Sideways Cliches #3
An All-consuming problem
Continued from “Sideways Cliches #2: When dreams come true”
All right…so…obsessing about things when you are on the way to bed can have odd effects. I think that a lot of people could corroborate that. If you’ve ever gotten a new job, or entered a new relationship, or encountered a new crisis, it might come up in your dreams. I imagine that for a lot of us those things will crop up in our dreams. If my anecdotal evidence is anything to go by then it’s a fairly common occurrence. Even if it hasn’t happened to you, it might have happened to someone you know, or to someone they know. Let’s just say, it does happen. When we obsess over things, those things will sometimes influence our dreams.
I think that’s the source of the phrase, “it came to me in a dream.” That phrase made cliché by repetition in literature, that so often causes us to sigh or to raise an eyebrow in disdain or impatience, as if to say, “Let’s get this out of the way so that we can get back to talking about science, okay?”
When we say that revelations come to us in dreams, though, I think it’s a product of our subconscious minds figuring things out. We would have got there eventually, but the part of our mind that we’re most aware of is constantly distracted by sense impressions, known in many instances as pain or noise or tacos. I’m sure you’re familiar.
There seems to be part of our minds that is uninhibited by the strictures of a sensible reality. That part of our minds seems to continue to obsess even when we’re asleep. I think what happens while we dream is that our minds create permutations of our obsession, but without the strictures which we need to deal with being awake. Our subconscious mind tries to figure out why we could not deal with IT at all today, but without the bother of physical reality. It tries to divine where the communication break down occurred between our complaint that the whole thing literally exploded — it’s there in smoldering pieces on our desk — and the nonchalant response that we need to upgrade Internet Explorer. But since our subconscious mind is not inhibited by situational tangible realities, then it reduces the problem to the pure emotion. Frustration, the ennui of daily drudgery, the excitement of the explosion, the vague hope that it means you’ll finally be recognized as a superhero. These are base, almost primal principles that we understand on a nonverbal, “intuitive” level.
Then, if we happen to be dreaming at the same time, in the face of the utter wave of raw emotion in our subconscious mind, our conscious mind tries to make sense of it all by imposing familiar pictures. But since it’s all happening so fast, or whatever, the images get a bit confused.
Which is why we wake up confused by the images of tigers misquoting poetry at us while the rain washes away the city of construction paper where we had been renting a condo.
It’s not illogical. It’s just two very powerful computers with different tasks and different UX design trying to interface.
Tune in next time for the ultimate cliche…A (human scale) dark and stormy night…
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