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Author Topic: Do most people dream in black and white?
MissEltoe
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Oh, also just found this on the site's FAQs:

quote:
Do we dream in black and white or color, or does it mean anything if we dream one way or the other?

Most people do dream in color, but some may not notice colors in their dreams. Because color is such a natural part of our visual experience, we sometimes overlook colors in our dreams. Another reason may have to do with how our dreams fades so quickly from our memory upon waking that when we may be able to recall the dream in shades of gray. However, the dreams that are in black and white can be an indication of a depressed or sadden mood.



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Licorice of the Lord! This is classy stuff...Should I be wearing a tie? Or, at least, pants?
~I'mNotDedalus

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black roses 19
Xboxing Day


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quote:
I try to read in my dreams but I can't dream words. My dream magazines are filled with letters that don't make words.
See, I always try to read in my dreams, but I usually can. The only drawback is that I physically DO NOT have the strength to open my eyes. I think maybe I try to open my eyes (in the real world) while I'm sleeping, but since I'm REMing, I can't. Usually however, I find that I can read with my eyes closed [Smile]

Drives me CRAZY though!

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"I find them to be in contradiction of the basic principles of YOUR MOM!!!" -We've Got Mail

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Jasini
I Saw Three Shipments


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I remember one time dreaming that I was driving, and having trouble staying awake on the road. I kept trying to open my eyes, and when I finally did, I saw the ceiling of my room superimposed on the images in my dream. So then, realizing that I wasn't trying to drive in my sleep, but just driving in my dream, I just closed my eyes and continued dreaming.

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Jasini

Where there's a will, there's an or.
--Col. Jack O'Neill, SG1

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laiskuri
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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My dreams are in great color, with outstanding production values. The plots usually suck pretty bad, though.
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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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My dreams are in color, although I try to avoid pastels.

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/Troberg

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Nion
We Three Blings


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I honestly always assumed everyone dreamed in color. The first time I heard about the black and white thing, I was actually shocked. The idea just seemed silly to me.

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It can't rain all the time.

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have yourself a Merry Little Galaxy
The First USA Noel


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I dream in colour, but I actually did have one dream many years ago that I remember very distinctly was black and white, with certain details picked out in colour - like an old film that had only certain items colourised, while the rest was left as black and white.

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I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains - that's why I live in Melbourne, where it always bloody rains.

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Zakor2
I Saw Three Shipments


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I'm 37, and if I have a dream that takes place in my early childhood, it's in black and white. Adult-ish, it's in color.

I've had a lot of FUN dreams where something very similar to the alien from Alien etc... I always know where to find a handgun (almost always in a wall compartment) and blast the heck out of it.

Anyone have this dream where they are running and trying to run faster and trying to pull grass off the ground to gain speed?

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Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I'm also with Hero_Mike on this one. I dream in colour but I think old wives may have dreamed in black and white due to media influences.

While sign is far from my first language although I occasionally dream in sign. If I had never learned the language I would've probably never thought to dream in it. I think its the same with black and white. If people never saw the world that way I don't think they'd think to think of it (did that make any sense?).

Things I will do in my dreams is jumble a bunch of things up. I'll dream that a deaf friend is speaking Arabic. Or I'll dream there's a swimming pool in the middle of a mall, or that my aunt from several states away lives just across the street. The problem is I will also catch these errors while sleeping, realize its a dream, and wake myself up to verify the fact. The good thing is it has allowed me to avoid several nightmares. If I don't like where a dream is going I can end it. The bad thing is I lose a lot of sleep.

On the suggestion of a Snopester I did try to read in my dreams. The suggestion was you couldn't read and then re-read something if it was a dream. The problem was I dreamed I always carried a book with me to see if I was dreaming. Then I realized I didn't carry a book with me in real life, thought it was probably a dream and then woke up anyway.

Sad thing is I find myself thinking the same way in real life. I will always check for continuity. If something odd happens I will try to recall the events of the last few days to see if they make sense and everyone and everything is where it should be, and how it should be. I'm not talking 'clutter' and/or misplaced items... I'm talking about things like palm trees in Alaska. I realize sometimes even reality can fail my expectations but if it fails several rationality test at once I start to question its existence. Stupid dumb and weird things do happen in life. I'd never jump off a building or anything with the assumption that its just a dream but I have been sure enough to leave favourite watches and stuff behind that I've lost in dreams... and was always very happy to learn I guessed correctly. Although stuff like that doesn't happen very often because I usually have to check for the real reality and wake myself up.

