What The Hell Are Dreams?

Sabresonic

Abominable Snowman
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Feb 11, 2020
Messages
884
I can lucid dream (though it takes a ridiculous amount of effort.)

My son lucid dreams a couple of times a week.

He likes to take charge of his dream and do whatever he pleases.

I like to be aware and let the dream play out.

It's only recently that I've realised how AMAZING this is! - I can be fully aware in a detailed dreasmscape, populated by other characters who I have no idea what they will say or do or what might happen next.

I have no idea what dreams are for, but I know my brain is capable of something incredible. :)
I can Lucid dream to but wonder what's the next step ?
 

CharmerKamelion

Who knows where it will end?
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Feb 27, 2021
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Lucid dreams are fascinating. I have only had a handful. I always have very vivid dreams, but I find true lucid dreams (dreams in which I know I am dreaming and can direct what is happening) are almost as rare as unicorns. They never last very long and only happen shortly before I wake up. On the few occasions I've had a lucid dream, waking out of it leaves me feeling disappointed that I couldn't sustain it for more than (what feels to me like) a few minutes. I envy people who have lucid dreams which they are able to sustain. It must be great!
 

Cochise

Priest of the cult of the Dog with the Broken Paw
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My dreams are occasionally consistent from dream to dream, which I find interesting. For example I have a ‘dream London.’ It’s got tube stations and the British Museum and the Thames and Foyles bookshop and so on, but they are not arranged on the ground in the same way that they exist in real life, the geography is all wrong. Yet when I next dream I am in London, everything will be arranged consistently with my previous dream.
For a long time I had dreams which contained the same 'dream house'. Nothing spooky or weird about the house, except it wasn't anything like any house I'd ever lived in.
 

Cochise

Priest of the cult of the Dog with the Broken Paw
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Anyone else ever have the feeling that someone else is living the life you were supposed to have, in a parallel dimension?
Yes. In fact I've sometimes dreamed that life, and had real difficulty in the moments after waking convincing myself this is the true reality, not the dream I was just in. And yet half an hour later I'll have forgotten pretty much everything about the dream except that I had it.
 

Zeke Newbold

Carbon based biped.
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Apr 18, 2015
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Some dreams may be telling the dreamer something they may need to know, some may be premonitory, some may be telepathic - but nowadays I struggle to believe that the vast majority of our dreams are anything more than us just stirring the slop-buckets of our daily lives. That's a disappointing conclusion to draw - it would be nice to believe that our nights are spent more productively than that - but there we are.

I really like the line that a poster above came out with, about our dreams being `thoughts with the brakes off`.

I dream every night and my dreams are extremely intricate and incredibly involved and usually suffused with an atmosphere of anxiety (although I always feel sad as I exit them). It's a good morning if I can recall as much as 25 per cent of them these days. I am just left to feel staggered as to where all this material has come from.

I never ever get nightmares. (We have a thread on this issue: https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/nightmares-who-gets-them-and-why.66136/)

The nature of my dreams seems to have changed as I have become older. There was a time when every so often I would have a striking dream, full of clear symbolism, which begged to be remembered and analysed. Accordingly, I have been through phases of being into `dream interpretation` of different kinds and have owned dream dictionaries and taken the precaution of keeping notebooks by my bed and so on. If I am to be really honest though, I can't really think of a dream from that period of my life which really imparted some message to me that I really needed to know. Mostly it was a case of tallying some extraordinary dream image with what I already knew (if deep down) was going on with me in my waking world.

All that stuff has since joined the sad array of Fortean interests which have fallen by the wayside as I slowly but surely morph into a being one Boring Old Git.

Ironically, my dreams these days seem somehow younger - as I have got older. They are full of manic energy and much faffing around and seem to have no discernible plot or clear purpose. I no longer seem to dream much about people that I know - instead the characters in my dreams are strangers, but composites of real acquaintances.. It's the same with places: everywhere I visit in my dreams is a place composed of a mash up of real locations that I have known. And my dreams are full of incessant chatter. Lots of people talking endlessly and verbosely. I only need to nod of on a sofa and - lo! - some stranger is gabbling to me in a prolix way about Some Very Urgent Topic - all of which is forgotten upon waking, of course.
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell with yesterday's knickers
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York
Some dreams may be telling the dreamer something they may need to know, some may be premonitory, some may be telepathic - but nowadays I struggle to believe that the vast majority of our dreams are anything more than us just stirring the slop-buckets of our daily lives. That's a disappointing conclusion to draw - it would be nice to believe that our nights are spent more productively than that - but there we are.

