|Year : 2011 | Volume
| Issue : 6 | Page : 302-315
The dream as space, time and emotion
George Seferis Street 11c, Edessa, Greece
|Date of Web Publication||9-Nov-2011|
George Seferis Street 11c, Edessa
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Human beings, like all living organisms, use energy ceaselessly with whatever they do. Nothing at all happens without spending some energy, not even a glance or a dream. The Author proposes that dreams happen automatically in sleep to help us release unresolved frustration energy and emotional dilemmas left over from the day before. Energy administration is the common denominator behind the manifold workings of dreams, as it is behind all operations of our consciousness in daytime, and this is far more important than one might at first suspect. In summary, if in waking reality the day prior to a dream, a specific sensory composition (a perception or picture) frustrates our mind such that the mind is unable or unwilling to accept this sensory composition, it forms and traps within us an emotional energy charge that lingers inside till that same night when the dream uses it in order to energize from memory analogous sensory components that form a spatiotemporally similar overall representational composition of the daytime waking event. This ends up as the dream we may remember the next day. For example, if in a real event yesterday a red apple between two green apples were in front of us and for some reason we were unable or unwilling to see and accept this perception, in a dream the next time we sleep, we may see promptly a red peach between two green peaches, which will be energized temporarily from our memory to serve the need of our psyche to represent the unprocessed emotion(s) and balance the tensions inside us. The dream always produces more acceptable symbolic perceptions for us to see or sense, and in doing so uses and releases at the same time the unacknowledged emotional energy inside us pending since yesterday's event.
Keywords: Human beings, dreams, sense, memory, emotional energy, tensions
|How to cite this article:|
Totlis A. The dream as space, time and emotion. North Am J Med Sci 2011;3:302-15
| Introduction|| |
This theory is called Spatio-Temporal and Emotional (ST+E), because it supports that interpretation of dreams relies on logical relations between dream representations and real perceptions of the recent (e.g. yesterday's) waking reality, which are compared in Space, in Time and by the Emotions they hold.
Further on we will see how specific perceptions of waking reality can be related with illogical and hazy dream representations in Space, Time and by Emotional content.
First we shall examine some basic standard relationships that exist between real waking perceptions, dream representations and emotions in terms of logic as well as commonly accepted axioms. Then we shall analyze how real perceptions of waking reality and dream representations give to our awareness a clear and specific sense of space, time and emotion. Then we will systematically incorporate all this data in one theory and one method for the interpretation of dreams.
Finally we shall make two more analyses: "The dream as mnemonic recollection" and "the dream as understanding," which will better clarify the «ST+E« dream theory.
| Standard Relationships in Time Space and Emotion|| |
Three apples in reality will always appear to our consciousness in a very specific way in terms of time sequence. They may fall from above, for instance, one by one from left to right in a very specific order: green, red, and green.
Hypothetically these three apples could appear in indefinite different ways, but reality does not happen hypothetically, it always happens in a specific way and not in any other one. Therefore, theThereThere apples will appear in time in a certain and very definite sequence.
In space, too, these three apples may exist in a very specific way, for instance: "one red apple between two green ones." Hypothetically they could exist in many other arrangements but in reality they exist in this very specific one. That's how reality always happens, in a very specific way in space and time.
A situation is defined exactly as "the way things are in space and in time", as it is stated precisely in the best Greek "New Orthographic and Interpreting Dictionary" of Chris. Giovanis, page 762, word: "Situation" (katastasis), number of entry 8.
Real situations are presented to our consciousness as (real) perceptions. So, by definition, and beside the other qualities of the objects of a situation (color, number, etc.), perceptions present to our consciousness "the specific way that objects exist in space and time." Our mind, that is, understands and accepts that, when three real apples exist in front of us in a specific arrangement (e.g. a red apple between two green ones) then we shall see faithfully such a visual perception: "a red apple between two green apples."
A "representation" is a faithful and specific recollection of a perception. We can say that for our consciousness:
-"Perception" is a clear and vivid representation in our imagination when the objects are in front of us.
- "Representation" is a pale but spatiotemporally faithful perception that stays in our memory when we close our eyes or when the objects are taken away.
The emotion is connected to perceptions and representations in a very specific way. An emotion brings to our awareness a very specific representation, as a specific representation brings to our psyche a specific emotion.
This relationship is very well known in Psychology, I often mention it in my books: "a presentation and an emotion can constitute a very specific dipole, one pole of which recalls and reproduces the other."
The specific reality
After all these logical analyses we can summarize that specific objects exist in waking reality in a definite way in space and time as a definite situation, which provides a certain perception to our consciousness, which provides a certain representation to our imagination and memory, which is connected with a specific emotion.
The specific Spatiotemporal and Emotional theory
These simple relationships are valid in waking reality between perceptions, representations and emotions and we all understand them and accept them as basic truths. These relationships will be the basis on which the Spatio Temporal and Emotional theory will be further analyzed.
The Sense of Space in Wake Reality and in the Dream
First we shall see how some static visual perceptions and representations in waking reality and in the dream correspondingly give a clear and specific sense of space to our consciousness with the specific position these objects have in space and with their specific relationships between them.
| Objective Spatial Relationships|| |
In Waking Reality
The static objects around us give us the sense of space, because our consciousness perceives their standard positions and interrelations. "A red apple between two green apples" is such a clear and logical objective spatial relationship. Wherever we have these apples, to our right, to our left, on the table or in a drawer, these apples will always be "a red apple between two green apples."
In reality there are infinite objective situations like this: a glass of red wine between two black bottles, a lemon between two plates, one tomato on a brick, a red fish in a bowl, a boy with a white hat under a pine tree, etc.
In the Dream
These three apples (a red one between two green ones), can also appear in a dream and the next day when we wake up, we may remember them exactly so. It is something simple, natural and normal. We may also dream of a glass of red wine between two black bottles, a lemon between two plates, a tomato on a brick, a red fish in a bowl, a boy with a white hat under a pine tree, etc.
| Subjective Spatial Relationships|| |
In Waking Reality
First of all our consciousness perceives static objects that exist around it in specific positions in relation to itself, that is subjectively. Each one of us continually has subjective spatial relationships with objects around him. A man may be seated on a bench and see a sign to his left. This is a subjective relationship and it is valid specifically for him (we, for example, see him sitting to the left and the sign to our right - this is our own subjective angle). He may also have a traffic light above his head, a clock to his right and a big brick down by his feet and in front of him.
| In the Dream|| |
This man may see in his dream the same perceptions with the same subjective spatial relationships. That is, he may dream that he has a sign to his left, a traffic light above his head, a clock on his right and a brick down in front of him. One may see all these in his dream and remember them exactly like this when he wakes up. That's how we all always remember our dreams. Real visual perceptions and dream representations with the specific positions of their elements give to our consciousness a clear and specific sense of space in waking reality and in a dream.
| Short Synopsis|| |
In Waking Reality
Every situation of physical reality provides to our consciousness many objective and subjective spatial positions and interrelationships, which give us a clear and specific sense of space.
