Dreams – Science Over Fiction

Why dreams take place? How dreams take place? What for dreams take place? Are dreams related to soul?

The row of dream related Questions is unending. Among the Queue of questions, some are too relevant that they cannot be ignored. Whether dreams are necessary for good health; whether bad dreams can affect good health; whether dreams are related to sex and sexuality; whether there can be sleep without dreams are really relevant to the core. During the foregone decades, Psychologists have created so many stories to solve these questions. However, thirst of science could not be satisfied by the stories exemplified in ‘psychology texts’.

From time immemorial, people were interested to get answers for all dream related questions. The phrase “dream world” is a clear indication of what people thought about dreams. Dreams are entertaining, fantastic and at times wonderful supernatural experiences for the gullible believers. The incomprehensibility of dreams made people to believe that dreams are supernatural and the belief led the people to consider dreams as mysterious and prophetic. Interpretation of dreams thus became a hotbed of imaginations.

Throughout the prehistoric period, both idealistic and materialistic philosophers had shown great interest in interpreting dreams. Socrates said dreams are divine and prophetic. Plato held the belief that dreams are revelations of the soul. Democritus who was materialist in his views concluded that dreams are products of brain activity. Aristotle denied possibility of foretelling the future by dreams. But defying all these views, whether idealistic or materialistic, was the subjective thoughts propounded by the Viennese neurologist, Mr. Sigmund Freud.

Freud’s first proposition was that dreams reflected hidden, unrealized and thwarted desires and feelings. He reduced all human feelings and desires to sexual feelings and desires. Freud talked about symbolism of dreams. He boldly declared that dreams were the processes of realization of frustrated feelings. Freud’s theories and practices on dream interpretations and cures for preventing harmful dreams are followed even today across the world by the soul-searchers called Psychologists.

All the theories and conclusions remained in the subjective realm of mind and matter. Till the end of nineteenth century this was the position. In the early part of the twentieth century, Dr. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov and his team of investigators exposed the physiological basis of nervous activity involved in the formation of dreams.

When a person is awake the central nervous system of the person is constantly reacting to the stimuli emanating from both the internal and external environments. This interaction results in loss of energy and vital force in the nerve cells and body cells.

There is a certain limit beyond which the nerve cells cannot continue to respond to stimuli without being damaged or destroyed. When the limit approaches, the nerve cells assume a state of non responsiveness which is called inhibition. Inhibition is brought about by a permanent nerve connection called unconditioned reflex action. The state of such inhibition is Natural Sleep.

Continuation of sleep till the nerve cells and body cells recover the lost energy is essential for the healthy existence of the organism. Abrupt waking up from sleep due to disturbance caused by various stimuli like, body pains, stomach aches, extreme weather conditions, insects, mosquitoes, sounds, experiences, love, hate et al emanating from the environs is prevented by and through introduction of dreams. The duration of dreams may be for a few minutes or even for a few nanoseconds, but that is enough for the organism to protect nerve cells from the consequence of sudden waking up.

In short, according to science, that is how and why dreams take place. The topic for the script and production of dreams is derived from the vast amount of experience that the individual has gained which has no specific quantum of bio data — a smell, a sight, an encounter, a distress, severe or even a mild pain or anything can be subject of dreams. Similarly external stimuli of disturbances created by insects, mosquitoes, light rays, wind blows, sounds and uncomfortable sleeping positions also remain as causative agents of dreams. Beliefs in god, spirits, hell, heaven, ghosts and the array of imaginary entities also are contributors to the dream-world.

Dreams are essential for existence. Whether a dream is sweet or bitter, good or bad, every dream is equal in so far as the purpose of dream is concerned. Dreams should always be welcomed: No one need be concerned about dreams.

Dreams are part of life. Dreams are related with life. Dreams sustain survival of the organism. Dreams support life by and through its curative effect on protecting nerve cells through the course of sleep.

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