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Speech & Conversation In Dreams

AgProv

Doctor of Disorientation Studies, UnseenUniversity
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I read the two threads last night on "reading in dreams" and "where do you live in dreams" and found them both fascinating. With the permission of the mods, i'd like to kick off a third related thread, on the significance or otherwise of speech and conversation in dreams.

My dreaming life is rich and fascinating and runs the gamut from fear, horror and revulsion to real ecstatic joy and delight. If it's said that some people only dream in black and white (does the licence cost less?) and others dream in colour, mine are quite often technicolour big-screen epic productions. But most of the time I'm mute and while sounds happen, it's very rare for there to be spoken discourse. Usually when there is it has a feel of importance and significance about it. (The same applies to seeing anything written down).

An example. During a really bad time in my life, (and no, I'm not proud of it either: all I can say is, it happened), I realised I was getting romantically obsessed with a particular girl and even though she'd made it clear there was no chance, I just could not get her out of my head. I had enough brains to realise it was unhealthy and damaging and I was one step away from actually stalking the poor girl, which could have caused a shedload of trouble and a world of pain all round. So I was glad to get out of town, go cold turkey, and let the whole thing die a natural death. I hope I didn't cause her too much alarm.

A year or two later I dreamt about her. She and a group of people I recognised from university were playing in a walled garden. they were standing in a circle and playing the game where you throw a ball around the circle to the person standing more or less opposite, who then chooses a random person to throw it to. A few of the other people in the circle I recognised as people i'd alienated with some bad or erratic behaviour.

I realised I'd entered the garden without asking permission, but wanted to get close to her; I barged uninvited into the circle, caught the ball, and looked at her. Let's call her Joan. The words surged up and I said, with some emotional effort, "Joan. Who or what ARE you?" I threw the ball at her; she caught it. She looked over to me - the expression on her face appeared to be part pity, part disgust - and said "You don't belong here. Goodbye." Then threw the ball back. It hit me with enough force to throw me right over the wall and out of the garden....

That's an example of speech having real power in a dream. I'm pretty sure I was able to work out the meaning - it didn't take genius level insight!

But that's an example of a dream that in some intangible way seemed to be more than just a dream; a general perception is that dreams where I speak, or have a conversation with somebody, appear to be far more solid, concrete, "real", than usual.

It also brings up what Robert Anton Wilson described as the morgensheutegesternewelt - the "today,tomorrow, yesterday world" - where normal perceptions of time vanish. The dream that dramatised all I needed to know about "Joan" did not happen to me until some years after I last saw her, for instance, when the irrational feelings had ebbed and I could remember her without great longing or desire.

And to quote another great Wilson - Colin - I remember his discussion of Dunne's An Experiment with Time. I think it was either in "The Occult" or "Mysteries". Dunne speculated that there are overlapping worlds where time proceeds at different speeds. Time One applies here. But Time Two and Time Three, even a Time Four, apply in other levels of existence, such as the Summerland of the spirit mediums.

If we speculate there is such a thing as the Astral Plane, a sort of shared collective consciousness where some (but not all) dreams happen and the dreaming minds of more than one person can meet and share an objective experience. Then there's no guarantee that if you share a dream with somebody, you are both experiencing it on the same night in Time One. I had that dream around 1993, some years after the unpleasantness. She might have had the same dream, from her point of view, in 1988...

I've also had the experience of talking in dreams, and waking up halfway through a sentence, to experience a "time-lag" .It's as if my voice here in Time One is lagging two or three seconds behind my speaking voice in the dream; in the dream I might be saying "but the flowers are yellow and the grass...." and as I wake up, I'm completing the sentence with "....yellow and the grass is green". This feels oddly supportive of Dunne's proposition re. different time flows.

I've rambled on a bit. Anyone care to take it up?
 
This is a fascinating subject, thank you! :D

We have threads which touch on it, such as (I think) 'Dreaming Of The Dead', wherein are discussed conversations with our dear deceased.

I'm interested in the theory that dreams are about ourselves and that we should listen to what they can tell us, often through a conversation.
I try to, but sometimes the advice can be quite brutal.

