by Hal. N.
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Note: The following is an excerpt taken from the book, “
An Introduction to Psychic Studies’ by Hal. N. Banks. The
book went through several printing with the last being in 1989.
It is now out of print but here is what it had to say about dreams.
the Lord came down in a pillar Of cloud and stood at the doorway
of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam. When they had both
come forward, He said, ‘Hear now My words: If there is a
prophet among you, I the Lord shall make Myself known to him in
a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream.’ ”
A dream is a series of pictures, visual images, events or mental
activity that occurs during sleep.
. W. E. Sargent, the author of Teach Yourself Psychology, defines
a dream as a "...mental 'play' illustrating part of the sleeper's
unconscious life ......
Dreams are commonplace. We all dream. Scientists state emphatically
that each night as we sleep we dream. The scientific community
is still uncertain as to why we dream, and the study and investigation
of dreams is still in its infancy.
a. ...Having thus ascertained that dreaming is both a universal
and an essential function among humans, researchers sought to
discover why we dream. So far a number of interesting and highly
complex hypotheses have been advanced. But no scientist can yet
say for sure that he knows why we dream. All that science knows
for certain is that everyone does dream and that everyone must
dream if he is to remain psychologically healthy. Some people
may think that they do not dream; but, in these cases, what really
happens is that the individual forgets his dreams - perhaps because
it is emotionally too painful for him to remember them.'
The first scientific study of the dream state was begun in 1953
at the University of' Chicago by Eugene Aserinsky. He noted that
while babies slept their eyes moved rapidly under their closed
lids. Thus, adults were also tested while asleep and ihe same
thing happened. The term Rapid Eye Movement came into our vocabulary.
So scientists determined that if there are REMs a person is usually
a. While dreams have always been of interest and widely discussed
dreams now became the subject of scientific inquiry.
b. Psychologists and psychiatrists, however, have for years investigated
the meaning of dreams. Dr. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was the pioneer
in dream research and his Interpretation of Dreams, published
in 1900, became a classic.
(1) Freud said that dreams are the language of the unconscious
and symbolically depict or represent our tensions, hostilities,
hopes and fears. He indicated that dreams were significantly meaningful
pronouncements in symbolic language of the dreamer's personality.
(i.) Freud was convinced that dreams served to discharge sexual
and aggressive drives in the individual in such a way that they
eluded public censure.
Another giant in the area of dream research and investigation
was the Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung (1875-1961).
a. To Jung dreams represented efforts by the dreamer to discover
his psychic development which would enable him to plan for the
future. He speaks of the symbology of dreams:
... As cultural archetypes, 'primordial images' seen in the world's
myths and folklore shared by all people in a common or racialcultural
heritage, called the collective unconscious. The object of dream
analysis was to interpret the dreamer's fantasy life in terms
of these archetypes, adjusting him or her to the collective unconscious,
to 'get right with civilization..."
There are many reasons why we dream. Dreams release the frustrating
feelings and thoughts that we cannot handle in our daily everyday
life. A dream then serves as a 'safety valve."
a. We dream for many reasons, and they usually concern incidents
that happened earlier in the day. You might have had an argument
with your spouse; had an automobile accident; are concerned with
a test tomorrow in a subject that you dislike; had a ruckus at
a party; caught an annoying cold - any of these things might set
the stage for the night's dream activity.
(1) Dreaming can be the result of our emotional state. When your
feelings are hurt, when you feel insecure, when you are caught
up in loneliness, when you are frightened or are filled with fear,
when you are severely depressed or have been rejected by someone
you genuinely care about - all of these factors contribute to
the night's dream menu.
(2) How you feel physically has a vital relationship to your dreams.
Too much food and drink with the attendant indigestion will influence
the ingredients of your dreams. I recall a young fellow who consumed
too much beer. That night he dreamed that he was drowning in a
sea of beer. Illness frequently will manifest in dreams.
(3) Bedroom conditions can make for dreaming episodes. If the
room is too hot or cold, if you are restless, if your bodily condition
is uncomfortable, or if you are about ready to roll off the bed,
all these factors are grist for the dream mill.
Dreams are filled with symbols, and any study of the pertinent
literature in the field will substantiate this fact.
a. ...The main characteristic of nearly all dreams is their symbolism.
Of all our experiences, dreams are doubtless the most symbolic.
They represent certain wishes, desires, emotions, thoughts, etc.,
which fill the subconscious mind ... These thoughts, as they become
externalized, are presented in symbolic form. Thus, a snake may
be a symbol of fear and hatred; an angel may be a symbol of love;
a key may be a symbol of success, etc."
INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS
According to a learned Jew, a dream not interpreted is like a
letter not opened. Many dreams, especially if they concern patterns
of our daily living, are not too difficult to interpret. Dreams
that are complex and filled with symbols are another matter. There
are "helps" available for your personal dream interpretation,
but much published material is inadequate for in-depth interpretation.
1. Psychotheraphy can prove helpful.
2. One of the first things you should do if you wish to analyze
your dreams is to keep a dream diary. Alan Davis in his book,
What Your Dreams Mean, in speaking of a dream diary, tells us
... This log is extremely important, because dreams are meaningful
only in relation to other dreams and in 'relation to what you
know about yourself as a person. If you attempt to analyze individual
dream symbols or fragments of dreams without relating them to
your other dreams and to what you know about yourself as a person,
you will accomplish nothing. In order to understand fully what
your dreams mean you must study all your dreams, as a whole and
seek recurrent themes and patterns of symbolism.'
Your interest in dreams and especially in their interpretation
should take you to a good bookstore or public library. Abundant
literature is available.
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