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Dreams and the nature of Cognitive Reality.

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posted on Jan, 4 2010 @ 04:28 PM
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For the last 21 years I have had a personal interest in dreams and consciousness during sleep. My interest is not academic in nature and I am not a certified scientist, philosopher or psychologist. That said, dreams and being conscious during dreaming has allowed me to explore a wide range of dream experiences within a spectrum of dreaming.

The experiences always exceeded my expectations and knowledge base when it came to dream literacy. For the most part, everyone I know is dream illiterate and this problem of dream illiteracy is quite rampant on this planet, let alone my social circles. When I had my first conscious or lucid dream, I was 15 years old and the experience fuelled my enthusiasm for this type of dreaming. It didn’t prepare me for the more phenomenological realities of dreaming such as precognitive dreams, lucid precognitive dreams, shared dreams and more.

The revelation of the reality of these types of experiences were totally unsuspected results of dreaming and would cause a paradigm shift in how I would perceive the nature of reality and the role dreams played in that nature. The obvious starting point for understanding dreams at this personal level comes from understanding what the role of perception and cognition of dream data entails. I will attempt to share this with you for some peer review.

If we look at reality, we have two ideologies which have opposed each other since Plato and Democritus battled out their beliefs over idealism and materialism. Materialism adheres to the belief that reality is only what matter and energy is made of, and is bound by physical law. Democritus is said to be the father of modern science with his atomic theory. Idealism is a belief that reality is made of thoughts and ideas. Plato is said to be the father of idealism with his famous, “I think therefore I am”.

The paradigm shift for me was realizing both Plato and Democritus were right. Reality was made up of atoms, and reality was also made up of thought. Both men argued over two very real aspects of reality. Physical reality which is the realm of materialism, and Cognitive reality or non-physical reality which is the realm of idealism. For the conscious observer, both realities co-existed simultaneously.

Physical reality is our objective reality from which we use our sensory apparatus to gather sensory data. Our physical senses perceive this data and send encoded electrical signals to the brain where our neurons are stimulated. The stimulation of neurons starts the rendering process inside the physical brain. The brain must take this sensory stimuli and render the result into a mental canvas. Daniel Dennett is known for his theory on how perception models itself within the mind, and he introduced the metaphor of the Cartesian Theatre.

The Cartesian Theatre is an important cognitive metaphor and describes the canvas by which our perceived sensory information is then rendered. This is where cognitive reality comes in. Plato clearly had his focus on this inner realm of cognition and had a high level of regard for how it operated. Cognitive reality is the result of the brains ability to render a model of reality for the observer to experience. Each of us have a seat at the center of our Cartesian Theatre as we watch the rendering of sensory data projected onto this mental canvas by the mind.

The Cartesian Theatre and the reality it projects is a cognitive model of Physical Reality, but is not at all physical itself, it merely represents a model for the observer to experience through the interface of the body. I can get into how each observer models their cognitive reality differently from other observers due to the limits of perception. I’ll just summarize it as qualia and color blindness. Suffice to say, no one sees physical reality. The just see the end result of the minds rendering of sensory data and how this information is projected onto their own Cartesian Theatre.

When we dream, the Cartesian Theatre comes with us. It is the same cognitive local where our dreams are perceived and rendered. Unlike physical reality where we need our sensory apparatus to interface with that physical data stream, dreams play a much grander role in how perception plays a role in how the mind renders a dream on the Cartesian Theatre.

From the perspective of a dream, there is no external stimuli to stimulate our physical senses and excite our neurons. The dreamer must create the context of the dream then project a local by which to observe this context and finally render the experience and project it on the mental canvas. It is here where Plato will find idealism alive and well. There is no physical matter in a dream, only organized thoughts.

Realizing this relationship with the Cartesian Theatre and how the mind renders this cognitive model of reality has elevated my understanding what the material is that the mind uses to render that view. If you take 3D modelling software and create a 3D mesh, you need to apply a bitmap to the mesh so the computer can render a colourful representation of the model. All of this information to a computer is just binary code and the end result is a view on our monitor of a nicely rendered and colourful 3D object.

Our brain is a biological quantum super computer. Hopefully you are familiar with Stuart Hameroff’s work and how he has proven that the brain operates at a quantum level. He states that the brain takes incoherent energies (thermal, chemical and electromagnetic) and transforms this energy into coherent photons. The brain uses photons as part of is data type to start the rendering of reality. The link between light, consciousness and coherent photons may be right in front of us. This also then implies all the laws of Quantum mechanics must also affect the photons used by the brain. Hence, the reality that the brain is not only a biological computer, but a biological quantum computer.

If you understand photons and how they work, you must also be familiar with the Holographic Principle, and how light is used to form holograms. How does photons and the holographic principle work with how the brain organizes photon information into the final rendering of reality. Do we exist in a macroscopic hologram within cognitive reality? You will like where I go with this theory when it comes to the dream state and it’s quantum relationship with these coherent photons.

Back to the dream. Dreams are awareness dependant experiences that occur during sleep. They exist within a broad spectrum of experiences ranging from nightmares, fantasies, beliefs, desires and at some point we find anomalies such as shared/mutual dreaming and precognitive dreams on this spectrum.

