Interpretations of Dreams

What does it mean to dream? Some say that we dream to stay asleep. Other’s say that we sleep to dream. What most people seem to agree on is that there is a sort of importance to dreaming. Dreams give us clues to areas in our lives that require more attention. There are a few common dreams that are known to have significant meanings.

Being chased: Dreaming about being chased signifies that the dreamer is avoiding something and the fear of that something. Dreams of being chased can help the dreamer think about what they might not be addressing in their waking life.

Falling: I have these dreams ALL the time! And the freak me out every time. Dreaming that you are falling can be linked with insecurities or anxieties. You may realize that you feel like your life is out of your control, and that there is nothing you can do about it. Dreaming that you are falling can also be interpreted as a sense of failure about something and the lack of control over it.

Taking a test or having an interview: Many people often dream about running through their school, taking a test, or searching for something that you need and not being able to identify it in the dream. This type of dream can represent you being scrutinized or judged. The dreamer may feel that they are not facing their challenges, or the dreamer may feel weak towards scrutiny.

Flying: Many times when people dream that they are flying, it is a result of lucid dreaming. Dreaming that you are flying can mean that you are in control of the things that matter to you. The dreamer can reflect once they wake up, and recognize whether they have received they insight or knowledge about something. A flying dream can also mean that you feel stable and strong willed. If you are struggling in the dream to keep flying, this may mean that there is an individual in the way of you gaining control.

Teeth falling out: Okay, this dream I have had many times, and it freaks me out. Dreaming of teeth falling out represent an emotional and psychological response of the mind and personality. Being that teeth come from the mouth, it is said that dreaming of teeth falling out has to do with how the dreamer communicates in real life. Teeth falling out represents something that the dreamer could have said in real life that they should not have said. And ike teeth, once someone says something, it cannot be taken back.

You may be asking yourself, why are these dreams so common? It does make sense that a lot of people have the same repeating dreams. All of these dreams are related to many common issues in society. From anxiety, and mis-speaking, to holding frustrations, and avoiding tough issues. As long as these issues continue to present themselves in real life, the dreams will not go away.  One the dreamer actively changes a behavior, then they will stop dreaming these repeating dreams.

How Dreams Shaped Religion

teddy bear dreaming

As I’ve said in the previous blog posts, dreams are a reflection of how self-aware a person is. According to some psychologists, including Carl Jung, dreams can also reflect a person insight into different spiritual levels. It isn’t often that the scientific world and the spiritual world mesh together, but when it comes to dreaming, bringing the two world together is vital in the attempt to understand the reason behind why we dream what we dream the imaginative power behind the mind.

The dreams we have day to day are normally pretty mundane.Jung called these dreams “little dreams.” But there are those couple of dreams that cause the dreamer to to feel more intensity and curiosity in relation to their dreams. Jung referred to these as “big dreams.” By focusing on everyday dreams, researchers miss the opportunity to observe the mind in its most creative and intense state. Everyday dreams can address everyday concerns; however, “big dreams” can deal with deeper issues and powerful feelings.

Dreams are a sort of bridge between the mind, body and spirit. It connects the rational mind, and the imaginative mind. Psychologists like to analyze all three categories together to then get a broader insight. Big dreams connect the dreamer to something bigger than themselves. When the dreamer starts to gain a feeling of awe and curiosity, it means that the dreamer is experiencing a mystical experience. Big dreams can have visits from people who have passed on. The dreamer can then analyze the ideas of heaven, the soul, hell, and afterlife.

Mystical dreams are dreams that depict the image of flying or traveling. Mystical dreams are dreams that lend themselves to religious and spiritual types of questions and interpretations.

After learning about “big dreams,” I really wanted to have one. I researched how someone can start dreaming big dreams, and I found that the whole idea comes from being self-aware. If you want to remember your dreams so that you can analyze them and become more aware, just try to pay more attention to your dreams, and write them down as soon as you remember them.

On a more religious note, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all three discuss different revelations of God or an angel through dreams. Buddhism and Daoism focus more on ‘transcendent awareness.’ And Native Americans dream of animal spirits and spiritual guides.

