A Wikipedia of symbols and interpretations!
Let me start this app by saying one important thing about me: I’m a huge critic of a lot of the feel good self-help strategies. Naturally I did not head into a dream interpretation app like Way of Dreams expecting life changing revelations or anything of the sort. I do believe that the unconscious things our minds can have a lot of meaning, but I’m pretty hesitant to believe in a framework that pretends to understand that on a personal level.
So when I started using the Way of Dreams app I did not have high expectations. There is such a great amount of New Age-y drivel around the internet that my verdict seemed obvious. Nonetheless, thanks to a persistent girlfriend, I started using it.
Basically Way of Dreams takes quick write ups of your dreams, picks out the various symbols in it, and offers a sort of interactive dream dictionary to track the meaning of the different symbols. A Cloud keeps track of the dreams you record in the form of your dream ‘Diary’, a section of the app that keeps track of the symbols in your dream by date recorded. There is also an ‘info’ section which gives a new user a brief overview of Jungian dream interpretation. The last section is a massive dictionary of symbols that commonly appear in dreams with possible interpretations of those symbols. The app is basically a giant Wikipedia of symbols and interpretations with a few tools to help you find the ones that are relevant to your dreams and keep track of the issues you are dreaming about over time.
The first day I wrote down a simple dream I had the night before and skimmed the analysis of the various symbols. It was, as I suspected, nothing revelatory for me. I didn’t know how much stake I really placed in the interpretations of this iPhone app of some of my most personal subconscious manifestations. However–and again there is an especially persistent girlfriend to blame here––I kept using the app for a month. I don’t remember my dreams every night, but when I did I would write it down to as faithfully as I could recollect it. My diary looked like that of a regular fan of dream interpretation at the end of the month, and I hadn’t even been trying that hard.
It can be hard to describe my impressions of the user friendly version of the Way of Dreams. I still don’t really believe in dream interpretation as some sort of scientific tool that helps you really figure out what’s going on in your head. However, to my surprise I actually found the experience pretty valuable and intend to keep recording my dreams. I won’t say that I agreed with all of the interpretations that the app led me to, but I won’t say I disagreed with all of them, or even most of them.
What I came to realize is that it didn’t really matter if I believed in Jungian dream interpretation as a hard science, or even as a pseudo-science. What it came down to is that this app was helping me to think about my dreams in a critical fashion, and think about them a lot more than I usually would. I was remembering dreams better and with the different ideas I was getting from the definitions I was thinking about them in a different fashion. That, to me, is definitely worth the two bucks I shelled out for the app. Economics is something I do understand.