Science & Mysticism of Dreams [Resources]

  • Thread starter Sciborg_S_Patel
  • Start date
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#1
Psychologist Patrick McNamara on the science of dreams.

I love that he actually in his study of dreams he's come to realize that something interesting is going on with precognitive dreams that is worth investigating. The commonality of certain recurring characters in one person's nightmares, as well as this nightmare figure sharing characteristics with others is interesting.

Here he is on why he doesn't think Mind = Brain. He notes some more interesting stuff about dreams at the end of this one.
 
#3
Thanks for posting these interviews. McNamara seems like an interesting guy. I also appreciate his open-mindedness.

Incidentally, his laboratory's neuro-imaging expert, Edward Modestino, used to be at the DOPS at UVA. I met him once, and was Facebook friends with him back when I had an account. He definitely believes in psychic phenomena.
 
Last edited:
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#4
My favorite part is where Kuhn keeps trying to insist precognitive dreams are just statistical flukes, and McNamara has to tell him he's wrong again and again. I like Kuhn but it's a little frustrating to hear he wants to understand reality and then jumps ship right when things go off the "acceptable" path.
Here's some anecdotal stuff about dream sharing. An article by Robert Waggoner who Alex interviewed some time ago.

The young woman told Ian that she had "an awkward looking freckle" on her back, and she invited Ian to locate her strange freckle in the lucid dream state. Within a week, Ian had two lucid dreams, and recalled the task. In the first lucid dream, he could not make it to her room due to distracting dream figures. But in the second lucid dream, he consciously requested that the woman come to him, and suddenly she entered his room. He recalls, "I finally found her in my lucid dream and searched her back until I saw a dark freckle on her lower back, dead center, right above her ass. I remember thinking during the lucid dream that there was no way this could be the right spot, because I thought I remembered her hinting to me that it was on the side of her back."

Waking with this lucidly sought information, he went down to her dorm room and told her of his discovery. "I went up to her back and pointed my finger at the spot that I saw it in the dream, and to both of our surprise, she lifted up her shirt and my finger was directly covering her freckle. Now, I have no idea what this means, but I don't think it's just a coincidence that I happened to guess exactly where the lone freckle on her back was. All I could think is that the power of lucid dreaming might be more then I imagined."
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#6
I agree. He's to be commended for doing the show, and going after these topics, but I get the same feeling--when he starts to jump ship, its like why bother?

Cheers,
Bill
He does this when physicist Christopher Isham discusses dreams as well. He keeps wanting to hear Isham say Big Dreams with compelling narratives are fictions divorced from greater reality, and as I recall Isham tells at least twice it's better to be agnostic about the whole thing.

What's weird is Kuhn then wants to hear about God and mysticism. But what is mysticism but the Phenomenal breaking into the material? I do give Kuhn some credit for not balking when Isham tells him Jungian Idealism is not incompatible with physics, but his desire to stick to acceptable immaterialism such as Mathematical Platonism makes me think you can only get so far if you limit yourself to academically acceptable versions of reality.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#7
Krippner's Dream Telepathy experiments

An overview of Krippner's work here.

The knock on parapsychology studies has long been that any so-called evidence of ESP is usually limited to negligible effects only detectable after scouring massive bodies of data. "Those to whom this criticism has any appeal should be aware that the Maimonides experiments are clearly exempt from it," wrote Yale's former psychology department chair, in American Psychologist, the APA's flagship journal. "I believe many psychologists would, like myself, consider the ESP hypothesis to merit serious consideration and continued research if they read the Maimonides reports for themselves."
Stanley Krippner [with Christopher Ryan] on Joe Rogan Experience


Great dialogue on a variety of topics. Shamans and medicine plants, environmentalism, psychic powers, history of drug culture and some other interesting stuff. One thing that impressed me was that Krippner managed to stop having claims of dream telepathy be a case for mental disorder.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#8
Meeting in the Dream World: Oneironauticum

Everyone dreams. Across cultures and throughout history, we all visit bizarre, visionary worlds on a nightly basis. There is a lot to be learned in this place. Your mind creates objective “reality” and the subjective experience of moving through that reality. Think of it as a different mode of cognition. Your dream mode is a way of being that you inhabit a fair percentage of the time. The point of Oneironauticum is to provide a vehicle to help us all explore this universally shared yet deeply individual lost continent. Whether you’re lucid dreaming or barely dreaming, want to contact your ancestors or figure out what symbols mean to you, or just like to sit back and watch the weird movie, Oneironauticum helps amp up the experience through collective attention, brings it to the fore of the mind in a way that encourages us all to take a closer look. What’s going on in there? Is there a worthier question?
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#9
Devil in the Room

