|Santorini - Edited by Dale (Photo credit: libraryman)|
Editing in a movie or a written work is the norm. We don't have to see every action that is a part of the story and not every long-lasting action needs to be seen in its entirety. If a character in a story needs to get from point A to point C, we don't have to know everything about the B in between the two points. Highlights are essentially all that matter. Whatever is necessary to drive the story and illuminate the motivation is what needs to be presented with unessential parts edited out of the final product.
Does our mind work in a similar way?
If you think back to a memorable day of your life, a vacation, or a long trip, you will normally recall the parts that seemed most important and the more mundane aspects become lost to memory. Think about a time when your spouse or someone else asked, "What did you do today?" Sometimes you probably have to stop and try to remember what you did do that day. The memories may come haltingly and other things you skip not only because you may not remember them, but also because it would be absurd to do a minute by minute replay of the day. Editing is expected by your listener and by you.
A dream example that I will use came on a recent morning when I was able to sleep later than normal. This particular part of my dream sleep that I recall seemed to be very long and involved. I was going somewhere in a very large setting that consisted of very odd constructions and landscaping. At one point I was following some sort of maze and came to a very long segment where I had to scoot along the top of a sort of hedge. As I recall the dream I started on the hedge and then suddenly I was at the end. It was almost as though the long repetitive activity was edited out of the dream.
Reflecting back I wonder if this activity was actually edited out? Or did I edit the tedious process out of my memory? Perhaps the dream contained the activity but I merely don't remember it because it was not memorable due to the repetitiveness of the action.
There are many times I am in one point of a dream and suddenly appear in an entirely different point. This could be the result of dream editing either within the dream or in the memory of the dream. Not being able to reexamine the dreams it is difficult to say.
Have you had what could have been a dream editing experience? Do you think this phenomena has more to do with not completely remembering a dream? If dream editing does occur, how would you explain it?