In The Dream
And whatever sense of space in the dream is similarly provided by the dream representations, elements and symbols as we remember them when we awaken. Without dream representations we would have no sense of dream space at all. What we first remember from a dream are some representations and these dream representations create objective and subjective spatial positions and interrelationships, especially between static dream objects.
| The Sense of Time in Waking Reality and in the Dream|| |
We can now see how perceptions and representations of active (energetic) objects give our consciousness a sense of time with their specific sequence
In Waking Reality
Changing or energetic objects of waking reality (i.e. those that do something such as move, vibrate, shine, bark or sing, etc.) give us the sense of time and more specifically give us the sense of a time sequence of events as well as duration that all clocks of the world measure conventionally.
For example, a man is seated on a bench and a clock on his right shows nine o'clock when the sign to his left lights up. Five minutes later at five past nine, a bird flies over his head. And still five minutes later, at ten past nine, a brick falls from above in front of his feet. This man sees all these events, which are imprinted in his memory, and they may be recalled with this specific time sequence.
These specific events, which happen with their specific time duration and sequence, give to him and similarly to us all the sense of time duration and time sequence.
In The Dream
In the dream, we usually have no clear sense of duration such as we have in waking reality. We may have however very clear awareness of the energy (action, behavior) of certain active objects, as we may have a clear sense of the time sequence by which certain active elements shift within the dream, and remember this the next day exactly like it happened in the dream.
We may, that is, see in our dream first a sign to light up on our left, then a bird to fly above our head and then a brick to fall in front of our feet and remember them all exactly like this when we wake.
The sequence may be clear no matter how illogical the dream might be. Consciousness has specific sensual awareness of the time sequence by which events happen in waking reality and this is also true for the dreams. This is evident by the oral coherence by which human beings usually remember and relate their dreams, and whatever a posteriori interventions of logic do not cancel the fidelity of the sequence of remembrance.
| The Emotions in Waking Reality and in the Dream|| |
Changing perceptions of active objects inspire in us specific emotions.
In Waking Reality
A human being is not like a lifeless photo camera that records perceptions mechanically rendering only the optical appearance of objects.
When the sign lighted up suddenly next to him this man was startled.
When the bird flew over him he felt a certain pleasure.
When the brick fell by his feet he was scared.
Our awareness records perceptions and feelings with certain and specific relationships between them. This is something simple, natural, and "real." The actions of active objects around us excites our sensory organs in a specific time sequence and since many actions cause a related thymic (emotional) charge, we have inside us a certain awareness of correspondence between active objects and emotions.
Sign light up - surprise
Bird fly - pleasure
Brick drop - fear
In The Dream
We have many emotions and often very intense feelings indeed in dreams, so much that we may make the hypothesis (initially) that emotions are very important for the purposes that dreams serve.
We may see in a dream: a sign to light up suddenly on our left and we may start pleasantly, a bird to fly over our head and feel a certain pleasure, a brick to fall by our feet and feel scared.
Representations and emotions have a certain specific relationship with each other in dreams, no matter how strange in comparison with waking reality these may be, and no matter how bizarre the whole dream may seem. Even pieces of the dream that we may remember fragmentarily the next day may contain such relationships of representations and emotions: sign+start, bird+pleasure, brick+fear.
| Emotions and Perceptions|| |
Whatever contrasts to the Spatio Temporal and Emotional logical order is obvious to our consciousness as a result of a perception, affects our emotions. That is why we shall examine analytically now the relationships between emotions and perceptions in waking reality
Emotions and Perceptions
When that brick fell by the feet of that man, he was scared. That is he felt a certain thymic (emotional) charge. This emotion by itself does not say much to the mind, which does not understand the meaning of the emotions directly. Since, however, this precise emotional charge is connected to a precise visual perception (of a brick falling by his feet), his mind may understand a lot more of this emotional charge as "fear." This is a precise emotion and the man understands clearly that he was afraid that a brick falling from above might hurt him. This man knows that he wasn't afraid he might lose money in stock market, he wasn't afraid that a dog might bite him, neither that he may get drown in the sea. He was afraid that a falling brick might hit him.
Emotions are always this specific because they happen together and go together with certain clear perceptions. An emotion might be sorrow because our mother is sick and perceptions of doctors, medicine, hospitals, etc, may accompany it. It might be of joy because we have passed a test, or it might be of enthusiasm because our team scored a goal. Certain perceptions will each time accompany the emotion, so that we may say that perceptions that accompany the emotion describe and explain it.
Emotional Charge with no Perception
So, the emotion is a certain thymic tension connected to a certain perception. Very often, however, we have inside us many thymic (emotional) charges without clear and specific perceptions, usually due to the inability or reluctance of our consciousness to acquire such perceptions, in which case the consequence is that our mind is unable to understand what is happening, because as Aristotle said "our mind is unable to think without a perception." This indescribable emotional charge is not called emotion but just emotional charge.
I would like to mention a few such cases of "inability of awareness" among the many that may happen: it is possible for example, as often happens, that we are scared by something we cannot see properly because it is dark around us.
Then there might be some fast moving object that scared us, which we could not see properly.
Or maybe because we were absent minded - as in a dream we will interpret later on.
Or because someone was talking to us in a low or scrambled voice, we could not discern properly, etc., or more generally because the perception was for some reason unclear, ambiguous, hazy, fuzzy, etc.
Even though the perception might be clear, however, we might willfully or automatically take a safe emotional distance from it for different reasons, such as that we might consider it disagreeable, dangerous, offensive, immoral, etc, as for example we might react to a spider, a worm, an immoral proposal or something offensive someone tells us, etc.
We all "avert our eyes," "turn our back," "keep our distance" from certain situations that we interpret or sense as bad, disagreeable, ugly, nasty, etc. This disagreement is materialized as automatic or willful displacement of our mind and our consciousness from the upsetting or annoying situation and perception, but it holds as consequence the cost of leaving an emotional charge pending inside us, exactly because the emotion is cut off from our mind and our consciousness.