Have you ever woken from a deep sleep, totally lucid but unable to move? Devil in the Room explores this space between dream and reality, explaining the science and history behind sleep paralysis, a mystifying and often terrifying phenomenon in which dreams intrude upon waking life. Through evocative stop-motion animation and puppets, the film recreates these waking dreams, bringing vividly to life spiders that seem to crawl out from under the bed, and the feeling of a monstrous presence lurking just out of sight. Weaving together such personal experiences of sleep paralysis with scientific analysis of the phenomenon, this fantastical and probing documentary demolishes the boundaries between imagination and science, between dream and reality.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#10
Think I got this from the old forum:

Lucid Dreaming as Metacognition: Implications for Cognitive Science


Abstract
Evidence of reflective awareness and metacognitive monitoring during REM sleep dreaming poses a significant challenge to the commonly held view of dream cognition as necessarily deficient relative to waking cognition. To date, dream metacognition has not received the theoretical or experimental attention it deserves. As a result, discussions of dream cognition have been underrepresented in theoretical accounts of consciousness. This paper argues for using a converging measures approach to investigate the range and limits of cognition and metacognition across the sleep–wakefulness cycle. The paradigm developed by LaBerge and his colleagues to study "lucid-control" dreaming offers one such framework for relating phenomenological, cognitive, and physiological measures. In a lucid-control dream, the dreamer is both aware that the experimental context is a dream (lucidity) and has the ability to intentionally regulate aspects of the dream (control). Subjects can make patterns of deliberate eye movements to signal from the dream and thus index significant events such as the time of lucidity onset and the completion of previously agreed-upon tasks in the dream. Lucid dreaming and other examples of reflective awareness during dreaming have important implications for models of human cognition. The existence of these phenomena raises fundamental questions about current assumptions regarding "state" constraints on consciousness and cognition (i.e., the notion that dreaming involves exclusively nonconscious processing while waking involves conscious processing).
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#12
How sex rules our dreams: Gritty, emotional, smelly and dirty: new evidence supports Freud’s long-debunked theory that sex fuels our dreams

Yet I never understood why the discovery of REM sleep meant Freud had to be wrong. To me, REM was another crucial piece of the dream puzzle – and could coexist easily alongside Freud’s theories that dreams had a deep unconscious meaning and purpose, overall. That purpose had to be rooted in evolution, I thought – one way or another, dreams helped us to survive.

I vividly recall the day in the late 1970s when I realised that dreams and their unconscious sexual meaning were part of a larger whole...
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#13
The Mysteries of 'Lucid' Dreaming

Recent research into a kind of consciousness within the dream state is beginning to tell us more about the brain...

...Using a procedure first verified by sleep researcher Stephen LaBerge, the sleeper can signal to researchers when they have begun their lucid dream by using pre-arranged eye movements. The person moves their eyes in the agreed way in the dream, which occur as genuine eye movements, which are recorded and verified by electrodes that are placed around the eye sockets.

This simple but ingenious technique has allowed a series of experiments on the properties of the dream world and how they are reflected in brain function. These neuroscientific studies have been important for overcoming an initial objection to the concept of lucid dreaming: that lucid dreamers were awake but just relaxed, or perhaps even fraudulent, claiming to be experiencing a dream world when they were not. Studies led by neuropsychologists Ursula Voss and Martin Dresler have shown that the brain activity during lucid dreaming bears the core features of REM sleep but is distinct from both non-lucid dreaming and the awake state, suggesting that it is not just a case of wishful thinking on the part of either the participants or the researchers.

Some of the most interesting studies involve in-dream experiments, where participants are asked to complete pre-arranged actions in their lucid dreams while using eye movements to signal the beginning and end of their behavioural sequences....
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#15
Activate Lucid Dreaming with Herbal Tea

Register now for the FREE Evolver Talk, "The Tea Ceremony for Lucid Dreaming," in which herbalist Adriana Ayales helps you summon your lucid dreaming potential with the use of special herbs. This free, interactive video webinar takes place Tuesday, May 27.

Since ancient times, herbs have been used by civilizations across the globe to inspire divination. Oracles, shamans, sacred scientists and meditators have used herbs to access the deepest parts of the psyche. One particular group of power herbs shares a chemistry that naturally tones our nervous system, pulsates the hypothalamus and encourages a deep state of restorative relaxation -- the physical pillars for Lucid Dreaming.

This class will introduce you to a bedtime ritual that you can cultivate to enhance the most nourishing sleep, while inviting in the most prophetic dreams. Herbs are wonderful catalysts for summoning insightful and transformative experiences in the dream state. Lucid Dreaming is not only healthy for your mind and body, it is an awakening technique that supports the natural alignment of your soul.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#16
Dream Telepathy Research Reborn - Guest author Ryan Hurd points out how a remarkable new study suggesting the reality of dream telepathy has built on the foundations of research done decades ago - and how mobile phones may help prove the case further.

There’s new signs of life for the study of dream telepathy.

A compelling 2013 report published by Carlyle Smith, Lifetime Professor Emeritus at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, found statistically unlikely levels of targeted dream content in two related studies of college students.

