Posted: 17 May 2012 07:13 AM PDT
Recurring dreams (those we see repeatedly for a long period) are the most important. With their help our subconscious wants to grab all our attention and prompt resolution of the issue it speaks of. The more intense is a dream, the more attention we need to pay to it. The basic idea of these dreams is a problem we are concerned for a long time or an important message that we have not completely understood but our conscious continues sending it to us until we fully get it.
Most recurring dreams and nightmares we had at our childhood and adolescent age. It makes sense because of our transition to adulthood.
These dreams are trying to tell us that we need to fix some things because they negatively affect us psychologically. These may be our behavior, problems that concern us, features of our character. The continuation of these problems without being solved can even cause unpleasant effects on our mental health. Unfortunately, the everyday stress in our lives never seems to stop.
"Bad" elements hunting us in our dreams, whether they are demons or monsters, according to Carl Jung who called them “shadows”, may represent parts of ourselves we criticize and try to eliminate either intentionally or without realizing it. Once we accept these “shadows” and unite again with these pieces of our personality, then they will stop chasing us.
In addition to general recurrent dreams Carl Jung has found that there are some recurring patterns or specific objects in dreams. Usually they repeat when a similar incident happens in our life. For each person the interpretation of these recurring symbols may be different because everyone combines it with his personal experience or perception of events.
Here are some common recurring dream motifs and their interpretation:
Pursuit or attack.
The hunter represents a part of ourselves we are afraid of. An extreme version of unacceptable part of our personality, which will benefit us if we expressed it appropriately.
We feel heavy, without support, worry about something? How to feel free, lightweight? Maybe we should ‘land’ in reality?
Car out of control.
Is life too fast? Are we losing control of things? How can we get things more slowly and just calmly enjoy the road?
Unprepared, late, failure to test.
Do you feel unprepared for an approaching event? Lack of confidence in our performance? Do we worry without reason or really want more preparation to feel more confident and do a good job?
Feeling unable to speak or move.
We feel that we are trapped in our lives with no way out. It goes nowhere and we can't act according to our true feelings.
Shame of being naked in public, although nobody seems to notice it.
In which part of our life do we feel lack of confidence and skills? The fact that others do not notice our shame means that only we see ourselves like this and usually are wrong about it.
Trapped, locked in.
When do we feel trapped/stuck in life? How to create a new perspective and explore new ways to act?
Unable to see people’s faces but knowing who they are.
This pattern may have several interpretations. It may refer to ourselves, symbolizing the search of our identity, the process of exploring our own personality.
Also it may reflect our relations with other people: feeling alone in the crowd, unable to reach understanding with other people, feeling different from them. According to Sigmund Freud, faces in dreams represent the individuality of people. Seeing the world without faces in our dreams, we deprive the others of their individuality due to our fears, lack of confidence, problems we face dealing with people in our life. It works as a defence mechanism which helps us avoid being hurt by others.
Being lost, unable to reach a destination or fulfill a task.
Dreams of being lost and unable to find the way somewhere speak of frustration. Sometimes we want something or someone to go/act in a certain way, but they don't. It certainly brings us disappointment and frustration.
Moreover, such kind of dreams may have to do with the feeling of 'losing' ourselves. Perhaps, it may be connected with a significant change in our life (for example, a loss of something or someone important for us) or we just feel 'following a wrong path'. Sometimes our subconscious tries to tell us that what we do is not what we really want from life.
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Posted: 16 May 2012 11:57 AM PDT
Until now it was believed that the duration of human life has a given threshold, but scientists who participated in a related conference at the Oxford University refused this theory.
Paul Hodge, the head of the Harvard Generations Policy Program, stressed that governments around the world who face the crisis on the issue of retirement of the aging workforce and increased health care costs should prepare to handle this challenge.
So, until what age and how quickly will life expectancy increase? These issues are still open to debate but the direction and acceleration of this tendency is clear. Richard Miller of the Medical Faculty of the University of Michigan says that experiments on mice – genetically similar organisms to humans – showed that lifespan can be extended by 40% if people simply limit the calorie intake. This could mean that the average lifespan in rich countries could be increased from 80 to 112 years.
Aubrey de Grey, gerontologist at the University of Cambridge, sees even farther. He believes that the first man who will live until the age of 1000 has already been born. As argued at the Oxford conference, periodic “corrections” in the human body with stem cells, gene therapies and other methods could stop the whole process of aging. De Grey believes that if the results of each “correction” last for 30 to 40 years, the scientific accomplishments till the next “corrective” appointment will lead to the indefinite postponement of death.
The revolutionary ideas of De Grey were rejected by other scientists of the kind, such as Tom Kirkwood, director of the Center on Aging and Nutrition, University of Newcastle. Kirkwood argues that the process of human aging is inherently malleable and life expectancy is not completely stable, but researchers have not yet managed to understand how it works. The real goal is not only live longer but to stay healthy for more years.
Jay Olshansky from the University of Illinois at Chicago is convinced that longevity and health are connected to each other, thus the aging delay will lead to diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
However, the full understanding of the biology of aging will require major investments by governments in projects and experiments.
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