Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sigmund Freud on Dreams

Sigmund Freud actually called dreams the “royal road to the unconscious,” That statement will probably remain true in psychology forever. Freud’s classic text, The Interpretation of Dreams, contains some of his finest work.

Freud believed every dream is a wish fulfillment, and he kept this theory to the end, even though he gave up his initial idea that all dreams have a sexual content. For Freud, the concept of wish fulfillment didn’t
necessarily imply that a pleasure was sought, because a person could just as well have a wish to be punished.
Nevertheless, this idea of a “secret” wish being masked by a dream remains central to classical Freudian psychoanalysis.

Freud said, “Dreams are not comparable to the spontaneous sounds made by a musical instrument struck
rather by some external force than by the hand of a performer; they are not meaningless, not absurd, they do
not imply that one portion of our stockpile of ideas sleeps while another begins to awaken. They are a completely valid psychological phenomenon, specifically the fulfillment of wishes; they can be classified in the continuity of comprehensible waking mental states; they are constructed through highly complicated intellectual activity.”

It was not until Freud noticed how allowing his patients to freely associate ideas with whatever came to mind, that he really explored spontaneous abreaction. Freud himself suffered bouts of deep anxiety, and it was partly this that led him to explore the connection between association of ideas and dreams. In 1897 he wrote to his friend Wilhelm Fliess.

‘No matter what I start with, I always find myself back again with the neuroses and the psychical apparatus. Inside me there is a seething ferment, and I am only waiting for the next surge forward. I have felt impelled to start writing about dreams, with which I feel on firm ground.’

This move toward dreams may have come about because in allowing his patients freedom to talk and explore the associations that arose - free association - Freud noticed that patients would often find a connection between the direction of their associations and a dream they had experienced. The more he allowed his patients to go in their own direction, the more frequently they mentioned their dreams. Also, talking about the dream often enabled the patient to discover a new and productive chain of associations and memories.

Freud began to take note of his own dreams and explore the associations they aroused. In doing so he was the first person to consciously and consistently explore a dream into its depths through uncovering and following obvious and hidden associations and emotions connected with the dream imagery and drama.

Obviously previous dream researchers had noticed how the dream image associated with personal concerns, but Freud broke through into seeing the connection with sexual feelings, with early childhood trauma, and with the subtleties of the human psyche. He did this to deal with his own neurosis, and he says of this period, ‘I have been through some kind of neurotic experience, with odd states of mind not intelligible to consciousness, cloudy thoughts and veiled doubts, with barely here and there a ray of light.’

Using dreams for his self analysis, Freud discovered that previously unremembered details from his childhood
were recaptured along with feelings and states of mind which he had never met before.

He wrote of this period, “Some sad secrets of life are being traced back to their first roots; the humble origins of much pride and precedence are being laid bare. I am now experiencing myself all the things that, as a third party, I have witnessed going on in my patients, days when I slink about depressed because I have understood nothing of the day’s dreams, fantasies, or mood.”

Without this powerful and personal experience of working with his dreams, meeting emotions and fantasies welling up from the unconscious, Freud would not have so passionately believed in his theories regarding dreams and the unconscious.

Of course, like much of Freud’s theories, he related dreams to sex. One of his basic views of dreams was that the purpose of dreams is to allow us to satisfy in fantasies the instinctual urges that society judges unacceptable such as sexual practices. This was partly the reason for the enormous opposition and criticism that he met.

During the period of his early life, only men were believed to have powerful sexual urges. When Freud showed that repressed but obvious sexual desires were equally at work in women this created a social uproar. Perhaps his second finding in regard to sexuality surprised even him. During his analysis of women patients, sexual advance or assault by the woman’s father was often revealed.

Freud struggled with this, wondering whether the assault was memory of an actual event, or a psychic reproduction of it. He eventually came to the conclusion that hysterical and neurotic behavior was often due to the trauma caused by an early sexual assault by the parent.

