Dreams are one of nature's miracles, not the result of a wandering mind in sleep. A dream is an interface between the process of life and our conscious personality.
in an overview of the study and research concerning dreams, there is an evidence that a dream can be
a. an expression of what is happening in the physical body;
b. a way of balancing the physiological and psychological activities in us;
c. an enormously original source of insight and information in us, e.g. scanning information and forming new ideas;
d. an expression of human super senses;
e. a meaning of solving problems, not only in our personal life, but also in relationship and work;
f. a way of reaching beyond the known world of experience and presenting intimations from the unknown.
Everyone dreams during three or four periods of sleep every night. If we recall our dreams, they may seem to be a meaningless jumble of images, sometimes with a strong emotion attached, or with a coherent, though not always logical, storyline.
Some people believe that dreams are random thoughts, which our waking mind weaves a story around, while others believe that our unconscious mind is telling itself stories. Dreams have also been considered to be messages from a spiritual source, memories of the past, or prophecies of the future.
The uncensored nature of dreams has troubled many philosophers, including Plato (c. 428-348 BC) who wrote that "In al of us, even in good men, there is a lawless wild-beast nature, which peers out in sleep."
From the dark Ages, hermits who had withdrawn from society to be closer to God seemed particularly troubled by erotic dreams. However, these dreams were often excused as being lewd temptations sent by the Devil, to try to draw the hermit away from God. Another convenient excuse for these erotic dreams was the theory that every dream meant its exact opposite therefore even if a dream was sexual, it could still be enjoyed because it indicated inner purity and a healthy immortal soul.
After training in neurology, Sigmund Freud (Father of psychology 1856-1939) began to practice what later became psychoanalysis. Initially, following his colleague Josef Breuer (1842-1925), he used hypnosis to treat cases of hysteria. He then replaced hypnosis with the technique of free association, and began to explore his patients' dreams for clues to their problems.
Freud believed that dreams were wish-fulfilment - in our dreams we represent our deepest desires which, in an adult, are nearly always sexual. However, because these desires would be offensive to our sleeping conscious minds, our censor, or superego, disguises our true intentions. The obscurity of dreams, Freud said, "is due to alternations in repressed material made by the censorship". However, this theory does not explain why we might have a heavily disguised dream one night, and a straightforward dream of the same activity on another night.
there are many problems with Freud's ideas, but he must be given credit for being one of the first modern thinkers to re-examine the symbolism of dreams. However, he must also be criticised for seeing nearly every dream symbol in purely sexual terms.
Freud's detractors also complain that his theories, based on evidence drawn from his psychologically disturbed patients, were not universally applicable. Despite these criticisms, Freud created psychoanalysis almost single-handedly, and built a solid base for later dream analysts to expand.
Five facts of first magnitude were made obvious to the world by his interpretation of dreams.
First of all, Freud pointed out a constant connection between some part of every dream and some detail of the
dreamer's life during the previous waking state. This positively establishes a relation between sleeping states
and waking states and disposes of the widely prevalent view that dreams are purely nonsensical phenomena
coming from nowhere and leading nowhere.
Secondly, Freud, after studying the dreamer's life and modes of thought, after noting down all his mannerisms
and the apparently insignificant details of his conduct which reveal his secret thoughts, came to the conclusion
that there was in every dream the attempted or successful gratification of some wish, conscious or
Thirdly, he proved that many of our dream visions are symbolical, which causes us to consider them as absurd
and unintelligible; the universality of those symbols, however, makes them very transparent to the trained
Fourthly, Freud showed that sexual desires play an enormous part in our unconscious, a part which puritanical
hypocrisy has always tried to minimize, if not to ignore entirely.
Finally, Freud established a direct connection between dreams and insanity, between the symbolic visions of
our sleep and the symbolic actions of the mentally deranged.