The meaning of Professor in dream | Dream interpretation
(see Authority Figures, Blackboard, School)
The conscious, logical mind and matters of learning. What subject is the professor teaching, and how does this affect or reflect upon your current situation?
Someone in your life whose knowledge you admire, especially in one specific field.
Your own faculty for self-learning, specifically from life’s lessons.
A dream of being a professor forecasts an improvement in your circumstances; to dream of being instructed by, or listening to, a professor, suggests that you will discover a new talent or find a rewarding new hobby.
1. A lesson is being offered, new skills can be acquired.
2. Improvements in conditions or circumstances are coming soon.
3. A serious, formal affair is in the ofﬁng.
Intellectualization and advancement. Or, life is too one-sided intellectually. Somebody who pronounces something publicly, defends, and teaches. See Minister / Pastor.
As a symbol of wisdom and higher learning, a professor may represent preeminence in some field of endeavor.
A professor also symbolizes someone who is conspicuously quiet and serious.
To dream of a professor symbolizes superior intellect and sagacity. You may be able to gain expertise in a particular field.
May be substituted for one of like character and high academic rank; research accordingly
May be a Wise Old Man figure, representing primitive psychic energy and wisdom. See also Wise Old Man / Woman
The Poseidia Institute of Virginia Beach, Va., have run a number of group ‘mutual dreaming’ experiments. Although the Institute suggests very positive results, a critical survey of the dreams and reports reveals a lack of hard evidence. Like other areas of ESP dreaming, it can seldom ever be willed. But the dreams did show themes related to problems regarding intimate meeting. Also, some of the dreams were directly about the goal of dream meeting, as in the following example.
Example: ‘I find the group of people I am looking for. There were maybe six or more people. They were asleep on mattresses except for two or three. These were awake and waiting for me, and wearing small pointed hats such as Tibetan Lamas wear. In the dream I realised this meant they had achieved sufficient inner growth to remain awake in sleep. We started to communicate and were going to wake the others’ (Tom C). See dream as a meeting place.
the dream as extended perception Even everyday mental functions such as thought and memory occur largely unconsciously. During sleep, perhaps because we surrender our volition, what is left of self awareness enters the realm where the nine-tenths of the iceberg of our mind is active. In this realm faculties can function which on waking seem unobtainable.
1- Extending awareness to a point distant from the body, to witness events confirmed by other people. This is often called out of body experience (OBE), but some of these experiences suggest the nature of consciousness and time may not be dualistic (having to be either here or there). See out of body experience.
2-Being aware of the death or danger of a member of family. Kinship and love seem to be major factors in the way the unconscious functions. See dead people dreams.
3-Seeing into the workings of the body and diagnosing an illness before it becomes apparent to waking observation. Dr Vasali Kasatkin and Professor Medard Boss have specialised in the study of such dreams. In a recent dream told to me, a man looked back into a bedroom and saw a piece of the wall fall away. Waves of water gushed from a main pipe.
The dreamer struggled to hold back the piece of broken pipe. Within two weeks his colon burst and he had to have a major operation. See meditation.
4-Access to a computer-like ability to son through a massive store of information and experience to solve problems. These dreams are often confused with precognitive ability. Prediction does occur from these dreams, but it arises, as with weather prediction, from a massive gathering of information, most of which we have forgotten consciously. Monon Schatzman, in a New Scientist anicle, showed how subjects can produce answers to complex mathematical problems in their dreams. See dream process as computer; creativity and problem solving in dreams.
5-Tapping a collective mind which stores all experience, and is sensed as godlike or holy. See dream as spiritual guide.
It seems likely that before the development of speech the human animal communicated largely through body language. Some dreams suggest we still have this ability to read a person’s health, sexual situation, intentions and even their past, through body shape, posture and tiny movements. See postures, movement and body language.
See Cayce, Edgar; collective unconscious; wife under family. See also hallucinations. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Usuallv this is more the thinker rather than the doer: someone who is capable of taking an idea and making it tangible.
2- When we dream of an inventor, psychologically we are linking with that side of ourselves which is wiser, but at the same time perhaps more introverted than our waking selves.
3- The inventor in us is the part that takes responsibility for our progress. He often signifies our ability to ‘create’ new ways of being, but needs assistance from us on a conscious level.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
Your relationship to your boss or anyone in authority, as you perceive it.
