Dreaming : Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams
Human Sciences Press, Inc., New York City

Volume 3, Number 2, June 1993


How Metaphor Structures Dreams: The Theory of Conceptual Metaphor Applied to Dream Analysis
George Lakoff
Page 77

Changes in the Kinesthetic Content of Dreams Following Somatosensory Stimulation of Leg Muscles During REM Sleep
Tore A. Nielsen
Page 99

The "Committee of Sleep": A Study of Dream Incubation for Problem Solving
Deirdre Barrett
Page 115
Available online

The "Subject" of Dreams
Paul Kugler
Page 123

The Thawing of Symbols in Myth and Dream
Mary Therese B. Dombeck
Page 137

Lakoff, George.
How metaphor structures dreams: The theory of conceptual metaphor applied to dream analysis.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 3(2) 77-98, Jun 1993.


Cognitive Science has shown that there is an extensive, unconscious system of conceptual metaphor that is part of our everyday conceptual systems, and that can be thought of as a kind of 'language of the unconscious. This system, for the most part, is not idiosyncratic, but defines conventional modes of thought within a culture and is expressed in the lexicon and grammar of languages. The unconscious metaphor system, since it structures ordinary thought, also structures dreams, connecting the hidden meaning of dreams to their overt meanings and images in a systematic way that makes use of what is important in the everyday life, conscious or unconscious, of the dreamer. Dreams, not surprisingly, typically express desires, fears, and other important concerns of the dreamer. Most dream symbolism makes use of this everyday metaphor system, and familiarity with the system and with the life of the dreamer greatly facilitates dream interpretation.

Key Words: dreams; metaphor; unconscious.


Nielsen, Tore A.
Changes in the kinesthetic content of dreams following somatosensory stimulation of leg muscles during REM sleep.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 3(2) 99-113, Jun 1993.


The notion that dreaming is isolated from sensory activity is challenged by demonstrations that somatosensory stimuli are frequently incorporated into dream content. To further study such effects, four volunteers were administered pressure stimulation to either the left or right leg during REM sleep and awakened to report their dreams. These dreams were rated and compared to non-stimulated dreams. Stimulated dreams more frequently contained leg sensations and references to the pressure stimulus than did non-stimulated dreams; dreamed leg activity, but not dreamed arm activity, was also rated as more intense. Incorporations of the stimulus were typically simple, direct kinesthetic sensations of pressure or squeezing but were also sometimes embedded in more extended 'problem-solving' sequences. Stimulation also increased bodily bizarreness. The latter included changes in kinesthetic quality of movement, instabilities of posture and the environment, and visual-kinesthetic synthesias. Although micro-arousals may be an explanatory factor, the results suggest that somatosensory stimulation influences 'kinesthetic fantasy', a dimension of dreaming associated with both central and peripheral sources of kinesthetic activity.

Key Words: dream content; dreaming; somatosensory stimulation; REM sleep; kinesthetic fantasy; kinesthesis; proprioception.


Barrett, Deirdre.
The "committee of sleep": A study of dream incubation for problem solving.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 3(2) 115-122, Jun 1993.


Subjects incubated dreams addressing problems chosen by the dreamer nightly for one week. Approximately half recalled a dream which they judged to be related to their problem; a majority of these believed their dream contained a solution. Problems of a personal nature were much more likely to be viewed as solved than ones of an academic or general objective nature. Independent judges rated slightly fewer dreams as either addressing or solving the problems than did the dreamers, but the trends of their conclusions followed the same patterns as those of the dreamers.

Key Words: dreaming; problem solving; creativity; dream incubation.

Available online

Kugler, Paul.
The "subject" of dreams.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 3(2) 123-136, Jun 1993.


In the move from Modernity to Post-modernity our concept of the "subject" has undergone dramatic changes. Nowhere is this transformation more significant than in the study of dreams where the paradox arises that the human subject is not only the object but also the "subject" of our investigation. This article traces the genealogy of the "subject" in Western thought from its "birth" in Cartesian philosophy to its "death" in post-modern thought. Particular focus is placed on the role of language in the creation of a self-reflexive subject, a re-examination of Jung's notion of the imago in terms of the post-modern problematic of text, and a new look at dream interpretation in light of these issues.

Key Words: post-modernity; human subject; dream interpretation; Jung; self reflection; mirror stage; language; psychoanalysis.


Dombeck, Mary Therese B.
The thawing of symbols in myth and dream.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 3(2) 137-147, Jun 1993.


In this paper the dream of a flooded house told by a nine year old child is considered in relation to the Babylonian story of the Flood. Since the dreamer is unwilling to talk about her dream, the interpreter approaches the dream as a text, and allows the symbols in the dream to move her into the story of the Flood and into her own experience. In this hermeneutic phenomenological approach a dialogue is established between the dream, the myth and the interpreter. As the interpreter is willing to let each story speak to her the symbols in each become less frozen and begin flowing into each other. Thus the understanding of the dream, the myth and of the interpreter herself are expanded and deepened.

Key Words: Hermeneutic Circle; flood dream; flood myth; understanding.

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