Saturday, 24 October 2015

Windt on spatio-temporal abatement in dreams


There is an academic rule, unwritten and therefore unbreakable that a serious paper must be at least 19 pdf pages long. Nothing dissipates the force of an insight more than expatiation. A crisply written blog post can have more impact that a footnote encrusted piece of scholarment. Jennifer Windt’s series of posts on Dreams and Dreaming with their well chosen mood setting paintings are an example of the soul of wit.
windt on dreaming

One of her points is the abatement of spatio-temporal sense in the dream. I won’t summarise as that would be an impertinent dilution. If you’re not prepared to follow links play a game of solitaire instead. What I will offer is a confirmation in my own experience of this attribute and how it can lead to paradox. In a couple of instances of clairvoyance which I have experienced the ‘forward memory’ occurred just at the point of entry into sleep or just coming out of it when there is a freeing of the physical embedding in a particular time and space and while there is yet objective consciousness.
cf. forward memory

To accept the neural correlates of consciousness is not to reduce consciousness to the neuronal traffic. Consciousness is much larger than that. Anyone for cosmic? The materialist would insist that your body isn’t at a point removed in space and time and there cannot be information from there and then. The commonplace flouting of this rule escapes the attention of the materialist. Evidence is sometimes too great to be acceptable and is eliminated, generally by claiming that it is subjective.


4 comments:

john doyle said...

With closely engaged attention I began to read Wundt's lucid dreaming post. After a few paragraphs I found myself skimming, then merely scrolling, until an image brought me up short. Is this a fragment of sheet music that someone wrote while dreaming? Sadly, no: it's the readout from a polygraph.

ombhurbhuva said...

John:
Are you dreaming that you’re lucid dreaming? The adepts capacity to signal that they are doing so by using the criss cross code in eye movements is interesting. Perhaps the lucid dream is an in between sort of modality of consciousness. Are we ever truly awake? Gurdjieff said that most people were sleep walking.

john doyle said...

It turns out that the article to which you link, the one I read, the one containing the hypnogogic musical score, was written by Evan Thompson. I also see that I misread Windt as Wundt, as in Wilhelm Wundt, the grand old man of experimental psychology. Wundt believed that dreaming was a temporary insanity, a glimpse offered to the sane person of what being insane would be like. Vivid dreams? An undigested bit of beef, Wundt believed; a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato.

Recently I experienced a dream within a dream. In the dream I woke up and told someone about the dream I had just had, in which the person to whom I was speaking played a central part. Then I really did wake up. This sort of experience seems to lie on a continuum from ordinary dream to lucid dream.

Speaking of Freddy Krueger, I recommend with a few reservations the recent indie film Buzzard. Like another fine recent release, It Follows, the denouement occurs in Detroit, which now serves as a synecdochal referent to late-capitalist apocalypse. Consider also Only Lovers Left Alive, Jarmusch's vampire movie, which features a lot of elegiac "ruins porn" shots of the broken-down Motor City. Curiously, in these movies Detroit seems to be occupied almost exclusively by white people.

Back briefly to Thompson's dream post, at first I thought that "hypnogogic" was referring to the fourfold medieval hermeneutic.

ombhurbhuva said...

To speculate: dreaming may be a pre-logical form of mentation in that to negate something we have to alter its image. Thus Freddy cannot be killed and 'freddy cannot be killed' as a proposition is unsayable in the dream. We pitch him out of the window but when we go to look at his body on the ground below he is not there. Our fears are expressed even though we cannot 'not' Freddy.