Dreams

.. image, no matter how embarrassing, foolish, or bizarre the answer is. Then Freud would consider the relationship between the responses and come up with a logical wish that the dreamer wants fulfilled. Freuds theory that all dreams are wish fulfillments was challenged because it did not explain the occurrence of nightmares. In response Freud said that nightmares do represent wishes as well and the fear is a result of the censoring agency failing to mask the wishes good enough. Freuds second explanation for nightmares was that some people have a masochistic component in [their] sexual constitution, (Bulkeley, 18) a sense pleasure from being hurt.

For such people a nightmare might be a fulfillment of a wish. Carl G. Jung was Freuds colleague and leading student but their views on dreams among many other psychological interpretations were so different that they parted. Jung unlike Freud believed that dreams are a direct expression of the dreamers conditions of his inner world and arose from the collective unconscious. He does not agree with Freuds theories that dreams try to fool the dreamer by disguising their meaning.

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But instead he believes they give an accurate self-portrayal of the psyches actual state. Jung said to me dreams are a part of nature, which harbors no intention to deceive, but expresses something as best it can, just as plant grows or an animal seeks food as best as it can(Bulkeley, 30). He believed that dreams appear strange not because of deceit but because our conscious minds do not always understand that the special symbolic language of the unconsciousness, and if we want to discover the real meaning of our dreams we have to learn the distinctive language of image symbol and metaphor. Jung believes that dreams serve two functions. The main function is the process of compensation.

The theory of compensation Jung believed worked as follows. Our psychological health depends on the balance between our consciousness and the unconscious. Dreams are a powerful agent of sustaining the overall balance between the two. They bring about unconscious thoughts that the ego has either ignored, not valued sufficiently, or actively repressed. Jung supports this with a personal anecdote where he is treating a patient and his dialogue with the patient becomes increasingly shallow.

He felt something wrong but he didnt know what it was. The night before the next session with this patient he had a dream that he was walking in a valley with a steep hill on the right. On the top of the hill is a castle, and on the highest tower he sees a woman and in order to look at her he had to strain his neck. When he awoke he realized that the woman was the patient and the dream meant: If in the dream I had to look up at the patient in this fashion then in reality I had probably been looking down on her. Dreams are after all compensation for the conscious attitude.

Jung told the patient of the dream he had and his interpretation and it produced an immediate and positive change in the therapeutic relationship (Bulkeley, 31.) The second function Jung believed was to give a perspective look into the future. Jung agreed with Freud that dreams look at past experiences. But he argued that dreams could also foretell the future. He didnt mean that all dreams predict the future but some can give some insight into what might happen and the possibilities the dreamers future might hold. Jungs interpretation techniques were substantially different from Freuds. Unlike free-association Jung used ampliphicaton.

He believed that instead of leading the dreamer away from the dream with free association, the interpreter should circle around the dream images again and again, in an effort to find deeper element of the dreams meaning. Another aspect of interpretation Jung talks about is relating the dream into the dreamers objective or subjective level. The objective level being reality, something that has happened in the physical world, the subjective level is within the dreamer, such as an emotional conflict of some sort. Jung used the subjective level more often then the objective. He once compared dreams to a theater in which the dreamer is himself the scene, the player, the prompter, the producer, the author, the public, the critic.

. . . [The subjective approach] conceives all figures in the dream as personified features of the dreamers own personality.(Bulkeley, 32) The last idea Jung disagrees with Freud on is the idea of symbolism. Jung believed in archetypal symbols, this theory originated in one of his dreams, in which he is in a house, one that he believes to be his own, he goes downstairs and finds that the first floor has medieval furniture and decorations. He then goes to the cellar which is a dwelling of the ancient Rome, he sees a stone slab on the floor, opens it, and descends into a dark cave containing bones with bones and two skulls, very old and disintegrated.

He interpreted this dream to have special meaning. He thought that the human mind has a collective unconscious which consists of archetypes and archetypical symbols. The collective unconscious is passed on from generation to generation. Archetypes are universal human thinking patterns that underlie all human functioning. He argues that archetypes are not specific images, feelings, or experiences but the blueprints for personality and thought development.

Jungs principal archetypes were the persona, shadow, anima, animus and self. The persona, Jung said is the mask we put on when we are in public. The shadow is our unconscious elements and energies. The anima is our feminine qualities. The animus is our masculine qualities. And the self is our desire to achieve psychological wholeness.

Archetypal symbols when appear, can provide the dreamer with profound insight and guidance into the dreamers thoughts. These are symbols that are passed down through with the collective unconscious. They reflect natural wisdom ingrained deeply within the human unconscious. (Bulkeley, 33-34.) When people began to interpret dreams, they were thought to be supernatural visions from gods. Today we are aware that dreams are a part of psychology, because our society is based on science, instead of religious beliefs. Modern theories are much more insightful into the real meaning of dreams, because they have developed through out the years with concrete facts supporting them.

Modernist such as Freud and Jung support their interpretations with rational and scientific evidence. That is why they are more revealing and effective in interpreting dreams. Science.