• Jack Cummins
    2.9k

    I like to take on board all the different approaches really. I definitely think that the mythic dimension of dreams is extremely important because it is as if we enter the realm of story when we sleep. Also, those stories seem much wider than our individual lives, but I may be following the Jungian approach in saying this.
  • InPitzotl
    559
    As far as I am aware animals dream which does also suggest that animals have a subconscious.Jack Cummins
    But the question here isn't about whether animals have a subconscious; it's about what this implies regarding dream meanings and dream interpretations. I have an eerie feeling that a lot of the speculation here is anthropocentric. As animals, we nevertheless are quite unique in our richness of language (as far as I'm aware); we can be perplexed by our dreams, pull each other aside, talk about them, ponder about them, and so on. We can visit a specialist to analyze the dream and try to find it's meaning. But sleep and dreams are far more ancient than our lingual mastery; so if the dreams do have a purpose, either something's special about us lingual types dreaming, or the bat's dreams also have them.

    It's not surprising that we try to interpret our dreams and find meaning in them. I'm not sure if a bat tries to do the same thing, but she does dream, and she may remember some dreams. A countering hypothesis is that dreams don't "mean" things as such, but rather are interpretable simply because they reflect certain features of mind organization. Another countering hypothesis is that dreams don't really "mean" anything at all; that the entire act of interpreting a dream's meaning is akin to pondering why the gods sent that thunderstorm our way.
  • Apollodorus
    1.3k
    I definitely have experiences on the borderline of sleep in which I feel unable to move, and I think it is called sleep paralysis. Often, I have seen very strange entities in such sleep states. I do have positive experiences too. A couple of months ago I was awake, but felt intense heat in my spine, and drifted into a state of being partially asleep and for some time, I saw flashes of white light. It felt like some kind of 'kundalini' awakening, and it felt positive really.Jack Cummins

    My own experience is not "negative" as such. The only "unpleasant" sensation is the complete inability to move the physical body. This tends to happen on waking from sleep. I'm not terribly convinced by the medical description of sleep paralysis though there may be some truth to it. I think what is really happening is that that the astral body (ochema) is out of alignment with the physical body, e.g., during sleep, and then it takes some time to realign itself with the physical body. One of the more interesting phenomena that accompanies this is a sensation of what I can only describe as a form of "electrical discharge" like a mini-lightning passing through the body. This is said to be normal when the soul returns to the physical body after an out of body experience (OBE), whether spontaneous or controlled.
  • Apollodorus
    1.3k
    Another countering hypothesis is that dreams don't really "mean" anything at all; that the entire act of interpreting a dream's meaning is akin to pondering why the gods sent that thunderstorm our way.InPitzotl

    This may be so in some or most cases. But what abut dreams in which the dream events actually occur in real life one or two days later? This seems to have implications that go far beyond the issue of "meaning" or "interpretation".
  • Apollodorus
    1.3k
    I thought that the idea of the astral body probably goes back to Plato.Jack Cummins

    The astral body or vehicle (ochema) is the soul’s chariot in Plato’s Chariot Allegory in the Phaedrus (246a–254e).

    Plato, Phaedrus, section 246b (tufts.edu)

    But it is also mentioned in Plotinus, Iamblichus and others.
  • Apollodorus
    1.3k
    All the woo (e.g. "subtle bodies" "astral projections" "clairvoyance") jibber-jabbered already on this thread is just folks making shit up ex post facto generalized and myth-ified aka "New Agery".180 Proof

    I don't think it is "New Agery" at all. It is anti-materialism in the venerable tradition of some of the greatest philosophers in history such as Plato, Plotinus and many others.
  • TheMadFool
    10k
    in states of meditation, and I felt so much more relaxed after the sessionsJack Cummins



    All the woo (e.g. "subtle bodies" "astral projections" "clairvoyance") jibber-jabbered already on this thread is just folks making shit up ex post facto generalized and myth-ified aka "New Agery".180 Proof

    I don't know what you all believe in and I don't really care.
    As long as we're making shit up, go hog-wild, you know.
    — Bill Hicks (1961 - 1994) American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, and musician

    But then...

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. — Hamlet

    I don't want to ruffle your feathers 180 Proof but I think you should see this, you too Jack Cummins



    August Kekulé (1829 - 1896)

    Ouroboros

    To both Jack Cummins & 180 Proof

    Since I've put you both in the right frame of mind, might I suggest a certain approach, a systematic methodology to, dare I say it?, interpret dreams?

