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The Babylonians and Assyrians

Dreaming is a natural part of our life. Everyone is sleeping and everyone is dreaming. The imaginative world of dreams can feel very intense, bizarre and also very real, so it is understandable that the meaning of our dreams and their meaning is a mystery to us. From the beginning of time people have been looking for answers to questions that the dreams ask us and great importance has always been attached to the role of the Dreamer or Analyst.


The Babylonians and Assyrians believed that dreams were messages from god. It was thought that Zaqar, in particular, had brought the messenger. Priests usually could explain the message in the dream, but if the dream also became too mysterious for them, they could enlist the help of the goddess Nashe the dream girl


The Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (ca 668-626 BC) had in his library books on the interpretation of dreams and also owned a personal dream tablet. These books and the tablet are later used by the Greek Artemidorus as the main source of his renewed work on dream interpretation.

According to the Assyrians, dreams came from evil spirits who made contact with the sleeper at night. These ghosts could be dead people known to the dreamer or any ghost from the underworld.





The Egyptians

Ancient manuscripts show that dreams were very important to the Egyptians from very early on. The ancient Egyptians believed that dreams could be a reflection of what was happening in other worlds. Like the Babylonians and Assyrians, they believed that the gods were sending images and placed great value on them. There were priests they called "Masters of the Secrets" who made money through dream analysis.


These priests were one of the first people to be able to induce dreams. The dreamer was given a herbal drink by them to fall asleep. The next morning he came to share his dreams with the priest who then analyzed and interpreted them.

For the Egyptians. Dreams were mainly to get advice and answers to questions, to see the future and to receive warnings of dangerous events. Special temples are also being built in Egypt to promote dreaming. Anyone could visit these temples and pray to get an answer to a question through a dream. In fact, they thought there were three kinds of dreams: prophetic dreams, divine dreams (which necessitated worship of the gods), and incubation dreams.

The predictive dreams could not only show an event from the future but also reveal the location of a hidden object or reveal a new cure. The belief in incubation dreams was widespread in the ancient world. It was thought that if one went to sleep on a special bed in a dream temple, after sometimes taking a scraping agent or performing a ritual, one could receive some sort of message, announcement, or healing from the gods.


An ancient Egyptian text has been found, a papyrus circa 2000 BC that contains dreams, associations, wordplay and wordplay with their explanations. It also included examples of the opposite meanings; for example, man believed that a dream about a certain subject sometimes indicates the opposite in waking state.

The most common interpretations concerned "seeing something" followed by eating and drinking and finally all kinds of other activities. The interpretations were mostly about the acquisition or loss of material possessions, health, emotions and warned against insulting the gods.




The Hebrews

In the time of the Old Testament some interpretation of dreams was common. The Bible contains many examples of prediction and public dreams. Including Jacob and the ladder that would take him to the angels. Another example is Joseph who interpreted Pharaoh's dream of seven fat and seven lean cows




The Ancient Greeks

Dream interpretation was an important topic in medicine. Greeks built sleeping temples, such as the temple of Apollo in Delhi, There the pilgrims went, fasted for a while, performed ritual and offered some sacrifice before going into the night The God Hypnos the personification of limp, lived with his twin brother Thanatos (death) in the underworld, in a cave in Cimmeria along the Lenthe, the river of confusion and forgetfulness. The rushing of this river would make you sleep. Hypnos was believed to lull mortals, including the pilgrims, to sleep by sprinkling water from the Lenthe over their eyes. It is also the case that many Greeks believed that Gods could also punish bad people by giving them deceptive dreams. An example is the story of the Trojan horse.




Dreams and illness

The famous Greek physician and philosopher Hippocrates (c. 460 BC) is considered the founder, "the father" of medicine, because he first saw natural rather than supernatural causes for illness. Hippocrates was born at the end of Kos, Greek. This island is close to the Turkish coast and to the Greek islands of Rhodes and Samos. His father, who was also a physician himself, taught him the basics of medicine, philosophy and the priesthood. He thought that dreaming had a therapeutic function.