The Higher Self or embodiment of your conscious self, and your interactions with same (or lack thereof).
How is this individual acting? If overbearing, perhaps you or someone you know is being too “bossy.”
A person or situation that makes you feel childlike or out of control.
Something or someone to which or to whom you subjugate yourself. This includes belief systems.... The Language of Dreams
The classroom of life itself. WTiat are you learning in this dream, and how can you apply it to your present situation?
Matters of education and training. What level of schooling is shown in the dream? Elemental-}’ school reflects the need to get back to basics, whereas college symbolizes preparation and learning as a key to success in our endeavors.
An unvoiced desire to return to school and achieve a specific personal goal, manifesting through the dream.
If this is the case, check with your local institutions and see if you can’t make this dream a realitv!... The Language of Dreams
If the former is the case, it may be obvious to you: recent encounters with your brother or sister, or some piece of news about him or her may be recognized as prompting the dream. Always be on the look-out, though, for those dreams where a brother or sister plavs a symbolic role. The dream source may choose its materials - its images - from your recent external experiences, but what those dream images represent is nearly always some part of yourself. So please read on.
(2) In early childhood a brother or sister is a natural object of jealousy and hatred. In the eyes of a small child the mother may seem to be favouring his or her sibling. When a second child is bom, the firstborn is especially likely to develop hostile feelings towards the new’ rival for mother’s attention and affection. Sometimes w’e carrv such jealous grievances (at an unconscious level) into adult life, w’here they continue to affect our behaviour and attitudes.
It is then imperative that w’e sort them out, face up to them, acknowledge them for w’hat they are, and so liberate ourselves from their damaging influence (see (3) below, second paragraph, on projections).
(3) An elder brother or sister (brother for a male dreamer, sister for a female dreamer) may represent your ‘other self (‘alter ego’), that side of your personality that has so far been neglected and undeveloped. Jung called it ‘the Shadow’’. We start adult life w’ith a self-image that is usually some sort of compromise between what w’e w’ant to be or do and w’hat parents or society at large seems to require of us.
If this self-image corresponds to our actual abilities, all may be well for a while; but a time mav come w hen wre need to give attention to other facets of our (potential) self. These other facets - our Shadow- - will show- themselves to us in dreams; and one form they take in dreams is that of an elder brother or sister.
People often project their shadow- on to a sibling of the same sex as themselves; and if it is not projected, it may express itself in all kinds of aw kward and embarrassing ways - astonishing rudeness, for example, or other antisocial behaviour. The contrast between your conscious ego and your alter ego mav be as startling as that between Jekvll and Hyde. Don’t be alarmed, though: remember alw-ays that your unconscious is vour ally - vour best friend - and even the most frightening or appalling things that reveal themselves in dreams as parts of vour unconscious are frightening or appalling, first, because of their unfamiliaritv and / or secondly, because, having been neglected and locked away in the dark, they tend to behave like a neglected child and mav become mutinous (on this phenomenon, see Demon). Pay proper attention and proper respect to them, and their threatening features will disappear; they will prove themselves valuable supplements to vour personal equipment for coping with life and achieving full satisfaction and wholeness. Introduce them into your consciousness, identify them and their needs, and give them a controlled and appropriate part to play in your waking life.
Incidentally, one test you can apply to check whether you have a neglected shadow-self is to ask yourself if there is some characteristic that you particularly dislike in other people (particularly your partner): a domineering tendency’, perhaps, or an over-liberal attitude, or whatever.
If there is (and of course you need a lot of honesty’ to admit this), then that characteristic is likely to belong to your shadow-self. We tend to project on to other people the dark, ‘nasty5 things that live in our own unconscious.
If something is going wrong in our life, we tend to put the blame on to other people, the government, or our parents; we look for some scapegoat to carry the blame. The blame, how ever, is ours, because we have not put our own house in order: we have not paid due attention to the demands of our unconscious and have not allowed our ‘other self proper scope for expression in our life.
