The rarity of unambiguous symbols in dreams: a case study

AJ Paquette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper is a response to articles in the literature regarding symbols in dreams. While some neurology-based dream studies reject dream symbols altogether, the preponderance of material available for review accepts that dreams are frequently populated by symbols that require interpretation to be understood. In this study of my own extensive dream journals, the presence of veridical psi dreams makes it possible to rule out symbolic content in some cases. The results of this study show that-at least from the 11,850 dream scenes reviewed here-unambiguous symbolic content is extremely rare. For this paper, it was assumed that no dreams contained any symbolically presented information unless the dreams contained unambiguous indications that symbols were present. Following this method, a distinction may be made between dream content that clearly contains symbols and dreams that are assumed to be symbolic by default. Symbols that met the criteria used here can be shown to be di?erent from conventionally accepted symbols in that they clarify-rather than obfuscate-the communication of complex ideas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-216
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Scientific Exploration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Dream
  • Precognitive
  • Prophetic
  • Psi
  • Symbol

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