Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Psychoanalytical Ramifications of Dream Interpretation

May I begin by stating that this is not a Jungian dissertation per se. Dr. Carl Jung had a different stance on these manifestations from the foregoing conceptualizations.

One may query as to why this author might be moved to write on the above. The answer to this is actually quite elementary. My nine-year old grandaughter V. came to me recently and stated that she wasn't sleeping well because, "Monster monkeys were attacking me and trying to kill me," i.e., in her dreams. This subconscious image picture seemed so real to her that she was able to recollect it quite vividly. Whether this was caused by watching too many scary cartoons on TV is not necessarily the issue here, it actually revolves around how she reacts to "information-in" in a coherent, logical, rational and reasonable manner.

The contention is not that "garbage-in, garbage-out" is inherently the result it's how information is processed by our subconscience or as the Jungian "preconscience."

V. by the way has probably not been instructed by her educators to be the master of her own ship.... We are all it might be said, programmed to be the effect of things rather than cause over them in a Skinnerian sense so she was quite surprised when I asked who was in command of her dream ship. "Are you in command of you?" I queried. She looked puzzled when this was put to her. "Do you know that the only person that can manage the outcome of your dreams is you?" I asked. "Do you realize that because you're in charge you will always be in control if that's your wish... that only you have to answer to you and no one else?" She then queried me saying, "Ya mean that I don't have to let them win if I don't want to?"

I parried the response a bit by alluding to one of her favorite cartoons... "Don't the 'Powerpuff Girls' always win against the evil forces? The screenwriter in question always made sure that they'd continually prevail, so how is this person's objective any different from yours... V.? Didn't the writer program the storyline for the cartoon? Therefore why can't you do the same before ya go to sleep at night? Just demand consciously that you'll be in command and control over everything that takes place during your dream-state.... It's not and won't be rocket science, sweetheart...."

"Ask yourself, 'Who is the owner of me, who resides within my body and who's in charge?' If some other answer comes up that doesn't make sense and appears to be gibberish or gobbledygook then one knows there's a conscious problem afflicting your subconscience dreams. Write that answer down if it's not what you wanted and post it for all to see. Query others about it and lo and behold what seemed to be so disrupting and defeating may begin to evaporate before your very eyes if that's what you desire, V...."

A few days later her grandmother and I asked her what the outcome was.... "Did you drive the 'bad challenging forces' away?" We were all overjoyed to hear V. telling us that, "I've decided to be in charge and they didn't have any power over me anymore because I've willed it that way...." She ostensibly indicated that if the PowerPuff Girls could do practically anything then she could too in her dream-state. V. was subsequently consciously decisive a priori or before-the-fact to take the bull by the horns and definitively handle this nettlesome manifestation or better yet acute anomaly, in its totality.

In summation one may iterate there's probably a lesson here that not only our children could heed... if we're rather subliminally bedeviled by "things that go boomp in the night."

II. Psychosocial Considerations

How does the psychoanalytical school of thought fit into this equation? Jungian and one might add Reichian theorists appear to contend that the libido drives a palpable amount of aberrant and paranoiac perceptions in the dream-state.

However it does no earthly good to interpret subliminal thought-forms if the subject doesn't believe from the get-go that he or she is in the cat-bird seat or in other words master over all within their dominion to control.

Again the proposed prognosis here should not be an on-going treatment or prophylaxis regarding the anomalous manifestations but the root causality of the dysfunctional sleep-state. I do contend that interpreting their dreams for them is not conducive to one's well-being if they don't have an adequate perception of themselves as cause over the effect of most everything within their own purview.

What is the actual causa sine qua non or indispensible factor here? Doesn't it all boil down to how the subject perceives himself or herself? Do we have the innate intelligence or wherewithal... i.e., wits about us to discern that we all are here to evolve into a higher form of life from the emotional, mental and spiritual perspective or are some of us just bumping along and being the effect of our environment societally speaking? Ah isn't that the Rogerian perspective or the actual crux of the matter.

III. Heuristic Emphasis on Self-Assertiveness Factor

And now on another related but tangential premise of potential interest... the promulgation of what educators refer to as the self-assertiveness emphasis in their teaching curricula. This particular supposition is potentially a step in the right direction but not if it tends to denigrate parental authority which I contend it apparently has in a multitude of instances. My premise is that children out of necessity need to have a benign but firm guiding hand nurturing their formative years otherwise they will have a tendency to believe that all options are open to them with minimal consequences, i.e., which could lead to difficulties interfacing in the workplace. "Nature," I propose has only a nominal impact on how our youth are conditioned whereas the factor of "Nurture" probably is the true indicator here, i.e., the affectation of our environment is the primary precursor to how we will ultimately manifest ourselves.

Familially speaking we've begun to see a dissolution of the nuclear structure particularly as a result of the emphasis on self-assertiveness and it as a consequence doesn't bode well for feelings of well-being in regards to the adolescent members or parental predominance... when combativeness is de rigeur vis a vis with those in authority at home then one could only expect to realize contention as commonplace with parental authority holding sway through force rather than reasonable accommodation.

As a final thought the primary and middle school school educator ought to consider concentrating on inculcating self-discovery rather than self-fulfillment at the expense of others... i.e., as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west those that are on the tip of the spear will be sacrificed to their off-spring's self-indulgence thanks to the emphasis on the mutterings of well-meaning social scientists with a Skinnerian bent....

More later.

Don Zweifel

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