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Dreams Essay

1828 words - 8 pages

It is difficult to believe that anyone has not wondered why we dream, and dreams are one of the most unusual elements of human experience. It partly based on our experiences from the present, partly from the past and things beyond actual human experience at all. Dreams seem to giving answers to our questions, we cannot quite remember after all.Given the simultaneous meaningfulness and fragility of dreams, it is not surprising that the greatest psychoanalysts should have turned their minds to trying to understand how people interpret dreams and how the dreams affect our waking actions. And, given the essential ambiguity of dreams, it is not surprising that Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung differed ...view middle of the document...

Although it might seem to be a substantial intellectual leap from hysteria and trauma to dreams, the connection was in fact an obvious for Freud who was considering them not from a theoretical perspective at this moment but rather from a therapeutic one.Freud began to believe that it was possible to find the roots causes of neuroses if he being a therapist could interrupt the spontaneous movement of ideas and thoughts in his patients. These periods which Freud called free association, and that we might more casually call daydreaming, were key moments for the therapist to intervene, he believed. But he also came to believe that dreams were another ideal arena in which to intervene, for Freud believed that dreams too were a manifestation of the subconscious just as were daydreams.Freud believed that the content of dreams was drawn from an array of different experiences, finding (in Chapter Five of The Interpretation of Dreams) that:1. That the dream clearly prefers the impressions of the last few days2. That it makes a selection in accordance with principles other than those governing our waking memory, in that it recalls not essential and important, but subordinate and disregarded things;3. That it has at its disposal the earliest impressions of our childhood, and brings to light details from this period of life, which, again, seem trivial to us, and which in waking life were believed to have been long since forgotten.Freud also believed that dreams, like other symbolic acts, should be interpreted both literally and as cryptic messages.Now that we are able, by applying our process of interpretation, to detect a latent dream-content whose significance far surpasses that of the manifest dream-content, we are naturally impelled to return to the individual dream-problems, in order to see whether the riddles and contradictions which seemed to elude us when we had only the manifest content to work upon may not now be satisfactorily solved.The opinions of previous writers on the relation of dreams to waking life, and the origin of the material of dreams, have not been given here.In keeping with his beliefs about the subconscious and about the ways in which a great deal of our memories and experiences are masked to us by mechanisms such as repression. Freud believed that the true nature of dreams is tacit and must be extracted through careful and thoughtful analysis. Because the true meaning of dreams is tacit, they have complex effects on our daily lives, given that they work in the implicit field of the unconscious rather than in the explicit world of the superego.Freud was not arguing that the content of our dreams does not affect us - he certainly believed that it did, even as he believed that what we did in our daily lives must certainly became a part of our dreams. But he believed that the encrypting effect of the subconscious parts of the mind (which produce dreams) made it difficult to understand the way which life affects dreams or dreams affect...

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