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"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

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Saluki Worship
I Saw Three Shipments


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I'm constantly dreaming of rainbows (okay, not recently, but for awhile there it was nearly every night), so I definitely dream in colour. It's a really intense colour though, larger than life, and kind of makes the real world a bit of a let down!

I can also feel pain in dreams, smell, taste, incorporate actual noises into dreams, but it's not until now that I realize I don't ever read in my dreams! I think I sometimes see single words, but I can't read entire sentances or anything.

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Aarspace
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I dream in colours, but I had a friend that says his have always been B&W.

I have also heard from various sorces that you actually cannot read in dreams - something to do with written language comprehension coming from one side of your brain, while dreaming comes from the other.

I have always been able to experience lucid dreaming, that is, control my dreams.

Whenever I am in doubt whether its a dream or not I just try to read something. If i can change the letters around just by looking at them, or its all nonsense, than I know its a dream.

I have also found, in general that If you are unsure that you are dreaming or not, than you are. because how often in life do you ever question that when you are awake? I have just programmed my brain over the years to know that I am dreaming as soon as I doubt if I am awake.

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Bob Dole + The Green Lantern = BEST. SUPERHERO. EVER.

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RiotGirlHeather
Jingle Bell Hock


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Sometimes I have weird "Wizard of Oz" type dreams that start off black & white, turn into color, and end back in black & white. Most of the time, however, I dream in color.

Heather

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Luke: I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you.
Princess Leia: You're who?

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TrishDaDish
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Another dream-in-color/hear/smell/feel everything person here. I can read the occasional book in my dreams, and it drives me mad, because it's usually an interesting poem, and as I'm waking up, I instantly forget it.

I wish I had the ability to wake up out of dreams. I've had more than enough painful, agonizing and horrifying nightmares that I have to sleep all the way through. (Yes, that includes dreams I've been killed in!) There's like a less than 1% chance I'm myself in a dream, and I'm sure that means something.

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I would prefer not to.
My blog

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MaidenAthene
Deck the Malls


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About reading: i remember reading a book in a dream, but the words weren't anything i knew, it was sorta gibberish, but i knew what it was about. Like my dreaming persona could read it, but *I* couldn't read it. Wierd.

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“We live in a society of victimization, where people are much more comfortable being victimized than actually standing up for themselves.” - Marilyn Manson
"Well, end more, your not ending enough!" - MST3K

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NinthSign
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I always dream in colour, but I can't smell or feel anything. However I know when I am dreaming. I know when I am going to wake up sick because I am sick in my dreams. For example, I went to bed fine, then I had a dream where I was a mermaid who had been out of the water for too long causing me to become ill. I remember thinking at some point, "You're going to be sick tomorrow," and I woke up with a stuffy nose and a sore throat.

I can not remember ever having a dream where I was flying. Is there anyone else out there who has never had a flying dream?

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Raven Waift
The First USA Noel


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I am also the see/hear/taste dreamer. I do ocasionally confuse dreams with reality, because my dreams are so realistic. Unfortunately, that means that if I have a dream-fight with someone I will be mad at them for a while for no reason. Occasionally I will just be pissy towards SO because he was mean in a dream. When he cheats on me in a dream he usually has a pissy/sad girlfriend for a day.

Sometimes I dream that I am talking on the phone. As I am talking, I will be slowly waking up, until I am talking into my hand shaped like a phone held up to my ear. Usually takes me a while to realize that I am awake and that I am talking into my pinky. I will be talking out loud, and still be dream-hearing the person talking back. It is very confusing.

Off topic, but I just have to share this. My SO had a dream he was an M&M, a blue one. Like a cartoon one from those commercials. He was hired by Chinese M&Ms to hunt down some M&Ms in Japan. He was a canibal- and he could apparantly change size. He would grab handfuls of these cartoon M&Ms he was supposed to kill and devour them. They would go down screaming. Now there were still humans in this world. Frightening, yes?

