The careful interpretation of dreams by dream experts may be dated as far back as the advent of dreaming itself. We know that all human beings of every age, and many animals indeed, engage in a cycle of dreams every night. As a result of this humans have always been fascinated to learn what causes dreams and what the symbolism, colors, visuals, auxiliary characters and occurrences mean.
The art and science of the interpretation of dreams dates back at least as far as 3000-4000 B.C. We know this to be true because in ancient times aforementioned, the interpretations of people's professed dreams were captured in a permanent recorded form on clay tablets. It is commonly believed that many primitive people were essentially unable to initially distinguish between the real world and the dream world - and perhaps saw no value in doing so. In many cases, these people looked upon the dream world as an extension of the physical world around them, and in many cases they saw the dream world as more powerful than the waking one. The dream world provided for them extra clues, extra guidance and wisdom that could be used to navigate the physical world. A concept still prevalent in native and indigenous cultures the world over, whose wisdom and experience of the natural and supernatural world has thankfully been untarnished by time or changing lifestyles.
It is thought that dream interpretation was such an important asset to the ancient Greek and Roman world that dream interpreters were given special roles, and often accompanied generals and other notable military leaders into battles. Dreams were taken very very seriously, and the Greeks and Romans (in particular and to a greater degree) often interpreted dreams as messages sent by their gods. Messages of particular importance for the individual to guide their daily affairs and make decisions about their fate.
Dreams also had a religious context in ancient Egypt, and as no surprise priests of the era and region doubled as dream interpreters. Dreams were among the items recorded by the ancient Egyptians in the form of hieroglyphics. Individuals whose dreams were described as distinctly vivid or significant in terms of content or ability to be prophetic were thought to be blessed and were given special elevated status in this ancient and highly spiritual society. In turn, people who were blessed with the ability to interpret dreams were believed to receive these gifts directly from the gods, and in turn they enjoyed a special status in society as well.
Not surprisingly, there are over 700 mentions of dreams in the bible, and people in biblical times regarded dreams as very significant. Dreams and their interpretations are mentioned in many of the most significant books of the bible, and help to provide greater credence to the belief that those whom have prophetic dreams or vivid visions are truly having divinely guided experiences. As a common and prevalent aspect of society then, dreams were often seen as a form of prophecy. People often interpreted their dreams as omens or warnings, and adjusted their activities accordingly based upon the symbology or interactions within the dreams. Dreams were often thought of as distinct good or bad omens from deities, as messages from other types spirits, or as messages and salutations from departed souls. In some cases, dreams were even seen as the work of demons, and the visions within the dreams were meant to confuse and trouble the dreamer. A belief that is still upheld by many the world over, across many different religious and spiritual backgrounds.
Dreams were seen as vitally important because it was believed that they often dictated the actions of political and military leaders, thereby affecting everything from the outcome of a battle to the laying of a political decision. In the bounds of healing, dreams were also thought to provide directional and indicative clues to healers, and they were used in the diagnosis and treatment of many types of illness.
Dreaming was often viewed by indigenous cultures as a way to commune and communicate directly with gods and spirits, and dreams and meditative states as well as visions are still used in this way by cultures all around the world and of diverse spiritual perspectives. Many people believed, and many many people still do, that during our dreaming stage of sleep the soul leaves the body and communes with the spirit world - a realm just outside of but occasionally overlapping with our waking one.
The ancient Chinese people were one such culture that deeply believed that the individual's soul left the body each and every night at the time of dream based sleep. These people believed that if the dreamer were suddenly to be awakened, that the soul may not be able to return to the body very easily. It is for this reason that some traditionally spiritual Chinese people are still leery about the use of alarm clocks even in the modern day. This is but one single example of how ancient legends can make a tremendous impact on current day people and mindsets.
Mexican and Native American societies BOTH share this ancient view of the importance of dreams, and also shared the deeply held belief in a separate and distinct dimension that is visited during the dream cycle portion of our sleep. People believed that their departed ancestors lived on in their dreams, and that they were able to take forms like animals and plants to communicate, guide, and lead. As a result of these beliefs, dreams were seen as a way for the dreamer to commune with their recent and ancient ancestors, and to gather wisdom and knowledge that could best position them and their decision making in their waking lives. Dreams were considered as means in which to gather information about the individual's purpose or individual mission in life.
A deep respect for dreams shifted radically early in the 19th century, and dreams in that era were often dismissed as reactions to anxiety, outside noises, or even bad food (a common question in Western society to be asked of a person describing a nightmare). It was during this period of time that dreams were thought to have no meaning at all, and interest in dream interpretation tapered off in Western society to almost a whisper. This downward trend all changed with the arrival of Sigmund Freud later in the 19th century. Sigmund Freud stunned the world of psychiatry by stressing the importance of dreams, and he revived the once dead art of dream interpretation - introducing an entire generation in the Western world to the notion of paying attention to the messages, visitations, participants, locations, and symbols in their dreams.
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THE GLOW CHIEF
Hi! I'm Mischaela, AKA the "Glow Chief" (THE GC) the creator of Inner Glow Up!