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Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Like a crack on wall, my thoughts grow bidirectionally and wander not-too-beautifully. An attempt to see through the other side of this wall - until it breaks...

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Dream of Purpose

"A myth is a public dream, a dream is a private myth."
-- Joseph Campbell

Dreams are so compelling, and they often seem so weird and strange -- surely they must have a "purpose" or say an "adaptive role" in the maintenance of our bodily or psychological health. Although I do feel that dreams do have one or another purpose, the counter part in me (I call it, my flame) suggests otherwise. It feels that dreams probably have no purpose!
I have been to many sites along with writing this web-log, the more I read, the more I found. I did find many new terms that not only explain the behaviour of our mind during sleep but also explains the functions of dreams and types of dreams.

My questions: Do we dream to preserve our sleep? Do we dream in both REM n NREM stages? How many times do we dream per night/sleep? What is the function of dream? Is it to compensate for those parts of the psyche (total personality) that are underdeveloped in waking life? Or is it that dream content is continuous with waking thought and behaviour, i.e. if we are outgoing and active in our waking life, and not very introspective and reflective, then so too in our dream life? Is it that dreams just happen when we are about to wake up due to hunger pangs, body breaks, or the need to go to the bathroom? The fact that we remember so few of our dreams -- a few percent at best -- also argues against any function for dreams. If they are so important, why don't we remember more of them?
My Thoughts:
It is said that our dreams act as a ‘cleaning software’ for our mind. The purpose is to save the good stuff and get rid of the useless. Not a good thought I say. It s also said that dreams are nothing but an ‘off-line’ process that pulls out some important events from the day. What is believed is that a very little part of the actual sequences we encounter is reflected in that. Often there is some little leftover from the day, i call it "day residue," but the rest of the dream is a story that does not deal with actual events. The story is usually plausible and even mundane, and it often contains the most important people and concerns of our lives, but it is nonetheless a story. We are thinking creatures because thinking is a valuable adaptation, but that doesn't mean that all forms of thinking have a function. My judgment could be changed tomorrow by new generation thoughts of young dream, but right now the preponderance of the my life and its events weights against any physiological or psychological function for dreaming and dreams.

Is it worthwhile to remember your dreams. Unless you find your dreams fun, intellectually interesting, or artistically inspiring, then feel free to forget your dreams. If they just upset you or leave you puzzled, then why bother with them? But how does one forget his or her dreams? Perhaps thinking of dreams as useful or important is the best predictor of high dream recall, then maybe telling yourself that they are not useful or important will lower your recall. It might also helps to turn your attention.

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