How did he know that he was hired by Chinese M&Ms? His opening monologue. Yes, he had a opening monologue like an old spy movie. A giant blue canibal M&M (we never could figure out if he was plain or peanut- he thinks he might have been almond, but I think he should have been peanut) hired by Chinese M&Ms to hunt down and devour Japanese M&Ms, who went down screaming as he grabbed handfuls of them, *with* an opening monologue.

This was a good dream too. He woke up with a smile- evidently the humanoid M&Ms still taste good.

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Whereas as you are dancing happily in the fields of ignorance through which the stream of stupidity bubbles and flows. -BlushingBride
My my space.

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Izunya
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Well, I can sometimes read in my dreams, but if I try to reread anything, it will almost certainly be different. I dream in color and surround-sound, but I usually don't notice my other senses much.

I have noticed that I can feel cold all over in a dream (which usually means I should steal the covers back from my DH), but I don't feel specific things to be cold; if I touched an ice cube, I wouldn't notice the contrast. Thus, my dream check is to touch something that would naturally feel cold--metal or ceramic--and if I don't feel it, I try to wake up.

Izunya

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Franny
Jingle Bell Hock


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Always in color - I have the same reading problem as Izunya. Signs tend to mutate if I try to reread them. Sometimes I dream in smells or sounds without picture. Oh, I can feel cold. Also I can fall and 'hit' without waking up.

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I've been waiting here for like 20 minutes.

"It's you, but distilled into one place." - JK. http://www.theheldhand.blogspot.com/

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Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I feel, hear, smell, see, and less often taste things in dreams. Franny, I have a few abstract dreams. It doesn't sound the same as your experiences since I do see shapes but only abstract things (in colour). But those dreams are often more around sensation and sound (although I have tried to draw out the shapes before, it ends up looking like a bad dress or shorts pattern).

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"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

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Brillo Bee
Wii Three Kings


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I can do anything* in my dreams. I don't usually notice the color, sound, etc too much-- everything just seems normal in terms of sensory input. But I can remember the feel/color/sound of things often enough to think that it's probably usually there.

Once I dreamed in animation. Very cartoony. I don't remember much, but there was a chicken in it.

*One thing I can't do in dreams is urinate. In the mornings my dreams are sometimes interrupted by my dream self needing to go. I then will wander around from bathroom to bathroom, never being able to find a functioning toilet, or, when I find one, not being able to go. Thank god.

~Bee

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People do not wish to appear foolish; to avoid the appearance of foolishness, they are willing to remain actually fools. -Alice Walker

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Mr. Billion
The First USA Noel


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I think when we were reading The Odyssey in middle school, there was something in there saying (or possibly the teacher said something to the effect that) heroes dream in black and white because their waking lives are adventurous or "colorful" enough that their dreams don't need color, or something like that. If that is in The Odyssey, then that would satisfy Hero_Mike's challenge.

I did a Google of this topic and turned up this very thread we're talking in, as well as this interesting piece by somebody from the University of California, Riverside:

quote:
In the 1950's, dream researchers commonly assumed that dreams were predominantly a black and white phenomenon, although both earlier and later treatments of dreaming assert or assume that dreams have color.
Interesting paper. Apparently several scientists claimed that some odd and small percentage of dreams they surveyed people about were in color. The author makes the case that the "black and white dreams" idea was an artifact of the era of black and white TV and movies.

This probably also explains where the director of MagPie's movie got the idea that most people dream in black and white.

By the way, Magpie, what movie was it?

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"For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who's going to govern Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire." ~Dick Cheney.

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TheBobo
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I know I dream in color. The reading thing is interesting. I can't recall ever reading in my dreams but I do know sometimes I will see pictures(like the Sunday Comics). It is hard to focus on them and when I do they will be as absurd as the dream. I can see the dilemma with the inability or difficulty of reading in dreams.

hijack
Most of my dreams are absurd and surreal like a David Lynch film yet I can recall an event from real life in a lucid manner.
For example. I may be in a red room with a midget talking backwards,my old friend from 5th grade and Montel Williams. I will then procede to either think about a real moment from my waking world or tell someone an event that really happened to me with near perfect lucidity. Then I will go back to playing with my Joe Pesci Pez dispenser while watching myself in a movie.