Where there was not evidence of physical assault, then he saw the neurosis as due to sexual conflict or a trauma caused by some other event. This conflict was often manifested through dreams. This led to Freud being rejected by university colleagues, fellow doctors, and even by patients.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why Do We Dreams?

The brain receives stimuli from many different sources all day long. There are too many stimuli for it to process. The mind prioritizes the stimuli and makes you aware of those that need immediate attention (the crying baby, the out-of-control car, your boss' request) so that you may act accordingly.

The stimuli that you are not consciously aware of are nevertheless noted by the brain, but on subconscious level (the drip of the bathroom water faucet, the remark by a coworker at the water cooler while you were on the telephone.)

Furthermore, you feel emotions all days. Some you acknowledge and act on (you say thank you and smile when you are complimented.) Some you repress or do not allow yourself to act on (you don't punch your boss in the noise when he tells you the report you worked on for a week is no longer needed.)

Traumatic experience occur that you face (you call the police) or if it painful, you deny them happening and send them deep into your subconscious repression.)

In addition to all these emotions and stimuli the brain must process daily, it also keep your body functioning; it remembers names and faces; it allows you to talk and walk and chew gum (sometimes all at the same time); and performs numerous other activities that you take for granted.

You must admit - that's a lot to do. At night, when your body must rest, the mind continues working. When no longer called upon to type letters and do the grocery shopping, the brain concentrates on processing all those subconscious stimuli and emotions (while still maintaining body temperature and breathing, etc.)

This is why we dreams. Only you are not awake to receive the signals at a conscious level - you cannot hear or see or touch (at a conscious level) while you are sleeping. The brain must resort to other means to get the signals through to your conscious mind. This is why we dream the way we do.

The mind was everything at its disposal (which is everything it has ever exposed to) to get the message across. Simply put, dreaming is the minds way of processing all of the stimuli and emotions it has received during the day or repressed over time, so that you may act on them.

All in all, it;s a pretty meat system. But unless you are remembering and making sense of your dreams, you are missing out on countless opportunities to learn about yourself and experience life to its fullest. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Types of Dreams

Studies show that we all have the tendency to daydream an average of 70 - 120 minutes a day. Day dreaming is classified as a level of consciousness between sleep and wakefulness. It occurs during our waking hours when we let our imagination carry us away. As our minds begin to wander and our level of awareness decreases, we lose ourselves in our imagined scenario and fantasy.

Lucid Dreams
Lucid dreams occur when you realize you are dreaming. "Wait a second. This is a dream!" Most dreamers wake themselves up once they realize that they are only dreaming. Other dreamers have cultivated the skill to remain in the lucid state of dreaming. They become an active participant in their own dreams, making decisions in their dreams and influencing the dreams outcome without awakening.

A nightmare is a disturbing dream that causes the dreamer to wake up feeling anxious and frightened. Nightmares may be a response to real life trauma and situations. This type of nightmare falls under a special category call Post-traumatic Stress Nightmare (PSN).

Nightmares may also occur because we have ignored or refused to accept a particular life situation. Research shows that most people who have regular nightmares have had a family history of psychiatric problems, bad drug experiences, people who have contemplated suicide and/or rocky relationships.

Nightmares are an indication of a fear that needs to be acknowledged and confronted. It is a way for our subconscious to make up take notice. "Pay attention!" We'll have more later about nightmares and steps you can take to overcome them.

Recurring Dreams
Recurring dreams repeat themselves with little variation in story or theme. These dreams may be positive, but most often they are nightmarish in content. Dreams may recur because a conflict depicted in the dream remains unresolved or ignored. Once you have found a resolution to the problem, your recurring dreams will cease.  

Healing Dreams
Healing dreams serve a messages for the dreamer in regards to their health. Many dream experts believe that dreams can help us avoid potential health problems and help us to heal when we are ill. Our bodies are able to communicate to us through our dreams to "tell" us that something is not quite right with our bodies even before any physical symptoms show up. Dreams of this nature may be telling the dreamers that he/she needs to go to the dentist or doctor.