(4) When a female dreams of a brother, or a male dreams of a sister, the brother / sister may represent w’hat Jung called the ‘soul-image’, w’hich is the masculine side of a woman’s personality (her animus) or the feminine side of a man’s personality (his anima). There would seem to be very basic differences between man and woman arising out of different biological functions (as well as less basic differences that owe their existence to social conditioning). There are w’hat have traditionally been called feminine qualities and capacities (such as gentleness, a caring disposition, creativeness, cooperativencss and relatedness, intuition) and, similarly, what have been called masculine qualities (such as aggressiveness and competitiveness, rationality’, and a tendency to analyse and look for differences). However, it is widclv accepted nowadays among psychotherapists that the male psyche also contains feminine qualities and the female psyche also contains masculine qualities, albeit often dormant and neglected, or repressed.
If you arc a man, do you admire the ‘masculine’ tv pc of woman? If vou do, vou may be in need of redressing the balance in vour psyche: vour feminine side
has possibly swamped your masculinity, and you now need to promote the latter. In your case, the anima will be rather masculine. This is just one instance of a general rule: the animus / anima will have the opposite characteristics to the conscious self-image.
Either male or female dreamers may find themselves in a dream in an heroic relationship to an anima / animus figure. A man may, in a dream, rescue a damsel in distress; a woman may waken a dead prince with a kiss. These should be seen as invitations to incorporate your anima / animus into vour conscious functioning, to rescue it from oblivion and neglect: to make Cinderella or the Frog-Prince your partner in life. Personal wholeness cannot be achieved without this. See also Cinderella, Frog, section (3), Marriage.
(5) A sister in a man’s dream or a brother in a woman’s dream may take the dreamer into some frightening abyss, to the bottom of the sea, or into a dark forest. This may represent the man’s anima or the woman’s animus leading the ego into the unconscious, to discover, for example, the deep emotional causes of a psychosomatic illness; the repressed rage that lies at the bottom of a chronic boredom; or the fount of energy or wisdom that can furnish a more fully satisfying existence. Literary and mythological representations of this can be found in the examples of Beatrice, who led Dante safely into hell and out again, and Ariadne, whose thread enabled Theseus to find his way out of the Cretan labyrinth after slaying the Minotaur. Both hell and labyrinths are symbols of the unconscious. See also Labyrinth, Monster, Underworld.
(6) Sometimes the anima / animus figure in a dream may appear in some way hostile or threatening. For example, in a man’s dream the anima may take the form of an enchantress, a femme fatale, seducing men into a lake or ocean. The watery depths may be seen as symbolizing the depths of the unconscious. The meaning of such a dream may be that the dreamer needs to explore his other - unconscious - self, despite (or, more accurately, because of) its frightening and threatening aspect. Water, however, is a symbol of the feminine, too. The meaning of the dream, therefore, might be that die dreamer is too heavily fixated on his mother and needs to liberate himself by asserting his masculinity and independence; in extreme cases the man might be in danger of being “possessed’ or ‘swallowed up’ by the feminine within his psyche. Such a dream may be, however, not a warning, but an invitation: the unconscious may be urging the man to get on better terms - equal terms - with the feminine side of his psyche. Give your anima / animus equality, and it will cease from its mutinous attempts to take over the whole of your psyche.
In the case of a woman, a dream may contain a male seducer: some Pied Piper animus figure. Again, the dreamer will have to decide whether such a dream is a warning or an invitation: a warning against being carried away by her masculinity (perhaps she has not resolved her early father fixation), or an invitation to discover and utilize her neglected masculinity. Commonsense and, above all, honesty should guide her to the correct understanding of the dream; and in any case, bear in mind what was said above about giving equality to the anima / animus.
(7) The unconscious compensates the conscious mind. It contains those qualities and capacities which the conscious mind lacks. In this sense it is the opposite of the conscious mind; hence its otherness, its alien appearance.
It follows, therefore, that the image that represents anima or animus in a dream may be the opposite of the psychological type to which the dreamer belongs. For example, if you are a woman of the intellectual type (i.e. if thinking is your strong point at the conscious level), your animus may be represented in dreams as a sentimental type (a romantic Don Juan, for instance).
If you are a sentimental woman (moved at the conscious level mainly by feelings - including moral feelings), your animus may show itself as a bearded professor or other intellectual figure.
If you are an intuitive woman (an artist, for instance), your animus mav take a muscular he-man form in dreams (the sensational type, functioning most strongly at the sensory level).
(8) If brother and sister appear together in a dream, this may symbolize either the tension of opposites, or the union of opposites. The opposites are the conscious and the unconscious contents of the psyche. Their union and interfusion are the means by which the self- the true self that is already within you but waits to be unfolded - is realized.
