DOUBLE ENTENDRE – Dreaming

By Saul Levine, MD

 

 

 

 

2015 W LUX  10A. DOUBLE ENTENDRE WORLD LUXURY Issue 2015 - Dreams JPG

 

 

 

 Dreaming

 

 

 

Most people roll their eyes when someone recounts a “fascinating” dream he or she had. But our own dreams? Well, that’s another story, because we often find our own dreams fascinating.

 

Sometimes we clearly recall the stories or plots of our dreams, and are entranced. Yet at other times, we remember only scattered bits of the story, or even nothing at all, but we seem to know we’ve been involved in a somnolent drama.  We’ve all experienced mystifying dreams that made us wonder about their meanings. Some dreams are one-time occurrences, but others are repetitive and linger in our minds during our waking hours. We dream during specific stages of sleep that can be detected electronically, called REM or rapid eye-movement sleep.

 

Dreams have played major roles in literary fantasies: in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”, in the Old Testament (e.g., the story of Joseph), in children’s literature (e.g., Scrooge’s ghostly encounters in “A Christmas Carol”), in opera (eg, Radames’s dreams in “Aida”), and on Broadway (e.g., Tevya in “Fiddler on the Roof”).

 

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, attributed symbolic meanings to dream content, and his ideas were in vogue for years. For example, cylindrical objects were said to represent the phallus or penis, and round, warm symbols to depict the womb, but these interpretations have largely been debunked.  Another pioneer, Carl Jung, used dreams to explore cultural and spiritual meanings. 

 

Dreams can provoke thoughts and feelings which can be highly significant. Recurrent disturbing themes can be signs of troubling preoccupations, which can be fruitfully explored in psychotherapy. Dreams are still utilized as “windows” into our unconscious (i.e., hidden thoughts and feelings), and can play an important role in learning about our profound inner conflicts, fears and desires. 

 

 





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