What Are Dreams? Flashes of Visions, the Divine or Your Truth?
Hi all and welcome to Spirit's blog. I had an interesting dream last night, so it prompted me to write a post about, what dreams are. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a dream as: a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep. Dreams occur during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. This is when the activity of the brain is similar to when we are awake.
In ancient times, indigenous Australians believed dreams to be best represented by totem poles with the carvings of animals on them. They believed that an entire tribe of people would have similar dreams due to their animal connection. For example if the tribe was represented by a giant short-faced kangaroo, then the entire tribe would have dreams of that particular kangaroo and it would bring them power and strength.
Mesopotamian wall art dates back to roughly 3100 B.C., in these images was their own interpretation of dreams. They used dreams as a form of divination, the rulers claimed that the divine powers told them what to do through dreams. They also believed that a part of the soul left the body during a dream and traveled to another world.
Ancient Chinese believed that souls had two parts, one awake and one asleep. This lead to two interpretations of dreams, one that they were a manifestation of inner desires, and the other that the soul was leaving the body to explore while being guided by spirits.
Ancient Greeks and Egyptians shared their beliefs, in that there were good dreams and bad dreams. They also believed that Morpheus (the Greek God of dreams) sent messages through dreams, and interpretation was essential to receiving messages. Aristotle ( famous Greek philosopher) believed dreams could predict the future.
In Judaism dreams are believed to be necessary to interpret, due to the fact that they hold lessons for the dreamer. Hebrews believed that good dreams are the voice of God and bad the voice of evil spirits. Early Christian views followed in suit with the Hebrews.
Older forms of Hinduism held that dreams are part of necessary 3 phases of life. Ancient Buddhist beliefs were very similar to those of Aboriginal Australian, in that entire groups of people would have the same dreams. This was particularly the case when an enlightened soul (Buddha) was leaving his home.
Native American tribes (specifically those of the 1900's) believed that dream catchers, protected people while they slept. The form of dream catchers came from spider webs, an animal that they believed was a protector. The first dream catchers were created by the Chippewea tribe (Ojibwe). Thbey They would hang them over the beds of children for protection. Their legends claim that nightmares will get caught in the webbing of the dream catcher. They were so widely used that they became an artifact of most Native American tribes and gained popularity among non-native Americans in the late 1970's and can still be found to this day.
Sigmund Freud, an Austrian Neurologist and founder of Psychoanalysis, studied dreams and their meanings in the 1900's. Freud had a working theory that dreams are a wish-fulfillment of the subconscious. He theorized that dreams were the "royal road", so if we dreamed it, that was our subconscious telling us what we truly desired. He even developed techniques and guidelines, to assist in the interpretation of dreams.
Carl Jung (Swiss psychologist and psychoanalyst) agreed with Freud that dreams do tell your innermost desires. He claimed that the messages told in dreams should be payed attention to for the sake of the dreamer. He theorized that dreams were a revelation to the dreamer and could reveal their emotions or fears about waking situations. He also claimed that recurring dreams were to demand attention from the person, and that they were neglecting thoughts or emotions that were important. Jung coined the phrase "day residue", which would be basically a small reenactment of the day the person had. The purpose of "day residue" according to Jung was that there were unresolved issues, that were simply handed to the subconscious to figure out.
Well, now that we have learned a quick history of dreams. It may be wise to interpret dreams. You may learn about yourself, get messages from the divine or your higher self. If nothing else, you may find a solution to your waking issues. The only caution that can be given about this is simple, don't look for the truth unless you are ready to face it. Dreams may hold your truth. Blessed be.
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