Each type of dream has a meaning relating back to the environment the dreamer came from or is in. Experimental studies have shown that dream recall depends on the situation around the dreamer. This could be the environment, friends or family.

Different psychological findings of dream research are aiding in dream analysis, mind behavior. All of this research is helping people understand the infinite seeming extense of the body.

The Mysterious World of Lucid Dreaming

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Do you have fantasies that you would never dare act upon in real life? Lucid dreaming could be your outlet! What is lucid dreaming? Lucid dreaming is the ability to tap into the different abilities of your brain that you would otherwise not be able to use while awake. Lucid dreaming is when the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. People become attracted to lucid dreaming because they are able to do things they would never be able to do in reality. As people progress in their abilities to lucid dream, they begin to explore the boundaries of their own agency and the limits of the universe.

But how to you achieve such an idea such as lucid dreaming? The best technique is to actually become more aware. Look and listen, and start paying attention to details, because once you realize something is wrong or out of place, that is a sign that you are lucid dreaming. The best way to start is to begin paying more attention to the environment around you when you are awake. Mental habits that you practice during the day tend to continue in your dreams. So once you begin examining your surroundings throughout the day, you begin noticing your awareness is different during your dreams.

lucid dreaming quote

People claim that after having lucid dreamt, their spiritual awareness became heightened. It makes people more enlightened. People learn to be present in the moment and take in their surroundings that would otherwise be blocked by random thoughts or the past or the future. The main thing spiritual teachers have in common is teaching their students to be more present. That is what lucid dreamers have been working to achieve. Lucid dreamers are aware of the moment with more than their physical body, but also their mind because their agency has been expanded into a higher self.

I have been pretty reserved from lucid dreaming because I was afraid of the possible negative affects that could happen. However, after researching a bit, I found that their are not any dangerous affects from lucid dreaming. After researching a bit, I found out the obvious. Lucid dreamers are so in touch with their awake and sleeping mind that they know the difference very well. But it is common to have people who do not practice lucid dreaming to become confused about whether their dream was real or not, which I have experienced many times.

lucid dreaming ny mag

When I was beginning to learn about lucid dreaming, I immediately thought that I would not wake up as well rested if I lucid dreamt compared to if i passively dreamt. But I learned that passively dreaming can be much more exhausting. If I am dreaming about a fight with a friend, I could wake up flustered and upset. However, if i lucid dreamt, I could intervene and make the dream much more fun and wake up happier and more refreshed.

Lucid dreaming can be used to help one figure out different solutions to problems that they would otherwise be too afraid to try. Lucid dreaming can be a useful tool to the human mind, but take practice and determination to achieve.

Freud vs. Jung

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Many believe Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung defined the world of psychology. Both had differing theories, but made equal impacts on people’s perception of the human mind. At one point in history the two were not only esteemed colleagues to each other, but great friends. Freud acted as a mentor and father figure towards Jung, and Jung acted as an energetic new prospect to the movement towards Freud. Freud and Jung’s friendship and business partnership soon died over their differences in beliefs.

Jung and Freud disagreed over the fundamentals and derivatives of dreams. Freud believed that we can learn more about a person through their unconscious as opposed to through their conscious mind. Freud believed that when we are in a conscious state of mind, we do not act upon our deepest desires because of the considerations of reality and morality. But when we are sleeping, the forces that make us more reserved are weakened, meaning we can live our desires through our dreams.

Freud concluded that our dreams are able to access repressed or anxiety provoking thoughts – mainly sexual desires – that are otherwise not acted upon because of the fear of embarrassment. Defense mechanisms allow a thought or desire to sneak into our dreams in a symbolic form. Someone dreaming of a large stick, Freud would view them dreaming of a penis. Ultimately, Freud believed it was in the hands of the dreamer to interpret the meaning of their dreams.

In relation to Freud, Jung believed that dreams are a representation of the unconscious mind. Jung did not agree that everything presented in a dream related to a repressed sexual desire. Jung focused for on symbolism and imagery. He believed that dreams can have many different meanings depending on the dreamers associations.

