Moral Judgment in Dreams -or- Maxwell's Silver Hammer

Moral Development -or- Judgment Day

The words "judge" and "judgment" can take on numerous meanings. The formal legal meaning of judgment is used in the social context of the law. From an informal moral logic perspective, all people learn to make moral judgments, all forms of "pre-judiced" attitudes are based on such judgments. There are many theories of morality and moral development including the more popular ones such as Lawrence Kohlberg's and Jean Piaget's.

The best place to view the psychodynamics of individual and collective moral development is via the observation of moral conflicts of judgment in dreams. The three dreams below reference a variety of moral problems; The first dream is about testing the attitudes of homophobia and "prejudice". Jack seems open minded, however, by the end of the dream Jack feels that he "didn't fit in with anything that was happening" and wants to leave. The second dream (Sandra) is about a judge who wields power (the gavel symbolizes his power) that he had been invested with. Evidently this judge uses his gavel as if he were the Beatles "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" (watch music video). The third dream (Emily) is about going back to school and understanding moral authority, self-judgment, military arrest and social order. The final dream uses the English cultural idiom "don't judge a book by it's cover".  

Jack, 23 African American

I was sitting outside of a dorm room in a chair. There was a party going on inside. A person that resembled a friend of mine in college (with locks in his hair) came up to me and asked 'are you prejudiced'. I replied 'nope' he said 'then come in'. When I went in I seen men dancing with men and women dancing with women. I made no judgment of it except the guys that was dancing with each other was dancing fast and horribly. There was also people sitting around with locks smoking weed. I was about to leave because I didn't fit in with anything that was happening. Another friend of mine with locks was there smoking weed himself. -Then the scene changed- There was nobody in the room but two people whom I couldn't focus on. -I awakened-

Sandra, 38 British

I am in an out-of-doors amphitheatre-court-yard with bells in the shape of different humans which looks something like a choir with a many-sectioned long-crescent-desk facing the bells which spans the many statues....A crazed-judge with gavel ceremoniously taps his gavel upon the stump after playing part of a tune by striking notes upon the statue's heads using them as bells....The judge's-seat faces the human-like statue-bells....

Emily, 40 Nigerian

In my dream i was back in my secondary school. As i was passing along the way going towards the classroom area i saw tremendously large corn fields. Each corn stalk was heavily ladden with many large corn. All around me and even as far as i could see. I then wondered why the school authority was not giving of the corn to us the students. A few of the corn were already turning yellow. I then judged within myself whether taking of the corn would be stealing. I judged that it wouldn't be. So I and some of my friends plucked some which we started to cook. One of my friends had plucked one which wasn't mature. I cautioned her against it since there was more than enough mature corns there.

As we were cooking the corn a soldier approached the classroom where we were. Initially i thought he wanted to stop us but i later realized he wanted to make sexual overture to me which i refused. He threatened to use force which i resisted. Then another soldier came around and i reported the first one to him. The second soldier arrested him and took him away and i woke up.

Shirley, 36 American

My dream started out at an annual picnic in a place i don't recall. Lots of people, lots of food, picnic tables, house was yellow. There was a jacuzzi people would go to and i went in but do not remember being in long as i was leaving a group of men entered and stared, smiling and women came around the bend and under her breath called me a rich snotty slut. I then got into her face and told her she does not know anything about me to make that call, i told her that she should not judge a book by its cover.


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