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Dreaming questions.

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MadArchitect

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Re: Dreaming questions.

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Metaphorm: Granted, there is a lot of bunk surrounding dream analysis, but I believe that dreams can be penetrated, as it were, by applying the proper technique. The theory that I advocate, and I don't have any intellectual pedigree or reference to support it, is that dreams are simply emotional associations with conceptual objects.Well, I don't have any particular vested interest in convincing you otherwise, and if you enjoy dream analysis, then it would be cruel of me to try to deprive you of that. That said, I don't mind complicating your passtime for you. I'll just say that metaphors are very conscious artifacts of imagination, and anything that crops up in dreams is likely to be more unkempt than a metaphor.What I do object to is the use of dream analysis in therapy -- at least, some potential uses. It doesn't seem to me that it can be relied upon as a tool for diagnosis or prescription, and our understanding of dreams -- in as much as they can really be "understood" -- is too piecemeal to afford a really solid, verifiable theory as to its proper incorporation in psychoanalysis.The difficulty with dream analysis is that the only valid interpretation is that of the dreamer.I'll agree with you on this point. I would qualify that statement though. The dreamer is the only person capable of a valid interpretation, though they're very rarely equipped to offer one.This is done by a process of asking questions like, what does this mean to you, how did that make you feel, what associations do you have with this object?A serious problem with the technique of dream interpretation, I would say, is the impossibility of verifying that the associations took place within the dream. James Hillman has pointed to this difficulty, and I mentioned in an earlier post his claim that a great deal of the dread that comes from a nightmare is dragged into the dream from the conscious social reflexes. Killing someone in a dream may not be, in the conext of the dream, horrible, though our conscious self may feel horror at the dreaming of it. When we remember a dream, it's often hard to say whether the feelings that we associate with a given dream-thing are the feelings that we had in the dream, the feelings that we have remembering it in a fully lucid state, or the feelings that we had in the semi-lucid state of coming out of the dream.In general, objects mean what they appear to mean. A car crash, a dark forest, a severe injury, all mean, in general, very bad things.I doubt it's that straight-forward. Several psychologists have suggested that events in dreams may mean precisely the opposite of what they seem to mean. I'd say that the real answer is probably a gray area marked out by a wide range of possibilities.Based on your description of grotesque wounds, my first reaction is to think you hate yourself or something very specific about yourself...maybe you feel very guilty about something, but I am probably wrong.That's probably too broad an analysis. You likely can't understand the dreams I've described apart from their context. That sort of dream usually only crops up during times of unique distress -- my first year at college, for instance -- and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that most people in similar circumstances would have had dreams that were equally unnerving, even if they didn't have similar imagery.Would you describe the wounds in more detail?Well, the cardinal example for me is that of the wound in my hand. It was on the base of the thumb on the side of the palm, the fleshy part just before the cup of the palm. A small wound, not terribly distressing in itself, except that one end of a worm was protruding from it. I tried to pull the worm out, but it struggled to hold its ground. The thing I remember most distinctly, though -- and I think this is rather unusual, since my dreams tend to be more visual than tactile -- is that I could feel the worm pulling against the flesh.Pretty grotesque stuff, and I remember being haunted by the dream for quite a while, although I only had it once. That's been almost ten years ago, and I don't expect you to come away with anything salient about my personality now or then, but I thought you might enjoy the details, since you're so interested in dreams.No wounds involving the genetalia right?Maybe during puberty, but not in recent memory, no.You don't have to answer any of this.I'm going to skip most of the personal stuff, as my interest in dreams is decidedly more Jungian than Freudian.I felt confused and betrayed and inadequate and had to ride home with a girl who thought poorly of me. She drove to her house and said I could walk the rest of the way.Story of my life, buddy.
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Re: Dreaming questions.

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My concern about deliberately extending one's capacity for lucid dreaming is that it might weaken the dream aspect. Look at dreaming as two parts: a controlled part conforming to one's will, and an anarchic part conforming to God knows what principle. To me, the most interesting thing about dreams is that they're so alien despite being something that happens in your head. Taking control of something like that is like patronizing a painter and then holding his hand while he works. Dreams are creative well-springs, and the idea of controlling them seems antithetical to what I find most useful in them.
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Re: Dreaming questions.

