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Dream Theories and Beliefs in Middle Eastern, Ancient Greek/Egyptian, and Chinese cultures - Research Paper Example

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[Your name] [Your [Your Dream Theories and Beliefs in Middle Eastern, Ancient Greek/Egyptian, and Chinese Cultures Dreams have symbolic or metaphoric meanings for many people. The ancient cultures like Greek, Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern had their respective interpretations of dreams according to their beliefs…
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Dream Theories and Beliefs in Middle Eastern, Ancient Greek/Egyptian, and Chinese cultures
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Download file to see previous pages They can promise rewards or warn about some impending danger. They can also indicate towards our relationships and friendships. Surprisingly, people who believe in dream theories derive pleasure, comfort or some sort of solace from their dreams. They relate it to some mystical or spiritual powers that govern their dreams. Societies in Middle East also believe in magic or talisman. Therefore, they attribute magical elements to their dreams. In cultures like ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Chinese, dreams could only be interpreted by priests or prophets or people who were proficient in the art of interpreting dreams. The Greek dream philosophies are based on psychological perspectives and divine inspirations. The earliest recorded dreams date back to 5000 years BC in Mesopotamia (ancient Greece)1. The people that lived there were called Sumerians2. Their scholars and kings paid special attention to dreams. The famous epic poem of Gilgamesh is also about a dream he saw and narrated it to his goddess-mother who made the first known interpretation of his dream. Thenceforth, his dreams were taken as a prophecy and used as a guide in the real world3. According to Hippocrates (469-399) BC, during day time the soul receive images; and at night it produces images4. Plato reveals in Phaedos that the reason why Socrates studied Arts and Music was that he was directed to do so in his dream5. Aristotle did not believe that dreams were divine inspirations6. Artemidorus describes two classes of dreams: somnium, which forecasts the future; and insomnium, which deals with contemporary matters and are affected by the mental and physical states of our bodies. 7 It was believed that a Voice conveys the messages of gods in dreams. As the Greeks believed in preordained destiny, therefore their belief in dreams was deep and profound. “The dream usually takes the form of a visit paid to a sleeping man or woman by a single dream-figure... This dream-figure can be a god, or a ghost, or a pre-existing dream-messenger, or an image... It affects its entry by a key-hole...” (Dodds 105) In Homer’s Odyssey(), Penelope sees a dream about an eagle and geese. Penelope cries over the murder of her beautiful geese when the Eagle “…in a human voice explained that he was Odysseus come to inflict vengeance on the suitors.”(Harris 50) This is a classic example of symbolic dreams which can be interpreted according to the wish-fulfillment theory of dreams. If a person dreams about mother, it may mean two completely opposite meanings according to Greek dream theories. Mother stands for holiness, Mother Nature, benevolence, love and nurturing. On the contrary, it might mean incestuous desires of the dreamer just like Oedipus complex. Likewise, seeing a father in a dream may mean paternal support or just the opposite- Electra complex. The Greeks also believed in the healing power of dreams. Therefore, it was advised to people to analyze their dreams carefully so as to look for the possible causes and cure of their illnesses. It was believed that dreams revealed the inner state of a person’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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