What is Real?

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richrf
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 05:40 am
Hi all,

Are our dream experiences every bit as real as our daytime experiences?

Dream experiences tend take place in a more fantasy/magic like landscape (to borrow from Robin Robertson), but they do tend to retain certain aspects of our awake being most notably our emotions, e.g. happiness, sadness, fear, lust, exultation, etc.

If dreams are as real as the awake state while we are experiencing them, then which is reality and if both are real, then why do we experience reality so differently? What is experiencing this reality? Are emotions the only aspect of us that are real since they seem to be the only stable aspect between states of reality?

Rich
 
xtropx
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 11:24 am
@richrf,
IMHO I believe that dreams are every bit as real as our waking reality. If you have ever experienced a lucid dream (a dream in which you are completely conscious), generally I believe one would accept that concept.

Simply put, 'reality' as humans can experience it is limited by our 5 senses. (Anyone who has seen The Matrix has been though this thought process.) Our mind is capable of producing sensory information (i.e. reality) falsely, or falsely as related to the 'reality' other being are experiencing. (e.g Psychedelics) This would lead one to believe that 'reality' is a matter of perspective.

...I am not sure what you mean by 'what is experiencing this reality.'

Emotions are the link between the mind and the body.

The only thing that is 'real' is your consciousness, the observer; 'you' which remains constant in waking reality and dream reality.
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 11:49 am
@xtropx,
I think we can be aware of dreaming,we never say to ourselves when we are awake there is another plain.Maybe death is the next level of consciousness and reality may appear just as dream like.Dreams allow our emotions free will and reality our freedom of choice.It is an amazing place we all visit on a nightly basis and spend a large portion of our lives.Good thread, thanks xris.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 12:16 pm
@xtropx,
Hi xtropx,

Thanks for your comments.

xtropx;78630 wrote:
IMHO I believe that dreams are every bit as real as our waking reality. If you have ever experienced a lucid dream (a dream in which you are completely conscious), generally I believe one would accept that concept.


I have never experienced lucid dreaming though I have heard of it. Is it possible for you to briefly describe how it feels.

My dreams are mostly fantasy type images with no sense of time or space or order with weak or strong emotions. Sometimes I am simply observing. Sometimes I have a role in the dream. Most of the players in the dream are not from real life though sometimes a parent of brother may appear. Rarely anyone else other than possibly symbolic form.

Quote:
Simply put, 'reality' as humans can experience it is limited by our 5 senses.


Do you think that some people may have sensory abilities beyond those that you or I might think of as the common senses.

Quote:
..or falsely as related to the 'reality' other being are experiencing.


Do you see this as a difference or as real and not real? The major difference that I see between dream state and awake state, is that in the awake state I have other minds (other than my own) that I am communicating with and forming a common reality that is relatively stable because it is a consensus reality between multiple minds.

Quote:
This would lead one to believe that 'reality' is a matter of perspective.


This is the conclusion I came to. Since my inner dreams are only for myself to see, during the state of sleep, that is my reality solely from my perspective and when I awake, it still remains so. Who can challenge the truth of what I say of my own dreams?

Quote:
...I am not sure what you mean by 'what is experiencing this reality.'


This comes from Robin Robertson's book on Jung. He derives this thought from Nicholas Humphrey's book Consciousness Regains. Basically, what I am suggesting is that when I am asleep that is reality for me. It is just as real as anything that I might experience when I am awake.

Quote:
Emotions are the link between the mind and the body.


Interesting thought. Thanks. But do you have emotions when you are dreaming and have no sense of your body? I do.

Quote:
The only thing that is 'real' is your consciousness, the observer; 'you' which remains constant in waking reality and dream reality.


Yes, this is how I see it also.

Thanks again for your comments.

Rich

---------- Post added 07-21-2009 at 01:19 PM ----------

Hi xris,

Thanks for commenting.

xris;78634 wrote:
I think we can be aware of dreaming,we never say to ourselves when we are awake there is another plain.


Yes. I agree. Once in a very great while I may be aware that I am dreaming. Others may experience it more often. However, when I am not aware that I am dreaming, the dream is my reality. How to distinguish this reality from any other - and is there a difference or are they both real?

Quote:
Maybe death is the next level of consciousness and reality may appear just as dream like.


I often think this.

Quote:
Dreams allow our emotions free will and reality our freedom of choice.It is an amazing place we all visit on a nightly basis and spend a large portion of our lives.Good thread, thanks xris.


I like the way you bring together dreams, emotions and free expression of emotions. Interesting and nice thought. Appreciate it.

Rich
 
xtropx
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 01:06 pm
@richrf,
Lots of good stuff here.

