Tag Archives | dreaming

‘Inception’ Is Possible—At Least In Sleeping Mice

A man in a suit with a gun in his right hand is flanked by five other individuals in the middle of a street which, behind them, is folded upwards. Leonardo DiCaprio's name and those of other cast members are shown above the words "Your Mind Is the Scene of the Crime". The title of the film "INCEPTION", film credits, and theatrical and IMAX release dates are shown at the bottom.If you liked the movie Inception and are interested in the science of dreaming, you’ll be interested to learn that scientists are now able to influence the dreams of mice (humans coming soon no doubt). From Quartz:

Scientists have been poking around in mice brains a lot recently. They’ve found that they have dreams, and that those dreams can be manipulated.

Research (paywall) by scientists at the Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution in Paris has shown that scientists can influence mouse dreams, in a way reminiscent of the 2010 science fiction movie Inception. Researchers placed electrodes into a part of the mouse brain called the hippocampus, which contains cells that send electrical signals in specific places (hence their name, place cells). After monitoring mice in a specific arena, scientists were able to locate specific cells that fired in specific locations.

As the mice were sleeping, the electrodes illustrated that place cells in mice were still firing, as they dreamed about particular places.

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Sonya Fu – The Art Of Dreaming

fever_vanity_by_sonya_fu

Fever Vanity by sonya fu

“Explanations always call for deep thought. But when you actually dream, be as light as a feather. Dreaming has to be performed with integrity and seriousness, but in the midst of laughter and with the confidence of someone who doesn’t have a worry in the world. Only under these conditions can our dreams actually be turned into dreaming.” — Carlos Castaneda “The Art of Dreaming”

sonyafu

Visual Artist, Sonya Fu 

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Dreaming Of Paradox

photo credit: James W. Jesso

photo credit: James W. Jesso

Originally Published On Adventures Through The Mind

Check out the crowdfunding campaign for author’s newest book here.

I’ve been having this reoccurring sensation; a feeling that the reality I experience as my waking life is really a dream that I am just about to wake from.

I start to get a light glimpse of each person within this waking reality – directly present and historically referenced – to be dream characters and creations of my mind. Like a wonderfully sewn yarn, each character in this unfolding dreamscape has become present at the exact moment necessary to further me along a process of awakening to this truth.

Simultaneous to this sense of pending lucidity, there exists a grand paradox of perception; an equally profound but significant counter observation. Though “I” am the only being that exists and all of waking reality is the illusion of my dream constructed around me in an unfolding process intended to slowly awaken me to my true existence, I can feel that every other person that exists – though to my perception is only a fragment of my greater mind – is actually in the same state of awakening as “I” am.… Read the rest

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The Liminal Spaces Part 2: Hidden Architecture

confused-dream-with-life

Or “how to write while you sleep.”

Part 1: Get Creative: The Liminal State

Most people understand writing as a function of the conscious mind. You have an intention, you sit down and express it best you can.

However, the actual writing process is far more convoluted than that, and there are many “off-label” uses for the lesser understood parts of consciousness, where writing is involved. Nowhere is this more true than with the long-form creative process, which is more like a marathon than a sprint, and more like a surrealist “drift” than even a marathon.

Indeed, many of these byways, alleys and side-paths lead us through a meandering labyrinth, and we may even care to engage the physical process of one foot before the other.

Ambiguity is the labyrinth’s central nature. It is always unstable, changing its personality and ours as we change perspective. … Like a psychic nuclear reactor, the labyrinth generates creative emotional and psychic processes in whatever guise it appears.

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In Search Of A Science Of Consciousness

Capture Queen (CC BY 2.0)

Capture Queen (CC BY 2.0)

Via NPR:

Any color you choose can be matched by a mixture of short, medium and long wavelength light (i.e., blue, green and red light). This perceptual observation led to the formulation, early in the 19th century, of a neurophysiological hypothesis: The eye contains three kinds of distinct color-sensitive receptors (cones); just as colors themselves can be composed of lights of different spectral character, so we can see the vast range of visible color thanks to the joint operation of only three distinct kinds of receptors.

