in Article
April 18th, 2014

I am assuming that whoever is reading this right now has had a dream before. Am I right? But have you ever had a dream with a person in it whom you have never seen before in your life? It may seem that way, but it is impossible. It is believed that the human brain is incapable of  “creating” a new face. Every person you dream of has been someone you have either known personally or merely came across looking through your friend’s Facebook photos. Even those whom you do not consciously notice but still look at as you pass by may be an implanted image in your brain and show up later when you are dreaming.

Sigmund Freud is most famous for his definition and study of dreams. He taught about the unconscious and based it on repression and how some ideas and events in one’s life are repressed and brought up later in life. Freud believed in a cycle where these repressed ideas remain in the mind while removed from consciousness. They reappear and become a part of our consciousness only at specific times, for example, in our dreams.

Dreams, according to Freud, are our own way to bring up a conflict in our lives that we may not realize is there until it is shown to us. We solve this conflict with what Freud defines as “wish- fulfillment”. Each dream symbolizes our conflict and how we want to solve it with physical structures like people and places. But, as believed, the people in your dream are real faces and they may be in your dream because you had a repressed thought about them.

Carl Jung, with Freud as his mentor, took on a different view of the unconscious. He leaned more toward the spiritual side of dreams. Jung believed that dreams are used to solve our problems in the real world and that we use dreams to communicate  with our unconscious. Jung believed that dreaming makes us who we are, and it reveals to us things about ourselves that we may not have figured out before. We are capable of understanding our own dreams and interpreting them with regard to our own lives.

Although every dream is unique to each person, Jung characterizes seven of the same “characters” that may appear universally. The first is the persona which is the thing that defines who you are in the dream. It may not actually be you but you know that is who it represents. The second is the shadow which is the thing that you want to hide from others; it is something about you that you are insecure about and may represent anger or fear. The anima and animus are your feminine and masculine sides. Each person has a little bit of both and may be a guide to express those sides of you. The fourth character is the divine child which represents innocence and who you want to be and how you want to get there. With this character you have no fear of accomplishing things and you realize your full potential. The wise old person is the one who helps you follow the right path in your dream. The great mother is the one who gives you the strength to keep going. She gives positive reinforcement, but she may also be an evil character represented by seduction or death. The last character is the trickster who comes into your dreams as a representation that you are misjudging something or someone in your life or that you are confused or uncertain about something.

Next time you dream of one of these characters it will be of a real person who you have seen before in your conscious life. If you can remember your dream, try to figure out who the person is and which character they represent so that you can interpret your own dream and maybe solve a repressed conflict in your life.

-Gianna Absi



Sigmund Freud – Wikipedia

The Interpretation of Dreams – Wikipedia

Carl Jung – Dream Moods

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