Wednesday, 12 November 2014

You'll understand dreaming if you understand these three essential points

Last night you went into the REM state and dreamed. You probably don't remember because we evolved not to, although sometimes we do. But all humans dream and most mammals show evidence of doing this. Since time immemorial people have puzzled over the meaning of dreams, these often bizarre night-time visitations that can seem so intensely real and full of meaning while we experience them, but so unfathomable to our conscious mind when we wake up.

In all historical periods, right up to the present, dream interpretation industries have flourished to satisfy our natural longing to understand the mysterious 'messages' that dreams seem to carry. Even today the influence of the idiosyncratic confabulations and fantasies of Freud and Jung permeate our culture and illustrate the continuing virulence of the fanciful dream interpretation industry.

But now, with the expectation fulfillment theory of dreams, we have a viable, scientifically based theory of why we evolved to dream and what dreams are actually doing for us, the situation may quickly become more healthy in this regard.

So, dreaming is the deepest trance state we go into and the three essential points to understand about the expectation fulfilment theory of dreaming are:
1. Dreams are metaphorical translations of waking expectations;

2.  But it is only expectations whose resulting emotional arousal has not been acted upon during the day that become dreams during sleep;

3.  Dreaming deactivates that emotional arousal by completing the expectation pattern metaphorically, this leaves the brain to respond afresh to each new day.
This is the briefest of introductions to a theory of dreaming that has wide implications for mental health, our understanding of REM sleep and depression.

To find out more:

Visit the website:

Read this article: Dreaming to forget: The real reason why

Read the book: Why We Dream: The Definitive Answer - How dreaming keeps us sane or can drive us mad

Watch the video: A talk by Joe Griffin, the man behind the expectation fulfilment theory:

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