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Old 25.07.2011, 11:32
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What do dreams mean?

I am having a debate with my partner over the meaning of dreams, why do we dream?

Is it just a collection of random thoughts which have been gathered together with no meaning?

Can it be that depending on how you are feeling will adapt the dreams?

When you dream of a particular thing then there is a meaning behind it (ie, teeth falling out can mean you are worried about getting older)

Although we have found no scientific websites which state that the 3rd point is true, they have merely stated that its what some believe. The sites that we have looked at do have many similarities to each other with regards to what the dreams mean.

What do you believe?
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Old 25.07.2011, 11:34
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Re: What do dreams mean?

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What do you believe?

I believe I will have another beer.
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Old 25.07.2011, 11:35
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Re: What do dreams mean?

A prominent Swiss man has some very good research on your 3rd point. I tend to agree with him.

This is an interesting video from a brain specialist. She goes into some of dream funtions



very good watch.
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Old 25.07.2011, 11:35
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Re: What do dreams mean?

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What do you believe?
I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the skies....
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Old 25.07.2011, 11:46
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Re: What do dreams mean?

For a lot of dreams, I imagine it a little like this.....

During your daily life you experience many things, often quickly in succession, many you will be acutely aware of, many you will not, some you will immediately remember and make associations with, others you will not. As each new experience arrives you toss the previous one over your shoulder into a big pile of unsorted experiences.

Now...as you sleep, this little guy goes about his business in your head, inspecting all your experiences, matching them against previous ones, trying to classify and make assessments about them, to work out how best they should be filed. Now this guy does a great job, but it's a lonely job, and to pass the time he sometimes takes a little stimulant or three. As he does so, he sometimes misinterprets and misassociates the experiences. As his confusion spreads it starts to spread into your semi-conscious mind and you experience some wierd storylines which have some basis in your daily real world experience.

On a good night, your little helper gradually sobers up and before you awake things are mostly back in order. If you wake suddenly, or after too little sleep your little helper vanishes and the pile remains partly sorted and misassociated. The next time you sleep your little helper might be too busy with new experiences to get back to those remains of his previous attempts, so they may sit around for a while inappropriately classified, waiting to be rediscovered on some future trawl through your mind.
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Old 25.07.2011, 12:20
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Re: What do dreams mean?

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I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the skies....
I think about it every night and day, spread my wings and fly away.
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Old 25.07.2011, 13:28
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Re: What do dreams mean?

Dreams are open to interpretation. Here is a good article on Wikipedia reference-linkDream interpretation

One of the pioneers of interpreting the symbology delivered in dreams was Wikipedia reference-linkCarl Jung. Jung hypothesised that dreams tap into the Wikipedia reference-linkcollective unconscious, a shared pool of myth and symbols. A very common symbol in all cultures for example is the phallus. Think of the driving force of certain myths, think what a mask might symbolise, or water, or a cave, an attic or a tree. According to Jung, symbols are linked to myth and myth to Wikipedia reference-linkarchetypes (also a concept pioneered by Jung - think a class of characteristic or behavior - Prometheus for example is the archeteypal Wikipedia reference-linkTrickster)

He used dream interpretation alongside psychological analysis as dreams are contextual and particular to the person having them, identifying the symbols in a persons dreams and what they represent to that person can help unlock a problem or show someone something they might not be aware of. A link can be made between dreams and whatever process someone is going through, but this is open to interpretation based on analysis.

I don't think it's as simple as 'teeth falling out means this' or 'going to work naked means that' - very often we are not aware of a particular process that we are going through and even though we are not aware of it, the subconscious is working to process our experiences and help us digest them. If we are aware of a process or how we feel about something, we can consult the subconscious mind and use dream interpretation as an aid or even to deliver an answer or explanation. One has to learn to think in a symbolic way. How do certain images or dream scenarios make you feel? This is what makes a good analyst or interpreter good.

If you are interested:

On Jung - Anthony Stevens
Man and his Symbols - carl Jung
Hero of a thousand faces - Joseph Campbell

Some of this can be heavy going, but it's not beyond understanding as all of them were written for a general audience. It will require a certain interest.
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Last edited by Traubert; 25.07.2011 at 13:42.
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Old 25.07.2011, 13:33
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Re: What do dreams mean?

Dreams are made up of random stuff while your brain is in shutdown for the night.