The appearance of this symbol will usually be an auspicious sign, meaning that, despite all appearances to the contrary, there is within you a latent and attainable order and harmony. But of course you - the conscious ego - must make that latent order real by paying loving attention to the needs of your unconscious opposite (like the prince who wakes the sleeping beauty with an embrace).... A Dictionary of Dream Symbols
Dreaming of a calendar is promise of love, loyalty, and perseverance.
Calf See BABY and LAMB
Call This can be interpreted in several ways, depending on what happens and who appears in the dream.
If it is the dreamer who calls, it represents the need for external support at that time. Hearing a call and not paying attention, or being able to answer, alludes to a feeling of guilt about a lazy or careless attitude. To answer the call, however, indicates willingness to offer help to the people around you. On the other hand, it may be a matter of your unconscious trying to get your attention. Something important may be happening without you being aware of it.
If you dream that someone knocks at the door, soon fortune will smile on you.
CALENDAR - analysis of the dream
Lidia dreamed: “I was sitting in a class of my old college listening to a lesson. I did not understand what I was doing there; It had been years since I graduated; however, I took notes and tried to be very attentive to the professor’s explanations. Suddenly, I noticed a calendar hanging on the board. It marked the current date but its pages were detached by a gust of air and then they flew out the window, one by one, until the calendar was left with no pages. I had vertigo and felt lost.”
Lidia’s dream intrigued her for some time until she realized that it was warning her not to waste time; She needed to take full care of her responsibilities because the years pass quickly. Dreams in which time flies— and in this case happens literally: the calendar pages fly out the window—can refer to a hope for the time to stop and the current moment to become eternal. In the case of Lydia, it also revealed a nostalgia for the past and the desire to return to her student years, when her only responsibility was to be attentive in class.... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
It is your subconscious guiding you. (See ABBOTT, GRANDFATHER, ACADEMY, AUTHORITY, LIBRARY, and HERMIT)
For some oracles, this dream foretells that you will receive news soon.... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
Lucid dreaming can be incredibly exciting and rewarding.
If you are aware that you’re dreaming, you can do things that are impossible in waking life, such as flying, becoming invisible, or traveling to distant times or places. But on a more practical note, interacting with dream characters in a lucid state can help you interpret the meanings of your dreams. Lucid dreams can also help you find creative solutions to problems, work through difficult emotional issues, and promote physical and mental healing. Many people believe lucid dreaming is a path to, or at least a necessary step towards, a form of enlightenment
A researcher named Hervey de Saint-Denys introduced the notion of lucid dreaming to the Western world in his 1867 book Dreams and How to Guide Them. But the term lucid dream itself was coined by Frederik Willems Van Eeden in his 1913 paper ’A Study of Dreams’.
The best-known modern figure in lucid dreaming is Stephen LaBerge, a professor at Stanford University. For nearly three decades, LaBerge has been studying lucid dreaming in a laboratory setting, and he proved that subjects can be taught to dream lucidly, using a technique he calls Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD).
To use this technique, you form a habit in waking life of asking yourself, ’Am I dreaming or awake?’ every time you encounter some common stimulus. Sooner or later, you’ll encounter the same thing in a dream, and if you ask the question while dreaming, you’ll probably figure out that you’re really asleep. Other methods include exercises performed right before going to sleep to focus one’s attention on having lucid dreams, meditating on certain symbols or sounds, and listening to specially designed audio recordings whilst falling asleep.
With lucid dreaming it may be possible to intentionally access the creativity of the dream state to help solve problems in your waking life. Before bed, decide on a problem you would like to solve. Frame your problem in the form of a question. For example, ’What is the topic of my next book?’ or ’How can I become less shy?’ If you have an illness, you might consider the problem, ’How can I regain my health?’ Once you have selected a problem question, write it down and memorize it; keep going over it in your mind before you go sleep. Visualize yourself looking for the answer in your dreams and then, if you fall asleep and become aware that you are dreaming, explore your dream world with your question in mind. Look for any clues that might suggest an answer. This includes seeking out advice from other characters or experts in your dreams.
