The few exceptions are usually very clear. Example: ‘My mother-in-law died of cancer. I had watched the whole progression of her illness, and was very upset by her death. Shortly after she died the relatives gathered and began to sort through her belongings to share them out. That was the climax of my upset and distress, and I didn’t want any part of this sorting and taking her things. That night I dreamt I was in a room with all the relatives. They were sorting her things, and I felt my waking distress. Then my mother-in-law came into the room. She was very real and seemed happy. She said for me not to be upset as she didn’t at all mind her relatives taking her things. When I woke from the dream all the anxiety and upset had disappeared. It never returned (told to author dunng a talk given to the Housewives Register in Ilfracombe).
Although in any collection of dreams such clearcut problem solving is fairly rare, nevertheless the basic function in dreams appears to be problem solving.
The proof of this lies in research done in dream withdrawal. As explained in the entry science, sleep and dreams, subjects are woken up as they begin to dream, therefore denying them dreams. This quickly leads to disorientation and breakdown of normal functioning, showing that a lot of problem solving occurs in dreams, even though it may not be as obvious as in the example. This feature of dreaming can be enhanced to a marked degree by processing dreams and arriving at insights into the information they contain. This enables old problems to be cleared up and new information and attitudes to be brought into use more quickly. Through such active work one becomes aware of the self, which Carl Jung describes as a centre, but which we might think of as a synthesis of all our experience and being. Gaining insight and allowing the self entrance into our waking affairs, as M L. Von Franz says in Man and His Symbols, gradually produces a wider and more mature personality’ which emerges, and by degrees becomes effective and even visible to others’.
The function of dreams may well be described as an effort on the part of our life process to support, augment and help mature waking consciousness.
A study of dreams suggests that the creative forces which are behind the growth of our body are also inextricably connected with psychological development. In fact, when the process of physical growth stops, the psychological growth continues.
If this is thwarted in any way, it leads to frustration, physical tension and psychosomatic and eventually physical illness.
The integration of experience.
which dreams are always attempting, if successful cannot help but lead to personal growth. But it is often frozen by the individual avoiding the growing pains’, or the discomfon of breaking through old concepts and beliefs.
Where there is any attempt on the pan of our conscious personality to co-operate with this, the creative aspect of dreaming emerges. In fact anything we are deeply involved in, challenged by or attempting, we will dream about in a creative way. Not only have communities like the American Indians used dreams in this manner—to find better hunting, solve community problems, find a sense of personal life direction— but scientists, writers, designers and thousands of lay people have found very real information in dreams After all, through dreams we have personal use of the greatest computer ever produced in the history of the world—the human brain.
1- In Genesis 41, the story of Pharaoh’s dream is told—the seven fat cows and the seven thin cows. This dream was creative in that, with Joseph’s interpretation, it resolved a national problem where famine followed years of plenty. It may very well be an example of gathered information on the history of Egypt being in the mind of Pharaoh, and the dream putting it together in a problem solving way. See dream process as computer.
2- William Blake dreamt his dead brother showed him a new way of engraving copper. Blake used the method successfully.
3- Otto Leowi dreamt of how to prove that nervous impulses were chemical rather than electncal. This led to his Nobel prize.
4- Friedrich Kekule tned for years to define the structure of benzene. He dreamt of a snake with its tail in its mouth, and woke to realise this explained the molecular formation of the benzene ring. He was so impressed he urged colleagues, ‘Gentlemen, leam to dream.’
5- Hilprecht had an amazing dream of the connection between two pieces of agate which enabled him to translate an ancient Babylonian inscription.
6- Elias Howe faced the problem of how to produce an effective sewing machine.
The major difficulty was the needle. He dreamt of natives shaking spears with holes in their points. This led to the invention of the Singer sewing machine.
7- Robert Louis Stevenson claims to have dreamt the plot of many of his stories.
8- Albert Einstein said that during adolescence he dreamt he was riding a sledge. It went faster and faster until it reached the speed of light.
The stars began to change into amazing patterns and colours, dazzling and beautiful. His meditation on that dream throughout the years led to the theory of relativity.
To approach our dreams in order to discover their creativity, first decide what problematic or creative aspect of your life needs ‘dream power’. Define what you have already leamt or know about the problem. Write it down, and from this clarify what it is you want more insight into.
