For as long as I can remember, I’ve had vivid dreams. Some were pleasant and happy, some a little erotic, some so horrific, I’ve awaken in tears. Maybe it’s because of this that I have had an obsession with dreams and the subconscious mind.
Freud believed dreams to be our minds way of venting our desires and frustrations. He believed that in order for us to live civilly, we have to repress some of our natural impulses—good or bad. Still, everything must have a release. Our minds way of releasing these impulses is through dreams.
His theory is that the superego is one reason we cannot always remember dreams upon waking. Think of the superego as a panic room. This defense mechanism protects the conscious—and sometimes ethical—part of our mind from remembering disturbing thoughts and desires.
He also believed that dreams had two parts: what it seems to be saying and what it’s trying to say. His theory of understanding the unconscious mind is by using dream symbols, allowing one symbol to lead into the next until a dreams true meaning is revealed.
Freud was adamant that our dreams are sexually linked. Any long, slender objects such as pens, sticks, cigarettes, even a tube of lipstick could represent the male genitalia. However things to enclose, entrap, or hold something such as a cup, a hallway, even a glove, would represent a woman’s genitalia.
Just a side note: I wonder, did Freud have issues with woman?
Jung, who was Freud’s pupil, disagreed with his mentor’s point-of-view. He believed that dreams are our conscious and subconscious’s way to meet on neutral ground. This allows us to learn from our subconscious mind and better our lives in the conscious realm of existence.
His theory is that all things in life are paired in opposites, such as good and evil, love and hate, joy and pain. He believed the opposite part of the ego is the counter-ego, better known as the shadow. This counter-ego is a little rough around the edges, a more primitive part of our mind.
Keeping that in mind, Jung’s theory on dreams is that they reveal something about who we are and how we interact with others. If we use this information, we can grow as human beings to enrich our lives. The answers to our dreams are thought to lie within the dreamer his/herself. When we think of the dream, what our gut tells us about the meaning is more accurate than what someone (like Freud) tells us about the meaning.
I’m more accepting of what Jung has to say on this, but it still raises a question for me. If our dreams reveal something about who we are and how we interact with others, then why the hell did I have a vivid dream about a UFO and aliens coming to abduct me because, unbeknownst to me, I was expecting one of their off-springs?
Do you believe with Freud or Jung? Do dreams mean something entirely different? Are dreams our way of dealing with life or are they a portal to another plane?