40 years of faulty wiring

You Aren’t as Unique as You Think…Ask Your Dreams

You may not be as unique as you think. I often visit a site called dreammoods.com, mostly for kicks. People write in about their nightmares and other dreams and ask for interpretation from site visitors.  Of course the first thought that crosses my mind is why not look up a dream dictionary and interpret them yourself?  (I suppose it’s reassuring to get answers from someone else).  The second is that people believe their dreams are utterly unique, like themselves, yet that is far from true. In fact there are many dream elements or symbols that are considered to be universal, meaning people from many cultures and religions experience them and they usually mean pretty much the same thing from person to person.  Read Why do Nightmares Happen?

Considering there are 7 billion people on the planet that seems quite unlikely but go to the site and visit Nightmares and Night Terrors. Read a few of the posts.  There are recurring symbols in many of the entries such as zombies, vampires, snakes, houses, killers and getting killed, weapons such as guns and knives, rape, falling, being chased, trying to escape but running too slowly, and the like.  I make a stab at dream interpretation on the site (pun intended).  The dreams are posted from people around the world. Lots of symbols seem to relate to sexuality, spirituality, and the fears and memories within the unconscious, hidden mind. Of course this is a small, subjective sampling of people’s dreams and dream elements but decades of psychological and sociological research has also proven that people tend to dream in universal symbols. Watch The Psychology of Dream Analysis

People are often shaken up by their dreams since they seem so bizarre. Some people report they can’t get back to sleep for an hour or they wake up crying and yelling.  Yet once the dream is analyzed it usually reveals ordinary problems that can often be resolved by ordinary, common sense approaches.  Dreams elicit extreme emotional response since they have to use bizarre imagery in order to get their point across. The imagery is often extreme or contains a pun.  (For instance, a dream about mail might be referring to a particular male in your life. How droll.) This I cannot explain except to suggest that since dreams seldom speak directly to the dreamer, they have to communicate as clearly as possible through action and imagery. The stronger the dream elements, the more likely the dreamer will pay attention.  I don’t know.  It’s just a thought. Watch Dream Interpretation and Dream Meaning Eckankar  

Some of the most common and disturbing dream elements have ridiculously banal meanings:

Zombies – you are disconnected from your emotions – you feel dead inside and are going through the motions
Snakes – a sexual symbol (male); a warning about an ominous person in your life; or on the bright side a symbol of spiritual enlightenment, wisdom and intellect
Killing – getting killed suggests an aspect of you is dying, such as old belief patterns and/or behaviours.  This can be a good thing.
Weapons such as guns and knives often are suggestive of the male sexual organ.  Consequently getting stabbed or shot symbolizes sexual intercourse.  There are more violent meanings too, including issues of anger and hatred towards people, even if you are the one getting shot.  Watch The Twilight Zone – Dreams for Sale

If your dream perspective is more Freudian then an overwhelming number of dreams on this earth are about sex.  In my studies of Freud and his Dream Interpretation theory (aka dream work), sexuality was in his  interpretation about nearly every case study in his writings. Mind you, he was a man writing during the very anal Victorian Era when discussions and matters of sexuality were off-limits, hence the reason he felt dreams allowed the dreamer the freedom to venture into prohibited territory. If you’re interested in reading about his dream interpretation theory, a text entitled Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis, published by W.W. Norton & Company, has a huge chapter on it.  Much of the reading is a bit on the dry, academic side but his case studies are interesting in a creepy sort of way.  Something to keep in mind about Freud:  he was a neurologist before he was a psychiatrist, so naturally brain messages were of particular interest. And he was addicted to cocaine for several years early in his psychiatric career. Doubtless his addiction acted in a poignant manner on his psychoanalytic theories. Watch Sigmund Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams

Personally I don’t put much stock into dreams and their meanings.  They come and go. They are free midnight movies. They seldom function as premonitions and they rarely result in anything significant in waking life, at least in my experience. But if that’s your thing, what the heck, there’s no harm in it. Dream on.

Watch the Twilight Zone: Dream Me a Life
Read Things to Know: Dreams
Watch Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound


August 22, 2011 - Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Human psychology | , , , , ,


  1. […] You Aren’t as Unique as You Think…Ask Your Dreams (jl10ll.wordpress.com) – fair points that dreams don’t mean much. […]

    Pingback by Dreaming Because I’m a Dreamer « Veronica's Space | October 4, 2011 | Reply

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