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  1. #1
    Senior Member Misty_Mountain_Rose's Avatar
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    Default Dream Phsychology... Bogus or Legit?

    It seems there are times when I'll wake up and think 'Wow that was a messed up dream' and not think anything else about it... but there are other recurring themes over time that I have that make me wonder if the brain is really doing more than just firing random eletric impulses. The recurring themes make sense in my overall life experiences and goals in a kind of abstract and symbolic way.

    Is it just coincidence? Is there anything to it?

    What do you think?
    Embrace the possibilities.

  2. #2
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    I think you're just inferring meaning on top of your dreams, I don't think there's anything to suggest that your dreams represent anything but what happens when certain chemicals in your brain start acting out.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Into It's Avatar
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    I think that having your dreams interpreted by someone that does not know you very very well is bogus if it is interpreted at all specifically. If it is interpreted too broadly, it is bogus as well (horoscopes.) But I have read and thought quite a bit about dreams, and it is my opinion that dreams are not at all random. Just as it is easier for me to change a concept into an analogy than to explain it regularly, like I am doing in this very sentence, my dreams have been analogous to life and are very relevant, sometimes in extremely clear ways, and others in not so clear ways. When I thought long and hard about why I was depressed one day, a few years ago, while I was at Texas A&M, I resolved to sleep on it, and thought of how nice it would be for some closure to come in my sleep. *I have not yet made posts on how the brain reacts to desire, but when I do it will be quite long* That night, I dreamt I was at my old highschool. Everyone was wearing a white t-shirt, no exceptions. And I went about my schoolday in a normal fashion, and somewhere along the way, I looked down, and noticed that I was wearing black.

    I had totally overlooked that the cause of my depression was my location. Others could not relate to me in this radically right school, and while I don't mind being the black sheep, I need to be understood. The next year, I transferred to UT, in large part because of this one dream - this one realization that had somehow eluded me - and it was a very good decision.


    Most of my dreams are not so poignant, but I normally don't have such a crucial need and desire to figure out things about myself. Normally, it's okay if I don't understand what my dreams mean, except for small bits and pieces of them, because I know my mind is making the minor connections that it feels are in my best interest. *yes, I consider my mind largely a separate entity, in that its desires and those that I deem "mine" are often out of sync*
    An inscription above the gate to Hell:
    "Eternal Love also created me"

  4. #4
    Senior Mugwump Apollanaut's Avatar
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    Dreams serve many purposes in our minds and psyches. Some dreams are the result of simple mental processing by the brain as it sorts through the events of the previous day editing, deleting and filing information as appropriate.

    Other dreams serve as a means for the unconscious mind to communicate with the conscious mind. These tend to be the more significant dreams, the ones which have a stronger emotional content and which we are more likely to remember. They often reflect the external issues we are dealing with in our lives.

    However, they are often highly symbolic in nature, as this is the language of the unconscious. It can be quite difficult to translate dream symbolism into a meaningful message. Most of the pop-psychology books out there that purport to intepret dreams are are not very helpful. They tend to be too over-simplified, rigid, subjective or stereotyped in the meanings they ascribe to the specific images that occur in dreams.

    However, a skilled therapist or psychologist (or even an insightful lay-person) can be an invaluable aide to help us interpret the deeper meaning of significant dreams. This can be very helpful if we are struggling with difficult issues in our lives - at these times we are more likely to experience recurrent dreams with a similar theme. Understanding the messages which our unconscious has encoded into this type of dream can be an invaluable tool for dealing with the difficult issues themselves.

    With a little practise and understanding of dream symbolism, it also becomes easier to intepret our own dreams. To give an example from my own dreams: I sometimes encounter a young boy in my dreams. He is a bit of a rogue - scruffy, cheeky, intelligent and inquisitive. Sometimes he will "steal" an object I may be carrying in the dream and run off with it, laughing as he flees. These dreams usually occur when I have been very busy or working hard for a long period.

    I have come to understand that the boy represents my inner "child" archetype. When he appears in this manner it is usually a message from my unconscious telling me to lighten up, be more playful and take some time out for R&R. Basically, the child is feeling deprived, and this is why he has resorted to stealing what he needs from my adult self.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Misty_Mountain_Rose's Avatar
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    Apollanaut, I agree with your post. I don't think outsiders are much help in figuring out what some of the more significant dreams mean... but there have been some obvious ones in my past.

    During a time when I was extremely depressed and felt like my life was in chaos, I kept having a dream of being in a vehicle (it was always different) and that I was either driving it and would come upon a red light, only to realize too late that it was red so I would have to run the light. It would happen over and over again, always too late for me to stop. In a variation of the dream, I was sitting and talking with someone, sitting in the driver seat with the door open and my feet out on the ground when the truck started to roll very slowly as if it were in neutral on a very mild slope. I kept pushing the brake pedal but it wouldn't stop and the person I was talking too kept saying 'hit the brake on it!' and I was saying 'I AM! Look!'.

    Many of my other dreams are of me walking through woods, over hills and it seems I know the direction I'm going... but I walk, and walk, and walk, and never get where I'm going. Its always just over the next hill. I still have that one a lot.
    Embrace the possibilities.

  6. #6
    Senior Member hokie912's Avatar
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    I really wish there were a more scientific way of studying dream content. It's been a pretty hands-off area of experimental psychology because it's so subjective and difficult to study.

    I always think it's fascinating how there are some dream themes that are very common, if not universal (falling, public nakedness, hair/teeth falling out). I'd be extremely interested to know whether those themes hold common across cultures, or whether there are variations based on cultural values. Most of the studies I've seen have focused on relatively small samples.

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