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The views expressed in the above Post does not necessarily reflect those of snopes,The Infopoop Corporation,the Internet or most of society for that matter.

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Mau
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I also dream in color, and usually remember my dreams (for at least a little while). I've had timse where dreams were so vivid that I couldn't tell if they were real or not.. XD;
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Pondicherry Pi
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Brillo Bee:


*One thing I can't do in dreams is urinate. In the mornings my dreams are sometimes interrupted by my dream self needing to go. I then will wander around from bathroom to bathroom, never being able to find a functioning toilet, or, when I find one, not being able to go. Thank god.

~Bee

You know, this is probably TMI, but it's late and I'm in a share-y mood....

I *usually* can't find the toilet either, but one very memorable time, I did. Waking up your SO to tell him that you just peed in bed is so not fun.

Oh, and someone asked if anyone has never had a flying dream. I haven't that I can recall. Flying would be plebian for the kind of dreams that I have, though, I swear. [Smile]

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If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

What the NFBSK is Glurge? Or, a link to Snopes Lingo

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MaxKaladin
The First USA Noel


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I don't really remember my dreams. From my perspective, I go unconscious at night and become conscious and aware several hours later. I recall nothing of what happens between those two points. Once in a great while I might remember a dream for a few minutes after I wake up and I think those are in color, but I generally forget them fairly quickly and most of the time I just don't remember dreams at all.
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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by MaxKaladin:
I don't really remember my dreams. From my perspective, I go unconscious at night and become conscious and aware several hours later.

Hmmm. Sounds like a vampire (as described by Barbara Hambly), except they sleep during the day.

[Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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MaxKaladin
The First USA Noel


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Hmmm, I don't think I'm a vampire. I guess it can't be ruled out though.

As it happens, last night was one of my extremely rare nights where I remember something of a dream and it was in color.

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Zorro
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I dream in color and I dream very vividly, too. I often talk in my sleep- depending upon who's in the dream, either in ASL or spoken English. I've actually started fencing in my sleep (kicked poor hubby and woke him up...I started fencing without even getting out of bed) and have had horrible or incredibly sad dreams that were SO real, I woke up crying, with real tears streaming down my cheeks. (Those have gotten worse since I got pregnant, too. [Frown] )

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"Seize the day! Make your lives extraordinary!"
-John Keating, "Dead Poets Society"

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Aw, Hero_Mike posted my theory (that I've read in other sources too): the concept of "black and white" did not exist before photography. Therefore, if you'd asked the question before the 1800's, you'd be met with confusion.

Another question would be whether the "first-person" or "third-person" POV in dreams is influenced by the movies we watch. Sometimes my dreams are like movies in which I see myself doing things; other times, I'm a first-person participant as in waking life.

I assume dogs "dream" more in scent and sound than they do vision; I would think blind folks would be similar. The only time I've ever dreamed in black and white was when I dreamed about watching The Honeymooners.

Otherwise, my dreams are comprised of all five senses, and they're so real I have a lot of difficulty distinguishing early childhood memories from dreams. To me, dreams are memories, because I see, experience, and participate in them. I remember the details of most of them upon waking, although they only make sense to me. They are so real that I consider them places I visit outside of this world. I have remembered dozens of them, perhaps hundreds, for years. I used to keep dream diaries, and just reading vague descriptions of a dream I had 10 years ago will bring it back into memory.

One of the reasons I have gotten interested in photography is that I learned a long time ago I can't trust my memory. Things that I swear are real actually did happen - but in my dream, not this plane of existence that I have to share with others.

I have noticed I seem to dream in the future, so to speak. The first example I remember was on our 5th grade trip to Washington DC. I dreamt I was running in slow motion through fog and clouds to answer a telephone sitting on a table. "Hello? Hello?" I asked. Just then, the phone rang for real; it was our wake up call. Usually I am dreaming about a telephone seconds before the phone actually rings. I've confirmed with callers that the phone had not rung before I awoke. This also happens with other noises; I'll hear a certain noise in my dream (like a knock on the door) and then seconds later, I'll be woken up by a knock on the door. But the knocking did not start while I was dreaming - in other words, my subconscious did not hear the knock and assimilate it into my dream. Instead, it made me hear a knock before it actually happened.