If either the mind is willing to see a perception but cannot, or it can but it is unwilling, an emotional charge gets trapped inside us that has a problematic connection with the mind and consciousness since it has no clear and acceptable representation and so it will remain within us as an annoying suspended energy. Every day from the time we wake to the minute we go to sleep again, many such emotional charges get suspended inside us. They are the remainders of the energy charges that our psyche develops but does not use in its dealings with our surroundings.
Something like this happens at the organic/bodily level, where a man may receive energy from food and expend some of it by his general activities, and then whatever unspent energy residues get stored in the tissues as fat.
An important difference between these two levels (organic and psychic) is that there is no mechanism to expend and automatically get rid of the bodily residues (fat). On the psychic level however there is a very effective such mechanism that expends any energy residues - the dream. The dream may be useful in many ways to the functioning of our organism, but one of its functions, if not its main purpose, is to rid us of the energy tensions that pile up daily from the difficult interactions between our psyche and our surroundings. This happens very often, every time we go to sleep and dream, whether we remember our dreams or not. Every time we go to sleep, some weaker or stronger emotional charges are pending inside us, disconnected from our minds and consciousness which has been unable to discharge these, a deed made possible by the dream.
When the time of the dream comes, these thymic (emotional) charges appear again to our consciousness. We know that intense emotions can appear in our dreams and that vivid representations can also appear (since our dreams happen with representations of events), and that quite often there is also some verbal activity, which is often illogical but it does exist.
In our dreams, emotions, representations and verbal thoughts appear, therefore we can see that the corresponding centers of our psyche are present and active with the purpose of discharging the trapped emotional energy so that our psyche will achieve some balance and serenity, and will be ready to accept new charges the next day. Every night, dreams clear our psyche from pending emotional charges (pending thymic energy), as the sponge or eraser clears chalk writings from a blackboard, to render it clear and ready to accept new writing for the next lesson.
Since there are theoretical suggestions for how and why dreams are formed, there also is a method for their interpretation. According to the basic ST+E theoretical proposition, unprocessed emotional energy from the preceding day can trigger dreams. Regarding the interpretation of a dream, it is necessary to look at the preceding day and locate the initial event(s) that caused any unprocessed and pending emotions. It is self evident that any event that caused the dream will be important for its interpretation and will contribute the greatest insight for best understanding it.
For example, if someone had a dream where "he sees in front of him three apples, a red one between two green ones and he felt pleasant about it, but then a dog came and licked his left hand and he got scared," then according to the basic claims of the theory, he needs to remember if the day before, in reality, he saw an analogous emotional dynamic.
Note that "an analogous emotional dynamic" is not the same as "the same perceptions or events," because dreams do not always faithfully recreate or mirror the perceptions of whatever initial events might have triggered them, but instead generally reproduce them symbolically.
In the example presented, symbolism would mean that if the day before indeed he had seen three apples, a red one between two green ones, then in the dream three peaches may appear, a red one between two green ones. And if the day before he had seen a dog licking his left hand, in the dream a leopard may appear and lick his left hand. The perceptions are often different (apples instead of peaches and a leopard instead of a dog) but their spatial, temporal and emotional circumstances will be similar. In other words, the dream is encoded as far as the perceptions are concerned but more evident and accurate as far as the spatiotemporal and emotional data is concerned, a detail not often noticed.
Most of the phenomena in our dreams are not mirror replicas of waking events. However, the spatial, temporal and emotional data of dreams are consistent with some recent event(s). The way that objects exist in space and time in the dream, as well as the emotions that go with them, is a fairly dependable phenomenon. That's why I have explained in detail these various logical, spatiotemporal, and emotional data that comprise the relationships between situations, perceptions, representations and emotions in reality and in the dream. This is an unobvious yet important key for explaining and understanding what happens in our dreams, including how, when and why.
| The Dirty Dog and the Beautiful Leopard|| |
A dream interpreted spatio temporally and emotionally.
A short time before I went to sleep and had that dream I was in waking reality in Vouliagmeni Athens in a tavern with two friends, talking absent-mindedly with them, when a dog came to my left hand and started initially smelling it and then licking it, thinking that I might hand him some meat.
In space, the dog came to my left hand, which was hanging out of the chair (the dog did not come to my right hand or to my left foot).
In the time domain, (as it is obvious by its action) it licked my left hand (i.e. it did not swim; it did not run or bark).
As far as emotion, in reality I felt some unexpected fear and was repulsed by the dirty dog. I do not like dogs very much anyway. I prefer cats.
Of course that event did not seem very important at the time, and I soon forgot it, and continued talking to my friends. I really thought that it was over and had no importance for me whatsoever. But inside me, that event was more important than it seemed to my waking mind, because when I went to sleep, I had a very vivid relevant dream, which was instrumental towards the development of my ST+E theory.
In the dream, I saw a leopard to my left and down, which smelled and then licked my left hand.
In space, that leopard came to my left hand and licked it, as also did the dog (i.e. the leopard did not come to my right hand or to my left foot).
In the time domain, (obvious by its action) the leopard licked my left hand, as did the dog (i.e. it did not swim, it did not run, or growl at all).
Regarding the emotion in my dream, I felt a great fear for the wild beast and an extraordinary aesthetic elation for its excellent beauty. It was a very beautiful and very fearful leopard. For the dog I felt repulsion and fear, yet for the leopard I felt a great fear and a great admiration. I remember I looked at the leopard and felt these contrasting intense feelings of admiration and fear. I liked his fur. I was carried away by this admiration, which eventually took the upper hand. The leopard, as if encouraged by this intense positive feeling towards him started climbing on my arm, but this increased my fear suddenly and I quickly awoke.
Relating the two events (waking reality and the dream), we can see that while the spatial and time data are similar, the emotions are characteristically different. While in reality I felt fear and repulsion for the dirty dog, in the dream I felt intense fear and intense admiration for the beautiful leopard. These emotions were not accidental. The admiration for the leopard was exactly the opposite of the repulsion for the dog. This exactly opposite, very intense emotion was what I really needed to correct my initial emotional reaction of repulsion. The dream equalized my psyche and brought me a very soothing feeling of inner balance and serenity. This is the dream's ultimate target.
In this dream as in every dream, a vital part is played by our personal preferences. In reality I do not like dogs very much, while I love cats. So, my initial waking repulsion for a dirty dog could be equalized in a dream by an intense admiration for a cat, and that is indeed what happened. I find the leopard to be a big and very beautiful cat.
| Short Synopsis|| |
The dream discharges pending emotional (energy) charges
I have shown so far that the dream is an evolved psyche mechanism of automatic discharging pending emotional (energy) charges.
I have described that at the organic bodily level, man acquires energy by eating food and consumes the energy through natural activity, while excess energy is stored up as fat in the tissues.
