Functions of Beliefs about the Dead in Dreams
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Aim of our article is to analyze the purpose of beliefs about the dead seen in dreams, and to pick out the most characteristic meanings of dream interpretations. The Lithuanian material has been compared to that of Latvian and Polish. On analyzing the data available, it turned out that beliefs about the dead in dreams can be oriented to the future and to the present. The main function of the first group is to inform people about the future. Meanings of dream interpretations on the dead can be negative, neutral (weather change), and positive. Beliefs oriented to the present are related to the image of souls performing penance. Their destination is to organize human behaviour: to pray for the dead, ask Mass, give alms to beggars, or to seize this activity. In Lithuania, since the middle of the 20th century, dreams about the dead have been treated neutral, whereas in Latvia and Poland - negative. In the cause of time, neutral interpretation became more and more popular, and negative or positive attitude grew weaker. So the difference between interpretation of the dead of Lithuanians and Latvians / Poles still increased. Such results of the comparison show a certain difference in our and neighbours' intelligence, determining existence of diverse individual value systems, sometimes causing different actions and behaviour while facing analogous phenomenon.
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