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Jaenicke, U. (2008). The Issue of Human Existence as Represented in Dreaming: A New Daseinsanalytic Interpretation of the Meaning of Dreams. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 17(1):51-55.

(2008). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 17(1):51-55

The Issue of Human Existence as Represented in Dreaming: A New Daseinsanalytic Interpretation of the Meaning of Dreams

Uta Jaenicke, M.D.

(Received 26 March 2007; accepted 30 May 2007)

Dreams are associated with those issues of our waking life which preoccupy us emotionally. According to our Daseinsanalytic view, however, the issue that concerns us while dreaming is actually not the concrete worrying matter itself, but its existential dimension. This view is based on Martin Heidegger's concept of human being as that being to which its own being is an issue. It means that all feeling and understanding dealing with concrete issues concurrently refer to fundamental issues of our existence. Dreaming though, we are focused entirely on the fundamental aspects. Dreams show the very individual and specific struggle of the dreamer with certain conditions of human life, which he or she is unable or unwilling to accept because they seem too difficult to endure. I want to demonstrate this method of interpretation on a dream of a depressive patient. The example illustrates that the concerns of dreaming are rooted in and refer to an existential dilemma that is hidden in the concrete difficulties of waking life and represented in the concrete dream events. In addition, it gives us the opportunity to inquire into the specificity of the fundamental dilemma of a personality with a “depressive view” of the world.

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