There was something very off putting about Robert Waggoner's book attributing dreams to a personal god being one of them but I couldn't quite put my finger on it until I flipped ahead and found the chapter on utilizing lucid dreaming for ESP. Then it was clear why I didn't like him, he's a quack. View all 3 comments. Feb 05, Ada Heath rated it it was amazing. There are a lot of reasons I love this book, but the major one is that it delves really deep into the spiritual implications of lucid dreaming.
It goes beyond pleasure-seeking like flying for fun , to pushing the boundaries of the mind, delving into topics like dream telepathy, healing and subconscious unity. He draws a lot from psychology in the book, particularly from Freud and Jung, which I find enriches the read. Instead of engaging dream characters in dialogue, which is often fruitless, he suggests declaring questions or statements to whatever exists beyond the dream.
This apparently has very effective and intelligent results. Feb 01, Jude Li-Berry rated it did not like it. Such an anecdotal formula is certainly exercised a lot in 'Lucid Dreaming'. If the publications in the field of lucid dreaming follow that of self-help books, that is, you need to r "The year marked twenty years of lucid dreaming for me.
I'll be thrilled if you have a recommendation in that regard Lucidly Waggoner dreams his book into a bestseller, and subconsciously the crowd follows. View 2 comments. Jun 04, Pontus Presents rated it did not like it Shelves: non-fiction. Anecdote after anecdote, based on zero scientific background and very uninteresting. Lucid dreaming definitely does not need books like this unless they can prove what they are saying. Mutual dreaming? Seeing the future in dreams? This is not what I expected when I picked up this book. While the first parts of the book was okay exploring the psyche, etc and somewhat reasonable, the rest just seems like everything a "spiritual" individual would want lucid dreaming to be.
Lucid dreami Anecdote after anecdote, based on zero scientific background and very uninteresting. Lucid dreaming in itself is already a fantastic tool with endless of possibilities; why do people feel the need to add extra weird, spiritual-, world-changing elements to dreams? Books like this are unfortunately a big waste of time. Mar 08, Gregg rated it it was amazing Shelves: lucid-dreaming. To me, finding this book was like opening a gift on Christmas morning.
This book ranks high on my list of good books on lucid dreaming. Because it contains the findings of all of the other books I've encountered, this text is good reference material. Most of all the major areas on the subject are explored, with new interpretations added. Mr Waggoner is an accomplish lucid dreamer, and has a doctorate degree in psychology, so his thoughts are those of a professional, competent practitioner.
As a t To me, finding this book was like opening a gift on Christmas morning. As a true inter world explorer, Mr Waggoner was able to take mental notes, as well as try particular experiments, that seek to map out the mechanics of the astral world. Some of these experiments included, talking to other dream characters to determine their autonomy, trying to predict the future, different ways to stay in the dream longer, as well as asking the dream world for greater clarity and awareness. When it comes to lucid dreaming it is all about "awareness", God is what it is because of its awareness, and we are what we are because of our "limited" awareness.
As we evolve, we become what we used to think of as God, but by that time of course, God has evolved to be something else, and from our newly elevated position, we have a newer definition of what God is, and the cycle perpetuates. Remember, even God has a definition of God, and our cycle mimics its cycle on a higher level, as above so below.
Compre The Art of Lucid Dreaming; Chapters Seven through Nine (English Edition) de Michael Nielson na lirodisa.tk Confira também os eBooks mais . The Art of Lucid Dreaming; Chapters Seven through Nine - Kindle edition by Michael Nielson. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones.
The author covers the various techniques on how to sustain lucidity, and why these methods seem to work. The text also talks a lot about the larger self as a manifestation of the dream environment. If you are dreaming the dream, who or what is dreaming you? When you ask the dream to elucidate you, what is giving you the unknown knowledge? Other ideals that are explored such as healing yourself and others in a lucid dream, and asking other dream characters before you sleep how to go lucid, and stay lucid.
What does this say for having a paradigm shift in self healing, as well as our view of the health care industry, let alone the preventive health care field. The book does an excellent job in exploring these ideals, and presenting documented evident from lucid dreamers who have experienced success in some of these areas. Mr Waggoner's most lucid text covers just about all of the accumulated knowledge of lucid dreaming.
Every so often in any field, before the next wave can begin, there needs to be a competent assessment of what has been learned up to that point. As interpretations are made and consistent results are arrived at, the field advances. This book acts as a spring board for the current, and next generation of lucid dreamers. This book significantly added to my lucid dreaming life.
The information was dressed up with just the right amount of seasoned competency, and served with a side order of direct experience. Mar 12, Richard rated it liked it. So, I love the subject matter, and I think the book is well-written. I love his style and the context. However, it was far, far, far too long. And it wasn't even that long. But I felt he made his points quickly and it would have done well as a page book.
It went on twice that long, and I found myself unable to stay with it. I fell asleep many time reading this book. It is not what I expected. I thought it will be giving me an idea about lucid dreaming and how it is achieved.
