DREAMS, the sequence of experienced perceptual sensations arising during sleep (see alsoSLEEP). The phase of sleep, during which dreams occur, is often called paradoxical, or the phase of “fast” sleep, because of the apparent contradiction between the exceptional activity of the brain and the practically inactive body. The paradox of a dream is that the body is still, while the sleeper has a subjective feeling of unlimited freedom of movement. Dreaming is the only state of consciousness different from insanity and hallucinations, in which we experience a sense of full-fledged existence in a non-existent world. This world often contrasts strikingly with everyday life. A person who has seen a dream, perceives it as an incredible adventure, no matter how ordinary he looked at retelling. In a dream, the very life of a person may be threatened by a single glance of a stranger or by a change in the appearance of the room; any small thing matters. Events are not perceived as excessive, although they are unusually intense.
In the dream, the distinction between imaginary and reality disappears. As noted in the Psychology of Imagination ( L “Imaginaire : Psychologie phénoménologique de l” imagination , 1940), the French philosopherJean Paul Sartre, in a state of sleep, we are deprived of the “category of reality”; consciousness is in the captivity of a dream and has no other option than to dwell among the constructions of one’s own imagination. In a dream, even external stimuli – sounds, changes in temperature in the room – are perceived as something that exists in the dreaming world. This loss of connection with the real world has two important consequences, emphasizing the difference between the state of sleep and the state of wakefulness. First, visual images, weak or fleeting during waking, become in a dream whole scenes or pictures. Unlike the period of wakefulness, when various events argue among themselves for our attention, in a dream nothing prevents them from concentrating. Dreaming is the purest example of the ability of the psyche to concentrate the senses in the images that form the story structure.
The second consequence of the loss of the “category of reality” is that a language that is so important during wakefulness plays a secondary role in a dream, like sounds in general. The content of sleep is primarily visual. However, this representation is deceptive, since the visual image itself contains a kind of language. Thus, speech, which is primarily a means of communication, becomes almost unnecessary, since sleep is both an image and a hidden “conversation”. Even objects (trees, animals, houses) acquire an apparent consciousness and the capacity for loud or silent speech. A person can participate in a dialogue with any object, although words as such are not always pronounced. The brain, you can say, “reads his thoughts,” although the seer is not aware of this;
Dreams rarely (if ever) reproduce past or recent events as they occurred. The leading principle of dream building is that sleep brings together people and events that could not collide with each other in reality.Z. Freud on this occasion said: “The dream first of all reveals an immutable connection between all parts of the hidden thoughts in that it unites all this material into one situation: it expresses the logical connection between the rapprochement in time and space, like the artist who connects in the picture depicting Parnassus , all poets who, of course, never were together on the same mountain top, but in the concept, undoubtedly, form one family “.
Dreams do not allow a person to re-live the past; they represent a figurative presentation of the history of his psyche, similar to the creative transformation of the writer’s real reality in accordance with the design of the work. Even when a person sees in a dream those who play an essential role in his life, their images appear either in confusion with the traits of other personalities, or as possessing simultaneously features characteristic of them at different stages of life. This temporary multidimensionality of the images of dreams is perhaps one of the main sources of their liveliness. What we dream about is not an instant snapshot stored in memory, but a product of the imagination, a neural library of metaphorical similarities: the image represents a half sense, half “object.” Even abstract ideas sometimes become objects in a dream.