Page Created: 8/1/2014   Last Modified: 4/25/2018   Last Generated: 6/7/2018
When we dream, it is my opinion that we move into a higher-ordinate state, an instantiation of our conscious mind. Some people may think that we do the opposite, we move to a lower-ordinate where our subconscious resides. But if that were so, our dreams would seem more real than life, and we would retain all of the knowledge of our life in our dreams. But we don't.
Only bits of knowledge from our conscious state makes its way into our dream. So I believe that the dream state moves downward into complexity.
Evidence of this can been seen in how choice works. In dreams we don't have choice in the same way as in our waking life, as it seems to be mostly pre-planned or pre-recorded. In many dreams we do things that we wouldn't do in our waking life. Dreams seem to be scripted. It appears that choice as we normally define it requires the waking state.
But why are dreams fuzzy and not clear? It is my opinion that our mind has moved out of its normal focus, and is seeing Time, the 4th dimension, out of focus. If you relax your eye, it can go out of focus. Relaxing the mind, also makes it go out of focus.
But what are we focused on? In the waking state, we use our senses to focus on outside stimuli, but in the dream state, our senses are shut down. Or are they? The ancient Egyptians believed that "thought" was a sense just like the other senses. Perhaps dreaming is not turning off our senses but paying more attention to this more mysterious sensory organ.
We all know that the past makes its way into our dreams. If we experience something unusual in the day, when we dream at night, it usually works its way into our dream in some way. There is no present, since our senses are shut down. We are only pulling stored information from our mind.
However, the future also makes its way into our dream. How is this possible?
It is my hypothesis that Time is a 4th spatial dimension, a linear sequence of events, like a filmstrip. In our waking life, like a properly tuned projector, we see only the frame that we are synchronized with, which we call the "present". But, during the dream state, our projector is slightly relaxed so that instead of seeing one frame, we see the two frames on each side, the one before and the one after. These frames contain the past and the future. Depending on how relaxed the mind gets, the distance into the past or future can be widened.
When we dream of the past, even though it is a memory, it feels more real than a memory, but less real than our waking state. This is because it is not a memory in our mind, it is a memory stored somewhere else in spacetime. We are actually in the past, in a physical place, like a form of telepresence. It is a bit weird, though, because mixed in with the images of the past and future are images from our mind, our imagination.
Our imagination may be self-generated, or it may come from some place in the many-world's interpretation. Either way, it interferes with real data coming in from the past and future, data that may have some tangible meaning in our waking lives.
I discovered this years ago. I always knew that events the day before I went to sleep affected my dreams--this is not disputed by anyone, but I started to notice that events of the day after I went to sleep also entered my dreams. At first I dismissed this as coming from the immense power of the human brain, an organ evolved to predict the future based on past patterns, like in Jeff Hawkin's memory-prediction framework.
But even knowing about the predictive power of the brain, upon further analysis, many events were impossible for my brain to predict on its own. If this was indeed possible, then science has not yet discovered the causal relations, but somehow my brain had. But I did't believe that my single mind can do something that thousands and millions of human minds, in a collective, could not. So I came up with a different theory, that it was not the predictive power of my brain at all, but the predictive power of a much greater brain, something to which I was somehow connected.
One reason science has a hard time detecting this is due to the nature of the phenomena. The symbols that make their way into your dream are subjective; they are only meaningful to you. So if something surprises you in the past or future, that is a data point that will make it into your dream, but only in a manner that your mind will use to generate the story.
How do you experimentally test this? It is very difficult and we need to devise a new methodology to study this. We would need to know what is meaningful and novel for that individual, and then we would need to know how that individual would create an imaginative story if they had this information.
If we had such a good dataset, then we could perhaps statistically filter out that novelty. We could perhaps use the past as our gauge to measure reliability, as this is something we can confirm. This could then add weight to that same pattern applied to the future. It is perhaps a fractal pattern, just like other patterns in the universe.
The scientific method, however, makes this rather difficult because it relies on an assumption that events in Time are not fractal, analogous to the assumption that the distribution of matter in Space is not fractal, and so in order to be meaningful, experimental results must be repeatable and reproducible within any arbitrary time frame, such as when another experiment happens to be performed. Being an assumption, it has no logical grounding, and similarly, there is also an assumption that human perception is an invalid scientific instrument for gathering data in non-physical worlds (such as dream worlds). It is also very difficult to get reproducible results on intermittent phenomena↗, the same reason that used car mechanics have immense trouble finding and fixing a part that only fails under a particular set of circumstances, which is frequently caused by chaotic, fractal phenomena.
