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Concept Paper on Dreams and Memories

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The human mind is a wonder of nature, being able to accomplish feats, create innovative ideas & break new borders. It is always in a constant phase of work and change, further presenting ideas that make the human life better and better. Despite the constant use of our mind there are still numerous things we do not understand about it, particularly of the subconscious mind and its machinations. The unconscious mind has been a topic of study and has been a trouble for many researchers due to its unpredictable nature. A certain few have studied the mind and have become renowned in their particular fields of choice: Dreams and Memories. “The naive judgment of the dreamer on waking assumes that the dream – even if it does not come from another world – has at all events transported the dreamer into another world. The old physiologist, Burdach, to whom we are indebted for a careful and discriminating description of the phenomena of dreams, expressed this conviction in a frequently quoted passage (p. 474): “The waking life, with its trials and joys, its pleasures and pains, is never repeated; on the contrary, the dream aims at relieving us of these.

Even when our whole mind is filled with one subject, when our hearts are rent by bitter grief, or when some task has been taxing our mental capacity to the utmost, the dream either gives us something entirely alien, or it selects for its combinations only a few elements of reality; or it merely enters into the key of our mood, and symbolizes reality.” J. H. Fichte (I. 541) speaks in precisely the same sense of supplementary dreams, calling them one of the secret, self-healing benefits of the psyche. L. Strumpell expresses himself to the same effect in his Natur und Entstehung der Traume, a study which is deservedly held in high esteem. “He who dreams turns his back upon the world of waking consciousness” (p. 16); “In the dream the memory of the orderly content of waking consciousness and its normal behaviour is almost entirely lost” (p. 17); “The almost complete and unencumbered isolation of the psyche in the dream from the regular normal content and course of the waking state…” (p. 19).” (Freud. S., 1900)

Freud understood dream images as having deeply embedded sexual meaning; They stood for repressed and unacceptable wishes. Dreams according to Freud, were a form of wish-fulfilment, and he distinguished between the ‘manifest dream’ (the dream itself) and the ‘latent dream’, which contained our repressed desires. (Royston & Humphries, 2006) Currently science has no definite explanation of how dreams work, however the most widely accepted understanding is that they are caused by the random firing of the pons mostly during REM sleep. (Retrieved from: http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15790/1/Can-Dreams-Predict-the-Future.html.) The famous psychologist William James once said that to remember is to think about something which we previously experienced, and which we were not thinking about immediately before (James, 1890). James’ definition has intuitive appeal; still, the concept of the memory is not readily captured in a single phrase. (Klatzky, 1975) ‘Memory’ labels a diverse set of cognitive capacities by which we retain information and reconstruct past experiences, usually for present purposes.

Memory is one of the most important ways by which our histories animate our current actions and experiences. Most notably, the human ability to conjure up long-gone but specific episodes of our lives is both familiar and puzzling, and is a key aspect of personal identity. Memory seems to be a source of knowledge. We remember experiences and events which are not happening now, so memory differs from perception. We remember events which really happened, so memory is unlike pure imagination. Yet, in practice, there can be close interactions between remembering, perceiving, and imagining. (Sutton, 2010) Dreams and memories have been a difficult topic of study. Though they both come from man’s mind it can be acknowledged that they both act differently in multiple ways. Dreams have been known to have imbued meanings in their unclear and mind-blowing visions.

On the other hand, memories are the solid foundations for the basic human processes; proper decorum, rules of the land, laws of nature and even knowledge and learning in its simplest form. When looked upon differently, you can confer that the two concepts are not such unlike as once thought. It can be presumed –that dreams and memories are just the mind’s way of moving in time, memories go back to specific scenarios in life whereas dreams go and create the world where the possibilities coming from your memories may be tested and validated. It can be concluded that dreaming and memories are related no matter how afar these two ideas may be. The human mind is always full of mysteries, both solvable and not. These questions will lead to answers or possibly even more

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