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“I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.” Charles Dickens
Editor's 1-Minute Essay: Dreams
Dr. Seuss: “You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
Oscar Wilde: “Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
Edgar Allan Poe: “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
Neil Gaiman: “People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.”
A.A. Milne: “I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”
Vincent van Gogh: “I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”
Aristotle: “Hope is a waking dream.”
Henry David Thoreau: “Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.”
Emily Brontë: “I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind. And this is one: I'm going to tell it - but take care not to smile at any part of it.”
Henry David Thoreau: “I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
T.E. Lawrence: “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
Lao Tzu: “Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”
Charles Dickens: “I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.”
Ethan Hawke: “Don't you find it odd," she continued, "that when you're a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you're older, somehow they act offended if you even try.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery: “You may tire of reality but you never tire of dreams.”
“I love the silent hour of night,
For blissful dreams may then arise,
Revealing to my charmed sight
What may not bless my waking eyes.”
Alexandre Dumas: “When you compare the sorrows of real life to the pleasures of the imaginary one, you will never want to live again, only to dream forever.”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge:
“What if you slept
And what if
In your sleep
And what if
In your dream
You went to heaven
And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower
And what if
When you awoke
You had that flower in your hand
Ah, what then?”
William Faulkner: “Dreams have only one owner at a time. That's why dreamers are lonely.”
Roy T. Bennett: “No one has ever achieved greatness without dreams.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “They tease me now, telling me it was only a dream. But does it matter whether it was a dream or reality, if the dream made known to me the truth?”
Anais Nin: “Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.”
William Butler Yeats: “In dreams begin responsibilities.”
Ursula K. Le Guin: “I am living in a nightmare, from which from time to time I wake in sleep.”
Emma Goldman: “When we can't dream any longer we die.”
Madeleine L'Engle: “In my dreams, I never have an age.”
Sheldon Kopp: “Openness to my own dreams puts me in touch with the oldest, most human aspects of who I am; it helps me find my place in the community of man.”
The Talmud: “A dream not understood is like a letter not opened.”
Joseph Campbell: “Through dreams a door is opened to mythology, since myths are of the nature of dreams, and that, as dreams arise from an inward world unknown to waking consciousness, so do myths: so, indeed, does life.”
Leonardo da Vinci: “Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?”
“I want to write. But more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried in my heart.”
Eugene Gendlin: “Enjoying the dream is more important than interpreting it. Therefore, don’t work so hard that it stops being pleasant and exciting.”
Sheldon Kopp: “Again and again I find that my own inner counselor, my secret dreaming self, is not only wise and helpful but usually amusing as well.”
Ann Faraday: “As a general rule… I have found that when the head and heart agree on any issue, there is a good chance of their being correct, whereas if they disagree you had better start asking questions.”
Calvin Hall: “Every man is his own playwright when he is asleep.”
Henry David Thoreau: “In dreams we see ourselves naked and acting out our real characters, even more clearly than we see others awake.”
Dick McLeester: “Sharing our dreams with others is sharing ourselves and enables us to know each other deeply.”
Fariba Bogzaran: “Each dream is unique, like each sunrise, with different feelings, textures, and colors.”
William Dement: “Given that the dreaming brain must perform these remarkable contortions – creating a world, living in it, responding to it, and then carefully blocking all the responses in a manner that does not cross the threshold of awareness – it is no wonder that this dreaming brain seems to be more active than the waking brain.”
Aztec poem: “That we come to this earth to live is untrue: we come but to sleep, to dream.”
Sheldon Kopp: “For a long time now I have trusted my dreaming self as wiser than that waking self whose head is cluttered with reason and practicalities, so busy trying to control things that he sometimes forgets that the heart has reasons that reason does not know. When I dream, I never forget to trust myself.”
Synesius of Cyrene, fourth century: “Sleep offers itself to all: it is an oracle always ready to be our infallible and silent counselor.
Ann Faraday: “Dreams of one’s own death almost always reflect the fact that we have reached the point of being willing to relinquish our old roles and self-images, and for this reason these are often the most important dreams of all.”
