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Continuity? Yes, Emotional Continuity

International Journal of Dream Research
Publication Date
  • Psychology


International Journal of Dream Research Volume 4, No. 2 (2011) 77 DI J o RCommentary I have been asked to contribute a brief article to the discus- sion on continuity-discontinuity. Actually I will restrict myself to just a few sentences with references. First of all, I believe that continuity between dreaming and waking is clearly established. It has been supported by any number of studies. It should be noted that this refers to con- tinuity of “concerns,” “interests,” “worries” and “psycholog- ical issues” (these terms are taken from Domhoff, 2003). All these words refer to what is emotionally important to the dreamer. Discontinuities of many kinds appear to be present. How- ever, these are formal discontinuities referring to such things as scene-shifts, condensations and bizarreness. These are not absolute discontinuities. I have argued elsewhere that even these formal aspects do not show complete dream- ing vs. waking discontinuity; there is a great deal of overlap between the forms of mental functioning – for instance be- tween dreaming and day dreaming/fantasy/ reverie (Hart- mann, 2007; 2010a & b; 2011). Overall my most important point is that there are NOT dis- continuities at the level of emotions or emotional concerns. And in fact, how could there be? The dreamer/sleeper/wak- er is one person with one set of underlying emotions, which influence all forms of mental processing, but the influence is most clear towards the dreaming end of the continuum (Hartmann 2011). I have shown elsewhere the importance of the Central Image of the dream, which measures and pic- tures the underlying emotion (Hartmann, 2008; Hartmann, 2010b; Hartmann 2011). The imagery of daydreams, fan- tasies and reveries is also very obviously influenced by the person’s underlying emotion. References Domhoff, G. W. (2003). The scientific study of dreams: Neural networks, cognitive development, and content analysis. Washington, DC: American Psychological As- sociation. doi:1

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