In a similar way at the psyche level, excess or leftover energy from daytime exchanges between the psyche and the surrounding environment are stored up within our psyche.
I have said that, at the organic level, there is no mechanism to get rid of the fat built up from food energy leftovers, (unless we exercise or start strict diets), while in the psyche level there is such a mechanism to rid us of any energy leftovers, and that this mechanism is the dream. The dream is the psyche's mechanism to discharge pending energy residue and rid our psyche from an unhealthy backlog of unprocessed energy.
Completion of the Cycle
At this point, we can say that we have finished an initial introductory look at the Spatio Temporal and Emotional dream theory. However, it is likely that the reader is not completely satisfied. The mind never reaches some absolute state of total knowledge. We consider new information until experience proves it to be correct, and everything new we learn often creates more questions. It is well known that for every premise, an infinite number of hypotheses can be made, and an infinite number of questions can be asked. I would like to compare the mind to a knitting machine that can knit a scarf of miles in length. As long as you keep adding wool, it will keep on knitting. The scarf is complete and finished once we decide that it will achieve the purpose we started with, but not because the machine cannot make it longer. So, at this point, we can take advantage of the endless analytic abilities of the mind, and broaden this analysis in order to answer the most obvious questions from the infinite questions that may have been brought up by the preceding discussion.
| Symbols in Dreams and in Waking Reality|| |
I have shown how in the preceding dream, a wild leopard came to symbolize the physical dog with spatiotemporal fidelity in order to provoke an admiration, a specific "positive" emotion, the only emotion that could compensate and rid my psyche of the specific negative feeling of repulsion caused initially by the dirty dog the day before.
Some initial questions that might come to mind in light of the relationship proposed above is "from where", "why", and "how" this leopard came to the dream, and more generally "from where", "why", and "how" does any symbol ever come into a dream.
Let's start with the easiest question. The answer to "from where" do dream symbols come is somewhat self evident, since when we dream we are asleep, and we have our eyes closed and we do not see, hear or have much sensorial stimuli from the surroundings, and so logically, the only source of perceptions in dreams is from our memory, and hence this leopard, as with all symbols, must have come from memory.
"How" and "why" this or any symbol comes to our imagination is more difficult to answer, but considering what we have seen so far, we can make a logical hypothesis.
The logical hypothesis
An emotional charge that was left pending within me by the dog from the day before the dream, in essence, is a pending energy load on my psyche. The dream has the ability to energize memories and recall them to the imagination in order to symbolize the perceptions that initially caused the problem of pending this emotional energy.
This possibility seems neither illogical nor farfetched, since this is what also happens in reality with the mechanism of mnemonic recollection.
So, let us first see how this mnemonic recollection works in waking state, and then we may see what is true for the dreams, with the consideration that this answer addresses but does not necessarily completely resolve the matter. I will use an example of natural mnemonic recollection involving speech.
If I say "Eiffel Tower", in your imagination, the visual perception of the Eiffel Tower of Paris appears automatically.
When I say "Tom Cruise", in your imagination, the face of the famous actor Tom Cruise may appear. From memory, these images appear in your imagination.
The same thing happens when I say Pope Reisinger of Rome; his face appears on the inner screen of your imagination.
The same is true when I say other known words as Acropolis, Stalin, Charlie Chaplin, etc. This is achieved by my written words or my voice. Each of the above was an inactive representation in your memory, stored unconsciously so your conscious mind would not focus on it. Yet, when I named each thing, the experience of perceiving my written word or voice energized the dormant memory, bringing it to a greater energy level through attention, high enough for your conscious mind to notice it.
Let me state this a little more analytically. Speech literally is energy of sound with specific power that can be measured in decibels. This means that voice is energy with specific adequate power to energize the physical hearing mechanisms in your ear, and this in turn energizes the specific inactive representation (e.g. Eiffel Tower) in your memory so that it appears as an image in your imagination. It is a specific, very precise, natural and logical procedure.
This means that all mnemonic data usually exist in memory in a lower energy state than our consciousness, which works at a higher energy state during the day. That's why consciousness can discern memory data only when it acquires some higher attention energy level (e.g. by the mere mention of its name). That's why when I say "Eiffel Tower" you see in your imagination the visual perception of the Eiffel Tower.
Consciousness does not have this energy relationship only with perceptions from memory but with all perceptions inside and out. If you were in this room, you could see me, because in this room there is enough light. If someone lowered the level of light down to a certain point, you would not be able to see me, because my perception would not have enough light for your eyes and consciousness to see me.
You could hear me, if I talk into a microphone, which is connected to a system that multiplies the power of my voice enough for your ears and consciousness to be able to hear me. If someone started lowering the power of my voice down past a certain point, you would not be able to hear me, because my voice would not have enough power to be heard.
If we had a gauge that could measure the power of any given sensory input, we would see that below a certain point, our consciousness is unable to notice any sensory input. The same incidentally is true for input above a certain point, because the power of the input would destroy our eyes, ears, or other senses.
Therefore, perceptions work within a specific energy level window. These levels are the daily waking reality we are familiar with that we all share. For the mind, these levels comprise our familiar normal state. Our mind can experience all other levels only as conclusions, metaphors, and analogies.
That's why when I say a known name; you see in your imagination a perception.
Now, if I say "Kurt Vonnegut", what perception will you see in your imagination?
Most people will see none, and I chose Kurt Vonnegut on purpose, because he is not a very well known American writer. This shows that in order for a mnemonic perception to be recalled from memory, it must first be in memory. That is, you must first have seen or heard that name and the perception of Kurt Vonnegut, so that they were recorded in your memory, to be able to recall it from memory now when I write or say "Kurt Vonnegut". The same is true for the leopard, since I had seen one many yeas ago, and it was recorded in my memory, and then recalled in my dream many years later.
- Conscious Awareness = first we see (or sense) something.
- Memory = automatically, this gets recorded in our memory.
- Recollection = this may later be recollected to our conscious attention (in our imagination) from memory, either in waking reality or in a dream.
This means that an ancient Greek could have never dreamt of a train, because he had never seen a train. He had no recollection (perception or name) of it in his memory, so he could never recollect a train either in waking reality or in a dream.
The same holds true for the perception of the leopard, which had to be in my memory before I could see it in a dream. Logically, it cannot happen in any other way.
Analogy: this means that a certain verbal sound can energize a certain representation from memory and make it appear into our imagination. So, due to a specific energy from the specific emotional charge pending inside us from the day before, it is possible during the dream to energize in memory some inactive representation (e.g. the leopard), which will be called to our imagination, and we will see it in the dream. I find it very possible and very logical. In my twenty years that I interpret dreams I never failed to find such analogies whenever I tried to interpret a dream. In essence, I am convinced that this is the usual and regular way most dreams happen, if not all, as certain mnemonic recollections, energized by some pending emotional energy charge.