You will be reading long boring dreams dairy.. I'm on page and I cannot waste more time on this. Aug 02, John Davis rated it did not like it Shelves: dreaming , partly-read. Absolutely painful to read due to author's high degree of self-assuredness and anecdotal content. I did not get very far. Nov 04, Allie rated it it was amazing Shelves: rabbit-holes , study-hard-and-scribble , it-s-miiine , a-few-faves , all-the-stars. I want to write a review to convince you of its excellence Feb 01, Sharon rated it did not like it Shelves: psychology.
Not sure that I've given a 1 star book review on goodreads yet, but here goes. Highly anecdotal, unscientific. The author suggests a tie between lucid dreaming and ESP and out of body experiences, which is laughable to me. Musical and artistic creation, problem solving, exploration of my own psyche - yes. Psychic travel and fortune telling - ummmm, no. I will be open minded enough to ack Not sure that I've given a 1 star book review on goodreads yet, but here goes. I will be open minded enough to acknowledge that ESP and precognition might be real, but they feel like completely independent topics to me.
If one has abilities in waking life, they should naturally carry over to lucid dreams, but lucid dreams surely are not the origin of such abilities. I see lucid dreaming as a way to experience life with less gravity and fewer constraints from the super ego. While magic would be fun, that has not been my experience. Also, my own experience differs from the author's suggestion that emotional intensity is to be combatted in lucid dreaming in order to avoid awaking.
To me, the bliss of lucid dreaming is to seek out an adrenaline rush; to become immersed in in something that seems almost overwhelming to the senses like conducting a symphony of my own music, painting the sky, rearranging a city skyline. What is more intense than blowing ones own mind? To me, that is the goal anytime I become lucid. I'd rather have 1 short lucid dream that is intense than to have longer but more mundane lucid dreams IF the belief that intensity shortens dreams is even true.
Obviously, this review is no less anecdotal than I am criticizing the book for being. That said, this is just a humble review and it's too bad that the author felt authoritative enough to write a book on this without some real science. Very interesting stuff, but I couldn't stomach the magical thinking. Jan 19, Harley rated it it was amazing Shelves: philosophy , spiritual , non-fiction , read For as long as I can remember, dreams have fascinated me. My interest probably grew out of hearing the Bible story of Joseph and his dreams multiple times as a child.
Like the author , Robert Waggoner, I read Carlos Casteneda in the early 's and even kept a dream journal. I dreamed of marrying my wife a month before I met her. I believe in the predictive power of dreams. Unfortunately, I stopped keeping the dream journal after I married my wife. Waggoner, on the other hand, kept studying his For as long as I can remember, dreams have fascinated me.
Waggoner, on the other hand, kept studying his dreams. In talking with my wife, she shared that she is able to change her dreams and has done it since childhood. I have never had any power over my dreams. I have talked with others who also claim to have had lucid dreams. I heard about this book on the podcast, Future Primitive , where the author was being interviewed. And the exciting thing for me is while reading this book I did have two brief lucid dreams. I enjoyed reading this book, though, it was slow going at times.
The book is full of examples of lucid dreams. I think our dreams have much to teach us if we learn how to become lucid while dreaming. Waggoner's book is one stop along that road. I recommend this book to anyone interested in dreams and lucid dreaming. Jan 22, Cristian Fusoiu rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: everyone, psychology fans, psychology students. This book explored many aspects of life through the medium of dreams.
Topics included are psychology exploring unconscious thoughts via lucid dreaming was the most interesting , philosophy who are we when we dream? This book was recommended to me by my Transpersonal Psychology teacher, so if you are into getting to know yourself better I would war Brilliant.
This book was recommended to me by my Transpersonal Psychology teacher, so if you are into getting to know yourself better I would warmly recommend this different approach of yourself. The book is filled with lucid dream reports and experimentation with lucid dream techniques : Awesome read!!! Aug 16, Martin H rated it did not like it. Far too new-age for me. The book does what too many books on lucid dreaming do, which is to try and link it to the paranormal. There are lots of accounts of dreams, which supposedly demonstrate the paranormal uses of dreaming, but, with even the smallest amount of common sense it's obvious that the author is seeing what he wants to see.
To anyone else these paranormal dreams are clearly just obscure coincidences forced to fit. I forced myself to finish it but spent half the time wanting to throw Far too new-age for me. I forced myself to finish it but spent half the time wanting to throw it out the window. Aug 01, Lindsay rated it liked it Shelves: the-mind. This is a good book to start with if you are an open-minded dreamer who's new to 'deeper dreaming' and psi stuff.
Skeptics will not like this book I think, since there are lots of special dreams shared without any scientific evidence. This book is a nice reminder which shows you the possibilities of dreaming with inspiring dream reports to get you started. I prefer to give it a 3.
Sep 17, Alissa Ruppert rated it it was amazing. This is a great book. Definitely worth reading if you want to connect on the deepest level with your inner self and the growth that takes place is unimaginable. I am sending this to my friend immediately on entheos! Feb 24, Chris rated it liked it Shelves: psychonaut. So many anecdotal stories it gets tiring, and the latter part of the book gets a bit 'out there' so I mostly skipped over it. Once you wake up, you may wish that you had stopped your dream. Another example is of somebody who dreamt they were sitting next to Mother Theresa.