Lucid dreams: Well, typically for me they start as a typical dream, however, there are various things that can 'trigger' the dream from this state to lucid. Clocks are a good example as analog clock will stay the same consistently and looking at digital clocks more then once in a dream will scramble their data.
After the 'trigger' I am fully conscious in my own self-created dream 'world' in which I can do as I please. I can create and destroy and interact as I see fit.

Other times I just suddenly 'wake up' in my dream reality, as lucid.

Lucid dreams are possible with pharmacological aid, as I experimented with for a time.

Quote:
Do you think that some people may have sensory abilities beyond those that you or I might think of as the common senses.
It is possible. Although I have not experienced it directly, our senses are based biologically, and biology is remarkably flexible. I can foresee future human biological engineering through genetics or other facets to increase our sensory abilities.

Quote:
Do you see this as a difference or as real and not real?
I have a hard time comprehending anything that is 'not real' because as long as I can 'think' or 'imagine' something, even something that is not capable of manifesting in my 'average' daily consciousness so that I can observe it, that 'thing' is 'real' as in that it is a 'thought' (or concept).

Quote:
Who can challenge the truth of what I say of my own dreams?
I would have said, 'who can challenge the reality of what I perceive through the only facet I have to discern reality?'...but I think we are both on the same page. Very Happy

Quote:
But do you have emotions when you are dreaming and have no sense of your body?
Rarely do I experience emotion, and that seems to carry over to my dreams.
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 02:40 pm
@xtropx,
My lucid dreams last too short a time but when they occur are amazing ,I wonder at my minds imagination.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 03:25 pm
@xtropx,
xtropx;78630 wrote:
IMHO I believe that dreams are every bit as real as our waking reality. If you have ever experienced a lucid dream (a dream in which you are completely conscious), generally I believe one would accept that concept.

Simply put, 'reality' as humans can experience it is limited by our 5 senses. (Anyone who has seen The Matrix has been though this thought process.) Our mind is capable of producing sensory information (i.e. reality) falsely, or falsely as related to the 'reality' other being are experiencing. (e.g Psychedelics) This would lead one to believe that 'reality' is a matter of perspective.

...I am not sure what you mean by 'what is experiencing this reality.'

Emotions are the link between the mind and the body.

The only thing that is 'real' is your consciousness, the observer; 'you' which remains constant in waking reality and dream reality.


Dreams exist, but what happens in dreams is not real. So, "Dreams are real" may mean, "Dreams exist" and that is true. But, "Dreams are real" may mean, what happens in dreams is real, and that, of course, is false. Just a simple matter of ambiguity, and I have cleared it up by exposing the ambiguity.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 05:15 pm
@xtropx,
Hi again. Thanks for the replies.

xtropx;78655 wrote:
Lots of good stuff here.

Lucid dreams: Well, typically for me they start as a typical dream, however, there are various things that can 'trigger' the dream from this state to lucid. Clocks are a good example as analog clock will stay the same consistently and looking at digital clocks more then once in a dream will scramble their data.
After the 'trigger' I am fully conscious in my own self-created dream 'world' in which I can do as I please. I can create and destroy and interact as I see fit.


Fascinating - as Spock might say. It is interesting that a time element might trigger the lucid dream. Were you always able to do this? Has it affected your life in any way?

Quote:
I have a hard time comprehending anything that is 'not real' because as long as I can 'think' or 'imagine' something, even something that is not capable of manifesting in my 'average' daily consciousness so that I can observe it, that 'thing' is 'real' as in that it is a 'thought' (or concept).
So to you it basically feels like something real? Just like maybe daydreaming might seem real to me.

Quote:
I would have said, 'who can challenge the reality of what I perceive through the only facet I have to discern reality?'...but I think we are both on the same page. Very Happy
Yes, I think we are. It is interesting to talk to someone who has lucid dreams. I don't try to do it. I prefer it to come naturally in my life - if it comes at all.

Quote:
Rarely do I experience emotion, and that seems to carry over to my dreams.
Thanks for responding. Great information and ideas.

Rich

---------- Post added 07-21-2009 at 06:16 PM ----------

xris;78673 wrote:
My lucid dreams last too short a time but when they occur are amazing ,I wonder at my minds imagination.


Hi there,

How does it feel when you are having a lucid dream? Does it feel real?

Rich

---------- Post added 07-21-2009 at 06:19 PM ----------

kennethamy;78679 wrote:
Dreams exist, but what happens in dreams is not real.


This is the point of the discussion. I appreciate your point of view, but for others it is different. For example, the emotions I feel during my dreams feel just as real as they are when I am awake - in some cases even more amplified.

