DREAMS AND MEDITATION 4
This paper was preparedfor [INSERT COURSE NAME], [INSERT COURSE ASSIGNMENT] taught by[INSERT INSTRUCTOR’S NAME].
Part I: Dreams and Meditation
Freud was the first psychologist to analyzedreams so as to understand the elements of personality in regard topathology. According to Freud, there is nothing that one does whichoccurs by chance. In essence, every action and thought is influencedby one’s unconscious at some point. To suitably live in thecontemporary society, we tend to hold back our desires and restrictour impulses (Kitcher, 1995). Nevertheless, these desires andimpulses must be released at some point in one way or the other. Oneof the ways that these urges and impulses are exposed is throughone’s dreams. Since the content of the unconscious may be overlyharmful or disturbing, the unconscious expresses itself in anemblematic way. Personally, I had a dream that occurred to me which Iwould like to share and use the various aspects described by Freud ininterpreting the dream.
Brief Description of the Dream
My dream occurred at a time when I wasexperiencing a difficult moment in my life. I was in deed desperatesince I was living with my ailing grandmother and was taking care ofher. At the same time I was preparing for my final exams in seniorhigh school. The dream that I had went like this
I was in school when there emerged terroristswho came around shooting everyone indiscriminate. I struggled to hidebut the terrorists could clearly see me and they chased me to everycorner that I tried to hide. Most of the students were shot down. Iwas shot at numerous times but none of the bullets hit me. As I wasrunning away from the bullets, I stepped on an object which I pickedand used against the arsonists. The object had the shape of a vaseand it had some magical powers, since when I pointed it to theterrorists, they all fell down and I was able to run comfortably. Bythen, the police had arrived and arrested the terrorists. I could notexplain to anyone what had happened though as I woke up very scaredand worried.
Manifest Content of the Dream
The manifest content of a dream is what thedream is literally saying or expressing. My dream was obviouslytelling about a dangerous moment an issue of life and death. Peoplebeing killed indiscriminately by armed terrorists were a scaryoccurrence. My ability to escape unhurt and even acquiring an objectwith supernatural or magical powers is quite nonsensical which amanifest content of the dream. The things in the dream areunrealistic in real life, it is impossible for someone to be in themiddle of such an occurrence and survive alone. In the end also allthe shot friends were also rescued by the police which is unrealisticas one would expect them to be dead already.
Latent Content of the Dream
The latent content of a dream is the actualmessage that the dream is trying to send. In my dream, the messagewas simply that I was in a dilemma in terms of the most importantthings in my life. In one end was my grandmother whom I was takingcare of and at the other end my exams which I had to ensure that Ipass. The terrorism issue symbolized the difficult moment, thedelicate life of my grandmother. I was in a point of giving up on herbut according to the dream it was not over until it was over. Mygrandmother was to survive regardless. I only had to play my role tocare for her and everything was going to be okay. The friends whowere with me in the end despite being shot symbolized my grandmotherand me at the end of it all. I would later pass my exam and mygrandmother would be fine. Life will be as normal as for everyoneelse in my class.
What is your impression of the dream? Whyis dream analysis controversial?
Before understanding Freud’s interpretationof a dream, my impression was very different. I thought that thedream signified a disaster in the making. I did not identify anypositive element in the dream. The dream interpretation iscontroversial because, out of a tragedy there are positive elementsidentified. The beginning of the dream is horrific and the end iscomforting as no one is harmed and everyone is safe despite thetragedy. This is unrealistic in the real world.
I sat still with my legs crossed for tenminutes. After the fifth minute, my legs were numb as myconcentration eluded. Although breathing is involuntary, I realizedthat concentrating on my breathing was very difficult whenmeditating. It was even difficult to listen to my breathing. Thenormal noise in my surrounding which normally never bothered me was agreat disruption during meditation. By the time ten minutes wereover, I was tired and not willing to continue.
The second day, I was sure the experience wouldbe as before stressful and tiresome. However, it was different, myconcentration was improving. I was not aware of the outside noise asbefore and was entering my own world. I was tired although the tenminutes seemed to move faster than in the previous day.
