Dream Interpretation Parts 1 and 2 Physiological And Historical Survey

Listen to part 1 here

Hello friends, welcome back to artful living with Lynda Anne!  Today we’re going to continue with part 2 our series about dreams.  In the first part of our series, we touched on the physiological or biological aspects of dreaming.  Feel free to listen to that episode and come back to this one as we covered some important information from a http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284378 Written by Hannah Nichols on June 28, 2018

Just a brief review:

There are several theories about why we dream. Are dreams merely part of the sleep cycle, or do they serve some other purpose?

Possible explanations include:

representing unconscious desires and wishes

interpreting random signals from the brain and body during sleep – you’re incorporating your environment into your dreams – music playing outside, alarm going off, having to go to the bathroom,

consolidating and processing information gathered during the day

working as a form of psychotherapy


From evidence and new research methodologies, researchers have speculated that dreaming serves the following functions:

offline memory reprocessing, in which the brain consolidates learning and memory tasks and supports and records waking consciousness

preparing for possible future threats

cognitive simulation of real life experiences, as dreaming is a subsystem of the waking default network, the part of the mind active during daydreaming

helping develop cognitive capabilities

reflecting unconscious mental function  in a psychoanalytic way

a unique state of consciousness that incorporates experience  of the present, processing of the past, and preparation for the future

a psychological space where overwhelming, contradictory, or highly complex notions can be brought together by the dreaming ego, notions that would be unsettling while awake, serving the need for psychological balance and equilibrium


Before we get started on part 2 of our series, I just want to remind you that if you’re feeling anxious about a dream, don’t want to wait until you learn how to interpret, and would like your dream interpreted immediately, you can schedule an online appointment with me through http://www.LyndaAnne.art. From on the top menu bar, go to the ‘Consulting’ Page to find the link to book Consultations. Readers click here: Schedule your appointment now.

Ok so let’s move on to today’s episode focusing on historical overview of dream interpretation

The study of dreams in scientific research laboratories began with the discovery of REM sleep by Aserinsky and Kleitman  in the early 1950’s – 1953, according to an interesting article in

Psychology Today Posted on June 30, 2016, by Michelle Carr Ph.D. entitled:

A Brief History of Dream Research

How the discovery of REM sleep jump-started the science of dreaming.


Aserinsky and Kleitman are credited with having the first sleep research laboratory where they discovered the “rapid, jerky, binocularly symmetrical movements” characteristic of REM sleep. They went on to associate dreams with these eye movements,

finding that 74.1 percent of participants recalled dreams from REM sleep, whereas only 17.4 percent recalled dreams from NREM sleep.

Which isn’t to say that we aren’t dreaming in all stages of sleep, but that we are more able to recall the dreams we have during REM

My take away – different stages of sleep utilize dreams differently. Reflecting on one function dreaming serves that is consolidating and processing information gathered during the day.  We really don’t need to recall the busy filing work our brain is doing while we sleep.  So perhaps these functions are happening most often during NonREM?  I’m speculating.  If your interested that’s a good research topic.

I want to introduce you to Pamela Cummins

LearnDreamInterpretation.com is her website it’s an amazing resource, including very affordable – like under ten bucks – online courses, that I did not have when I started but really wish I did.


In an article written by Pamela Cummins posted on December 11, 2018, she offers a nice historical overview including: Important Dream Experts

There are two important modern dream interpreters that aided the field of dream interpretation; in a nutshell, they were:

The first is Sigmund Freud, who believed that dreams revealed our unconscious as a way to glimpse into our soul and true desires.

Carl Jung is the second dream interpreter who made his mark in dream interpretation history. Jung was a student of Freud who disagreed with some of his teacher’s theories, thus went in a different direction. His most important theory was that you are every character in your dreams; for example, if you dream about your mother, it really represents your mother within.

Freud and Jung helped bring dream interpretation into psychology and science, thus enriching all of society.


Continuing down the historical path, we can look to the Judeo-Christian Bible for classic stories of dream interpretation, probably one of the most famous in western literature is that of Joseph, son of Jacob, who is gifted with dream interpretation skills.

Joseph’s story is a cultural reference to the The ancient MesopotamiansGreeks, and Egyptians who were some of the earliest and most prominent civilizations that made use of dream interpretation.  Some ancient rulers used dream interpretation in order to promote an air of safety and comfort amongst their people. The wiles of the monarch’s subconscious mind during sleep were considered to be on the same level as premonitions (Hoffman, 2004). Interestingly, much of the the ancient  Mesopotamian, Greek, and Egyptians’ dream accounts involve divinities of some sort. Whether the dreamer is actively interacting with the gods or simply looking upon them in their dream, there are numerous references to the contemporary gods. Divine figures within the dream records of ancient civilizations prove the importance of such heavenly messages within the cultures of the time (Hall, 1992).


For more information you can also visit The History of Dream Analysis for an article by Victoria Owens entitled The First Interpretations

Victoria Owens sheds light on a favorite topic of mine, women’s roles in society. Specifically relating to dream interpretation,

the earliest recorded dream in history, many dream analyses in ancient civilizations were performed by a woman close to the dreamer. Dating farther back than 2500 B.C.E., before the Epic of Gilgamesh, Demuzis’s dream was recorded and analyzed by the monarch’s sister. Even the interpretations of dreams within the Epic of Gilgamesh were performed by a female (Hoffman, 2004). The ancient civilizations that valued the meaning of dreams often put stock into those who could accurately use dream-books and make difficult associations within a dream in order to explain its full meaning (Hoffman, 2004; Stewart, 2004).


And moving back to Pamela CumminsBrief History of Dream Interpretation, we can take a very brief glimpse at a few other cultures views on dreaming.

Native Americans took their dreams seriously, often going to the medicine man or woman of the tribe looking for interpretation to help them follow the wisdom of the messages of the nighttime.

Besides messages from their Higher Source, people of ancient Egypt felt their souls went on journeys to other realms besides Earth during the dreamtime. Which makes sense to me, how about you?

Even today there are Africans who believe that our dream life are as valuable as our waking life. Once I totally freaked out a woman at a party when I said, “Who knows, maybe we’re dreaming now and our dreams are our real life?” Which by the way turns out to be an important question from ancient China.

The Celtics, Greeks, and Romans were also fascinated by their dreams. Sadly, in the Dark Ages there were some people who viewed dreams as evil because the devil was sending the dreamer messages.


Where are you from?  How does your culture view dreams?  What about your ancestors?  What did they feel about dreams?

What beliefs are you taking with you from your personal family history?  Do you want to leave any ideas behind, or perhaps pick up some new philosophies about dreaming?  Continue your exploration of dream interpretation in history, and let us know what you discover.

Meanwhile, our next part in this series – part 3 will cover the different types of dreams, and we’ll begin touching on how to recall your dreams. 

Thanks for listening. We’ll talk soon… So long for now.

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