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Dream Analysis

Essay by 24  •  October 15, 2010  •  2,085 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,726 Views

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Most of us have at one time or another experienced a dream, be it a nightmare or a pleasant walk in a forest. Either way, it was always believed that dreams encompass a coded message that might be expressing our hidden wishes, things that happened in the past or even predict the future. In the past, there have been many attempts to unravel the secret hidden behind the dreams and so far the world came up with three main theories of interpreting the dreams (Freudian, Jungian and Cognitive)(Wade, Travis 1998). In this essay I will attempt to analyze my dream by using each of the theories mentioned above, then compare the outcomes as well as their possible connections to my life and in the end determine, which one of these theories is the most accurate and thus as a laic may say the "best" one. However, I have never believed that my dreams have any meaning and in the course of this analysis I will try to prove that the Cognitive view alone offers the most reasonable explanation of my dreams.

My dream had begun on a deserted shore. After a while, I was able to find a little cottage that belonged to a fisherman. I needed from him a boat in order to get to an island (it looked like a great mountain that was rising from the water and was covered with snow). All of a sudden, I sat in the boat with four of my roommates as well as with my father and grandfather. However, only then have we found out that we do not have enough food to get to that island, so we turned our boat back to the harbor. Upon our return, we had gone into a forest that was covering almost all of the land that we were able to see. After a period of time, the length of which I was not able to determine, we have found an arbor and there were many deer running around it. But instead of shooting any of them, I shot an old ugly pig with six bullets. That was the end of my dream. The next day in the morning I wrote it down as soon as I woke up.

Sigmund Freud, in his famous book "Interpretation of Dreams" (1900) presented his new theories about determining the real meaning of our dreams. According to his book, our dreams in their core represent our deepest wishes, desires and instinctual thoughts. However, as these dreams in their original form (latent contents) were unacceptable for our consciousness, the "censor"(an unconscious mechanism) shaped them into an acceptable and symbolic form (manifest content). These symbols may represent a condensation (combination of many components), a composite (combination of two components), a displacement (part of) or representation (substitute symbol) of latent (original) contents of a dream. However, Sigmund Freud used as well the technique of the free association in order to determine the real meaning of the dream, because sometimes it was not possible to do so by applying the dream work functions (condensation, composite, displacement, representation) only (Freud 1900).

To be more specific about the process of analyzing any dream, Freud thought that only those objects and symbols are of significant importance that we forget as soon as few days pass by and our unconscious "censor" has enough time to erase them from our memory (Freud 1900). When I have compared the two versions of my dream (the one that I put down immediately after waking up and the other one that was written after four days) I found out that the following things and objects were omitted:

* People that were in the boat with me

* Deer around the arbor

* Six bullets (that I have shot the pig with)

The fact, that these objects were omitted signified a fact that they are (from Freudian point of view) of significant importance. People that were in the boat with me were the ones I like and ask for an advice or help. The fact that they were in the boat with me could mean that I need them or perhaps that I will need them sometimes in the future. However, we can explain it also in another way. Perhaps they are just slowing my boat down and therefore I cannot go towards my goals as fast as I would like to. If we take into consideration this explanation of these people in my boat, it could mean that in order to achieve my aims, I need to do it on my own and according to my own opinions. But the deer around the arbor is much greater puzzle than the objects discussed before. It could stand for knowledge that I might need along my way or it could even represent a woman (who I will probably need in the course of my life). However, when I apply that outcome to my present situation, the first outcome (knowledge) is much more probably than the second one. Last things that I have omitted were those six bullets. Number six, according to the common knowledge in my country, is an unlucky number, therefore it could have stood for death, for bad luck or for a bad choice that I have made when I decided to shot that pig and not the deer. It may signify that before I set out for my journey, I may make a bad decision that I will suffer from on my way to the mountain (pork is not as good as venison). However, my Internet source mentioned that number six symbolizes completeness and in some cases it may signalize a conflict in the future (Gifford). As it could be observed, there was used the method of free association mainly in combination with the dream work function of representation. Nevertheless, all of these explanations could have been truth, but in their core they are too general and their meaning is sometimes too ambiguous. Therefore I would not consider the Freudian theory of dream analysis as an accurate way to analyze my dream and thus I may claim that it is irrelevant to use this theory in order to analyze any dream.

The Jungian dream analysis is basically based on the analysis of the most powerful image from our dream be it a place, person or even a color (Johnson 2002). Then there is used the method called amplification, when all of the meanings that this image could have had are written down. In the next part of the Jungian dream analysis are all of these possible meanings divided into three main groups (personal, cultural, archetypal). Then the last step is to relate these meanings to the current problems or to the unexpressed aspects of personality (subjective analysis)(Wade, Travis 1998).

In my dream the most powerful image had been the mountain that towered itself in the distance. It looked great and it seemed that it is not possible to get on the top of it and that was one of the reasons why I endeavored to get on the very top of it. As it was mentioned in the paragraph above, I have tried to find all of the possible meanings that the mountain might have and divided them into three groups:

A. Personal meaning: challenge, goals, endeavors

B. Cultural

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