Sunday, 14 February 2010

Do oniric characters dream of mundane lives?

You wake up and you're confused. It takes a while (some minutes...or more!)to get again in to yourself. Your brain while sleeping can take some sort of “free ride”. During the day it needs to respond to the environment; the physical environment, of course, but more important for the level of stress in human minds, is the social environment. The brain must re-address constantly the cultural and social patterns, to identify habits, behaviours. Moreover in the social and cultural environment, it can identify other minds and critically, “its own mind”, that is to say, ourselves...That's why when you wake up, your brain needs a while to “get the bearings” of who is the guy that is experiencing the sensation of waking up. In other terms, the brain needs to configure the person , the mind, you!

That's quite interesting for a lot of reason, but now we'll talk what concerns your dream narrative. In a certain way, you can experience a lot more of yourself, because when you are required to respond to the cultural environment, you need to cut of huge portion of your narratives: just a fraction of your narrative archive can find a place in your day to day life. So in your dreams, you experience some of the missing episodes. In your dream narrative you experience also another important feeling: dreams can seem bloody real. There are fundamental criteria to assess the reality of your day to day life from the mists of dreaming: consistency and persistence. Day to day life is consistent: if you do something there will be causal consequences independent from you. You do something, others do something and all these actions are consistent with each other and don't require you to be real, that is, things and events persist independently from the subjects who think about them. A dream could match these criteria, but of course this is not the case in the long term.

Now, the big thing is that you can clearly cut the reality from the dream narrative, but you can 't do the same on your narrative: there is no real narrative and dream narrative, but just a universe of narratives. Some could say that only narratives concerning the “real world” would be interesting or worth the highest interest. Unfortunately these would simply erase our minds from our interests. So when we focus only on one plane of the narrative, where are neglecting the rest. It can be fruitful, productive and efficient. You can operate in the world without paying attention to the narrative you are. Clearly. You don't have to question who you are constantly in order to perform actions in day to day life. In this way you act in the plot. Whose plot? Well of the narrative universe produced by the minds of human beings. And you are cooperating in the production of the narrative. It's just you neglect the creative side. When you dream, rarely someone thanks you because your a dreamer, they just act, like in day to day life.

Second, our lives are the metric to assess reality. A single night dream is not persistent nor consistent enough, a life it is. But so, how long is a life? Well, enough to call what happens during that period, reality. Ok. This is why a social and collective environment is the standard of what we call reality, is the dimension of real narrative. But we shouldn't fool ourselves: it's not that this dimension host the real narrative because it's the reality, on the contrary, it is the reality because the real narratives weaves this space as the real environment. But the persistence of this environment depends on narratives. Most of our actions can stand only if we consider yourselves, our characters as consistent and persistent in time. In more than one day. But also a lot of our actions can stand only if we project ourselves and our characters over our life-span. Think of religions or the responsibilities towards your off springs, or your society.

If you should assess reality based on yourself, nothing interesting will happen in 200 years, because nothing could happen to you. A killer in your dream will be quite disappointed if he knew you can easily escape with a waking up scream.

We dream and we live and we project possibilities. That is, we narrate and we live in narrations. Others prepared some of the narrations we live in, some will live in the narrations we left to them.And nobody is required to think that he's actually narrating. A bit like when you're dreaming, you don't need to think you're dreaming. Good night

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