(I want to know why)
For as long as I’ve been aware of such things, I’ve always found life curious or curiosity-inspiring. I’ve a need, or a perhaps it’s more accurate to call it a drive to understand; a need that’s deep-rooted in me. I think I can call it a formative element throughout my life.
And now that I’m more confused and more easily confused, that innate curiosity is coming to the fore.
Me and Me, You and You
Dreaming about Kay. Meeting up on some vague location. A group. Other people that we both knew, including G.
Somehow the group gets to include others I know. The location is a version of a street I can almost picture.
Talk turned to G and his friends. They are making lots of money by investing in properties. Detailed talk.
Jump to tea and cake in the car. I don’t know why. And then taking things back to the house in the street. That was the reason we were there. Hurrying to get back before the rain storm.
And then the dream ends and for no specific reason I wake up. It wasn’t a dream with an event in it to wake me. Nothing jolting. It was just another dream. No big deal. As with most dreams, it’s as dull and inconsequential as hearing someone tell you about their lovely summer holiday.
G is a friend I see fairly often. What’s odd is that Kay’s an old friend, now dead. But that’s fine, I assume my unconscious picked her at random as a player in the dream. It isn’t reasonable to expect my unconscious self to filter out dead people for some reason or another unknown to my conscious self.
The bulk of the dream was, essentially, comprised of reality – real experiences merely picked, rearranged and mildly distorted for a dream. My brain was taking life as consciously lived then re-purposing it for my unconscious.
But the ‘talk’ about G’s investing and about money wasn’t my territory at all. I’m fairly useless at money so by default I’m cautious about it. I’m not that interested in it either. That means the part of my dream that included detailed discussion about investments was referencing things that are beyond my experience in my conscious life. Thus, my brain wasn’t only rearranging reality-fragments. My brain was creating new fragments.
I tried to look into the how and the why of this happening. I first thought it was a dreamt ‘confabulation’ but it doesn’t really fit. A confabulation is misremembered information based on lived experiences, and you’re not aware that you’re misremembering. If you like, it’s an ‘honest lie’. In contrast, I knew (and still know) that this was and is an un-lived false memory.
Perhaps it was merely my brain trying to find a way of waking me up and prodding me with an ‘out of my comfort zone’ thought. But making new ‘reality-fragments’ to do so is … I don’t know. Is it odd? Or is it the norm but we just don’t really think about it that much.
There’s nothing new (for me at least) in this sort of thing. Not long after this – let’s call it this ‘investment dream’ – I had another, this time about phones.
I don’t like my new-ish smartphone. That’s a conscious thought. But the other night my brain woke me up by ‘making’ me dream about my damaged smartphone. It’s not damaged. I’ve never had a damaged phone. But my brain gave me an image of the whole case split open. I’ve never witnessed that in real life but it was strong enough image to wake me with a bit of a start.
This time my brain had an albeit mundane purpose in waking me – my bladder was full. But leaving aside the purpose of the dream, this broken phone thought shows my ‘investment dream’ isn’t the only example of my brain making something up – making a false memory. And I know there have been plenty of other occasions in the past.
Thinking about just what it all might mean opens up a whole mess of questions.
OK, so my brain ‘knows’ my disliked smartphone is a trigger item – it’s something that’s loomed large lately. And so my brain chooses to concoct a smartphone related event – a fiction – that it (my brain) knows will be the right kind of thing to wake me up.
But if my brain’s done that, then who is the person that has been woken up?
Logic says that ALL of that is going on in my brain – after all, where else can it be happening. Does that mean there are in effect two of me? (The one that’s asleep and the one that decides to wake the sleeping one up with a fictional tale that it can fabricate because it knows it will do the trick.)
And this is true for everyone, surely – me and you both. Certainly, it’s true for everyone who has ever found they’ve been woken up by having dreamt something made-up, something fictional.
Arguably … more than idle thoughts about dreams, this speculation is taking things into a whole philosophical area about what constitutes the conscious and unconscious self. This is ‘ghost in the machine’ territory and far more besides. This is an aspect of life that’s been exercising very good minds for a very long time …