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Your_Majesty's avatar

Why do many people believe that their dreams have a meaning?

Asked by Your_Majesty (8212 points ) December 13th, 2010

I have no intention to offend those who like to ask this kind of question but I am just curious as to why many people believe that their dream is meaningful and has realistic properties. Since I also saw these particular questions in other sites.

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21 Answers

Fred931's avatar

So far, whenever I’ve remembered something very distinct in a dream, within a month later (often just a week), something similar actually happens to me. Got banned from a game for hacking in a dream, got banned for posting inappropriately in a forum that same week. Got chased and stung by bees in a dream, got stung then chased by bees after I hit a yellowjacket nest with a weedeater about a month later. And so on…

YARNLADY's avatar

I have often wondered about that also. I think it’s the same reason people think they look better with specific clothes and so on, effective advertising/promotion.

Winters's avatar

There’s this one nightmare (initially a night terror but after ten years I’ve gotten used to dying, lol) that I constantly have. Personally I figure it has to mean my unconscious is trying to get across something to me and there have been several events that occurred in that nightmare that have also happened in real life, that alone made me start thinking that this nightmare has more meaning than just simply being a recurring nightmare.

Mariah's avatar

I think people think dreams say something about their subconscious, which I can understand. What I don’t understand is when people think their dreams say something about the physical worldoutside their minds.

Nullo's avatar

Sometimes they do. I lost a bit off of a vacuum cleaner once, and actually dreamed up where I had left it.

Fred931's avatar

@Nullo Lucky, you find stuff, I get stung and banned.

wundayatta's avatar

Of course people think they have meaning. They are felt so powerfully and can seem so real. And we like to believe our minds can influence reality to bring us the things we want.

But they get so confusing with all kinds of weird images that we don’t know how to make sense out of. And they seem to offer us the possibility of our waking dreams, especially when they are about crushes.

And, of course, they do have meaning. Meaning-making is what humans do, and we can do it with any input at all. We get meaning from rocks and the air. Why shouldn’t a dream be very meaningful? It speaks a lot better than a rock does. In human language, anyway.

Perhaps you are complaining that people make more of their dreams than you make of yours? You say you think they are making too much by expecting realistic outcomes as a consequence of what they dream.

I don’t know. Who am I to say what will happen or won’t. The power of positive thinking and self-fulfilling prophecies are well-known.

I think that when people ask these questions, they want reassurance. They really want their dreams to come true, but they know this is unlikely. So they ask a question, hoping someone will make them feel better. “Oh, you saw yourself kissing the boy? Then, by all means, talk to him about it.” Or some such. What they usually find is what they suspected—the dream is about them, not anyone else. But who can blame them for hoping?

Coloma's avatar

I think dreams can and often are more meaningful than many care or are aware of.

Our sub-conscious minds are our intuitive minds and are much more in touch with elements of our psyches than we are conscious of.

I think it is entirely possible to have precognitive dreams and other symbolic ‘awakenings’ while asleep.

Fred931's avatar

Just because we’re talking ‘bout dreams, I remember having an Inception-Movie moment a while back where I realized I was in a dream; I was in my elementary school, and I started walking on the walls and whatnot, when suddenly some redheaded teacher grabbed me and, I think, stabbed me or something. o.o

Doppelganger19's avatar

I’m a-freud we have to blame it on Sigmund and his ilk.

Odysseus's avatar

I find it hard to believe that our state of consciousness when awake can be so logical , thoughtful and sometimes genius then when we go to sleep that all changes and it becomes nonsensical random scat.
No, I’m sure there is a lot of meaning to dreams.

Doppelganger19's avatar

I agree with @Odysseus 100%. I find a great deal of meaning in my dreams.

Mariah's avatar

I should rephrase. I believe that dreams can have meaning – they can be very revealing as to what kinds of things are weighing on you, etc. But, as dreams do come from our brains, I don’t believe they can contain anything that you don’t already know on some level – what will happen in the future, for instance.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Dreams are nothing more than hallucinations caused by dimethyltryptamine being pumped into the brain.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

Some people think that their dream is a part of them, and they are important, thus their dream is important.

Coloma's avatar

@Doppelganger19

Actually it was Carl Jung that pioneered a lot of early dreamworks. ;-)

ucme's avatar

Freedom to choose I guess :¬)

Blackberry's avatar

Junk thought is pervasive.

Symbeline's avatar

Two factors I believe; one is because most of one’s dreams revolve around one’s personal life, and the people and events within. Second, because many dreams have fierce emotional impact. It affects people, so evidently, they attempt to attribute something to it.

Junfan's avatar

Helps them deal with the fact that their lives suck! Something to believe in.

Winters's avatar

@Junfan If that were true, then why do I only have nightmares? Or is it because my life is awesome that I get the crap while I sleep?

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