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Popular Scientific Theories Behind What Actually Causes Dreams

Poushali Ganguly Oct 27, 2018
If you want to know what causes dreams, here we describe the various theories that have been propounded by various experts.
The world of subconscious has always intrigued us. According to theories subconscious and unconscious comprise those things that we cannot handle in our conscious state. Then why are we so interested in dreams and knowing all about it.
The interpretation of dreams is relative and differs from person to person but the causes are more or less the same. They are something which our mind knows, however which we cannot handle, is disturbing or something that we keep reiterating to ourselves.

Major Causes of Dreams

Sigmund Freud's Theory on Dreams

Freud's opinion was that dreams were an outlet of our hidden desires and in spite of the fact that there were numerous theories regarding this topic but none could actually gain as much ground as Freud's theory.
Freud said that our dreams were based on the activities that we do all day long which are combined with our wishes. He was of the opinion that nothing can be made up during the dream; whatever happens in a dream is the result of instincts and experiences in life.
Another interesting aspect of his theory regarding the causes of dreams arises from his theory of "id", "ego" and "super ego" which are supposedly the three elements of personality.
He said that Id follows the pleasure principle and does not understand any kind of norms and inhibitions. He said that a newborn child is a "bundle of ids" since it wants what it desires and would fail to understand reasons.
Id stands in opposition to "super ego" which develops in people from the age of five, which is a compilation of what parents teach. "Super-ego" is the conscience and is in opposition to the desires of the "Id".
Now ego stands between Id and Super-ego and it is "repressed Id", it controls the uncontrollable "Id" and also tones down Super-ego's tough inhibitions. It mediates between Id and Super-ego.
Now Freud said that when the "ego" collapses which occurs when there is an extreme pressure from Id and super-ego and it fails to balance both, that is when the mind comes up with a defense mechanism called dreams.

Carl Jung's Theory on Dreams

Jung said that dreams were a result of not only one's personal experience but one part of it is also associated with the collective conscious which is a part of the mind. It consists of the impressions of the processes occurring in the world. 
He was the one who said that the dreamer could interpret the dreams by forming combined image of all the dreams and finding the common element among them. Once the common element is found, it can be related to a real incident that might have happened and that would give the cue to the interpretation of the dream.


It is also believed that dreams also determined by the way we perceive and how our imagination guides them. There are some people who would think of the lovely scent of the flower when they look at a rose and few who would think of the thorn and the pain it inflicts. These perceptions are also shaped by an individual's personal experience.
So these are some of the causes of dreams and this gives you an idea of how the mind works and why we dream.