Tag Archives: consciousness

DreamSpaces & Lucid Dreaming

I’ve been thinking a lot about vector spaces lately…most likely due to the fact that I’m taking an linear algebra class and that’s what we’re currently learning. I must have learned about them before when I tried to take this class as an undergrad, but it seems to make more sense now. Anyway, vector spaces have even been invading my dreams, which got me thinking about dreams, which is not unusual since they are what I am studying. And no please don’t ask me to interpret yours…while I do maintain that they provide us with insights and guidance and can help us uncover unconscious material, my main interest is in why we dream and what they are. So back to vector spaces, this thought occurred to me earlier today: what if the dreamspace is a vector space. We all know that in dreams, different rules seem to apply, such that the normal rules of physics, such as gravity, etc., are no longer standard. Sometimes we fly, we walk through doorways into the past, the future, seem to travel instantaneously, etc.  Which makes me wonder if there are any rules in the dream world…. Also is there such a thing as “the” dream world, or does each one of us have our own different dream world? There are times where I feel like I have a completely different dream life, a familiarity like I’m remembering having lived there before.

Recently, there was an article published in Nature Neuroscience http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.3719.html that showed scientists were able to induce lucid dreaming, which is where one is aware they are dreaming within the dream, by inducing gamma waves (25-100 Hz), which have been observed during spontaneous lucid dreams, in the brain using an electrical current. This is extremely interesting because we may now have a way to study dreams and experiment with them in a more systematic way than finding people who are able to do it spontaneously or inducing them with various drugs.  So back to my idea about vector spaces and the dream world. We could possibly test whether there are limits in the dream world, if there are fundamental rules that are just different from the ones we know in the waking world, or maybe they’re aren’t and anything is possible. Are there limits to how much control we have?

But then, this introduces the question of whether the lucid dream state is different from the regular dream state… As well as what actually causes spontaneous lucid dreams? It happened once when I woke up from an interesting dream and tried to go back into it, and when I did, I knew I was in the dream again. There was another time when I knew I was dreaming and wanted to wake up, but couldn’t….every time I tried to open my eyes, I would be in a different dream scenario…

Anyway, just some thoughts, possibly future research ideas, but for now I’m going to focus on my first question of why we dream and I have my own hypothesis, but more on that later when I actually start working on my thesis…


Being Human Conference Book List

So I’m going to San Francisco this month, and this is my excuse! There’s a Being Human conference entitled The Science of Human Experience on March 24, 2012. The panel of speakers include scientists, artists, poets, philosophers, and others whose work relates to the human condition. They will be discussing current research and theories on various aspects of human nature and what it means to be human. Visit their website www.beinghuman2012.org for more info or to register. Books by each of the featured speakers are listed below. I’m going to pick up a few of them before the conference and I’ll post my impressions. Also book reviews, etc. coming soon!

Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D.

Founder and Chair, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

[amazon asin=1594630895&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1572249684&template=iframe image]

Peter Baumann

Author and Founder, The Baumann Foundation

[amazon asin=1604075732&template=iframe image]

David Eagleman, Ph.D.

Neuroscientist, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine

[amazon asin=0307377334&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0307389936&template=iframe image]

Paul Ekman, Ph.D.

Manager, Paul Ekman Group, LLC

[amazon asin=0805083391&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1883536367&template=iframe image]

Anne Harrington, Ph.D.

Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

[amazon asin=0691024227&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0393333973&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0691050503&template=iframe image]

Jane Hirshfield

Prize-winning International Poet, Translator, and Essayist

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Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Founder, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society

[amazon asin=1572249684&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1604076585&template=iframe image]

Beau Lotto, Ph.D.

Neuroscientist and Artist, Founder of Lottolab Studio

[amazon asin=0878935967&template=iframe image]

Hazel Markus, Ph.D.

Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University

[amazon asin=0871547953&template=iframe image][amazon asin=039393070X&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1557984875&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0840033001&template=iframe image]

Thomas Metzinger, Ph.D.

Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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V.S. Ramachandran, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California-San Diego

[amazon asin=0393340627&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0688172172&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0131872788&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1861973039&template=iframe image]

Gelek Rimpoche

Founder, Jewel Heart, Tibetan Buddhist Center

[amazon asin=1573229520&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1841812064&template=iframe image]

 

Laurie Santos, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology, Yale University

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