An Analytic Example
Let us examine now, in detail, how a dream happens as a certain mnemonic recollection.
A) Let us suppose that the day before, in waking reality, some gentleman (we would call Mr. A) said something insulting against us and he had a certain mustache, glasses and a hat
B) Then, according to the theory, that same night, in our dream, another gentleman would appear, drawn from memory. This second gentleman (Mr. B), who would look like Mr. A, in order to symbolize Mr. A, who insulted us the day before.
It is understood that in the dream Mr. A will not appear himself, because the dream always happens with symbols of waking reality, in order to correct these faulty real events. Mr. B will be a well-known and acceptable figure from our memory that appears in the place of Mr. A and looks like Mr. A but he is not Mr. A. It is a safe simile (from our memory, that was accepted some time before) and an exact spatiotemporal analogy and a similar situation point to point, with similar moustache, glasses and hat.
And here we all understand that a certain dilemma may rise, because in our memory there may be no such figure as Mr. B, who looks so very much like Mr. A in all details of a specific mustache, specific glasses and specific hat. Furthermore, this hypothetical Mr. B would have to say something positive in our dream in order to compensate for Mr. A's insult.
If we consider how complicated the perceptions of an initial event may be, we understand very well that a dream encounters great difficulties to present false but exact similes to represent it and it would often be in dilemmas. And yet there is no easier thing for the dream to synthesize some similar false perception no matter how complicated, by taking suitable material from the vast memory and synthesizing this material for the needs of the dream. Our imagination is the great creator. Let's see how it achieves this symbolic simulation.
In our vast memory there might be suitable representations as: 1) A man, (Mr. 1, whom we had seen in Athens in Dec of 2007) who had a mustache exactly like Mr. A, 2) One more man (Mr. 2, whom we had seen in Volos, in October of 2005) who had glasses like Mr. A, and 3) And one more man, (Mr. 3, whom we had seen in Thebes, in November of 2000, who was wearing a hat like Mr. A and he had said something positive to us.
In the dream the representations of all these three gentlemen (1+2+3) will appear one atop the other as a certain spatial total (Mr. B), making a close simile of Mr. A with the very similar mustache, glasses and hat, who would also make the positive comment that Mr. 3 made to us in Thebes, in order to cancel the impact of the negative comment Mr. A made to us the day before. This way our psyche will attain balance and serenity, the ultimate goal of all dreams.
In our dream only the pieces of all these previous events (1+2+3) will be seen, united as Mr. B, temporarily combined so that they look like Mr. A, who insulted us the day before. We will not see at all Mr. A from only yesterday.
The haphazard dream structure
For an unsuspecting dream watcher this dream synthesis (1+2+3) will seem spatiotemporally haphazard, because it would be made by disparate spatiotemporal material: 1) From Mr. 1 whom we had seen in Athens (space), in Dec of 2007 (time), 2) From Mr. 2 whom we had seen in Volos (space), in October of 2005 (time), and 3) From Mr. 3 whom we had seen in Thebes (space), in November of 2000 (time).
For a more observant and careful watcher of the dream, however, this faked total (1+2+3) would be absolutely consistent with the real data of Mr. A, as we had really seen him the day before.
This secret truth of the dream must have been well known to Salvador Dali, who produced many paintings containing perceptions images that are made up of many other smaller perceptions, like the one I had used in my first book "Space and emotion - an idea" and on my page at the IASD web site.
With this last analysis we saw that in essence the dream is a special mnemonic recollection, which has as direct target the symbolic simulation of some problematic for us initial perception of waking reality of the day before and as for eventual target the discharging of some pending emotional energy in our psyche and the return of our psyche to balance and serenity.
That is, the dream is not interested in what will happen in a day or in a week or in two months from now, or in what happened a month ago. The dream does not concern what happened in the past or what will happen in the future or any fantastic and irrelevant material. It concerns what will happen right here, right now, with the real emotional energy pending annoyingly in the psyche. As I say in my first book, this pending energy is the true charge motivating the dream, and spending it is the ultimate purpose of all dreams. Indeed, energy administration is a very important and crucial deed, and that's exactly what our performing psyche is doing especially in dreaming.
| The Dream as Understanding|| |
A further Analysis
It is understood however that the preceding analysis does not answer all our questions. Indeed, it might have produced further questions. So, we will broaden once more our understanding of the dream in order to understand "understanding" itself this time and the role our mind plays in the dream.
A little while ago we said that the dream happens automatically as a multiple activity of all psyche centers, consciousness, mind and emotional center. It is very logical. Since in dreams there are representations then our consciousness takes part in it. Since in dreams there are emotions, then the thymic (emotional) part of our psyche takes part in it and since there are some actual speech and thoughts, then our mind takes part in it.
And this is exactly the question: WHY? What is (exactly) the logical mind doing in such an illogical and automatic experience as a dream?
In order to understand better this part we will take things from the very beginning. We shall first see some simple logical truths that are valid for the simplest reality about the natural relationship of the mind with consciousness and the emotions, in order to better understand the mysterious participation of the logical mind in the illogical dream.
So, if I say "deer" in the imagination of all hearing it the perception of a deer will appear and in his psyche a relevant emotion will appear rather "light" and "positive" since a deer is something beautiful, cute and harmless.
If I say "wolf" along with the representation of a wolf, the psyche disposition will also alter, since in most people "wolf" is connected with rather "heavy" and "negative" emotions.
All these mean that our psyche in front of any premise it reacts in three different ways: understands words, perceives perceptions and feels emotions. And since we have these three psychic reactions, we may suppose that three corresponding psychic centers exist: the mind (the center of speech), Consciousness (the center of perceptions), and thymikon (the center of emotional charges).
Note: we Greeks have philosophic terms for everything since old times. The term "THYMIKON" was first used by Plato, as the psyche center of "thymos," not with the present day Greek meaning of wrath, but with the ancient meaning of "psyche energy," which we still find it in compound Greek words as: pro-thymos (eager), a-thymos (unexciting), lipo-thymos (unconscious), etc.
Since, whenever I say a name a representation comes to the imagination automatically and an emotion to the thymikon, then these three psyche centers seem to cooperate as a natural system of awareness.
Within consciousness perceptions are present, as the perception of the Eiffel Tower, I used as an example from the beginning.
Within the mind speech is present, as the name "Eiffel Tower".
