Do Dreams Really Contain Hidden Truths?
You wake up after a dream of a plane crash, and you’re scheduled to board an aircraft later in the day for a long-awaited trip. Will that nightmare of a plane crash have an effect on whether you continue with your plans to fly?
According to a new multi-cultural study involving nearly 1,100 people around the world, you may not cancel your trip, but your dream will probably weigh as heavily on your thoughts as if there had been a real plane crash. The study suggests that people from many cultures believe their dreams are a window into the mind.
Do Dreams Really Mean Anything?
When Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams in 1899, he introduced science to the complex and bizarre world of the human mind. Freud called dreams the royal road to the unconscious.
The most common dream occurs in all cultures: Someone, or something, is in hot pursuit, and if the dreamer can’t escape, the consequences will be deadly. That dream usually means the person feels threatened or under attack, or is recalling a time when an attack was real.
Dreams Contain Hidden Truths
Researchers Morewedge and Norton of Harvard University wanted to determine if dreams actually influence our behavior or contain hidden truths. They conducted six studies in both Eastern and Western cultures ( United States, South Korea and India).
(1) 182 commuters in Boston reported that dreams affected their daily behavior. 68 percent said dreams foretell the future, and 63 percent said at least one of their dreams had come true. Participants reported that a dream of a plane crash would affect their travel plans more than a conscious thought of a crash, or a warning from the government
(2) 341 pedestrians were surveyed in Cambridge, Mass., and people who believed in the Freudian theory of the subconscious were more influenced by their dreams than were nonbelievers. But regardless of the theory of dreams they endorsed, participants considered dreams more important than similar thoughts while awake.
(3) 60 undergraduate psychology students at Rutgers University were asked whether they believed in God on a five-point scale ranging from definitely to doubtful. Not surprisingly, believers rated dreams in which God spoke to them as more meaningful than did agnostics. Also, not surprisingly, agnostics reported that dreams were more meaningful when God suggested that they should take a year off to travel the world than when God suggested they should take a year off to work in a leper colony.
The Role of Dreams in Our Waking Lives
Consistent throughout the study is the thread that dreams actually DO play a role in the waking lives of most people. They come from within and, thus contain hidden truths that could be useful in real life, or so most of us believe.
The study noted that, although dreams are unlikely to predict future world events, it is possible that they may provide some hidden insight in the way that people believe they do. Learn to control your dreams with lucid dreaming. Amazing!