Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Emphasis on Consciousness


It seems that the consciousness post that I made was a bigger hit than I had expected and it also brought up a lot of good ideas and questions. I wanted to examine more into the transitional phase of consciousness as it starts to form dreams.

Lately I have been reading into different accounts of psychedelics drug users and the effects of them on the mind. One thing that I noticed is the transitional phase of when the drugs start to take effect are the same type of effects that show the onset of dreams or heaviness, the wondering of thoughts, buzzing or sounds, change in body temperature and manly the onset of forgotten memories. In states of deep mediation people have also reported these experiences. But why do I care about psychedelic drugs? Well people that have had psychedelic drug experiences have reported the strong correlation between the effects of trypatmine based psychedelics and lucid dreaming. If there is any type of correlation then psychedelic experiences may be the closest thing we have to a true understanding of a fully conscious dreaming. The main experience from both the onset of dreams and psychedelic experiences that I am interested in is the change in memories and the ability to recall sometimes repressed childhood memories.

Though I am not an avid supporter of Freud, I still tend to agree that he has some understanding of the mind in altered states. Though I don’t believe there is some type of subconscious agenda in our dreams or minds as repressing our childhood wants I do suggest that maybe our memories are built up on layers of consciousness that is developed throughout our years of growing up. Memories can be hidden throughout our lives and be “repressed” by accident until our mind is altered in mediation, sleep, or psychedelics. I tend to believe that lucid dreaming is one of the closer of the options to fully consciously remembering old memories, however; we tend to use it as more of an experience than a tool.

For those of you who are experienced lucid dreamers, next time you dream try to remember things that would seem impossible during your normal waking life. See how much has change.

-L

2 comments:

  1. I certainly agree with you L. I have a hard time believing that my subconscious wants to mate with my mother and kill my father. However, I do believe that much of our memories are what makes us who we are.

    It has been a while, but the last time I remember looking up what was going on in memory research it had some interesting implications. The older models suggested that our brains act like giant computers and that everything we observe is locked somewhere in our memories. The newer models seem to suggest something different entirely. Instead of “real” concrete memories, we instead seem to store hints and inclinations about events. However, I believe there is an exception for especially shocking events, (i.e., where were you when you heard about September 11, or when Kennedy was shot ect.) At any rate, then our brains essentially create a fantasy about the particular events we are recalling based on our hints and inclinations. What’s even more fascinating is that our current sense of self seems to influence what we recall about our memories!

    If anyone is interested, there is a fun book by a Harvard psychologist named “Stumbling on Happiness” that deals not only with memories but our perception of the future as well. Wow…that was a bit of a rant wasn’t it? Completely off topic from what you were discussing lol.

    So, yes! I would subscribe to the idea that our memories are built upon layers of consciousness that is developed throughout our lifetimes.
    -R

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  2. Libby --- libby.r@gmail.comSeptember 20, 2009 at 3:39 AM

    I had a strange night last night. I took a pill of THC. Within an hour I was really just out of it all, and lying down. I started to dream... I think. When I was lying down my mind started roaming, and I couldn't come "up" from the high back into reality. It was all fuzzy but I was also thinking clearly.

    My friend was with me and I remember telling her everything I was seeing, everything that was in front of my face. I had this idea, and it was SO strong, and so I told her that people will only remember the dreams they had in their latest REM cycle. When they wake up after it, those are all the dreams they think they had during the night. Does that make sense?
    I really don't know much about sleep cycles and when the dreaming begins and ends, but that idea was pretty strong in my head at the time.

    I also was telling her that each dream sequence is just that... a sequence of really short dreams all put together, like how words get put together into a sentence. You would switch from dream to dream really quickly, with no "fade in" or "fade out" occurring. Almost like a thought tangent that you'd have when you're awake. So there would be dozens of little dreams in the sequence, but like the words in a sentence, they all fit together in a weird way to make one or more "dreams" or dream ideas.

    And I was getting memories from my childhood. They were tiny little parts, and like the poster before me said, hints or inclinations. We really just see these in flashes. For me last night, one example was there was a train coming, on a railroad, and then my mind just "zoomed in" on the tracks and I saw what was like a bicycle chain, or a tank's chain that was moving the train along, and I knew that there was something like that from when I was a kid. That right there would be one of the tiny little dreams that fit into the big sequence.

    I wouldn't doubt that all of this sounds ridiculous, but I REALLY really thought at the time that I was dreaming awake.
    I wouldn't even know who to talk to about all this, if it is anything worth talking about. I really have no idea...

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