This is one of the major aspects of dreaming. Unless we are born blind, virtually every dream shows us looking at, seeing or viewing the events, objects, environment and people of the dream. In a word count from a sample of 1,000 dreams, the words see, saw, look, looking occurred 1,077 times. This is the highest occurrence of any words in the sample. Next were feel, feelings, felt with a score of 855, and house, houses with 412.
This suggests that dreams are almost entirely about giving attention to, being aware of, being confronted by, considering or realising some aspect of the enormously wide range of experience which human consciousness meets. Therefore, whatever appears in the dream shows we are giving some thought to, feeling or confronting what is depicted. During each day we meet, in sensory impressions, in memory, in emotion, in thought, a huge variety of things. It is therefore of great interest what comparatively few subjects our spontaneous dream response chooses to give attention to out of all the range. It seems likely these chosen areas are important to us.
Looking at something implies our attitudes or response to what is seen. Being looked at by someone else in the dream suggests seeing oneself from a viewpoint which is not our norm. By actually attempting to stand in the role of the other person, as described in dream processing, we can become conscious of this different viewpoint. By standing in our own role in the dream, and actually taking time to consider what it is we are ‘seeing, and the impressions involved, we can ‘see’ or become aware of what the dream is getting us to look at regarding ourself. Idioms: from the look of things; look after, look askance at; look at; look before you leap; look blue, look down on; look for, look forward to; look into; look out, look over something; look small; look the other way; look up to; look for a fight; not like the look of; as far as I can see; as I see it; do you see what I mean; I’ll see about that; I see, see over something; overseer; see eye to eye; see life; see red; see which way the wind blows; catch sight of; get out of my sight, in sight of; lose sight of; out of sight, out of mind, second sight; at first sight. See searching.