Tag Archives: Oedipus

Dreams and Responsibility

We cannot plan our dreams. We cannot predict or direct them. They come to us, somehow.

However, most of us believe they are reflections of our inner lives. We did not need Freud and Jung to tell us.

Sophocles, the author ofOedipus the King, understood this two and half millennia ago.

How oft it happens that in dreams a man
Has wed his mother!
He who least regards
Such brainsick fantasies lives most at ease.

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in Daybreak: Thoughts about Moral Prejudices:

You are willing to assume responsibility for everything. Except, that is, for your dreams. What miserable weakness, what lack of consistent courage! Nothing is more your own than your dreams. Nothing more your own work. Content, form, duration, performer, spectator – in these comedies you yourself are the centre. And it is precisely here that you are ashamed of yourselves, and even Oedipus, the wise Oedipus, derived consolation from the thought that we cannot help what we dream.”

What makes us feel that we are, after all, NOT responsible for our dreams is the doctrine of the Freedom of Will that was the result of “human pride and feeling of power.”