These 2 new studies are a welcome addition to a field of inquiry that is often referred to the third rail of psychology. (That’s a choo-choo metaphor: touch it and you’ll die!)
 
C

chuck.drake

#17
Dream Telepathy Research Reborn - Guest author Ryan Hurd points out how a remarkable new study suggesting the reality of dream telepathy has built on the foundations of research done decades ago - and how mobile phones may help prove the case further.
I asked Fred Aardema about this study. He is familiar with scientific protocol and design and this was his response here http://www.explorations-in-consciousness.com/forums/index.php?topic=2733.0.

On a quick glance, several aspects of the methodology were not immediately clear to me, such as who was scoring the dream categories. The control condition is said to involve the same protocol as the original experimental manipulation, but was conducted a year later in a subsequent class, which opens the door for alternative explanations as to why the groups differ. How similar and standardized was the coaching and guiding in these different settings, especially since the experimenter (class instructor) was aware that the photo was a fake one? It invites all sorts of potential biases during interaction with the students. The instructor should have been blind to the nature of the photo in a randomized allocation of participants to the different groups during the same time period.

It sounds like a fun class project, while having to deal with the limitations of the setting and environment in a practical way, but from a purely scientific perspective it raised some questions in my mind.
So I think we need to be careful when posting these studies that make specific claims.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#18
I asked Fred Aardema about this study. He is familiar with scientific protocol and design and this was his response here http://www.explorations-in-consciousness.com/forums/index.php?topic=2733.0.
Ah, thanks for that though I don't know if it's fair to classify the research as a "fun class project". That seems a bit dismissive. It's definitely not a study that will be the smoking gun for Psi, but I think it suggests further research into this aspect of the Numinous is warranted.

So I think we need to be careful when posting these studies that make specific claims.
I definitely agree, though ideally we can use the forums to carefully check up on this sort of thing. Personally I think the best thing is for people to try this sort of thing themselves and see if anything comes of it, and to use reason when deciding the risk/reward of reliance on Psi in any form. I'm very much against the paternalism of the JREF crowd that wants to keep the public from exploring this sort of thing for themselves.

I think we're in agreement on all that though. :)
 
C

chuck.drake

#19
Ah, thanks for that though I don't know if it's fair to classify the research as a "fun class project". That seems a bit dismissive. It's definitely not a study that will be the smoking gun for Psi, but I think it suggests further research into this aspect of the Numinous is warranted.



I definitely agree, though ideally we can use the forums to carefully check up on this sort of thing. Personally I think the best thing is for people to try this sort of thing themselves and see if anything comes of it, and to use reason when deciding the risk/reward of reliance on Psi in any form. I'm very much against the paternalism of the JREF crowd that wants to keep the public from exploring this sort of thing for themselves.

I think we're in agreement on all that though. :)
I printed and read the study because this is an area of keen interest to me. I had grave reservations after reading it and that is why I asked Fred, who has published numerous studies in clinical psychology. It does appears more like an interesting project than science. I don't have a problem with that. I think it is a great way to expose larger groups of students to possibly become interested in conducting research that is better controlled. It quickly becomes apparent when thinking about doing multiple studies of this size that money and academic support would be critical to carrying out a study that would be properly designed and implemented. Even Fred, who has written what is by far the most well researched book on the OBE in recent years, appears to publish research mostly on topics like OCD and cognition.

I think it is great that we gather these kinds of studies here on the website and talk about them. But I think, as has been discussed here before, the headlines presented by the press and the actual content of the studies are two entirely different animals. I partially fear that lurkers at the forum may see these studies and take them at face value without due consideration of the actual content of the study.

I agree that personal exploration with these phenomena is ideal. But even then it is a struggle to determine the objective nature of the experience. There is little agreement about the true nature of the nonphysical universes that are experienced while dreaming or in the out of body state even among serious practitioners.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#20
"my son is no bigger than a grub. this is why we almost forget him, we don't really believe in him, my dream and i. where does he live? at the moment, between the leaves of a book. this is where he runs the least risk of being lost. inversely, he risks being squashed, if someone puts something on the book. otherwise he rests between the leaves without much difficulty.
what is the future for such a grub?


not much hope. he'll vegetate. if he stays this size.

but then slowly he takes on substance. this is doubtless the result of my efforts: sometimes i take him out, i place him in a bed, or outside, for after all he has a right to the world, and he seems to lean toward life. the danger that someone unaware will crush him remains. little by little he even gains in intelligence. he begins to think, to be happy, to become a real living being.

obviously, he is very far behind, since he has existed in this form for months. but now he has really decided to catch up. now i spy him running, having gone downstairs, and climbing on dangerous edges. i am worried because he doesn't know what danger is.


i feel happiness, love for my grub leaving his twilight state. seeing life "crystallize" is such a blessing. suddenly, it's the descent between rough red boulders, in an invisible "taxi" that turns in circles several times in the circus of boulders, as if there were no way out.

but in fact there is one."
-Helene Cixous, 'The School of Dreams'
 
Top