I really like the line that a poster above came out with, about our dreams being `thoughts with the brakes off`.

I dream every night and my dreams are extremely intricate and incredibly involved and usually suffused with an atmosphere of anxiety (although I always feel sad as I exit them). It's a good morning if I can recall as much as 25 per cent of them these days. I am just left to feel staggered as to where all this material has come from.

I never ever get nightmares. (We have a thread on this issue: https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/nightmares-who-gets-them-and-why.66136/)

The nature of my dreams seems to have changed as I have become older. There was a time when every so often I would have a striking dream, full of clear symbolism, which begged to be remembered and analysed. Accordingly, I have been through phases of being into `dream interpretation` of different kinds and have owned dream dictionaries and taken the precaution of keeping notebooks by my bed and so on. If I am to be really honest though, I can't really think of a dream from that period of my life which really imparted some message to me that I really needed to know. Mostly it was a case of tallying some extraordinary dream image with what I already knew (if deep down) was going on with me in my waking world.

All that stuff has since joined the sad array of Fortean interests which have fallen by the wayside as I slowly but surely morph into a being one Boring Old Git.

Ironically, my dreams these days seem somehow younger - as I have got older. They are full of manic energy and much faffing around and seem to have no discernible plot or clear purpose. I no longer seem to dream much about people that I know - instead the characters in my dreams are strangers, but composites of real acquaintances.. It's the same with places: everywhere I visit in my dreams is a place composed of a mash up of real locations that I have known. And my dreams are full of incessant chatter. Lots of people talking endlessly and verbosely. I only need to nod of on a sofa and - lo! - some stranger is gabbling to me in a prolix way about Some Very Urgent Topic - all of which is forgotten upon waking, of course.
As I get older my dreams seem to be harking back in some ways. I dream of my children as they were when they were small. Last night I dreamed I was pregnant, I could feel the baby moving and turning and my abdomen was swollen. My youngest child is 26 and I am WELL past childbearing age, which I also was in the dream, but in the dream I was only in my early 50's (rather than my 60's as I actually am).
 

flannel

Devoted Cultist
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East Midlands, UK
I've been studying Jung and have come to the module about dreams.
Man and his Symbols (edited by Jung) is quite accessible for the lay man and is all about dreams. The examples show that understanding them requires a lot of effort, knowledge and skill.
Jung: I have spent more than half a century in investigating natural symbols, and I have come to the conclusion that dreams and their symbols are not stupid and meaningless.
Jung: The general function of dreams is to try to restore our psychological balance by producing dream material that re-establishes, in a subtle way, the total psychic equilibrium.
Have there been any developments since Jung?
 

SimonBurchell

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TangletwigsDeux

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Woah... between 17 and 78%. That's not research, that's a wild guess. A huge range covered there, hardly worth publishing an estimate like that. That's like Microsoft Windows saying your download will be finished in 15 hours, no wait 3 mins 12 secs, no wait 4 hours and 12 minutes, no wait....
Well to be fair M$ Windows does do that ...
But yes the spread did seem a tad wide
 

Endlessly Amazed

Endlessly, you know, amazed
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Arizona, USA
Woah... between 17 and 78%. That's not research, that's a wild guess. A huge range covered there, hardly worth publishing an estimate like that. That's like Microsoft Windows saying your download will be finished in 15 hours, no wait 3 mins 12 secs, no wait 4 hours and 12 minutes, no wait....

These two numbers, and the implied range between them, were from two different studies. So, one study suggests 17%. Another study suggests 78%. The two studies had different parameters and strategies for collecting and categorizing information. So, no wild guess, just medical science grinding along.

If you click on the links for the % numbers, you will see the two different studies. You then can read the studies, if you are well-caffeinated and like going down rabbit holes. Please let us know what you find :)
 

Coal

The Ultimate Skepticus
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
9,336
Most of my dreams just don't make sense
Back in the day at uni, I spent a few months writing down my dreams on waking. What happened was that the fragmentary and nonsensical elements of the last sleep cycle’s dream, gradually, as recollection increased, joined up to become detailed narrative with common sense explanations for the 'dream jump cuts' caused by part recollection.