    I'll only get the ball rolling, where you want to go with it is entirely up to you two of course.

    It's my personal opinion that we humans are mainly interested in causality - our brains seem to be wired that way as evidenced by how humanity, taken as a whole, has interacted both within, among ourselves, and without, with the world. From ancient religions to modern science, it's been all about causality, causality, causality, and more causality.

    Given this is so, the mind, when dreaming, could be tapping into the causal web [the interconnected complex network of causes and effects] if such can be thought to exist and thus accessed by the mind in certain, as of yet unknown, states, dreaming being one of them.

    If you humor my hypothesis then it becomes quite obvious what the next step is in our quest to understand dreams. Causation, as Hume succinctly described it, requires temporal (time) and spatial (space) contiguity. The former, if you'll allow me some wiggle room, is just another name for coincidence and Carl G. Jung's (1875 - 1961) idea of synchronicity may come in handy although Jung was very clear that synchronicity should be viewed as an Acausal Connecting Principle :point: Synchronicity (Book).

    As for the latter (space/venue), it seems secondary to coincidences(time) if one takes into consideration Action at a distance. Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955), a friend of Jung's was dead against such an idea and famously called it Spooky action at a distance. Anyway, Jung was interested in the paranormal and action at a distance, spooky or not, was part and parcel of paranormal phenomena (ESP/Sixth Sense, Psychokinesis) [Warning 180 Proof: woo-woo.

    In short, focus on, investigate, the time aspects of dreams and see if you can somehow discover coincidences in them. If you find one, it might point you in the right direction; mind you, the coincidences don't have to be causal (acausal connecting principle), instead think of them as slice of time and whichever events might've happened "simultaneously" from a certain frame of reference (Relativity Of Simultaneity) will show up together in one's dreams. I won't go into spatial aspects of dreams for the reasons that space seems not as important as time for causality (spooky action at a distance vis-à-vis the paranormal) and maybe, just maybe, the dreaming mind may only be concerned with time, blocking out or ignoring space completely. Timing might possibly be the determining factor for causality.

    That's all I could think of. I hope it was helpful Jack Cummins, Jungian buff and I hope it was entertaining 180 Proof if only because you got wind of how woo-woo, woo-woo can get.

    Adios Señoras/Señoritas, as the case may be.

    P.S. There's a coincidence hidden in this post. Can you spot it? Hint: Jung!
  • Jack CumminsAccepted Answer
    2.9k

    Thanks for your reply. I hadn't really given up on the thread but, spent most of the afternoon unable to get into the site, and it's a hot day. I am interested in your response because I am wishing to think about dreams in a systematic way. It did seem that the thread began going into the a bit of a 'woo woo' direction and I struggle with balancing those sort of philosophies with critical analysis.Perhaps, I will write a thread on that at some point.

    I have read Jung's ideas on synchronicity and I do think time comes into the picture. I realise that the idea of synchronicity is not one of causality, and I see it more as being about patterns. I do believe that precognitive experiences in dreams and in waking life involve patterns and being able to tune into patterns. I know that I have experienced premonitions and I had to work out that they were not causally related.

    One minor synchronicity, in relation to what we are discussing in this post, is that on Friday, I saw a book on synchronicity, and I am not even sure who the author was. I didn't buy it, but decided to go back and buy it yesterday but it was gone. Earlier this afternoon, I was feeling rather irritable about that because I saw it as important in connection with this thread, and, now, you have come up with the relevance of the idea of synchronicity.

    I definitely think that the idea of 'spooky action at a distance' has some bearing. But, it is so hard to come up with answers which don't sound like complete woo woo gobbledegook. Somehow, it brings me back to an idea which I wrote a thread on a couple of months ago, the idea of the holographic model of reality, and I know that theory mentioned precognitive experiences as being due to patterns reflected in different parts.

    I do wonder about time though, and whether it really is linear, although it could be that it is collapsed in dream reality and I believe that JB Priestley said something along that line in his book, 'Man and Time'. Rather than ask whether waking reality is an illusion, we could ask if time is an illusion?

    Anyway, I will give the matter some further thought, but finish here as my room is boiling hot and I am a bit stuck in thinking clearly at the moment.
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    117


    Or the subconscious may have its own logic as Jack says. You can always try telling it to look into it and see what it comes up with.Apollodorus

    You mean by encouraging lucid dreaming?
  • Apollodorus
    1.3k
    You mean by encouraging lucid dreaming?Down The Rabbit Hole

    Not necessarily. Just soliciting some kind of answer to the question as to why you have no dreams or if you have, why you can't remember them.

