Basics About Dreaming Essay Research Paper Basics — страница 2

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“ While dreaming we entertain a wider range of human possibilities than when awake; the ‘open house’ of dreaming is less guarded.” Elizabeth Campbell (1987) says, “ Anything can happen in a dream. There are no boundaries.” Emotion guides the process and is the structural background of our dreams. The emotion – the dominant emotion of the dreamer- is the force which drives or guides the connecting process and determines which of the countless possible connections are actualized at a particular time and exactly which images to appear in the dream. Our dreams “ contextualize” the dominant emotion. For many of us leading fairly ordinary lives, there are many emotional concerns active at any one time, and it is not so easy to determine one dominant emotion. Thus,

this leads our dreams to seem confused and almost random at times. However, people who have recently experienced a severe trauma show connections being made between Basics About Dreaming 6 the traumatic event and other images, past memories, etc. The connections appear to be guided principally by the emotions or emotional concerns of the dreamer. As mentioned above, dreams contextualize emotion. What generally experienced are images. The dream world looks very much like the waking world. We should compare dreaming (how our minds function at night) with our total experience in waking (how our minds function in the daytime) which includes living and navigating in the perceptual world as well as the world of daydreams, fantasy, and imagination. Occasionally, a dream may simply pick

up bits of daytime material (day residue), or may consist of a word or a formula, but this is rare. When a dream is fully structured – a true dream – its structure can be understood not only as pictures in motion, but usually as metaphor in motion. Are dreams simply the way things are, or does dreaming have a function? Does it play a role in maintaining the human organism? “ I believe that above all, dreaming has a quasi-therapeutic function (Hartmann 1995). Dreaming allows the making of connections in a safe place. In dreaming – especially the REM sleep – the safe place is provided by the “well – established” muscular inhibition that prevents activity and the acting out of the dreams. As connections are made between the terrible recent event and other material,

the emotion becomes less powerful and overwhelming, and the trauma is then gradually integrated into the rest of life. Thus, dreaming appears to give a quasi-therapeutic adaptive function, which can be seen most easily after trauma. Basics About Dreaming 7 Dreaming should not be confused with REM sleep, nonetheless most of our memorable dreams come from the REM sleep, which is the ideal place for dreaming activity to occur. The function of dreaming in terms of making connections and cross-connections is at least compatible with the view that REM sleep, especially in young organisms, helps to develop the nervous system. It is also very compatible with the view that REM sleep functions in the “ repair, reorganization, and formation of new connections in amine – dependent

forebrain systems” summarized as “ knitting up the raveled sleeve of care” (Hartmann 1973). To conclude, dreams are irreplaceably important in obtaining psychological freedom, spiritual understanding, and spiritual wealth. Life is an adventure, and as Carl Jung pointed out, maybe the most important experiences are our internal experiences. In order to become familiar with our “internal” makeup, we must take the journey inward. This journey requires that we pay close attention to our dreams and our emotions. We can learn much from our dreams, if we only listen with a trained ear. There is nothing psychic about understanding our dreams. There is just a certain degree of intuition, coupled with logic, and a working knowledge of dreaming. We must reflect and contemplate,

and finally get a grip on what is truly valuable and what will bring deep, satisfying, and lasting happiness.