If this breaks down into several issues, choose one at a time. Think about the issue and pursue it as much as you can while awake. Read about it, ask people’s opinions, gather information. This is all data for the dream process.
If the question still needs further insight, before going to sleep imagine you are putting the question to your internal store of wisdom, computer, power centre, or whatever image feels right.
For some people an old being who is neither exclusively man nor woman is a working image.
In the morning note down whatever dream you remember. It does not matter if the dream does not appear to deal with the question; Elias Howe’s native spears were an outlandish image, but nevertheless contained the information he needed. Investigate the dream using the techniques given in the entry dream processing. Some problems take time to define, so use the process until there is a resolution.
If it is a major problem, it may take a year or so; after all, some resolutions need restructuring of the personality, because the problem cannot disappear while we still have the same attitudes and fears. See secret of the universe dreams; dream processing. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If you are prone to such dreams, you might want to try asking your dreaming mind to show you a way off the mountain or out of the jungle, forest or bog just before you go to sleep. Your dream may respond by offering you another dream scenario that may contain symbolic clues to help you solve your waking problem.
Any problem, obstacle or irritation you face in dreamland, such as being unable to find a pen when you need one, light bulbs suddenly going out, being unable to pick something up, trying and failing to start a car or put up a deckchair or assemble a pushchair can suggest a problem in waking life that you are finding difficult to resolve. Your dreaming mind has thousands upon thousands of symbolic disguises to draw upon, so whenever things don’t go smoothly in dreamland, the chances are this indicates situations in waking life that you are struggling to resolve.... The Element Encyclopedia
To cut someone else’s hair is a warning of hidden jealousy around you.
A dream of braiding your hair predicts the forging of a new link of friendship, but to braid someone else’s hair portends an unhappy argument Curling or setting your hair pertains to em- tional affairs and promises either an improvement in your marital relations or a new romance.
Bleaching your hair suggests you would be wise to be somewhat less flirtatious, and dyeing it suggests that you are allowing vanity to overcome your common sense.
Having your hair pulled indicates untrustworthy friends or colleagues, and gray or white hair predicts sad (but not grievous) news.
To put brilliantine (or similar treatment) on your hair to slick it down smoothly is a forerunner of brightening prospects and/or advancement in status; to have your hair done by a hairdresser is a warning against repeating gossip.
Eating or chewing hair signifies that you would be well advised to give more attention to your own affairs and less to the affairs of others.
To find hair on some unusual part of your body promises a steady increase in material wealth.
See also Beard and Wig(s).... The Complete Guide to Interpreting Your Dreams
Clothing that is too tight, too small or dating back to childhood suggests that something about your current attitude or approach is holding you back. It may also suggest that you are aiming for more than you can achieve in the present circumstances. For Freudians, tight clothing may indicate a preoccupation with the breasts and buttocks whose shape they reveal. The dreamer wearing loose clothing may be attempting to conceal their true self, but it may also represent a yearning to be free of inhibitions.
If you are wearing formal clothes when everyone else is dressed casually, perhaps you have ideas above your station; alternatively, the dream may be a warning against snobbery. On the other hand, being sloppily dressed in a formal setting may be suggesting that your behavior is damaging your prospects. It is also common to dream about being unable to find a suitable outfit or searching frantically for appropriate clothes; such dreams reflect anxiety about being adequately prepared to meet the obligations and demands placed upon you.
Dreamers dressed in shabby clothes, rags or clothes that have rips and tears may be projecting an image of inferiority or low self- esteem, and the dream may be a warning to build their confidence. A dream of a jumper, cardigan or other woolen garment unraveling may indicate a growing sense of disillusionment with some aspect of your waking life. The unraveling may be a sign that it is time to look to a new direction for inspiration.
If you are aware in your dream of a problem with your clothing, this is a positive sign as it suggests that you are already aware of tensions that are affecting you in waking life.
If you are unaware that you are dressed inappropriately and only notice this on waking, your unconscious is pointing to the source of feelings you have not yet understood. Finally, if you dream that you are wearing clothes remarkably different from your normal wardrobe, the implication is that you are ill at ease with your self-image. The color, style and texture of your clothes may be able to tell you which area of your life needs to be remolded.... The Element Encyclopedia