And in the thymikon emotions are present as the emotion when I hear the name "Eiffel Tower."
Thymikon is either charged or not and the mind understands all emotional qualities with verbal thoughts, when and because some emotional charge is connected to some perception in the imagination. Otherwise we feel directly some emotional charge but we do not understand it.
Consciousness is the center of sensory perception. Consciousness perceives reality as it is happening, as reality is perceived directly as sensory input and perceptions by our sensory organs. Whenever there is a perception there is its awareness, there is consciousness of it.
The mind is the center of a relevant awareness materialized with words. Mental awareness is a faithful and precise verbal analogy of reality. As when we see the Eiffel Tower and think "There is the Eiffel Tower."
This faithful and precise verbal analogy of reality is the truth. We produce volitionally the truth with our own words, while reality happens automatically for our consciousness. Perception of reality is faithful and compulsory for our sensory organs and our consciousness, since, when there is the Eiffel Tower in front of us, our sensory organs and consciousness perceive a relevant visual image directly, faithfully and compulsorily.
The truth is optional. If someone calls me right now and asks me "where are you?" I can say anything that comes to my mind: "I am in Athens, in Volos, in Thebes." Telling the truth is optional but only when the mind tells the truth the whole cycle of perception closes properly and our psyche is balanced and serene.
Since an emotion is a load of energy in our thymikon, so "speech" is a load of energy in some other part of our brain (or psyche) and a perception is still another load of energy in some other center of our psyche and only if the mind expresses faithfully the truth then the energy of the mind is equal to the energy of consciousness and they balance to each other appropriately and the thymic (emotional) charge wanes, because it is now useless.
However, when the mind cannot or would not tell the truth and takes distances from the perceptions of reality that charge consciousness then we have a difference between mind and consciousness, of the two main psyche centers, and as a result we have an annoying (emotional) charge in thymikon. This distance or difference between mind and consciousness mean tension and a "psyche load." And the more our mind pushes away the unclear or unwanted perceptions of reality, so much bigger gets the emotional load.
All these mean that the system of awareness of reality (mind, consciousness, thymikon) also acts as a system of balancing energy, as a system of internal psyche balance. It is the most important system that helps us to understand reality and administer energy in order to adopt ourselves to external energy and balance in it and be well in it. Nothing can be more significant to us.
The System at Work
Let us examine, now, with simple perceptions and easy to comprehend examples, how this system works in wakeful daytime reality and then we will venture in some deeper waters to see how it works in the dream.
The system is in relative balance and serenity in the morning when we wake up after some time of sleep that relaxed our self and active dreams that cleared our thymikon. Then at some moment a new real perception (e.g. our mother in law) charges our consciousness. This produces a slight but very important energy difference within the system, which charges one way the system - only our consciousness initially. We can compare this case with a scale that tips one way to one side.
This produces immediately a charge in the thymikon, which functions as an equalizer every time there is energy difference within the system.
Philosophic dictionaries say, "The springs for any willful action are representations and emotions." Our will, that is, responds with some action whenever our consciousness is charged with some representation and our thymikon with some relevant emotional charge. Then the mind is also triggered to act and rushes to tell its truth in order to balance the system.
It is understood that only when and if the mind tells the truth then the energy of mind equals the energy of the sensory input (perception) and an energy balance comes about the system with a result to ease the thymikon load, which is useless any longer and wanes.
We can see that the mind completes the cycle of experience and tops the cycle of psyche's response to reality and indeed with a volitional response for the most part. Of course there are times when the verbal action of the mind is triggered automatically and is pushed to extremes from the vivid perceptions that charge consciousness and heavy emotions that charge thymikon, but usually, under usual normal circumstances if we wish we talk, if not we remain silent.
| Recognition and Understanding|| |
The mind has two functions (recognition and understanding) that help it complete its duty of balance in a right way.
- Recognition refers to known objects and situations that we already have some representations in our memory for them. As, for example, if I go now to the parking lot and see my car, I will recognize quite easily because the perception of it I will see fits the perceptions of it I have in my memory.
- Understanding on the other hand refers to some unknown perceptions I have no representations of in my memory and I have to create. For example, if I go to the parking lot now and see one of the windows of my car broken. I will have to understand the new and unknown situation, the new and unknown perception. "What happened?" "How did it break?" "Who broke it?" "How?" "Why?" etc.
Let's see now how each function works in each case in waking reality first and then in the dream.
If we have seen the Eiffel Tower, we have representations of it engraved in our memory and it is well known to us. When we will see the Eiffel Tower again we will simply recognize it. Its perception will excite our eyes, will excite our consciousness, will excite its old idol in our memory and this is a sensory awareness, by which our consciousness recognizes a perception as a perception. This is a one sided excitement which will cause a relevant excitement of thymikon. Immediately the mind will also be excited and will rush to equalize the situation. The mind is always triggered whenever consciousness is energized by some perception and thymikon by some emotion. Mental awareness is an energy balancing mechanism, which completes and tops awareness, energizing within memory some verbal analogies relevant and equal to the perception that tips consciousness. Recognition happens automatically without any psychic cost or expenditure, achieving automatically within us some balance and serenity of the system.
It is early in the morning and a man is still sleeping serenely. The sleep has relaxed him and dreams have cleared his thymikon. Then suddenly a blast of some explosion is heard. The fact writes in his consciousness and memory. His thymikon is excited too with a certain load. All these excite his mind also, which awakes and starts thinking. "What was this explosion? Where was it heard from? Why?" I am trying to understand means that I compare the new sensory fact with whatever verbal or sensory representation I have in my memory.
In this case two options are open for the mind:
- It will not understand what happened and some emotional load will remain pending in his thymikon. That's how pending emotional loads are formed inside us.
- He may think suddenly that "Ah, today is our independence day. They must be firing some celebrating shots with canons from the fort. The blast was heard from that direction."
This happy completion of his thoughts equalizes the initial perception, discharges the pending emotional load and a final serenity comes over the system.
The Dream Completion
After all these analyses let us examine again the well known dream example with the dog, how a pending emotional load was initially formed in me in waking reality and how it was spent and discharged with the dream with the help of the mind.
At the beginning in reality a dog came and started smelling my left hand but I was absent minded and paid no attention to the very soft breeze and my consciousness did not realize at once what was happening. With a characteristic delay I was aware initially that something was happening to me somewhere, somehow, and then that something was happening to my left hand. It was a characteristic delay of sensory awareness that caused a pending emotion in my thymikon. Then my mind was energized last in the series/sequence, when I finally saw that "a dog was licking my left hand" and even then my volitional reaction was under toned again because I saw that it was a dirty dog, which caused an intense repulsion in me because I did not want my friends to realize that a dirty dog licked my hand. In other words, to my initial inability to realize what was happening to me this unwillingness to realize and react was added.