For example, I dreamed last year that my beloved big dog, who'd died a while before, walked in and started talking to us. We fell about laughing and he became quite annoyed with us. He told us sternly that he was going to see one of my close relations, who has cancer. When I awoke I realised the implications of my dead dog going to 'fetch' my relation: am I expecting the worst? Only in a dream could I acknowledge this.

One of the reasons that I love The Sopranos is that it is based on sound psychological principles. Dreams sometimes remind the characters of unpleasant truths, for example when a beloved friend has been proved to be an informer or when someone who has disappeared into the Witness Protection Program must really be dead.

Both the above dreams took the form of conversations that could not possibly have happened in the characters' real lives. I was enthralled. 8)
 
AgProv said:
I've also had the experience of talking in dreams, and waking up halfway through a sentence, to experience a "time-lag" .It's as if my voice here in Time One is lagging two or three seconds behind my speaking voice in the dream; in the dream I might be saying "but the flowers are yellow and the grass...." and as I wake up, I'm completing the sentence with "....yellow and the grass is green". This feels oddly supportive of Dunne's proposition re. different time flows.

I've rambled on a bit. Anyone care to take it up?
I suspect the "time-lag" is between the subconscious and the conscious mind. I often get this, but in waking life rather than in dreams. I think of an idea, and then I'm aware of a "time-lag" while I verbalise it, even if the verbalisation is internal and not spoken out loud.

This ties in with the idea that what each of us thinks of as "me" is in fact the end result of lots of little mental sub-routines combining together. So whatever is really going on in the world, the conscious "I" is actually the last one to know about it! This has been described by saying that the conscious mind, which we commonly think is the seat of free-will, is in fact just a passenger riding on all the subconscious activity beneath. A decision is made before we become aware of it, and scientists have devised subtle experiments to demonstrate this.

Ideas like this are discussed in What is Consciousness?

http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9240

(and probably a few other threads here).
 
My trouble is that I'm told I mutter pretty much constantly when I'm having a particularly vivid dream, and I often wake myself literally shouting aloud.

For example, I recently woke myself up at 3 in the morning bawling The Lord's Prayer while dreaming that a group of vampire priests were trying to levitate me into their dimension by spinning around and around me.

And last night I dreamt that I was appearing on the popular Radio 4 panel show Just A Minute, along with the late Derek Nimmo. For no particular reason, the normally affable Nimmo and I got into a huge slanging match. We were effing and blinding like Derek and Clive, much to the dismay of the audience, and security staff ended up leading us off the stage.

I was then called into the office of a BBC bigwig and given my marching orders. "Don't worry about it too much, old chap" he said. "In four or five years time when this has all blown over, we'll see if we can't give you another chance."
 
Always thought that Nimmo was a bit arsey. Watched him on the recent Blankety Blank repeats and he was even insulting the contestants. I think you were justified and the general public would agree.
 
graylien said:
For no particular reason, the normally affable Nimmo and I got into a huge slanging match

I love this.

Similarly many of my dream conversations are humorously confrontational, just like that example. I sometimes wake up laughing because of a particularly good insult.

Strangely besides that, my dreams are pretty soundless now I come to think of it.
 
warding off demons in a dream....

Yeah, i've had that one too! I was in the bathroom of my old childhood home, fighting off three or four demons, using a crucifix and the approved form of words, like "The power of Christ compels thee!" and wondering why it wasn't having the desired effect. it fended them off but didn't dismiss them. So I was shouting "JESUS CHRIST!" at them and wondering why I'd been sold a dud exorcism, as you do, and feeling disappointed it was firing blanks when I expected a shotgun. Woke up, wondering "What was the point of THAT?".

Maybe it's down to me being agnostic.
 
There're sound-activated phone apps like Sleep Talk that'll record your nocturnal diatribes. I used one for a while to see if I talked in my sleep. It gave me lots of entertainment.