    Presumably, the subconscious is a form of consciousness that is part of yourself. If true, then it should understand the question and come up with some kind of answer.

    You may not get your answer immediately, or you may get a "coded" one, or again, no answer at all.

    But there is no harm trying it as a practical experiment. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain should the experiment be successful. If so, it will be something we all can learn from.
  • MAYAEL
    54
    I remember Terence McKenna said one time that the Matrix is language and I couldn't agree more.

    Language is only about 150k yr old and life has been on this planet allot longer then that

    And like i said (to me) the only difference between this realm and the dream realm is that this realm is held together by language and group belief and i say that for many reasons thst im not going to go into in this thread because it would take far to long and i would get way to side tracked so i will try to stay on point.

    I feel that we have such a hard time understanding dreams because we've grown accustomed to using only one Avenue for understanding things and that is language

    you most likely don't know how to use a spear to kill your lunch if you've lived in the city your entire life and that's only because you haven't had the practice where is somebody that does it daily can "catch his lunch" relatively easy
    And so apply that mentality to language and a world not held together by language. So in a world that does not have language as its means of fundamental communication that means that it has some other form of fundamental communication and from what I can see the form of communication that predates mankind in his opinions and habits and styles is the communication of experience because why else would it be anything different? Because there's one thing that all animals have in common with us and likewise us with them and that is that we all experience

    And so this is why when you dream you have crazy experiences that are obviously not literal that is because experience is like talking is to us it's just that our minds are so atrophied to that aspect of life that we don't understand it much like you can't expect a two month old baby to give a speech on quantum mechanics and not mumble his words.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.9k

    I do think that language does limit our understanding of dreams, as it does of the waking world. But, I think that this is especially true of dreams because they have a way of going beyond logic. For example, I sometimes find that I am with one person and they change into another person within the dream.

    I believe that the paintings of the surrealist capture certain aspects of the dream world. I have one significant dream experience which I would really like to paint or draw. But, it is difficult to draw the contents of the dream because you can't keep it still enough to sketch. But, I do plan still plan to make a piece of art based on the dream.

    But, I do think dreams can be likened to forms of art. I don't watch many movies but I am sure that they could be compared to them. I think that they can be inspiration for the arts. But, definitely, they are so different from the literal, even though I do believe that even too much of waking life can be interpreted too literally as well.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.9k

    You are quite right to say that the difference between a person and an animal having dreams is that the person will try to interpret dreams whereas the animal won't. We don't really know that much about animals' minds, but I wonder if they are able to differentiate between waking reality and dreams at all.

    It is true that we look for meanings, and even meanings behind meanings. It may be that we analyse too much, but it does seem that our minds are seeking explanations for almost everything, and if we can't truly find these we almost try to force them.
  • 180 Proof
    4k
    It's my personal opinion that we humans are mainly interested in causality - our brains seem to be wired that way as evidenced by how humanity, taken as a whole, has interacted both within, among ourselves, and without, with the world. From ancient religions to modern science, it's been all about causality, causality, causality, and more causality.TheMadFool
    I think not. Our brains are adapted for making trial & error correlations (i.e. shallow information domains from which to derive heuristics for parochial tasks, crafts & arts) to facilitate survival; subsequently, however, in human cultural development, inferring causal relations (i.e. deep information domains that generate algorithms for theoretical explanations) is exapted for mathematizing (predictive) models, (control) systems & machines.

    Human brains do what all other mammalian brains do: coordinating perceptions and behaviors based on trial & error correlations (best guesses) of events, or regularities, in our local environments that improve reproductive fitness and survival chances. Natural selection shows, Fool, that our mammalian brains are, in fact, fundamentally survival engines and not "truth" (causation) engines. Food gathering and sex are species norms; science and engineering, however, are species exceptions even for an exceptional species like h. sapiens.
  • TheMadFool
    10k
    Our brains are adapted for making trial & error correlations180 Proof

    That works for me.

