Dream Theories and Beliefs in Middle Eastern Ancient Greek/Egyptian and Chinese Cultures
Dreams may also symbolize good or bad meanings. They can promise rewards or warn about some impending danger. They can also indicate towards our relationships and friendships. Surprisingly, people who believe in dream theories derive pleasure, comfort or some sort of solace from their dreams. They relate it to some mystical or spiritual powers that govern their dreams. Societies in the Middle East also believe in magic or talisman. Therefore, they attribute magical elements to their dreams. In cultures like ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Chinese, dreams could only be interpreted by priests or prophets or people who were proficient in the art of interpreting dreams. The Greek dream philosophies are based on psychological perspectives and divine inspirations. The earliest recorded dreams date back to 5000 years BC in Mesopotamia (ancient Greece)1. The people that lived there were called Sumerians2. Their scholars and kings paid special attention to dreams. The famous epic poem of Gilgamesh is also about a dream he saw and narrated it to his goddess-mother who made the first known interpretation of his dream. Thenceforth, his dreams were taken as a prophecy and used as a guide in the real world3. According to Hippocrates (469-399) BC, during daytime the soul receives images. and at night it produces images4. Plato reveals in Phaedos that the reason why Socrates studied Arts and Music was that he was directed to do so in his dream5. Aristotle did not believe that dreams were divine inspirations6. Artemidorus describes two classes of dreams: omnium, which forecasts the future. and insomnia, which deals with contemporary matters and is affected by the mental and physical states of our bodies. 7 It was believed that a Voice conveys the messages of gods in dreams.