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Philosophy of Dreams: Introduction to Philosophy of Dreams by Sri Swami Sivananda

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Philosophy of Dreams: Introduction to Philosophy of Dreams by Sri Swami Sivananda

By Sri Swami Sivananda

The analysis of dreams and their cause by psychoanalysts are defective. They maintain that the cause of dream creation lies in the suppressed desires of the dreamer. Can they create dreams as they like by suppressing desires? No, they cannot do that. They say that desires stimulate or help the dream creation. But they do not know what supplies the material out of which they are made and what turns the desires into actual expression, enabling the dreamer see his own suppressed desires materialised and appearing to him as real.

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The desires only supply the impulse. The mind creates the dream out of the materials supplied by the experiences of the waking state. The dream creatures spring up from the bed of Samskaras or impressions in the subconscious mind. Indigestion also causes dream. The Taijasa is the dreamer. It is the waking personality that creates the dream personality. The dream personality exists as the object of the waking personality and is real only as such.

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The waking and dreaming states do not exist independently side by side as real units.

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Why do we dream? Various answers have been given to this question. Dreams are nothing but a reflection of our waking experience in a new form. The medical view is that dreams are due to some organic disturbances somewhere in the body, but more particularly in the stomach. Sometimes coming diseases appear in dreams.

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According to Sigmund Freud all dreams without any exception are wish-fulfilment. The physical stimulus alone is not responsible for the production of dreams. The dream mechanism is very intricate. The wishes are of an immoral nature. They are revolting to the moral self, which exercises a control on their appearance. Therefore, the wishes appear in disguised forms to evade the moral censor. Very few dreams present the wishes as they really are. Dreams are partial gratification of the wishes. They relieve the mental tension and thus enable us to enjoy repose. They are safety valves to strong impulsions. You will know your animal-self in dream.

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The objects which manifest during the dreaming state are often not different in many respects from those which one perceives during his waking state. During the dreaming state he talks with the members of his family and friends, eats the same food, behold rivers, mountains, motor cars, gardens, streets, ocean, temples, works in the office, answers question papers in the examination hall, and fights and quarrels with some people. This shows that man does not abandon the results of his past relation with objects when he falls asleep.

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The person who experiences the three states, viz., Jagrat or waking-state, Svapna or the dreaming state, and Sushupti or deep-sleep state is called Visva in the waking state, Taijasa in the dreaming state and Prajna in the deep sleep state. When one gets up from sleep, it is Visva who remembers the experience of Prajna in deep sleep and says, ?I slept soundly. I do not know anything.? Otherwise remembrance of the enjoyment in deep sleep is not possible.

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The reactions to dreams differ according to mental disposition, temperament and diet of the person.

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All dreams are affairs of mere seconds. Within ten seconds you will experience dreams wherein the events of several years happen.

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Some get dreams occasionally, while some others experience dreams daily. They can never have sleep without dreams.

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The sun is the source and the temporary resting place of its rays. The rays emanate from the sun and spread in all directions at the time of sunrise. They enter into the sun at sunset, lose themselves there and come out again at the next sunrise. Even so the state of wakefulness and dream come out from the state of deep sleep and re-enter it and lose themselves there to follow the same course again.

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Whatever appears in the dream world is the reproduction of the waking world. It is not only the reproduction of the objects seen, experienced or dealt with in the present life, but it may be the reproduction of objects seen, experienced or dealt with in any former life in the present world. Therefore the dream world cannot be said to be independent of the waking world.

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The objects that are seen in the state of wakefulness are always seen outside the body. It is, therefore, external to the dreamer, while the dream world is always internal to the dreamer. That is the only difference between them.

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During the dream state the whole wakeful world loses itself in the dream state. Therefore, it is not possible to find the distinctive features that would help the dreamer to distinguish the waking world from the dream world.

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Scientists and Western philosophers draw their conclusions from the observations of their waking experience. Whereas the Vedantins utilise the experiences of the three states viz., waking, dream and deep sleep and then draw their conclusions. Hence the latter?s conclusions are true, correct, perfect, full and integral, while those of the former are partial and one sided.

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Certain kinds of external sounds such as the ringing of a bell, the noise of alarm-clock, knocks on the door or the wall, the blowing of wind, the drizzling of rain, the rustling of leaves, the blowing of the horn of a motor car, the cracking of the window etc., may produce in the mind of the dreamer variety of imaginations. They generate certain sensations, which increase according to the power of imagination of the sleeper and the sensitiveness of his mind. These sounds cause very elaborate

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