A fascinating look at hippocampal neurons

By James Wadman

The human mind developed a fundamental understanding of calculus, but it is also responsible for plays and poetry.  The human mind can trace subatomic variables across the cosmos, but it can also find meaning in Rembrandt’s abstraction.  I am acknowledging these two contrasting forms of human ingenuity because today I want to trespass the boundary dividing the creative spirit and logical reasoning.  Dreams are an element of the mind that can be defined through scientific expression, but only understood by embracing the subjectivity of what we commonly identify as the human soul.  While we can quantify the strength of dreams based on the kinematics of electrical frequencies and chemical reactions in the brain, what they mean and how you respond to them is completely up to you.

Dreams are accelerated thought processes magnified by elevated brain frequency and hormone levels during sleep.  Now, if you go into detail with the chemicals that are synthesized during sleep, some pretty interesting psychoactive substances show up (dimethyltryptamine being one of them).  These chemicals play a vital role in the isolation of the mind from ordinary thought and observation.  The five senses are fundamentally isolated from any form of conscious observation of the external environment, so the mind has nowhere to go but within oneself.  Essentially, dreams occur because the mind is never shut down during sleep, it just changes its frontier of observation and its capacity.  You dream because you sleep, but you don’t sleep because you dream.

Many people then ask, if dreams are all from memory, then why do we have these random desires and attractions to people who we have no previous conscious attraction to?  I like to label this just as the biological dominance of dreams.  Sleeping is the body’s chance to refresh and reengage hormone levels for the next day; therefore, hormone levels are extremely elevated during sleep.  This can translate to instantaneous desire purely based on human biology, and no conscious justification.  I like to use the example of chemical spontaneity to describe this random desire.  In chemistry we can quantify all the reactions that can happen, but that does not always mean they will happen based on what favorable variables are present.  It works the same way biologically with dreams.  In the spontaneous cycling through your memory during dreams, any sort of reaction that can happen might just show up as a very unexpected emotion or desire.

 

For Part Two, please click here: Dream Dualism, The Capture

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