Are lucid dreams related to psi phenomena 9? Some people claim to have organized shared dreams or precognitive dreams through lucid dreaming. Others say these are simply created in the brain like any other dream, something like self-hypnosis. How long does it take to learn how to dream lucidly?
This completely depends on the person and circumstances. Some people have a lucid dream after just a few nights of learning about it, while for others, it may take months! It will also depend on how much effort you put in. However, everybody has the ability to dream lucidly. I think I do this naturally. Does this happen? It is quite rare to have regular lucid dreams naturally, although most people have had a lucid dream at some point in their lives.
If you want to increase the frequency of your lucid dreams, carry on reading through the book; otherwise, skip to the Using 10 section to get some ideas for your dreams. I had [a dream], was I lucid? In general, a lucid dream is defined as a dream in which you know you are dreaming at some point, regardless of anything else. Even if you were lucid one second but lost your lucidity, it is still technically a lucid dream. However, this can be a little misleading. Sometimes you dream that you fall asleep and have a lucid dream! This is often thought of as a sign that you will have a proper lucid dream soon, as your mind is thinking a lot about lucid dreams.
In fact, it can be intriguing to have real conversations with 10 Chapter 4 on page 51 11 Chapter 4. However, there may be some more or less minor side effects associated with having lucid dreams. Having fun is a fully valid application of lucid dreaming. However, be careful not to be addicted to this way of escaping your waking life. If you see that your life needs work, you might take a break… or, you might use the tools of lucid dreaming to explore what needs to be done in your life.
Some people are also less than open-minded and receptive to new ideas. Often people who spontaneously lucid dream, especially children, may find it surprising that not everyone does. They may even start thinking that they are the only people in the world who have lucid dreams. This might lead to problems of a dissociative nature.
Probably the most common form of dissociation involves having problems distinguishing your waking memories from dream memories. Everyone who recalls at least one dream will have to sort out their dreams from reality in the morning. This can really be a problem for those who have previously had zero recall and, due to lucid dreaming, have had a major uptick in recall. Now, suddenly, they have all these excess, illogical memories to sort out. This is unlikely to be a major problem , but may be a big annoyance.
If you cannot distinguish dream from reality you will now think you know where that item is, perhaps even placed it where you felt sure to find it later, but when you awake it will not be there. However, there are signs that you should watch for which indicate a larger problem may be developing. In fact, take a break from anything fictional for a while, at least until symptoms stop. In addition, you may consider avoiding experimentation with lucid dreaming if you have some form of schizophrenia although very few schizophrenic people admit that they are.
See Further Reading 12 1.
You can, for example, make objects appear or disappear, or make people act according to your will. Also, you might be tempted to apply dream-world solutions to waking-life problems instead of actually facing them; for example, just willing bad things to go away or escaping or destroying them 12 Chapter 7 on page 65 9 Introduction by superpowers. Again, this is probably more of a problem if you are not mentally stable at the outset of your dreaming process. The main reason for this phenomenon is the result of the lucid dreams expanding the length of time between REM states.
With fewer REMs per night, this state in which you experience actual sleep and your body recovers becomes infrequent enough to become a problem. This is just as exhausting as if you were to wake up every twenty or thirty minutes and watch TV. The effect is dependent on how often your brain attempts to lucidly dream per night. If you enter into a routine of attempting to lucidly dream, you may cause recursive lucid dreams that occur at each state change. Do not become alarmed if you have trouble stopping the process of lucid dreaming, it is possible to get out of the habit.
As long as you truly expect to stop having lucid dreams regularly, you will. You just need to stop any further attempts to lucid dream, and within a few months the lucid dreaming will go away by itself. Remember; do not be alarmed if, even with your attempts to stop, you experience further lucid dreams.
It might take a while to break the habit. If you have real concerns, it may be advisable to talk with your doctor or therapist regarding appropriate treatment, including medication.
We are also creating a companion website, which will allow readers to record their lucid dreams and share them with friends on Facebook and Twitter. This signal is supposed to be adjusted so that it doesn't wake you up but does enter your dream. There have been no anecdotes found of these techniques working. However, everybody has the ability to dream lucidly. Robert offers so many good questions and seems to be so inquisitive, I was roused from my apathetic, depressed mid-life stupor and less than a year later I am coming alive again, in no small part due to learning to communicate with myself more effectively after reading this book. Having fun is a fully valid application of lucid dreaming. How is this possible?
A false awakening is when you seem to have woken up but are actually still dreaming. For example, you may find yourself waking up in your room. But once there, new things will start happening—for example, someone might visit, or you might wander outside because of an odd noise, or there might be objects all over the place. This happens mostly with nightmares or when your body is very tired, so your attempts to wake up cause false awakenings.
When this happens repeatedly in the same night, it can be very tiring and often frightening. And, depending on the content of the dream, since all your dreams tend to start in your room, you may fear what could happen once you actually do wake up. As stated, individuals can come close to realizing they are dreaming and miss out — they might dream about the nature of dreaming or lucid dreaming without realizing that they are currently in a dream themselves. Hence the norms of logical inference do not apply to ordinary dreams.
