There are three popular dream analyses – the Freudian, the Jungian and the Cognitive view. In my opinion, the Cognitive view is the best analysis. In my dream, I and my brother Long were invited by the actor Tom Hanks to his residence. We had a great time during the delicious dinner at his place. After the dinner I and Long were accommodated in beautiful guest rooms, and then Hanks’ friend, whose name I don’t remember, gave us a tour around the blossom garden, which was behind the house. It was a warm spring day, the sun was shining and there was a pleasant breeze. Everything seemed to be perfect.
Suddenly, I was lying on the hospital bed and I could barely breathe, but there was no one who could help me. My heart started to beat slowly and I knew that I was dying. Surprisingly, I did not panic. I tried to recall all the nice memories and people who are important in my life, but the only thing that was popping in my mind were the pink petals falling from the blossom tree… Firstly, I will start with one of the Freudian dream analysis known as condensation. Condensation is based on the element in dream that does not belong there or seems so strange and therefore it does not fit in our dream.
(Van de Castle, 1994) In my case, I chose the actor Tom Hanks, because I do not understand how it is possible that someone like him could get in touch with me. According to Freud, the element represents something that is connected to hidden guilt, hidden anger or unacceptable sexual attraction that was repressed by censor, and that slipped out of our unconsciousness in a form of a dream. So I was trying to think about things that are associated to Tom Hanks and at the same time with my everyday life, and the first thing that came to my mind was acting.
At the end of the high school I had to decide for which university to apply and becoming an actress has been always my dream job, but my parents would never let me follow this career path. They believe that I cannot succeed in this field and will not earn enough money for my living. We argued about this over and over again and it was a very stressful period. I was angry at my parents because they did not let me do what I want. In the end I resigned, because I realized that they just want the best for me. Actually, I am not angry at them anymore, because I am satisfied with UNYP.
However, Freud would analyze my dream differently. He would say that the element symbolize my hidden or unacceptable sexual attraction to Tom Hanks that was suppressed by the censor since I am not single anymore. However, I cannot agree with Freud’s interpretation of my dream, because simply do not find Tom Hanks attractive at all. Moreover, there are some other Freudian theories I would not agree with and I think there must be more factors taken in consideration, because the way of human thinking is more complex and not just about sex, guilt and anger.
Secondly, I would like to analyze my dream through the Jung’s theory. Jung’s theory is based on archetypes, which are connected to particular ways of understanding the world. The archetypes are fulfilled with our experiences, and when not, then our unconscious will try to warn us in a form of a symbol in our dreams. (Van de Castle, 2004) Basically, through Jung’s analysis, people should be able to find what kind of archetype they are missing, and what kind of experience to seek in order to satisfy themselves. As for me, the most memorable symbol was the falling pink petals of Sakura.
I think the reason why this had come to my mind as the last thing before I died, is because it means something peaceful and positive for me and I definitely would like to visit the blossoming Sakura garden one day. From the cultural perspective, the cherry blossoming tree represents in Vietnam simplicity and spring. Furthermore, it is also associated with female beauty, innocence, and love. Therefore, it is one of a symbol of Lunar New Year and it is often given as a present to those who we appreciate or love.
According to the dream dictionary, the blossom represents the beauty and it may also mean that your hard work will pay off in the end. In my opinion the missing archetype is beauty. I have been struggling with my weight for a long time. I used to be obese and during the last year I have lost 35 pounds and I also suffered from eating disorders. Fortunately, I found help in time but still my head is always thinking about food and I have to control very strictly what I eat. I think that the problem lies in the lack of confidence and to fill this gap I have to find the way how to gain it.
Maybe I should exercise more. Although, the interpretation of the dream seems to fit but it is very strange and in my opinion not accurate. Lastly, I would like to analyze my dream through the Cognitive theory. This theory is totally different from the other two theories. While the Freudian and Jungian theory believe in hidden meaning in dreams, the Cognitive theory states that dream do not have any special meanings or symbols. According to this theory, dreams are our memories gained during the previous days and then composed by our brain into a storyline.
For me the best explanation for our dreams is an Activation-synthesis theory. It says that dreams are the result of random electrical energy which stimulates memories lodged in various portion of the brain. The brain then takes those chaotic memories and weaves them into the storyline that makes sense and logic. However, the theory does not reject that dreams reflect our wishes, fears and emotion. (Hobson & McCarley, 1977; Hobson 1988) So basically, more than a hidden meaning, it is our memories and brain that drive a dream.
In my case, the reason why I dreamed about Tom Hanks was because I have watched Forest Gump the night before and the cherry blossoming trees are the illustration in the book that I am currently reading. The dream about my death did not surprise me, because it was not for the first time I have dreamed about it. I think that I dreamed about that because I have been recently thinking about my friend who died not a long time ago. I do not believe that dreams really have hidden meanings and I prefer the rational analysis and that is why I think that the Cognitive theory is the most convenient explanation for our dreams.