Are Dreams Meaningful

Topics: Understanding, Sigmund Freud, Consciousness Pages: 3 (919 words) Published: October 24, 2008
Dreams and Humanity

Since the beginning of time, the interpretation of dreams has been used as a means to provide guidance for future actions or as warnings. Some dreams are so bizarre that they have often been ascribed to the soul having an out of body experience (Tedlock, 1987). While dreams are often defined as successions of random visual images, these images are only a complement to the feeling of being absorbed into a fantasy world in which things happen, actions are carried out, people are present, and emotions are felt, a mimicry of the sensation of being awake in every way. While elaborate, mystery still surrounds the meaningfulness of dreams and how they relate to humanity in this universe.

Many reputable scientists, philosophers, and renowned therapists such as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud tried to find the hidden features of personality and gain an understanding of an individual’s hopes and conflicts (Oxford University Press, 2004). Despite the symbolism and captivating array of ideas to be found in dreams, Fredericks (1999) states that there is no hard evidence to prove that dreams are any more effective in understanding a personality than observing it while the individual is fully awake . Even though there is a lack of scientific data relating to the "meaningfulness" of dreams, the question of their meaning must be more closely scrutinized in light of the spiritual understanding and awareness within a human being.

In the Summa theologica, Aquinas questions, "Can a created mind realize God's essence?" To truly answer the question, it is important to first define “realize”. To realize is to understand perfectly and to understand perfectly is to understand a thing as well as it can be understood. Having mentioned that, the negative answer to the question above would be that God is incomprehensible because God is infinitely comprehensible. Kelsey (1974) emphasizes that Aquinas does not claim that the inability to understand is entrenched in a...

Bibliography: Aquinas,Saint Thomas. Aquinas 's Shorter Summa: Saint Thomas 's Own Concise Version of His Summa Theologica. Manchester: Sophia Institute Press, 2001.
Flanagan, Owen. Dreaming Souls: Sleep, Dreams and the Evolution of the Conscious Mind (Philosophy of Mind Series). New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2001.
Fredericks, James L. Faith Among Faiths: Christian Theology and Non-Christian Religions. New York: Paulist Press, 1999.
Kelsey, Morton. 1974. God, Dreams, and Revelation: A Christian Interpretation of Dreams. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House.
The Oxford Companion to the Mind. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2004.
Tedlock, Barbara (editor). 1987. Dreaming: Anthropological and Psychological Interpretations. New York: Cambridge University Press.
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