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Dreams -- Underlying Meta Structure
#1
I've had some brief thoughts on dreaming lately that I wanted to spit out and see if anyone else has any thoughts.

1. There appears to be a kind of shorthand in the relationship between dreaming and the mind. I don't think that the mind needs to fully present the dream imagery in full 3D surround sound in every case. Some of my dreams appear to contain rather bare-bones suggestions of images at times to move the narrative along. It may be the case that my mind is not as sharp or that what I am experiencing is a different phase of sleep or dreaming than when we typically experience more vivid dreams. 

2. I'm wondering if dreams on the whole were radically different before cinema was invented. I know my dreams contain many of the same cinematic "shots" and editing techniques seen in most standard movie fare. It would be interesting to look at any detailed dream journals that were made before the introduction of cinema and see if any hint of these visual devices were present.

3. If anyone can point to resources scholarly or otherwise on how the mind constructs dreams that would be great. I do remember posting something rather esoteric on the mind-energy forums about a guy who was pretty deep into reconstructing the way that sequiturs were constructed during the dreaming process. I will see if I can dig that up and repost it here.

Chuck
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#2
Not sure how valuable these thoughts are, Chuck, but I'll share them with you anyway since you asked:

(09-21-2017, 10:48 AM)chuck Wrote: 1. There appears to be a kind of shorthand in the relationship between dreaming and the mind. I don't think that the mind needs to fully present the dream imagery in full 3D surround sound in every case. Some of my dreams appear to contain rather bare-bones suggestions of images at times to move the narrative along. It may be the case that my mind is not as sharp or that what I am experiencing is a different phase of sleep or dreaming than when we typically experience more vivid dreams.

I rarely dream in symbolic or referential images. One of the few times that I did was when I was in hospital and had met one of the nurses whose name was Katya (or maybe Katja? Not sure of the spelling) - I guess she had Eastern European heritage. One night in hospital I dreamt of a guy who accosted me with a knife saying "I'm gonna cut ya" - "cut ya" being how this nurse's name was pronounced. But that sort of thing is very rare for me. I rarely if ever sense that my dream narratives are being "moved along" artifically - where there even is a narrative.

(09-21-2017, 10:48 AM)chuck Wrote: 2. I'm wondering if dreams on the whole were radically different before cinema was invented. I know my dreams contain many of the same cinematic "shots" and editing techniques seen in most standard movie fare. It would be interesting to look at any detailed dream journals that were made before the introduction of cinema and see if any hint of these visual devices were present.

Huh. Cool. My dreams are almost exclusively from the first-person perspective with no cuts, cinematic shots or editing techniques.

(09-21-2017, 10:48 AM)chuck Wrote: 3. If anyone can point to resources scholarly or otherwise on how the mind constructs dreams that would be great. I do remember posting something rather esoteric on the mind-energy forums about a guy who was pretty deep into reconstructing the way that sequiturs were constructed during the dreaming process. I will see if I can dig that up and repost it here.

I can't offer any resources, but I must admit I'm skeptical anyway of the premise that the mind constructs dreams. I think there is a spectrum from dreams which are "merely" rehashing recent personal events and which are potentially generated by one's own mind, to dreamscapes which are utterly beyond one's own mind and are independent realities created by who-knows-whom.
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#3
(09-21-2017, 10:48 AM)chuck Wrote: I've had some brief thoughts on dreaming lately that I wanted to spit out and see if anyone else has any thoughts.

1. There appears to be a kind of shorthand in the relationship between dreaming and the mind. I don't think that the mind needs to fully present the dream imagery in full 3D surround sound in every case. Some of my dreams appear to contain rather bare-bones suggestions of images at times to move the narrative along. It may be the case that my mind is not as sharp or that what I am experiencing is a different phase of sleep or dreaming than when we typically experience more vivid dreams. 

2. I'm wondering if dreams on the whole were radically different before cinema was invented. I know my dreams contain many of the same cinematic "shots" and editing techniques seen in most standard movie fare. It would be interesting to look at any detailed dream journals that were made before the introduction of cinema and see if any hint of these visual devices were present.

3. If anyone can point to resources scholarly or otherwise on how the mind constructs dreams that would be great. I do remember posting something rather esoteric on the mind-energy forums about a guy who was pretty deep into reconstructing the way that sequiturs were constructed during the dreaming process. I will see if I can dig that up and repost it here.

Chuck
Snip- 2. I'm wondering if dreams on the whole were radically different before cinema was invented.

