Freud (1900) considered dreams to be the royal road to the unconscious as it is in dreams that the ego's defenses are lowered so that some of the repressed material comes through to awareness, albeit in distorted form. Dreams perform important functions for the unconscious mind and serve as valuable clues to how the unconscious mind operates.
According to Jung, dreams are a way of communicating and acquainting yourself with the unconscious. Dreams are not attempts to conceal your true feelings from the waking mind, but rather they are a window to your unconscious. They serve to guide the waking self to achieve wholeness and offer a solution to a problem you are facing in your waking life.
A different theory suggests that dreams are the result of our brains trying to interpret external stimuli during sleep. For example, the sound of the radio may be incorporated into the content of a dream.
Another theory uses a computer metaphor to account for dreams. According to this theory, dreams serve to 'clean up' clutter from the mind, much like clean-up operations in a computer, refreshing the mind to prepare for the next day.
Yet another model proposes that dreams function as a form of psychotherapy. In this theory, the dreamer is able to make connections between different thoughts and emotions in a safe environment.
A contemporary model of dreaming combines some elements of various theories. The activation of the brain creates loose connections between thoughts and ideas, which are then guided by the emotions of the dreamer .
*I would add the possibility of a spiritual connection to those whom we have loved who have died.
I dreamed that I was watching Gregory writing something on a card. I remember thinking "Is he really going to try to write out that entire thing?"
He then began to staple the card to a small cork board propped against the wall. After he securely stapled the four corners of the card onto the board, he continued stapling in a line across the empty board like an automaton doll out of control. (Automaton: A mechanical device made to imitate a human being like in the movie "HUGO.")
I got angry and wanted him to stop stapling. I had a stick in my hand and was going to hit him on his back but I didn't want to hurt him so I poked him in his right temple.
The stick penetrated his head, in my mind through to the brain, and he stopped "dead" in his tracks. I was horrified. I had inadvertently killed him. I waited for the blood to begin spurting out but instead, I woke up.
At first I continued to be horrified but set myself to interpreting what and why I had dreamed. I immediately said out loud, "Gregory, you and I had better get more accomplished at communicating." And I laughed out loud.
I could almost "see" what he was writing but could not remember. In thinking about it, maybe it was the poem by Friedrich Holderlin which I put on the back of Gregory's memory card and that was I passed out at his memorials.
Dream Information taken from