Western Culture -or- Western Sub-Cultural Dream Visions

Dreaming in Ancient Greece and Rome -or- Dream Vision in the Holy Land

This interpretation is synoptic, in the sense that it discusses Western culture, popular culture and sub-cultures. At the end of introducing these ideas, the variety of sub-cultures that can be found in dreams at the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR) website will be presented. 

The source of the knowledge and ideas circulating in Western culture today has been influenced primarily by the "classical" Greco-Roman civilizations and the "Judeo-Christian" influence especially after the collapse of the Roman Empire. When tracing the conscious written history of Western culture, we can also trace the dreams and dream visions that have been recorded. 

Homer's written recording of dreams in the Iliad, the dreams that Plato recorded that Socrates had, the dreams of Alexander the Great, and the dreams of Roman Caesars all testify to the durability of the dream. The Asclepeion sleep and healing temples, where places that dreams were "incubated" in search of cures, interpretation and meaning. 

The oracle at Delphi served both the Greeks and later the Romans for nearly 1000 years. Cicero's "dream of Scipio" all testify to the ancient reverence for the dream. The dream in the Old and the New Testament plays a prominent prophetic role, with "Jerusalem" playing a central role. In the Old Testament one of the most famous dreams is "Pharaoh's dream" that Joseph interpreted. According to the New Testament, the coming of Christ was foretold to Joseph in a dream. 

Dream vision continues to endure and finds expression in philosophy, music, art, literature, religion, photography, film, sport, architecture, science, technology, economics, politics, law, and medical humanities. In all these Western culture subjects and more, people have had dreams, many of which can be found posted at the IIDR website. Dream vision will always endure. 

Roughly in the last five hundred years Western culture began a psychological transformation mainly as a result of the rise of science and the "industrial revolution". We could perhaps peg the exact date when Western culture's transformation began with Johannes Gutenberg and his printing media technology. The first book that was printed was the "Gutenberg" Bible. 

This Western cultural media revolution allowed for the education of the masses, of "knowledge based economies" and "occupational know how". With the "rise of the novel" in the 18th century cultural literacy began to grow. 

Today Western culture, has become strongly influenced by the technological fruits of industry, such as the harnessing of electricity, the auto and modern media. All these Western cultural and economic forces combined to create what has been called "popular culture" which began about one hundred and fifty years ago in the West. Popular culture is being created everyday by the "culture industries" and their "cultural icons". 

Many have criticized the media driven entertainment of popular culture. Few "culture studies"  have been undertaken to understand the effects of culture on our dreams. One of the few exceptions is Charlotte Beradt's "Third Reich of Dreams". The dreams collected show the pervasion totalitarian influence of media and the Nazi culture on dreams. Fewer popular culture studies of dreams have been done, although I am aware of one dream researcher in Canada who is interested in the dreams of "gamers". 

Western Cultural Base and Superstructure -or- Multiculturalism?

The IIDR is making the edifice of cultural base and the superstructure of Western visual culture visible, and oral culture audible, in both its light and dark sides for you the reader. 

Today we can take a look at some of the "sub-cultures" found in dreams. (For those interested they can read the wiki article on the history of Western sub-cultures). The sum of all the dream vision sub-cultures in reality represents a form of "multiculturalism". Here are some of the dreams related to sub-cultures; 

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