I've though a lot about this because I see all kinds of cinematic looking "shots" in my dreams. I know little about making a movie so it's not like I am bringing a trained eye to the process... To your comment- I think you might consider the possibility that it's the other way around,,  cinema techniques mirror dreams. One could test this theory because there are still places in the world where there is no cinema and so people who haven't seen it. Although I imagine it would be hard to ask the right questions to uncover this. 
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#4
(09-21-2017, 12:15 PM)jkmac Wrote:  I know little about making a movie so it's not like I am bringing a trained eye to the process...

I would think for the mind, watching movies and TV would be enough to introduce these kinds of visual effects. No need to studying editing or cinematography in any way. It is a visual language that is ubiquitous in that medium.

And yes. I think there must be dream journals from the 1800's and early 1900's that may provide some reference.
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#5
Unfortunately I won't be able to find that dreaming reference. It was a really obscure lucid dreamer whose writings were being translated into English. The mind-energy forums don't allow access to topics beyond a certain date. I thought I had it posted somewhere else, but that forum is gone. The writing was very interesting especially in regards to how the mind forms the dream and dream imagery. He was lucid during dreaming but able to relax the mind at the same time and had some unique illuminations on dream meta-structure.
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#6
(09-21-2017, 12:55 PM)chuck Wrote: Unfortunately I won't be able to find that dreaming reference. It was a really obscure lucid dreamer whose writings were being translated into English. The mind-energy forums don't allow access to topics beyond a certain date. I thought I had it posted somewhere else, but that forum is gone. The writing was very interesting especially in regards to how the mind forms the dream and dream imagery. He was lucid during dreaming but able to relax the mind at the same time and had some unique illuminations on dream meta-structure.

Anyway, I am doubtful that the descriptions would include enough detail about "camera angles" and "shots" to draw any conclusions.
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#7
(09-21-2017, 01:16 PM)jkmac Wrote: Anyway, I am doubtful that the descriptions would include enough detail about "camera angles" and "shots" to draw any conclusions.

For myself though: I see shots where I'm shown in the scene, and some where I'm in 1st person. I see reverse angle shots showing me and others react to something. I see wide angle and zoom. And panning shots. And even action shots where perspective changes multiple times during a shot, as if this was carefully edited.

One particular sequence from a lucid dream is amazing: I rise out of a seat in and old fashioned steam train. I fly along above the train, in and out of the smoke from the locomotive. Then I watch the train go down the tracks from a low perspective, as if I'm flying in a in a valley below, looking up and to the left. Then I fly beside the train looking away from the train at a forest, and see the accurate perspective of closer trees moving ahead relative to the farther away trees. Then I fly THROUGH the trees and feel a tingling as my body interacts with the material of the tree. 

It was all totally seamless, and real-time as I decided what to do next. 

This is one of the reasons I don't believe the brain creates this sort of dream imagery. There is simply no way the brain is powerful enough to design, create, edit, and render this stuff, in completely accurate detail, indistinguishable from "real life", all in instant reaction to choices I am constantly making. Sorry folks,,, the physical brain is just not THAT powerful.
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#8
(09-21-2017, 01:27 PM)jkmac Wrote: This is one of the reasons I don't believe the brain creates this sort of dream imagery. There is simply no way the brain is powerful enough to design, create, edit, and render this stuff, in completely accurate detail, indistinguishable from "real life", all in instant reaction to choices I am constantly making. Sorry folks,,, the physical brain is just not THAT powerful.

I can certainly understand why you may believe that. For me there just isn't enough evidence one way or the other. Perhaps the brain really is that powerful. How would we really know?
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#9
(09-21-2017, 01:39 PM)chuck Wrote: I can certainly understand why you may believe that. For me there just isn't enough evidence one way or the other. Perhaps the brain really is that powerful. How would we really know?

I guess we could compare the creativity of the best human artists in waking consciousness to the creativity of whatever-it-is that creates dreams. For me, there's no comparison. Dreams are far and above any "ordinary" human creativity.
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#10
(09-21-2017, 01:16 PM)jkmac Wrote: Anyway, I am doubtful that the descriptions would include enough detail about "camera angles" and "shots" to draw any conclusions.

No, but they may use such language as "The picture switched to where I was looking at the dog's face very close for only an instant. Then again I was looking at the greater landscape." Writing skills were quite sharp in the 19th century. I'm sure there are some published dream diaries out there. I just don't have time to research right now.
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