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Sleep And Dreaming

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A simple way to look at dreaming is, the brain builds up various potentials during the day, due to our conscious activities. Dreams are a way to lower potential via a more stable neural arrangement. Unlike computers which might sort odd data using programmed logic parameters, the brain does this with chemical energy and entropy parameters. The brain uses natural laws of physical chemistry as its logic parameters. These laws are not subjective or changing, but are laws that are always the same. This is why life can persist.

 

For example, say I witness a terrible car accident during the day. This can dam up potential in my brain, as I obsess about the images and feelings I felt. When I sleep, the brain will attempt to remove this potential, so I can return to the natural flow of life. The output might shows up as a dream since movement of current along neural wiring, to lower the potential, can trigger memory. In the dream, I may have to relive the accident, with the goal of opening up the dam that I placed. If all goes well, the next day I see things differently and feel the comfort of lowered stress.

 

If I don't accept this, but rather use my willpower to reinforce my fears and stresses; rewrite the memory, then different pathways may be needed the next night to deal with my will and choice. Neurosis is often due to memory that is reinforced new each day; dwell on the past each day to restore the potential.

 

As an energy analogy, say I stack oranges in an asymmetric pile. As I build, a gravitational potential will appear on one side, forming lateral stresses. The solution to balance the potential, is to remove the asymmetry. This may result in the pile falling to the left. The energy of the oranges falling and rolling induces the circuits of the brain to trigger memory; dream. These memories don't have to be linear or logical, just like all oranges will fall somewhat randomly, while being biased to the left.

 

The next day, I can either take heed and rebuild the pile with more symmetry. Or I can use subjective bias and build the pile with asymmetry again. Dreams will reflect what is needed to gain balance back, more in line with the inner self, and the natural potential contours of the human brain, which are based on personality firmware behind human nature.

 

Say you live in a culture this is repressive, neurotic or unnatural. This means, most, if not all the citizens will be repressed, thinking this is the right way. This collective action may appear too add up with a line of logic, but it does not add up in terms of the natural neural potentials. There is collective unrest or restlessness.

 

This is when collective dreams can appear. These come from deeper parts of the brain and may become conscious in the mind of one person, who will have an impact via a viral meme. The meme gives a wide range of people the feeling of finding that calmness. In ancient cultures, the dreams of the tribal leader would become the path by which the entire tribe would move to lower potential. This often become the stories that defined the culture; if they worked.

 

It is not so much ESP, as it is we all have personality firmware that define human nature; propensities common too all humans. When triggers appear that can reach the firmware, what works on one, can also work on others. All potentials lower to the same place. But not everyone will stay there. Other return to potential through habit, will and peer pressure. Others will read the dream and maybe write so others can feel the trigger.

 

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Is there any evidence, apart from what I expect may be anecdotal reports, of communication among humans (by some sort of telepathic or esp type method) during sleep? I know this sort of communication while awake has been studied without (I think) any consensus conclusions. I have had what I believe to be that type of experience, getting some information and/or insight while asleep, resulting in problem solving.

 

I'm familiar with some of the research of this topic and have reviewed several anecdotal reports. Here is a link to an article where you will find additional links to some of the available research. Although I believe in the extraordinary possibilities of our unconscious mind, my impression of the research I've reviewed regarding dream telepathic hasn't been favorable. I felt that the criteria for favorable telepathic hits weren't as rigid as it should be for a reliable scientific study. In such studies, vaguely similar hits were consider acceptable. Even those studies that appear to show solid hits did not account for how the shared conscious experiences, between the dream sender and receiver, influences their dream conceptions. In my view, people who share the same conscious concerns are more likely to have similar dreams about those concerns. This doesn't suggest that telepathy isn't possible but that we have to be more objective in our research approach. I welcome your further thoughts.

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This is when collective dreams can appear.

 

Is there such a thing?

