What do dreams mean to you?

I agree with X-acts post. I used to dream about all kinds of things, but once I dreamt that I was typing in the code to get to the next level on some random game. Then I immediatly woke up, found my Gameboy Advanced and typed in the code and it worked. Since I only discovered the internet only four-five years ago, there was no way I could have found it there. I don't dream these dreams anymore though, only sex-dreams >_>.
 
I'm very into dreams. Something I read not too long ago attempted to explain the significance of dreaming.

One theory suggested that we dream as a way of preparing ourselves for problems. We dream about exams and what would happen if we got caught cheating in an exam because we know it's wrong. We dream about messing up our lines in a performance so we make sure we know our part inside-out-back-to-front. Also, people will wake up from a nightmare feeling worse than they would had they woken up from a dream where they flew to the moon and made friends with an alien, or whatever.

Another theory was that our dreams are just our brains creating situations out of randomly fired nerve signals (or something like that). This has been somewhat disproved (not entirely though) by the study of external influences. People have been sprayed with water during REM sleep and have woken up to report that they dreamt of being around water. There's also that old tale that if you rest someone's hand in warm water it makes them pee. And then of course there are the lucid dreaming tools which flash lights and/or make sounds which you hear and recognise.

I've heared of theories such as X-act's one of the whole parallell universe esque things associated with dreaming. This links with "share dreams" people have reported. Whilst I would like to believe that, I'm too much of a realist to. I mean the concept is cool and stuff, but things such as lucid dreaming showing that the dreamer has complete control over the dream, characters, surroundings and themself, is a way of disproving; unless of course the other reality revolves around the visitor.

Moving away from theories; to ME dreams represent a way of escape. The dream world is a place where humans can achieve omnipotence. The whole "dreams are just random nerve signals" is far too boring for me to back it up. Dreams are a way of experimenting without concequence. Dreams are the reason I bother to sleep. Dreams remain a mystery which science is yet to smear its grubby hands on.


My theory about dreams is pretty weird, and is based on the multiverse theory. As far as I know, this theory is my own; if you know of somebody else that has claimed something similar to what I'm going to say here, please link me.
In a youtube video I found a while ago I heared about books written by Dolores Cannon called "The Convoluted Universe" which talk about the concept of travelling between universes without concious knowledge. You could check it out.
 

cim

happiness is such hard work
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I can disprove X-Act simply due to the idea of lucid dreaming.

Lucid Dreaming is the process of becoming aware that you are dreaming, and subsequently being able to manipulate it. One achieves this usually by doing a series of "reality checks" in their daily life combined with some other method before bedtime to increase the likelihood of a lucid dream. By doing the reality checks in real life, they become common enough that they show up in your dreams.

Anyway, these reality checks are designed to fail in dream physics. For example, I attempt to breathe through my nose while it is plugged. In every dream I have done it in, it has failed. I then realize "oh I'm dreaming" and can control things. I can fly. Run through walls. Make objects appear and dissapear. Become a mod on Smogon. You know the deal.

How can this be explained with your admittedly awesome postulate? As amazing as it seemed, this contradicts it.

Dreams that I don't control reflect my subconcious, but I very rarely have a non-lucid dream nowadays. I prefer adventure.
 
Would it still be considered a lucid dream when you realize it's a dream but still have no or only a little control over it? That happens to me a lot.
 
Why do they exist?
Well it may have to do something with conscious thought. I do not know if other organisms dream(maybe Elephants dream because of their superb memory.)

What purpose do they serve in our lives? Are dreams essential to live?
Dreams serve a great purpose and IMO very essential. In some ways, it also expresses your emotional/mental states and whatever else makes up your identity. It may allow you to reference a dream you remember and take it into account in your future. I swear I had dreams about different individual girls and as I dream more about them, I grow more fond of them and want to know more about them. Dreaming about specific people can also express a way how you feel towards people. It can also make you aware of situations.

