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    Thread: Dream Content and Day Residue

    1. #1
      ZAD
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      Dream Content and Day Residue

      Recently I've been reading through old nonlucids in my dream journal, and I'm coming across something that I want to understand on a deeper level.

      An overwhelming proportion of my dreams have to do with my family (who I don't think about or see very often), my childhood home (which I visit maybe a handful of times a year), my old high school friends (who I've barely kept up with in 4-5 years), etc., you get the picture. This isn't every dream, but it seems like about 50-70% at least. Day residue seems to impact the contexts and individual behaviors in these dreams, for instance some small aspect of a movie I was watching, book I was reading, podcast I was listening to, or the topic of some conversation or argument I had can tend to influence it. But it's hardly ever things that I consistently think about consciously throughout the day, or things that take up large chunks of my conscious mind. In contrast, of course, the biggest reoccurring factor in my dreams is my fiancee who I live with and see constantly.

      In this way, it seems like two things really seep through into my dreams: the deeply rooted, i.e. family, high school, past; and the superficial, i.e. things I gloss over or don't pay too much attention to. But the things that receive a healthy chunk of attention don't usually come up, for instance my dog very rarely enters my dreams although I give a large chunk of my day to walking, feeding, playing with him, talking about the things he does with my fiancee. Also the content of my work/problems I face there have never come up to date. Is it the case that the things I give an adequate amount of attention are not important to be "playtested" by my dreaming mind; and instead, my brain wants to explore the things I've only given a small amount of attention to that may be important later; and further, that the deeply rooted aspects (fiancee, family, past) are just convenient stock elements to use as a setting/backdrop? Another thing that I've found is that when a change occurs in my life, it often takes my brain a good long while to adapt, i.e. when I start a new job, it takes several months for coworkers who I see and interact with day-to-day to start showing up, and yet just two nights ago I had a vivid interaction with a highschool band member who I was never very close with.

      I guess I'm just interested in why the brain chooses what it chooses to create each individual dream.
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    2. #2
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      The way I see it, dream content is our perception of our perception, and what is perceived is based on the state of one's perception.

      The state of one's perception is based on their states of attention/memory and knowledge/expectations. These states can influence each other.

      The state of our knowledge/expectations is based on what has been learned.

      The state of our attention/memory is based on the state of our motivation. The state of our motivation is based on our idea of what will get us the closest to our idea of the best we can be.

      Most of perception is subconscious, and our conscious mind is small compared to the subconscious mind. There are many variables that influence perception, so there are many variables that influence dream content. Too many to list, I think.
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      I've noticed that with myself that I tend to get the same types of dreams when I am feeling not my 100% which is a lot. When I feel 100% on top of the world then BAM the magic happens. There are exceptions and the subconscious plays a big role but my mood and energy level makes a big difference. It's like my mind is trying to go easy when it is low on energy but it can go nuts when it has an over abundance. Lucid dreaming is along the same lines requiring the correct levels of interest and energy.
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      "My family (who I don't think about or see very often)," surely is why you dream of them. Who normally is closer for most people?
      So your childhood home and schoolfriend you were close to may symbolise this idea.

      Seemingly trivial experiences often influence dreams.
      But it can only be due to their profound connection really, to the issue. Or maybe these mean a thing you gloss over or don't pay too much attention to. Those things in seconday experience or artforms, or direct conversation, yet may affect you, deeply.
      Perhaps because you don't consistently think about this consciously throughout the day is the precise reason why your dreams or subconsious does. But really you would be aware, just under the surface.

      Hence the reason healthily attended things, like your dog, do not need to enter dreams. They have no problem.
      Yet your fiance enters more than anything. Can that mean an example, or comparison?
      Yet you said, "The things that receive a healthy chunk of attention don't usually come up."

      Yet I am surprised the content of "my work/problems I face there have never come up, to date."
      I can only conclude you do not work at the problem or are unable to. Because work, and its probs, would be a great symbol for this.

      It takes a while to integrate new experiences and people might explain why these don't show up at first in dreams. Or perhaps is somewhat of a message also.
      "A vivid interaction with a highschool band member who I was never very close with" can lucidly explain the main issue again. A band is a team, a family.

      Yes it all fits.
      I think it's a just a matter of the correct context, as usual, which you can figure out.
      Last edited by Superman1; 11-17-2018 at 08:00 AM.
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    5. #5
      ZAD
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      Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
      Most of perception is subconscious, and our conscious mind is small compared to the subconscious mind. There are many variables that influence perception, so there are many variables that influence dream content. Too many to list, I think.
      Wow dolphin, I really like how you broke this down, and I see where you're coming from. There's always an influence influencing the influence.

      Quote Originally Posted by Caden View Post
      When I feel 100% on top of the world then BAM the magic happens.
      I tend to find the same thing -- good observation.

      Quote Originally Posted by Superman1 View Post
      Yet your fiance enters more than anything. Can that mean an example, or comparison?
      Right, I meant that as an exception to the rule, not an example.

      Quote Originally Posted by Superman1 View Post
      Yet I am surprised the content of "my work/problems I face there have never come up, to date."
      I can only conclude you do not work at the problem or are unable to. Because work, and its probs, would be a great symbol for this.
      Haha you hit the nail on the head here. One thing I find in my job is a lot of tedium, not really solving problems in the way that I like to (crafting solutions) but more of implementing and troubleshooting other peoples' solutions, something which I sometimes get frustrated with. So I guess that covers "not really working at the problem".

      Thanks everyone for the insight! One of the reasons I'm asking this is to understand something I've been trying for a couple of months now. Do any of you have experience with dream incubation and/or creating persistent dream worlds? That's sort of my goal at the moment, and I haven't found a ton of resources on DV to assist with that, aside from people advising to visualize daily. Maybe somehow "hack" my motivation and/or perception of the world to include this incubated persistent dream world?
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