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Entries tagged 'cat:Dreams'

Dream Ideas

Did you ever have an idea while being asleep, maybe while waking up but still half dreaming, that was so good and possibly life-changing that even 10 years later you can't get over the fact that you forgot the idea moments after thinking "I have to write that down after I went to the toilet!"? Me neither. But notworthyly many people do.

It is often said that many famous ideas and inventions have been perceived in a dream before sharing them or creating them in the waking world. The sewing machine needle story is exhausted. I for one don't think that many ideas or inventions have been or are perceived in dreams. At least not so many that it would be a fact worth mentioning. Considering that most people spend almost a third of their life in the state that allows for such perceptions to occur, why wouldn't many of the ideas that are being had be perceived in a dream state?

Because of volatile memory. (I'm not talking about elektroncs in this entry.) Dream memory is notoriously unstable. Even to people who make a point out of remembering and possibly creatively working with their dreams it's not uncommon to forget the weirdest things. Dream recall can be trained (and usually fairly easily at that). But even for those who remember multiple long dream every morning it takes an especially exciting or important-seeming dream to lift the dreamers memory of it so high that it can be recalled with no more gaps and changes than is usual to rememberig waking memories from about the same time ago. It is a very rare exception, a handful dream excerpts a century maybe. Every other dream content is gone after year, most after a day or two. (By the way, that's not necessarily true for more or less direct effects on the dreamer's feelings, toughts, instinctive behaviour and intentional decisions.)

But many people do attribute enough importance to their dreams to usually remember them when anturally waking up in the morning or when waking up at night. Even when you don't, you'll wake up with dream recall every now and then. And if there seems a solution to a problem that occupies your mind currently, then that recall is more likely to stay afloat for long enough to be dragged over to less volatile long-term memory.

But that's not always the case. When your thoughts drift or you're distracted by something before your brain has fully switched to waking mode, even the biggest and most important thoughts can vanish quickly. I'd assume that that happens more easily or more commonly to people with AD(H)D and possibly to other neurodiverse people. I'm sure that it has happened to you numerous times. If you don't rmember it, maybe it wasn't a big deal to you. (It usually isn't.)

I've had genius story ideas for a movie, short story or book, several times in dreams. I mean actually genius, never-before-done storytelling inventions or an actually innovative story telling trick, not just ideas that seem like I might be able to sell them or something. Most of them I've completely forgotten except for the fact that I had them. (Maybe I forgot about even more but so completely that I don't even remember that there was something that I forgot.) I don't mind though. I know enough about dreams and the difference between dreaming and waking judgement. In dreams the evaluation of thoughts and perceptions (dreamed or from the waking world) are often different, sometimes very very different, from what one would consider normal, but don't seem that way to the dreaming, perceiving, thinking person at the time. I know how common of an error of judgement it is to believe to have an amazing, revolutionary, genius idea in a dream/while waking up, write it down while still not quite awake, read it later and be rather amased by the memory of believing that that would be a good idea. The written down scribble (Those notes tend to be of less than great handwriting or contain more mistypings than usual.) range from

  • (indecipherable - but what would I say about that? It could be anything or nothing.)
  • a meaningless string of words (or the meaning may be lost because of omitted context)
  • to possibly interesting thoughts that don't unfold their meaning after fully waking up and aren't as deep as initially perceived
  • to a banale insight with no importance (may be because of lost additional memory or because of misassumptions in the dream)
  • to actually good or important ideas, that are old and not practically usable
  • (Or actually genius new inventions/revolutionary ideas above that. But those seem to be even more rare than in waking life.)

That is why I don't feel bad about losing a great idea when I seem to after waking up. I know it never turns out to actually be a good idea. Even banale thoughts or random strings of words can be used to create meaning from or to attribute meaning to. But I can do that with pretty much any of my dream recall. And I rarely do that.

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The World After

I just woke up from a screenable dream. I didn't get enough sleep every day before today this week. So when I finally took the time for a nap, I got reworded with a long, intense dream. I love this feeling of extra REM sleep. (Although it wasn't extra of course. I really missed it throughout the week.)

I don't usually write my dreams down. And I won't include the actual detailed content, scenes, what I saw, who did what, etc. of this one either. And I won't even try to put the feelings that I had into words. But I just could not go on with normal everyday life without addressing it. I tried, but it felt like letting an entire civilisation die in my head. One with a bunch of kitties among them even. I won't take on that guilt.

Rough story overview: Stuff happens, people live their lifes, have interactions, make mistakes, hold grudges, are sometimes angry with each other, love, work, try to enjoy life anyway. Then something happened. I wondered throughout the dream what it was exactly. I don't know. Lets say some scientist in a secret laboratory messed up and started a chain reaction of really bad events. It (the world) very quickly gets worse, like fires everywhere, soon no electricity, people disappear (nobody died in this story, they were just suddenly gone somehow). An undetermined apocalypse with the result that every city, town and village and most people are gone. Few people find themselves on an earth that has nothing of the things they were used to just a few days ago. They soon find each other and work together to figure out how to live now. They are the people we met at the beginning. There are people who hated each other, but they have to work together now, and they do. Our protagonist wanders alone for a day until he meets this new small tribe and is instantly assumed part of it. They are a cheerful group of friends now. Nobody hates each other. Everybody helps each other. Everybody acknowledges each others quirks and lives with them. They travel together, presumably to find a nice inhabitable piece of land. Along their way they find ruined cities, a displaced ocean, pieces of their old civilisation that they can use as tools. They share, they laugh together, they build a society.

This dream felt so good because of the intense feelings that I got from it and that I woke up with. But I found the story worth telling, even if it's just in this short, rough form. I don't think I've ever heard of an apocalypse movie where people didn't try to kill each other or trick them out of their belongings afterwards. Ignoring the facts that this wouldn't fly with Hollywood and that it might still be too soon after waking up for me to judge this, I'd love to watch that movie!

Parts of the story that I didn't include above: The people somehow also were animals, like in "The Animals of Farthing Wood" maybe, but they were also humans most of the time. They didn't shapeshift, they just were both but mostly one of the two at a time. In the new society one member started a newspaper. He didn't have any tools or paper. He just made it his job to be the newspaper. He ran around telling people the news. Some thought it was annoying, but they just laughed and liked him anyway. The new tribe had a huge float when the protagonist found them. I don't know what they were floating on, but it was light red. The float wasn't in the rest of the dream. There were still forest fires when they traveled. The protagonist discovered at some point that they weren't traveling away from the fire because they were surrounded by huge fires now. They were fine where they were currently. But they had to find a way to get out of that entwining fire. He was telling the rest that I they started to run when I decided to wake up. Maybe better that way, could have continued badly.

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