Humankind has ascribed important symbolic meanings to dreams, in all societies around the world, throughout history. The evidence of archaic iconography and remnants of prehistoric oral tradition strongly suggests that our individual and collective preoccupation with dreams and their deeper meanings has persisted from our earliest human beginnings. In the modern era it has become fashionable in some academic circles to say that dreams have no intrinsic meaning, reflecting only the “random firing of neurons in sleep,” and are, at best, merely the epiphenomena of disordered metabolism. Even so, there remains a huge, growing, and compelling body of evidence which indicates very clearly that the experiences of the dreaming mind are the source not only of meaningful ideas and feelings but are a primary stimulus for some of the deepest religious intuitions, artistic inspirations, scientific and technological innovations, successful creative problem solving, clarifications of philosophical meaning, and epiphanies of spiritual significance that human beings are capable of experiencing and formulating into words and images.
KeywordsSchizophrenia Kelly Stake Clarification Metaphor
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