Ask Ann Landers -or- Dreams and Dreamers in Dreamland
Ann Landers Encyclopedia: A-Z -or- HUBBY GETS HIS LUMPS IN DREAMLAND
Esther Pauline "Eppie" Lederer is better know to readers as the cultural media icon "Ann Landers". Landers became an American celebrity via her syndicated column "Ask Ann Landers". Interestingly her twin sister wrote the "Dear Abby" advice column.
In "The Ann Landers Encyclopedia: A to Z" (1978), we can find a section called "Dreams and Dreamers". A wife has sent in her request for advice. Here is the column;
HUBBY GETS HIS LUMPS IN DREAMLAND
DEAR ANN LANDERS: "My husband has a problem that is so weird he's afraid to tell anyone.
Recently he dreamed he took a bite out of a bar of soap. For several hours after awakening he felt nauseated and couldn't eat. Last week he dreamed he had an appendix removed and when he woke up he felt as though he had been through surgery. But he looked like it.
Last night he dreamed that someone slammed the car door on his foot. This morning he's limping and he swears he's in physical pain. Is this possible? I say NO. After all nothing actually happened to his foot. What should he do-see a doctor? It all sounds so foolish. Please help. SHOOK.
DEAR SHOOK: It is possible that your husband is in pain and he should see a doctor-not a foot doctor but a head doctor. An imagined pain can be just as severe as a ‘real' one.
Since your husband is so good at dreaming, it's too bad he doesn't treat himself to something better than appendectomy or a smashed foot."
In the same section of "dreams and dreaming", we can find a number of interesting comments being made about "dream and sleep research". Here they are; "The future of dream and sleep research, therefore, obviously holds great promise." "The field, therefore, has become an attractive bridge between the mental and physical aspects of the human being. But the bridge is still quite shaky and most people would prefer not to cross it but rather to remain on their own side."
Psychophysical Bridge of Dreams -or- The Mind-Body Problem
The dreams that the wife has sent to Ann Landers (above) is exactly where the psychophysical bridge between "mind" and "body" can be found. As Landers correctly pointed out that "psychological pain" is real, just as "phantom pain" can also be as real as so-called "real" pain. As Morpheus in the film "The Matrix" implies about the mind-body problem and the reality of death and dying in the dream world of The Matrix; "Your mind makes it real". One of the aims of the International Institute for Dream Research is stabilize the psychophysical and psychosomatic two way bridge between "physis" (physical nature) and "psyche" (conscious and unconscious mind).
The husband's first dream from a psychological perspective seems hermeneutically (interpretation) obvious at first sight. As a corporeal form of parental discipline and punishment of children, parents would wash their child's mouth out with soap, if they had "potty mouth". The dreams then take on again as Landers implies an air of self-torture/punishment. Michel Foucault in "Discipline and Punish" focuses on the penalties that the body was subjected to by authority. Lander's advice implies the husband seems to be gaining some pleasure from the painful dreams. Her recommendation is to; "treat himself to something better than appendectomy or a smashed foot". From this perspective the husband's dreams seem to be driven by "self-punishment" motives.