10 Comments
Feb 5Liked by Classical Wisdom

Anya, it is particularly apt that you bring up dreams and dreaming as part of a discussion about what is “true”. All dreams are “true” as a subjective experience of the dreamer, yet every dreamer knows that the content of their dreams frequently represent events which sometimes never happened or could never happen “in reality”. If the manifest content is untrue, then what “objective” truth is represented? There have been vastly different approaches to answering that question throughout human history.

Freuds approach to understanding dreams was perhaps the most methodologically rigorous. Simply put, he saw dreams as examples of unconscious thinking which were cryptic due to their representation in images, their hyper condensed meaning, and their (possibly) defensive disguise to allow unconscious thinking to ponder emotionally distressing material without waking the dreamer (see chapter 4 in “Interpretation of Dreams” for discussion of both distortion in dreams and distortion in dreams of loosing teeth). His method was to encourage the dreamer to provide all their associated thoughts to each of the dreams components so he could see what networks of underlying thoughts were connected to the dreams. He noticed there was frequently little surface relationship between the manifest dream and the underlying thought networks with which they were associated. He attributed these underlying thoughts as the “truer” meaning of the dream. It’s not possible to describe the meaning of any dream without these underlying associations in a given individual. Dreams were highly personal and idiosyncratic in expressing the dreamers “truth”, yet there were certain dreams which were common across individuals. Dreams of loosing teeth were one such dream.

BTW, tooth grinding as a stimulus for such dreams was discussed by Freud as one of the bodily sensations which can give form to a dream during sleep. Those feelings and other bodily sensations are woven into the stream of unconscious thinking when the dream constructs its manifest narrative.

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Feb 5·edited Feb 5Liked by Classical Wisdom

Great topic.

Dreams and myth are like peas in a pod. Both bridge the subconscious and conscious, bringing archetypes and symbolism from the dark depths of the mind to the surface.

I tend to think there is much of importance and value that can be gleaned via dreams and contending with the subconscious. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing supernatural to dreams, and they can’t read the future or yield info on, say, a missing dog. But they can reveal aspects of oneself and how one relates to the world that are helpful for growth. Often this sheds some light something that had previously been repressed or hidden from oneself.

When troubles or conflicts are brought to the surface, they change from subconscious to conscious understanding. Subconsciously, there may be an unprocessed feeling or conflict that gnaws and has all sorts of subconscious consequences, particularly because the subconscious is not always rational.

But when realized consciously, one often can rationally contend with the issue, seek advice, experiment with different strategies and so forth. Grow.

This is the process of how we all expand our consciousness, our understanding of ourselves and the world around. And dreams can be a tool to help enable the process

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Feb 5·edited Feb 5Liked by Classical Wisdom

I've been recording my dreams for over 50 years, I think it is fundamental to our conscious lives and aids in attaining higher states of consciousness with profound effects in our day to day existence. The merging of unconscious and conscious produces an awareness like no other...

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Interesting and common dream with the teeth. As a commentary, the symbol of teeth in paleo hebrew is shin, meaning to chew on and digest, as in discernment of wisdom (good and evil). In modern Hebrew the shape changed and looks more like a crown or a "W" usually with a nikodot placed on either the right side or left. The left side in Latin is sinister, in Hebrew it is called sin, meaning to miss the mark, or be wrong. The dot on the right side is called shin, or in Latin; dexter.

With this being said, your dream/vision of loosing teeth could have represented a phase you were going through, discerning wisdom. As in anxieties and digesting how to find truth. Perhaps beginning your "Classical Wisdom" community? I belive dreams to be a form of communication of symbolism from our personal daimon. Just as mentioned by Socrates.

The true symbolism of our dreams is something we can all chew on.

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