I had learnt about what meditation is about. Myconcentration improved further and within the ten minutes, I feltlike eternity. I added a concept of listening to classical beatswithout words and this improved my experience in the subsequentmediations.
Importance of Meditation in Life
Meditation helped me in realization of deeperme. I explored my inner soul and connected it to the universe. I wasable to connect to the unknown world the universe as we know it inliterature (Kok, Waugh, & Fredrickson, 2013).I saw images and thoughts came into my mind which has never occurredto me before. In the end of meditation, I became more refreshed andable to compose myself in times of difficulties.
The reason why meditation is not widelypracticed in the American society today is due to lack of know-how onhow to meditate and the importance of mediation in one’s life andmental health. I believe that meditation is important for everyoneand should be started at early stages of life. However, many peopleconfuse yoga for meditation, but these are two different entities.Meditation is more of the mind while yoga involves body movement andconcentration of the mind.
Conclusively, these exercises have exposed meto two major things, dream and mediation and I have realized theimportance of understanding dreams and the benefits of mediation.
PartII: Sensation, Perception and Consciousness
Sensationis the process through which human or animal senses gatherinformation and send it to the central nervous system (Coren, 2003).Huge amount of information is sensed at one particular time includingbrightness of light, smell of a perfume, sounds of a person talking,a car coming from a distance, and even room temperature among othersensations.
Sensationis a concept that we experience every day. The different senses thata human being posses include the sense of seeing, hearing, smelling,touching and taste. The five senses are useful in their own uniqueway. The receptors situated under the organs which receive the sensesfor example the eye for seeing, the nose for smelling, the skin fortouching, the ear for hearing and the tongue for tasting are designedin a manner that they are able to take information from theenvironment and pass it to the brain for interpretation or what isknown as perception. Our senses are quick to notice change, but aftersometime the change fades away. This is known as sensory adaptation.For example, when one enters a room with a strong perfume scent, hesmells it right away. However, with time he does not realize howstrong the perfume is as the senses adapt to the smell.
Perceptionis another term that is closely related to sensation. Perception canbe understood as the interpretation of the information we take inthrough our different senses i.e. smell, taste, feel, hear, see. Themanner in which humans perceive their environment is what makes asunique from other animals (Coren, 2003). For example, when we see onedot, we are able to tell it’s a dot. When we see several dots, weare able to group the dots and say they are a row of dots. This isknown as the Gestalt principle. This principle has for types ofgrouping including proximity, similarity, closure and continuity.Another aspect in regard to perception is perceptual constancy. Wehave the ability to see objects for example as having a constant sizedespite as being far away from them, e.g. a building.
Finally,the concept of consciousness in psychology is an interesting andapplicable in our day to day lives. Consciousness is defined as thestate of individual awareness of one’s’ unique thoughts,memories, sensations, feeling and environment (Leontiev, 2014). Forexample one may be writing an assignment and in the process thinkabout dinner preparation or remember a conversation with a colleague,realize how uncomfortable their chair is, all because ofconsciousness.
Consciousnesscan be expressed even in sleep like when one is dreaming, sleeptalking, and sleep walking and even day dreaming. It is altered byvarious ways like use of hypnosis which alter consciousness,meditation which deviate consciousness to focus on non-existing worldetc (Leontiev, 2014). Psychotic drugs also cause alteration ofconsciousness including stimulants, depressants or even drugs likemarijuana.
Ultimately,the study of these three concepts in psychology has been important insolving various mental and physical problems that individualsexperience. They also bring a deep understanding of a person.
Coren,S. (2003). Sensationand perception.John Wiley & Sons, Inc..
Kitcher, P. (1995). Freud`s dream: A complete interdisciplinaryscience of mind. Mit Press.
Kok,B. E., Waugh, C. E., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). Meditation andhealth: The search for mechanisms of action. Socialand Personality Psychology Compass,7(1),27-39.
Leontiev,A. N. (2014). Activity and consciousness. RevistaDialectus,(4).