.. in his journey back to wholeness. The dream is as follows: Mario Andretti sees John driving and declares that John is Benito Andretti. John knows without a doubt that this is true. The following list of questions given by Dr.
Gucciardi will show how recalling John’s dream is used as a form of therapy to help him uncover his frustrations and problems concerning the lack of concentration and difficult focusing on tasks. Q- Who is Mario Andretti? A- He is the greatest racing car driver in the world. Q- Who is Benito Andretti? A- He was Mario’s little brother who disappeared under mysterious circumstances at the age of 2 or maybe even younger. Q- What would it mean if you were Benito, Mario’s little brother? A- It would mean that I would be part of a big, loving Italian family. The family I have always wanted.
A family which is really alive and where people interact with each other in a real way; a family, which sits down to dinner together. Since John realizes he was abused as a child, Dr. Gucciardi concludes that his desire to be part of a loving family is directly related to his neglected past. Q- What else would it mean? A- It would mean that I would have someone to learn from, someone who knows more than I do and who could give me that information I need. John would have Mario to learn racing from. The symbolic meaning would be that John should go forward with his journey to himself because he would get the help he needed through Mario.
Q- What was it like to know that, without a doubt, Mario’s assessment of you was true: that you were Benito Andretti? A- I just knew it was true. I knew that if I was a great race car driver, that I could drive any kind of car in any kind of race. I knew that I was related to Mario. It was undeniably true, unshakably true. There was no doubt in my mind that Mario was right.
John’s dream is a very significant step towards his recovery of his sense of self. The racing family symbolizes him belonging to a greater, beneficial whole. Having Mario to teach him about racing meant John would get the help he needed when continuing on with his journey towards himself. The context of the dream is symbolically eerie in that Benito, the role John was playing, mysteriously disappeared at a young age. John then concluded that his own abuse might have also started at a young age. By uncovering his abuse, John was able to gain a sense of utter certainty. The vision was an important remedy to John’s success and recovery.
Without the insight his dream provided, John’s recovery process would have been much more difficult and taken longer. Through Dr. Gucciardi’s case study, one can see how a single dream can help an individual become in touch with himself a lot easier. Dreams show us what causes us to be the way we are. With this knowledge, we can address the cause rather that the symptoms of an illness (What We Learn from Dreams Aisling).
In our own culture, the interpretation of dream is, in one way, beneficial to the understanding of our health; but in other primitive cultures, dreams are linked with every part of life. The function of dreams in primitive life varies with different cultures, but the true intuitions realized by occasional groups and now corroborated by modern psychology are that the dream represents a wish, and is a phenomenon whose importance is recognized for guidance in daily life and for the diagnosis of illness. (Lincoln 36) Throughout many primitive cultures, drams were associated with religion. According to Steward Lincoln, a dream expert, certain cultures believed that gods would intervene in dreams to give spontaneous warnings, demand piety, or give an answer to a question stated. Early Egypt is an example of a culture where dreams were said to be valid and significant to everyday life.
When the kings of Egypt were in a difficult situation, they would ask the gods for guidance. After praying and sleeping in a temple, the king believed their dream would answer their concerns (Lincoln 45). Lincoln explains, The night vision was said to have been delivered by a God(46). In early Egypt and other cultures, such as the Greeks, dreams were said to be gifts from the gods. Other African groups are some more cultures that place high importance on the unconscious mind. Just like the Egyptians, the Basutos relate religion to their dreams.
For example, individuals would only convert to Christianity if their dream dictated the conversion. Most of the time people wanted to be converted, but they ended up dying unbaptized because they were dreamless. Dreams that led to conversion were usually of the individual coming in contact with a sacred article such as a cross. One dream recorded earlier by a missionary was about a woman dressed in all white holding a child. A glowing cross was also seen penetrating through the dark background. This religious based dream is an example of the type that influences conversion and baptisms throughout the Basuto culture.
(Lincoln 87-89) Among cultures throughout the world, dreams carry a strong reality to them. The influence of dreams can become extremely powerful in some social groups. The following passages are some examples of cultures relying and believing highly in dreams. – Among the Mantia of the Malay peninsular, a man would not choose a locality for a plantation unless he had a favorable dream about it thus giving supernatural sanction to the decision. – A Cherokee dreamed of being bitten by a snake and was treated exactly as if he had, in reality, been bitten. – A whole Australian tribe decamped because one man dreamt of a certain owl, which the wise man interpreted as foreboding an attack from a certain, other tribes.
– The Macusi and Gran Chaco Indians of South America act in accord with their dreams, which they are often incapable of distinguishing from reality (Lincoln 50-51). After reading these passages, one can see how much emphasis certain tribes place on the interpretations of their dreams. Because of an owl in one man’s dream, the whole tribe departs from their camping ground in fear of an attack by their enemy. Dreams are so powerful in two tribes of South America that they cannot even differentiate between the unconscious and reality. These three passages are just examples of how dreams really influence the lives of many people.
Rosalind Cartwright, a dream researcher, sums up the role of dreams very accurately. She says, the brain doesn’t turn off when we go to sleep; it just switches channels. She believes that the dream channel is educational television at its best. Dreams offer the three R’s, and times of stress, a fourth R. She says, They allow us to review, revise, and rehearse the program of ourselves. And when life is tough, as in depression, they also provide a mechanism for repair (Cartwright 39).
Cartwright’s theory is directly related to the argument of this paper. Dreams do allow us to review ourselves, revise ourselves, rehearse a new program for ourselves, and sometimes, most importantly repair ourselves. While the primitive culture religious conversion is an example in which dreams help revise ourselves, the case study involving John’s child abuse is an example of the repairing process. We are all dreamers. Many of us, at one time or another, have fantasized about our own dreams and wondered about their meaning. Some have gained insight from our own dreams, while others may well have found them as an aid in solving problems, and still others may have found them to initiate creativity. Their reality and their compelling quality have certainly struck all of us who remember our dreams now and then on one occasion or another.
As the reader can see, dreams influence the lives of all different types of people in many different manors. Whether a dream symbolizes an extremely influential event in the life of a child or a haunting image in the mind of an adult, dreams affect everyone. Understanding and being able to interpret a dream and discovering exactly what it means can give insight into the life a person leads and even uncover questions a person might have about his/her past and/or future. Bibliography Lincoln, Jackson Steward. The Dreams in Primitive Cultures.
New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation, 1970. Piotrowski, Zygmunt A. and Biele, Albert M. Dreams: A Key to Self-knowledge. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, publishers, 1986. (Aisling http://www.avcweb.com/dreams/index.html). What we can Learn from Dreams.
(Gucciardi, Isa http://www.e-media.com/depth/dream.htpl). Case Study: One Dream Which Made All the Difference. Koulack, David. To Catch a Dream. New York: State University of New York Press, 1991. Papanek, John L.
Secrets of the Inner Mind, Journey Through the Mind and Body. Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1993. Boa, Fraser. The Way of the Dream. Boston: Shambhala, 1994.