Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I don’t dream much.
Dreams are not some magical occurrence with mystical implications. Dreams definitely do not portend the future. There are thousands of synapses in the brain – electrical impulse centers that can fire in combinations (like binary counters in the early computers) to record memories, regulate body functions or produce a reaction to experienced stimuli.
These synapses are still firing even when the body is at rest and consciousness is turned off.
In ZEN meditation they call the inability to stay focused ‘your monkey mind.’ It takes a concerted effort to banish this monkey mind and stay focused on a task or on meditation. Random thoughts pop into our consciousness at all moments during your waking day. This is the results of random synapses firing and creating momentary combinations that become momentary distractions.
When we are asleep we loose control of the monkey; and when certain combinations occur that resonate with memories or emotions they move into our semiconscious in the form of dreams.
Most of our dreams we never remember: like most TV advertisements, they flash and don’t resonate, so they vanish as soon as we are conscious of our new day’s distractions.
However, most of us have recurring dreams. These are likely parodies of some emotional experience that was traumatic in our past.
I basically have four recurring dreams at distant intervals – these usually surface when I am overly tired and overly stressed. The first is a military situation that is all fucked up with incompetents in charge. The second is usually something to do with complications involving a school in a Native village. In the third I am trying to get to my wife who needs me and there are people and situations impeding me.
The fourth dream is strange: There is a massive three story elegant house – I don’t know what it looks like on the outside but the inside is furnished opulently. All the rooms seem to be decorated in a 1920’s era décor. The house is empty except for me. As I move upstairs I know that on the third floor there is something evil – abnormal and possibly dangerous. I must go up on the third floor and the only access is a small trap door in the ceiling of one of the second story rooms. I shimmy through the access and all the rooms on this third floor are grey tone and empty of furnishings. There is this feeling that some place on this floor there is impending danger and I must confront it. That’s it – it never goes any farther.
Is it possible that we could dream for some brief time after we die? Could some synapses continue to randomly fire as the battery charges in our brain deplete? Or as Shakespeare wrote: …ay, there’s the rub; for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil…
Have a good night