Is it essential? Probably not, but it is a great thing to have and benefits dreamers in many ways.
 

cim

happiness is such hard work
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Would it still be considered a lucid dream when you realize it's a dream but still have no or only a little control over it? That happens to me a lot.
I think so. I'm surprised you can't control your actions though.

Read up here.
 
I'm really jealous as to how so many of you apparently have lucid dreams with great frequency. Any pro tips on getting lucid dreams? And any protips on how to maintain them? Every time I seem to be getting to the good part (usually involves me conjuring women to have sex with) I wake up. I've only had a handful of lucid dreams (like three) and I want more damnit!

Edit: Also, in all three of those lucid dreams someone tries to kill me. I try to escape in order to preserve the lucid dream (imagine trying to bang a chick and escape from your would be killer), but that bastard always ends it somehow. I can vaguely recall his face, too.
 
Disclaimer: none of the following is scientific, maybe there are strong arguments against it that I am not aware of, but for now it makes sense to me:

An interpretation of what dreams are that I like is consolidation. Basically, dreams would allow you to copy some knowledge from one part of the brain to another, integrating it better to your world view and consolidating it. When you are in the real world, the images you see are processed through many layers in your brain and eventually become concepts, internal representations of what you see. While dreaming, you could imagine that your brain is able to reverse the processus: from concepts, it goes backwards and creates images, sounds, etc. which, if you were to see or hear them, would toggle these concepts in your brain. So for example a neuron in your brain associated to the concept of "tree" would fire up and would generate an image of a tree. In real life you see a tree and your "tree" neuron is activated, but in a dream your "tree" neuron might be activated without an image to back it up and your brain makes up an image to go along. Hence why I say dreams work backwards.

Now, since it started from just the concept of tree, the image won't have any definite, coherent shape - it's "a tree", not some particular tree, so if the leaves change color or it gets smaller or bigger it's normal because all your brain has to work with is "I'm seeing a tree". But now that you created images from concepts that lie in your brain, you can go forward again and interpret the images using other parts of your brain. So to give you an example your brain will fire up the "tree" concept, will create the image of a tree, which will probably have a lot of green in it. And then your brain will interpret the image and the "green" concept will fire up and be consolidated by the "tree" concept. And then your brain goes backwards again and generates a green image, which could be a crocodile, and so on. Basically, I think that a dream could be caused by high level representations (concepts) in your brain firing up in some pattern (concepts you used the day before will have a greater chance of being used, things like being wetted or flashed are probably also perceived and integrated by the brain, etc. It isn't completely random). These concepts are used backwards in order to produce images that correspond to them. And then the brain interprets these images in order to fire up other related concepts, consolidating the links between ideas and creating new images and so on. In other words, in real life you have external sensorial inputs (images, sounds, smells, etc.) forced upon you. In real life, you go senses -> concepts. In a dream, I think your brain actually goes: senses -> concepts -> senses -> concepts -> senses -> concepts, etc. Whenever concepts fire up in your brain, it tries to make up some believable pretend sensorial input to go with them. When it has it, it uses it to fire up concepts again (slightly different ones), from which it will create the next sensorial inputs. And I think the point of all that is simply to link concepts together, because if my concept of tree contains a bit of the concept of green, I'll generate images of trees that are also green and the part of my brain which is dedicated to green will see this and it will be able to learn that "hey! trees are green!" - not exactly like that, but basically I think that it might just strengthen links in the brain between "tree" and "green" and thus make it more efficient.

It's like... imagine you are trying to communicate with someone in another room and all you have is an opaque window between the two rooms where you can draw. Whatever you draw shows up at the other side. Well, normally, two different concepts in the brain can't communicate with each other, they are in different rooms. However, they can both see the images we see. What dreams would do is simply to shut down the eyes and allow concepts to draw what they like instead. And then they can communicate and learn from each other.

