January 16, 2012
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Dreams are an escape. They free us from the clasp of boring society. Their unpredictability and spontaneity make them one of the most interesting functions on the human body. Because of this randomness and the fact that they cannot be physically examined or recorded, they have continued to elude scientists for years. Surely there is some explanation behind the triggers of such eccentricity; perhaps some sort of algorithm. By close examination and interpretation of dreams, one can find the slightest glimpse of logic behind them.

The fact that our dreams include familiar faces and locations, shows that there is at least some rhyme and reason behind them. From this, one might deduce that the events of dreams reflect the events of daily lives. Dream researcher, Calvin Hall, examined the dreams of hundreds of people and came to the conclusion that dreams reflect the daily concerns on problems such as money, health, and relationships. While there is evidence to back this theory, questions are left unanswered. One contradiction to this theory is nightmares. Stereotypically a nightmare contains the dreamer facing some horrendous creature of the abyss. Nowhere in the average person’s life do such events take place, so in this aspect, Hall’s theory comes up short. If we only dreamed in the way he claimed then our dreams would simply reflect our daily lives but in sleeping form. Since our brain produces such exotic and extreme situations, there is another explanation behind it.

I personally have a different belief on how brains work. Dreams exist as a means for us to do unthinkable actions. Humans have primitive urges but society tells us that they are wrong, so we repress and sensor such ideas. They lay dormant in the backs of our heads. The only way outlet that we can express them through is dreaming. This is the same way that we live vicariously through zany television characters actions, except we are able to do the actions ourselves. The process that allows this to happen is a truly ingenious one. When we are awake and conscious, our complex brain is forced to expend a great percentage of its capacity towards the body. With all this sharing the mind cannot work alone at its true potential. For this reason, you cannot have the ridiculously imaginative dreams awake that you have during REM. When we fall asleep the brains attention is drawn from the parietal lobe, that allows us to feel the world around us and runs at full power in the mental functions such as the occipital and temporal lobe. With this sort of focus, our brain can interpret the extrema of sound and sight beyond conscious potential.
I theorize that because of this, our brain can remove its filters and allow our real thoughts to occur. My theory is similar to Ernest Hilgard’s theory on different streams of consciousness, although I believe that rather than a second stream of thought occurring, a metaphorical dam is removed from a single stream. Now, with this now rushing river of thought, the mind is racing and allows our true colors to show. A dream, no matter how insane or twisted reflects how a person really feels and desires to act. We might deny this, but that is only when we awaken and our stream is dammed once more. By interpreting the symbols of our dreams, we can see past the foolish censorship and see within ourselves. Dreams do not simply mirror the events of the hours before the sleep, but unlock the chakras of the mind allowing infinite possibilities.

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