In another dream an individual might intend to tell another person in real life, who is featured in the dream, something they have learned just as soon as they wake up. The dream here involves awareness of the dream state without controllability over the dream for they still seem to be going along with the content as though it were real. There is another type of common, partial-lucid dream in which people wake up from a dream and are able to return to it upon sleeping and change the course of the dream. This type of dream seems to involve controllability without awareness — they treat it as real and do not treat it as an acknowledged dream but are able to have much more control over the content than usual.
Lucid dreamers used in experimental settings are much more experienced and have lucid dreams in the strongest sense — they are aware they are dreaming and can maintain this awareness for a significant duration of time , have control over the content and have a level of clarity of thinking akin to waking life. If we can gain the same level of agency we have in waking life during lucid dreaming, then it might be the case that even ordinary dreams carry some, albeit reduced, form of agency. We might want to believe this new claim if we accept that agency is not suddenly invoked during lucidity, but is rather enhanced.
Work on communicative lucid dreaming might also open up the possibility to test further phenomenally distinguishing features between the two states via individuals communicating statements about these features. Dennett had cited an interesting type of dream report where the ending of the dream was strongly implied by the stimulus of awakening.
For example: having a dream of getting married end with the sound of church bells ringing, which coincides with the sound of the alarm clock. Though they are remote from scientific investigation, the mere existence of the anecdotes at all caused trouble for the received view and requires explanation. On the other hand, if there is enough evidence to claim that dreams are consciously experienced during sleep then the anecdotal data of dreams will not be a powerful enough counterexample; they will not warrant a paradigm shift in our thinking about dreams. The biggest challenge the anecdotes represent is that on occasion the memory can significantly deviate from the actual experience.
On this view, false memories overriding the actual content of the dream does occur, but these experiences are the exception rather than the rule. The existence of the anecdotes blocks one from drawing that conclusion. But these anecdotes can be explained on the received view. It is already known that the human species has specific bodily rhythms for sleep.
Further, there is a noted phenomenon that people wake up at the same time even when their alarm clocks are off. Dennett himself says that he had got out his old alarm clock that he had not used in months and set the alarm himself Dennett, p. If the subconscious can be credited with either creating a dream world on the received view or a dream memory on the Dennettian view and the personal body clock works with some degree of automaticity during sleep, one may well ask why the dream's anticipation and symbolic representation of this need be precognitive in a paranormal sense.
Had Dennett woken up earlier, he may have lain in bed realizing that his alarm clock was going to go off, which is not considered an act of precognition. Had he thought this during sleep, the received view would expect it to be covered symbolically via associative imagery. Thus, perhaps Dennett is not being impartial in his treatment of dreams, and his argument begs the question since he is considering the received view's version of dreaming to be inferior to his own theory by assuming that thought in dreaming is completely oblivious to the banalities of the future.
Arguably, the other anecdotes can be explained away. Recall the most famous anecdote, where Maury was dragged to the guillotine with the headboard falling on his neck, waking him up Freud discusses the case of Maury in the first chapter of his Interpretation of Dreams. Maury may have had some ongoing and subconscious awareness of the wobbliness of his headboard before it fell presumably it did not fall without movement on his part — possibly in resistance to being beheaded.
Maury's could thus be a type of dreaming involving self-fulfilling prophecy that is left out of the overall account. Dennett's account agrees that any unconscious awareness of the outside environment is represented differently in the dream. Maury would have had enough time to form the simple association of his headboard being like a guillotine from the French Revolution. A hard anecdote is outlined by Dennett: a car backfires outside and an individual wakes up with the memory of a dream logically leading up to being shot.
The hard anecdotes, on the other hand, cannot simply be explained by appeal to body clocks and anticipation in sleep. The hard anecdotes reveal that the dreamer has no idea what will wake them up in the morning, if anything maybe the alarm will not actually go off; or the truck backfiring could occur at any point. The soft anecdotes might involve outside stimuli being unconsciously incorporated into the dream.
Dennett is right that the issue is worth empirically investigating. If a survey found that hard anecdote-like dreams such as a truck back-firing and waking with a dream thematically similar occur often, then the received view is either dis-confirmed or must find a way to make room for such dreams. Dennett might reply that he does not need to wait for the empirical evidence to reveal that the hard anecdotes are common. He might simply deny that the alternative explanation of the soft anecdotes is not credible. If the attempt to explain the soft anecdotes are not credible as a Dennettian might object , they at least draw attention to the extraneous variables in each of the anecdotes.
Dennett's sole reason for preferring his retro-selection theory over the received view is so an explanation can account for the anecdotal data. But Dennett uses his own alarm clock which he himself set the night before; Maury uses his own bed; Dennett of course admits that the evidence is anecdotal and not experimental. More empirical work needs to be done to clarify the issue and for the debate to move forward.
The anecdotes are a specific subclass of prophetic dreams. It is worth noting a related issue about dreams which are alleged to have a more prophetic nature. It seems from the subjective point of view that if one was to have had a dream about a plane crash the night before or morning of September 11 th this would have been a premonitory dream.
Or one might dream of a relative or celebrity dying and then wake to find this actually happens in real life.
The probability of the occurrence of a dream being loosely or even exactly about an unforeseen, future event is increased when one has a whole lifetime of dreams — a lifetime to generate one or two coincidences. The dreams which are not premonitory are under-reported and the apparently prophetic dreams are over-reported. The probability of having a dream with content vaguely similar to the future is increased by the fact that a single individual has many dreams over a lifetime.