Regardless of the details of one’s approach, anyone who tries to practice lucid dreaming will end up wondering, on increasingly regular occasions, ’Is this real? Could I be dreaming?’ This is what so many people find fascinating about the notion of lucid dreams: if dream reality is as convincing as waking reality, how do we really know that waking reality is not itself a kind of dream and dreams a kind of reality?... The Element Encyclopedia
Once upon a time not so long ago, an inventor was struggling with a major problem. His name was Elias Howe, and for years he had been trying to solve this problem, so that he could complete a machine he was building—a machine that would in time change the world. He was missing a small but vital detail, and, try as he would, he just couldn’t figure it out. Needless to say, Howe was a very frustrated man. One night, after another long day of fruitless work on his project, he dreamed he had been captured by fierce savages. These warriors were attacking him with spears. Although in the dream he was terrified he would be killed, he noticed that the spears were unusual looking: each one had an eye- shaped hole at the pointed end. When Howe woke up, it hit him like a brick: he had actually dreamed the answer to his problem. His nightmare was a blessing in disguise. He immediately saw that the eye of the spear could be an eye in a sewing needle, near its point. Elated with the discovery, he rushed to his laboratory and finished the design of his invention: the sewing machine. The rest, as they say, is history.
The list of what dreams can do for you seems endless. We’ve touched on a few of these benefits of dreaming in the preface and introduction. Now let’s go into a bit more detail. I want you to get really excited about your own dream potential. And, once you realize the possibilities, I think you will.
The history of dreams is filled with stories of famous people who have called on their dreams for help, or who have received help unexpectedly from their dreams. Here are a few more interesting stories to illustrate the point:
The physicist Niels Bohr, who developed the theory of the movements of electrons, had a dream in which he saw the planets attached to the sun by strings. This image inspired him to finalize his theory.
The great Albert Einstein reported that the famous theory of relativity came to him while he was napping—a good reason for taking frequent naps!
Author Richard Bach, who wrote the bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, was stuck in a writer’s block after writing the first half of his now-famous novel. It was eight years later that he literally dreamed the second half and was able to complete his book.
Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman told reporters that his classic film Cries and Whispers had been inspired by a dream.
Another writer, the well-loved British author Robert Louis Stevenson, was quite dependent on his dreams for ideas that he could turn into sellable stories. Stevenson has related in his memoirs that after a childhood tortured by nightmares, and his successful efforts to overcome them, he was able to put his dreams to work for profit.
A born storyteller (though he started out as a medical student), he was accustomed to lull himself to sleep by making up stories to amuse himself. Eventually, he turned this personal hobby into a profession, becoming a writer of tales like Treasure Island. He identified his dream-helpers as “little people,” or “Brownies.” Once he was in constant contact with this inner source, his nightmares vanished, never to return. Instead, whenever he was in need of income he turned to his dreams:
At once the little people begin to bestir themselves in the same quest, and labour all night long, and all night long set before him truncheons of tales upon their lighted theatre. No fear of his being frightened now; the flying heart and the frozen scalp are things bygone; applause, growing applause, growing interest, growing exultation in his own cleverness . . . and at last a jubilant leap to wakefulness, with the cry, “I have it, that’ll do!”
Stevenson wrote his autobiography in the third person, not revealing that he was the subject until the end.
Stevenson further states that sometimes when he examined the story his Brownies had provided, he was disappointed, finding it unmarketable. However, he also reported that the Brownies “did him honest service and gave him better tales than he could fashion for himself,” that “they can tell him a story piece by piece, like a serial, and keep him all the while in ignorance of where they aim.”
Stevenson’s Brownies are a perfect example of dream helpers just waiting to be called upon. A particularly famous example of the work of Stevenson’s Brownies is the tale The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As he explains:
I had long been trying to write a story on this subject, to find a body, a vehicle, for that strong sense of man’s double being, which must at times come in upon and overwhelm the mind of every thinking creature. [After he destroyed an earlier version of the manuscript . . .] For two days I went about racking my brains for a plot of any sort; and on the second night I dreamed the scene at the window, and a scene afterwards split in two, in which Hyde, pursued for some crime, took the powder and underwent the change in the presence of his pursuers. All the rest was made awake, and consciously, although I think I can trace in much of it the manner of my Brownies.