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A simple way to look at dreaming is, the brain builds up various potentials during the day, due to our conscious activities. Dreams are a way to lower potential via a more stable neural arrangement. Unlike computers which might sort odd data using programmed logic parameters, the brain does this with chemical energy and entropy parameters. The brain uses natural laws of physical chemistry as its logic parameters. These laws are not subjective or changing, but are laws that are always the same. This is why life can persist.

I think this is an interesting concept. From what we know of the metabolic processes of the brain, our mental processes consume energy (ATP) and obsessive thoughts may influence overconsumption causing a build-up of metabolic waste (adenosine, beta amyloids, etc.) and a depletion of our energy reserves (glycogen) in the affected brain areas. This waste likely impedes cellular potential, which is something to consider. Thank you for sharing your insight.

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Is there such a thing?

depends what collective dreams mean. I once dreamt about what another person was dreaming about. and the topic was at least right.

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It is not so much ESP, as it is we all have personality firmware that define human nature; propensities common too all humans. When triggers appear that can reach the firmware, what works on one, can also work on others. All potentials lower to the same place. But not everyone will stay there. Other return to potential through habit, will and peer pressure. Others will read the dream and maybe write so others can feel the trigger.

 

Your ideas about a "personality firmware" seem to be similar to the idea of a "collective unconscious" as elucidated by Carl Jung.

Here is one explanation by Jung of the meaning of a "collective unconscious":

 

And the essential thing, psychologically, is that in dreams, fantasies, and other exceptional states of mind the most far-fetched mythological motifs and symbols can appear at any time, often, apparently, as the result of particular influences, traditions, and excitations working on the individual, but more often without any sign of them. These "primordial images" or "archetypes," as I have called them, belong to the basic stock of the unconscious psyche and cannot be explained as personal acquisitions. Together they make up that psychic stratum which has been called the collective unconscious.

The existence of the collective unconscious means that individual consciousness is anything but a tabula rasa and is not immune to predetermining influences. On the contrary, it is in the highest degree influenced by inherited presuppositions, quite apart from the unavoidable influences exerted upon it by the environment. The collective unconscious comprises in itself the psychic life of our ancestors right back to the earliest beginnings...

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_unconscious

 

In other words similar stimuli can result in different individuals having similar dreams, because what they share is a collective unconscious and not because they are somehow telepathically communicating while they are dreaming.

Edited by Bill Angel

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Your ideas about a "personality firmware" seem to be similar to the idea of a "collective unconscious" as elucidated by Carl Jung.

Here is one explanation by Jung of the meaning of a "collective unconscious":

 

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_unconscious

 

In other words similar stimuli can result in different individuals having similar dreams, because what they share is a collective unconscious and not because they are somehow telepathically communicating while they are dreaming.

Has this been proven?

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Has this been proven?

Carl Jung and his followers believe it to be true.

Jung believed that dreams function to promote the most important developmental process of human life, namely, the uniting of consciousness and the unconscious in a healthy, harmonious state of wholeness. Jung calls this process individuation. One of the most distinctive features of Jungs theory of dreams is his claim that dreams express not just personal contents, but also collective or universal contents: the Archetipes. [Kelly Bulkley, An introduction to the Psychology of Dreaming, 1997]

See https://dtcproject.wordpress.com/collective/

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Carl Jung and his followers believe it to be true.

See https://dtcproject.wordpress.com/collective/

At the risk of incurring the wrath of Jung's followers, I believe that his ideas were heavily influenced by his religious upbringing and his theories encompass what were likely aspects of his religious ideal. However, the idea that we may experience similar dreams because of our share conscious experiences is not beyond the realm of science. For example, the parents of a trouble or sickly child may experience similar dreams reflecting their shared conscious concerns for the child. Although this isn't telepathy, this would be a type of dream experience reflecting their shared unconscious concerns.