Later on I went home and switched off the light and went to sleep. Little by little my consciousness went out in sleep (I did not see or hear anything around me), my mind went to sleep (I did not think of anything at all), and only the emotional charge was left energized inside me. This is the usual case in sleep: we have an inactive consciousness (sleeping) an inactive mind (also sleeping) and a charged thymikon with some pending emotional load.
Consciousness goes deeper and deeper into sleep, till its energy goes down below the emotional energy of thymikon. This is the time dreaming starts, with the sudden flow of energy from the charged thymikon to sleeping consciousness. Energy always flows from a charged body to some less charged one. This energized the idol of the leopard in my memory, which acquired a higher energy level, enough for my consciousness to see him. This internal fact roused my consciousness up in a strange way. It did not wake totally up to see other perceptions neither from memory nor from the surrounding. I woke enough to see just the leopard, the suddenly excited idol of memory.
When my consciousness awakened in the dream my mind also awoke automatically, because my mind always sees what my consciousness does. And my mind was awake in the same strange way that my consciousness was awake too. It awoke just to see the leopard of the dream and not any other perceptions neither in memory nor in the surrounding. My mind just saw the leopard "a beautiful and dangerous animal" and couldn't compare it to any other material. That's the only thing it saw, that's what it understood, that's what it accepted, and that's what it remembered the next day in waking reality. The mind always responds to dream idols with fidelity and truth because it does not have any other way of comparing and judging. Because it does not see anything else to make comparisons it does not have neither moral nor logical or any other inhibition. It knows nothing else, it misses nothing, and it is bothered by nothing. It understands and accepts everything that it sees the way it sees it in order for the emotional discharge to happen and the final internal balance and serenity, the absolute energy target.
That's what happened with the leopard too. This dream that I had in 1973 replaced the problematic representation of the dog with the spatiotemporal and emotional appropriate representation of the leopard I had in the depths of my memory. I had seen such a leopard in 1964 in a zoo that operated in the "Royal Garden" next to the parliament in Athens. As I admired him intensely and absent minded I had come very close to his cage and he turned at me and growled from very close and I had to realize suddenly that he was a very beautiful and a very dangerous animal, exactly as it appeared in this dream of mine, when he was needed nine years later. A symbolism functions correctively in a dream whenever some emotional energy load is in excess or it is deficient in a psyche cycle, which must have exact ST+E analogies in consciousness (perception), in the mind (verbal thought) and in thymikon (emotional load). That's why the leopard appeared in the dream (as both beautiful and dangerous) and his perception corrected exactly that specific pending emotional energy.
| 'The Precise Course'|| |
A Second (and Final) Dream Interpreted Spatiotemporally and Emotionally
In this dream I was with my wife somewhere out in the open when he said something insulting to me and I was very mad and I started yelling at her in the dream. I said quite a few things. When this clamor was over we walked next to each other and absolutely silent following a certain course, which I remembered very well when I was awake.
We started from a point in my hometown Edessa in Mazaraki Street, where we had to our left an empty lot with thorns and piles of earth here and there (today that empty lot is the yard of the 8th elementary school). We walked silently side by side till the end of Mazaraki Street and there we turned to our left and followed Sarantaporou Street to its end that is cut perpendicularly by Analipseos Street.
Without stopping at all, we followed Analipseos Street to our left but suddenly and absolutely illogically we found ourselves walking in Karamitsou Street, which in waking reality is in another part of Edessa. We reached the end of Karamitsou Street, which is cut perpendicularly by A. Gatsou Street and there I was awake.
The Initial Event
In reality I was in a trailer house somewhere in a beach of Chalkidiki with my wife and kids all of them sleeping next to me. I lay there on my back and tried to interpret spatiotemporally and emotionally this dream. According to my ST+E theory this dream had happened the way it did because the day before an initial event had happened with a similar way in Space (visual perception) and Time (actions) that had charged me with some similar thymic energy (emotions). Also according to the theory this emotional load had remained pending in me and had triggered this dream, which happened with symbolic representations with similar spatiotemporal and emotional characteristics.
So, digging around in my memory, I remembered quite easily that indeed the day before something like that had actually happened to me. I had gone with my wife for a walk down by the sea and there at a specific point she said something to me that insulted me and I was very mad at her but I had not said anything at all to her. I gulped the insult and silently I took her by the arm and we returned back to the trailer house side by side following a certain course, first by the sea then proceeding to our left till the trailer, where I entered it, turned left, went to bed and lay down till my wrath subsided internally. I never said a word to her.
If we now put the sketches of the two areas (waking reality and dream) next to each other we shall see that their similarity is very obvious, so I will underline only some points here and there that are similar in waking reality and in the dream:
- The protagonists are the same, it is just my wife and I and indeed I have her on my right in both cases in waking reality and in the dream.
- The two courses start from the same relevant point.
- There is an empty lot to our left in both cases with thorns and piles of earth here and there.
- Both courses form a similar pattern.
- The course from the sea to the trailer is slightly uphill as the corresponding course (Sarantaporou Street) is slightly uphill too.
- This course (from the sea up) ends at the trailer, which is a natural high obstacle.
- The corresponding course in the dream (Sarantaporou Street) actually ends up against a higher field that is also a natural high obstacle.
The emotions too are strikingly similar. In waking reality I was angered/upset by a sharp comment made by my wife, as in the dream I am also angered/upset by a sharp comment also made by my wife.
I will have to underline here that I was angered both times in a similar way by a similar cause. I wasn't mad because my wallet was stolen, I wasn't mad because they hit me. I was mad both times because of a sharp comment made both times by the same person.
It is very logical to suppose that because in the initial event by the sea I had not responded at all (I was absolutely silent) the tension had remained intact pending inside me charging my psyche. Some emotional load is always pending inside us when we go to sleep that triggers the dream that happens in order to rid us from that specific load. The dream is also a real event, a dream event that happens in real space and time and needs some energy to happen.
In the real waking event by the sea my wife had said something to me but I did nothing about it. "I gulped it" as we say. I only took her by the arm and we went to the trailer in silence.
In the dream, however, when she made that sharp comment I responded heatedly. I vented my feelings (it is a lot safer to yell at your wife in the dream). And then we walked together side by side in the dream along a precise course very similar point by point with the one we had followed the previous day in waking reality.
