Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Chicken or the Egg

Battery chicken 2Image via Wikipedia

           Over the past week my dream life has been very active with long bouts of dreaming but little memory of the specifics of the dreams.  This lack of memory is not because I didn't have any capability of remembering, but rather due to the fact that upon awakening I immediately went about various activities without dwelling upon my dreams.  In other words, I'm quite sure that I could have recollected the dream details, but I chose not to.

             I did track the dream content over the course of the dream sleep time because I awoke almost hourly--as I am prone to do at this stage of my life--and checked to see what time it was.  Each time I woke up I was aware of the general story line of the dream and at the end of dream sleep time I was aware that the story had been a continuation of the previous dream sleep period.

            During one sleep cycle I was dreaming in great length and detail about contemporary Christian music artists and business.  There seemed to be a great deal of content that related to the church I attend, various Christian artists, and the business side of contemporary Christian music.

            On another night--or perhaps I should more accurately say morning since this is when most remembered dreams occur--I was dreaming in continued ongoing segments about blogging and things related to that activity.   These dreams continued over a period of several hours.  Nothing in particular seemed to be happening in the dream as far as action or story, but their seemed to be purposeful intent in the ongoing dreams.

            I can directly relate the influence of each of these dream sequences.  The blogging dream is obvious since I spend so much time blogging or thinking about blogging.   The Christian music dream I can connect to my waking activity of researching and writing about the topic of contemporary Christian music on the preceding day.

           One might come to the obvious conclusion that my dreams were merely recreating a dream story based on the previous day's experiences.  My mind was compartmentalizing data from my day and evaluating it before it was stored into the inner recesses of my memory.

             Then again, my dreaming mind might have been using familiar ideas to symbolically tell another story entirely unrelated to the actual activities of the previous day.  It could be that my dream was reinterpreting my preceding day to process it into something of greater relevance to the bigger picture of my life circumstance.

             Is a dream about blogging really about blogging or is it actually related to something entirely different and on a much broader scale?   If I am doing research about a topic like Christian music and writing about that topic and then later have a dream about that same topic, is the dream in reality about that topic or is it something else.

             My fault of not taking the time to evaluate the dream, write it down, and remember its details, has caused me to forget the relevance of the dream--or dreams.  Many dreams are lost in this same way.  Does it matter?   Should we be listening more carefully to our dreams and trying to understand them better?

             That might make me be inclined to ask:  What comes first?  The dream or the action?  Is the dream an interpretation of things past or does the dream prognosticate things to come by teasing us with symbolism? What is the truest state of things?  The dream?   Or that time in which we think we are awake?

            As one finds in the header blog description of one of my favorite bloggers:
“We have fallen asleep in God's embrace, having a nightmare that we are elsewhere."

            Maybe this says it all.


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  1. My dreams tend to be so stressful that I grind my teeth! I'm seriously thinking about seeing a therapist in order to find out what's going on and try to relieve whatever suppressed anxiety I appear to be having. So, for now, I'm actually relieved to wake up in the morning...

  2. I like that quote. I have often wondered which existence is awake and which is dreaming. However, given last nights episode I'm hoping it wasn't reality.

  3. Well, the chicken came first and then created the egg. (Because one cannot create something greater than oneself.) So I'd say the actions create the dream. Anyway, that's my fuzzy logic for the day.

  4. I am glad the dreams end, and I wake up. If I had to live the dream-life, I do not think I could survive. Always running and attempting ridiculously dangerous things...

  5. My goodness, you do have a very active dream life! I don't sleep very well, so I usually dream quite a bit too.

  6. Oh. My. I've been having very strange dreams lately. My husband says it's just my mind working through yesterday's events ... but why couldn't the dreams be joyful instead? Hmm?

  7. BOIDMAN ~
    See, that's the real drawback to "Following" so many blogs: new posts pile on top of other new posts so quickly that some good stuffs gets missed if a person (namely "Stephen") isn't paying careful attention to what appears in his Dashboard.

    You pose a valid question here. The dreams that are true revelations from God or His messengers are always easy to recognize because they are so vivid and powerful that you'll be able to recall them in detail many years later.

    But the other ones... as you point out, are they just the manifestations of the subconscious mind processing essentially unimportant daily stuffs that are currently on the conscious mind? Or is it a "symbolizing" of seemingly mundane things that actually have something of value to teach us provided we interpret it correctly?

    I'm not sure, but I'm inclined to say that both scenarios are true at different times. Maybe sometimes it's just the "mental night doodles" and other times a real message is trying to impress itself upon our conscious mind via the subconscious mind's reorganizing and symbolizing.

    As is often the case in life, I think it's probably a matter of BOTH rather than an Either/Or situation.

    I appreciate you quoting that crazy philosoblogger (and the kind words you said about him), especially because it reminds me that I still owe you a comment response:

    Awhile back, you asked me if I could point to any Biblical evidence to support the "We Have Fallen Asleep In God's Embrace..." quote. I meant to get back to you on that, but one thing led to another and before long, my good intention was forgotten like an unremembered dream.

    But, it's fresh in my mind again, and I'll return there to address it on one of my two upcoming days off. (Sun. or Mon.)

    Thanks for the link, Lee. (Curious though why you linked it to THAT particular blog bit. Just because it was weird like a dream? :o)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  8. I always think the dreams that stand out, the ones that we want to make an effort to remember, are the ones that have a message. Maybe the other ones do too, but I feel if they did then my subconscious would make more of an effort to make me aware of the dream after waking :)

  9. Chicken or egg indeed! You raise some very compelling questions Lee - much to think about.

  10. I want to thank all of you for your comments--some interesting ideas here. Dreams are still a mystery, but mysteries tend to be pretty interesting to most of us.

    Thanks to Stephen T McCarthy for the inspiration that helped shape this blog post and for the quote. I merely copied the post from your blog intro in the header and the quote is linked to that strange post--yes, that post is kind of nonsensically dream-like.


  11. That was very thought provoking. My sister studies dreams and I have been trying to get into it. I have a journal where I can write down my dreams from each night.

    Something my sister told me, if you write down your dreams, the longer you do it the more you will remember from the next dream.


  12. Konstanz -- It's true. Remembering and recording dreams is a training process. When I used to be in the habit of keeping a dream journal it was easy to recall details and write down my dreams when I first woke up.



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