Psychic dreams occur when we receive psychic information in dreams, or information that would not have been known to us in the usual way. Psychic dreams can be telepathic (communicating mind to mind) or precognitive (perceiving future events).
Dreams in ancient times were seen as messages from the Gods - the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians used to regard dreams as significant, often prophetic. They used to go to oracles, for instance the Delphic oracle, or priests to interpret their dreams. There are many instances of significant dreams in the Bible - one of the most famous is the Pharaoh's dream about seven fat cows, then seven skinny cows appear and devour the seven fat cows. He then dreams about seven full ears of corn being devoured by seven withered ears of corn. Joseph interprets this as seven rich and plentiful years to be followed by seven years of famine, so the Pharaoh should treat this as a warning to set aside food for the lean years which follow the plentiful years.
In the 19th century Sigmund Freud became interested in the significance of dreams and their interpretation. He believed that dreams were a form of wish fulfilment, usually stemming from repressed sexual desires. He did not believe that dreams had any psychic origin. Prior to this people believed that dreams had a physical cause such as indigestion or fever and had no deeper significance. Carl Jung influenced the study of dream interpretation with his theory on collective unconscious and archetypes: he maintained that we all have access to an inherited knowledge and awareness and that there are certain universal images common to all cultures throughout ages so certain symbols will have common meanings.
While we are asleep the mind processes everything that has happened during the day and makes sense of it. Dreams can be messages from the subconscious to the conscious mind, reflecting issues that haven't been dealt with or showing a different perceptive on a situation. Interpreting our dreams involves looking at the dreams and assessing what they are trying to tell us. Dreams tend to be in the form of strong visual images which can have a literal meaning but usually have a symbolic meaning. Personal associations to the dreamer take precedent over general symbolic meaning. Occasionally messages will occur in the form of puns or wordplay, for instance dreaming of a horse and then waking up with a sore throat, the word being conveyed is hoarse.
To distinguish psychic dreams from normal ones look for dreams that are particularly vivid and striking provoking a strong emotional reaction. Prophetic dreams tend to occur when we are sleeping most deeply, or are in REM sleep. Most dreams will be about yourself or material pertaining to you - if you dream about something or someone unknown to you or external to your life, this may be a psychic dream.
Tests were done to see whether dreamers could pick up information from someone else's mind. While the dreamer was asleep, the tester would pass strong visual messages, and the dreamers would record any unusual dreams on waking. In some cases there were similarities between what the tester was thinking about, and what the dreamers saw.
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