Mostly it picked up snoring and farting and the sounds of the cats fighting and falling off the bed.
However, I sometimes recorded what sounded like someone in heavy shoes walking around in the early hours. Nobody wear shoes at night here. :shock:

Generally, the only speech I picked up was some soft grumbling at get-up time. :lol:

I wrote about it on another MB, and this came up -
Woke up at about 06:10 today, but the snore-recorder reckons I was still asleep then and showed me some snoring to prove it. Strange.

How strange.
 
I've also had the experience of talking in dreams, and waking up halfway through a sentence, to experience a "time-lag" .It's as if my voice here in Time One is lagging two or three seconds behind my speaking voice in the dream; in the dream I might be saying "but the flowers are yellow and the grass...." and as I wake up, I'm completing the sentence with "....yellow and the grass is green". This feels oddly supportive of Dunne's proposition re. different time flows.
At a meeting yesterday someone had the idea of streaming a speaker's appearance on laptops. It didn't work because the streaming didn't synchronise. Made it hard to follow the speech. Just like Dunne's different time flows!
 
My partner was woken up early one morning this week ( pre Dawn) by a phone trill, couldn't work out where it was coming from, went back to bed and it started again, apparently it was me, doing phone impressions in my sleep.

More impressively, I woke myself up the morning arguing about DNA, apparently THEY were coding it wrong and it should be 515 300 not 505 3005.

I thought DNA was all letters!
 
Recently I have been dreaming that I can speak Dutch, everyone else is speaking Dutch and its all fine, I also have a doctorate and I am happily explaining my latest thesis to an appreciative group- in Dutch.

Bit embarrassing to wake up muttering gibberish and having to recalibrate to being a monoglot with a sprinkling of A levels and a level 6 in Occupational Safety.
 
My partner was woken up early one morning this week ( pre Dawn) by a phone trill, couldn't work out where it was coming from, went back to bed and it started again, apparently it was me, doing phone impressions in my sleep.
:rollingw:
 
At a meeting yesterday someone had the idea of streaming a speaker's appearance on laptops. It didn't work because the streaming didn't synchronise. Made it hard to follow the speech. Just like Dunne's different time flows!
I really really struggle when speech is out of sychronisation with film. As in I find it hard to understand the words and the whole thing becomes too 'uncanny valley' for me and I have to stop watching. I have also had problems when giving a presentation on Zoom and trying to answer questions with an internet connection that dipped in and out, so I was working on a time lag. I absolutely couldn't cope, and the whole experience felt like a psychotic break.

I had to make my excuses and leave the presentation. But there was a very 'dreamlike' feeling to the emotion, as though my brain associates words and actions which don't tie together, with dreams.
 
not sure about conversation in dreams I do recall laughing in a dream but have no idea that I was laughing at!
I recently woke myself and my husband up by laughing loudly. I was dreaming that a film about the Kray twins was being made with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer as Ron and Reg. My dreams tend to be vivid and colourful, and I’m usually watching them as an observer as though they’re films. When I’m actually participating in the dream I often find I’m speaking to someone who has died (my parents, my grandparents, a couple of friends….) I guess I should pay closer attention to those!
 
According to my spouse I counter away most nights, he cannot understand much of what I am saying but apparently I go on a bit. I also thrash around a lot and laugh manically on occasion. No wonder I'm exhausted most mornings
 
I recently woke myself and my husband up by laughing loudly. I was dreaming that a film about the Kray twins was being made with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer as Ron and Reg. My dreams tend to be vivid and colourful, and I’m usually watching them as an observer as though they’re films. When I’m actually participating in the dream I often find I’m speaking to someone who has died (my parents, my grandparents, a couple of friends….) I guess I should pay closer attention to those!
I would absolutely watch a film with Vic and Bob playing Ron and Reg. That would be brilliant.
 
Had a strange dream last night, involving a very long conversation with my deceased mate (also called Pete). We discussed everything we used to talk about. I ended up by saying I missed him very much and he said the same. I added that was it not time he moved on and he agreed, but said "before I go I want to tell you what it's like here and...." Before he could tell me I woke up violently and suddenly, just as though someone had woken me up to stop me hearing the truth. Really strange and it was only later this morning that I realised it was 3 years to the day that he had died. Left me a touch disconcerted, I have to admit.
 
