Wednesday, March 08, 2006

dreamreading (2)

A tentative footnote to dreamreading (1):
After all, dream-discourse is the signifier, and the signified is necessarily something that is uncannily meaningless.
I apologize, since I have collapsed a great deal of Jungian theory as well as some later writers that I only am just beginning to read. Dreams are basically images that float up from the unconscious. Dream content is based on several factors including personal experience, collective imagery, and biology.

Experience is personal. It is limited to what that individual person has experienced.

Collective imagery, archetypes from books, movies, and religion, belong to a different, super-personal sphere. A lot of my own dream content comes from film, and I imagine that a lot of people today dream the same way. Contemporary mass culture does tend to worship actors and actresses as if they were gods and goddesses. Religious and esoteric symbolism, of course, has always comprised a great deal of dream content.

After that, dreams are just biology. Dreams are the expression of nature; they are the art-product of the chemicals and neurological circuitry of the human body. In my earlier post, I was trying to emphasize the aesthetic, amoral aspect of dream content. Nature does not have a concept of morality. No single dream every really has the desire to say, “Hey, you should change your life.”

In their raw, original form, dream images have multiple associations. They are the summation of our every thought and experience, both personal and collective. The dream obeys an art-impulse that simply desires to show images that may or may not make sense. When I begin to ascribe meaning, saying “This image represents my dark alter-ego.”, I begin to destroy the natural, quixotic beauty of the dream. Therefore, there is a type of re-presentation happening when we try to analyze and put a dream into permanent record.

It’s a lot like taking a photograph of a waterfall. If you’ve never seen the movement of a living, three-dimensional waterfall in real life, the photograph can never do justice to the waterfall’s reality. Describing the dream puts it into linguistic terms. Dreams are actually the direct result of pre-linguistic phenomena.

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