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I'm familiar with some of the research of this topic and have reviewed several anecdotal reports. Here is a link to an article where you will find additional links to some of the available research. Although I believe in the extraordinary possibilities of our unconscious mind, my impression of the research I've reviewed regarding dream telepathic hasn't been favorable. I felt that the criteria for favorable telepathic hits weren't as rigid as it should be for a reliable scientific study. In such studies, vaguely similar hits were consider acceptable. Even those studies that appear to show solid hits did not account for how the shared conscious experiences, between the dream sender and receiver, influences their dream conceptions. In my view, people who share the same conscious concerns are more likely to have similar dreams about those concerns. This doesn't suggest that telepathy isn't possible but that we have to be more objective in our research approach. I welcome your further thoughts.

The one idea I have had on a model for communication through any sort of collective or shared consciousness is of a large apartment building where each individual has his/her own apartment. Each apartment has a window into the building's atrium. Individuals go to their window and call out and/or try to talk to others. The din would make meaningful communication seem impossible for those not practiced at it, but with some care one might make out certain, especially familiar, voices.

 

The idea came from considering what mechanism might account for mothers' knowing a child was in distress far away, solving problems while asleep, efficacy of prayer and meditation, and similar experiences. Just one idea.

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The idea came from considering what mechanism might account for mothers' knowing a child was in distress far away

 

Is there any evidence that that happens (other than by chance)?

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!

Moderator Note

A reminder that this was moved out of speculations, so let's continue seeing some links to back up statements, and, unless you're an active researcher in this field, "one idea I have had" is not appropriate in the science section, and also not appropriate in someone else's thread.

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. Does this sufficiently explain dreams that seem to precisely presage those events? I welcome your thoughts.

Interesting posts on metabolic waste removal as key evolutionary purpose of sleep.

 

Hard to know what to ask you so going to ask only 1 question. Bit confused about what you are getting in above quote and your choice of the word precognition in an earlier post. Are you suggesting that the dream process actively predicts future events?

 

Obviously in my awakened state and my knowledge of people, environment etc I can make predictions, some of them with high probability, of events that will occur in the future, and make plans and undergo thought processes in expectation of them. Are you only suggesting that dreaming could be an extension of such processes? If so, precognition and presage would surely represent poor word choices, implying supernatural conditions or extra-ordinary mental functions?

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The one idea I have had on a model for communication through any sort of collective or shared consciousness is of a large apartment building where each individual has his/her own apartment. Each apartment has a window into the building's atrium. Individuals go to their window and call out and/or try to talk to others. The din would make meaningful communication seem impossible for those not practiced at it, but with some care one might make out certain, especially familiar, voices.

 

The idea came from considering what mechanism might account for mothers' knowing a child was in distress far away, solving problems while asleep, efficacy of prayer and meditation, and similar experiences. Just one idea.

If I understand, you've imagined how collective communication, if a possibility, might occur. Although you may link that possibility to the mechanisms of what some consider a mother's intuition, you should probably consider those intuitive mechanism as more terrestrially based. I think a mother's continual concern and vigilance likely produces the faux impression of intuition. Most mothers, I think, remain concern and vigilant even when a child is not in distress. So they will monitor their children's welfare even at a distance. On those occasions when they find real cause, I think we misinterpret a result of vigilance as intuition when it is not. However, it isn't beyond the realm of science to consider the subliminal nature of our behavior and exchanges and how that nature may influence dream content. Here is some historical content on the root of the subject. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Interesting posts on metabolic waste removal as key evolutionary purpose of sleep.

 

Hard to know what to ask you so going to ask only 1 question. Bit confused about what you are getting in above quote and your choice of the word precognition in an earlier post. Are you suggesting that the dream process actively predicts future events?

 

Obviously in my awakened state and my knowledge of people, environment etc I can make predictions, some of them with high probability, of events that will occur in the future, and make plans and undergo thought processes in expectation of them. Are you only suggesting that dreaming could be an extension of such processes? If so, precognition and presage would surely represent poor word choices, implying supernatural conditions or extra-ordinary mental functions?

