Of course, like much of Freud’s theories, he related dreams to sex. One of his basic views of dreams was that the purpose of dreams is to allow us to satisfy in fantasies the instinctual urges that society judges unacceptable such as sexual practices. This was partly the reason for the enormous opposition and criticism that he met.
During the period of his early life, only men were believed to have powerful sexual urges. When Freud showed that repressed but obvious sexual desires were equally at work in women this created a social uproar. Perhaps his second finding in regard to sexuality surprised even him. During his analysis of women patients, sexual advance or assault by the woman’s father was often revealed.
Freud struggled with this, wondering whether the assault was memory of an actual event, or a psychic reproduction of it. He eventually came to the conclusion that hysterical and neurotic behavior was often due to the trauma caused by an early sexual assault by the parent.
Where there was not evidence of physical assault, then he saw the neurosis as due to sexual conflict or a trauma caused by some other event. This conflict was often manifested through dreams. This led to Freud being rejected by university colleagues, fellow doctors, and even by patients.
Another expert in the field of dreams and dream interpretation was Carl Jung.
Carl Jung on Dreams
Jung studied under the tutelage of Sigmund Freud. Their differing views on dreams and dream interpretations led to a permanent rift that led them to go their separate ways.
Like Freud, Jung believed in the existence of the unconscious. However, he didn’t see the unconscious as animalistic, instinctual, and sexual; he saw it as more spiritual. Dreams were a way of communicating and acquainting ourselves with the unconscious.
Dreams were not attempts to conceal our true feelings from the waking mind, but rather they were a window to our unconscious. They served to guide the waking self to achieve wholeness. Dreams offered a solution to a problem we are facing in our waking life.
Jung viewed the ego as one’s sense of self and how we portray ourselves to the world. Part of Jung’s theory was that all things can be viewed as paired opposites (i.e. good/evil, male/female, or love/hate).
And thus working in opposition to the ego, is the “counter-ego” or what he referred to as the shadow. The shadow represents rejected aspects of yourself that you do not wish to acknowledge. It is considered an aspect of yourself which is somewhat more primitive, uncultured, and awkward.”
He said… “Dreams are the main source of all of our knowledge about symbolism.”… This means that the messages you receive from your dreams are expressed symbolically and must be interpreted to find their true meanings.
Jung says that rarely do the symbols in dreams have just one meaning. And when interpreting the messages in your dreams, he suggests going with your first hunch, relying on your intuitive abilities, before applying more rational methods of dream interpretation.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating dream theorists might be Edgar Cayce. Today, we would call him a psychic. When he was alive, he was a fascinating individual who, it appeared, could speak with the dead, make predictions about the future, and provide insight into areas where the normal person couldn’t go.
(click below to read more)
(1) Have You Ever Wondered What Your Dreams Mean?
(2) Introduction to Interpreting Dreams – part 1
(3) Introduction to Interpreting Dreams – part 2
(4) Experts in The Field of Dreams – Sigmund Freud
(5) Experts in The Field of Dreams – Carl Jung
(6) Experts in The Field of Dreams – Edgar Cayce
(7) There Are Eight Types of Dreams
(8) There Are Important Reasons Why we Dream
(9) Listening to Your Dreams Can Help You Solve Problems
(10) Simple to Use FORMULA to Unlock The True Meaning of Dreams