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As Dreams Are Made of

→ by Danieru
As my regular 2 or 3 readers may know, I have recently been on a mission to blur the lines composing human perception. Reality as a construct of the brain, reality as a simulation, reality as simulacrum. Where next?

Dreams: everyone has them, everyone is touched by them at some point in their life, whether it's the sweat inducing nightmare or the deeply erotic fantasy the sleeping mind is the bearer of more creative energy than a thousand day dreams. Dream Theory in Malaya is a favourite article of mine, written quite a way back now in 1935 by a Dr. Kilton Stewart it still resonates with original insight and starts thus...

"As a member of a scientific expedition traveling through the unexplored equatorial rain forest of the Central Range of the Malay Peninsula in 1935, I was introduced to an isolated tribe of jungle folk [The Senoi], who employed methods of psychology and inter-personal relations so astonishing that they might have come from another planet...

...It was the late H. D. Noone, the Government, Ethnologist of the Federated Malay States, who introduced me to this astonishing group. He agreed with me that they have built a system of inter-personal relations which, in the field of psychology, is perhaps on a level with our attainments in such areas as television and nuclear physics. From a year's experience with these people working as a research psychologist, and another year with Noone in England integrating his seven years of anthropological research with my own findings, I am able to make the following formulations of the principles of Senoi psychology.

Being a pre-literate group, the principles of their psychology are simple and easy to learn, understand, and even employ. Fifteen years of experimentation with these Senoi principles have convinced me that all men, regardless of their actual cultural development, might profit by studying them."

You can read the full article here.

After first reading this classic anthropological and psychological study I was inspired to infuse more meaning into my dreams. Indeed the article as a whole suggests that in time the individual's dream can become a tool not only for personal growth, but also intense social bonding within family and community groups. But Dream Theory in Malaya also made me realise how little of my dream reality I remember, and since reading it, I have been little able to improve my 'dream memory' however hard I've tried.

Why is it that some people can unravel every explicit detail of every dream they have, night on night? When I personally find it difficult to keep hold of my dreams for more than a few minutes after I awake? I need a solution, a way to strengthen my dream recall. Am I doomed to forever make do with snippets of moments formatted into slurred nothings by the brain which created them?

I need your help!

I believe that dreams are an important aspect of what makes a person. How does your brain formulate your dreams from your experiences? Recent dream research suggests that it is at night that the brain does most of its work, turning raw information acquired during the day into solid, pliable memories and learning. So in a sense, remembering your dreams is like having an access point into the process that makes you who you are. It is through dreaming that your experience and perception is shaped, it is in that shaping that your reality is formulated.

I long to remember more of my dreams! How about you?

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Blogger Clublint said...

I've been getting in the habit of remembering my dreams. It helps if you have paper and pen on your nightstand so you can write while things are still fresh.


June 13, 2005 11:58 AM    

Blogger Danieru said...

i've tried this, but it's the last few moments as i wake that wipes my dreams out the most. i am by no means a fast waker, if you get what i mean. i'd rather snooze for a million years than ever get out of bed. this, it would seem could be the problem. i've heard your idea before, but never tried it. maybe i will give it a go...

June 13, 2005 2:53 PM    

Anonymous Andrew said...

According to LaBerge, an expert on dreaming and lucid dreams, you should try to move as little as possible when you awaken from a dream. The less you move, the less likely you are to lose the memories of your dream

June 30, 2005 7:53 PM    

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