According to him, there were several symbols that indicated that the dreamer was healthy, such as a bright sun, moon and stars. When the clouds moved in front of the stars or a star moved west in the dream, the dreamer began to get sick. Should the star disappear into the sea, the dreamer would suffer from an intestinal disease.


It could also be that this was a predictive signal, warning the dreamer of the coming of the sea. Hippocrates was also convinced that when someone had a shortage of a certain substance, this would emerge in a dream. Example when a patient had a dream about eating a lot, a diet was suggested.




The first writings on dreams

Artemidoros was the first to write writings about the dream, its operation and its interpretation. Unfortunately, these works have not been preserved, only pieces have been used by the next generation. He wrote the incoherent images that we see in our dream, which mean something ominous, are little ominous to the dreamer if the soul is in a worked-up mood. An important detail is that the work of Artemidoros is the only serious work on dream interpretation until the end of the 19th century.





The Romans

About the year 410 AD, the philosopher Ambrosius Theodosius Marcrobius invented five basic type of dreams:

The dream- a symbolic story whose interpretation can lead to clarification

The vision - a prediction of things to come;

The oracle dream - a direct message from the gods;

The insomnium - an image from a slumbering state that means little.

The phantasm - a dream that occurs when we fall asleep or wake up.




The Renaissance

Dream interpretation was widely practiced over the centuries until it fell into disuse during the Renaissance and Reformation. The role of the dream clarifier shifted, however, to the back rooms and as a secondary art of astrology and divination arts.




Ancient India

Dreams also play a role in Buddhism. King Maya, the mother of Buddha, is said to have had a dream in which a very small white elephant entered her womb. This made her intensely happy, which emerged in the dream.

She suddenly saw in her dream that the flow of the rivers stopped and heard beautiful music without seeing his instruments in her dream. The next day sixty-four Brahmins explained her dream. They all predicted that a great ruler or a Buddha would be born.





The Arabs

Also in many ancient Arabic scriptures the dream recurs time and again as an important Divine aspect. The Quran is full of important dreams. For example, the Prophet Muhammad regularly had his companions explain his dreams when he just woke up. The Arabs started around 800 AD. With collecting dreams She did not limit herself to dreams from the Arab world but also made use of dreams from Assyrian, Egypt, Greece, Babylonia and Indonesia. Ultimately, merchants and crusaders made sure that the highly scientific writings of the Arabs ended up in Europe.


At the end of the nineteenth century, medical science underwent a remarkable development. After the discovery of anesthesia and sterile surgery, surgery made great strides. Infections were finally understood and the development of the first really powerful drugs was a fact. Mental illnesses were now also treated humanly.


The first big name to be mentioned is that of Dr. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) This well-known neurologist trained physician developed a special interest in mental disorders.

The Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud was born in 1856. He grew up in a traditional family and studied medicine in Vienna. In his younger years, Freud did many research in neurology. He relied heavily on his medical knowledge and developed his theories about the human psyche.


Freud continued to develop his theories over the course of the 20th century and wrote a large number of books. He was criticized for his work mainly because many people felt that his theories could not be proven. However, he received the most criticism because he placed great emphasis on sexuality, which was still a big taboo at the time. But Freud also received recognition. The influence of his theories was not only noticeable in the humanities, but also in literature.


Freud stated that the psyche knows that basic level: the id, the ego and the superego. Easily explained, the id is the part of the psyche in which the unconscious desires can be found. The id is a subconscious mechanism that works on two types of energy. First, that's on Eros, the sexual energy. In addition, on Tanatos, the anger.

These are modified by the superego to make them acceptable to the ego, or conscious, and manageable. In fact, the superego controls the id that might have unacceptable wishes. The superego is the image people have of their ideal self. This includes the norms and values that have been given by the environment. The superego is the great opponent of the id and is directed against the sexual and aggressive energy. The ego mediates between id and superego.


For Freud, dreams were the key to understanding the unconscious. He believed that man's sexual urges, sometimes distorted and suppressed since childhood, were often expressed in the dream content. Using the technique of psychoanalysis he developed, the client could learn through free association to understand the imaginary world of his dreams, so that he could also understand the nature of the unresolved conflicts that caused his mental disorder.


