Реферат: Dream Interpretation Essay Research Paper When we

Dream Interpretation Essay, Research Paper

When we sleep we do much more than just ?rest our weary bones?; we tap into

our subconscious mind (Ullman and Zimmerman 1979). The subconscious has much to

offer about oneself. The average human being spends one third of their life in

sleep and during each sleep approximently two hours is spent dreaming (Ullman

and Zimmerman 1979). These dreams are important because they are the voice of

our subconscious. Dreams and theories on dreams go as far back as 2000 BC in

Egypt. One of the first organized glimpses into the diagnostics of a dream came

in an Egyptian book called the Chester Beatty Papyrus, its author is unknown. In

ancient Greece dreams were believed to be messages from the gods. In later

centuries, Hippocrates (a Greek physician), Aristotle (a Greek philosopher), and

Galen (a Greek philosopher) believed that dreams often contained physiological

information that may be cause of future illnesses. Artemeidorus documented and

interpreted thousands of dream reports in his book Oreiocritica (meaning

«critical dreams» in Greek). His ideas were later abandoned, and no

further progress was made in the study of dreams until the late 1800s. That was

until Sigmund Freud wrote his book The Interpretations of Dreams in 1900. After

its publishing, dreams became a popular topic once again. The modern day idea

that dreams come from our daily life is partially accurate. When I say

?partially? I mean only a specific aspect of dreams comes from daily life

interactions. The imagery in dreams comes from daily life (Freud 1900). You must

understand that the subconscious can only talk in a language that the conscious

can understand, therefore it uses imagery. So to put it in lay terms ?You?ll

never see an object in dream that you haven?t seen in your daily

life?(Ullman and Zimmerman 1979). This statement raises an interesting

question. ?What do blind people who never see anything dream about?? The

answer to this question is even more puzzling. The subconscious speaks to blind

people using all other sensory modalities such as hearing, taste, touch, and

smell. Instead of seeing things blind people will hear or smell things in their

dreams. Helen Keller talked of ?seeing? in her dreams much as she saw when

she was awake (let it be stated that Helen Keller was blind). The subconscious

is usually the right side of the brain or the opposite side of persons writing

hand. Within the subconscious lie different types of things such as suppressed

emotions, creativity, and basic human instinct (Ullman and Zimmerman 1979. The

conscious part of the mind works when people are awake and is the part of the

mind that handles things that people can understand. No one truly knows why a

person can?t interact with the subconscious while awake, however studies show

that dreams are a way in which people can better comprehend its behavior. The

condition of the body during dreaming is interesting because the brain shuts off

all sensory receptors thus, canceling all somatic impulses (Ullman and Zimmerman

1979). This puts the body in an almost paraplegic state. The brain however

continues to control all autonomic functions such as blood flow, heart

pulsation, and lung inflation. During the sleep, homeostasis will fluctuate

because sleep occurs on four stages (Davidmann, 1998). The individual goes from

awake to stage 1, then to 2, 3, and finally 4, the deepest stage of sleep. After

spending about twenty minutes in stage 4, they return to stage 1 and progress

back to stage 4. The individual will continue to make these cycles throughout

their sleep. Most individuals will experience about 4 to 5 cycles a night (Davidmann,

1998). This is why humans are more apt to wake up at specific times in the night

and not sporadically (most people do not notice this however). During stage 1

the individual will experience what has been named REM (Rapid Eye Movement), I

will make further elaboration on REM momentarily. For now I would like to point

out that during REM the body will show more signs of consciousness by

spontaneous muscle contractions, flagellate excretion, and oculomoter

coordination (eye movement). The body will experience these tensions and

reactions because this is the active time of sleep in the average human (Davidmann,

