The Realistic understanding of dreams A contribution to the link between developmental psychology and ethnology / cultural anthropology

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Oesterdiekhoff G.W.

Abstract

Ethnology or cultural anthropology has been describing the prevalence of realistic dream understandings to find in all kinds of premodern or traditional societies around the globe. Premodern peoples regard dreams as real-life incidents their souls see or participate in at night. Dreams are seen as true travels the soul makes at night. Therefore, dream incidents have almost the same reality status as the incidents happening at daytime. What the body makes in daytime the soul does at nighttime. Both universes – the visible and the invisible world – are likewise real. More, they are intertwined with each other. Developmental psychology can explain the prevalence of the realistic dream understanding in premodern societies and its stepwise annihilation in modern societies during the past centuries. Dream understandings are not modules separable from psychological stages but are their inevitable manifestations. As modern human beings attained higher psychological stages during the past centuries, stepwise from generation to generation, as they replaced their realistic by subjective dream understandings. 

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How to Cite
Oesterdiekhoff , G. (2019). The Realistic understanding of dreams: A contribution to the link between developmental psychology and ethnology / cultural anthropology. Human Evolution , 34(3-4), 139-167. https://doi.org/10.14673/HE2019341055
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