Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Small Bit of History

Well just got done with driving 300+ miles to get back to good old home. Anyways the coffee did get out of my system and I am feeling much better now. I have been trying to find a good bit of history about dreaming and found an artical that had some intresting ideas. I am not sure who Delaney is but ill try to figure it out. Here is the article from:

Dream interpretations dates back to 3000 to 4000 B.C. were they were documented in clay tablets ( It is said that people in primal societies were mentally not able enough to distinguish between the dream world and reality. They not only saw the dream world as an extension of reality but the dream world was a more powerful world ( This path of dream interpretation also leads back to the ancient Egyptians with the first written record of dream interpretation around 1350 B.C. (Delaney 14). This document was called the Chester Beatty Papyrus (Delaney 14). The Chester Beatty papyrus is the oldest surviving dream book in existence (Delaney 14). This book gave images and ancient interpretations for what they believed to be what dreams meant (Delaney 14). The Egyptians even believed there was a god named Bes who was responsible for giving them their dreams (Delaney 14). Dreams were so important to the Egyptians that they had dream interpreters and special temple priest who were called "Masters of the Secret Things" (Delaney 15). These experts and masters were very well educated and took most of their knowledge and beliefs from a very influential Egyptian book called "The Book of the Dead" (Delaney 15). In the book it included prayers for banishment of nightmare spirits and for incubation rituals (Delaney 16).Egyptians believed that the gods revealed themselves in dreams but the soul was not transported to another place or another time ( They saw that dreams were warnings, advice, and prophecies. The way that they distinguished the interpretation of dreams was almost like playing on their words. For example "the Egyptian word for buttocks resembles the word for orphan; and the papyrus dream book states that to dream of uncovering one's buttocks is an omen for ones parent's death" ( By this example one can see how their dream interpretation would not be relevant in today's society due to the fact that our words are now of different meaning. Incubation was very influential to the Egyptians and researchers believe that this ritual was derived from early practices in ancient Mesopotamia (Delaney 16).One way the ancient Greeks became involved in their dreams was by the practice of incubation ( Incubation was used to describe a variety of practices before sleep which would be carried out before sleeping to help someone dream about a particular topic (Delaney 16). Incubation became a "developed art" practiced by Egyptians and Romans (Delaney 16). In this practice the sleepers actively attempted contact with divine beings. Their old practice of incubation reflects the same practice in our today's society of lucid dreaming, which will be discussed later in the paper. Another component of incubation was brought on by drug induced sleep, followed by the interpretation of a dream priest or oracle ( Also back in the Greek and Roman Era dream interpretation was so important to them that dream interpreters accompanied military leaders into battles ( The most common view of dream interpretation in Greek literature is the Homeric view ( According to this view the gods took a direct interest in the human affairs and affect them through dreams. One would be able to be familiar with this concept if they were familiar with ancient Greek literature. The Greeks, just like the Egyptians, believed that all dreams are prophetic, so they had to distinguish between "true dreams and false dreams" One of their techniques to distinguish between false and true dreams was if they had a dream which took place in a polished ivory gate then it was false, but if it were to take place in a polished horn gate then it was true ( To me this does not seem to be a very accurate way of distinguishing the truth in our dreams. I find this conclusion to be more culturally based due to the fact that in my personal experience I do not have dreams of white gates. Because that could have been a good portion of their society it could have been more relevant in their dreams. I believe that what most of ancient cultures viewed about dreams are very integrated in what they believed as a culture and spiritually. In history one can already see the importance of trying to control and understanding what was being dreamt. If this was not important to them than there would not have been a growing culture that was so affected by what was dreamt.


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