Memes where do they come from?

I’ve taken my eyes off mydreamscape for a few weeks recently but I’m back on the case. Recently attended a nice lecture (I was recommended by my hypnotherapist Shannon) which reaffirmed what I’m trying to do with mydreamscape.

The organic chemist August Kekulé claimed that a ring in the shape of Ouroboros (an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.) that he saw in a dream inspired him in his discovery of the structure of benzene.

As noted by Carl Jung, this might be an instance of cryptomnesia (cryptomnesia occurs when a forgotten memory returns without it being recognized as such by the subject, who believes it is something new and original. It is a memory bias whereby a person may falsely recall generating a thought, an idea, a song, or a joke, not deliberately engaging in plagiarism but rather experiencing a memory as if it were a new inspiration.)

In the session/lecture I attended Susan Leigh who was the guest speaker, talked about dreams but from the point of view of a hypnotherapist. The idea being if someone comes to you for help, you might be able to get an idea of what and where there problems take root. However there was still lots to learn for someone like myself.

I wrote notes down while she was talking but here’s a few of the key points.

  • Dream descriptions are not as important as how they make you feel.
  • Within the first 30mins of falling a sleep, you are treated to a preview of all the dreams you will have that night. Like a set of trailers for that night
  • Repeative dreams obvioulsy say a lot more you that one offs.
  • The dreamer is the best person to describe and make sense of there dreams. The whole dream dictorory thing is questionable, although broad concepts do still some what apply.
  • Friends and family who know the dream may be better that a expert at understanding elements of the dreamer dream.
  • Food and drink can have a serious effect on dreams
  • Using self hyponisis its possible to artect your dream
  • Mental fatigue creates images which are not helpful
  • All manimals dream
  • Dreams are symbolic and people generally have 6-7 dreams a night

Susan mentioned the work of Dr Keith Hearne who is a internationally known British psychologist who conducted the world’s first sleep-laboratory research into ‘lucid’ dreams. Funny enough I didn’t know but I’ve actually got a book of his on my bookshelf Understanding Dreams.

So going back through the key points, I’m wondering if I should focus more on the metadata of the dream that the description its self. But also interestingly the concens about gaming or spamming the system isn’t such a worry anymore. The descriptions will be interesting but overall the descriptions won’t be that important plus will only really be interesting to friends and family who know that person.

In actual fact there was quite a lot of talk about the fact people close will be able to interupt the dream. I’m not sure what this means in the face of dream dictionaries (i assume there very generalised).

Lots of food for thought, but it strikes me that until we can confirm what kind of dream the person is having, the ephasis should be on the metadata collected. Roll on the dream recorder…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.