    Natural selection shows, Fool, that our mammalian brains are, in fact, fundamentally survival engines and not "truth" (causation) engines.180 Proof

    Well put! What's interesting though is to become successful survival engines, living organisms must be truth engines. To assume otherwise would be like thinking it's possible to be a philosopher without giving a damn about truth - philosophizing is about caring about truth just like survival is.
  • Tom Storm
    1.3k
    To assume otherwise would be like thinking it's possible to be a philosopher without giving a damn about truth - philosophizing is about caring about truth just like survival is.TheMadFool

    Have you not read any Richard Rorty? :razz:
  • 180 Proof
    4k
    What's interesting though is to become successful survival engines, living organisms must be truth engines.TheMadFool
    Nonsense. Propositions are truth-bearers, so explain to me how any species without discursive language produces, assents to or communicates truths. C'mon, Fool. :sweat: Besides, species which survive are naturally selected for their adaptive traits – they "become survival engines" by not dying off.
  • TheMadFool
    10k
    Propositions are truth-bearers, so explain to me how any species without discursive language produces, assents to or communicates truths180 Proof

    I think this definition of truth is too narrow, I would even go so far as to say that you're guilty of anthropocentrism by restraining truth to human language. Animals that lack human level like languages can and surely must handle truth for they can't afford to lose touch with reality, doing so would be nearly always fatal to them.

    they "become survival engines" by not dying off.180 Proof

    My thoughts exactly - the would have to know the difference between what's edible and what's inedible and to whom they're edible and aren't these truths, truths they would need to know to survive?
  • dimosthenis9
    60
    Really nice topic. For me they are like soul projections. Like a movie that is directed by soul in our mind's theatre. And we can learn a lot for us and what is best for us by noticing them. Its what mind does and its energy that fuels him when free human will is "dead".And I think that our subconscious self gets affected a lot by them even if we can't fully realize it. Remember how many days you had a bad feeling during the whole day just because of a dream!Just a dream "decided" for your daily mood.For me is really fascinating
  • MAYAEL
    54
    The dream realm also seems to have levels to it or you could look at it like a % 1 ratio with a standard dream being like a level 1 or something like 50% because the realness or intensity can be experienced in different amounts as well as with lucid dreaming there seems to be different amounts of how Lucid you can be in the dream likewise there seems to be different amounts of how real the dreams they can seam.

    I've on a few occasions had dreams where i became 100% lucid as in i was 100% the "me" that i am when awake and to top it off I was having one of the level 4 dreams as i like to call them

    They make real life seem like some old Nintendo video game on a broken TV screen LOL everything is so sharp and vibrant and high definition and you can feel every fiber body and you can feel the air as it goes in your lungs it's like your completely integrated into everything Everything You Touch taste smell is a thousand times more than you do in the waking state yet somehow you can comprehend it in the moment and in this state you can experience a ridiculous amount of information within just a few split seconds of actual reality in fact one time I lay down to go to sleep and instantly fell into this state the second my head hit the pillow and i had a long vivid dream then woke up from the dream plane exploding and I jerked so hard that i came off the bed like I had bounced off of it and freaked my wife out because she said i had just closed my eyes 3 to 5 sec before freaking out .
    I was surprised to see that the clock hadn't even changed the minute hand yet! . how the mind can take in that much info 8n a few sec is crazy .
  • Jack Cummins
    2.9k

    I believe that you are correct to point to the way in which dreams affect us. I can certainly say that I have days which are under a cloud on account of a strong dream. While I am sometimes relieved on waking up from a bad dream, to realise it was a dream, I definitely experience ones which do disturb me.

    One aspect of this is I am sometimes disturbed not by the actual events in the dream but my own actions in the dream. I do things and have thoughts which I am ashamed of. I wonder if morality is a bit different in dreams. I am conscious of certain thoughts which I have in dreams and often these recur, and I have to realise that these are ones which I try to push out of my waking consciousness.

    I think that the experiences within dreams also are learning experiences. As we are not confined to time and space within dream reality we can have all sorts of adventure and misadventures beyond our immediate life circumstances. I do wonder if part of the purpose of dreams is to enable us to gain experience without having to wait until experiences manifest. We can experience so much in a very short period of time. I have sometimes had a a whole series of dreams, and feel that I have been asleep for many hours and discover that I have only been sleeping for about an hour. In giving us these lessons dream consciousness is like a teacher. It is also cumulative and I think that some dreams must be important when we get recurring dreams.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.9k

