Monday, 27 May 2013

Dreams are grown-from memories


Although dreams (and presumably the Dreaming phase of sleep, of which dreams are only a sample accessible to awareness and persisting in memory) - are in a sense made-from-memories - but more accurately they are grown from memories.

If dreams were just combined from memories, some memories being intact and accurate while others are incomplete and distorted to to entropic degradation - then this does not account for the experience of dreams as narratives that are both unpredictable and open-ended.

So, it is best to thing of dreams as not merely permutations of combinations of memories (including damaged memories) but as a creative process in which memories are used as the basis for novelty.

In a sense dreams are extrapolated memories; but the extrapolation is not so much like the predetermined rigor of the growing crystal seed; but more organic - more of a speeded-up evolutionary process.

So dreams are evolved memories - evolved according to a transformative process in which one thing serves as the basis for what comes next, in a linked yet open-ended sequence of transformation-built-upon-transformation.

Yet an evolution and transformation that is not chaotic - always with some kind of logic behind it.

We do not know and cannot predict where a dream is going - not least because a dream has no necessary end but can keep-going indefinitely - but we feel that the dream has each moment a direction - a direction which is consequence of the processes which make the dream. 

Always according to rules - the presumed rules of dream logic which are only faintly intuited in advance, whose operations seem obvious in retrospect - yet which defy summary...