Dream a Little Dream of Me: The Meanings of the Four Most Common Dreams
In Interpretation of Dreams, Freud wrote that men, women, and children of all ages and across all cultures have dreams involving the same themes. According to Freud, the four most common dreams we have are dreams that we are flying, falling, naked, or losing our teeth.
For thousands of years philosophers, dream analysts, and average people have speculated and theorized on the meaning of these dreams. Many believe that each dream relates to our fears about aging, appearance, and death.
Tooth Loss Dreams
According to the Jewish Talmud, the ancient Greeks, and the Native American Navajo, dreams about tooth loss portend the future death of a family member. Dream analysts have built on the ancient notion that tooth loss is related to death; they theorize that people who have recurring dreams about their teeth falling out associate tooth loss with old age and death.
However, not all tooth-loss dreamers are concerned with aging and death, but rather with aging and its effect on our appearance. When we dream about our teeth falling out, we may be having anxiety about how aging will change our appearance. Feelings of fear, self-consciousness, and embarrassment flood our minds as we dream that our teeth are loosening, disintegrating, or falling out.
Have you ever had the dream that you are at work or school, calmly working amongst your peers, when you suddenly realize that you are completely naked? The humiliation and awkwardness of the situation baffles you as you try to figure out what happened. How could you have possibly left the house without any clothes on? Why haven't any of your classmates or co-workers clued you in on that fact that you accidentally forgot to get dressed this morning?
Naked dreams are among the most common dreams we have, and they generally cause immense anxiety to us dreamers. These dreams are associated with feelings of embarrassment and distress about our appearance and image within society.
Falling dream sequences come in a few different forms. In one falling dream, we feel as though we are endlessly descending into nothingness. In another falling dream, we may be perched on the outside of a 50 story building, clinging to the façade for dear life. Some of us even dream that we are on a roller coaster and our safety harness is failing us; in this dream we must hang on to the ride or risk falling off of the coaster.
Dream analysts agree that all falling dreams relate to our fears about death and aging. As our anxiety about aging drifts into our subconsciousness while we sleep, our mind translates it into falling dreams.
While tooth loss, naked, and falling dreams are generally associated with a sense of anxiety about aging, flying dreams have a more positive vibe. Dream analysts believe that we are expressing our self-confidence, freedom, and exhilaration through our dream-state as we fly with the wind. Feelings of weightlessness and drive propel us through the air as we fly, float, and flip our way through the dream.
Some of us dream that we are flying with angel-like wings in dreams. Experts believe these flying dreams symbolize our feelings of peace with ourselves, the future, and death.
Do Our Dreams Represent Reality?
Philosophers, dream analysts, and many everyday people believe that dreams symbolize our individual fears and hopes. From the ancient Greeks and Romans, who felt that dreams shed insight on our past, present, and future, to the interpretations of Freud, which argued that dreams represent our repressed desires, the quest to understand the meaning of our dreams continues today.
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