The past few weeks I have been thinking more about dreams and what they mean. In school we learned a multitude of theories on dream interpretation, and Adler’s dream theory always stood out to me. Adler believed that dreams were a representation of our most immediate needs. In trying to put that theory to use, I could only remember the dreams where I would drink gallons of water without feeling quenched. I don’t know if that dream is common for other people, but I would inevitably wake up feeling parched, and I would head to the kitchen to satiate my thirst.
One interesting Jungian theory poses the notion that all of the people in dreams are a version of the “self.” When we have negative reactions to the person in our dreams, it is often a part of ourselves that we detest or shun. This aspect of our personalities was generally shunned by our parental figures, so we try and shame it away in order to avoid the continuous punishment or rejection of caregivers. As I write about this I imagine the reaction of my readers to be somewhat polarized. Those of you with secure and loving attachments might see this theory as overly reaching, and those of you with a traumatic history might find it spot on.
In any case, regardless of the theory, I find dreams fascinating. Proof that just because our body shuts down does not mean our brain does. Whether the dream is cathartic, frightening, pleasurable, or mundane, the experience of being transported to a subconscious realm is a great opportunity for reflection. I think most of us have dreams that we can recall quickly, even those who do not remember dreams nightly. I think we are lucky to watch these limitless movies, and the glimpse we get into ourselves might just provide us with some insight.