Just last night I was awakened by a loud explosion that I wrote about in another thread. At the moment of the blast I was dreaming about looking through a carpet-bag style suitcase and pulling out various articles of clothing. Later as I was trying to go back to sleep, I was visualizing that exact scene where my dream had left off, as I was holding a certain dress. At that exact moment, there was another blast outside, just as I had heard before. This really shook me up, as though my visualizing that image somehow caused the explosion outside.

The "dreaming in the future" happens to me often enough that I do believe my subconscious is somehow clairvoyant, but its inly a few seconds and I can't get the same effect IRL.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Cervus said:
The "dreaming in the future" happens to me often enough that I do believe my subconscious is somehow clairvoyant, but its inly a few seconds and I can't get the same effect IRL.

Dreams don't happen in "real time" - you can have a dream that feels as though it lasts hours in only a couple of minutes. So the "few seconds" in your dream are probably only fractions of a second in real time.

And at small scales, your time perception (or perception in general) apparently isn't as linear as you might think. If you're observing several different stimuli that are separated by short distances in time then the actual order of events, the brain reaction, physical reflexes, and the later reported perception of the order of events don't match well, apparently.

I won't say more because I can't really remember what I'm talking about without looking it up, so I'm probably being misleading, but I think I read about this in the book Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennet.

Posts: 8725 | From: Ipswich - the UK's 9th Best Place to Sleep! | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ophiuchus
Deck the Malls


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Am I the only person who doesn't dream? At least very, very rarely...

It seems like most people consider it a fairly regular, but it is unusual for me to have a dream more than 3 times a year and even then I can't recall them well when I awaken.

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WildaBeast
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Just to add another anecdote to the thread, I can confirm that I dream in color, because a dream I had a few weeks ago prominantly featured the orange 1970s Datsun I always see in the parking lot at work. I definately remember the car being orange in the dream.

And now that I think about it, I can remember a wierd dream I had way back in middle school, in which there was a funeral and the deceased was being buried in a neon orange coffin.

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"Unseasonable is an odd word to begin with. It sounds like it's describing something that it's impossible to sprinkle pepper on." -- Nonny

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nicky
I Saw Three Shipments


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My anecdote: I once had this weird adventure dream where I was moving between the normal world, in colour, and an alternate one which was in black and white. Alhough,I cant remember if it was in black and white like a TV, or just monochrome because it was so dreary and grim.
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Floater
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Ophiuchus:
Am I the only person who doesn't dream? At least very, very rarely...

It seems like most people consider it a fairly regular, but it is unusual for me to have a dream more than 3 times a year and even then I can't recall them well when I awaken.

We all dream a couple of times every sleeping period and you are no exception. In my experience the only times I am aware of having had a dream is when I awake in the middle of it and as for not remembering what it was about I'd say it's just because it only resides in the short term memory and never enters the long term memory (this is my layman's musing, but I don't think I'm far from the mark).

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Små hönor skall inte lägga stora ägg för då blir de slarviga i ändan

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Forgotten Fay
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I dream in full color, and I have at least one dream every night. I also am one who has taste, smell, and feeling in my dream. Very strongly in fact, I always found it odd. In the recent years, I've also became a very lucid dreamer. 9 out of 10 times, I can tell I'm dreaming. I can change my dreams sometimes, but not always. I have quite a few repetitive dreams. Sometimes I realize I'm dreaming, and that I have had this dream before. So I try to replicate what I did last time I dreamt it, so that it would end. I've noticed those times, it doesn't always work. Kindof odd...
I too dream snippets of the future. Normally just little, insignificate moments, that happen days, weeks, or months later. I talk once in a great while in my sleep, I do hum. It's kind of a creepy "Hmm-hmm" in a sing- song voice, like some chick in a horror flick. I also laugh a lot. I'll be vaugly looking at my ceiling, but still in my dream... giggling away...
Sorry... random post. I'm like that about dreams. [Smile]

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"Smile for me when I cannot Smile anymore..." ~ Myself

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