Why do we read a book, watch a movie or play a video game? We like to be entertained. At the most fundamental level Lucid Dreaming is a thrilling form of entertainment. Even non-lucid dreams can be wonderfully entertaining. Look at any dream you can remember that left you in awe at what you experienced in that focus state.
Now imagine being in control where you can dream anything you desire in that same realistic format. When I talk about what dreaming is. I first describe it as having your own virtual reality simulator that is more evolved and sensory driven than say our current VR technology like Oculus Rift. Having practiced this skill along with other techniques to enhance perception in dreams, my dreams for the time that I am there are as detailed and complex as the waking world.
I exist in a simulated 3D environment, I can see vivid colors, hear sounds, feel objects and textures, taste and smell food.
Dreams, déjà vu and delusions caused by faulty 'reality testing,' research shows -- ScienceDaily
Through a technique I call cognitive mapping which invokes perception exercises in the waking world for the purpose of enhancing the same skill of perception in the dream world, the end result are dreams that appear as real or more real than how I experience my waking life.
This truly is a virtual reality simulator that nature has evolved, and all it takes is consciousness to play. What this has given me is best of two worlds. I get to be conscious and self-aware in my waking life, and take this quality of self-awareness into a dream reality which extends who I am and add new conscious experiences that I otherwise would never have. Think about this as one of my driving motivators. We all know we are going to live for a relatively short period of time.
There is no escaping the inevitability of death so knowing we have a limited amount of time to experience ourself existing, what do we have that adds conscious experience to this limited amount of time? See where I am going? We can add hours of consciousness during sleep in another format of experiential reality adding time to our over all conscious experience pool. In 31 years of lucid dreaming, I have incubated and cultivated roughly 10 years of consciousness during sleep.
Why I estimate roughly 10 years is due to the perception of time during lucidity which can greatly exceed that time when I sleep. And in many cases I have logged these extra hours, even days in my journals. It is a known fact that the perception of time can stretch under the influence of drugs, hypnosis and surprise surprise… dreams. Neuroscientist Warren Meck tested drug induced time perception on rats and noted that they did have a speed up or slow down of their internal clock based on drug influences.
There is also other research such as the Kappa Effect which is another form of temporal illusion where our perception of time in waking life can feel longer than actual physical time. There is even a desire to create a time dilating drug for prisoners that trap them in this sense of altered time for 1, years in 8 hours. My first encounter with the perception of time stretching in my own lucid dreams was back in , 5 years after I started lucid dreaming.
It was am in the morning and I had some time to sleep before I had to go to work.
I became dream locked in this dream where the perception of time lasted 2 weeks. Trapped in this pocket of dream time living a second life as an artist going to college and then working at a cafe. I would even wake up and fall asleep in the dream until finally waking up. When it approached what felt like 2 weeks I started to have the fear and panic that something was wrong, that maybe I am sleeping in or worse something bad happened to my body so I forced myself awake to then look at the clock seeing the time as am.
Only 30 minutes of sleep yet I had an insurmountable amount of time that I could never fit in 30 minutes. Even just one of the art classes took over an hour and I had many of those in just one of the days, let alone the job at the cafe, or hanging out with friends going to pubs and night clubs. All this experience which felt like 2 weeks yet only 30 minutes of sleep. I was hooked on this potential. I saw the possibilities of what it could add to my life and have never looked back. In many cases it can be just a few extra hours, others a few days but in the rarest the longest I have experienced is 2 weeks.
I call them Mini Vacations. That said I have talked with people through the years over the Internet who claim to have lived entire lifetimes in one cycle of sleep.
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I have not, and have no reason to lie or embellish that I have. My max is 2 weeks and that has only happened a couple of times. The average seems to be extra hours, sometimes up to 8. I just never know what to expect the inevitable wake-up always happens. There's something to this.
Cleary was further motivated by a recent shift in memory research, asserting that human memory is adapted for being able to predict the future, for survival purposes, rather than simply recollecting the past. In previously published research, Cleary and her research group created virtual reality scenarios using the Sims virtual world video game. They made scenes -- like a junkyard, or a hedge garden -- that later spatially mapped to previously witnessed, but thematically unrelated scenes.
