STUDY OF DREAM-STATE
Once a disciple approached his Guru, prostrated at His Lotus Feet and with folded hands put the question:
Disciple: O My Revered Guru! Please tell me the way to cross this cycle of births and deaths
Guru: My dear disciple! If you can understand who you are, then you can get over this cycle of births and deaths.
Disciple: O Guru! I amnot so foolish as not to understand me. There is no man on earth who does not understand himself; but every one of them is having his rounds of birth and death.
Guru: No, No. You should understand the nature between the body and that person for whom this body is intended. Then only any one is said to have understood himself.
Disciple: Who is the person to whom this body belongs?
Guru: This Deha (body) belongs to the Dehi (Atman). Try to understand the true nature of the Atman.
Disciple: I do not see anybody besides this body.
Guru: When this body was asleep, who is the person who experienced your dreams? Again in deep sleep who is he that enjoyed it? When you wake up, who is he that is conscious of the world, your dreams and the soundness of the deep sleep?
Disciple: I amjust beginning to have a little idea of the nature of Atman who is present in all the three states.
From the above conversation between the Guru and the disciple, it is clear that the dream and the deep sleep states are worthy of our study in order to understand the true nature of the Atman, as we already pretend to have some knowledge at least of our waking consciousness.
Dream is but a disturbance of the deep sleep and the study of the former, as to its origin, working, purpose and meaning will naturally lead us to the study of the deep sleep state also.
The best way to study a subject is to trace its history and development in the hands of eminent authors and to focus our critical faculty on what we have studied from their treaties and to rectify any omissions, when we shall have a complete and satisfactory survey of that subject.
The dream reveals within itself those unconscious mental mechanisms evolved during the course of development for the purpose of controlling and shaping the primitive instinctual self towards that form of behaviour demanded by the contemporary civilization. A working knowledge of the dream as a typical functioning of the psyche—that is, a knowledge of the dream mechanisms and of the theory of the unconscious symbolism—is therefore indispensable for dream interpretation. This knowledge may be gained intellectually from the books written by authorities on that subject, but emotional conviction is the result only of personal analytic experience. Dream should be considered as an individual psychical product from the storehouse of specific experience, which indeed the dreamer may in consciousness neither remember nor know that he knows.
In the analysis of a dream, one would say that the assimilation of knowledge of the unconscious mind through the ego is an essential part of the psychical process. The principle involved in valid explanation is the revelation of the unknown, implicit in the known in terms of the individual. This principle underlies all true dream interpretations.
The value of a dream therefore lies not only in discovering the latest material by means of the manifest content, but the language used in the narration of dream and in the giving of associations will itself help towards elucidation.
The subject of “dream” and its analysis will be, therefore, a most interesting one in understanding the true nature of the individual. We, therefore, quote in the following pages, relevant extracts from the lectures of Sigmund Freud, the famous authority on that subject and will evolve it further, if necessary, by the help of the knowledge we get from the Indian Sages and Seers.