Sunday, December 30, 2007

The History of Dream Analysis

No one knows the true origins of dream analysis, or how long it has been going on. Chances are, however, that the analysis and interpretation of dreams, in some fashion, has been taking place almost as long as people have been dreaming.

Dreams must have been both fascinating and terrifying to our ancient ancestors, and they were most likely very confused by this strange form of consciousness. We do know that many ancient civilizations placed great importance on the situations encountered in their dreams, and used those situations to cast light on their waking lives.

As a matter of fact, many civilizations did not see a distinction between the waking world and the world of dreams, but instead saw one as merely an extension of the other.

Of course dream analysis and dream interpretation is still in use today, and it has been used successfully to deal with all manner of traumas and emotional issues. For instance, it is known that those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), are often troubled by nightmares.

Dealing with the underlying cause of the PTSD, through a combination of therapies and psychological techniques, can banish those nightmares as well.

Some of the earliest references to dreams and their interpretation occurs in the Bible, and the Bible is full of references to the dreams of prophets and other notable people.

The ancient Greek and Roman world was also full of dream interpreters and analysis, and the Greek and Roman government and military alike used the services of professional dream interpreters to determine the best course of political action and even the best strategy for battle.

Dream interpreters were even taken along as troops prepared for battle, and their prognostications were taken very seriously, as were the dreams of the generals and the troops.

In the ancient world, the Greek philosopher Aristotle was a big propend of dream interpretation, and he spoke about the illusion of the senses that allowed dreams to occur. He later came to be believe that disturbances of the body were the cause of dreams.

Many ancient peoples thought that dreams were a way for the soul to commune with the spirit world. In many cultures, the soul was thought to leave the body at night, and dreams were thought of as a way of communicating with, and gaining information about, departed relatives and ancient ancestors alike.

Even today, many people place great significance on dreams and dreaming, and many people continue to see a spiritual element in the dream world. Dreams still remain largely a mystery to science, and this mystery has helped to spur thoughts that dreams contain more than a mere physical meaning.

Dream interpretation continues to be used, both as a fun hobby and as a serious scientific pursuit. Dream research is one of the most fascinating, and widely studied, elements of psychological research, and new dream studies continue to reveal hidden insights about the world of dreams.

New symbols, too, continue to emerge from the world of dream analysis and dream research. From Carl Jung to Sigmund Freud to modern psychologists and psychiatrists, many people have strived, and continue to strive, to understand the hidden meanings, and hidden messages, of our dreams.

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