The most sensible explanation I read once was that dreams aren't really dreams and don't tell a logical story in their raw form. When you wake up your conscious brain naturally tries to order all the random activity into some kind of logic so you think you have dreamed something equivalent to a "continuous story".
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Old 25.07.2011, 20:13
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Re: What do dreams mean?

It is in dreams that you share moments with those you have lost.
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Old 25.07.2011, 20:51
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Re: What do dreams mean?

I also think that no one understood the purpose of dreaming better than Jung. Traubert summed it all up perfectly. Dreams tell us what we don’t know, what lies beneath the threshold of our conscious life, where our life is going or in which spheres of life we are narrow-minded. Even if they appear senseless, there is always hidden wisdom in them. It is extremely difficult (if not impossible) to interpret one’s own dreams. Dreams often laugh in the face of our daytime logic, but once we learn their metaphoric language, our life will be infinitely enriched.

There’s one more book I could recommend: The Way of the Dream written by Jung’s assistant and close friend, Marie-Louise von Franz.
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Old 25.07.2011, 20:54
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Re: What do dreams mean?

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It is in dreams that you share moments with those you have lost.
I would have not found a better thing to say, Sky. This is so True.

And even more.

Last edited by Bertrand - Geneva; 25.07.2011 at 20:54. Reason: forgot a word....
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Old 25.07.2011, 21:12
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Re: What do dreams mean?

1. I'm finally sleeping
2. I'm dealing with a present issue
3. I can see traces of the future
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Old 25.07.2011, 21:21
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Re: What do dreams mean?

If you dream that you sleep, you have to wake-up twice.

Jean-Luc Van Damme (Belgian martial art actor)
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Old 25.07.2011, 21:47
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Re: What do dreams mean?

I think this is an interesting question. I would also recommend reading Jung, especially Man and his Symbols as has already been mentioned.

I think one difficulty is to try to seperate out the possible real meaning of a dream from the whirlpool of esoteric or religious connotations that inevitably come along. Some may argue that dreams are evidence of a higher level of existence or consciousness; others that they are a means by which we can communicate with the dead or the yet to be or Gaia or somesuch and others still hold that dreams are no more than the brains's RAM empyting itself as part of the routine shutdown process (regardless of when during sleep dreams may occur). Personaly I find dreams fascinating, sometimes waking up is an anticlimax to the glorious technicolor splendour of my own created inner world, sometimes it's a relief. What do they mean? I suspect probably nothing. Perhaps they are indeed a system of filing maintenance or a sanity check with your brain running simulations. Perhaps they are a part of social interaction - do people with more or less friends and aquaintances dream correspondingly more or less - are dreams a way of compensating for lacking external stimulus. Many questions there, my only answer is "I dunno".
I wonder whether sleep itself is entirely understood, most creatures sleep but not all and there are some people that for one reason or another, perhaps brain injury or trauma, no longer sleep without suffering any apparent deficit.

I doubt that you'll find the definitive answer but I'm sure you'll find find plenty of suggestions, it's up to you of course to decide what's wheat and what's chaff.
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Old 25.07.2011, 22:06
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Re: What do dreams mean?

Once a senegalese murid follower told me that if you dream that your teeth are falling it announces the death of a child.
It happened that a person told me that she had such a dream. A few days later she had a miscarriage. I then remembered the words of this friend. Coincidence?
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Old 25.07.2011, 22:07
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Re: What do dreams mean?

http://www.why-we-dream.com/index.htm

I can recommend the book "Dreaming Reality" by Joe Griffin, interesting read..
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Old 26.07.2011, 17:20
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Re: What do dreams mean?

not dreams per se, but...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14279123
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Old 26.07.2011, 17:46
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Re: What do dreams mean?

Maybe it is some kind of permitted natural escapism built into us.
Diving into a world you can hardly control is simply awsome.

I absolutely LOVE dreaming.

I mean you get lost in a world which is so different from real life,
meet places and people and things and circumstances which are so out of this world. Just great!

Truly fabulous, even if sometimes scary, sad or not always exactly nice most of the time my dreams are rather wonderful.

Now for the meaning of it ... I used to look it up which was interesting
but I thought it was much like reading your horoscope, may be so or may not be so.

Way too vague and actually takes the natural come what may fun away of dreaming.
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