Quote:
So, "Dreams are real" may mean, "Dreams exist" and that is true. But, "Dreams are real" may mean, what happens in dreams is real, and that, of course, is false. Just a simple matter of ambiguity, and I have cleared it up by exposing the ambiguity.
Whether dreams are real or not is the whole purpose of the discussion. If there was no debate about this, the discussion would not come up. I understand that you do not feel it is real.

You may want to listen to the rest of the discussion in order to understand there are other points of views. This is not a question of calling a touchdown and refereeing what is true and false. This is a question of learning new things about what other people experience in their lives.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 06:01 pm
@richrf,
richrf;78697 wrote:



This is the point of the discussion. I appreciate your point of view, but for others it is different. For example, the emotions I feel during my dreams feel just as real as they are when I am awake - in some cases even more amplified.

Whether dreams are real or not is the whole purpose of the discussion. If there was no debate about this, the discussion would not come up. I understand that you do not feel it is real.

You may want to listen to the rest of the discussion in order to understand there are other points of views. This is not a question of calling a touchdown and refereeing what is true and false. This is a question of learning new things about what other people experience in their lives.

Rich


What seems or feels real need not be real. Mirages seem real to thirsty travelers in the desert, but they are not real. They are not oases. What occurs in dreams is not real since if you dream that you are in Africa, and hunting tigers you are not doing so. You are asleep in bed. As I said, dreams exist, and there are real dreams. But that does not mean that dreams are real. There really is no debate about this so far as I can tell. Even children, after they wake up, and Mommy tells them that what they dreamed is not real, understand that. That they feel real to the child (or adult) is neither here nor there.
 
xtropx
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 06:51 pm
@richrf,
Quote:
But, "Dreams are real" may mean, what happens in dreams is real, and that, of course, is false.
"Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?"
[-The Matrix]

-You wouldn't simply because:

"What is real? How do you define real? If you're talking about what you can hear, what you can smell, taste and feel then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain."
[-The Matrix]

Perhaps instead blatantly proclaiming that what occurs in a dream is not 'real' one should be kind enough to explain to us exactly why this is.

Quote:
What occurs in dreams is not real since if you dream that you are in Africa, and hunting tigers you are not doing so. You are asleep in bed.
'You' refers to 'consciousness' because what I am is an observer, ergo, whatever I can observe is 'real.'

Quote:
Even children, after they wake up, and Mommy tells them that what they dreamed is not real, understand that.
This is the very reason so many of us have trouble coping with the fact that the comfort, consistent 'reality' we are so familiar with is just one tiny piece of the puzzle.

Quote:
It is interesting that a time element might trigger the lucid dream. Were you always able to do this? Has it affected your life in any way?
Yeah, light switches will trigger it too. Flip a switch, no light difference. Odd, but it works. It really hasn't affected my life a whole lot, other then re-enforcing the knowledge that 'reality' isn't constant. Lucid dreaming, even induced by certain chemicals, is perfectly harmless, and a lot of fun. Smile
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 06:59 pm
@xtropx,
xtropx;78724 wrote:
"Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?"
[-The Matrix]

-You wouldn't simply because:

"What is real? How do you define real? If you're talking about what you can hear, what you can smell, taste and feel then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain."
[-The Matrix]

Perhaps instead blatantly proclaiming that what occurs in a dream is not 'real' one should be kind enough to explain to us exactly why this is.

'You' refers to 'consciousness' because what I am is an observer, ergo, whatever I can observe is 'real.'

This is the very reason so many of us have trouble coping with the fact that the comfort, consistent 'reality' we are so familiar with is just one tiny piece of the puzzle.

Yeah, light switches will trigger it too. Flip a switch, no light difference. Odd, but it works. It really hasn't affected my life a whole lot, other then re-enforcing the knowledge that 'reality' isn't constant. Lucid dreaming, even induced by certain chemicals, is perfectly harmless, and a lot of fun. Smile


But you do not observe anything when you are sleeping and dreaming. How could you when your eyes are closed?
Why are the contents of dreams not real? Why because what you dream did not happen. Obviously.
Peter Viereck the late American poet, said that what is real is what remains when you have stopped believing in it. That's not bad.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 08:23 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;78713 wrote:
Even children, after they wake up, and Mommy tells them that what they dreamed is not real, understand that. That they feel real to the child (or adult) is neither here nor there.


Yes, Mommy will tell the child, "don't worry it is not real". However, what the child experienced in the dream felt very real. This is the whole point of the discussion. The experience feels as real as anything else. What are the differences? Where do they come from? And why do they both feel real as they are being experienced.

Rich
 
xtropx
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 08:26 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;78727 wrote:
But you do not observe anything when you are sleeping and dreaming. How could you when your eyes are closed?


Dreams are a product of the mind. You are something more. The observer. Therefore, you can observe your dreams. You observe your dreams, right?