Although Stevenson did the “mechanical work, which is about the worst of it,” writing out the tales with pen and paper, mailing off the stories to publishers, paying the postage, and not incidentally collecting the fees, he gave his Brownies almost total credit for his productions.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a British poet, was accustomed to taking a sedative derived from opium (legal in those days). One afternoon after taking a dose he was reading and fell asleep over his book. The last words he read had been, “Here the Khan Kubla commanded a palace to be built.” When Coleridge awoke some three hours later he had dreamed hundreds of lines of poetry, which he immediately set to writing down. The opening lines of this poem—one of the most famous of all time—are:
Unfortunately for posterity, after writing only fifty-four lines of the two to three hundred he had dreamed, Coleridge was interrupted by a caller, whom he entertained for an hour. When he returned to complete the poem, he had lost all the rest of what he had dreamed! In his diary he noted that it had disappeared “like images on the surface of a stream.” Even so, he had written a masterpiece. This true story, however, emphasizes the need to record dreams upon awakening, a subject we will take up in chapters 5 and 6.
Not only artists and writers give their dreams credit for their ideas and inspirations, but many scientists as well (as we saw in the examples of Bohr and Einstein). Psychologist Eliot D. Hutchinson reports numerous cases of scientists receiving information through dreams and says of dreams that “by them we can see more clearly the specific mechanism of intuitive thought,” and that “a large number of thinkers with whom I have had direct contact admit that they dream more or less constantly about their work, especially if it is exceptionally baffling . . . they often extract useful conceptions.”
I personally can attest to this statement, as it mirrors my own experience writing books. For example, when I began work on this book about dreams, I noticed that my dream production immediately doubled; and I have had Stevenson’s experience of “little people,” whom I call my “elves,” and whom I write about extensively in my book for teens called Teen Astrology, telling about how they came to my rescue when I was quite stuck (see chapter 9, pages 249– 252 in that book).
One of the most astonishing as well as fascinating stories is that of Hermann V. Hilprecht, a professor of Assyrian at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. It seems to be a characteristic of those who receive dream help that they have recently been working long and hard and are frustrated. In Hilprecht’s case, he was working late one evening in 1893, attempting to decipher the cuneiform characters on drawings of two small fragments of agate. He thought they belonged to Babylonian finger rings, and he had tentatively assigned one fragment to the so-called Cassite period of 1700 B.C.E. However, he couldn’t classify the second fragment. And he wasn’t at all sure about the first either. He finally gave up his efforts at about midnight and went straight to bed—and had the following dream, which was his “astounding discovery.”
Hilprecht dreamed of a priest of pre-Christian Nippur, several thousand years ago, who led the professor into the treasure chamber of the temple and showed him the originals, telling him just how the fragments fitted in, all in great detail. Although the dream was long and involved, Hilprecht remembered it all and in the morning told it to his wife. In his words: “Next morning . . . I examined the fragments once more in the light of these disclosures, and to my astonishment found all the details of the dream precisely verified in so far as the means of verification were in my hands.”
Up until then, Hilprecht had been working only with drawings. Now he traveled to the museum in Constantinople where the actual agate fragments were kept and discovered that they fitted together perfectly, unlocking the secret of a three-thousand-year-old mystery by means of a dream!
How did this happen? Clairvoyance? Magic? Who was the priest? How was it that Hilprecht seemed to make contact in a dream with someone who had lived so long before him? We will never know the answers to these questions; but we do know from the professor’s own words that this is exactly what happened to him. (It makes you wonder whether Professor Hilprecht was in the habit of paying attention to his dreams!)
No doubt one of the most famous dream sources of scientific discovery was experienced by the German chemist Friedrich August Kekulé, when he was attempting to understand and model the molecular structure of benzene. Like Professor Hilprecht, Kekulé had been searching for the answer for many years and was totally immersed in the problem. He told of a dream he had while he napped in front of his fireplace one frigid night in 1865:
Again the atoms were juggling before my eyes:
My mind’s eye, sharpened by repeated sights of a similar kind, could not distinguish larger structures of different forms and in long chains, many of them close together; everything was moving in a snake-like and twisting manner. Suddenly, what was this? One of the snakes got hold of its own tail and the whole structure was mockingly twisting in front of my eyes. As if struck by lightning, I awoke.
This dream led Kekulé directly to the discovery of the structure of benzene, which is a closed carbon ring. A dream had presented a realization that served to revolutionize modern chemistry. Later, reporting his discovery to his colleagues at a scientific convention in 1890, he remarked, “Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, and then we may perhaps find the truth.” Not the sort of comment one generally expects from a scientist!
