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Sunday, March 6, 2011

On Dreaming

This is from Dr. Robert Godwin's post of December 16, 2010. I copied it from his One Cosmos Blog where he generally posts daily.

"What distinguishes daytime consciousness from night time consciousness is that in the former mode we are separate from the creations of our consciousness -- or at least we weave in and out of them, merging and observing, producing and critiquing, spewing and cleaning up.

At night things are different. Although there is a Dreamer and a dream, we only know this after the fact, upon awakening. We generally cannot experience the distinction when the dream is occurring. This is a fascinating principle of consciousness, because it means that in the most profound sense, we are both the subject (creator) and object (created) of our dreams, even though we identify only with the object pole.

But once you appreciate the protean genius of the Dreamer, you cannot possibly believe that your little ego is anything more than a tiny satellite in the orbit of a higher conscious power. But who is the Dreamer if not you?

However, this You is like the dark side of the moon. I Syd you not. It is always there, even if we cannot see it. Indeed, we cannot see it because it is in a permanent dialectical relationship with the visible side; even if you bring a portion of darkness into the light of consciousness, it is now in the latter world, just as there is a distinction between dreaming vs. recalling and interpreting a dream. Note that the latter activities can never exhaust the Dreamer. Truly, to interpret a dream is like bringing a sponge to the ocean.

Grotstein writes of the unconscious as a sort of alter-ego or background presence with (or in) whom we go through life -- the “stranger within” that shadows our existence in a most intimate, creative, and mysterious way. We don't necessarily notice the relationship, but we would if it weren't there. That is, everything would go suddenly "flat," and be robbed of the extra dimensions that we only apprehend because of the conscious/unconscious resonance and dialectic."

2 comments:

Dink said...

"Indeed, we cannot see it because it is in a permanent dialectical relationship with the visible side; even if you bring a portion of darkness into the light of consciousness"

I find this "2 mind" theory interesting. Did you used to have just one "animal" mind and then we evolved a verbal/logical mind? Where are human newborns on this spectrum? Whats the benefit of having two? What's the harm in remembering dreams?

It seems we started this conversation once after the TED lecture by the author of "A Stroke of Insight". Its intriguing stuff.

JP said...

"I find this "2 mind" theory interesting. Did you used to have just one "animal" mind and then we evolved a verbal/logical mind?"

Basically the addition of the "human" part of the brain caused systemic changes across the entire complex. Bsically, among other things, this resulted in the loss of the hard brakes that many insticts provided. For example, the human game of "war" is a result of the removal of the instictive desire to not kill your own species. Some people become saints. Some people become Jeffrey Dahmer.

The "unconsious" is the part of our mental operations that we aren't paying attention to at the moment. There is always some "unconsous" intertwined with the consious and some consious intertwined with the "unconsious".

Where are human newborns on this spectrum?

Human newborns are incomplete, generally, and need a mind to attach to in order to complete development.

Whats the benefit of having two?

You can only pay attention to so much at once. For example, when you read a book, you are ignoring everything else in your unconsious. Think of your consiousness as a flashlight in a dark room. You can only shine the light on so much of the room at once.


What's the harm in remembering dreams?

There isn't any harm. Rather, there's benefit. But, if you remember every detail, you will be remembering a lot of worthless static.

I'm overwhelmed at work these days, by the way.

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