Dream Interpretation – Why Does It Matter?
Dream interpretation matters because of the effect that dreams have on the dreamer. Scientists may pontificate all they wish about the physiological nature of dreaming. They cannot dismiss the fact that dreaming takes place within the realm of the psyche, and within that realm, lies every person’s individual hopes, fears, desires and conflicts. Dreams occur at a time when many of the brain’s functions are off-line, including those that, when awake, can inhibit behavior, thought and feelings. Dreams provide unfiltered access to the mind. Dream interpretation can lead to both an increased awareness of self and to self-discovery.
While dream analysts have observed common symbols and patterns in different people’s dreams, most agree that personal dream interpretation is most beneficial. Interpreting archetypal dream elements can be difficult, as the same symbols can hold different meanings to different people. One person may view an elephant as a symbol of memory and faithfulness, as in “an elephant never forgets.” Another may view an elephant as symbolic of not facing problems, as in “ignoring the elephant in the room.”
Dream Interpretation Things Too Consider
The primary thing to consider when interpreting dreams is how the people, actions and places in dreams are associated with the circumstances of the waking life. One subject, who in his waking life was struggling to compete in his work environment, reported having a dream in which he found himself alone in a hut in the middle of a jungle. Animals roared outside. He feared that the hut might collapse at any moment. He recalled thinking, “I can’t go outside. It’s a jungle out there!”
Although dreams most often reflect personal thoughts and feelings, most images that appear in dreams seem to be unique to a single dream. Research conducted on lucid dreamers, those who have the ability to observe their own dreams without waking up, found that only about 20 percent of dreams contain people and settings with which the dreamer is familiar. Recurrent dreams, in which one finds oneself in the same situation over and over, should be examined carefully, as they most likely represent issues that have remained unresolved for some time.
Some dream analysts believe that encounters with others in dreams represent various aspects of the dreamer’s persona. A childless woman who was on the verge of becoming homeless reported a dream in which she was the mother of a baby. She found shelter for the infant with a loving family, telling them that they need only care for the baby a short while, promising them that she would soon return. Symbolically, the baby can be viewed as an extension of herself, of a belief that while she might be in need of temporary assistance, in the future, she would again be able to provide for herself.
Dream Interpretation Conclusions
Dreams reflect real anxieties and real hopes, and paying attention to dreams can be a helpful tool for real emotional and spiritual growth. Keeping a dream diary over a period of time is a useful way to discover any recurrent themes that can help dreamers break unhealthy behavioral patterns. Dream interpretation offers a way to gain a new perspective on oneself, others and the world at large. Dreams can help people deal with the concerns and conflicts of everyday life.