Since dreams happen in conceptual spaces, they won't look coherent, because you seem to jump from a situation to another even though it would be impossible in real life, but they might be coherent in their own way. Maybe you are simply linking concepts together: a residential street makes you think of a tree on the sidewalk, a tree makes you think of a forest, a forest makes you think of animals, animals make you think of cats, cats make you think of cat food, cat food makes you think of the supermarket, the supermarket makes you think of the mall, the mall makes you think of your group of friends, your group of friends makes you think of smoking pot. So in a very short time you manage to dream that you are walking out of your home on the street and suddenly you are in a forest, you see a cat and you go to the supermarket around the corner to get him cat food. When you get out, you're in a mall, you see a friend and in the time of a blink you are smoking your "cat food" with him. It's very coherent, but only conceptually, in the sense of something making you think of something else. I'm not necessarily saying that you can see links between everything in your dreams - perhaps they are unconscious, and I'm also fairly sure there's some genuine randomness to them. Your brain might also deliberately try to find links between unrelated things by putting them together in a dream. But I think my interpretation of dreams is probably fairly accurate.

Sorry for the long post, I always end up doing that.
 
It's hard for me to put an meaning into dreams, because my dreams really can't have meaning. At least not the ones I get now. I once had a dream where my alarm was going off, then I turned it off and went to sleep. Yep that was it. Some people have dreams where they are flying and cool stuff like that and I have dreams about dumb everyday stuff like waking up then going back to sleep. Now I know someone is thinking "are you sure it was a dream?" yeah I'm sure because my alarm went off at the usual time and I got right up that morning. This is pretty standard for me now. I have dreams about normal stuff, swimming at a friends house, buying a shovel (WTF). Also I could count the number of sex dreams I've had on one hand.

Lucid dreaming would be awesome, if I could do it. I almost always realize that I'm dreaming and always try to stay dreaming and control my actions but I always wake up.

X-Act's thought are interesting. If you ask me if I think there are other universes I would say "yeah probably". However I don't believe the dream part. Recurring dreams seem more like they would contradict the theory. I just feel like the odds or being in the same universe and the same time multiple times are too big. It's an interesting theory though.
 
lucid dreaming is fun, but in my opinion it's better as a rare treat that happens naturally. if you push to get lucid dreams every night, you don't end up very well-rested, and let's be serious, your subconscious is pretty good at coming up with rad adventures on its own

i uh, i dream about being spider-man a lot
 
I feel like I've had so many different types of dream experiences. Usually they are pretty incoherent, even the emotionally stirring ones. I have had dreams where I cried most of the time and woke up crying. I've woke up scared with something unexpected, but usually neither of these happen. I've died in dreams, sometimes to remain there motionlessly till I wake up or somehow appear in some other setting. I've been fictional characters in dreams from TV or movies or just made up occasionally, and sometimes I'll segue in and out of "video games" (none are usually real) as a player and a character. I've had dreams in dreams and side-by-side dreams. Often times I'll be embarrassed in dreams because I'm nearly naked, which is probably because I sleep in boxers only usually. I've also had odd pleasures that I never have had in real life... Sex dreams have happened before, nothing real graphic or realistic but somewhat provocative. I've dreamed of unknown people before and created faces for people I've met on the internet but have never seen (including people here). I sometimes find myself immovable or slow of movement and with bad vision (because I'm laying in my sheets?) and I can usually breathe underwater or at least remain there without discomfort. Then I've had a couple dreams in which I was actually pretty happy. In the end they're usually just pretty incoherent and meaningless and I wake up thinking "what the fuck" though. I think a lot of what you said Brain would apply to my dreaming, pretty interesting stuff there.