So, we can suppose with no logical discomfort that this dream had happened precisely for me to react dynamically in order to discharge this emotional energy trapped inside me from the day before. This discharge of emotional energy is the only thing that happens for real in an overall faked dream. I will say it one more time: the dream happens in order to spend and discharge some emotional energy that exists inside us at the moment such dreams begin, so that a general balance will come, which will bring an eventual serenity. After all it is well known to all of us, that usually we all wake up serene the next morning.
| A Tell Telling Detail|| |
A further brief analysis
Before closing the analysis of this dream I would like to make one more brief analysis of a very paradoxical detail concerning this dream, which will help us understand better the mystery of dreaming. It is something very curious for the logic of wakefulness but it happens quite often in dreams.
As I said analyzing this dream, while my wife and I were walking in the dream in Analipseos Street we suddenly found ourselves walking in another street (Karamitsou Street), which actually is in a totally different area of the town. WHY?
This is the paradox. Such spatial leaps happen very often in dreams but we never give them a second thought because we take the whole dream as mysterious and illogical anyway. But if we come to think of it these leaps in space that happen so often in dreams are strange, very strange.
In order to understand better this paradox we see next to each other the two places (the one in waking reality and the other of the dream). At the beginning of the dream we have an area in Edessa with the streets Mazaraki, Sarantaporou, and Analipseos, which are real streets in a very specific area in Edessa. With a look we can see that it is an excellent representation to serve the needs of symbolism of the true area in the initial event of yesterday because this area in the dream matches perfectly with reality.
There is an empty lot, there are appropriate streets to be walked by the same protagonists to make a facsimile course, there is so much! Yet something is missing. A natural area is never absolutely alike with another natural area; there will always be something missing or something in excess. In this case the trailer is missing from the dream area and this is a very important space element, because the course of yesterday's wakefulness ended in the bed of this trailer, (which bed was perpendicular to the corridor of the trailer as a side "T").
That's why this paradox happened. My imagination in the dream brought another area of two streets, (Karamitsou and A, Gatsou), cutting perpendicularly each other as a side "T" in order to provide symbols of the space in the trailer that was missing. It was so simple.
In the dream two different areas appeared in order to symbolize in space the whole initial event as a continuous whole, along with the trailer and its corridor and its bed, because the same initial event had to happen in the dream once more (in space), reproducing symbolically the area by the see to the trailer and the bed of the trailer, because the same actions (in time) had to happen once over, from the point of insult (by the see, where it started) to the trailer bed (where it finished). It had to be re dramatized (emotion) again for the same emotions to happen once again. The real initial event started spatiotemporally and emotionally by the sea, where my wife said something heavy for me, and ended in the bed of the trailer, where I went to lie down and relax and so the dream starts and finishes in related points.
The Imagination in Reality and in the Dream
This practice of our imagination in the dream, to take real elements and make false totals we had seen once more, when we talked about the real "Mr. A" and the fantastic "Mr. B" who was composed of many real elements (1+2+3) from memory. Imagination in the dream may use many such faces from memory in order to compose the face it needs. Most of our dreams are made of such arbitrary compositions, which are made of real material. There is no more creative surrealist than the imagination in the dream that is not at all limited only in dreams. This creative capability of imagination is very useful to man always and everywhere some creative action is needed. It is very useful especially in art but in technology and the sciences too.
A photographer with the French-sounding name of Belzaut conducted the following experiment. He took the slides of eight real people, put carefully the one atop the other, so that the basic characteristics (eyes, nose, etc) of one fell on the characteristics of the other. When he put a light on behind those pictures a new face appeared made of all other faces. This was a made up face of a non-existing person, literally made of many other face components. It has, however, a great verisimilitude because it looked like some real and existing person with certain personality and character as being the photo of a real and living person. Look at it very well because such are always the imaginary people that appear in our dreams, very true looking false totals made of real elements.
This versatility of our imagination to recompose freely the real memorial elements it is very well known to all of us since ancient times and it is very useful in many ways especially in art and mythmaking. For example this creative quickness of imagination used the imaginative ancient mythmaker who first talked about the mermaid.
- He first he took a fish in his imagination, he cut it in half and kept the half from the waist down.
- Then he took a woman in his imagination, he cut it in half and kept the half from the waist up
A+B) Then he joined the two halves in his imagination and formed a mermaid.
That's why a mermaid still seems such a lively creature to our eyes because it provokes in our imagination two living real halves. As any dream or real imaginative creature the mermaid is a false total made of real parts.
Historically when the imagination of some people matures enough and they start composing freely the elements of memory then this people make mythology and theology. The mythologies of all peoples of the world are full of creations like the mermaid.
Over and to the left we see the picture of god Ganesh from Indian mythology. He has a head of an elephant and a human body. On top and to the right we see goddess Shiva. The fantastic real elements here are the six arms.
In the middle row we see such fantastic creatures from the Greek mythology. To the left we see a centaur, a creature with a horse lower body but of a human being for the upper body. In the middle we see a minotauros, a creature with the lower human body but with the head of a bull. And to the right we see Pegasus (horse body with bird wings).
In the lower row we see god Anubis from the Egyptian mythology. He has the head of a jackal and human body. We also see the Sphinx who has the head of a human being and the body of a lion. To the right it is Ibis, fantastic creature who has human body but the head of a bird of the Egyptian lakes. They are all untrue totals made of true elements.
When the imagination of some people matures a lot more this people attain science and technology, which use the same deftness of the imagination with a decisive difference that the products of the imagination are confirmed by reality. Technology and science use real elements that produce real totals. As a classical example I will use Gutenberg who discovered typography when he saw a wine press and he imagined a similar press that would press letters put next to each other to form words and sentences and paragraphs and books.
In mythology it wasn't necessary to prove that mermaids really existed, it was enough for some imaginative narrations to establish the faith that such creatures did exist. Gutenberg however had to make his press that printed books actually in reality. The same was true with the first man who thought to put a combustion engine on a boat and make the first motorboat. The same with the first man who thought to combine the pocket clock with a small wrist belt to make the wrist watch.
Art, mythology and theology from old times, science then and technology use the same very useful ability of the imagination to recast the same real material of the vast memory in order to make new creations. It is a priceless ability in our service day and night.
In the day it uses some real elements from memory and the environment in order to compose some real totals, as the printing press of Gutenberg.
At night in the dream it uses some real material from memory in order to compose new fake totals able to symbolize point to point the initial perception pending from the day before.
The reader must have realized that my pains in this article were to show that the imagination is the common center of logical thought and illogical dream in order to make plain that the way dreams happen is very logical indeed. This does not say it all of course. The dream may be of multiple uses to the economy of our psyche, to a much greater degree than our mind can grasp today.