SCIENCE, 13 Feb 2017
It is not an easy task to delve deep into the unconscious level of the mind to explore about the phenomenon of dreaming except doing on armchair exercise to collect the kernel of facts by what is fundamental approach of research.
This author is at awe as to how a stalwart theoriser like Sigmund Freud really explored the unchallengeable celebrated propositions which this author feels like labelling that his conscious was unconscious and unconscious conscious!
This author finds it impossible to adopt the experimental statistical method for exploring the theme of dream. He has this way collected some stark facts about the dream phenomenon. They are being enumerated and explained below.
The following propositions clarify the aspects of Freud:
- The dreamer’s identity remains conspicuously clear and intact. The element of self-aggrandisement is patently there.
- The dreamer’s command over the languages known to him remains intact during his dream conversations.
- The trend of the dream follows the stronger signals over the weak ones to retain the flow of the dream.
- The dream does not discriminate between the past and the present but uses both skilfully. That means that the dead are also considered alive and in good health like the living ones.
- Strong auto suggestion to recall the dream content entirely does not work.
- Dream, like abstract painting, is creative. Therefore no wonder that creative dream of Kakulae of benzene’s chemical serpent like chain gave birth to plastics which revolutionised the world of products. Similarly, mathematical formulae propounded by genius dreamers are recorded in literature.
Freud hesitated to go further into the dream theme. Canadian psychiatrists (Penfield & Anderson) and brain surgeons (Pribram & Butter) have also not been able to make any headway into this difficult aspect. Hence this brief paper for seeking attention of eager seekers of knowledge who may care to think about it.
The above noted points can be ascertained by subjective verification only, and found sturdy enough, it is humbly claimed.
It will be realized upon reflection that most part of the dream, material is rubbish wretched, creative in trend though. To search for a real fact is like tracing a misplaced needle in a huge straw stock or pile. This task is stupendous because the fact in camouflaged in a lot of bogus and unknown material. The latent content is much greater than its manifest content.
The phenomenon of dreaming is a bluff. As to duration of dream the Alpha, Beta, REM and Delta rhythms, it may last from a few seconds to half-an hour, the first three occupying the most of it.
The author has seen an ‘eyes open’ sleeper which must be the rarest of the rare. In such case an attempt can be made to watch the activity of the retina and by planting a chip in his occipital lobe, the dream can possible to projected on the screen to know as to what actually happens in a dream. The analysis may lead to startling facts which can be generalised for all dreams.
There are additional things, like Déjà vu and Jamais vu which occur more frequently.
As to distress and disturbing dreams the items of a theme may be juxtaposed to preserve sleep e.g. a person who has actually passed an examination may dream as if he has not seen the time-table of his examination owing to zeigarnic effect. Mild physiological disturbances symbolize in dreams e.g. abdominal gas may symbolise as horse, and chirping of birds and buzzing of the mobile phone may symbolise as orchestra. All this to preserve sleep.
Dr. S. K. Jha is aged 88. He was connected with about 20 universities of India in various capacities such as examiner of Ph.D. theses, Chairman of Board of Studies in Education and of Gandhian Thought. He was also appointed Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences in private university after retirement from service. He also delivered invitational lectures to LL.M. class for a couple of years on Research Methodology. He practised law in the High Court of Bombay, Bench at Nagpur for some years. He has participated in academic fora like the Phi Delta Kappa in the USA. M.A. (Psych.), M.Ed., Ph.D., LL.B. Fulbright. Aluminous USA 1963-64.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 13 Feb 2017.
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