Joseph Campbell: “The unconscious sends all sorts of vapors, odd beings, terrors, and deluding images up into the mind - whether in dream, broad daylight, or insanity: for the human kingdom, beneath the floor of the comparatively neat little dwelling that we call our consciousness, goes down into unsuspected Aladdin caves.”
Sheldon Kopp: “I have long trusted dreams as prophetic visions. I do not mean that they foretell the future, only that they illuminate the present, when my eyes are closed, so that I may see clearly.”
Virginia Woolf: “It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.”
Fariba Bogzaran: “In re-creating dreams through paintings the artist becomes a conscious traveler to the world of the unconscious and brings messages from this mystery land. Through painting this mystery can be unveiled.”
Ann Faraday: “The cardinal rule in all cases… [is] never to impose a meaning on a dream but to allow it to speak for itself.”
Calvin Hall: “We may fool ourselves with trumped-up and distorted self-portraits in waking life but sleep is no friend to embellishment and illusion. Dreams are the mirror of the self.”
Joseph Campbell: “Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream.”
Eugene Gendlin: “Most scary dreams bring something good which is not yet in a form the person can use.”
Abraham Lincoln: “If we believe the Bible, we must accept the fact that, in the old days, God and his angels came to humans in their sleep and made themselves known in dreams.”
Ann Faraday: “Much of man’s unhappiness is caused, first, by self-ignorance and, second, by self-concealment.”
Calvin Hall: “A dream is a personal document, a letter to oneself.”
Synesius of Cyrene, fourth century: “We do not sleep merely to live, but to learn to live well.”
Chuang-tzu: “One night I dreamed I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, content with my lot. Suddenly I awoke and I was Chuang-tzu again. Who am I in reality? A butterfly dreaming that I am Chuang-tzu or Chuang-tzu imagining he was a butterfly?”
Ann Faraday: “When dreams are remembered, and their reflections-in-depth are understood, a whole new dimension of wisdom and insight is added to life, bringing greater sanity, meaning, and humor into our existence.”
Calvin Hall: “Dreams reveal what we really think of ourselves when the mask of waking life is removed.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “Dreams seem to be spurred on not by reason but by desire, not by the head but by the heart, and yet what complicated tricks my reason has played sometimes in dreams.”
Albert Einstein: “When I examine myself and my methods of thought I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.”
Dr. Carl Jung
Carl Jung: “Six weeks after his death my father appeared to me in a dream... It was an unforgettable experience, and it forced me for the first time to think about life after death.”
Carl Jung: “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
Carl Jung: “We have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions.”
Carl Jung: “We do not feel as if we were producing the dreams, it is rather as if the dreams came to us. They are not subject to our control but obey their own laws.”
Carl Jung: “This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once: scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.
Carl Jung: “The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego-consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends.”
Carl Jung: “Dreams are the facts from which we must proceed.”
Carl Jung: “In each of us is another whom we do not know. He speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees us from the way we see ourselves.”
Carl Jung: “A dream that is not understood remains a mere occurrence; understood it becomes a living experience.”
Carl Jung: “The dream arises from a part of the mind unknown to us, but none the less important, and is concerned with the desires for the approaching day.”
Carl Jung: “The general function of dreams is to try to restore our psychological balance by producing dream material that re-establishes, in a subtle way, the total psychic equilibrium.”
Carl Jung: “Dreams are impartial, spontaneous products of the unconscious psyche, outside the control of the will. They are pure nature; they show us the unvarnished, natural truth, and are therefore fitted, as nothing else is, to give us back an attitude that accords with our basic human nature when our consciousness has strayed too far from its foundations and run into an impasse.”
Carl Jung: “It is on the whole probably that we continually dream, but that consciousness makes such a noise that we do not hear it.”
Carl Jung: “Nights through dreams tell the myths forgotten by the day.”
Carl Jung: “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.”
