Meaning Behind Dreams

Not all lucid dreamers like to think too hard about the meaning behind dreams. Sometimes I don’t care to think about the meaning behind dreams, but sometimes I find it fascinating. Normally, it depends on how much I’ve been in control of a lucid dream. If I intentionally traveled to Hawaii for a mini vacation, I think the meaning of that dream is that I needed to relax and wanted to give my mind a break! If I enter into a dream – lucid or not – where symbols and people and places are appearing without my instruction, though, then I start to think about what those things mean.

The interesting thing about the meaning behind dreams is that people have been interpreting dreams for centuries, and not all dream symbols mean the same things in different interpretations. So, the way you look at the meaning behind dreams really depends on the type of interpretation you’re doing. There are ancient models of dream interpretation, as well as psychological ones.

Here’s a bit about the meaning behind dreams according to different philosophies. You can use these philosophies to interpret your dreams in different ways, although I think you often have an intuitive knowledge about what your dreams mean if you pay attention to what they’re saying to you.

Different Types of Dream Interpretation

In the ancient world, dreams were often interpreted to be signaling the future. You find this in lots of biblical and other historical types of literature, where characters’ dreams are interpreted to signal events that actually take place in the story. In these dream interpretations, there is some symbol interpretation, too, that is similar, sometimes, to modern dream interpretation. Sometimes, though, these dream interpretations are a little more literal than modern dreams, where one object can be said to symbolize something totally different.

Freud is, of course, one of the founding fathers of the psychoanalytical interpretation of dreams. He argues that dreams are about fulfilling our latent, anti-social desires and that they’re based on things that happened to us during the day.

Carl Jung later argued that the meaning behind dreams needs to be interpreted according to the entire unconscious. Jung made an interesting argument that dreams need to be interpreted subjectively, which means every person in the dream actually represents an aspect of the dreamer. Therefore, the meaning behind dreams is an attempt for the unconscious to help the dreamer understand himself or herself more fully.

These aren’t the only psychoanalysts to try to figure out the meaning behind dreams. However, these are two of the most influential. Most of the time now, dreams are interpreted along psychological lines because they’re seen to be a way to interpret the mind. Different psychoanalysts will interpret dreams more or less literally, usually depending on how much they think the mind does or does not actually control dream content.

If you’re interested in searching out the meaning behind dreams, my suggestion is to check out different types of interpretation to see which one fits best with your intuitive sense of what your dreams are telling you.

Personally, I think Jung’s theory of subjective interpretation is very interesting. I do think our dreams often reveal to us aspects of ourselves that we don’t really understand or don’t want to face. If I do end up interpreting my dreams or attempting to, I often see the different characters and symbols in my dream as giving me insight into myself. In this way, I use my dreams to gain more insight into my own character. It’s not always comfortable, but it’s definitely useful knowledge to have!

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"The result of the struggle between the thought and the ability to express it, between dream and reality, is seldom more than a compromise or an approximation." - M. C. Escher