1998). I spoke earlier of REM (Rapid Eye Movement); it is the time in which the

individual will have their dreams. Nathaniel Kleitman discovered it in 1953. It

always occurs in the lightest stage of sleep, stage 1. It has been given its

name because of the muscle contractions in the eye motor receptors. These

electrical impulses originate from the brain stem and then travel to the eyes to

produce imagery. The catalysts for these impulses are triggered by the

subconscious mind and the emotions within it (Davidmann, 1998). The REM will

usually begin ninety minutes after sleep is initiated and will last roughly ten

to fifteen minutes (Davidmann, 1998). It is during the ten to fifteen minutes

that dreams occur. The REM will end and the individual will slip into deeper

sleeps, until the forth stage is reached. Once this occurs the mind begins to

come out of the deeper sleep stages until it reaches the REM once again. The

interesting factor is that each time the sleeper enters the REM phase of sleep

the REM phase will increase in length. This repeats four to five times in the

average sleep. The reason the dreams occur in the REM or the lightest stage is

because this is the only stage in which the conscious mind can interpret the

imagery of the subconscious. This is not to say that the subconscious doesn?t

remain active in deeper sleep stages but the conscious mind isn?t alert enough

to decipher the imagery the subconscious creates in deep sleep. A good

personification description of this is to say that the conscious simply can?t

swim as deep as the subconscious. The REM is also interesting because if a

person does not experience it they will suffer from various sleeping disorders

because it is required by the body just like sunlight is required. People who

experience exaggerated REM will suffer from fatigue and sleep depravation while

they are awake. Usually, a fully-grown person has about 4 to 5 cycles of REM

sleep, consisting of about 25% of a night’s sleep. A newborn child’s sleep can

consist of as high as 50% REM type sleep (Davidmann, 1998). As I previously

stated, a person would go through the sleep stage cycle four to five times a

night, hence four to five dreams per night. With this in mind it can be

calculated the average human being will have 136,000 dreams in a lifetime,

spending about six total years in the REM stage dreaming. Mentally retarded

individuals or people with low IQs tend to spend less time in the REM type

sleep, but other mental disorders are capable of initiating more REM type sleep.

The reason for this is unknown. Now that the diagnostics of dreams has been

covered I would like to focus on the origin of dreams from a medical standpoint.

