Money In Your Dreams: What Is It Telling You?

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We all know what money is for; we all know we need it to survive; and we all know that we attach different priorities and importance to it. What we may not know is why we attach specific significance, motives or attitudes to it.

Before we can begin discussing what money represents in our dreams, we first need to understand what money actually is. This may seem simple and straightforward, but it's anything but. Money can be defined in terms of economics, psychology, spirituality, philosophy or culture: The first two being the most useful for our purposes.

In the standard economic view, money is a purely utilitarian commodity that acts as a method of exchange, a unit of account, a measure of value and a standard of payment. Money arose as a convenient way to carry out business/trade. Economically speaking, money is simply the means to other ends. This view may be practical, but it fails to offer an understanding of the more psychological, emotional meaning of money.

In contrast to the stringent economic view, our capitalistic, consumer-driven society has become one that obsesses over money and instils it with meaning and importance. Money is revered, feared, worshipped, despised, lusted after and treated with a lopsided respect.

Money is a central motivation for many people. It's a screen onto which almost any psychological issue can be, and usually is, projected. And it's a source of all kinds of emotional, psychological, as well as financial, concerns.

There's no question that money has an elevated level of prominence in our lives. It stands between us and starvation. It dictates our position and standing in the community, and it can destroy marriages, families and lives in general. Conflict over money is the number one cause of divorce. Individuals' concerns about it can result in a wide array of problems including anxiety, depression, paranoia, impotence, impulse spending, gambling, hoarding, social isolation, theft, suicide and even murder.

According to the dictionary, money is, "something generally accepted as a medium of exchange," but it also defines it as, "a measure of value," and as, "of account." This becomes a problem in so far as people value each other, and themselves, in terms of money, as persons of account, or of no account, based on income or net worth.

For all of its psychological importance and meaning, we don't even have a good, working psychological definition of money to assist us in understanding it. However, attempts are being made. A new, and different (psychological) definition has been offered which is based on the fact that we all, to some degree, depend on others' attitudes and behaviours toward us and how we think of and care for ourselves. These are essential ingredients of psychological well-being. It's also based on the fact that all of us have irrational, unrealistic ideas about what money can do for us, to us, and to and for others. The cause of our concerns about money is largely a result of our views regarding the attitudes and behaviours of others toward us, as well as how we believe we'll treat ourselves, depending on whether or not we have enough money.

Based on the above, the definition is as follows: Money, psychologically speaking, is our projection onto coins, bills, and other financial instruments, of our beliefs, hopes, fears and beliefs about how those things will affect who we are, what will happen to us and how we'll be treated by others and by ourselves. This definition is based on six possible conditions:

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