Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The Contemporary Theory of Dreaming

Abstract

What we call The Contemporary Theory of Dreaming involves several basic propositions, amenable to study:

1. Dreaming is hyper-connective. In dreams connections in the mind are made more readily and more broadly than in waking.

2. The connections are not random. They are guided by the dominant emotion or emotional concern of the dreamer.

3. The dream imagery, especially the CI (Central Image or Contextualizing Image) pictures the dreamer’s emotion or concern. The intensity of the CI is a measure of the power of the emotion.

4. Dreaming can be considered one end of a continuum of mental functioning, running from focused waking thought, through less focused thought, reverie, daydreaming and finally dreaming. The influence of emotion and picturing of emotion, above, occur throughout the continuum, but become most pronounced at the dreaming end of the continuum.

5. The emotion-guided making of connections probably has a function or several related functions. Dreaming “weaves in” or integrates new material, so that it becomes integrated and less disturbing. A new trauma for instance, will be less disturbing if a similar trauma has already been “woven in”. Aside from this basic function, the connection-making of dreaming can of course play a role in self-knowledge, in artistic and scientific creativity, and in therapy.

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