These foundational studies mirrored the real-life experience of "feeling like you've been there before," but being unable to recall why. In her most recent experiments, Cleary created dynamic video scenes in which the participant was moved through a series of turns.
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But they were no more likely to actually recall the correct answer -- the turn they had previously seen in a spatially mapped, different scene -- than if they were to choose randomly. In other words, participants who had the feeling of prediction were pretty confident they were right, but they usually weren't. But it can manifest as a feeling that we can.
Cleary and her lab are conducting follow-up experiments now that even further probe this feeling of prediction. They wonder whether it's the familiarity process that drives the feeling. They want to know whether people experience hindsight bias -- that is, whether people will be convinced they knew what was going to happen, after the fact. If you're a scientist, you're looking for the logical reason for why you just had this really weird experience. Materials provided by Colorado State University.
Note: Content may be edited for style and length. The original organizational arrangement, except for some minor transpositions, has been kept intact. The title and sub-titles of four sections were all added post-production.
Dreams, déjà vu and delusions caused by faulty 'reality testing,' research shows
To Jung, himself an introvert, the extroverted Freud belittled introverted patients as morbidly engrossed in themselves [ 6 ], paras. The dynamics of the analyst and the analysand, rather than any preconceived theory, thus determine much of the process of dream interpretation. Alongside this, Jung reaffirms:. Unmistakably, here Jung was pointing to the relativity of truth pertaining to any theory, including his own on dreams. By this, he was also pioneering humanistic psychology and a client-centered approach to psychotherapy [ 23 ].
According to Jung, two individuals can have almost identical dreams, but if one is young and the other old, their perception and experience of the dream-scope may be markedly different.
If anything, Jung proposed that maintaining the rapport with the patient and following his or her inclination, supported by his or her own dream, is optimal. In Aspects alone, the formulation of such insights were emerging and expressed as follows:. It is therefore not easy to lay down any special rules for the type of dream-compensation. Its character is always closely bound with the whole nature of the individual. The possibilities of compensation are without number and inexhaustible, though with increasing experience certain basic features gradually crystallize out. A dream, like every element in the psychic structure, is a resultant of the total psyche … so the dream cannot be explained by this or that element in it, however beguilingly simple such an explanation may appear to be [ This definitive stand also finds antecedent voices in the essay Nature , where Jung states that the only justifiable interpretations of dreams are reached through a painstaking examination of the context.
Renouncing all preconceived ideas necessarily includes that of compensation theory. In the last paragraph of Nature , Jung wrote that, in the study of dream psychology, we cannot boast that we have possessed:.
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We still know far too little about the nature of unconscious psyche for that […] For the purpose of research is not to imagine that one possesses the theory which alone is right, but, doubting all theories, to approach gradually nearer to the truth. If the doubting of theory allows us to come closer to the truth , then it is easy for us to understand why Jung hardly expresses any sense of positive construction in MDR.
Here, Jung appears deconstructive and post-modern, which is ironically pre-modern in the East-Asian wisdom tradition. No law, no rule, not even a method is assured. That is, there are techniques of interpretation e. However, he did not see it as a final stand from a developmental viewpoint.
In answer to this, Jung [ 5 ], as in Practical Uses for instance, was much more enigmatic or ambivalent on the relation between compensatory theory as a law or rule, as opposed to it being a thoroughly open stand. Through a maturation process, however, culminating in Symbols, he unequivocally declares his definitive open stand: compensatory theory is just a hypothesis.
A physician and contemporary of William James and Edmund Husserl, Jung was apparently more pragmatic [ 28 ] and phenomenological than scientific, as he sometimes controversially claimed himself to be [ 29 ]. Hunt [ 30 ] constructed a cognitive psychological interpretation of dreaming that distinguished dream psychology mediated by left hemispheric brain structures, which emphasize functions of language and memory, from dream psychologies mediated more by right hemispheric brain structures, which are associated with the processing of imagistic and organismic—holistic cognition. Moreover, Hobson appears to be much more affirming and appreciative of Jungian contributions, as opposed to wholly critical.
