THE MEANING OF DREAMS
Consciousness is defined as a person’s state of awareness of oneself and the environment. It is the responsiveness of the brain to the senses. A person may experience different states of consciousness. A typical example of such states of consciousness is sleep. In this state, the body rests and restores energy. One particular stage of sleep called REM sleep, characterized by rapid eye movements, is responsible for generating dreams. Dreams are mental images which occur involuntarily in the mind during sleep. This report intends to discuss the definition and relation of dreams to our waking life and the sources of dreams.
Dreams are not attributed to any supernatural phenomena. They are the mental activity of a person which occurs during sleep. Dreams allow the mind to detach from the events of waking life. The content of dreams usually include experiences of the previous day because they attach themselves to the thoughts which have been present in one’s consciousness shortly before. They revolve around one’s experiences in reality, either externally or from what has passed through the senses, or internally which is described as one’s waking thoughts or memories (Freud, 1965).
A dream do not only include one’s experiences and memories. It has varied meanings. It may be a fulfilment of a wish or a realization of a fear. Dreams as wish fulfilments are usually short and simple compared to other types, which are evident in the dreams of young children (Freud, 1965). On the other hand, repressed wishes arises from the ego, a part of mind containing consciousness, and are derived from infantile experiences. They transform into dreams as they reach one’s consciousness, in which they are appeased in a hallucinatory way (Garma, 1966).
Furthermore, dreams can also indicate the repressed contents of personality. They include past experiences which had been repressed because they could not be consciously faced. These experiences occur in one’s dream because unconsciously, the dreamer seeks to encounter them again in the future ( Campbell, 1970).
Indeed, dreams have various interpretations derived from situations in everyday life, but the elucidation of these depend on various sources which must also be taken into consideration. The basis of dreams may be found in recent involvements, infantile experiences, somatic sources, and other typical types of dreams with varied sources ( Freud, 1965).
Primarily, recent involvements refer to the experiences in a person’s life that happened a day before having the dream. This is the simplest approach to interpreting dreams. These recent occurrences are significant in constructing dreams. However, these experiences may only be used in dream formations as long as they are not a day older, because they tend to lose their sentimental worth and capacity for dream construction as soon as they are a few days older ( Freud, 1965).
Infantile experiences are also a significant source of dreams. The content of these dreams include experiences from childhood. These are the easiest dreams to understand (Garma, 1966). Analysis of dreams of several groups of people shows that repressed wishes are derived from childhood experiences. It has also been found that a person’s infantile impulses, or one’s vivid memories during childhood, still live on in the dream ( Freud,1965).
Somatic sources are another basis for dream formation. There are three different kinds of somatic stimuli: objective sensory stimuli, internal states of excitation, and bodily stimuli. Objective sensory stimuli arises from objects in our external environment. It allows us to establish communication with the external world even during sleep. Internal states of excitation arise from the influence of the sense organs on the production of dreams. These bodily sensations attain a greater vigour during sleep, and it constitutes the most usual source of dream...
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