Carl Jung: "dreams are the direct expression of unconscious psychic activity"
Carl Jung: "dreams not infrequently bring to light … the unconscious contents that are the causal factors in neurosis"
Carl Jung: "the dream gives a true picture of the subjective state, while the conscious mind denies that this state exists"
"I take dreams as facts."
Carl Jung: "the dream comes as the expression of an involuntary psychic process … it presents the subjective state as it really is … put dreams on a plane with physiological fact … I take dreams as facts"
Carl Jung: "dreams (sometime) present etiological factors in the neurosis … also offer prognosis or anticipation of the future"
Carl Jung: "dreams are (not) merely (wish) fulfillment… also (reveal) ineluctable truths, philosophical pronouncements, illusions, wild fantasies, memories, plans … even telepathic visions"
Carl Jung: "the dream is especially the utterance of the unconscious… we should not pare down the meaning of the dream to fit some narrow doctrine"
Carl Jung: "an obscure dream… the first task … is to establish the context," i.e. what is happening in the conscious life of the dreamer
Carl Jung: an obscure dream is better interpreted if part of a series of dreams… easier "to recognize the important contents and basic themes"
Carl Jung: "dreams give information about the secrets of the inner life"
Carl Jung: dreams help to "assimilate" the conscious with the unconscious, i.e. "a mutual interpenetration of conscious and unconscious contents"
Carl Jung: "the unconscious is not a monster ... thing of nature … neutral as far as moral sense… it is dangerous only when our conscious attitude toward it becomes hopelessly false… danger grows with repression"
Carl Jung: "the psyche is a self-regulatory system… maintains itself in equilibrium… every process that goes too far … calls forth a compensatory activity… (ask of a dream) "what conscious attitude does it compensate?"
Carl Jung: dreams are "plus and minus," in that they seek to enhance or retard energies to maintain psychic equilibrium
Carl Jung: dreams become more vivid, "more strikingly actual the more we try to repress it… the dream-content… should be taken as … a factor in framing our conscious outlook"
Carl Jung: "dream symbolism (is not) signs or symbols of a fixed character, (that is) as expressions of something not yet consciously recognized… (do not take a) dogmatic stand"
Carl Jung: it is a "grave blunder" to associate dream-symbols with a fixed archetype… "look for meaning of symbols as they relate to the conscious situation… renounce pre-conceived opinions"
Carl Jung: “The darkness which clings to every personality is the door into the unconscious and the gateway of dreams, from which those two twilight figures, the shadow and the anima, step into our nightly visions or, remaining invisible, take possession of our ego-consciousness.”
Carl Jung: “The 'squaring of the circle' is one of the many archetypal motifs which form the basic patterns of our dreams and fantasies. But it is distinguished by the fact that it is one of the most important of them from the functional point of view. Indeed, it could even be called the archetype of wholeness.”
Carl Jung: “To me, dreams are part of nature which harbors no intention to deceive but expresses something as best it can.”
Carl Jung: “Our mind has its history, just as our body has its history. You might be just as astonished that man has an appendix, for instance. Does he know he ought to have an appendix? He is just born with it... Our unconscious mind, like our body, is a storehouse of relics and memories of the past. A study of the structure of the unconscious collective mind would reveal the same discoveries as you make in comparative anatomy. We do not need to think that there is anything mystical about it.”
Carl Jung: “In sleep, fantasy takes the form of dreams. But in waking life, too, we continue to dream beneath the threshold of consciousness, especially when under the influence of repressed or other unconscious complexes.”
Carl Jung: “Dreaming is a philogenetically older mode of thought.” [the study of the evolutionary history and relationships among individuals or groups of organisms"]
Carl Jung: “The symbol in the dream has more the value of a parable: it does not conceal, it teaches.”
Carl Jung: “No dream symbol can be separated from the individual who dreams it, and there is no definite or straightforward interpretation of any dream.”
Carl Jung: “Nobody doubts the importance of conscious experience; why then should we doubt the significance of unconscious happenings? They also are part of our life, and sometimes more truly a part of it for weal or woe than any happenings of the day.”
Carl Jung: “Dreams are symbolic in order that they cannot be understood; in order that the wish, which is the source of the dream, may remain unknown.”
