REM Sleep,Dreams and Chemical Connections

The reality of dreams can be investigated only through direct contact, REM sleep or no REM sleep, our dreams exist constantly beneath consciousness, even in the waking state. The personality is constantly affected by them. It is impossible to deprive a person of dreams even though we deprive him or her of sleep [as in certain dream laboratory experiments]. This function will be carried on subconsciously.

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The eye movements noted in the beginning of REM sleep are only indications of dream activity that is closely connected with the physical layers of the self. These periods mark not the onset of dreams but the return of the personality from deeper layers of dream awareness to more surface ones. The self is actually returning to more surface levels to check upon physical environment. There is a transference of main energy in deeper dream states from physical to mental concentration.

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Quite simply, the self travels to areas of reality that are far divorced from the physical areas of mobility. The muscles are lax then because physical activity is not required. The energy that is not being expended physically is used to sustain mental actions. The chemical excesses built up in the waking state are automatically changed as they are drained off, into electrical energy which also helps to form and sustain dream images.

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Our scientists would learn more about the nature of dreams if they would train themselves in dream recall. Again, the very attempt to deprive an individual of sleep will automatically set into mechanism subconscious dream activity. The tampering will then change the conditions. The direct experience of the developing dream is what we should be concerned with.

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This could be studied if proper suggestions were given to an individual that he or she would awaken at the exact point of a dream’s end. The dream state and conditions could also be studied legitimately using hypnosis. Here, we are working with the mind itself and merely suggesting that it operate in a certain fashion. We are not tampering with the mechanics of its operation and automatically altering the conditions.

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Using hypnosis, we can get good dream recall with a good operator. We can suggest ordinary sleep and dreaming and then suggest that without awakening, the subject give a verbal description of his or her dream as he or she experiences them. Another alternative is to suggest that the subject under hypnosis repeat the dreams of the night before.

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Using these methods, the dreams of the mentally ill could also be studied if the affliction was not too serve. The dreams of children could be investigated in this way and compared with those of adults. Children dream vividly and more often. They return more frequently, however, to periods of near wakefulness in order to check their physical environment, since they are not as sure of it as adults are. In deep periods of sleep, children range further away, as far as dream activities are concerned.

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The ego allows them more freedom. For this reason, they also have more telepathic and clairvoyant dreams than adults. They also have greater psychic energy; that is, they are able to draw upon energy more easily. Because of the intenseness of their waking experience, the chemical excesses build up at a faster rate. Therefore, children have more of this ‘chemical propellant’ to use in dream formation. They are also more conscious of their dreams.

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I have said in previous blogs that any action changes that which acts and that which is acted upon; and so in the sort of experiments that are currently being carried on to study dreams, the acts of the investigators are changing the conditions in such a way that it is easy for them to find what they are looking for. The investigator himself or herself, through his or her actions, inadvertently brings about those results for which he or she looks. The particular experiment may seem, then, to suggest conditions which are by no means general, but may appear to be. Under hypnosis a subject is not as much on guard, as is the subject of an experiment who knows in advance that he or she will be awakened by experimenters, that electrodes will be attached to his or her skull and that laboratory conditions are substituted for his or her nightly environment.

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It is impossible to study dreams when an attempt is made to isolate the dreamer from his own personality, to treat dreams as if they were physical or mechanical. The only laboratory for a study of dreams is the laboratory of the personality.

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Though each person progresses differently, generally speaking, the more advanced dream work follows the earlier stages of simple recall, to more frequent self-knowledge within the dream state and from there to manipulation of dream images and projection. The following blogs deal, then, with our experiences with different kinds of dreams and their effect on daily life. Later blogs will  be concerned with the expansion of consciousness that results from the earlier experiments.

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My Dreaming Self 

My dreaming self

Looked in the window

And saw me on the bed.

Moonlight filled

My sleeping skull.

I lay nude and still.

 

My dreaming self

Came in

And walked about.

I felt as if doorknobs turned,

Opening rooms up

In my head.

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My dreaming self

Had eyes like keys

That glinted in the dark.

There was no closet

Within my bones

They could not unlock.

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My dreaming self

Walked through

The framework of my soul.

He or she switched lights on as he or she passed.

Outside the night

Was dark and cold.

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My dreaming self

Lay on the bed.

I stood aside with awe.

“Why, both of us are one,” I said.

He or she said, “I thought you knew.”

 

 

 

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