Fantasy is a regular aspect of human thought every day of every year. The fantasy may occur as an image of thick slice of corned beef marbled with succulent flavored fat, or a slab of prime rib, fudge sauce covering ice cream or a sleek foreign car beyond our economic means or within our means but forbidden to us for emotional or rational reasons.
A FANTASY ABOUT PRIMARY APPETITES SUCH AS THOSE SURROUNDING FOOD OR SEX MAY BE QUITE INTENSE IN THOUGHT OR DREAMS BUT IN NO WAY DOES THAT INTENSITY MEAN THAT A PERSON WILL CARRY OUT THE BEHAVIOR THAT THEY ARE PICTURING IN THEIR MIND. FANTASY IS DEFINITELY NOT ONE TO ONE WITH ACTIONS. USUALLY A FANTASY IS A SUBSTITUTE FOR A BEHAVIOR OR ACTION. IF WE ARE HUNGRY IT IS POSSIBLE THAT A FANTASY OF A STEAK MAY HELP MOTIVATE US TO GET SOME FOOD, BUT A VEGETARIAN, OR A PERSON ON A LOW-FAT DIET WILL USUALLY CHOOSE WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE WITHIN THEIR VALUES OR BELIEF SYSTEM TO FANTASIZE ABOUT.
FANTASY ACTIVITY FREQUENTLY IS A SHORT LIVED MOMENTARY ACTIVITY BEGINNING AND ENDING WITHIN THE PRIVATE CONFINES OF OUR BRAIN.
Fantasy is usually not a literal desire that we would expect to actually carry out. It usually is a mental safety valve translating some of our views of ourself into a thought of behavior that is actually a symbolized version of many combined thoughts and feelings. These feelings developed over our entire historical development. A demeaning or destructive fantasy may be a symbolic outlet or expression of underlying feelings of worthlessness.
A self-defeating person who needs a version of Dean Ornish, M.D.'s reportedly cholesterol reducing diet may taunt themselves of forbidden fatty meals.
They way that some were raised may not allow them to combine their wishes to reduce their cholesterol or weight problem with a feeling that they could be successful at difficult tasks. It may be that the forbidden fruit of being successful may be being hindered by images that are generated a a substitute for the frequent taunting behavior of a destructive parental-type authority figure who was primary to their personality development.
Fantasy can be an outlet for pleasing, or for anxiety generating fantasy, depending upon whether the possessor of the fantasy has been trained to allow themselves good feelings or to punish themselves.
People thinking culturally banned and personally negative fantasy may be translating self-contempt's into mind-troubling thoughts that make them reject themselves or allow others to reject them, especially by and in the minds of people whose own history has caused them to confuse thoughts with behavior. Indeed the confusion of thought with action may panic the fantasizer or the person who hears the person describe their fantasy.
People who may be uncomfortable with the workings of their own unconscious and sometimes unconsciously repressing a great deal of anger and fear may mistake the open discussion of another's fantasy as a script for action.
The comfort and maturity of our thinking is directly related to the degree of sympathy and empathy that we can feel for another's distress. NO fantasy is going to cause another great distress unless it taps some fear and anxiety already in the listener to it's report or sometimes by the very possessor of the fantasy who may be a victim of the activity that they are fantasizing.
Fantasy that combines with a personally and culturally acceptable urge to action may help a person to be creative or even to carry out an acceptable behavior that the fantasizer may be inhibited about because of conflicting feelings about satisfying themselves. People visiting a horse farm may be stimulated by the culturally and personally acceptable behavior of horses vigorously mating towards feeling romantic to their mate or adult friend. Fantasizing themselves as a horse in the formally observed farm scene may occur during their intimate activity. It may be that by thinking of themselves as an animal in rut they are less inhibited by fears about the performed activity. The activity may be acceptable, but satisfying themselves may not be so that by the mental trick of feeling like being a horse they can avoid their fears of sexuality. After all a horse does not worry about what the neighbors are thinking.
Dr. Lehrer, Psychologist