The Dialogue of Dreams - Part I

Written by Sam Vaknin


Continued from page 1

The dream mechanisms and/or dream contents of psychotics must be substantially different and distinguished from ours. Their dreams must be "dysfunctional", unable to tacklerepparttar unpleasant, bad emotional residue of coping with reality. Their dialogue must be disturbed. They must be represented rigidly in their dreams. Reality must not be present in them not at all. Most ofrepparttar 126336 dreams, most ofrepparttar 126337 time must deal with mundane matters. Their content must not be exotic, surrealist, extraordinary. They must be chained torepparttar 126338 dreamer's realities, his (daily) problems, people that he knows, situations that he encountered or is likely to encounter, dilemmas that he is facing and conflicts that he would have liked resolved. This, indeed, isrepparttar 126339 case. Unfortunately, this is heavily disguised byrepparttar 126340 symbol language ofrepparttar 126341 dream and byrepparttar 126342 disjointed, disjunctive, dissociative manner in which it proceeds. But a clear separation must be made between subject matter (mostly mundane and "dull", relevant torepparttar 126343 dreamer's life) andrepparttar 126344 script or mechanism (colourful symbols, discontinuity of space, time and purposeful action). The dreamer must berepparttar 126345 main protagonist of his dreams,repparttar 126346 hero of his dreamy narratives. This, overwhelmingly, isrepparttar 126347 case: dreams are egocentric. They are concerned mostly withrepparttar 126348 "patient" and use other figures, settings, locales, situations to cater to his needs, to reconstruct his reality test and to adapt it torepparttar 126349 new input from outside and from within. If dreams are mechanisms, which adaptrepparttar 126350 model ofrepparttar 126351 world andrepparttar 126352 reality test to daily inputs – we should find a difference between dreamers and dreams in different societies and cultures. The more "information heavy"repparttar 126353 culture,repparttar 126354 morerepparttar 126355 dreamer is bombarded with messages and data –repparttar 126356 fiercer shouldrepparttar 126357 dream activity be. Every external datum likely generates a shower of internal data. Dreamers inrepparttar 126358 West should engage in a qualitatively different type of dreaming. We will elaborate on this as we continue. Suffice it to say, at this stage, that dreams in information-cluttered societies will employ more symbols, will weave them more intricately andrepparttar 126359 dreams will be much more erratic and discontinuous. As a result, dreamers in information-rich societies will never mistake a dream for reality. They will never confuserepparttar 126360 two. In information poor cultures (where most ofrepparttar 126361 daily inputs are internal) – such confusion will arise very often and even be enshrined in religion or inrepparttar 126362 prevailing theories regardingrepparttar 126363 world. Anthropology confirms that this, indeed, isrepparttar 126364 case. In information poor societies dreams are less symbolic, less erratic, more continuous, more "real" andrepparttar 126365 dreamers often tend to fuserepparttar 126366 two (dream and reality) into a whole and act upon it. To complete their mission successfully (adaptation torepparttar 126367 world usingrepparttar 126368 model of reality modified by them) – dreams must make themselves felt. They must interact withrepparttar 126369 dreamer's real world, with his behaviour in it, with his moods that bring his behaviour about, in short: with his whole mental apparatus. Dreams seem to do just this: they are remembered in halfrepparttar 126370 cases. Results are, probably, achieved without need for cognitive, conscious processing, inrepparttar 126371 other, unremembered, or disremembered cases. They greatly influencerepparttar 126372 immediate mood after awakening. They are discussed, interpreted, force people to think and re-think. They are dynamos of (internal and external) dialogue long after they have faded intorepparttar 126373 recesses ofrepparttar 126374 mind. Sometimes they directly influence actions and many people firmly believe inrepparttar 126375 quality ofrepparttar 126376 advice provided by them. In this sense, dreams are an inseparable part of reality. In many celebrated cases they even induced works of art or inventions or scientific discoveries (all adaptations of old, defunct, reality models ofrepparttar 126377 dreamers). In numerous documented cases, dreams tackled, head on, issues that botheredrepparttar 126378 dreamers during their waking hours. How does this theory fit withrepparttar 126379 hard facts?

(continued)

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com.

Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com




Psychology as Storytelling - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin


Continued from page 1

So, what are plots good for? They arerepparttar instruments used inrepparttar 126335 procedures, which induce peace of mind (even happiness) inrepparttar 126336 client. This is done withrepparttar 126337 help of a few embedded mechanisms:

The Organizing Principle – Psychological plots offerrepparttar 126338 client an organizing principle, a sense of order and ensuing justice, of an inexorable drive toward well defined (though, perhaps, hidden) goals,repparttar 126339 ubiquity of meaning, being part of a whole. It strives to answerrepparttar 126340 "why’s" and "how’s". It is dialogic. The client asks: "why am I (here follows a syndrome)". Then,repparttar 126341 plot is spun: "you are like this not becauserepparttar 126342 world is whimsically cruel but because your parents mistreated you when you were very young, or because a person important to you died, or was taken away from you when you were still impressionable, or because you were sexually abused and so on". The client is calmed byrepparttar 126343 very fact that there is an explanation to that which until now monstrously taunted and haunted him, that he is notrepparttar 126344 plaything of vicious Gods, that there is who to blame (focussing diffused anger is a very important result) and, that, therefore, his belief in order, justice and their administration by some supreme, transcendental principle is restored. This sense of "law and order" is further enhanced whenrepparttar 126345 plot yields predictions which come true (either because they are self-fulfilling or because some real "law" has been discovered).

The Integrative Principle – The client is offered, throughrepparttar 126346 plot, access torepparttar 126347 innermost, hitherto inaccessible, recesses of his mind. He feels that he is being reintegrated, that "things fall into place". In psychodynamic terms,repparttar 126348 energy is released to do productive and positive work, rather than to induce distorted and destructive forces.

The Purgatory Principle – In most cases,repparttar 126349 client feels sinful, debased, inhuman, decrepit, corrupting, guilty, punishable, hateful, alienated, strange, mocked and so on. The plot offers him absolution. Likerepparttar 126350 highly symbolic figure ofrepparttar 126351 Saviour before him –repparttar 126352 client's sufferings expurgate, cleanse, absolve, and atone for his sins and handicaps. A feeling of hard won achievement accompanies a successful plot. The client sheds layers of functional, adaptive clothing. This is inordinately painful. The client feels dangerously naked, precariously exposed. He then assimilatesrepparttar 126353 plot offered to him, thus enjoyingrepparttar 126354 benefits emanating fromrepparttar 126355 previous two principles and only then does he develop new mechanisms of coping. Therapy is a mental crucifixion and resurrection and atonement forrepparttar 126356 sins. It is highly religious withrepparttar 126357 plot inrepparttar 126358 role ofrepparttar 126359 scriptures from which solace and consolation can be always gleaned.



Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com.

Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com




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