Big events are witnessed and acknowledged by large numbers of people which increases the probability that someone will have a dream with similar content Dawkins, p. No doubt when the twin towers were attacked some people just so happened to have dreams about plane crashes, and a few might have even had dreams more or less related to planes crashing into towers, or even the Twin Towers.
At the same time, they may also suffer from being under-reported because they are not always obviously related to the stimulus of awakening, particularly where someone pays attention to the content of the dream and forgets how they awakened. Hence, the extent to which we experience anecdote-like dreams is currently uncertain, though they can be explained on the received view. The function of dreaming — exactly why we dream and what purpose it could fulfil in helping us to survive and reproduce - is explained in evolutionary terms of natural selection.
Natural selection is best understood as operating through three principles: Variation, Heredity and Selection. A group of living creatures within a species vary from one another in their traits, their traits are passed on to their own offspring, and there is competition for survival and reproduction amongst all of these creatures. The result is that those creatures that have traits better suited for surviving and reproducing will be precisely the creatures to survive, reproduce and pass on the successful traits. Most traits of any organism are implicated in helping it to survive and thereby typically serve some purpose.
Although the question of what dreaming might do for us has to this day remained a mystery, there has never been a shortage of proposed theories. The most sustained first attempt to account for why we dream comes from Freud , whose theory was countered by his friend and later adversary Carl Jung. An outline of these two early approaches will be followed by a leading theory in philosophical and neuro-biological literature: that dreaming is an evolutionary by-product. On this view, dreaming has no function but comes as a side effect of other useful traits, namely, cognition and sleep.
A contemporary theory opposing the view that dreaming has no function, in comparison, holds that dreaming is a highly advantageous state where the content of the dream aids an organism in later waking behaviour that is survival-enhancing by rehearsing the perception and avoidance of threat. Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy aimed at helping people overcome mental problems. In order to analyse dreams though, Freudian psychoanalysis is committed to an assumption that dreams are fulfilling a certain function.
Freud explicitly put forward a theory of the function of dreams. He believed that dreams have not been culturally generated by humans, as Malcolm thought, but are rather a mental activity that our ancestors also experienced. During sleep, the mind is disconnected from the external world but remains instinctual. The id is an entirely unconscious part of the mind, something we cannot gain control of, but is rather only systematically suppressed.
It is present at birth, does not understand the differences between opposites and seeks to satisfy its continually generated libidinal instinctual impulses Storr, p. The id precedes any sense of self, is chaotic, aggressive, unorganised, produces no collective will and is incapable of making value judgements As the child develops and grows up his instinctual needs as a baby are repressed and covered up Storr, p.
If humans were guided only by the id they would behave like babies, trying to fulfil their every need instantly, without being able to wait; the id has no conception of time. It is the id that will get an individual into social trouble. The super-ego is the opposing, counterbalance to the id, containing all of our social norms such as morality. Though we grow up and develop egos and super-egos, the id constantly generates new desires that pressurize us in our overall psychologies and social relations.
The work of repression is constant for as long as we are alive. The super-ego is mostly unconscious. In the case of dreams, the work of censorship is carried out by the super-ego. The ego was initially conceived by Freud as our sense of self. He later thought of it more as planning, delayed gratification and other types of thinking that have developed late in evolution.
The ego is mostly conscious and has to balance the struggle between the id and the super-ego and also in navigating the external and internal worlds. This means that we experience the continual power struggle between the super-ego and the id. His second division of the mind into id, ego and super-ego explains how consciousness can become complicated when the two topographies are superimposed upon one another.
Mental content from the unconscious constantly struggles to become conscious. Dreams are an example of unconscious content coming up to the conscious and being partially confronted in awareness, although the content is distorted. Dreaming is an opportunity for the desires of the id to be satisfied without causing the individual too much trouble. We cannot experience the desires of the id in naked form, for they would be too disturbing.
The super-ego finds various ways of censoring a dream and fulfilling the desires latently. Our conscious attention is effectively misdirected. What we recall of dreams is further distorted as repression and censorship continues into attempted recollections of the dream. The censorship is carried out in various ways Hopkins, pp. Images which are associated with each other are condensed two people might become one, characters may morph based on fleeting similarities and emotions are displaced onto other objects.
Dreams are woven together in a story-like element to further absorb the dreamer in the manifest content. It is better that these wishes come disguised in apparently nonsensical stories in order to stop the dreamer from awakening in horror Flanagan: , p. The content of the dream, even with some censorship in place, still might shock an individual on waking reflection and is therefore further distorted by the time it reaches memory, for the censor is still at work. Malcolm positively cited a psychoanalyst who had claimed that the psychoanalyst is really interested in what the patient thought the dream was about that is, the memory of the dream rather than the actual experience Malcolm, pp.
Though Freud was not an evolutionary biologist, his theory of dreams can be easily recast in evolutionary terms of natural selection. Freud thought that we dream in the way we do because it aids individuals in surviving and so is passed on and therefore positively selected. Individuals who dreamt in a significantly different way would not have survived and reproduced, and their way of dreaming would have died with them. But how does dreaming help individuals to survive? Freud postulates that dreaming simultaneously serves two functions.
