Thursday, 2 June 2011

Why do we Dream?

Many people believe their dreams simply do not have any meaning. They think their dreams are only a reflection of the problems, worries and desires they have when they are awake, and that they should not be taken seriously - just like the fantasies they have sometimes - and are only a product of their imagination.

From ancient times, the human being has been interested in the meanings of dreams, and in each civilization this interest has had a different result. Today, at least some people understand that unlike fantasies, our dreams are not produced by our own conscience, and that they have an important meaning that we have to learn to interpret. Their meaning is intrinsically related to our internal psychic world.

In the years before Christ, people believed that they could predict the future through the message contained in their dreams, and many of them actually made true predictions by interpreting their dreams. This power is inexplicable, something that is only possessed by those who are privileged with the talent of dream interpretation. Hence, nothing precise was understood concerning this, and so, their knowledge was not transmitted to the next generations. With time and the loss of the civilizations with rich cultures that were ruined by the stronger ones (through their violence and dominance), this knowledge disappeared completely among the different concepts of reality, as the human being was developing his world

Scientists then started to examine the reactions of their patients during the period when they were sleeping and dreaming. They discovered that there are times, in deeper sleep, that we have more dreams, and that our eyes move even when we are sleeping, because they follow the dream’s images.

However, nothing has yet been clearly explained or proven regarding dreams, and people still do not give them any importance, even if they believe that their dreams may bear some kind of meaning.

The first scientific explanation of dream content was given by Sigmund Freud, who considered them to be wish fulfilment. His psychology is based on the human desire for constant pleasure and sexual satisfaction. He was right about many points, but there were many others he did not consider.

Further, Alfred Adler appeared and showed to the world that the human being is not only moved by the constant desire for pleasure, but in fact his main desire is that of power, since the basic purpose of his life is to elevate his Ego. He was also right in many ways, but he did not consider many other factors either.
Carl Jung was the third great mind in the psychological world. He started his career as a student of Freud, but later abandoned his mentor and created his own method. He tried to understand the human psyche as a whole, capturing the hidden meaning that exists in the prediction of dreams, as well as translating the dream’s symbols so that he could have an image of what was happening in a patient’s mind.

Many other psychologists after Jung developed their own theories about dream interpretation, most of them also correct in many ways (because dreams do show us many things), but only Carl Jung understood the complete meaning that dreams possess. They contain not only very important information about each person’s psychic sphere, but are also a source that gives us important information about the external world.