Here is the story of another scientist. Otto Loewi, who won the 1936 Nobel
Prize in Psychology and Medicine for his discovery of how the human nervous system works, credited this discovery to a dream. Prior to Loewi, scientists had assumed that the body’s nervous impulses were the result of electrical waves. However, in 1903 Loewi had the intuition that a chemical transmission was actually responsible. But he had no way to prove his theory, so he set the idea aside for many years. Then, in 1920, he had the following dream:
The night before Easter Sunday of that year I awoke, turned on the light, and jotted down a few notes on a tiny slip of thin paper. Then I fell asleep again. It occurred to me at six o’clock in the morning that during the night I had written down something most important, but I was unable to decipher the scrawl. The next night, at three o’clock, the idea returned. It was the design of an experiment to determine whether or not the hypothesis of chemical transmission that I had uttered seventeen years ago was correct. I got up immediately, went to the laboratory and performed a simple experiment on a frog’s heart according to the nocturnal design:
Its results became the foundation of the theory of chemical transmission of the nervous impulse.
Interestingly, Loewi had previously performed a similar experiment, which combined in his dreaming mind with the new idea, creating the successful result. This is an excellent example of the ability of dreams to combine with previous dreams, or with actual events, to produce fertile new ground.
These are some of the stories of famous people who have used dreams to solve problems, enhance creativity, and even make money and win important prizes. They are all evidence of the vast human ability to make use of dreams. As you draw upon your own dream life and develop skills in both dreaming and interpreting your dreams, you will become an advanced teen dreamer. Think of your dreams as a school where you are continually learning new skills and developing new aptitudes, reaching ever higher levels of achievement.
As you pay conscious attention to your dreams, and then use your dream symbols in your waking life, you will be integrating yourself, creating the greatest artwork of your life: your whole and unique Self.... Dreampedia
In ancient Greece, people believed that dreams were a direct contact with the gods. One of the principal uses of dreams was for healing. Sick people went to special temples that were dedicated to dreaming as a curative method. There, a physician would help to induce a dream, which the physician would then interpret as a guide to the treatment of the ailment, and its cause as well. In modern times, the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, drew upon the writings of Artemidorus, a Greek who lived in the second century B.C.E. whom Freud much admired. Artemidorus’s books have been preserved for over two thousand years and were in constant use as references before the scientific revolution put dreams into the category of “unimportant nonsense.”
At the time of the Italian Renaissance, when rational thinking was beginning to come to the fore, dreams began to be dismissed as trivial by-products of sleep. William Shakespeare denounced dreams as “the children of an idle brain.” (On the other hand, he wrote eloquently on the nature of dreams in his play Hamlet!) John Dryden, an English philosopher, dismissed dreams as the result of indigestion or infection. The bias against dreams continued through the nineteenth century, when most people thought that dreams were caused by some external stimulus—such as a knock on the door making a person dream the house was being burglarized. Aside from such shallow interpretation, most ordinary people, doctors and philosophers, church fathers and professors, believed that dreams had no meaning and saw no need to heed them.
In his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Dr. Jung tells of a dream in which he was a guest at a garden party. Another guest was a woman from the town of Basel, a good friend of both Jung and his sister. In the dream, Jung says, he instinctively knew the woman from Basel would die. However, when he woke up he had no idea who the woman was in real life, though the dream was exceptionally vivid. He writes, “A few weeks later, I received news that a friend of mine had a fatal accident. I knew at once that she was the person I had seen in the dream but had been unable to identify.”
It took the work of Sigmund Freud to open people’s eyes once more to the possibility of dreams being important and useful. Though Freud was obsessed with sexual meanings in dreams to the exclusion of all else, he performed a useful service with the publication of his book on dream interpretation. However, his narrow view held that dreams were mere “wish fulfillment” and a substitute for sexual satisfaction. Fortunately, one of his student colleagues, Carl Gustav Jung of Switzerland, disagreed with Freud and formulated a more comprehensive theory of dream analysis.
Jung researched the previously unstudied territory of the unconscious and came up with the idea of a collective unconscious, through which all people were connected by a common store of knowledge and experience that often revealed itself in dreams.... Dreampedia