Quote:
Peter Viereck the late American poet, said that what is real is what remains when you have stopped believing in it.
I could be wrong, but perhaps I see a deeper meaning in that quote.

Quote:
The experience feels as real as anything else. What are the differences? Where do they come from? And why do they both feel real as they are being experienced.


Now here is something worth discussion. (And perhaps a worthy argument) I would ask you to offer your opinion of the aforementioned questions, before I offer mine?
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 08:28 pm
@xtropx,
xtropx;78724 wrote:
Yeah, light switches will trigger it too. Flip a switch, no light difference. Odd, but it works. It really hasn't affected my life a whole lot, other then re-enforcing the knowledge that 'reality' isn't constant. Lucid dreaming, even induced by certain chemicals, is perfectly harmless, and a lot of fun. Smile


Hi again,

Thanks for the explanation and info.

I am not satisfied with the chemical explanation, since how does a chemical know what to do and when to do it? What is the impetus? Where does it all start from? We have going from awake reality into sleep reality? Why the switch? How the switch? Now we have an additional variable called lucid dreaming? Why do some people have it and others don't? What is the making this switch occur.

A chemical is a chemical is a chemical. A brain is a brain is a brain. How does that piece of matter decide to switch states?

Thanks again for sharing with me your experiences.

Rich
 
xtropx
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 09:31 pm
@richrf,
richrf;78742 wrote:
Thanks for the explanation and info.

I am not satisfied with the chemical explanation, since how does a chemical know what to do and when to do it?


Ah the mystery. I wish I had such knowledge myself.

Quote:
A chemical is a chemical is a chemical. A brain is a brain is a brain. How does that piece of matter decide to switch states?
I am not too familiar with biology/neurology, although I find you can just keep asking why these tiny organisms act as they do long enough to find yourself back at the same question as far as you can go.

I have not yet come to be able to explain the force that seems to drive everything, and is responsible for all the action (if indeed there is any 'force' influencing events), so I just tend to leave it at that. I can't know.
Yet.
Quote:
Thanks again for sharing with me your experiences.

Rich
Likewise.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 10:40 pm
@xtropx,
xtropx;78749 wrote:
Ah the mystery. I have not yet come to be able to explain the force that seems to drive everything, and is responsible for all the action (if indeed there is any 'force' influencing events), so I just tend to leave it at that. I can't know. Yet. Likewise.


Hi,

For me exploring consciousness is like exploring the earth, exploring the solar system, exploring the galaxy or exploring the universe. It goes on and on and on. And I do it because I am curious.

Next stop .... consciousness and the mystery of dreams. :detective:

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 22 Jul, 2009 06:21 am
@xtropx,
xtropx;78741 wrote:
Dreams are a product of the mind. You are something more. The observer. Therefore, you can observe your dreams. You observe your dreams, right?

I could be wrong, but perhaps I see a deeper meaning in that quote.



Now here is something worth discussion. (And perhaps a worthy argument) I would ask you to offer your opinion of the aforementioned questions, before I offer mine?


Well, since I don't know what meaning you ascribe to that quote (except what it says) how should I know what you think is the "deeper meaning" You seem to love mysteries since you perpetuate them.

How can I observe dreams when, as I said, my eyes are inoperable when I am asleep? So, no, I do not believe I observe my dreams, although, of course, I have dreams.

Yes, I am something more than my mind. I also have a body. But what has that to do with it?
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2009 03:54 am
@kennethamy,
The point trying to be made is that when you are actually dreaming, that is reality for you, its only after you awake you are aware of its illusion.Is reality an illusion? is there a higher reality we are not aware of?Lucid dreaming makes you aware of the fact you are not dreaming,is there a state of mind that can convince you that this existance is not the only reality?
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2009 06:58 am
@xris,
xris;78952 wrote:
The point trying to be made is that when you are actually dreaming, that is reality for you, its only after you awake you are aware of its illusion.Is reality an illusion? is there a higher reality we are not aware of?Lucid dreaming makes you aware of the fact you are not dreaming,is there a state of mind that can convince you that this existance is not the only reality?


Yes, this is the point of the thread. And more than that, how the heck does it all happen? It is so common that we just take the phenomenon for granted. But when you think about it, the mind is in one state at one moment and then in another state in the next moment. Poof! What the heck causes this change of state? Both, as you suggest, seem very real at that moment - if there is such a thing as moment in the state of sleep.

Rich
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2009 07:15 am
@richrf,
When the seat of conscious reality is not known, where does it go to when we sleep?I wonder, if thoughts are external to our existance,do their vibrations linger in our sleeping brain?It appears we can only have rational thoughts when not sleeping,are we not capable of receiving this data when sleeping.Its like a radio being switched off and on.
 
 

 
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