'Typical Dreams' Reflections of Arousal

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Abstract:

Dreams of chase or pursuit, falling, sex, flying, nudity, failing an examination, one's own and other's death, fire, teeth falling out and some other themes experienced, even if only rarely, by many people all over the world have been labelled 'typical dreams'. This essay argues that typical dreaming, rather a syndrome of themes than monothematic, reflects an extraordinary state of mind and brain. Odd and particularly memorable perceptions, as well as emerging awareness of sleep and dreaming -- i.e. parallels to lucid dreaming, sleep paralysis, complex partial seizure, epileptic and migraine auras, and aspects of dreaming after trauma -- can be traced with some plausibility in all prominent variants of typical dreaming. When viewed from this perspective, for example, dream pursuers are much more a shadow of the bodily self than a metaphor for the psycho- biographical situation or evolutionarily implemented sparring partners who make dreamers fit for the struggle for survival during waking hours.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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