Monthly Archives: September 2010
My colleague is conducting a module on Psychoanalysis and was practically begging for teachers to volunteer their dreams for interpretation, so I decided (against my initial instinct – had to stay back in school longer than required, and I hold the pseudoscience in rather low esteem) to help out and volunteer an old dream for interpretating.
There was no real rationale behind the choice of dream – it was simply that I couldn’t remember any recent dream that I’ve had, so I went back to my blog archive to search for an interesting dream to share. Still, the interpretation the students managed to come up with was rather amusing and impressive, all at the same time.
Essentially, the idea was that the fading in-and-out of the ghosts represented an unattainable relationship I had at that point in my life, with the camera and photo representing my desire to capture it permanently. The troublemaking friend (whom I had labelled as Idiot) represented my unconscious desires, whereas the horde of ghosts represented my idealistic superego. My dream self was thus the conscious ego, attempting to reconcile the conflicting desires of id and superego.
A rather neat theory, and one that encapsulates the essence of psychic energy pretty well, except that I highly doubt I was aware of what the id was at age 18. Psychoanalysis remains (to me) a highly questionable pseudoscience, but I think it’s great that the students got to apply their creative juices in a rather unusual and fun manner.
Feeling a little theologically confused.
In today’s sermon, my pastor spoke about how people typically have an imperfect understanding of prayer as a tool to persuade God to change his mind and act according to your desire. The story he raised as an example, Abraham’s intercession for Sodom, was used to highlight how repeated supplication did not serve to change God’s mind (Sodom was destroyed anyway), but instead helped Abraham accept the eventual fate of the city.
In a way, I agree with this interpretation of prayer – I’ve never understood why an omnipotent, omniscient being would need to listen to your requests before acting upon them, since such a being would already be aware of those requests and already have decided his own course of action in that matter – it seems to me that prayer is infinitely more useful as a tool for self-development. At the same time, however, I’m pretty sure this is not the general Christian perspective of prayer – surely there are reasons people believe in the power of prayer? Also, if prayer does not serve to influence God’s action, what is the point of intercession? Doesn’t I’ll pray for you on this matter become a most meaningless promise?