In a previous post to this thread I wrote:

 

There’s a popular theory suggesting that dreaming evolved and persists as a preparatory means for potential survival threats and pivotal social experiences. The idea is that dreaming gave our evolving ancestors a means to simulate potential encounters without incurring irrevocable consequences. This 2005 study appears to support this dream-for-survival theory. Do you think it likely that some dream simulations have precisely presaged a real survival or social consequence or outcome? For example, Abraham Lincoln’s dream? Although I’m not sure that Lincoln’s dream is a unique experience for a sitting wartime president under continual threat, I think such dreams can occur. However, I disagree with why they likely occur.

 

In retrospect, perhaps forecast would have been a better word choice than either precognitive or presage because it infers a prediction based on the collection of data, which is something I believe our brain subliminally or unconsciously does. However, precognitive is the correct nomenclature for the relevant dream type. I welcome your further thoughts.

Edited by DrmDoc

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In a previous post to this thread I wrote:

 

There’s a popular theory suggesting that dreaming evolved and persists as a preparatory means for potential survival threats and pivotal social experiences. The idea is that dreaming gave our evolving ancestors a means to simulate potential encounters without incurring irrevocable consequences. This 2005 study appears to support this dream-for-survival theory. Do you think it likely that some dream simulations have precisely presaged a real survival or social consequence or outcome? For example, Abraham Lincoln’s dream? Although I’m not sure that Lincoln’s dream is a unique experience for a sitting wartime president under continual threat, I think such dreams can occur. However, I disagree with why they likely occur.

 

In retrospect, perhaps forecast would have been a better word choice than either precognitive or presage because it infers a prediction based on the collection of data, which is something I believe our brain subliminally or unconsciously does. However, precognitive is the correct nomenclature for the relevant dream type. I welcome your further thoughts.

Yet another case where scientific language doesnt translate well for a layman discussion.

 

Ok. I am starting to follow you more clearly. The dream for survival theory sounds plausible, but intuitively I don't find it very convincing. I can only read the abstract of the 2005 finnish study you linked but reading this...

The severely traumatized children reported a significantly greater number of dreams and their dreams included a higher number of threatening dream events. The dream threats of traumatized children were also more severe in nature than the threats of less traumatized or non-traumatized children.

 

First, (a caveat to my comments) any theory is going to require a lot of research, and while this is definitely a fruitful start, you can't extend conclusions very far. Children having dreams of this nature after suffering trauma doesnt mean it is adaptive or useful. Dreams may not be adaptive at all but merely a byproduct of something else. Nevertheless, I do find the theory and your posts interesting, and it will be interesting to see more research.

 

Anecdotally I don't remember my dreams very well or ever get the sensation of control others report, so perhaps that makes me unhelpfully skeptical.

Edited by tantalus

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Yet another case where scientific language doesnt translate well for a layman discussion.

 

Ok. I am starting to follow you more clearly. The dream for survival theory sounds plausible, but intuitively I don't find it very convincing. I can only read the abstract of the 2005 finnish study you linked but reading this...

First, (a caveat to my comments) any theory is going to require a lot of research, and while this is definitely a fruitful start, you can't extend conclusions very far. Children having dreams of this nature after suffering trauma doesnt mean it is adaptive or useful. Dreams may not be adaptive at all but merely a byproduct of something else. Nevertheless, I do find the theory and your posts interesting, and it will be interesting to see more research.

 

Anecdotally I don't remember my dreams very well or ever get the sensation of control others report, so perhaps that makes me unhelpfully skeptical.

Although, from that abstract, the researchers believe their study results "give support for most of the predictions drawn from TST (Threat Simulation Theory)", I agree that dreaming was likely not adapted for that purpose. I believe the brain activations that precipitate dreaming are a byproduct of the neurometabolic processes that occur amid sleep as I have previously described. However, this neurometabolic distinction could be useful in understanding how the dreaming brain generates dream content that some have found to be of particularly real value.

Edited by DrmDoc

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