Oh and lucid dreams, I've had those but I usually don't end up accomplishing much then I wake up soon after lol, I really don't think anyone can be in total control of their dreams unless someone wants to claim otherwise
 
Dreams to me are just fantasies. They used to mean a lot to me though. I used to think that dreams were a way to work through my subconscious thoughts, paths to the future and that they had hidden messages within them. I now think very differently, because my dreams have let me down. It's also quite upsetting to see my perfect world in my dream (love), and then to wake up to the realization that it's not going to come true. Dreams can be a nice way of enjoying ypurself in your sleep. by my opinion now is that they are just dreams, and nothing else.

However, it doesn't mean that I have given up on my lifelong dreams! I want to be a top journalist for an international newspaper, and nothing in this world is going to stop me! :heart:
 
I have quite a lot of dreams, involving a dead friend, living people i know, some people i don't know and probably don't exist (but in my dreams they are not strangers), death, falling into a hole, and a lot of strange stuff, it is not as bad as it may sound, it is kinda fun, except most of the time i can't remember exactly when i wake up. I have no clue what they mean though, but for me it must mean a lot of "leftovers" my brain has during normal life, and the only way to get rid of it is on my sleep.

Some times i can control what happens on the dream or i realize i'm dreaming, these times are so fun, but i can't keep manipulating it for long because when you know it's a dream you wake up almost instantly.
 
I'd like to bring up the subject of those dreams that don't seem to be special in any way, but then you wake up with a start and for some reason you're extremely sweaty.

I just had a dream about being in an elevator, listening to the music. I suspect that this may be some reference to the CAP TL discussion, especially since I went to bed shortly after making this post. So I was standing in this elevator, nothing special was happening, and all of a sudden, I wake up with a slight jump, covered in sweat.

Thoughts?
 
What are dreams, and why do they exist? What purpose do they serve in our lives? Are dreams essential to live?

These are some questions I've been wondering about for the past few days, ever since the discussion came up in one of my classes the other day.
Hmm.. I've had this topic on my mind ever since I had this one dream, most likely from playing too much Twilight Princess along with my "I want to be like *insert heroes name*!" thoughts.

I was a Swordsman in what looked like a mix of modern-day America and Feudal Japan, and fought enemies to protect friends and family against "somebody" trying to conquer the country/world/whatever, and was doing fairly good on his conquest. One of the top elite spies in this guys organization, who actually worked for a group I was in, part of the rebellion, resembled a girl I knew IRL, and had the feeling (in my dream) of a "childhood friend."

Anyway, she leaked plans that there would be an attack on a nearby small village, so I went there and chilled out for a while... and of course they attacked in the middle of the night with a powerful force, quickly overtaking the village. So I took a stand in the town square and killed majority of the looters and soldiers, noticing that SHE was helping to lead the attack (well she was his spy, after all). I end up getting surrounded by a group of other swordsmen, and there was a loud *thump* sound. Everything stopped.

"He" came as well. And as he walked towards me and the group, they all just scattered away. I go on with my hero semantics "Finally a chance to end this, blah blah." We fight, and I get my ass handed to me (he had uber sword skills and some Magic, wtf?), and I remember laying on the ground, and I saw that GIRL in a house tending to a family in need. Without looking behind him, he said:

"I know she's working with you, and I will kill her in the end."
"Not a chance.. you have to get through me before you lay a hand on her!"
"Then so be it."

"He" comes towards me, magic culminating in one hand, a katana in the other, but I'm a bit sparked up now that he knows something. The fun part here is that THE FREAKING HEARTS BAR from Zelda: Twilight Princess shows up, and "refills" my Hearts. LoL.

He launches the magic, I roll backwards and jump up, and parry a sword strike. Which I was like w0ot! Then he kicked my ass again, and there I go back in the dirt... I'm completely exhausted and drained, motionless.. He runs at me with a mighty roar, jumps up, and I close my eyes, expecting death.

The sword goes in the dirt next to my head. *whew*

"She will die, as will you. Today, however, is your lucky day. You impress and intrigue me, so I will allow you and your friend to live. As for this town, you win the day. WITHDRAW ALL FOURCES!!"
"But why? You had it won, had me beat!"
"As you have entertained me today, I will repay this graditude in the furute."
"Don't kill her.. not yet.."
"She will live for now, she does her job well."
"Don't kill her....."

