The story of my experiments with Dreams.
Inspired by the great contemporary thinker, Richard Feynman; I started experimenting with dreams this summer.
Current status of my expedition in this field pertains to observing whatever comes my way. Do not mistake this activity as a venture into dream interpretation.
First and the most important thing that one should posses to take this passion forward is that (s)he must remember at least some of the dreams. Seems obvious, but some individuals do not have this blessing (?), for whom, this whole essay is just an abstraction! (Better try and imagine tensor fields on manifolds :)). The problem with me is that, I remember the dreams for some period after I wake up, but then after some time my memory starts fading. But that much suffices.

Meta dreaming:
On one fine summer night, I "meta-dreamt". i.e., I dreamt inside a dream. (I was in TIFR, and Rohit was my roommate, date 29/7/2006). Here is a log of that dream:

I found myself walking down a long boring street, towards some mosque named DINAR or DANIR (i dont remember.) When I reached the mosque, I saw veiled people, wearing black robes etc.. Then I woke up and found rohit besides me. I described to him what all I had seen, and then he tells me that such a thing really exists. I was completely taken by this strange coincidence. I figured this was some kind of “drushtant” and all... I was some bit scared... But then the real thing happened. I "popped out" to real world!!!

So, the mosque thing was a “meta dream!” (dream inside dream, or Level 1 dream) and rohit belonged to a Dream (i.e. Level 0 dream)!!!!
Now, I had a shrewd idea of why this happened.
So, when I returned to Pune, I tried to see if I can repeat. What I did was: at the time I slept, I set up several alarms, spaced 30 minutes apart. When I slept, just by chance, I started dreaming. It was some arbit dream. After 30 minutes, I woke up by alarm. Dream was broken. Again after 30 minutes, I woke up and after several more wake-ups, my mind got confused between reality and dreams. And then, I “meta-dreamt”. Fascinating, isn’t it?

After dreaming and unconsciously observing a very beautiful girl in one of dreams, as posted in an earlier blog, I have several times tried to observe and remember the personalities in my dreams. And well, the conclusion is that my mind can mimic some of them really well! (if you thing enough, you’ll come to know that this is a tricky proposition to make. [left as an exercise to the reader!])

déjà vu:
In real life, sometimes we get a feeling that a certain sequence of events has happened before. In dreams, I have seen this fact reflected. Sometimes, a dream, unknowingly starts exactly the same way as some previously seen dream, and then mind remembers the whole previous dream, and this “remembering” produces a copy of the previous dream, and I get a “repeated dream”. I have had several déjà vu dreams in my life.

Butterfly effect:
many times, dreams take really unexpected turns. Mind’s eye meanders into R4 (space and time). I have seen this effect start, even before I go to sleep. There is a transition period while I go to sleep, in which I see this effect starting. But I don’t think I dream as soon as I go to sleep. The effect seems to cease as soon as I sleep. For sometime now, I have tried, without success, to investigate the effect.

Sometimes, I feel that it would be really good if I can control my dreams. But now I see no point in doing that. Dreams take me away from reality into a brand new beautiful world. Unexpectedly, some times I dream about some particular people, and the bliss is no less than a real coincidental meeting! Dreams are the ultimate source of my creativity. What pleasure will I achieve by controlling them? Nevertheless, till curiosity remains, I shall delve into this realm.


Niranjan Srinivas said...

hi..very interesting post !!
i'm very curious about my dreams too...i remember only the rather weird ones. i'm too lazy to set alarms and inspect my dreams bit by bit :-D however, im seriously considering a dream diary.

Anup Dhere said...

There was a story in 'CHA-PRA' about a girl who tries to capture pictures of her dreams and finally succeeds.Have u read it? and one more question. Can u tell whether a sleeping person is dreaming or not? also sometimes any random shapes come in my dreams. Would u call that also a dream?

archana said...

an interesting post.

Neel said...

I have never seen someone build a model for dreams... This is amazing,...

Saee said...

Awesome post. :)
What do you call people who can remember their dreams almost exactly the way saw them? I am one of them.
Also, I find that I can dream a whole event. Sometimes, even incorporating minor details like counting if I have the exact bus fare to get where I want, or washing my hands with ethanol before piercing my nose (they don't even do that in reality).
If something does not sound logical, I have also gone back and dreamt it right!!
Really nice post!!

Raj said...

Very Interesting.
Have you tried Lucid Dreaming? I think you are already doing things that are required for LD.
The interesting thing about LD is you can pre-program/direct your dreams. And sometimes, if you don't understand a dream, you can stop mid way and ask your subconscious what it means. It will tell you. :)

Shashank Kanade said...

@Saee: Wow, you could go back to the dreams? That is something I would like to achieve. Somehow, after starting my PhD, I am dreaming less night by night :|

@Raj: I haven't consciously tried LD, but LD also looks very very very interesting. Wasn't this concept used in Vanilla Sky? Thanks for the link :)