>> Sunday, September 6, 2009
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Jeff King asked: what "Dream theories" like Freud, Carl Jung, Calvin Hall, David Foulkes do you think are legit of most likely to have merit? or in another way of asking the question, basically why do you think we dream?
I'll be honest, Jeff King, what I know about psychiatry is very limited. I know what I've learned to benefit my characters. I know what I've learned because of curiosity that ended up being useful about certain aberrations like multiple personalities and psychic speculation.
But I've never studied dreams, largely because I don't remember my own. It's interesting, too, because you'd think I'd have vivid and fascinating dreams (and the consensus is that I have them, but I just don't remember them), but I can't remember a one. Or not many of them. The good news is that my subconscious seems to have no trouble coughing up ideas, dreams or no dreams.
Do I think someone has a handle on it? I don't think there's one answer for any psychological phenomena. I'm a firm believer in the diversity of explanations, just like I believe in the diversity of people and imagination.
So why do we dream?
Memories we are unwilling to consciously acknowledge likely cause some of them. Anxieties that have not come to be are likely responsible for more of them. Good dreams could be memories we are unwilling to let go or want to relive, futures we want to live a first time, imaginings beyond anything we've lived or would even be comfortable living.
The mind is a mighty unpredictable and powerful thing. Sometimes, I think dreams are there for warnings, sometimes for comfort, and, sometimes, for the terrors that cannot be contained.