Freud and Dreams
Published on Thursday, January 13th, 2011 at 11:50 am and is filed under General Psychology
Sigmund Freud’s Method of Dream Interpretation and Carl Jung’s Psychology
There were many citations about important dreams in the Bible. Many civilizations like the Native Americans, respected the importance of their dreams with devotion. However, the meaning of dreams remained a mystery for humanity.
In the 20th Century, dreams started being scientifically analyzed, and psychology became a known science. Sigmund Freud eliminated the old conceptions about human behavior. He discovered a hidden intention behind the apparent innocence of many human thoughts and actions.
According to his theories, there was a subconscious content in the human psyche, which had different feelings and purposes from those that belonged to the conscious mind. Freud concluded that the subconscious mind contained our repressed sexual instincts.
He observed his patients’ dreams, assuming that these dreams were wish fulfillment The dream images were interpreted as if they were giving to the dreamers, the pleasure of having what they could not have during their awaken life.
The dreamers would see themselves having sexual relationships with people they were not supposed to consider as possible partners. Their sexual instincts and subconscious desires had the chance to freely express themselves in the dream images and scenes. However, they were condemned by their conscious mind, which could not agree with their hidden immoral passions.
From Freud’s interpretations we get the popular belief that we see in our dreams pleasurable things that would be impossible to achieve in our daily life. However, most dreams present us with dangerous situations. They are mainly bad, even when they are not nightmares. Therefore, only in very few circumstances would it be possible to consider them as if they were wish fulfillment.
Carl Jung could clarify what Sigmund Freud couldn’t explain. He looked for the meaning of the dream symbols in all human manifestations, in all ancient times. He discovered that the unconscious mind produces our dreams, and that the dream images work like psychotherapy. They are not wish fulfillment. They are hidden messages, which must be translated according to the unconscious logic.
Many of the dream images interpreted by popular dream interpreters as signs of power and success are in fact serious warnings. For example, dreams where the dreamers fly as if they were birds indicate that they are far from reality, lost in their fantasy world. These dreams don’t represent freedom or power, like many false dream interpreters presume.
False dream interpreters who follow misleading theories, interpret the meaning of dreams based on their conscious logic. However, the logic followed by the unconscious mind that produces the dream images, is totally different from the logic based on the knowledge of our ignorant conscience.
Freud couldn’t truly understand the meaning of dreams, but he took off the mask of human hypocrisy, obliging us to admit the importance of our sexual instincts. He was a pioneer who discovered the existence of a subconscious content, buried under the conscious surface.
Carl Jung, who once was his student, had to discover the complexity of our dreaming system, surpassing his teacher. He had to have the courage to speculate the unknown content of the human psyche through dream interpretation. This was why he could verify that the subconscious content was larger than what Sigmund Freud had concluded.