I'd be the first to admit this might just be my conscious brain making sense of fragments, but still, interesting exercise. I discontinued the experiment when it got to the point that I was taking an hour to write everything down.

If you plan to do this; first be comfortable in your own skin...
I do get recurring non-existent places in my dreams.
Likewise. I recently woke at 3am ish with such a place in my head and knowing that it was a repeat visit, I spent a few moments committing the details to conscious memory. The next day I jotted them down and although the joins were seamless, I could identify almost every facet of the dream-place from bits and pieces of real places.
 

Coal

The Ultimate Skepticus
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Messages
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This is interesting, suggesting that inside our heads, dreamscapes are quite realistically imagined.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/08/220825164025.htm

Eye movements in REM sleep mimic gazes in the dream world​

Multiple brain regions coordinate to conjure wholly imagined worlds​

When our eyes move during REM sleep, we're gazing at things in the dream world our brains have created, according to a new study. The findings shed light not only into how we dream, but also into how our imaginations work.

When our eyes move during REM sleep, we're gazing at things in the dream world our brains have created, according to a new study by researchers at UC San Francisco. The findings shed light not only into how we dream, but also into how our imaginations work.


REM sleep -- named for the rapid eye movements associated with it -- has been known since the 1950s to be the phase of sleep when dreams occur. But the purpose of the eye movements has remained a matter of much mystery and debate.
"We showed that these eye movements aren't random. They're coordinated with what's happening in the virtual dream world of the mouse," said Massimo Scanziani, PhD, senior author on the study, which appears in the Aug. 25, 2022, issue of Science.
 

charliebrown

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The have been a few times I was so upset at my dream the night before, that I really did not want to go to sleep the next night.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
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This is interesting, suggesting that inside our heads, dreamscapes are quite realistically imagined.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/08/220825164025.htm

Newly published research on mice indicates the rapid eye movements during the REM phase of sleep seem to correlate with gaze shifts in the "dream world." This related ScienceAlert article gives more details about the mouse research mentioned in the earlier article.
Rapid Eye Movements During REM Sleep Represent Gaze Shifts in the Dream World

According to a new study published in the journal Science, the characteristic eye movements that give rapid eye movement (REM) sleep its name represent gaze shifts in the dream world of sleeping mice. The findings reveal an observable readout of the internal sense of direction in the dream state. They also provide valuable new insights into the cognitive processes of the sleeping brain. ...

REM sleep is often associated with dreaming. Therefore, some have proposed that the nature of REM eye movements may relate to the content of an ongoing dream. Others have suggested that the rapid eye movements instead reflect random brainstem activity. Testing these hypotheses remains a challenge. ...

A saccade is a rapid, simultaneous movement of both eyes between two or more phases of fixation in the same direction.

Many previous studies have relied on the subjective and potentially inaccurate reporting of dreams by humans. Instead, Yuta Senzai and Massimo Scanziani focused on the head direction (HD) system of the mouse as an objective readout. While awake, the activity of HD cells in the mouse’s thalamus encodes the direction of the animal’s head as it explores or navigates the environment. Changes in HD cell activity are often accompanied by fast saccade-like movements of the eyes in the same direction.

Senzai and Scanziani recorded HC cell activity using extracellular linear probes. They simultaneously monitored the movements of both eyes with head-mounted cameras in awake and sleeping mice. They found that the direction and amplitude of rapid eye movements during REM sleep encoded direction and amplitude of the heading of mice in their dream environment. ...

The findings indicate that rapid eye movements provide an external readout of an internal cognitive process occurring during REM sleep and reveal a coordination that may underlie the realistic and vivid experience of dreams.

“If rapid eye movements reflect thoughts during sleep, reading the eye movements of others, while observing them sleep, would open a window for reading and potentially manipulating their thoughts during dreams,” write Chris De Zeeuw and Cathrin Canto in a related Perspective.
FULL STORY: https://scitechdaily.com/rapid-eye-...eep-represent-gaze-shifts-in-the-dream-world/
 

Mouldy13

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
297
My dreams are occasionally consistent from dream to dream, which I find interesting. For example I have a ‘dream London.’ It’s got tube stations and the British Museum and the Thames and Foyles bookshop and so on, but they are not arranged on the ground in the same way that they exist in real life, the geography is all wrong. Yet when I next dream I am in London, everything will be arranged consistently with my previous dream.

I have very similiar dreams set around my hometown but it has bits "added on" which seems to make perfect sense in my dreams
 
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