Chapter 6: Come to Your Own Festival
“Sigmund Freud’s views on child dreams have been challenged by Munich psychologist, Franz Strunz:
Sigmund Freud claimed that children’s dreams revealed the pleasure-oriented nature of nocturnal figments of an imagination, which was not hampered by the suppression and repression of the adult emotional make-up, and which aimed at making secret wishes come true.”
Obviously, dreams are very private. Nobody can enter your dreams, and nobody can know what you are dreaming. The child has absolute freedom, but he is not free when he is awake - naturally he compensates. Whatever has been denied in his waking life, he fulfills those wishes in his dream. And because he cannot make the distinction that the dream is just a dream and the reality is a totally different matter, he is completely happy. He can tolerate this society and this repressive culture, and these unnatural demands made by religions, their God, their priests, just because he has a freedom at least when he is asleep.
This has been challenged by this Munich psychologist:
“Strunz’s research showed that children’s nocturnal fantasies are mainly accompanied by stifling feelings of uneasiness and upset, and that all kinds of threat animals, thieves, robbers, murderers, catastrophes, death and frightening strangers greatly disturb sleeping children.
“Most children,” he said, “are paralyzed with fear by the dangers they dream about.”
I absolutely disagree with this Munich psychologist. In a hurry to criticize Sigmund Freud, he has forgotten that Sigmund Freud was surveying the dreams of totally different children. A great thing has happened in between that he has not taken note of: that is television.
It is television that has changed children’s dreams - what God could not do, what the priest could not do, what the parents could not do. They used alphabetical language, logic, which the child was not yet capable of understanding. The child lives in a primitive way. Pictures he can understand; his language is pictorial. His dreams are very vivid, very colorful and very alive.
Television has created a great impact on children, on their behavior, on their dreams, because dreams and television look alike. Now the child cannot tell the difference between television and dreams. And on the television he sees all these things that this Munich psychologist is trying to use as a criticism of Sigmund Freud’s fundamental hypothesis:
“.stifling feelings of uneasiness and upset, and all kinds of threat animals, thieves, robbers, murderers, catastrophes, death and frightening strangers greatly disturb sleeping children.”