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The power of the brain in creating a whole world

edited July 2006 in Consciousness
During sleep we dream. In dreams a whole world is builded inside our minds and we're able to interact with everything like in a ultramodern virtual reality not yet available to be induced or controled by any technological device.
Our brains act like a paralel universe where one can explore surrealistic landscapes the same way one would in the waking life.
I´d love to be able to fully control this state of mind and be able to create my own reality with the power of my brain!

And you guys? have any insights about this subject?

Comments

  • edited July 2006
    I love the generally held consensus that it is during dreaming that the human brain 'organises' the world of thoughts, memories and emotions. I am also constantly fascinated by the way in which my brain revels in its interconnectedness. For instance, I recently stepped into my bathroom and catching a reflection of myself sidelong in the mirror was overcome by a snippet of memory, dragged from my unconscious mind of maybe 7 years hence. The memory was insignificant in the highest degree and involved me standing outside an off-licence in the backwaters of Huddersfield (thw town in Yorkshire where I was born and spent my youth).

    This was not a one off event and happens to me regularly (as I'm sure it does most people). Oftentimes similar flashes in the real world will induce the same memories to resurface. Sometimes the 'memory' is not complete, but merely echoes a series of emotions, sounds, visual symbols or the like from a particular time.

    I think this shows how the brain packages memories and experiences together i.e. in seeming chaotic arrangement; like a huge ball of twine, strings overlapping, intersecting and knotting into each other. A memory is triggered when interconnecting strings in the twine are plucked; resonations passing between the layers... The dream exemplifies this particularly well.

    I have a very low dream recall, which is a contant regret for me. I tend to see my dreams as a rare chance to reach my full expressive potential. Dreaming is the most true creative act any of us carry out, because in a sense our selves are not part of the creative process our brains are pulling us through. Humans have always taken drugs, meditated, or attempted to lose themselves in order to better attain such selfless states of creativity. In the dream we do it without effort; the ball of twine unravels slightly, reorders its layers and knots itself back together in ways no conscious effort could ever assess.

    For an insight into a culture for whom dreaming was central to their society please check out the short article Dream Theory in Malaya, written in the 1930s by travelling anthropologist Dr. Kilton Stewart... It always makes me wish we, as in Western society, took our dreams more seriously. I wrote about it a looong time ago here. Dream on.
  • Mind Hacks links to a recent SciAmerican article on the topic here.
    Thus we consider a possible (though certainly not proven) function of a dream to be weaving new material into the memory system in a way that both reduces emotional arousal and is adaptive in helping us cope with further trauma or stressful events.
  • Posted By: felipevenancioI´d love to be able to fully control this state of mind and be able to create my own reality with the power of my brain!
    You can, and it's called lucid dreaming. I've been reading about it a lot lately, and I've started practising certain tricks which can induce the state. Basically it's when you're in a dream, and you realise it's a dream, and then everything becomes suddenly more clear, focused, and of course, you are in total control. Here's a helpful FAQ on the subject. I've attempted the Wake Initiated State but it's very difficult to get past the initial stages (which are, however, very trippy and intense!)

    Here’s an interesting account from one of the guys over at FutureHi on a recent lucid dream he had. Down in the comments section I asked for some more pertinent advice on how to induce a lucid dream, and Bennu offered this advice: “At least 10 times a day, genuinely ask yourself, "Am I dreaming?". Really ask this with true sincerity. Look around you, as you continue to ask this question to yourself. Examnine what you see. Look at your hand. Is it changing. Look at writing on signs, or on the wall or a paper near by.”

    I’ve been doing that (slackly, I might add) and recently I had a semi-lucid dream. I say ‘semi’ because I came to the conclusion that I was dreaming, but it lacked the clarity of a completely lucid dream, and it was very brief. I was in a maze at the time of my realization. I quickly left the maze and attempted to fly, which I managed to do, albeit a little clumsily. Practise shall make perfect, I hope!
    Posted By: DanieruFor an insight into a culture for whom dreaming was central to their society please check out the short articleDream Theory in Malaya, written in the 1930s by travelling anthropologist Dr. Kilton Stewart... It always makes me wish we, as in Western society, took our dreams more seriously. I wrote about it a looong time agohere. Dream on.
    I’ve always been obsessed with that article until I recently discovered that it wasn’t quite the whole truth. Apparently Kilton forged a bit of a myth of his own … but it doesn’t decrease the general lesson of the article (that we should pay more attention to our dreams, and make use of what they show us in our day-to-day lives).
  • Being a bit confused at the moment I posted my bit over on the deja vu thread....I'm going to go read some Chuang Tzu..who dreamt of being a butterfly who wondered why he dreamt of being Chuang Tzu...sort of.
    We are such stuff as dreams are made on
    and our little life is rounded with a sleep
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