I really really struggle when speech is out of sychronisation with film. As in I find it hard to understand the words and the whole thing becomes too 'uncanny valley' for me and I have to stop watching.

Don't know if you're a gamer, but I strongly advise you NOT to play Starfield!
 
I woke up the other morning shouting 'squirrel'. I had been dreaming about German spies.

This is a thing!

It's a kind of hoary old chestnut tale, emanating out of old Home Guard and/or SOE stories from WWII. If one wasn't sure that an apparently Brisih person wasn't a German spy, then you could steer the convo to squirrels. It was supposedly nigh-impossible for a natively German speaking person to pronounce.

It's surmised that this little nugget of nuttery led to phrase 'secret squirrel' : https://www.sandboxx.us/news/spy-culture-what-is-a-secret-squirrel/
 
This is a thing!

It's a kind of hoary old chestnut tale, emanating out of old Home Guard and/or SOE stories from WWII. If one wasn't sure that an apparently Brisih person wasn't a German spy, then you could steer the convo to squirrels. It was supposedly nigh-impossible for a natively German speaking person to pronounce.

It's surmised that this little nugget of nuttery led to phrase 'secret squirrel' : https://www.sandboxx.us/news/spy-culture-what-is-a-secret-squirrel/
I've asked German acquaintances to say 'squirrel' but we were all too drunk laughing too hard to draw any conclusions. :chuckle:

This may be one of those yarns spun by the wartime authorities to make the civilian population feel safer and stay obedient.

Like, it turns out, the famous Works Wall in Crewe, which was painted up to look like rows of houses from the air.
This would definitely fool German warplane navigators into not bombing the area. :nods:
Except that it wouldn't have.
 
I had a vivid dream last night that I had to do some sort of performance/reading that me, and others, had had only a short time to prepare.
I was discussing with the others whether they were able to be "off the book" while also trying to remember the words that I had to remember and looking at the written text to check if I'd got it right.
Woke up with my head spinning!

Edited to add I don't know what the text was, but I could see written words on a page.
 
I had a vivid dream last night that I had to do some sort of performance/reading that me, and others, had had only a short time to prepare.
I was discussing with the others whether they were able to be "off the book" while also trying to remember the words that I had to remember and looking at the written text to check if I'd got it right.
Woke up with my head spinning!

Edited to add I don't know what the text was, but I could see written words on a page.
A recurring (stressful) dream I have involves me having to go out on stage to act in a play or show of some kind, and I know I haven't learnt my lines. I start to think if I can just make it up as I go along - can I get away with it? I usually start looking around backstage to see if I can find a script lying around to cram in the first half a dozen lines in the hope that I can blag my way through the rest. Sometimes I find a script but can't find my lines in it, or I find my lines but they aren't the ones I thought they were. The stress builds and builds. In some dreams I actually get out onto the stage and start waffling and seem to be getting away with it.

To give a bit of real world context, I have dabbled a bit with am dram acting (but quite a few years ago now) and when I did I was great at learning lines - usually knowing everyone else's lines as well - so I never had those worries in real life. I wonder why my subconscious mind is so fixated on the idea all the years later.
 
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A recurring (stressful) dream I have involves me having to go out on stage to act in a play or show of some kind, and I know I haven't learnt my lines. I start to think if I can just make it up as I go along - can I get away with it? I usually start looking around backstage to see if I can find a script lying around to cram in the first half a dozen lines in the hope that I can blag my way through the rest. Sometimes I find a script but can't find my lines in it, or I find my lines but they aren't the ones I thought they were. The stress builds and builds. In some dreams I actually get out onto the stage and start waffling and seem to be getting away with it.

To give a bit of real world context, I have dabbled a bit with am dram acting (but quite a few years ago now) and when I did I was great at learning lines - usually knowing everyone else's lines as well - so I never had those worries in real life. I wonder why my subconscious mind is so fixated on the idea all the years later.
Very similar to dreaming about entering for an exam and knowing nothing about the subject.
 
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