Kimberly G. Lucerna February 20, 2012
English 12- R50 Mr. Carlo Rivera
English Research Paper
The Science of Dreams
Dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep (“What are Dreams?”). The content and purpose of dreams are not definitively understood, though they have been a topic of scientific speculation, philosophical and religious interest throughout recorded history. Some people say that dreams can be used to prophesize the future ("The mystics of dreams”). Famed psychologist Carl Jung believed that the unconscious communicates with the conscious mind through dream imagery ("Dream Quotes"). While Sigmund Freud, a famous psychoanalyst, stated that dreams are a person’s fulfillment of his or her wishes through images ("Interpretation of dreams, Sigmund Freud"). But, in reality, what exactly are dreams? Where did they come from? How and why do they exist? And what are the factors that affect them? Actually, dreams are only the product of the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep ("Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep"). And this phase of sleep because the brain needs to supply much-needed oxygen to the cornea of the eye ("The biology of dreaming"). And that the reason why dream content often seems disoriented or bizarre is because the activated brain-mind does its best to attribute meaning to the internally generated signals of the brain (Hobson). Also, physical factors like fever and narcolepsy (Angier) and mental factors like depression and stress (Oak) actually affect the orientation of dreams. This paper will discuss all about what it is to know about the origin and definition of dreams, its formation, its reasons, as well as the factors that affect dreams using scientific terms and concepts. Dreams have been seen as a connection to the unconscious (“What are Dreams?”). The scientific study of dreams is called oneirology (Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia"). Science has proven that all mammals dream.
From a spiritual perspective, a dream can make a person feel more alive than before. It also has the potential to show the dreamer what he or she will achieve according to what he or she can manage. And lastly, dreams are changed with the chakras, or the spiritual energy of the body ("The mystics of dreams”). Dreams range from normal and ordinary to overly surreal and bizarre. Dreams can have varying natures, such as frightening, exciting, magical, melancholic, adventurous, or sexual (“What are Dreams?”). The events in dreams are generally outside the control of the dreamer, with the exception of lucid dreaming, where the dreamer is self-aware. Dreams can at times make a creative thought occur to the person or give a sense of inspiration (“What are Dreams?”).
Dreams can be classify into ten different types: psychological healing dreams, belief dreams, problem-solving dreams, physiological dreams, dreams of daily life, compensatory dreams, recurring dreams, lucid dreams, psychic or prophetic dreams, and nightmares. ("Types of Dreams: 10 Dream Categories") The first type, psychological healing dreams can be disturbing, they differ from nightmares in that they represent situations from the conscious past and daily living. These dreams will often occur at times of stress or when important decisions arise. They are not negative as they help heal and overcome negative emotions. ("Types of Dreams: 10 Dream Categories") The second one, belief dreams have played a part in shaping religions and belief systems across the planet. From Jacob’s dreams of angels in the Bible, to Mohammed’s dream inspiring his spiritual mission in the Quran, to the “dreaming” of the Australian Aboriginals. Subsequently, dream interpretation and analysis has been an ingrained component of human kind. ("Types of Dreams: 10 Dream Categories") Third, problem-solving dreams are designed to impart a...