What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: How has our understanding of the function of dreams changed over the years?

Shelby Harris:  So the older models, when you look at Freudian, when you look at Jungian thought, and there’s still people who really – who really use the Jungian thought of dream analysis, is really that you would analyze the dreams.  The dreams are there for a purpose.  For some people they say, it’s about wish fulfillment, it’s about the things you are never able to do in your day you are actually fulfilling at night.  There are other people who will say that it’s actually telling you something.  If there’s a lot of fear that’s going on, if there’s a lot of anxiety, it’s manifesting itself in your nocturnal world so that analyzing it can help open up basically thoughts about what you need to do during the day.  So a lot of people who subscribe to the psychoanalysis, the Jungian thought will really focus a lot on dreams, the meaning, and how it can be used to help you during the day.  

Now if you go to more modern thought, there are different – it’s actually quite a controversial area.  There are some people who believe that dreams really are just kind of a throwaway thing.  They are just a way of your brain processing what’s happening during the day, but there’s really no meaning to them; a lot of imagery of just flashes of what happened.  There are other people that think that dreams actually do serve a purpose.  But what that purpose is, we’re not really sure.  So some people believe that it actually does have some psychological representation of what’s going on in the day, but there’s no need to sit and really analyze it.  There are other people who think, like myself, that dreams are almost – they’re a reenactment of what happened during the day, but it’s a way of your figuring out and your brain processing, to figure out what does it need to hold onto and remember and what can it just throw away.  So it’s like your brain has a large filing cabinet and it’s opening up each drawer and it’s taking in various images and memories from the day, consolidating what it needs to and puts in whatever file.  And then if there’s something that doesn’t fit in any of the files and doesn’t really belong, you’ll forget about it.  So it’s a way of really getting a succinct way of storing things in your brain. 

 

 

Don’t Bother Interpreting Y...

Newsletter: Share: