WHERE DO DREAMS COME FROM?
Do you often dream at night? Most people do.
When they wake in the morning they said to themselves, “What a strange dream I had! I wonder what made me dream that!”
Sometimes dreams are frightening. Terrible creatures threaten and pursue us. Sometimes, in dreams, wishes come true. We can fly through the air or float from mountain tops. At other times we are troubled by dreams in which everything confused. We are lost and can’t find our way home. The world seems to have been turned upside-down and nothing makes sense.
In dreams we act strangely. We do things that we would never do when we are awake. We think and say things we would never think and say. Why are dreams so strange? Where do dreams come from?
People have been trying to answer this since the beginning of time. But no one has produced a more satisfying answer than…Sigmund Freud. One’s dream-world seems strange and unfamiliar, he said, because dreams come from a part of one’s mind which one can neither recognize nor control. He named this the “unconscious mind”.
Sigmund Freud was born more than a hundred years ago, in 1856. He lived most of his life in Vienna, Austria, but ended his days in London, soon after the beginning of the Second World War.
Freud was one of the great explorers of our time. But the new worlds he explored were inside man himself. For the unconscious mind is like a deep well, full of memories and feelings…which have been stored there from the moment of our birth – perhaps even before birth. Our conscious mind has forgotten them. We do not suspect that they are there until some unhappy or unusual experience causes us to remember, or to dream dreams. Then suddenly we see a face that we had long forgotten. We feel the same jealous fear and bitter disappointments we felt when we were little children.
This discovery of Freud’s is very important if we wish to understand why people act as...