    I do agree that there do appear to be different levels, or even dimensions in dream reality. I think that experiences vary as well, because I have heard of people who only dream in black and white, or are unsure if there are any colours in their dreams. I can frequently remember vivid colours in my dreams. However, I am not sure if I ever experience the sensations of smell or taste in my dreams at all. I know that I talk in my sleep because I have been told that I do. I don't think that I have ever sleepwalked, but I have heard of people who do. I know that I throw my duvet all over the place and I think that I have ended up waking up on the floor on a few occasions. But, I am sure that we all vary so much.
  • dimosthenis9
    60

    I do wonder if part of the purpose of dreams is to enable us to gain experience without having to wait until experiences manifestJack Cummins

    Really liked the way you put it there. It might be true indeed. Like soul signals that someone should try to get the general meaning of them. For sure there are much more to be discovered about them. It's like a whole unknown universe yet.
  • MAYAEL
    54
    I've also interpreted dreams that I've had to mean something it's going to happen in the future and lo and behold they do in fact come true but not verbatim what I mean is I interpret what I feel is the moral of the story and what the outcome was supposed to convey and then a situation sometime later on in life happens to everybody's surprise except mine when I see how the moral of the situation happens to a line in a mirror Lake similarity TV Green version that I had earlier interpreted
  • MAYAEL
    54

    I'm having trouble with the quote feature on this platform so bear with me well I do a copy and paste jerry-rig real quick


    >>>am a bit surprised that you had such long times of pronounced dreaming. I presume that you were able to get up do some activities, like eat and drink. <<<<

    I think you misunderstood exactly how I experienced those dreams so I will try to rephrase it a little bit

    The way I experienced those long dreams is not comprehendible and the reason I confidently say that It's not comprehendible is because me being the one that had them I cannot fully comprehend them like I did when they happened if that makes any sense?

    Because over the course of about two or three days they faded into just being a memory and I made it back into reality so to speak and while feeding back into reality I had to lose the majority of those memories because how I experienced it was somehow I experienced every day of waking up going to work getting a job getting promoted moving packing a moving truck dealing with crap at work again taking my kid here and there every single day of life in a linear fashion not just as a memory but as a everyday experience so in my mind 3 months had gone by linearly day after day not in passing memory and so upon waking up and realizing it had only been one actual night in fundamental reality this clearly caused confusion and a lot of emotions because now the process started of me getting my cognition back to normal but to do so I had to lose the linearity of all those memories and I had to turn it into a smaller past memory or reference memory is some call it.

    I know it doesn't make any sense how on Earth could somebody dream of day-to-day life not skipping through it for three solid months within only one night it sounds crazy and I can't even really imagine it even though I did it and I don't want it to happen again because it made me question the value of everything and on top of that left me in a very confused state where I did not leave the house for a few days until I came back to normal felt a little unhealthy for the mind LOL

    >>>I also hope that you have a supportive network, because I don't think that I would ever get enough peace from others and various duties.<<<


    nope I'm a one-man wolf pack lol.

    >>>I do have an ongoing interest in dreams, but probably also see it in the context of some other perspectives, including ideas such as Aboriginal dreamtime and shamanic journeys. I believe that it is a fascinating area, but I do think that there are some potential dangers, like having difficulty with making a way back to reality.<<<

    I do too that is in fact one the reasons I stopped pursuing it was I had does long dreams and then I also had dreamed that it appeared as if a hitman was trying to dispose of me and almost succeeded I don't want to go into detail on it but it was quite scary.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.9k

    From what you say, it seems as if you had an extremely difficult time and it was probably a good thing that you took a break from pursuing long dreams. It is important to keep dreaming within balance and I believe that it should be able to help in life, rather than have be as so you describe as 'scary'.
  • MAYAEL
    54


    I agree . and yes it was an interesting time in my life I was going through several life and perspective shifts and as they say when it rains it pours..
  • Jack Cummins
    2.9k

    After thinking about the idea of 'soul signals', I am thinking that the purpose of dreams is probably so much of an individual pursuit or interest. Dreaming, like any aspect of life, such as physical fitness, diet or art, is something which can be paid attention to or ignored. It exists in the background for most people, and it can even be cultivated into the practice of lucid dreaming, although this practice is not an easy endeavour.

    As it involves the mind, dreaming has been paid attention to by the psychologists and psychoanalysts. It has also Been a source for artistic creation and imagination. Some have developed it in conjunction with spiritual philosophies. And, I also wonder whether the neuroscientists will find ways to enhance people's dream lives in the future.
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