interpretations date back to 3000-4000 B.C., where they were documented on clay
tablets. For as long as we have been able to talk about our dreams, we
have been fascinated with them and have strived to understand them.
primal societies, members were unable to distinguish between the dream world and
the waking world. Or they could simply choose not to make the distinction. They
saw that the dream world was not only an
extension of reality, but that it was a more powerful world.
the Greek and Roman eras, dreams were seen in a religious context.
They were believed to be direct messages from the gods or from the dead. The
people of that time look to their dreams for solutions on what to do or what
course of action to take. They believed dreams forewarned and predicted the
future. Special shrines were even built where people can go there to sleep in
hopes that a message could be passed to them through their dreams. Their belief
in the power of a dream was so strong that it even dictated the actions of
political and military leaders. In fact, dream interpreters even accompanied
military leaders into battle to help with war strategy.
philosopher, Aristotle believed that dreams were a result of physiological
functions. Dreams were able to diagnose illness and predict onset of diseases.
the Helllenistic period, the main focus of dreams was centered around its
ability to heal. Temples, called Asclepieions, were built around the healing
power of dreams. It was believed that sick people who slept
in these temples would be sent cures through their dreams. Dream
interpreters even aided the medicine men in their medical diagnosis. It
was believed that dreams offered a vital clue for healers to finding what was
wrong with the dreamer.
Egypt, priests also acted as dream interpreters. The Egyptians recorded
their dreams in hieroglyphics. People with particular vivid and significant
dreams were believed to be blessed and were considered special. People who had
the power to interpret dreams were looked up to and seen as divinely gifted.
can be seen as an actual place that your spirit and soul leaves every night to
go and visit. The Chinese believed that the soul leaves the body to go
into this world. However, if they should be suddenly awakened, their soul
may fail to return to the body. For this reason, some Chinese today, are
wary of alarm clocks. Some Native American tribes and Mexican civilizations
share this same notion of a distinct dream dimension. They believed that their
ancestors lived in their dreams and take on non-human forms like plants. They
see that dreams as a way of visiting and having contact with their ancestors.
Dreams also helped to point their mission or role in life.
the Middle Ages, dreams were seen as evil and its images were temptations from
the devil. In the vulnerable sleep state, the devil was believed to fill
the mind of humans with poisonous thoughts. He did his dirty work though dreams
attempting to mislead us down a wrong path.
early 19th century, dreams were dismissed as stemming from anxiety, a household
noise or even indigestion. Hence there was really no meaning to it. Later
on in the 19th century, Sigmund Freud revived the importance of dreams and its
significance and need for interpretation. He revolutionized the study of dreams.
Tracing back to
these ancient cultures, people had always had an inclination to interpret dreams
The bible alone has over seven hundred references to dreams.