Monday, 29 July 2013

Dreams Defined

Anyone that follows my ramblings on Twitter may remember I mentioned a dream dictionary. The actual dictionary is: The New American Dream Dictionary by Joan Seaman and Tom Philbin. From what I have read of the book it is well laid out, and easy to read - but then again it is a dictionary, just look up a word and see how it is defined.

On Twitter, I asked if anyone had ever used a dream dictionary to look up a dream they had experienced, and if so how close was it to their real life. Twitter was pretty quiet on the subject. Which to be honest is not that unexpected as supposedly looking at the dreams of people is a private thing and looks into their subconscious.

I decided to try and remember my dream, if any, that night and check with the dictionary what any of it meant. Remember something from at the most 5 hours ago cannot be too hard. Wrong. For some reason I awoke forgetting all but a few details of what I had dreamed. The things I remembered were:

A doorway with an open door, and on the door frame was an ant that was crawling round and round a knot in the wood. On the other side of the door was nothing - no dark, no light, no objects, just nothing.

The dream was more than that, at least I think it was, but that was all I could remember. So I looked up the words.
  • Doorway - 1. spiritual change. 2. new prospects. 3. moving from one level  of  understanding  to  another.  4.  fortune  or  wealth  is  at hand. 5. view of society (door opening out). 6. view of inner self (door opens in).
  • Door - 1.  access  from  one  realm  to  another  (intellectual  to  the spiritual). 2. money and fortune are on the way. 3. moving from one stage of life to another. 4. desire to remove oneself from a situation or stage of life (closing and/or locking a door).
  • Ant - 1. hardworking, industrious. 2. one knows his/her place in a community. 3. unselfish. 4. willingness to work for the common good.
  • Knot - 1. facing problems without obvious solutions. 2. lack of direction  or  inspiration.  3.  fear  of  commitment  (“tying  the knot”).
I also looked up 'nothing' but unsurprisingly there was nothing for 'nothing'. Seems if you dream of nothing it is not worth mentioning.

How much of it tied into my real life? That bit of information remains with me. All I will say is that it is not 100% correct, nor is it 100% wrong.

As I sat there I wondered as the book was entitled "New American" if dreams had different meanings in different areas of the world. Although I found very little on this subject the following came from Wikipedia:

"Since the 19th century, the art of dream interpretation has been transferred to a scientific ground, making it a distinct part of psychology. However, the dream symbols of the "unscientific" days - the outcome of hearsay interpretations that differ around the world among different cultures - continued to mark the day of an average human-being, who is most likely unfamiliar with Freudian analysis of dreams."

So would my dream mean the same thing in Germany? Would it have a completely different meaning in South Africa? Would Russians think my dream was a mark of insanity? I don't know. I looked, but alas nothing sprang out at me. I even started to read "The Interpretation Of Dreams" by Freud, but in all honesty Freud confused the hell out of me. Everything was genitals, parents, and childhood. But then again I'm no psychologist so may have just took Freud somewhat too literally.

The outcome? Do dreams mean anything, and if so do dream dictionaries clearly interpret those dreams? I'm not convinced. As an example, there are 6 different possibilities for a doorway, and as such a person reading that could, if they felt so inclined, read whichever they wanted so that it did fit their life.

Back to my dream, there are 288 possibilities (6 x 4 x 4 x 3) and that is just from the details I actually recalled. I could choose the 'best' interpretation from each bit. So it all comes down to how you read the interpretation, which is then different in various dictionaries, and also different around the world.

Maybe it is all mumbo-jumbo and maybe it is a science (Psychoanalysis). Either way it is interesting to read what a dream may have meant.

1 comment:

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