Hunt goes to great lengths to justify and prioritize the reflexive presentational process of imagistic symbolic cognition over the verbal-representational cognition of labeling and thinking in language. To Jungians, this confirms the centrality of dream images, especially in archetypal or titanic dreams. Jean Knox [ 29 , 33 ], however, argues that Jungians have reified the unconscious structures, such as archetypes and the Self. At best, he is contrasting the selected few hundred years of the Western intellectual tradition with thousands of years of the Eastern Wisdom Traditions, within which various competing schools existed.
Hobson [ 28 , 31 ] takes an empirical position regarding dream science that boils down to the activation—synthesis theory.
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We dream, according to Hobson, because our brains, while we are in sleep, randomly and reflexively activate themselves in the brain stem, whereby these random activations are synthesized in the frontal lobes. Thus, under this framework, instead of asking what the dream possibly means, Hobson claims to have shifted the paradigm by asking what the mental perceptual, cognitive and emotional characteristics of dreaming are. Still, in our case, Hobson deserves our attention for at least two major reasons.
Probably yes. Cognitively speaking, creativity does presuppose openness or freedom of the habitual mindset. Echoing Jung, Hobson does not believe in the disguise function of the latent layer of dream contents. Hobson, aligning Jung with William James for their shared interests in psycho-spirituality, writes:. Pragmatic and experimental, they refused to accept any hypothesis that was not scientifically justified.
Meanwhile, phenomena that could not be so explained were not denied existential status, ex cathedra. Thus, the apparent religiosity of James and Jung can obscure their fundamental scientific rigor. First, it continues to support our reasoning above, that Jung saw his practice and theory of dreams if there is any so-called theory he subscribed to as having an open, fluid, and relative status.
Such a status accounts for creativity in a two-mind therapeutic dynamic that is constantly changing intra-psychically and interpersonally, and involves subject-and-object levels of interpretation. Second, it is more congenial to see Jung as a pragmatist i. Hobson claims that the most significant conclusion of his new dream theory is that it can predict that brain activation of a given chemical and regional type will always produce hallusinosis, hyperassociativity, hyperemotionality, false beliefs, and other cognitive errors.
This is as far as scientific prediction can now go with dreams, but it is far enough to put the formal psychological analysis of dreams out of the reach of content analysis. In his theory of dream formation, Hobson goes to great lengths to prove with experimental data predominantly via empirical data with animals that dreams are chemically mediated and enhanced within the brain.
In the same light, the reason we cannot keep track of time, place, and person, nor think and judge rationally and critically regarding our dreaming is simply because these brain regions were functionally less actively at the time. Alternatively, he avoids rigid reductionism via the synergic component of his activation—synthesis theory.
Hobson proposes that when the brain stem randomly self-activates in sleep, the forebrain synthesizes the random activation into something like waking experience. While Hobson mitigates his reductionism in this way, Knox arguably sidesteps a reductionist snare with recourse to attachment theory. Domhoff believes that the empirical and highly technical differences between Hobson and Solms are resolvable through research findings.
This seems to be a sensible new approach to the study of both dream formation and interpretation because it integrates the value of the dream content that Jung emphasized with cognitive and neuroscientific findings. To single out one phase at the cost of the others is to provide only a partial picture.
The developmental delineation of this paper features a solid contextual and textual exegesis that uses primary sources although most of them are English translations. References to the possible influences from Eastern thought, as well as from phenomenology and pragmatism, are also briefly mentioned. Cognitive and neuroscientific theories of dream formation both challenge and confirm the aspects of Jungian theory that concern dreams and interpretation. Our understanding on dreaming requires greater integrative applications. Cognitive and neuroscientific approaches can and should be combined fruitfully with the Jungian approach.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Behav Sci Basel v. Behav Sci Basel.