This is a beautiful example of the primacy of experience in the study of the brain-basis of consciousness. Before you can even begin to think about how the brain enables us to see or feel or (more generally) experience what we do, you need to pay careful attention to what our experience is actually like.

And, so, it was further attention to the experience that led scientists to realize the shortcomings of what came to be known as the Trichromatic Theory of Color.

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Video Games Change How You Dream, Increase Lucid Dreaming

video games Are video games dreaming practice? The Verge writes:

Gackenbach is a psychologist at Canada’s Grant MacEwan University and arguably the world’s preeminent expert on how video games can impact dreaming. “The major parallel is that, in both instances, you’re in an alternate reality, whether a biological construct or a technological one,” she says.

In her most recent paper, published in the latest issue of Dreaming, Gackenbach and her colleagues solidified a key earlier finding: that so-called “hardcore” gamers (characterized by regular playing sessions of more than 2 hours, several times a week, since before the third grade) were more likely than their peers to experience lucid dreams.

With subsequent studies she has also found that during lucid dreams, gamers had control only over themselves as a character. They were also able to toggle between first and third-person point-of-view.

She’s also noted in other studies that some heavy gamers seem to be non-plussed by dreams that would qualify as nightmares.

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How Our Ancestors Used to Sleep Twice a Night and Highlighting the Problem of Present Shock

8 hour sleeping is a modern invention.

Imagine you are a denizen of the 18th century. It’s just past 8:30 P.M., you’ve got your night-cap on. You blow out your candles and fall asleep to the smell of the wax and the wick, which gently fills the air around your bed. Some hours pass. 2:30 AM. You awaken, grab your coat, and visit the neighbors because they, too, are up. Doing quiet reading, prayer, or even having sex. Well, apparently before the age of electricity, sleeping twice a night was completely ubiquitous.

Back in those times, we slept twice a night, getting up for an hour or two for recreation before heading back to bed until dawn.

From Slumberwise.com:

The existence of our sleeping twice per night was first uncovered by Roger Ekirch, professor of History at Virginia Tech.

His research found that we didn’t always sleep in one eight hour chunk.

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Robert Moss On How To Use Active Dreaming

active dreamingLife feeling a bit grey? Sounds True talks to shamanic dream explorer Robert Moss, pioneer of “active dreaming,” who explains the power of dreaming techniques to help yourself and others:

When people think about dreams in our society at all and try to talk about them, they typically talk as if dreaming is a passive activity. You go to sleep and you have a dream or maybe a dream has you.

But we can be active dreamers in a couple of very interesting and important senses. We can learn to be active about entering the dream state—this approach goes beyond the more familiar version of lucid dreaming by teaching us how we can start out conscious or lucid and enter the dream state from that conscious level and stay conscious through the whole experience.

You learn to reenter that dream consciously, go back and find the dream, talk to a character, resolve a problem, go beyond a terror—learn how to use your personal dreams as portals to places of healing and imagination and doorways into the multidimensional universe.

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“Life is But a Dream”

Picture: Anonmoos (PD)

“As sunlight obscures the stars by day so too does wakefullness blind us to the fact that we are still dreaming.”

Liber Kaos, Peter J Carroll.

Part 1, Essays for the Discordian occultist: introducing the lucid dream.

Everything you experience of the outside world has to pass via your senses into your brain. Your body acts as an instrument through which reality is filtered. Ignorance allows you to focus. You always exclude more than you are taking in. If this article has your full attention it will necessarily be at the expense of other things.  If you’re reading it on your mobile in a pub some people will see your focus as ignorant, for example.

It is with your memory and imagination that you decode meaning from the chaos of the external world. You’ve been around in some form or other since the dawn of time.… Read the rest

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