As a consequence, memory, sensory, muscle-control, and cognitive areas of the

brain are randomly stimulated, resulting in the higher cortical brain attempting

to make some sense of it. The reason for these stimulations is unknown but

various medical researchers believe they are the after effects of certain

chemical reactions in the brain. This, according to the research, gives rise to

the experience of a dream, but there is controversy of the question of whether

dreams have intentional meaning. Many psychotherapists agree that dreams are

stimulated by impulses from the brain stem but they have actual meaning and are

not just hallucinations. Thus far, I have established that dreams have both a

metaphysical existence and a physical. The metaphysical is the imagery within in

them and their relation to the subconscious. The physical aspect is the chemical

reactions occur within the brain during dreams and the REM. The tie between

physical and metaphysical cannot be established but it safe to say that one does

exist. Thoughts are not physical in nature, we can?t touch and see them but in

order for them to occur the brain must go through chemical and hormonal changes,

dreams are the same in character. ?The dream uses collective figures because

it has to express an eternal human problem that repeats itself endlessly, and

not just a disturbance of personal balance?, (Jung, 1945). Carl Jung is very

right on that point. The act of learning what dreams encompass and occupy has

become known as Dream Interpretation. There are many methods used for

understanding dreams but the two most popular and practiced methods are the

Freud method and the Jung method. The other is always the personal method of

dream interpretation but it can sometimes be misleading. Once an individual

establishes a method of dream analysis they must decide what type of dream they

are analyzing. There seven types of dreams according to the facts I have

researched. The superconscious dream, lucid dream, nightmares, night terrors,

sexual dreams, repetitive dreams, and the plain subconscious dream. Freud

believed in the superconscious dream, the repetitive dream, the sexual dream,

and the regular subconscious dream. Ullman and Zimmerman believe in all seven

types of dreams. The first type of dream known as the superconscious dream

isn?t well known. The superconscious is often referred to as the sixth sense,

the ability to perceive things that haven?t yet occurred. Sometimes the dreams

act as warnings and other times they act as messengers. An ever-growing trend is

the idea of being psychic; the idea of this is false because futuristic visions

can?t occur in the conscious mind (Ullman and Zimmerman, 1979). It is however

possible in the subconscious mind. When someone dreams of a future experience

this would display a superconscious dream. It?s prophetic in a way and this

type of dream was extremely promoted in biblical times. Daniel, form the bible,

many times had superconscious dreams as he dealt with Nebuchadnezzar II (king of

Babylon). There were many prophets who saw visions of Jesus several hundred

years before his birth. These visions had to have been dream imagery because

it?s not possible to have an actual prophetic vision in the conscious. The

reason its impossible is because the mind can?t justifiable vision the future

while conscious, the individual cannot perceive events of that nature accurately

(Freud, 1900). The main problem with superconscious dreaming is that the

individual has no way to distinguish between a regular subconscious image and a

prophetic image. Only the dreamer can remedy this problem. Constituting the

imagery and significance of the dream can do this. The dreamer must also find

relations between current events and the dream to make sound decisions on

whether it is a superconscious dream or a plain subconscious dream. The idea of

having prophetic dreams is somewhat bogus however you must understand the

subconscious works in mystique forms (Freud 1900). The second class of dreams is

the lucid dreams. Lucid dreaming transpires only if the individual is aware that

they are dreaming (Ullman and Zimmerman 1979). Lucid dreams are paradoxes; the

individual will be asleep and dreaming but will be awake in their dream. This

form of dreaming often puzzles the dreamer into believing they are actual awake

they however are not. The main differential factor for lucid dreaming is that

the imagery is sharper and the content is more realistic. The dreamer discovers

or concludes that he is in a dream and is able to identify some realistic

details are missing. This is often shocking to the dreamer because dream reality

does not apply to the physical laws therefore dreams will have a disillusioned

appearance (Ullman and Zimmerman 1979). Once lucidity sets in the dreamer may

attempt to control the future course of the dream. The lucid stage occurs

between being awake and the REM, with this reason in mind the dreamer can assume

that if they are having a lucid dream that they are about to awaken (Ullman and

Zimmerman 1979). The next genus of dreams is nightmares. Nightmares are very

simple in nature but there is much contained within them. Nightmares come from

highly surpressed negative emotion. This negative emotion can be directed toward

oneself or an opposing party. The imagery in nightmares is often intense and

fearful. The body goes through unusual occurrences, the heart rate will

increase, the oculomotor effectors receive impulses at a high rate, and the body

temperature climbs due to the nervousness from the nightmare. An interesting

fact on nightmares is that they all end with awakening. The reason for this is

simple; the nature of the nightmare is so emotionally overwhelming that the mind

is virtually ?shaken? out if sleep (Ullman and Zimmerman 1979). Some people

often state how they never have nightmares; this is a good thing to be able to

say. A person who lacks nightmares is obviously an emotionally stable person.

Nightmares can be relaxed by take prescribe drugs that slow down the mind

functions, downers if you will. Another type of dreams is the night terror. Not

much is known about night terrors except they are extremely frightening.