We know that our consciousness is creating the dream, and our mind is observing the dream and rendering it on the Cartesian Theatre. What may not yet be agreed upon is what the material component of the rendered cognitive reality is made of. That component is thought. Consciousness organizes thoughts into thought forms which model and represent sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.

Even right now while you are awake and lucid, you are observing the very same mechanics at work in how the mind renders thought into the cognitive reality. You can see the cognitive reality right now and see these mechanics at work. This text you are reading now resides within this Cartesian Theatre in your mind, and the text is rendered as a thought form in the shape of text. Your not really looking at the text in Physical Reality, rather looking at the rendering of the text as a thought form in your mind.




posted on Jan, 4 2010 @ 04:28 PM
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In dreaming, this relationship between thought taking on forms to shape the rendered experience is totally apparent. You can change the visual structure of the dream and watch the people, places and setting change before your very virtual eyes. You can think in sound during a dream and hear vivid music, or people talking… all of this is highly organized thought taking on the forms required to create the reality experience.

It’s the same mechanics both in dreaming and in waking perception. Thought is the material used in the final rendering on the Cartesian Theatre. Right now we co-exist within physical reality and cognitive reality and the end result of this relationship is similar to how we dream. What is the relationship between cognitive reality when the data stream changes from dream to physical stimuli?

Cognitive reality simply renders data. If the data stream changes, cognitive reality stays the same. The Cartesian Theatre is still a requirement for the rendering. Thought is still being used as the material to render the experience. The same mechanics required to experience a dream as also being used right now to experience reality. Dreams are organized thoughts. Our perception of reality is also organized thoughts. We are in essence, dreaming right now in order to perceive reality. This is just one of the other realizations that I endured in trying to understand these relationships. A realization that dreaming plays a role in cognitive perception and the rendering on the Cartesian Theatre.

Now lets journey back to precognitive dreams. We all know that precognitive dreams exist and the vast amount of anecdotal personal experience dates back since the dawn of written time. We have a deep history of precognitive dreams in literature. I could cite sources but google is just as quick in finding them. We have research papers and studies done that demonstrate this reality.

How do dreams come true? What is the mechanics of dreaming that allows us to access this precognitive data stream and experience it one day later? Look at Déjà vu for example. Déjà vu is very common and everyone I have talked to in the last 20 years has had experiences with déjà vu. Dr. Vernon Neppe states that Déjà vu is caused by temporal lobe epilepsy. Implying that anyone who experiences this common phenomena of familiarity is having an epileptic spasm in the temporal lobe.

I don’t know about you, but I have never been diagnosed with any form of epilepsy so I really have to refute this false claim. It implies that everyone I have ever met and discussed Déjà vu with is an epileptic and that is quite factually wrong. Let’s move past Dr. Vernon’s claims and move deeper into Déjà vu with it’s less common subtype, Déjà Reve.

Déjà reve means already dreamed in French, and the source of nearly all of my déjà vu is actually déjà reve. My memory serves me correct when I link the dream I had to the physical even that occurs some time later. There was no way I was having temporal lobe epilepsy in the dream, any more then when the dream came true later in reality.

That said, someone academically will link Déjà reve to a mental disorder. Some type of paramnesia or schizophrenia no doubt. Disinformation rather then information in regards to this type of phenomena is what I find in allegedly credited academic sources. I’m past that, I know dreams come true. There is no hiding that elephant in my closet from me. It is a known.

How then do dreams come true? What is the mechanics behind dreaming that allows for this? In my opinion, this is the Achilles’ heel for materialism and physical law. Quantum mechanics does allow for this if we take Stuart Hameroff’s research on coherent photons. Photons are a mess of quantum quirkiness giving way to quantum entanglement, quantum bi-location and we still have very little knowledge into the role photons play in the brain. We at least know they do. It seems likely that consciousness and photons are very closely related mechanically.

Which brings us back to holograms, and organized thoughts forming a photon data packet. If we take the holographic principle and apply it to a photon data packet organized by thinking, and if what the GEO600 experiment discovered which showed a fuzziness predicted by Craig Hogan who claimed they would find it based on the Holographic Principle. In hologram theory, we need to get to the Planks Constant an look at the holographic bits at this quantum length. As they become larger then the Planks Constant they begin to get fuzzy hence the prediction that seems validated by the GEO600 experiment.

Is thought organizing the photons in the brain into a grain sized holographic packet during a dream? Dreams are organized thoughts. The brain uses photons during the rendering of the dream reality on the Cartesian Theatre. Could this be a holographic data pack that one day later through actualizes into our reality?

We know dreams come true, ergo we know there are mechanics involved. Holographic data packets organized by thoughts is not a far fetched notion. The speed at which this packet grows in size may very well be the synchronicity with our physical perception of reality, hence the aura or déjà vu feeling.

These are just some of the mechanics I am thinking about in regards to these relationships but I feel close to the answer of data encoded reality packets called dreams having a quantum reality to them which can later through string theory and the holographic principle actualize into our perception of physical reality.

Precognition for me simply implies that there is a direct relationship between the dream reality and physical reality. Since thought what dreams are organized from, then it’s thought which is creating the reality of the dream. Thoughts create reality? Where have we heard that one before? It’s an ancient belief that has it’s hands in Maya and eastern Hinduism.

Hope this is at least interesting to entertain, feel free to discuss.




[edit on 4-1-2010 by YouAreDreaming]



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