Sigmund Freud was an Austrian psychologist, neurologist, and professional dream interpreter. He was born on May 3, 1856 (he’s a Taurus) and died in 1939. Freud lived a varied and interesting life: he was involved in a ménage à trois with his wife and her sister, he pioneered an entire field of academia, escaped the Nazis, and died in exile in Great Britain.
One of Freud’s most popular phrases is the Freudian slip. If one experiences a Freudian slip they accidentally let slip their true desires when trying to say something else. Consider, you are wait staff at a restaurant and you get a very attractive customer. A thigh wettening, lip reddening, eyes dilating customer. You go to ask him if he wants food, but all that comes out is “do you want to fuck?” This is a freudian slip—a case where the true desires that you were suppressing arise.
Freud introduced many words to the vocabulary of western academia. Libido, denial, cathartic, repression, neurotic, and describing someone as anal, are all Freudian words or phrases. Freud is also the father of the idea of the existence of one’s libido. A person’s libido is not just their desire for sex, it is a combination of thoughts and feelings that are combined, which he broadly described as coming under the term ‘love’.
Freud believed that humans go through phases of development where our libido focuses on different erogenous zones. First, the oral stage where a baby learns to suckle from the teat. Then the anal phase where a baby learns how to control their bowel movements. The phallic stage follows this, and is hallmarked when a child is curious and won’t stop playing with their genitals. A person then enters the latent phase—a period where their libido is dormant. After this, at puberty, a person enters into the genital stage where they are sexually mature adults. From this development theory Freud said that if a person was stuck in the anal stage then it could be a sign that they were a psychopath as they hadn’t mentally developed. Freud was also fundamental in creating the idea of narcissism. He said that one becomes a narcissist when their libido is turned on by themselves. Freud’s legacy is almost impossible to quantify.
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Freud said that dreams can be understood at two levels, at a latent level and at a manifest level. The manifest level is the tip of the metaphorical iceberg of the dream, whilst the latent level is the rest of the iceberg—hidden amongst our unconscious. The manifest level of the dream is all of the things we remember upon waking up. Whilst dreams may appear to be nonsensical, and to not make sense, one can undertake analysis to reveal their underlying meanings. However what is observed at the manifest level is only a slight representation of what is hidden at the latent level.
The latent level is the suppressed desires, thoughts, and motives which our unconscious mind actively suppresses in order to protect our feelings against what we really think. It is a form of protection from our unconscious. The conscious mind being unable to handle the unconscious feelings when awake, so instead they are illustrated whilst we are asleep. Being able to remember and interpret the latent content of your dreams would, Freud believed, enable an individual to resolve a lot of conflict and tension that they may have in their life.
Whilst his work on psychoanalysis is held in high regard, and many of his methods are still used, his work regarding dreams and their interpretations is subject to a lot of criticism. Fundamentally, Freud believes that what we experience in our dreams is our repressed desires, fears, and obsessions. With this in mind, let’s explore some common, and not so common, dream themes. I have taken some comedic license with these dream interpretations, however the aforementioned biography of Freud is accurate and truthful. I promise.
- If the toilets in your dreams are filthy, unsanitary, or otherwise blocked this could mean that you’re unable to ‘flush’ away your emotions and negative feelings. The blockage is representative of your inability to let go. Queue the emotional laxatives.
- If you’re dreaming about slandering the chancellor in a student magazine article, I would wake up from that dream. Bad idea.
- Are your teeth falling out in your dreams? This is often a sign that when you’re awake you’ve been either gossiping about people, or passing on secret or confidential items. Or, you’ve been snacking on too many lollies.
- If you’re having wet dreams about some of your professors this could be a repressed desire to do well in your courses at any cost. Alternatively, you could just have a babin’ lecturer and you wanna get back to that anal stage of development.
- Are your dreams of concrete feet or the feeling of being unable to move? You most likely have sexual frustration that you just can’t get rid of.
- Being naked in a public space? Surprisingly, this isn’t anything sexual. This is your inner-self expressing body confidence, and your unrequited love for one’s self.
- Dreaming of your partner cheating on you is a very common dream to have. This is quite easy to interpret—you subliminally have suspicions that they are cheating on you OR you feel like you’re the third wheel in your own relationship.
- If you’ve ever woken up from a dream about being late to something this likely means that your subconscious is nervous that you’re over committing, and doesn’t want you to miss one of your engagements
- Dreaming of smoking a cigar? This is your suppressed desire for oral sex.
- Dreaming of your $40,000 student loan? This dream is quite easy to read. It speaks of a kind of intergenerational theft that the baby boomers have thrust onto the millennials. Whilst they got free tuition, they would hate for anyone else to get the same kind of treatment.
- Dreaming of incest with your cousin? A reader suggested this, and I must suggest they and their cousin go seek professional help. Alternatively, do what you want with your own body. #YourPussyYourVoice