For Jeff King: Tell me about dreams

>> 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.



  • Jeff King

    i think it is for pressure release, our minds need to let loose and have abstract rhythms of being.
    The mind working so fast and wondering with so many thoughts is like a computer dumping files.

    i know our brain is very powerful and times it can manifest truth of the future the it picks up on with clue we don't recognizes through conscious thought.
    Either way i wish i could control my dreams, but every time i realize i am dreaming i wake up.

    i do not remember all my dreams maybe like 50% i can even remember having.

    A dream is why i started to write my novel, it was the same dream for 6 nights in a row. The story and chars came to life and i lived the whole book in what seemed like seconds, and at the end i was sitting at a book singing and i saw the name of the book, plus what the cover looked like. That has been the most vivid dream i have ever had.

    Sorry didn't mean to ramble...

  • Shakespeare

    I tend to mull through problems in my dreams--putting them in fantastic sorts of mish-mash to work through them.

    I wrote my first novel from a dream I had over and over as a teenager. I've also had at least one prophetic dream, though it was about something mundane. Because I had the dream, though, I was able to take steps to prevent its occurrence. Weird.

    Cool discussion. I don't know if any of the psychological theories about dreams are true, though, either.

  • The Mother

    The original question: what "Dream theories" like Freud, Carl Jung, Calvin Hall, David Foulkes do you think are legit of most likely to have merit?

    The medical answer: NONE. Almost all dream analysis has been debunked routinely by modern neuroscience. No one knows exactly why dreams happen, but everyone is pretty sure that they are largely the random occupations of a brain in play mode.

    Certainly, dreams reflect our moods. But to take it further than that is a crock. Psuedoscience at best. I prefer "woo."

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