«It’s frightening but is not unusual or dangerous to a child,» says

Harry Abram, M.D., a neurologist with The Nemours Children’s Clinic. Night

terrors occur mostly in young children, typically between the ages of 3 to 5

years. Two to 3% of all children will experience episodes of night terrors and

children who wet the bed are more likely to have night terrors. The fascinating

attribute of night terrors is that they occur in the non-REM sleep and in the

deepest sleep possible. They can last any from ten minutes to an hour. A person

experiencing a night terror customarily doesn?t wake up until it?s over. The

eyes can sometimes remain open during the entire episode and regularly the body

suffers from many excited spasms. Once the victim awakens they cannot recollect

any of the nights experiences (Kidshealth.com 1999). The next two species of

dream are very frank in their description. The first one being the sexual dream

and the second being the repetitive dream. The sexual dream was analyzed greatly

by Sigmund Freud he theorized that sexual dreams came from sexual tension. He

felt that sexual tension came from the compelling urge to engage in sexual

intercourse. Sexual symbols such as long rod shapes symbolizing the male penis

and hollow round shapes symbolizing the female vagina (Freud 1900). Freud

thought if either of these symbols appeared in a dream that the individual had

surpressed sexual tension within their emotions. The repetitive dream is best

defined as a dream that occurs twice within different REMs. The only reasonable

explanation for repetitive dreams is that they are indications of a troublesome

but often ignored emotion. They are the way in which the subconscious keeps the

individual from suffering complete denial. Repetitive dreams cease once the

problem is resolved in daily life or in the dream (Ullman and Zimmerman 1979).

Lastly, the plain subconscious dream, this is the dream doesn?t fit in to any

other dream categories. To put in lay terms it is the ?average? dream. They

occur with the REM and are usually not remembered because of the ordinariness.

They however are the hardest dreams to understand and interpret because they

can?t be categorized specifically. Most of them don?t have much significant

evidence to offer because they are just based upon present daily life and some

acute emotions. There are exceptions to this rule. An often-pondered aspect on

dreams is sleepwalking and talking. Popular belief thinks that sleepwalking and

talking are just individuals acting out what they see in their dreams. Actually

neither of these seems directly linked to dreaming. They occur in the

nondreaming phase of sleep and represent transitory releases of speech and motor

mechanisms. There is no evidence to why this occurs. Also, a sleepwalker,

contrary to popular belief, can injure himself (Ullman and Zimmerman 1979).

There are many subsidiary facts about dreams that most people do not know. One

of these is that the older a person gets the less dreams they will have and the

vaguer they appear. It has also been proven through research that using drugs

such as stimulates increases the possibility of nightmares and other intense

dreams. The reason for this is the change in chemicals within the brain. While

an individual takes stimulates they will experience very exaggerated distorted

dreams, where as a person taking depressive drugs, like Ridilin, will have

slower less precise dreams. Finally one of the most shocking aspects of dreams

is the fact that people can physically die while having them. This belief is

completely theoretical and can?t be proven however it is very fascinating.

This scenario takes place mostly in elderly people. What causes the physical

death is a highly complicated and intense dream. The origin of dreams like this

is unknown however there have been cases of people dying of a form of shock. The

brain can?t control the immense stimulation therefore it burns itself up. Let

me once again state that this is theoretical and not proven. Dreams as you now

know are very enigmatic and very complex. Yet, it is through this enigmatic

manifestation that we can learn what lurks behind stage in our minds. Dreams

prove just how diverse humans can be when it comes to emotions. I hope you have

gained insight not only to dreams but how to better understand yourself, I leave

you with this ?Learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when

you touch the miracle of a living soul?(Jung, 1945). Carl Jung is correct, it

is good to learn the theories on dreams but remember what dreams are??a

living soul.?

Abram, Harry, M.D… ?Coping with Night Terrors?.. The Nemours Foundation

Web Site. Retrieved February 3, 2000 from the World Wide Web: www.kidshealth.org/parent/behavior/nghtter.html

Davidmann, Manfred. ?How the Human Brain Developed and How the Human Mind

Works?.. Retrieved February 3, 2000 from the World Wide Web: www.solbaram.org/articles/humind.html

Freud, Sigmund. Beyond the Pleasure Principal. New York: Liveright Publishing,

1950. Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretations of Dreams. Psych Web. Retrieved

February 1, 2000 from the World Wide Web: www.psychwww.com/books/interp/toc.htm

Jung, Carl. On the Nature of Dreams. Jungian Psychology Articles Web Site.

Retrieved January 30, 2000 from the World Wide Web: www.cgjung.com/articles/cgjdream.html

Ullman, Montague and Zimmerman, Nan. Working With Dreams. New York: Delacrote

Press, 1979

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