splash
dialogue of the psyche
DREAMS: sequence images, sounds and feelings experienced when sleeping
SEMANTICS: linguistics. the study of meaning.

http://www.dreamsemantics.com/2009/02/the-wise-old-man/

This archetype was described as Carl Jung as a person with great judgment and wisdom.  The wise old man is sometimes referred to as the Sage. This archetype is characterized by being old, bearded, father-figure type who uses his great personal knowledge of the world and offer guidance through stories and may impress upon his [...]

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Why Do We Dream?

Did you know that when you reach 60, you’ll sleep about 175,200 hours, dream 87,000 hours with 197,100 dreams? We experience significant number of dreams but we only remember as few as 5% of it. Since the ancient times, dreams have captivated philosophers but only recently they have been involved in scientific studies. Even you are probably wondering about dreams and why people dream at all.

During the ancient times, people perceive dreams as portals for receiving wisdom from the gods. Shamans depend on dreams to diagnose illness. In 1900’s, western people rely on dreams to forecast weather and predict the future. But a brand new idea of dream interpretation has come out when Sigmund Freud created his theory about dreams as a representation of unconscious desires, thoughts and motivations.

Sigmund Freud is recognized for his theories of the unconscious mind. According to his book, The Interpretation of Dreams, dreams are disguised fulfillments of repressed wishes. However, his limited research about REM and NREM sleep cycles makes his research unable to support the real psychological significance of a dream. Carl Jung, Freud’s great follower also has his own interpretation of dreams. According to him, dreams fill up for the personalities that are not properly developed in real life. His theory however disagrees with the reality that our wake times and our dreams explain consistent thoughts and behaviors.

Some researchers suggest that dreams don’t have actual purpose, while others see that dreams are important to mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Dreaming is highly involved in learning and memory. More often than not, they relate to events and thoughts when we are awake. The structure of the brain is shaped by the stimuli it takes in while we are awake and conscious. For instance, thoughts and experiences are known to strengthen the connections between certain neurons. With these, dreams can be possibly be resonance of the changes during the times when we are awake.

There are different modern theories that may explain why we dream. One of them tells that we dream to practice responses to threatening situations. In REM sleep, the brain functions similarly when it is threatened for survival. In this dream, we may be dreaming of being chased, fighting an enemy, or falling from a cliff. The brain also exercises our motor activity even though our limbs are not moving. In this theory, we dream to rehearse behaviors of self-defense in sleep in order to get better and be prepared in the real world.

Another theory is that dreams create wisdom. Remembering every image of our waking lives would clog our brains. This is where dreams come in to sort through our brains to determine which ones should retain and which ones should lose. Sleep is concluded as a process which separates the long term memories to short term ones.

It has also been said that dreaming organizes our brains, like a hard drive being defragmented. The brain works like a computer that connects its data in some ways. Dreams shuffle the old connections that allow us to keep important connections and delete inefficient links. This suggests that dreams are reordering connections to streamline the system.

Dreams can be like psychotherapy. When we dream, we are dealing with emotions which we put into pictures. This is where we think less rationally and less defensive where we are able to accept truths we might otherwise repress.

Others say that dreams don’t mean anything at all. They are just random functions of a brain that is not conscious at that time. It may be just consciousness that finds deep meaning in our brains.

Dream research may have been found to have many theories but still there is no answer to the question: why do we dream? Dream has always been a mysterious topic to the human mind, and with that, researchers will go on exploring and new theories may be possible to emerge.

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