To Sleep, Perchance to Lucid Dream

April 11, 2015 2:45 PM

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When we remember our dreams, we often struggle to make sense of them. For example, you may dream that a bear is chasing you, and wonder what it could possibly mean. Freud, who believed that puns were important in dreams, might have suggested that a problem or conflict is "bearing" down on you. Animals often turn up in dreams. For instance, let's say you dream that there's a shark in your hot tub and its dead eyes stare at you while it flosses its rows of teeth with fishing line; maybe this signals that you're in hot water because of an approaching deadline at work.

If the purpose of dreaming is merely to decipher your inner and waking life conflicts, being familiar with dream symbols tied to culture is certainly a step in the right direction. In terms of dream symbols, North Americans report more bear dreams than other parts of the English-speaking world while...

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