A Brief History of Dreams

Whether young, old, or in-between, dreams hold a fascination for everyone. And there are many interesting, magical things that can be said about dreams. Let’s explore some of these enchanting notions.

In many ancient societies, including Egypt and Greece, dreaming was considered to be a supernatural communication (sort of like a divine intervention). The belief was that dream messages could only be unraveled by priests, or others with powers of divination. Dreams were also frequently explored for their prophetic properties.

The ancient Greeks actually used to construct temples where sick people were placed in hopes of being cured. While the people slept, their dreams would occur within the confines of the temple. In this way, they believed the sick would be cured. A good example of written dreams is in Genesis. Here it was recorded that Joseph interpreted dreams sent from God to the Pharaoh. The Bible also described many incidents of dreams as divine revelation.

At the end of the 19th century in the Western world, dream interpretation was seen as an integral part of psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud believed that all dream content was the fulfillment of wishes, conscious or not. He often used dream interpretation to treat his patients. He called dreams “the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.”

Carl Jung (1874-1961), a former pupil of Freud, believed Freud’s interpretation was too simplistic and naïve. He cautioned against blindly giving meaning to any dream symbols without first having a clear understanding of the patient’s own personal situation. Jung believed that dreams have their own language. He said that just as we do not doubt the importance of our conscious experience, we shouldn’t undermine the value of our unconscious life.

Psychologist, Calvin S. Hall (1909-1958), developed a theory of dreams in which he said dreaming was a cognitive process. Hall believed that dream images were a visual representation of personal conceptions. For example, if you dreamed about being attacked by friends, this would represent your fear of friendship.

The “sleeping prophet”, Edgar Cayce believed that through dreaming, people were given access to their spirit. He believed that all questions could be answered from the inner consciousness with the proper awareness.

Which interpretation do you believe?

Next: Some famous dreams

10 thoughts on “A Brief History of Dreams

  1. Ariel X9775

    Hi Jacqueline,
    Isn’t it exciting when we reach that “aha” moment that symbolizes a recognition of what our inner consciousness is trying to say to us?
    Thnx for your kind words~!
    Much luv & lite,

  2. Ariel X9775

    Hi Gina Rose,
    Dreams can surely act as our inner guides if we discern how to unravel them~!
    Thnx for your kind words…
    Much luv & lite,

  3. Ariel X9775

    Hi Maryanne,
    Thnx for your kind comment~! As we delve more deeply into dreams, so many, many, many fascinating thoughts and ideas float from within us~!
    Much luv & lite,

  4. Ariel X9775

    Hi Lise,
    I look forward to talking with you further about the wacky wonderful world of dreams~!
    Much luv & lite,

  5. Psychic Maryanne Ext. 9146

    Hi, Ariel,
    Wonderful article about dreams-thank you for it. I do also believe all four interpretations-Freud, Jung, Hall and Cayce have merit and build upon and refine the interpretations that preceeded their own.
    Jacqueline, I’m quite sure our dreams do serve as an emotional release and also a cognitive way for us to “think through” issues that are troubling us in our waking lives.
    Makes me believe that we only use a very small portion of our brain power when awake and additional percentages of brain power when asleep.
    Some psychics do “see” things in dreams that are prophetic either for themselves or their clients. I do from time to time and my mother did frequently and accurately.
    Ext. 9146

  6. Fran

    Hi Jacqueline ~
    Thanks for helping me with that dream. It was so vivid, and felt so real…at least now I understand why. Very interesting interpretation, and it makes so much sense.
    Lotsa’ hugs,

  7. The Lovely Duckling

    Dreams already fascinate me, but you make them all the more interesting in your articles, Ariel.
    I don’t know a lot about any of them, but I can see how all three interpretations are useful. They seem to fit together, with the cognitive process being the bridge by which the unconscious moves to the conscious. That’s really interesting…I’d love to know more about all three.
    I would love to know how each would have interpreted my dreams. I promise I will call you some time to see what you have to say about them.
    Thanks again, Ariel!
    Lise 🙂

  8. Psychic Jacqueline x9472

    Jacqueline x9472 said….
    Love your articles Ariel,
    This is so interesting I tend to believe there is truths in all 3 of these great men I love dreaming and then analyze them finding the hidden truths and meaning behind them….
    I think it also brings a releasing for us emotionally….
    Jacqueline x9472

  9. Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Ariel,
    Very INTERESTING article…….Which do I believe ????? A combination of all three…Cayce,Jung, & Hall.
    I love your articles……very educational and well written.
    Blessed Be )O(…Gina Rose ext.9500


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