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I find lucid dreaming useful sometimes, I never really try to control the elements in my dreams but when something tips me off that I am dreaming I can't help but to change things in my favor.Later
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Re: Dreaming questions.

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I have a technique I use for entering a lucid state, where I realize I'm dreaming, yet that realization isn't powerful enough to wake me. My favorite pastime when I do this is flying, of course. It's scary though. Sometimes I just chase girls...
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Re: Dreaming questions.

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What is your technique Interbane? I am not able to reliably achieve lucidity. It seems as if I almost have to wake up before I can achieve unlimited agency in my dreams, which is a trade-off because we all need sleep. Once I wake up, an event usually accompanied by some dream scenario drawing to a head (my own demise for instance), I can drift back into the dream and control things although to what degree this would be considered sleeping, I am not sure. I am not entirely aware of my immediate surroundings, but I will drift in and out of the dream world with no discernable pattern, which has the strange effect of distorting the perception of linear time, if there is such a thing in dream. Scenarios often replay in my dreams according to how I feel about the outcome. For instance, in the last dream where I experienced lucidity I was riding a bicycle over a very long distance and decided to take a shortcut. Needless to say, I got very lost. I asked for directions, which only resulted in my becoming more lost. At the end of the road, I found myself inside a pyramid at a cult gathering. In the pyramid I discovered a handful of other outsiders, like myself, who were hiding from the cult members. We agreed to work together to fight against the cult, whose numbers incidently were staggering; however, I again, managed to get lost and separated. It was at this time that the cult began a global military assault against the all non-cult members. Needless to say, I was having a bad day, or night, whichevever you prefer. From a door somewhere near the base of the pyramid, I spotted a battalion of foot soldiers as they prepared to engage some enemy. I thought to myself that would be a good opportunity to acquire a weapon and so once hostility commenced, I covertly attacked a soldier near the back ranks. To my suprise, the soldier was not exactly human. I could go into detail regarding the particular anatomy and armament of the creature, but let it suffice to say that it looked like an axe wielding, armor-plated, man-size walking round shield. Unfortunately, I was already committed before I had time to evaluate the probable outcome of such an attack. Somehow, and this is an inconsistency in the narrative, I managed to get hold of a small dagger; however, in my attempts to penetrate my opponents defenses I was struck several times by it's axe, which remarkably was uselessly dull. Seeing that the possession of such a useless weapon could offer no strategic advantage, I retreated to the safety, or so I thought, of the pyramid. The creature, however, broke rank and proceeded to follow me. Because it was very slow and nonlethal, I was able to slip my dagger between two adjacent pieces of armor along its neckline. At last, I thought, a moments rest. I was wrong. I looked up to discover a very sinister looking man in a burgandy red bondage suit blocking my exit. The man carried a chain, which was wrapped in coils around his torso. Attached to each end of the chain were heavy spiked balls which he swung at me in vicious and menacing loops. Did I forget to mention that he was flying? Maybe, I can get past him I thought as he approached me. Nope, I was wrong. He got me good, more than once. There was no escape and I knew it. At this point I think I woke up. I remember thinking, I AM SICK OF THIS SHIT. The next thing I said was, "I think you should burn." That's when he turned into a screaming human fireball. After that I used the force to hurl his flaming body into the pyramid dungeon. I flew a few feet into the air and decided that I needed a sword. My first pick was Cloud's sword from Final Fantasy, but I decided that I wanted something faster and so changed it into Sephiroth's sword, also from Final Fantasy. With the sword in hand I flew out of the pyramid and into the surrounding area. There was fighting all around. I used the force to pick up the armies I saw, all of them, and proceeded to smash them repeatedly into the ground. After that, I smashed them into a ball of bodies and turned my arms into plasma guns. I pumped the ball full of rounds and then cut it in half with a swipe of my sword. When I woke up, I regretted not burning them all to ashes, but I think I got the job done. I would not be suprised, however, if the bondage warrior still lived.That is about the closest dream I've had to a nightmare in a long time. Edited by: Metaphorm at: 2/22/06 8:01 pm
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dreams

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Not bad. you took control of the dream before it turned into a nightmare. That is often when I begin to get the lucid effect as well. Later
MadArchitect

