Friday, January 3, 2014
WHAT DREAMS MAY COME?
A good night’s sleep is always a sleep without dreams. I occasionally dream. Often my dreams take place in some Native village similar to where my wife and I spent so many years.
Last night, however, the dream was surreal: I opened the trunk of a sixties vintage car and inside was a raw egg. Not just a regular raw egg, but this one filled the entire trunk - with a yoke the side of a spare tire…then I woke up.
Dreams have haunted the nights of men from the earliest days of mankind. The Babylonians, the Egyptians and the Greeks have all pondered the meaning of dream sequences.
Many Native cultures from the Australian aborigines to the Indians of the American south west have viewed dreams as an insight from another realm.
Even animals dream. Anyone with a dog has occasionally seen it asleep with its eyes fluttering and feet moving in rapid motion.
Sigmund Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams, and believed dreams were connected to daily dramas unknowingly recorded by our id.
There have always been those who would tell us the meaning of our dreams: In Fiddler on the Roof Tevye’s wife interprets: ‘Tell me what you dreamt and I’ll tell you what it meant. '
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Who among us has not had that creepy moment where we walk into a place or scene for the first time and have a feeling of recognition? Could this be our id relating to a similar scene from sometimes in our past - something we dreamed - or a moment where we briefly glimpse into some parallel universe a hairs breath away?
Hamlet’s fear of death is ‘what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.’
I don’t place any importance on dreams: they are chaotic and out of our control. We are now coming to understand that our brain is an organic computer; one that we have only minor command - of what goes in and what comes out. This computer is operating twenty-four hours a day for our entire life – downloading, deleting and storing masses of information beyond our conscious management.
Then, when we sleep this system runs from random memory – and often we dream from flashes of synapse firing randomly.
But the question is: Why a raw egg the size of a giant pumpkin in the trunk of an old muscle car?
I’m just asking.