Carl Jung: “The conscious mind allows itself to be trained like a parrot, but the unconscious does not - which is why St. Augustine thanked God for not making him responsible for his dreams.”
Carl Jung: “I leave theory aside as much as possible when analyzing dreams - not entirely, of course, for we always need some theory to make things intelligible.
Carl Jung: “The dream is often occupied with apparently very silly details, thus producing an impression of absurdity, or else it is on the surface so unintelligible as to leave us thoroughly bewildered. Hence we always have to overcome a certain resistance before we can seriously set about disentangling the intricate web through patient work. But when at last we penetrate to its real meaning, we find ourselves deep in the dreamer’s secrets and discover with astonishment that an apparently quite senseless dream is in the highest degree significant, and that in reality it speaks only of important and serious matters. This discovery compels rather more respect for the so-called superstition that dreams have a meaning, to which the rationalistic temper of our age has hitherto given short shrift.”
Carl Jung:: “The evolutionary stratification of the Psyche is more clearly discernible in the dream than in the conscious mind. In the dream, the psyche speaks in images, and gives expression to instincts, which derive from the most primitive levels of nature. Therefore, through the assimilation of unconscious contents, the momentary life of consciousness can once more be brought into harmony with the law of nature from which it all too easily departs, and the patient can be led back to the natural law of his own being.”
Carl Jung: “Dream psychology opens the way to a general comparative psychology from which we may hope to gain the same understanding of the development and structure of the human psyche as comparative anatomy has given us concerning the human body.”
Carl Jung: “The dream shows the inner truth and reality of the patient as it really is: not as I conjecture it to be, and not as he would like it to be, but as it is.”
Carl Jung: “The dream is specifically the utterance of the unconscious, just as the psyche has a diurnal side which we call consciousness, so also it has a nocturnal side: the unconscious psychic activity which we apprehend as dreamlike fantasy.”
Carl Jung: “The primitives I observed in East Africa took it for granted that “big” dreams are dreamed only by “big” men - medicine-men, magicians, chiefs, etc. This may be true on a primitive level. But with us these dreams are dreamed also by simple people, more particularly when they have got themselves, mentally or spiritually, in a fix.”
Carl Jung: “Dreams are often anticipatory and would lose their specific meaning on a purely causalistic view. They afford unmistakable information about the analytical situation, the correct understanding of which is of the greatest therapeutic importance.”
Carl Jung: “The real difficulty begins when the dreams do not point to anything tangible, and this they do often enough, especially when they hold anticipations of the future. I do not mean that such dreams are necessarily prophetic, merely that they feel the way, they 'reconnoitre' ["make a military observation of a region"]. These dreams contain inklings of possibilities and for that reason can never be made plausible to an outsider.”
Dr. Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud: “Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.”
Sigmund Freud: “Creativity is an attempt to resolve a conflict generated by unexpressed biological impulses, such that unfulfilled desires are the driving force of the imagination, and they fuel our dreams and daydreams.”
Sigmund Freud: “The dream is the liberation of the spirit from the pressure of external nature, a detachment of the soul from the fetters of matter.”
Sigmund Freud: “The dream acts as a safety-valve for the over-burdened brain.”
Sigmund Freud: “The virtuous man contents himself with dreaming that which the wicked man does in actual life.”
Sigmund Freud: “Obviously one must hold oneself responsible for the evil impulses of one's dreams. In what other way can one deal with them? Unless the content of the dream rightly understood is inspired by alien spirits, it is part of my own being.”
Sigmund Freud: “The dream unites the grossest contradictions, permits impossibilities, sets aside the knowledge that influences us by day, and exposes us as ethically and morally obtuse.”
Sigmund Freud: “What is common in all these dreams is obvious. They completely satisfy wishes excited during the day which remain unrealized. They are simply and undisguisedly realizations of wishes.”
Sigmund Freud: “A piece of creative writing, like a day-dream, is a continuation of, and a substitute for, what was once the play of childhood.”
Sigmund Freud: “An overwhelming majority of symbols in dreams are sexual symbols.”
