We all lead it: a double life. Back in the realm of gravity – awakening.
We wake up in the morning and it is as if we are returning from another world. Shadowy only we remember our dream.
Sometimes we are happy about it – because we met terrible monsters in our sleep – other times we are sad because we were travelling or flying in wonderful landscapes. Often we don’t even remember.
Gravity, time and space.
All earthly conditions do not apply in the realm of dreams. But – We live two lives, because only two thirds of our life time we spend in the reality we know.
One third of our life we are in the realm of dreams – we sleep!
Our dreams are far from being fully explored.
All living creatures need sleep and it is accompanied by vivid and sometimes bizarre dream images. Animals also sleep and probably dream – sleep is independent of body size and position in the food chain. It seems as if the whole life of the globe still leads a parallel one – in sleep.
Sleep Research: Circadian Rhythm and Rapid Eye Moment (REM)
Our sleep has only been scientifically researched for a relatively short time.
Besides culturally determined sleep phases, we seem to have an inner clock – our so-called circadian rhythm. This helps us to process recurring events and regulate our metabolism.
Our sleeping behaviour changes in the course of our ageing process. Teenagers need comparatively much sleep, whereas older people often only sleep from 9 p.m. to about four in the morning. Scientists suspect an evolutionary-biological background here, because because of the temporally shifted sleeping needs, someone could always watch over the safety of the whole family.
A breakthrough in sleep research was achieved in the 1950s when the “Rapid Eye Moment (REM)” was discovered. This refers to a rapid eye rolling behind closed eyelids. In this phase the brain returns from deep sleep and is just as awake as if we were not asleep at all. In this phase we seem to see most of the images in the form of dreams.
Science and Spirituality – Connected to everyone else in dreams?
Carl Gustav Jung held the view that we have, in addition to an individual subconscious, a collective subconscious that appears in our dreams.
He believed that in this collective subconscious all memories since the beginning of mankind are stored, like in a kind of archive.
For him dreams were the soul of the people – we dream for the world and every person who once lived has contributed with his dreams to this collective subconscious.
In dreams we can contact the deceased.
In his philosophy, the moment we fall asleep, we are part of a vast telepathic network of people, floating in the middle of billions of years of memories embedded in the soul of the world.
For Jung we give up our individual needs and our selfishness at the gateway to the realm of dreams and sleep for the common memory and for the world to dream through us.
Making images of dreams visible with artificial intelligence?
As early as 2012, the Center for Neuroinformatics in Kyoto succeeded in reading dream content in real time from the head of a sleeping person. The head of research, Yukiyasu Kamitani, used a scanner that recorded activity in different regions of the brain during sleep. It turned out that these activities differ depending on whether we look at a face or see an object, for example. The activities in the brain resemble the actual experience in the awake state.
From this, the team in Kyoto created a kind of album with known activity patterns and could read from it what the test persons were dreaming of at the moment. Their assumptions were tested by waking the sleepers and asking them what they had been dreaming about. In 60% of the cases they were able to correctly deduce the dream from the brain activity.
A new breakthrough in dream research was achieved by scientists from Kyoto University of the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratory.
These images, which are obtained by measuring brain activity by fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), are still only vague. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that they represent what the respective person is seeing at the moment.
So soon you won’t have to question the dreamers to match the images with brain activity – they can visualize the images of the dream itself!
A trained neural network – DNN
DNN – Deep Neural Network – can reconstruct the images and forms that a person sees. The network was trained with 1000 photos and three people who had their brain activities measured in an MRT (magnetic resonance tomography) within ten months.
It is expected that the results, which have been fuzzy up to now, will continue to improve in the future. For this purpose, high-resolution imaging techniques will be used and the DNN will be further trained and the algorithm modified.
If this research project is continued successfully, it should be possible to make the images from a person’s head clearly visible.
If this technique could be used for the reproduction of dream images, we might be able to take a look into the collective consciousness – as Jung understood it – of human beings.
We will see the other life that we all lead together – when we dream.
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