Thursday, March 14, 2013

Do You Have a Dream Editor?

Santorini - Edited by Dale
Santorini - Edited by Dale (Photo credit: libraryman)
         Have you ever had a very long dream and then within that dream have a particular sequence that you know should be long, but in the course of the dream that sequence becomes shortened as though it were edited?

          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?

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  1. Haven't a clue if that happens, unless of course I'm in the middle of the dream and are woken up.

  2. I think my mind does edit out the mundane things in dreams, otherwise it would be too much like real life. I remember the big parts, the beautiful parts.

  3. I'm not sure if some of my dream experiences are edited or just wacky, but sometimes I'm having a dream involving several people and we are in a particular place. All of a sudden this same group of people and I are in in the same circumstances but in a completely different place. There is no mention or recognition of how we got there but nobody seems troubled by this. We all just seem to except that we got there some how.

    Also, sometime I'm having a dream about a place I know well (someplace I have lived before). I know it's this place, but the attributes are not right. Like for awhile I lived in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I'll be dreaming about one of the little towns I lived in, but it doesn't look the same, or there is a large store there, that did not exist in real life, or it's has a beach. Yet in the dream it IS that place. Not sure if this is a form of editing or just the crazy way my brain works.

  4. I know what you're saying, that happens sometimes in my dreams. I'll be somewhere, and then suddenly I'm at a different place..not sure if I'm editing my own dream, or if I just travel really fast in some dreams!

  5. JoJo -- It's difficult to say what really is going on when we are dreaming.

    Susan -- Like life we probably remember most what seems most important.

    Farawsy-- Like you say, this is the brain at work. Our thoughts can be flighty and redefine memories.

    Eve-- Maybe dreams are filled with wormholes.


  6. I'm not sure if I edit them or if I simply don't remember portions of dreams. I definitely often realize I "know" certain things in dreams even if I have no clue how I came to know them. What a curious process dreams are.

  7. I'm not sure about this one. :) I don't remember much.

  8. Colby -- I've discussed this dream knowledge in other posts. Is it part of the dream earlier but not remembered or just back story that is part of the dream story set up? Is editing involved in this somehow? Curious indeed.

    Ciara -- Dream memory often requires self-training and practice. The dreams are there and can be a goldmine for writing ideas.


  9. Yes, I've had that experience several times. Although I have forgotten lots of details about my most recent dreams, I don't think forgetting is what there is about "dream editing", as you call it.
    Maybe it's not even editing, who knows. We often jump from one topic to another when talking, disregarding, sometimes, the rules of grammar: "You know, I'd rather, hey, ok, you remember that day, you and I, yes, that one exactly, now take Al Pacino in Scarface, Al Pacino in Scarface, not DeNiro in Taxi Driver, and you know what I mean".
    Now,isn't that the way we talk?
    Why shouldn't dreams communicate in the same way?

  10. Jay -- Good to see you here again. I would tend to agree with you that since dreaming is probably mostly a thought process that the dreams thoughts would come randomly. But if the dreams are entire sequences that exist in a sort of "real" dream time, we may leave out non-essential portions in the same way that we don't recall every waking moment of our day unless really pressed. "Memory Editing" is merely a way for me to express a concept of conveniently discarding certain memory spans that we really don't feel are important. Could dreams work the same way as that? Perhaps, but I'm more in agreement with what you've said.



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