The primary function at the psychological level is wish fulfilment Storr, p. During the day humans have far too many desires than they could possibly satisfy. These are the desires continually generated by the id. Desire often provides the impetus for action. If acted upon, some of these desires might get the individual killed or in social trouble, such as isolation or ostracism which may potentially result in not reproducing. Since wish fulfilment occurring during sleep is a mechanism that could keep their desires in check, the mechanism would be selected for.
Freud claims that, having fulfilled the multifarious desires of the id in sleep, they can remain suppressed during the following days. The individual no longer needs to carry the action out in waking life, thereby potentially stopping the individual from being killed or having fitness levels severely reduced. This provides reason as to why we would need to sleep with conscious imagery.
Freud only applied his theory to humans but it could be extrapolated to other animals that also have desires — for example, mammals and other vertebrates, though the desires of most members of the animal kingdom will surely be less complex than that of human desire. Also, it is clear that keeping an individual asleep and stopping him or her from actually carrying out the desires during sleep is beneficial to survival. So though the individual has their desires satisfied during sleep, it is done so in a disguised manner.
Here, Freud separates the dream into manifest and latent content. The manifest content is the actual content that is experienced and recalled at the surface level a dream of travelling on a train as it goes through a tunnel. The latent content is the underlying desire that is being fulfilled by the manifest content a desire for sexual intercourse with somebody that will land the dreaming individual in trouble.
The individual is kept asleep by the unconscious disguising the wishes. What about dreams where the manifest content seems to be emotionally painful, distressing, or a good example of an anxiety dream, rather than wish fulfilment? How can our desires be satisfied when our experiences do not seem to involve what we wanted? Freud suggests that these can be examples where the dream fails to properly disguise the content. Indeed, these usually wake the individual up. Freud was aware of an early study which suggested that dream content is biased towards the negative Freud, pp.
The underlying, latent content carries the wish and dreams are distorted by a psychological censor because they will wake an individual up if they are too disturbing, and then the desire will remain unsuppressed. Perhaps dreams operate with an emotion which is the opposite of gratification precisely to distract the sleeping individual from the true nature of the desire. Wish fulfilment might be carried out in the form of an anxiety dream where the desire is especially disturbing if realized. Other anxiety dreams can actually fulfil wishes through displacement of the emotions.
The dream allowed the blame to be lifted away from himself and projected onto a fellow doctor who was responsible for the injection. Despite the displeasure of the dream, the wish for the alleviation guilt was fulfilled. The dream for Freudians relies on a distinction between indicative and imperative content. An indicative state of mind is where my representational systems show the world to be a certain way. The exemplar instance of indicative representations is belief.
I might accurately perceive and believe that it is raining and I thus have an indicative representational mental state. Imperative states of mind, on the other hand, are ones in which I desire the world to be a certain way — a way that is different to the way it currently is.
I might desire that it will snow. A dream is an instance of an indicative representation replacing an imperative one in order to suppress a desire. We see something in a dream and believe it is there in front of us. This is what we want and what we desired, so once we believe we have it, the desire is vanquished, making it unlikely we will try to satisfy the desire in waking life. Drawing out the differences or similarities between their views is an exegetical task and the resulting statements about their theories are thus always debatable. Many working in the tradition of psychoanalysis or analytical psychology opt for a synthesis between their views.
Like Freud, Jung also believed that dream analysis is a major way of gaining knowledge about the unconscious — a deep facet of the mind that has been present in our ancestors throughout evolutionary history. The collective unconscious is where the ancestral memories of the species are stored and are common to all people. Some philosophers, such as Locke, had believed the mind is a blank slate.
Jung believed that the collective unconscious underlies the psychology of all humans and is even identical across some different species. The collective unconscious is especially pronounced in dreaming where universal symbols are processed, known as the archetypes. The distinction between signs and symbols is an important one Jung, p. Signs refer to what is already known, whereas symbols contain a multiplicity of meanings Mathers, p. Whereas Freud thought that the adaptive advantage to dreams was to distract us and thereby keep us asleep, Jung thought the reverse: we need to sleep in order to dream and dreaming serves multiple functions.
What does dreaming do for us, according to Jung? Dreams compensate for imbalances in the conscious attitudes of the dreamer. Psychology depends upon the interplay of opposites Jung, p. By dreaming of opposite possibilities to waking life, such as a logical individual with a strong thinking function having dreams which are much more feeling—based, the balance is restored Stevens, p. They play a role in keeping the individual appropriately adapted to their social setting. Dreaming also carries out a more general type of compensation, concerning the psychology of gender.
When the conscious is not put in touch with the unconscious, homeostasis is lost and psychological disturbance will result Jung, p. Dreams serve up unconscious content that has been repressed, ignored or undervalued in waking life. Although he emphasized an objective element to dreaming that the unconscious often makes use of universal and culturally shared symbols , Jung was opposed to the possibility of a fixed dream dictionary because the meaning of symbols will change depending on the dreamer and over time as they associate images with different meanings.
