Sunday, April 25, 2021

Where do our night dreams come from?

The German word Traumbild means "dream image." The source of the image might be a daydream, a nightmare, or a hallucination. 

Henry Fuseli, The Nightmare, 1781, The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit

Before Freud and Jung acknowledged the importance of the unconscious mind, dream images in the western world were mostly regarded through the filter of Christianity. 

Hieronymus Bosch (1450 - 1516) The Last Judgement, 
detail of a man being eaten by a monster (c.1504)

According to Jean-Claude Schmitt, "The medieval conception of dreams differs significantly from ours: dreaming was not the psychic activity of an individual, but his immediate getting in contact with the powers of the beyond, either positive or negative, during his sleep. Hence the distinction between 'true' dreams (of divine origin) and 'false' dreams (diabolic illusions) and the systematic suspicion towards dreams. (Source)"

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