Dreams and the Formation of Events
The brain is primarily an event forming psycho-mechanism through which consciousness operates. Its propensity for event forming is obvious even in young children. By obvious, I mean active, when fantasies occur involving activities far beyond the physical abilities as they are thus far developed.
Children’s dreams are more intense than those of adults because the brain is practicing its event forming activities. These must be developed before certain physical faculties can be activated. Infants play in their dreams, performing physical actions beyond their present physical capacities. While external stimuli are highly important, the inner stimuli of dream play are more so.
Children practice using all of their senses in play dreams, which then stimulate the senses themselves, and actually help ensure their coordination. In your terms, events are still plastic to young children, in that they have not as yet learned to apply your stringent structure. There is an interesting point connected with the necessity to coordinate the workings of all the senses, in that before this process occurs there is no rigid placement of events. That placement is acquired. The uncoordinated child’s senses, for example, may actually hear words that will be spoken tomorrow, while seeing the person who will speak them today.
Focusing the senses in time and space is to some extent an acquire art, then-one that is of course necessary for precise physical manipulation. But before that focusing occurs, children, particularly in the dream state, enjoy an overall version of events that gradually becomes sharper and narrower in scope.
A certain amount of leeway in space and time lingers, for even biologically the child is innately equipped with a “fore vision” that allows it some “unconscious” view of immediate future events that forewarn it, say, of danger. From this more plastic, looser experience, the child in dreams begins to choose more specific elements , in so doing trains the senses themselves toward a more narrow sensitivity.
In periods of play the child actually often continues some games initiated quite naturally in the dream state. These include role playing, and also games that quite simply involve physical muscular activity. All this teaches a specification. In dreams the mind is free to play with events, and with their formation. The actualization of those events, however, requires certain practical circumstances. In play the children try out events initiated in the dream state, and “judge” these against the practical conditions. In such a way the child juggles probabilities, and also brings his physical structure precisely into line with a given niche of probability. Basically in dreaming the brain is not limited to physically encountered experience.
Mentally it can form an infinite number of events, and consciousness can take an infinite amount of roles. The child may easily dream of being its own mother or father, sister or brother, the family dog, a fly, a soldier. In waking play the child will then try out those roles, and quickly see that they do not fit physical conditions.
Before a child has seen mountains it can dream of them. A knowledge of the planets environment is an unconscious portion of your heritage. You possess an unconscious environment, a given psychological world tuned to the physical one, and your learning takes place in its subjectively even as objectively you learn exterior manipulation.
The imagination is highly evolved with event forming. Children’s imaginations prevent them from being too limited by their parents’ world. Waking or dreaming, children “pretend.” In their pretending they exercise their consciousness in a particularly advantageous way. While accepting a given reality for themselves, they nevertheless reserve the right, so to speak, to experiment with other “secondary” states of being. To some extent they become what they are pretending to be, and in so doing they also increase their own knowledge and experience. Left alone, children would learn how to cope with animals by pretending to be animals, for example. Through experiencing the animals’ reactions, they would understand how to react themselves.
In play, particularly, children try on any conceivable situation for size. In the dream state adults and children alike do the same thing, and many dreams are indeed a kind of play. The brain itself is never satisfied with one version of an event, but will always use the imagination to form other versions in an activity quite as spontaneous as play. It also practices forming events as the muscles practice motion.
The brain seeks the richest form of an event. I am speaking specifically of the brain, as separated from the mind, to emphasize the point that these abilities are of creaturehood. The brain’s genius comes from the mind, which can be called the brain’s biophysical counterpart.
You have inner senses that roughly correlate with your physical ones. These, however, do not have to be trained in space-time orientation.
When children dream, they utilize these inner senses such as adults do, and then through dreaming they learn to translate such material into the precise framework of the exterior senses. Children’s games are “always in the present”- that is, they are immediately experienced, though the play events may involve the future or the past. The phrase “once upon a time” is strongly evocative and moving, even to adults, because children play with time in away adults have forgotten. If you want to sense the motion of your psyche, it is perhaps easiest to imagine a situation either in the past or the future, for this automatically moves your mental sense-perceptions in a new way.
Children try to imagine what the world was like before they entered it. Do the same thing. The way you follow these directions can be illuminating, for the areas of activity you choose will tell you something about the unique qualities of you own consciousness. Adult games deal largely with manipulations in space, while children’s play, again, often involves variations in time. Look at a natural object, say a tree; if it is spring now, then imagine that you see it in the fall.
Alter your time orientation in other exercises. This will automatically allow you to break away from to narrow a focus. It will to some extent break apart the rigid interlocking of your perception into reality as you have learned how to perceive it. Children can play so vividly that they might, for example, imagine themselves parched under a desert sun, though they are in the coolest air-conditioned living room. They are on the one hand completely involved in their activity, yet on the other hand they are quite aware of their “normal” environment. Yet the adult often fears that any such playful unofficial alteration of consciousness is dangerous, and become worried that the imagined one will supersede the real one.
Through training, many adults have been taught that the imagination itself is suspicious. Such attitudes not only drastically impede any artistic creativity, but the imaginative creativity necessary to deal with the nature of physical events themselves.
Man’s creative alertness, his precise sensual focus in space and time, and his ability to react quickly to events, are of course are all highly important characteristics. His imagination allowed him to develop the use of tools, and gave birth to his inventiveness. That imagination allows him to plan in the present for what might occur in the future.
This means that to some extent the imagination must operate outside of the senses’ precise orientation. For that reason, it is most freely used in the dream state. Basically speaking, imagination cannot be tied to practicalities, for when it is man has only physical feedback. If that were all, then there would be no inventions. There is always additional information available other than that in the physical environment.
These additional data come as a result of the brain’s high play as it experiments with the formation of events, using the inner senses that are not structured in time or space.
Put another time on. Just before you sleep, see yourself as you are, but living in a past or a future century—or simply pretend that you were born 10 or 20 years before or later. Done playfully, such exercises will allow you a good subjective feel for your own inner existence as it is apart from the time context.
To encourage creativity, exert your imagination through breaking up your usual space-time focus. As you fall to sleep, imagine that you are in the same place, exactly in the same spot, but at some pointing the distant past or future. What do you see, hear? What is there?
For another exercise , imagine that you are in another part of the world entirely, but in the present time, and ask yourself the same questions. For variety, in your own mind’s eye follow the activities of the previous day. Place yourself a week in ahead in time. Conduct your own variations of these exercises . What they will teach you cannot be explained, for they will provide a dimension of experience, a feeling about yourself that may make sense only to you.
They will teach you to find your own sensations of yourself, as divorced from the official context of reality, in which you usually perceive your being. Additionally, you will be better able to deal with current events, for your exercised imagination will bring to you that will be increasingly valuable.
Do not begin by using your imagination only to solve current problems, for again, you will tie your creativity to them, and hamper it because of your beliefs about what is practical.
Playfully done, these exercises will set into action other creative events. These will involve the utilization of some of the inner senses, for which you have no objective sense-correlations. You will understand situations better in daily life, because you will have activated inner abilities that allow you to subjectively perceive the reality of other people in a way that children do.
There is an inner knack, allowing for greater sensitivity to the feelings of others than you presently acknowledge. That knack will be activated. Again the powers of the brain come from the mind, so while you learn to center your consciousness in your body- and necessarily so-nevertheless your inner perceptions roam a far greater range. Before sleep, then, imagine your consciousness traveling down a road, or across the world—What ever you want. Forget your body. Do not try to leave it for this exercise. Tell yourself that you are imaginatively traveling.
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