Again, Jung agreed with Freud that dreams could be retrospective in that they reflect events in childhood, but also believed that dreams could anticipate what could occur in the future. Jung claimed that dreams can be used as great sources of creativity. Jung fiercely disagreed with Freud on the fact that Freud strictly observed the external aspects of a person’s dream, rather than digging deeper and looking at both objective and subjective content.

Jung believed that dreams are the bridge between the conscious and unconscious mind. He did not believe that dreams are a way of repressing desires or outcomes, but rather a tool to help the person come up with a solution to a problem they may face in their conscious state of mind.

On the other hand, Freud viewed dreams as a way to aid the person in staying asleep. Freud believed that dreams purposes are to convince the person that the dream is concealing something that needs to be revealed, so they dreamer will want the dream to go on, and therefor will stay asleep.

Freud and Jung definitely changed the world of psychology, more specifically the interpretation of dreams. It is common for people to have a mix of Freudian and Jungian views on dreams. I am definitely someone who takes bits and pieces from both. I think that dreams will tell the dreamer what they want to hear, but I also believe dreams can aid a person in realizing the truth or solution to a problem.


The Dreamers of History

Man has been enamored with dreams for millennia. 5,000 years ago, ancient Egyptians painted images of bodies sleeping with souls hovering outside of it, resembling an out of body experience (often referred to as lucid dreaming). Ba-Bird

Fast forward to the 17th century, French philosopher Rene Descartes proposed the idea of The Dream Argument. Descartes proposed something chilling. He suggested because we all dream, this fact proves that our reality is not actually real. He had two observations:

He first observed that while we dream, our senses are so very real, that how do we know if we are truly awake when we think we are? Perhaps are waking senses propose an illusory world.

He later observed that because people never realize when they are dreaming, how do people know that they are awake if they very well are dreaming and not becoming lucid enough to know that they are awake?

This way of thinking has influenced Western thinking. The movie The Matrix, was built off of theories like Descartes’. This way of thinking also influenced philosophers like Nick Bostrom, who came up with the theory The Simulation Argument. This theory claims that we are living inside of a computer simulation, and that we are digital dreams of future human beings.

It is very odd to consider our lives not truly being our lives, but merely images dreamt by other human beings.

Everyone recognizes the name Sigmund Freud, correct? He is known as the “father” of psychology and psychoanalysis. Freud believed that what we dream is a reflection of our desires,  that we as humans try to hide. He believed that we need to dream in order to stay asleep.


Many people disagree with Freud’s theories that everything the human brain thinks of can be related back to sex. Hobson and McCarley conducted an experiment to find the scientific origin of dreams. they tracked a dreamer’s brain with an EEG. Their findings proved that dreaming is a bodily process, not a mental one. Hobson findings were countered with the argument that dreaming cannot only be explained through electrical findings

Hobson wanted to connect his theory on a more psychological platform. He found that the mind tries to make sense of the dream while dreaming. This occurs after the cortex receives energy signals. hobson

Lucid dreaming is a perplexing topic. Lucid dreaming is when the dreamer is aware they are dreaming while they are dreaming. To be able to lucid dream, the dreamer needs to be able to remember their dreams, and be self-aware and consciously reflective. A Dutch psychiatrist, Frederik van Eden experienced lucid dreaming and wrote about his experience in his book A Study of Dreams:

“In these lucid dreams the reintegration of the psychic functions is so complete that the sleeper remembers day-life and his own condition, reaches a state of perfect awareness, and is able to direct his attention, and to attempt different acts of free volition… We are here, however, on the borders of a realm of mystery where we have to advance very carefully. To deny may be just as dangerous and misleading as to accept.”

In other words, Eeden believed that when a dreamer is lucid dreamer, they can recall events that occurred in real life and apply them to their dream. Also, while lucid dreaming, the dreamer can exercise free will. Eeden also mentions that denying or doubting the reality of lucid dreaming is dangerous and the dreamer must act carefully.

Dreaming is a complex subject, and is still being studied today. Lucid dreaming is not very present in communities today as it once was, but it has influenced out cultures heavily.