It is also interesting that our brain immediately begins to scrub the dream from our memory shortly after we awaken. What is it about these memories that our brain does not want us to know? There is nothing similar to this; we don't normally have memories erase themselves in front of us in our waking state. But every morning I can experience the dream memory slowly disappearing a few minutes after I wake up. It happens to everyone and scientists are not quite sure why this occurs. One theory is difference in brain chemicals, but there are other theories as well. It is unsettling and reminds me of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
From my own experiences, I discovered in my late twenties that some of my dreams were coming true the next day, but not in a way that I expected. The information of the events came through as colors, symbols, and situations. The information was not literal.
Imagine if you had a car and it had red paint, 4 black tires, a cracked windshield, and had a comb in the backseat. Lets say that in your dream, a repairman fixed the crack. The previous day, you may have been to an auto show, so you dreamed about your car. But the next day, in your waking life, you see a man repair a crack on the sidewalk.
These objects are being manipulated by our mind, but only some of the attributes are used to leak data about the past or future. The mind doesn't care if it is the past or future, since it is just looking at what it sees in its relaxed state.
By my mid thirties, I discovered that I had it all wrong. My dreams did not sometimes come true the next day, my dreams always came true the next day. It happens with perfect consistently, so that I'm not surprised anymore. The information is very hard to interpret, but that doesn't mean it is less real. Science may not find it meaningful, but it exists.
The reason I did not detect this before was because I didn't pay enough attention to both my dreams and the events of the next day. But as I drove to work, monotonously day after day, I started to detect dream symbols lining up with novel events. Perhaps the consistency of the work day gave me a baseline where I could then see the variations.
I don't think this is unique to myself. I theorize that everyone does this when they sleep, but some people relax more than others and can see farther ahead than me. I can only see the next day. And I can only detect events that are novel to my subconscious, not events that might be novel to my conscious mind.
My subconscious may think a strange marble on the ground is novel. My conscious mind may think that a crazy news story on television is novel. But that little marble is the thing that will make it into my dream and the news story will be ignored.
There is only one time in my life that one of my dreams came true far in advance, far past the next day, and it was a recurring dream, one of the few recurring dreams I have. I used to dream I was driving my car and I suddenly lost control and went spinning in circles. I was not hurt in the dream, but it bothered me.
Years later, I was driving home from work on Interstate 40 during an ice storm, and my car suddenly spun out of control in the middle of the highway. Many people were behind me and slowed down as my car spun to a stop. I was lucky they didn't also slide into me. My car's engine stopped, and I restarted the car and drove away. There were cars all around me and there were concrete barriers, but I never hit them, just spun in a circle in the middle of the highway, just like those dreams.
I never had that recurring dream again.
Perhaps we can see past just that one day, but the events have to be really, really novel for them to be picked up by our mind. I don't know.
But it makes me wonder if those times are points in the many worlds where our path branches. In one path, perhaps I did not survive the accident, in another path, in my current life, I did. I would not be here to tell the story if this wasn't the case.
This line of thought has made me more respectful of my decisions, for my decisions, if made poorly, will not just adversely affect other people in the world, they may also prune my other selves from the tree of the many worlds, providing fewer and fewer paths ahead for me where I do survive, limiting my future choices.
When we are young, all we have is potential, the path ahead of us in not formed. But as we make choices, our fractal begins to take on a different shape and is no longer malleable in the same way as the shape of times past. This pattern of choice extends far beyond what we normally perceive. It is the only power that we have. It is the most profound aspect of our lives.
In calculus, you can measure the "slope", the steepness or "rate of change" at any point on a "function", such as a twisting and curved line, and turn it into a new function, a function of just those points of slope. But the point itself is what is called an "infinitesimal". It has no size at all, it is infinitely small. But this tiny point is what we are focusing on, something that doesn't exist in the normal sense, but allows us to find the information we seek.
This new function is a higher level of abstraction called the "derivative", and any point on this new function gives us the rate of change of that point in the previous function.
If we extend this one more layer into the abstraction, instead of finding the "slope" at a point of a function, we find the derivative at any point, we get the "differential", and differential equations are used to model all kinds of physical phenomena including those in chaos theory↗.
But that tiny point continues to pass through those layers of abstraction as if they didn't exist, like a singularity.
I think our perception of the present is simply a focusing and synchronization of that projector; the present is that infinitesimal.Comments