The Dialogue Of Dreams Essay Research Paper — страница 4

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transient, undeveloped, abstract and expressly deal with the day residues. They are the “garbage collectors”, the “sanitation department” of the brain. Day residues, which clearly do not need to be processed by dreams ? are swept under the carpet of consciousness (maybe even erased). Suggestible people dream what they have been instructed to dream in hypnosis ? but not what they have been so instructed while (partly) awake and under direct suggestion. This further demonstrates the independence of the Dream Mechanism. It almost does not react to external sensory stimuli while in operation. It takes an almost complete suspension of judgement in order to influence the contents of dreams. It would all seem to point at another important feature of dreams: their economy. Dreams

are subject to four “articles of faith” (which govern all the phenomena of life): Homeostasis – The preservation of the internal environment, an equilibrium between (different but interdependent) elements which make up the whole. Equilibrium – The maintenance of an internal environment in balance with an external one. Optimization (also known as efficiency) – The securing of maximum results with minimum invested resources and minimum damage to other resources, not directly used in the process. Parsimony (Occam’s razor) – The utilization of a minimal set of (mostly known) assumptions, constraints, boundary conditions and initial conditions in order to achieve maximum explanatory or modelling power. In compliance with the above four principles dreams HAD to resort to

visual symbols. The visual is the most condensed (and efficient) form of packaging information. “A picture is worth a thousand words” the saying goes and computer users know that to store images requires more memory than any other type of data. But dreams have an unlimited capacity of information processing at their disposal (the brain at night). In dealing with gigantic amounts of information, the natural preference (when processing power is not constrained) would be to use visuals. Moreover, non-isomorphic, polyvalent forms will be preferred. In other words: symbols that can be “mapped” to more than one meaning and those that carry a host of other associated symbols and meanings with them will be preferred. Symbols are a form of shorthand. They haul a great amount of

information ? most of it stored in the recipient’s brain and provoked by the symbol. This is a little like the Java applets in modern programming: the application is divided to small modules, which are stored in a central computer. The symbols generated by the user’s computer (using the Java programming language) “provoke” them to surface. The result is a major simplification of the processing terminal (the net-PC) and an increase in its cost efficiency. Both collective symbols and private symbols are used. The collective symbols (Jung’s archetypes?) prevent the need to re-invent the wheel. They are assumed to constitute a universal language usable by dreamers everywhere. The dreaming brain has, therefore, to attend to and to process only the “semi-private language”

elements. This is less time consuming and the conventions of a universal language apply to the communication between the dream and the dreamer. Even the discontinuities have their reason. A lot of the information that we absorb and process is either “noise” or repetitive. This fact is known to the authors of all the file compression applications in the world. Computer files can be compressed to one tenth their size without appreciably losing information. The same principle is applied in speed reading ? skimming the unnecessary bits, getting straight to the point. The dream employs the same principles: it skims, it gets straight to the point and from it ? to yet another point. This creates the sensation of being erratic, of abruptness, of the absence of spatial or temporal

logic, of purposelessness. But this all serves the same purpose: to succeed to finish the Herculean task of refitting the model of the Self and of the World in one night. Thus, the selection of visuals, symbols, and collective symbols and of the discontinuous mode of presentation, their preference over alternative methods of representation is not accidental. This is the most economic and unambiguous way of representation and, therefore, the most efficient and the most in compliance with the four principles. In cultures and societies, where the mass of information to be processed is less mountainous ? these features are less likely to occur and indeed, they don’t.