Dream symbols and explanations         

Dream Philosophers
Edgar Cayce

Edgar Cayce's approach to dreams was one of the most practical ones. He believed dreaming to be a way of quickening the dreamer to his/her own human potential.

According to Cayce, dreams go through five different levels:
1. Body level
2. Subconscious level
3. Level of consciousness
4. Level of super conscious
5. Level of the soul.

Cayce's method of interpreting one's dreams includes two steps.

The first step is to determine the primary focus of the dream. To either solve problems and adapt to external affairs or to awaken and alert the dreamer.

The second step is the process of getting to know your conscious and subconscious mind inside out. If you know your needs, habits, weaknesses and fears you can begin to interpret your dreams in order to feel better both physically and spiritually.

Carl Gustav Jung

"The collective unconscious is common to all; it is the foundation of what the ancients called the "sympathy of all things." -- CG Jung

Born in 1875 Carl Gustav Jung grew up to be a world famous psychiatrist. One of his first jobs in an asylum grew his desire to understand the human psyche. His research focused in the structure of the human psyche and the nature of dreams. Jung’s work includes various areas of study such as religion, astrology and alchemy.

C. G. Jung said that the unconscious is not necessarily smarter but that it holds different information than our conscious mind. It is another dimension of our mind which we cannot visit when awake and it usually hides things that we avoid admitting. According to Carl Jung dreams have 4 primary functions:

1. Dreams usually are set against real life in order to balance the psyche. For example: if you had a bad day you may have a happy dream or vice-versa.

2. Dreams may occur as a reaction to a traumatic experience e.g. an accident or a rape. People who suffered great trauma may have nightmares similar to their experiences. As they begin to heal these nightmares should become less and less frequent.

3. Dreams may be prophetic with glimpses into the future. Usually such dreams are charged with strong emotions. However keep in mind that most dreams are simply symbolic.

4. Dreams may be telepathic. The dreamer actually communicates with others through "means other than the senses".

5. Dreams may be mimetic of events occurring in the physical system or body. For example dreams may try to alert the dreamer about upcoming illnesses.

Jung believed that dreams use a symbolic language in order to state unconscious memories and instincts that all people share. He is mostly remembered for his acknowledgement of the validity of the spiritual content in dreams and his studies referring to the unconscious and conscious portions. He believed that the inner-self had a much greater understanding than the outer-self.

Sigmund Freud

Freud believed that every action and every thought we do is at some level motivated by our unconscious. All those desires and urges that we hide because we want to be accepted in our society come out during sleep, when our guard is down.  Freud's theories on dream interpretation were based on the assumption that we retain much more information from every situation but our conscious memory tends to forget it. However it is still held in our subconscious memory.

Freud believed that there are five stages to personality formation, which result in the kinds of dreams that we have:

1. Oral/Dependency: Dreams are filled by the feeling of incompleteness and unfulfilled needs.

2. Anal/ Potty Training: A person might get traumatized as a child and become controlling or obsessive. Dreams of being out of control or trying to keep things in order is common.

3. Phallic: This stage is classified by the Oedipus and Electra Complexes. The Oedipus represents a male child's love for his mother and the fear/jealousy towards his father. The Electra is the female version where the female child has anger toward her mother and exhibits "penis envy".

4. Latency: In this level, objects and actions in dreams symbolize sexual, aggressive or repressed feelings.

5. Genital: Freud believed that every imagery and symbol that appears in a dream has a sexual connotation. He believed that anxiety dreams were a sign of repressed sexual impulses.

Freud believed that there are four main elements to dream interpretation:

1. The Manifest Content: The description of the basic idea of the dream by the dreamer before any attempt to interpret deeper meanings.

2. The Day's Residue: Images associated with experiences from the previous day.

3. The Latent Content: The true "purpose" of the dream. It can be revealed after associating the dream itself with unconscious thoughts and it is often connected to hidden wishes of the dreamer.

4. The Dreamwork: The processes dealing with the latent content and the day's memories that are used to create the dream.

Freud wrote "All dreams are in a sense dreams of convenience, they help to prolong sleep instead of waking up. Dreams are the guardians of sleep and not its disturbers.”


DreamSymbols.net 2007



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