Prophetic Dreams
Prophetic dreams also referred to as precognitive or psychic dreams are dreams that seemingly foretell the future. On rational theory to explain this phenomenon is that our dreaming mind is able to piece together bits of information and observation that we normally overlook or that we do not seriously consider. In other words, our unconscious mind know what is coming before we consciously piece together the same information. 

Signal Dreams
Signal dreams help you to solve problems or make decision in your waking life.

Epic Dreams
Epic dreams (or Great dreams) are so huge, so compelling and so vivid that you cannot ignore them. The details of such dreams remain with you for years, as if your dreamt it last night. These dreams possess much beauty and contain many archetpal symbology. When you wake up from such a dream, you feel that you have discovered something profound or amazing about yourself or about the world. It feel like a life - changing experience.

You might be wondering what exactly is going on in your head when you dream.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Did We Always Dream?

That may seem like a silly question, but think about early man. Have people always dream even when the world around them was quite simple and mundane? The answer is yes. While we cannot definite proof of paleo-man, we can know that back in the Roman Era, striking and significant dreams were submitted to the senate for analysis and interpretation.

What did man do with these odd images taht appeared during their sleep? Well, they did what we do today - tried to interpret them!

Dreams interpretations date back to 3000 - 4000 B.C. where they were documented on clay tablets. For as long as we have been able to communicate our dreams, we have been fascinated with them and strive to understand them.

People in primal societies were unable to distinguish between the dream world and reality. They not only saw the dream world as an extension of reality, but that the dream realm was a more powerful world.

Back in the Greece and Roman era, dreams were often seen in a religious context and messages from the gods. Temples, called Asclepieions were built around the power of dreams. It was believed that sick people who slept in these temples would be sent cures through their dreams.

In Egypt, priests also acted as dream interpreters. The Egyptians recorded their dreams in hieroglyphies. People with particular vivid and significant dreams were believed to be blessed and were considered special. People who had the power to interpret dreams were looked up to and seen as divinely gifted. In the bible, there are over seven hundreds mentions of dreams. Tracing back to these ancient cultures, people had always had an inclination to interpret dreams.

Dreams were also seen as prophetic and an omen from outside spirits. People often looked to their dreams for signs of warning and advice from a deity, from the dead or even the works of a demon. Sometimes they look into their dreams for what to do or what course of action to take.

Dreams often dictated the actions of political and military leaders. In fact, in the Green and Roman era, dream interpreters even accompanied military leaders into battle to help. Some interpreters aided the medicine men in a diagnosis. Dreams offered a vital clue for healers in finding what was wrong with the dreamers.

Dreaming can be seen as an actual place that your spirit and soul leaves every night to go and visit. The Chinese believed that the soul leaves the body to go into this world. However, if they should be suddenly awakened, their soul may fail to return to the body. For this reason, some Chinese today, are worry of alarm clocks.

Some Native American tribes and Mexican civilizations share this same notion of a distinct dream dimension. They believed that their ancestors lived in their dreams and take on non-human forms like plants. They see that dreams as a way of visiting and having contact with their ancestors. Dreams also helped to point their mission or role in life.

During the Middle Ages, dreams were seen as evil and its images were temptations from the devil. In the vulnerable sleep state, the devil was believed to fill the mind of humans with poisonous thoughts. He did his dirty work through dreams attempting to mislead humans down a wrong path.

In the early 19th century, dreams were dismissed as stemming anxiety, a household noise or even indigestion. Hence there was really no meaning to it. Later on in the 19th century, Sigmund Freud revived the importance of dreams and its significance and need for interpretation. He revolutionized the study of dreams.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


"Last night, I had the strangest dream!" How many conversations in your life have started that way? People are fascinated with the movies that play in their head while they're sleeping. Some believe that dreams can predict the future. Others say that dreams depict real life. Still others believe that dreams are manifestation of what we want to be.

