Dreams are a product of our nature as much any other function of our bodies. Neuro- scientists tell us that dreams appear to be one way our brains process our experiences. The processing apparently does not utilize program language of computer engineers nor prose of our native tongues. Rather dream language is the universal language of symbol and story much like fairy tales. By definition symbolic language is multifaceted and thus irrational or illogical. Its interpretation can include, "both... and " conclusions as opposed to simply an "either...or" conclusion.
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist who agreed with Sigmund Freud that dreams are "a royal road" to the unconscious, i.e. the unconscious evidences itself in dreams. Jung ultimately distinguished his view from Freud who stressed dreams' "latent sexual content." Jung's view was more expansive: dreams are meaningful and purposeful or teleological. They are living expressions of not only one's personal unconscious but also of Nature (what he referred to as objective psyche or collective unconscious).
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Why are dreams so helpful?
Dreams and other symbolic messages come from our unconscious in order to provide insights, which if attended to, make us more complete and enable us to lead a more fulfilled life.
How can a nightmare be considered a helpful dream?
A nightmare underscores in its feeling and content that our waking ego is not sufficiently aware of such material. If you can't remember the images of a nightmare, assume it is saying, "pay more attention to your feelings that you currently are not valuing." All dreams come in the service of health and wholeness even if you are upset by them or their underlying provocations.
Does everyone dream?
Scientists have proven all humans dream although all do not remember their dreams. In fact, scientists have shown that all mammals dream, further evidencing that dreams are part of our nature.
Is Jungian dream analysis for me?
At different times in our lives, especially at times of emotional stress or of health or environmental challenge, we sometimes reflect or question: "Who am I and where am I going? Do I best continue on this path at this speed or do I change direction or focus? Are my relationships sound and healthy or are they lacking in some significant way? How might I improve them? How might I interact with or understand or question my partner? " A Jungian analysis can help guide your self-reflection and deepen your understanding of your self and your relations with others.