Dreams and Memories

This is more of a search for knowledge than my usual posts. I am breaking this into two distinct questions that I would like to see an answer to.


How do you dream?

I am one of those people that has a quite high retention rate for my dreams. I can usually recall about 90% of any previous night’s dream.

In a majority of my dreams I see color, and I have always had full sensory acuity. I smell, taste and feel the stimulus of the dream. This has, in fact, woke me up on more occasions than I like.

Most of the time, in my dreams, I have no control over the dream… in some cases, even though I know what the outcome or result of something is going to be, I still cannot do anything to stop it. This has happened many times, and give one the feeling like you have when you are watching a movie you have seen several times, and you know that the person should not open the door to let the killer in, yet they do anyway.

Of my dreams, and this is the first time I have shared this with anyone but my wife, there is one that stands out.

In the dream, I am about the same age I am now. I learn that I have cancer. The rest of the dream covers about a full year as I fight the cancer and follow the treatments. At several points in the dream I look in a mirror, and I actually do see myself, as I would probably look while going through Chemo and Radio therapy, complete with weight and hair loss. In the end of my dream, I am lying in me bed at home, with machines attached to me, and I look around to see all my friends gathered around me, some touching me, others just looking. My wife is standing next to me crying and holding my hand. My thought at this point was “This is the best way to go, with all my friends to help me through.” I closed my eyes and I heard the heart monitor go flat.

I remember very vividly waking up and gasping for air, sweating to the point that the sheets were completely soaked. I then went in and proceeded to sit on the couch and cry. From that point on, my opinion of death and dying have been completely altered. I really am no longer afraid of either any more. Not that I WANT to die, but I almost feel like I have been there, or at least very close to it.

Here are my questions:

1. How do you dream?
2. Can something as simple as a dream change our lives so dramatically that it can alter who we are and how we think?
3. Can we learn from our dreams?

Here is the second section.


When you think about yourself or something that has happened to you in the past, how do you see yourself or the incident?

When I recall something that happened in the past, whether it was ten minutes ago or ten years ago, I always see it in the third person. It is as though I am seeing it from the point of view of a camera boom that was following me that day. I see myself and the event in question, but I never see things through my own eyes.

The questions:

1. When you recall something from your past, how do you see it… from 1st or 3rd person? If you see it from the 2nd person, then you are more talented than I.
2. Do you occasionally dwell on a memory to the point that it becomes an issue?

Thanks for humoring me in this little quest. Unfortunately I cannot say that I am doing this for school or and particular paper. I am doing this mostly from curiosity.


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