Sigmund Freud: “As everyone knows, the ancients before Aristotle did not consider the dream a product of the dreaming mind, but a divine inspiration, and in ancient times the two antagonistic streams, which one finds throughout in the estimates of dream life, were already noticeable. They distinguished between true and valuable dreams, sent to the dreamer to warn him or to foretell the future, and vain, fraudulent, and empty dreams, the object of which was to misguide or lead him to destruction.”
Sigmund Freud: “To be sure, the ancient belief that the dream reveals the future is not entirely devoid of truth. By representing to us a wish as fulfilled the dream certainly leads us into the future; but this future, taken by the dreamer as present, has been formed into the likeness of that past by the indestructible wish.”
Sigmund Freud: “All elongated objects, such as sticks, tree-trunks and umbrellas (the opening of these last being comparable to an erection) may stand for the male organ... Boxes, cases, chests, cupboards, and ovens represent the uterus... Rooms in dreams are usually women... Many landscapes in dreams, especially any containing bridges or wooded hills, may clearly be recognized as descriptions of the genitals.”
Sigmund Freud: “Dreams are constructed from the residue of yesterday.”
Sigmund Freud: “Dreams are the guardians of sleep and not its disturbers.”
Sigmund Freud: “The study of dreams may be considered the most trustworthy method of investigating deep mental processes. Now dreams occurring in traumatic neuroses have the characteristic of repeatedly bringing the patient back into the situation of his accident, a situation from which he wakes up in another fright.”
Sigmund Freud: “Dream disfigurement, then, turns out in reality to be an act of the censor.”
Sigmund Freud: “If we subject the content of the dream to analysis, we become aware that the dream fear is no more justified by the dream content than the fear in a phobia is justified by the idea upon which the phobia depends.”
Sigmund Freud: “Dreams may be thus stated: They are concealed realizations of repressed desires.”
Sigmund Freud: “The dream is the liberation of the spirit from the pressure of external nature, a detachment of the soul from the fetters of matter.”
Sigmund Freud: “The sheer size too, the excessive abundance, scale, and exaggeration of dreams could be an infantile characteristic. The most ardent wish of children is to grow up and get as big a share of everything as the grown-ups; they are hard to satisfy; do not know the meaning of ‘enough’.”
Sigmund Freud: “And it is only after seeing man as his unconscious, revealed by his dreams, presents him to us that we shall understand him fully. For as Freud said to Putnam: "We are what we are because we have been what we have been.”
Sigmund Freud: “The dream has a very striking way of dealing with the category of opposites and contradictions. This is simply disregarded. To the dream 'No' does not seem to exist. In particular, it prefers to draw opposites together into a unity or to represent them as one. Indeed, it also takes the liberty of representing some random element by its wished-for opposite, so that at first one cannot tell which of the possible poles is meant positively or negatively in the dream-thoughts.”
Sigmund Freud: “Three tendencies can be observed in the estimation of dreams. Many philosophers have given currency to one of these tendencies, one which at the same time preserves something of the dream's former over-valuation. The foundation of dream life is for them a peculiar state of psychical activity, which they even celebrate as elevation to some higher state. Schubert, for instance, claims: "The dream is the liberation of the spirit from the pressure of external nature, a detachment of the soul from the fetters of matter." Not all go so far as this, but many maintain that dreams have their origin in real spiritual excitations, and are the outward manifestations of spiritual powers whose free movements have been hampered during the day ("Dream Phantasies," Scherner, Volkelt). A large number of observers acknowledge that dream life is capable of extraordinary achievements—at any rate, in certain fields ("Memory").”
Editor's last word:
It’s interesting that several of these statements refer to dreams as an unlikely combination of disparate items. In chemistry, we speak of the heterogeneous mixture, such as glass, gravel, and wood chips, all in a bag; dreams are not a pure substance, like water, the chemical union of oxygen and hydrogen. In dreams, the rules are changed allowing for odd bedfellows to unite. As the phrase is used, the coming together is “indicated” not “realized.”