Jung agrees with Freud that there are a wealth of symbols and allegorical imagery that can stand in for the sexual act, from breaking down a door to placing a sword in a sheath. In the course of his analysis, Freud would gradually move from manifest content to the latent content, though he did encourage the dreamer to give their own interpretations through free association. Jung believed that the unconscious choice of symbol itself is just as important and can tell us something about that individual Jung, p.
Alternatively, apparent phallic symbols might symbolize other notions — a key in a lock might symbolize hope or security, rather than anything sexual. The dream imagery, what Freud called the manifest content, is what will reveal the meaning of the dream. Not that dreams are precognitive in a paranormal sense, Jung emphasized, but the unconscious clearly does entertain counter-factual situations during sleep. Those possibilities entertained are usually general aspects of human character that are common to us all Johnson, p.
Dreams sometimes warn us of dangerous upcoming events, but all the same, they do not always do so Jung, p. The connection of present events to past experience is where dreams are especially functional Mathers, p. But whereas Freud assessed dreams in terms of looking back into the past, especially the antagonisms of childhood experience, dreaming for Jung importantly also lays out the possibilities of the future.
This clearly has survival value, since it is in the future where that individual will eventually develop and try to survive and reproduce. Dreams point towards our future development and individuation. Dreams are a special instance of the collective unconscious at work, where we can trace much more ancient symbolism. The most important function of dreams is teaching us how to think symbolically and deal with communication from the unconscious. Dreams always have a multiplicity of meanings, can be re-interpreted and new meanings discovered.
Firstly, why would the collective unconscious expressing symbols relevant to the species have any gains in terms of reproductive success? Hence Lamarck believed that the giraffe got its long neck because one stretched its neck during its lifetime to reach high up leaves and this made the neck longer, a trait which was passed onto its offspring. Perhaps one could reply in Jungian-Darwinian terms that those individuals who just so happened to be born with a brain receptive to certain symbols having certain meanings rather than learning them , survived over those individuals that did not.
Others have argued that the collective unconscious is actually much more scientifically credible than critics have taken it to be. According to the line of argument, the collective unconscious essentially coincides with current views about innate behaviours, in fields such as socio-biology and ethology Stevens, p. Appropriate environmental or cognitive stimuli trigger patterns of behaviours or thought that are inherited, such as hunting, fighting and mothering. In humans, there are, for example, the universal expressions of emotion anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise.
Humans and other mammals have an inbuilt fear of snakes that we do not need to learn. These patterns can be found in dreams. The dream images are generated by homologous neural structures that are shared amongst animals, not merely passed on to the next generation as images. The Jungian can dodge the accusation of Lamarckism by arguing that dreams involve inherited patterns of behaviour based on epigenetic rules the genetically inherited rules upon which development then proceeds for an individual and arguing that epigenetics does not necessarily need to endorse Lamarckism epigenetics is a hot topic in the philosophy of biology.
Alternatively, in light of epigenetics, the Jungian can defend a Lamarackist view of evolution - a re-emerging but still controversial position. Jung thought dreams point towards the future development of the individual. The experiences which process symbols shared amongst the species are a form of compensation to keep the individual at a psychological homeostasis. Dreams do not especially deal with sexuality but have a more general attempt for the individual to understand themselves and the world they exist in.
Flanagan represents a nuanced position in which dreaming has no fitness-enhancing effects on an organism that dreams, but neither does it detract from their fitness. Dreams are the by-products of sleep. Evolutionary Pluralism claims that traits in the natural world are not always the result of natural selection, but potentially for a plurality of other reasons. The debate between Adaptationists and Pluralists centres on the pervasiveness of natural selection in shaping traits.
Pluralists look for factors other than natural selection in shaping a trait, such as genetic drift and structural constraints on development. One important example is the spandrel. Some traits might be necessary by-products of the design of the overall organism. The two separate architectural examples, figures 6 and 7, display spandrels as roughly triangular spaces. The point that Gould and Lewontin are making by introducing the notion of spandrel is that some aspects of the design of an object inevitably come as a side-effect. Perhaps the architect only wanted archways and a dome.
In producing such a work of architecture, spandrels cannot be avoided. If architecture can tell us something about metaphysical truths, then might dreams be such spandrels, lodged in between thought and sleep? Flanagan, an evolutionary Pluralist, argues that there is no fitness-enhancing function of dreaming.
Though, as a matter of structure, we cannot avoid dreaming for dreams sit in between the functioning of the mind and sleep, like spandrels between two architecturally desired pillars in an archway. Dreaming neither serves the function of wish-fulfilment or psychological homeostasis. To be sure, wish-fulfilment and apparent psychological compensation sometimes appear in dreams, but this is because we are just thinking during sleep and so a myriad of human cognition will take place. Another reason put forward by Flanagan for the view that dreams are spandrels is that, unlike for sleep, there is nothing close to an ideal adaptation explanation for dreaming Flanagan, p.
The ideal explanation lays out what evidence there is that selection has operated on the trait, gives proof that the trait is heritable, provides an explanation of why some types of the trait are better adapted than others in different environments and amongst other species and also offers evidence of how later versions of the trait are derived from earlier ones.