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Re: dreams

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Hmm, that's interesting. I'm gonna riff on the theories put forward by James Hillman for just a second here. Feel free to ignore; these aren't even ideas I would necessarily endorse, but it's an interesting route into what you guys are talking about with lucid dreaming.Hillman suggests that much of the horror that we derive from dreaming is due to the application of conscious modes of thought being dragged by the ankles, so to speak, into the alien territory of the dream. It's not uncommon to have markedly pleasant dreams about subject matter that you would not countenance in your conscious life. For example, a person who is otherwise horrified by violence could well enjoy violence that takes place in their dreams, and without any real contradiction taking place. Dreaming is a parenthesis in which our normal values are often suspended for the simple reason that our consciousness is in a state of suspense.My line of thinking here is, that if the two of you tend to achieve lucidity in a dream at the point at which the dream appears to be morphing into nightmare, the advent of lucidity itself may be a kind of stop-gap measure imposed by your consciousness. Things are happening in the dream that are, within the context of the dream, neutral, but because you've already achieved some measure of consciousness within the dream, you've begun to apply the values that you'd apply in waking life. The result is a kind of horror that your consciousness deals with by alerting you to the fact of your dreaming, thus winning you a measure of control over the dream itself.Whether or not that's a good thing has a lot to do with what you think the value of dreaming might be. Hillman might suggest that you use that control to go against your own conscious impulse away from the horror of the dream. Rather than using that lucidity to escape the nightmare conditions, go into them.
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Dreamscape as Workshop for Soul

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As I understand Hillman's work, which draws heavily on Jung's archetypal structures, the dream is where ancient demands and future destinies impose their reign.Dreams are not simply wrestling matches between the organs, each demanding sustenance at the expense of the other, combatting juices and drives, memories and emotions, expressed visually in dreamscape mode.Hillman argues that we are chased by a destiny that will not rest until we submit to its rule: our dreams are the stage where this pursuit, dance, love affair takes place. The nightmare is our reluctance to face up to our calling, and our calling is what our Soul must be.Our destiny is largely in conflict with our lifestyle and life plans. Our jobs, relationships, alliances, ambitions, etc. are mostly attempts to avoid and silence the daemon that spurs our Soul towards its destiny. But this daemon will not be silent, and will utilize all of the perverse brutalities our imagination can muster to shape our dreamscape into a recognition of who we are called to become. The denial, avoidance, and self-deception that creates our false-self stokes the fires of our nightmare: we are literally at war with ourselves. More accurately, our ego is struggling against ancient and future forces which are demanding it become a Soul.
MadArchitect

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Re: Dreamscape as Workshop for Soul

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Um, yeah, that's not really what I got from it. But then, I've only read "The Dream and the Underworld". Maybe you've read Hillman more extensively.The basis of that book is the extension of Freud's borrowings from classical mythology. Hillman suggests that the classical Greek underworld is a symbol related to dreaming, and that via that correlation, it served as a classical framework in which to understand dreaming. Hillman himself is probably not arguing for any mystical or even biological validity to the concept of soul -- rather he suggests that the Greeks understood psyche in relation to dreaming and the underworld. The underworld's primary function in that sense is to provide a dimension of depth to the human personality. His most operative contribution to dream interpretation builds from that basis, and the central claim is that dreams should be interpreted as inverting the scheme of waking consciousness, much as the kerygmas of Greek myth presented Hades as a mirror inversion of the world of the living.For the record, I'd say Hillman is probably about 50% bullshit, but he charts some interesting territory, and some of his ideas are provocative enough to make him worth reading.
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Re: Dreamscape as Workshop for Soul

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My lucid dreaming can come at almost any time while I am dreaming. The most common occurrences that I can recall are these situations. 1)&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp When things turn violent and I can't possibly win with my skills in the dream.2)&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp When I notice something outrageous, like giant spiders, Godzilla, magic.3)&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp When things are not going my way in a dream sometimes I just realize that my luck just can't be that bad and it becomes lucid.4)&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp When I am near waking.Sometimes these criteria overlap, sometimes they do not.As far as what I believe about dreaming, for me it appears to be my very own personal playground, complete with bendable physics and mythical and imaginary beings and creatures. I do not know if this means anything or not but there it is.Later
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