And then I wake up in a sweat saying "Don't kill her! You bastard, I'll get you!"

And then I go wtf :doom:

Still, this dream had a huge impact on me for some reason.. I do what I can to protect all my lady friends from general assholes and their boyfriends sometimes, whether verbally or physically. So I figure this dream symbolized something in my life that I have yet to understand, or maybe in a life past of some sorts. Maybe the future?

Now I need to dream up an answer.
 
Dreams mean a lot to me. I use to write down all my dreams, but then I got lazy.
Can anyone control their dreams?
 
Brain's theory seems reasonable, i.e. memetic devices coming before the sensory interpretation. I've had many dreams where i now in my head "this is my friend X's house" despite the entire house being made up.


as far as what "meaning" they might have (which is always an ambiguous quesion for anything) i have a feeling that it's either
1. your mind at "play", unbounded by environment for the most part
2. your mind focusing on stuff that you may be preoccupied with. I've had plenty of "guilt dreams" where i do terrible thing and then have to suffer terrible consequences, and wake up feeling super relieved... motivational and terrifying
 
To me dreams tell me what'll happen to me, it maybe 1 year into the future or 1 day Mainly cos i keep having deja vu's! No random shit >_>.
Vinh, if someone could control there dreams, they are super human or chuck norris both obviously don't excist.
 

little gk

competitive oosos player
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To me dreams are just figments of our imagination, sure sometimes they become true, but usually its way out of reality,
Dreams, however, can also be our biggest goal to achieve. Something we strive for everyday
 

Diana

This isn't even my final form
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Dreams typically are totally random if you ask me, I typically have dreams when I wake up and I think "what in the world was I doing in that?" I can't make any sense of it.
 
Dreams do have a meaning that only you can interpret. For example, last night, I was a snake slithering through the grass until I came upon a dead elk. And I climbed into his soul. And it's there I stayed until morning. Which meant that I will underestimate someone very close to me.
 
Vinh, if someone could control there dreams, they are super human or chuck norris both obviously don't excist.
Type Lucid Dreaming into wikipedia, or any search thingy of your choice. It's VERY possible.

well they dont really leave any impact on me or my life, in fact half the time I dont dream
You always dream. You just don't remember it. You just have poor dream recall, or are deprived of REM sleep.

Dreams typically are totally random if you ask me, I typically have dreams when I wake up and I think "what in the world was I doing in that?" I can't make any sense of it.
Dreams are thought up by your unconcious mind. Some say that every dream has some sort of hidden meaning, like your SC is trying to tell you something. I'm not one to deny this either, to be honest. It's quite interesting attempting to decypher what it may mean.

So I was standing in this elevator, nothing special was happening, and all of a sudden, I wake up with a slight jump, covered in sweat.

Thoughts?
External stimuli. From personal experience, it's easy to wake up with a jolt because of something which is happening in reality, like something falling off of desk, or a poster falling off a wall (happens to me a lot D=). As for being sweaty, were you hot? the body reacts to dream situations like it would to the real world. If you dream you're peeing, you wet yourself. If you were hot, you may sweat.

Also, did you make a sudden movement as you woke up? Many times I've been running and as sleep paralysis wore off I've violently kicked as i woke up, because my brain thinks I want to run.

i can't keep manipulating it for long because when you know it's a dream you wake up almost instantly.
The key is not to get excited. It's common to think "Yes! I'm dreaming how cool is this!?" and wake straight up. If you wish to prolong it, rub your hands. The brain focuses more on the sensation of a hand rub than trying to return to reality. Also, take a look at your hands; the brain can't conjure them up properly, so they look all deformed.
 

akuchi

chaos's bitch
The falling and waking up with a jerk is extremely common - it's called a hypnic jerk. I get about five or six a night.
 

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