Antti Revonsuo stands in opposition to Flanagan by arguing that dreaming is an adaptation. He also stands in opposition to Freud and Jung in that the function of dreams is not to deliver wish fulfilment whilst keeping the individual asleep or to connect an individual to the symbolism of the collective unconscious. Revonsuo strives to deliver an account that meets the stringent criteria of a scientific explanation of the adaptation of dreaming.
Though there have been many attempts to explain dreaming as an Adaptation, few come close to the ideal adaptation explanation, and those functional theories favoured by neurocognitive scientists for example, dreams are for consolidating memories or for forgetting useless information cannot clearly distinguish their theory of the function of dreams from the function of sleep, that is, the spandrel thesis.
The Threat Simulation Theory account can be clearly distinguished from the spandrel thesis. According to Revonsuo, the actual content of dreams is helpful to the survival of an organism because dreaming enhances behaviours in waking life such as perceiving and avoiding threat.
His six claims are as follows: Claim 1: Dream experience is more an organized state of mind than disorganized; Claim 2: Dreaming is tailored to and biased toward simulating threatening events of all kinds found in waking life; Claim 3: Genuine threats experienced in waking life have a profound effect on subsequent dreaming; Claim 4: Dreams provide realistic simulacra of waking life threatening scenarios and waking consciousness generally; Claim 5: Simulation of perceptual and motor activities leads to enhanced performance even when the rehearsal is not recalled later; Claim 6: Dreaming has been selected for Revonsuo, The Threat Simulation Theory is committed to a certain conception of dreams as a realistic and organized state of consciousness, as implied by Claim 1.
These features of dreams are essential in putting in motion the same sort of reaction to threat that will occur during waking life and aid survival. Hence the dream self should be able to react in the dream situation with reasonable courses of action to combat the perceived threat in ways that would also be appropriate in real life. Revonsuo appeals to phenomenological data where a significant proportion of dreams involve situations in which the dreamer comes under attack.
We do indeed generally have more negative emotions during an REM related dream. That dreams process negative emotions likely occurs because the amygdala is highly activated. During waking hours this part of the brain is used in handling unpleasant emotions like anxiety, intense fear or anger. This is well explained by the Threat Simulation Theory.
We experience more threats in dreams and especially demanding ones than in waking life because it is selected to be especially difficult, leaving the individual bestowed with a surplus of successful threat avoidance strategies, coping skills and abilities to anticipate, detect and out-manoeuvre the subtleties of certain threats. All instances of stress in waking life occur when an individual feels threatened and this will feed back into the system of acknowledging what is dangerous and what is not.
In waking life, the fight or flight response essentially involves making a snap decision in a life or death situation to fight a predatory enemy or flee from the scene. The activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System — the stress response implicated in the fight or flight response — is an involuntary, unconsciously initiated process. One might object to Claims 1 and 4, that many dreams simply do not seem realistic representations of threatening scenarios such as those requiring the fight or flight response.
One study found, for example, that many recurrent dreams are unrealistic Zadra et al, Revonsuo has some scope for manoeuvre for he believes that dreams may no longer be adaptive due to the dramatic environmental changes, and the possible adaptation for human dream consciousness was when humans were hunter-gatherers in the Pleistocene environment over a period of hundreds of thousands of years; so dream content may now no longer seem to have the same function, given that we live in a radically different environment. Dreams are then comparable to the human appendix — useful and adaptive in times when our diet was radically different, but now an essentially redundant and, occasionally, maladaptive vestigial trait.
Dreams may have also become more lax in representing threatening content in the Western world, since life and death threatening situations are no longer anywhere near as common as in the evolutionary past. This will be the case because a lack of exposure to threat in waking life will not activate the threat simulation system of dreaming as it did in earlier times. Revonsuo uses evidence of ordinary dream reports from the population but he also cites cases of psychopathology such as the dreams of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD , where, crucially, their traumatic and threatening experiences dramatically affects what they dream about.
Thus the relationship between dreaming and experiencing threats in waking life is bi-directional: Dreams try to anticipate the possible threats of waking life and improve the speed of perceiving and ways of reacting to them. At the same time, any perceived threats that are actually experienced in waking life will alter the course of later dreaming to re-simulate those threats perceived.
This feedback element dovetails with Claim 4 for an accurate picture will be built as information is constructed from the real world. Revonsuo believes that dreaming during sleep allows an individual to repetitively rehearse the neurocognitive mechanisms that are indispensable to waking life threat perception and avoidance. Flanagan asks why behaviour that is instinctual would need to be repetitively rehearsed, but what is provided by Revonsuo is an explanation of how instinct is actually preserved in animals. But not all of our dreams are threatening. This fact surely helps the Threat Simulation Theory to show that there is variation amongst the trait and that the threatening type comes to dominate.
The neural mechanisms, or hardware, underlying the ability to dream are transferred genetically and became common in the population. One might still object that survival — the avoidance of threat — is only one half of propagating a trait. Individuals also have to reproduce for the trait to be passed on. So dreams ought to also specialize in enhancing behaviours that help individuals to find mates.
Animals and humans have many and varied courting rituals, requiring complicated behaviours If dreaming can, and does, make any difference to behaviour in waking life as Revonsuo must claim, then why would the presence of mate selection behaviours not make up a big factor in dreams?