One of my favourite things to do is analize dreams. They are fascinating to me. What one's subconscious comes up with while their asleep is crazy. Especially me. Any of my close friends know how insane my dreams are. Which usually means I don't analize my own.
I studied dreams a bit in university, but not to a huge extent. There's the standard Freudian theories, which are NUTS. Freud was probably just projecting his love of his own mother onto everyone else. Oh, you dreamed of cheese? You're in love with your mother. You dreamed of sitting in front of a tv? In love with your mother. You dreamed of your mother? Hmm...no idea what that could mean. Freud was crazier than his patients. Keep in mind this man prescribed cocaine as an antidepressent.
Well, as always, I have my own theories on dreams*. I've read a few of those dream dictionaries and don't buy into the whole thing. Sure, there's your typical stress dream, where your teeth are falling out and you are trying to scream but there is no sound coming out. But what about the idea that specific objects mean specific things? For example: say I dreamed of a snake. According to many dream interpreters that could mean "transformation" or "fertility."
Carl Jung once said, "perhaps the commonest dream symbol of transcendence is the snake, as represented by the therapeutic symbol of the Roman god Aeseulapius, which has survived to modern times as a sign of the medical profession. This was originally a nonpoisonous tree snake; as we see it, coiled around the staff of the healing god, it seems to embody a kind of mediation between earth and heaven."
Personally, when I dream of snakes, I immediately thinkg of Aeseulapius the Roman god. Oh wait, no I don't. Should we even be listening to a guy who uses the word "commonest"**? I suppose his German was probably better than his English. The point is, however, that to me, snakes do not mean "transformation." When I dream of snakes, it's a fear thing. I genuinely fear snakes. They creep me out. I don't feel as though I'm being "transformed" while I dream of a snake about to attack me and swallow me whole! I feel as though I'm going to die or at least be brutally maimed!
I also don't buy into the fact that me dreaming of a certain thing means the same thing to another person dreaming the same thing. For example, take snakes, as was used in the previous example.*** I don't like snakes. Therefore, I would dream of them in a negative way. But perhaps my friend that I just made up, Jerry, loves snakes. He raises snakes in his little snake aquarium, or whatever you use to house snakes when you're keeping them as a pet. So when he dreams of snakes, maybe it's in a positive way. Maybe Jerry feels transcendence through the dream. Or maybe he's in love with his mother.
The point is, different people all around the world (or even in the same city) think differently towards all sorts of objects. I love dogs. My friend hates dogs. I would buy into the theory that I'd dream of a dog as friendly or loyal. My friend, however, would not. She would dream of it in a negative way. She doesn't fear dogs, she just doesn't like them. So it would either be an annoyance to her in the dream, or she would just ignore it.
What if I dreamed of something that I didn't actually know anything about? Or I was misinformed about it's use or purpose? Say I dreamed about a dolphin. But perhaps I've never seen a dolphin except in a picture. Let's also assume that I've never learned anything about dolphins aside from the fact that they swim and live in the ocean. I am not aware that they are more than a dumb fish. How can the dolphin symbolize intelligence or safety or communication to me if I'm not aware that the dolphin is an intelligent mammal who communicates through echolocation? (Luckily I played "Ecco the dolphin" for Sega as a kid, so I'm all up on my dolphin info). Or how about me dreaming about dogs being all loyal and such, while some kid who lives in a foreign country where dogs are always ferral and not domesticated. He's not going to dream of them with the same meaning, since he doesn't view dogs in the same way I do.
Basically what I'm trying to say is that not all of the theories dream analysists have can be applied to everyone. Dreams are a lot more personal and should be interpreted as such. Although I really think Freud would have a field day with me. On any given night something fantastically bizarre happens in my head while I sleep. Jeff Goldblum getting mad at me because I made a joke about my non-existant daughter; me shapeshifting into a mouse; having to find a secret passage way through a mirror in a bookcase that turned into a portal. Did I mention this was all the same dream? I really don't think half my dreams actually mean anything. They probably are just a stream of nonsense that my mind just hadn't processed through the day. Trust me, my head is full of nonsense. I can't get it all out during the day, so I need time at night to finish it off.
Or maybe Freud got it right. We're all suffering from the Oedipus Complex and want to marry our mothers. Sounds sane enough.
*Disclamer: I know that not a lot of people agree with my theories. They're my theories. Feel free to have your own or attach yourself to an already existing one. Also keep in mind that I am aware that this theory may already exist, but I'm too lazy to do research at 6am.
**Please note that I do respect Carl Jung and his many theories. I still choose to make fun of him.
***I must have dreamt about a snake last night.