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99 Interesting Facts About . . .Dreams

  1. Dreams played an important part in the life of Muhammad (570-632), who received his first revelation during a dream. His initiation into the mysteries of the cosmos occurred during a dream known as the ?Night Journey.? the site of which is now commemorated by the Dome of the Rock.

  2. In contrast to modern dream interpretation, which is psychologically oriented, ancient dream interpretation was concerned with discovering clues to the future.

  3. The Iroquois have an annual dream-sharing festival in which they act out their dreams, either literally or in pantomime.

  4. Tertullian, a third-century lawyer-turned-priest, argued in his Treatise on the Soul that the ongoing activity of the mind in dreams while the body was motionless proved that the soul was independent of the body and, thus, immortal.

  5. The fourth-century Christian writer Macrobius' text, Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, was the most influential dream book of medieval Europe. He appears to be the first person to introduce incubi and succubi, which were rooted in earlier Jewish folklore, into Christianity.

  6. The memory-recording processes of the brain seems to switch off during sleep. In so-called non-dreamers, this memory shutdown is more complete than it is for the rest. Dreams may be forgotten because they are incoherent or because they contain repressed material that the conscious mind does not wish to remember.

  7. Dreams occupy a prevalent role in movies, including Fritz Lang?s Woman in the Window (1944); Hitchcock?s Spellbound, Psycho, and Marnie, and Victor Fleming?s The Wizard of Oz.

  8. St. Jerome?s mistranslation of certain key biblical passages led Medieval Christians to fear their dreams and to view them as the devil?s invitation to sin.

  9. Abraham, the ancestor of the Hebrew nation, was one of the most prolific dreamers in the Hebrew Bible. The first dream in the Bible is in Genesis 15:12-16 and is a dream by Abraham.

  10. According to psychologists, daydreaming and dreams during sleep may be related, but different cognitive processes seem to be involved.