According to Freud, the imaginary world was usually very sexually colored. He speaks of phallic and vaginal symbols and of acts and activities that are metaphors and symbols for the sexual act in its various forms.






A colleague of Freud's was the psychiatrist Dr. Varl G. Jung (1875-1961)


Carl Gustav Jung was born on July 26, 1875 in Kesswil on Lake Constance. Jung was twenty years younger than his great role model Freud, whose work he followed closely. In 1906 he named it for Freud in an article in a German medical journal, in which he again discussed the progress in the understanding of obsessive neurosis through his neurosis theory.

The following year he met Freud, during which he worked closely with him and his movement for several years, including as editor of the International Yearbook of Psychological and Psychotherapeutic Research. From 1910 to 1914 he was president of the psychological and psychotherapeutic association. Freud saw Jung as his successor to the throne.


Initially his kindred spirits, but later Jung developed his own theory. Freud mainly focused on hidden sexual and aggressive impulses from dreams. Jung especially saw the importance of the religious side of the human mind. After the split with Freud, Jung fell into a crisis. He then undertook very dangerous experiments surrendered to the unconscious.

This brought him to the brink of psychosis. He tried to give form to the emotions and fantasies that were now rushing towards him uninhibitedly. After overcoming his disorientation, Jung was faced with the task of showing the historical roots of depth psychology. After all, depth psychology would be implausible if it had only emerged with Freud. Meanwhile, Jung had developed a much broader conception of the unconscious.



Jung argued that the psyche has different depths and that besides the conscious there is also a personal unconscious and a collective unconscious. A person's memories are stored in the personal unconscious, while the collective unconscious consists of a world of symbols that all people have in common. Mythology, religions, and dreams were all studied by Jung, and he concluded that in the symbolism of the collective unconscious lie universal images that he called archetypes.


Jung was of the opinion that dreams act as compensatory mechanisms that restore balance in the psyche. They are instruments by which people can understand more about themselves. In his opinion, the interpretation of the dream could be used therapeutically to make the individual whole again.

He took it a step further, assuming that the psyche tries to communicate the inner self with the conscious in three interdependent ways.


This could be done in three ways

Psychic through dreams;

By fate, that is, by accidents and illnesses;

Due to physical disorders and illnesses.



The implication is that much essential information about ourselves is passed on to us every night in our dreams. If we can remember them dry rounds so that balance can be established, then we can become whole: there is psychological recovery and general well-being. On the other hand, if one ignores one's dreams, it is at one's own risk.

Jung also discovered that, although there seemed to be a certain rhythm, there was often no time for dream duration. The dream could range from very extensive to just a few scraps.






Another psychiatrist who did dream research, though less profound and less driven than Freud and Jung, was Dr. Alfred Adler (1870-1937) Alfred Adler was born in Vienna as the third child of a Jewish merchant and his wife. From birth, Adler was a sickly child.


When he was little he got the English disease (Rickets), which is a skeletal disease that develops during childhood. Usually this is due to a shortage of calcium, vitamin D and sunlight. Because of this, Adler's bones weren't as strong as they should be and he couldn't walk until he was 4 years old. When he was 5, he nearly died of pneumonia. At this young age, Adler already had the idea of ​​becoming a doctor


After he was cured of pneumonia, he remained very physically frail. In 1895 Adler graduated in Vienna. And in 1907 he published an article in which he promised to make a connection between the observed physical phenomena and psychology. This article made Adler stand out in Freud. He was very impressed with Adler's insights and work.

At first, Adler worked closely with Freud, but like Jung, broke away from him to develop his own theories. He believed that power mattered to the psyche. Power played a part in people's dreams. According to him, every human being would strive for power to a greater or lesser extent. The persistent will to gain power is part of the struggle for existence, he says. Power would also compensate for the inferior side of the human being and according to him, like the urge to assert itself, would arise from feelings of inferiority in childhood. According to Adler's views, you can therefore vent setbacks and feelings of inferiority from waking life in the dream. Adler, like his colleague Freud, held the view of repression. While Freud insisted on the sexual aspect of the dream, Adler repeatedly insisted that the pursuit of power be expressed in the dream.