Interpreting dreams has evolved over the years to what some consider an art form. We spend one-third of our lives sleeping. In the average life time, six years is spent dreaming. That's more than 2,100 days spent in a different world! Every night, we dream an average of one to two hours dreaming and usually have 4 - 7 dreams per night.

Consider some of these other facts about dreams and dreaming:
  • Everybody dreams. EVERYBODY! Simply because you not remember your dream does not mean that you did not dream. 
  • Dreams are indispensable. A lack of dream activity can mean protein deficiency or personality disorder. 
  • Men tend to dream more about other men, while women dream equally about men and women. 
  • People who are giving up smoking have longer and more intense dreams.
  • Toddlers do not dream about themselves. They do not appear in their own dreams until the age 3 or 4. 
  • If you are snoring, then you cannot be dreaming.
  • Blind people do dream. Whether visual images will appear in their dream depends on whether they were blind at birth or became blind later in life. But vision is not the only constitutes a dream. Sounds, tactility and smell become hypersensitive for the blind and their dreams are based on these sense.
The dream world is fascinating full of speculation, hope and sometimes even fear. We can wake up from a good dreams feeling refreshed and hopeful. On the other hand, we can wake up from a bad dream feeling tense apprehensive.

Ever since Freud's Interpretation of Dreams was published, there has been recognition of the importance of dreams. But even before that there were dream interpretations. People had superstitious notions about dreams - for example, "Something is going to happen because I dreamed it was going to happen."

This is a common misconception. Regardless of what some people might say, if you dream you are falling and don't wake up before you hit the ground in your dream, you will not die. If you dream that someone close to you dies, that's not an omen to warn you of their death. Dreams do not predict the future.

What dream can do is provide a sense of insight into ourselves. They can help us cope with situations we're unsure about. They can guide us in a certain direction when faced with uncertainty. They can simply gives us an overall good feeling as we dreams of something pleasant.

The dream state is an experimental playground which gives you a chance to explore and express emotions without the usual inhibitions you may display in your waking life. Dreams provide an avenue of expression for that part of yourself that knows both your history and your potential as a spiritual being.

There are another way the universe provides guidance about relationships, careers and health problems. Through dreams you may find an answer to your spiritual questions and even receive encouragement to some challenge in your life. While some dreams may allow you to released bottled emotions from your day's activities, others can lead to profound insights in a psychological or spiritual way.

Acquiring the ability to interpret your dreams is a powerful tool. In analyzing dreams, you can learn about your deep secrets and hidden feelings. No one is a better expert at interpreting yours dreams than yourself.

Here, we'll look at dreams and dreaming as a science as well as the various meanings that dream content can have. This is not meant to be a definitive guide to dreams. It is simply a starting point for you to look at what "movies" your sub-conscious is creating at night and how you can apply it your life and affect change if needed.

Remember that a dream unifies the body, mind and spirit. It provides you with insight into yourself and a means for self-exploration. In understanding your dreams, you will have a better understanding and discovery of your true self. So stay awhile - explore, discover, have fun and find out what's in your dreams!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Failure and Reorganization

When a business fails it can be either reorganized or dissolved depending on the circumstances. A number of ways exist for business failure to occur, including a poor rate of return, technical insolvency and bankruptcy.

A company may fail if its rate of return is negative or poor. If operating losses exist, the company may not be able to meet its obligations. A negative rate of return will cause a decline in the market price of its stock. When a company does not earn a return greater that its cost of capital, it may fail. If corrective action is not forthcoming, perhaps the firm should liquidate. A poor return, however, does not constitute legal evidence of failure.

Technical insolvency means that the business cannot satisfy current debt when due even if total assets are greater than total liabilities.

In bankruptcy, liabilities are greater than the fair market value assets. There exists a negative real net worth. According to law, failure of company can be either technical insolvency or bankruptcy. When creditor claims against the company.

Some causes of business failure include:
  1. Poor management
  2. An economic downturn affecting the company and/ or industry. 
  3. The end of the life cycle of the firm.
  4. Overexpansion 
  5. Catastrophe