theory, that dreams move information from our temporary/short memory to the long lasting memory. That's why while in a dream, studying, practicing something is very efficient. Though, this is only a theory.

I've heard something similar to this as well...this is probably the wrong way to put it, but think of dreams as our brain's way of 'de-fragging' itself. In fact, there are some disorders where people don't dream! And this is known to have some affect on how functional they are during their waking lives.

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PostPosted: Tue 23 Oct, 2012  Reply with quote

I just had a dream about a tiny Chinese man and small Chinese baby both dying in a rainy gutter on a busy street, the baby head kept coming off but looked a doll, I put the head back on and put the baby down, it's naked an cold so rested my finger against it to keep it warm (it was that small) I picked the Chinese man and he was being sick everywhere saying "il kill him, if you summit summit il kill him" so he sorta twirled round on spot while projectile vomiting and fell down, while looking at the ground he said "stay with me". Looked back the baby and he still breathing but I felt helpless

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PostPosted: Fri 16 Aug, 2019  Reply with quote

I see this question as the other side of the "Hard-problem" coin, that is: What is consciousness? Most modern scientists would argue that consciousness is nothing but a by-product of brain activity, but so far we have no theory able to explain how our experience of reality can arise from biochemical activity and electrical impulses in our brain.

Ancient cultures had a different epistemology than ours, and the idea that dreams could be the channel of divine or supernatural forces was not as strange to them as it was for us. Until few centuries ago, when the scientific revolution determined the spread of materialist theory as the main epistemology of the Western world, human beings have used the word "Soul" (with different, more or less religious connotations) to refer to the totality of our consciousness, experience and awareness. The idea that the soul could receive influences not directly mediated by our senses was considered entirely plausible, and I believe that the same goes for dreams. We currently have no way of excluding that, during a dream, our consciousness receives information which are not mediated by sensory perception (on the contrary, I believe that there is evidence for this kind of phenomena, which tends to be systematically rejected by the scientific community).

In relation to this, I find intriguing how dreams have been used as diagnostic tools to get information about someone's disease and possible therapies. In the Ancient Greece, it was common for sick individuals to spend the night in the temple of Asclepius (Asclepeion); the priest/physicians would then prescribe a therapy based on the interpretation of their dreams. Interestingly, the use of dreams and visions with healing purposes (such as in the Ayahuasca ceremony) is still practiced by South American shamans and healers.

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