Does dreaming give messages to our conscious mind?

That would imply conscious intent behind the dreams. It certainly feels that a dream expresses a conscious intent that we ordinarily aren’t cognizant of. The answer is of course, if we answer honestly from what it feels like to say be warned by a dream of a threatening circumstance. Or to be made fun of in a dream. Or to be reassured. But to identify a conscious agent behind the message? We aren’t comfortable with the idea of there being something within us operating independently. But as to our pure physicality, it is the case that life management processes occur in us while being independent of our intent. Even neuroscience begs off on the question having no way to decide the issue either way.

On point is his response to the question of whether there can be two consciousnesses in one brain.

 Transcript of “My stroke of insight”


My left hemisphere, our left hemisphere, is a very different place. Our left hemisphere thinks linearly and methodically. Our left hemisphere is all about the past and it’s all about the future. Our left hemisphere is designed to take that enormous collage of the present moment and start picking out details, and more details about those details. It then categorizes and organizes all that information, associates it with everything in the past we’ve ever learned, and projects into the future all of our possibilities. And our left hemisphere thinks in language. It’s that ongoing brain chatter that connects me and my internal world to my external world. It’s that little voice that says to me, “Hey, you’ve got to remember to pick up bananas on your way home. I need them in the morning.” It’s that calculating intelligence that reminds me when I have to do my laundry. But perhaps most important, it’s that little voice that says to me, “I am. I am.”

So if it quacks like a duck, walks and swims like a duck, it’s a duck. It’s a little voice. What’s behind the voice? Caring or cold mechanisms? Caring of course. That’s how it feels, but is that really the way it is? Does it matter? Because the information we get via dreams, although in an obscure language, is useful. I had dream of a stallion that came into my view, it was gorgeous and up close, coming past me, and then turning away to go on. Life itself was turning and heading away from me. You can dream that you get killed in a dream, although we awaken before its certain. But to dream of a horse? We ride our horse while we are alive, we have a deep and profound relationship to our living body. I hadn’t been feeling well. It was a vivid dream. I had been putting off going to the doctor. I went. My condition had changed, things were turning, I needed different medicine and habits. We may not listen to our spouse, or our better judgment, or even to the doctors. But a dream? OK. I heard it.

Charles Wood

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