Dreams and Nightmares
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28-01-2012, 07:14 PM
Dreams and Nightmares
We are so used to nightmares like wars, famine, threats of extinction (thousands of nuclear warheads on hair-trigger alert) that we forget about the good dreams that occasionally surprise us.

Ironically, sometimes good dreams come true because someone, somewhere, in position of power, decides to co-opt someone’s dream and turn it into some kind of a weapon. That is how the Russian and American space programs started back in the 1960-s. They wanted to impress each other with their ‘superior’ technology and they were already considering the ‘advantages’ of a militarized space.

However, there were real dreamers behind the success story: dreamers who thought beyond the predictable certainty of more of the same and decided that great accomplishments, giant steps forward, were also possible for mankind. After all, where is it written that only nightmares are possible, only stupidity, violence and depravity could be expected from our species.

Carl Sagan was one of these dreamers and he gambled big on the possibility of it coming true. He could have become a Nobel-prized scientist, making huge steps forward in Physics, Astronomy, even Biology, if he wanted to play it safe and follow the accepted and established route to academic success. He had everything needed for this feat: brilliance, education, energy, passion, charm.

He didn’t choose this route because he was born to be, perhaps the last of his kind, a renaissance scientist with a universal interest, a passion for ‘big picture’ meanings and an overwhelming desire to be part of something bigger than himself.

Carl Sagan dreamed about the stars. Not the lifeless, infinite cosmos that frightens those who let themselves really feel it, but a cosmos teaming with life, intelligence and countless number of advanced species who have already solved their primitive evolutionary problems of domination and competition.

In his science fiction book “Contact”, when the heroin Elly is about to leave in an inter-galactic transport to meet one of these superior species, she is asked: “if you could ask them only one question, what would it be?” – Her answer was: “How did you do it? How did you survive your technological adolescence before you evolved beyond the danger of self-destruction?”

We all have dreams and nightmares.

What are yours?
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29-01-2012, 03:42 AM
RE: Dreams and Nightmares
I like this tread. But it clearly needs some starting.

Btw... Hello Zat, good to see you again. Guess your never too old to gain new insights eh... Tongue

I dream...

I dream of balance in the world and that I may live to witness it.

I have nightmares of shortage of casual things for my daughter and her hypothetical children. Eg: Insanely high priced nutritious food. Unaffordable comfortable housing. And, in this case, probably a lack of possible quality time together with each other due to everyone obliged to take two or tree jobs.


(isn't it sad that negative lists tend to be longer then positive)

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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29-01-2012, 04:46 AM
RE: Dreams and Nightmares
My dreams seem to vary greatly depending.

I've noticed if I am experiencing any kind of anxiety or feeling guilty about anything I tend to have dreams about those things. Anxiety seems to hit me the most. I'm not sure why. I do at times tend to have anxiety problems, so they seem to hit me hard in my dreams which are more along the lines of nightmares.

One re-occurring dream I seem to have during riding season is being killed while riding. The odd thing is I've had many close calls, one very close time I was quite accepting of the potential of thinking, "This is it..." even though I wasn't happy about it. Even though I'm accepting of the potential consequences of riding, even though I enjoy riding, though I don't feel the anxiety when I ride, I sometimes have dreams about it which is odd to me.

There are other times that I have dreams of going for rides and enjoying it. My wife gives me shit for it because there are a few times she's took pictures of me with one of my hands held out and clenched as if I was grabbing onto the bars. Every now and then if I have one of my nightmares it's almost to the point you feel like you could feel the wreck and BLAMMO you wake up. Kinda crazy. I think part of it may be because of the friends I've lost from riding, I miss them, think about them often and sometimes it just gets to me.


Not of negativity... I sometimes have dreams regarding cars, racing and once in a while when i'm going through automotive withdrawls, me enjoying my project car finished. Sometimes it's my motivational factor to go work on it. I went through a period of time where I hadn't worked on it for months. Watched some racing, went to sleep, had a wacky dream of me racing my car finished. That weekend I felt insatiably motivated to work on it.

Note: my diet isn't consistent... lol.
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29-01-2012, 07:02 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2012 07:11 AM by Zat.)
RE: Dreams and Nightmares
There are two kinds of each: waking and sleeping dreams and nightmares.

My waking dream is: more of the same -- we have such happy lives, the two of us together, with our five cats, the birds on the feeder, the rackoon visiting each night with her children, our friends and neighbors living across the road half a mile away, I dream of it going on forever.

Waking nightmares I only have two: in one I die before my wife, in the other she does.

Now, my sleeping dreams can be quite funny. I often dream of complicated stories, like a whole movie, takes me 15 minutes to tell Vera all the details when I wake up.The other day I went to my daughter's ballet performance (in my dream) and bumped into all kinds of people: writers, musicians, scientists and, finally Queen Elizabeth showed up and was very miffed because the Governor General and the Prime Minister were not there to greet her. I offered to be her guide and she gracefully accepted, allowing me to show her the way by touching her elbow. Now this is very funny because I had no idea where she had come from: I despise aristocracy and royalty and, surprisingly, she was quite a charming old lady. I was laughing my head off when I woke up.

I have had one recurring sleeping nightmare since childhood: Everything is black around me, as if I was blindfolded or in a dark room, or outside on a totally dark night. Then I see it and instantly feel terror: I know each time what it is and what it is going to do. It is a white pin-prick of light, very far in the distance. Then it moves, it starts coming closer, growing as it does, then it looks like a white rolling ball, slowly filling my entire vision, rolling over and around me, engulfing me in blinding whiteness, then I wake up screaming, in cold sweat. It is always the same and I know that I am dreaming it but it is also real. I have not had it for many years now, but in my childhood it was constant. I have no idea what it means, maybe I will be killed by an avalanche (I used to ski a lot) or by a big, white Mack truck.
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29-01-2012, 11:15 PM
RE: Dreams and Nightmares
(29-01-2012 07:02 AM)Zat Wrote:  I have had one recurring sleeping nightmare since childhood: Everything is black around me, as if I was blindfolded or in a dark room, or outside on a totally dark night. Then I see it and instantly feel terror: I know each time what it is and what it is going to do. It is a white pin-prick of light, very far in the distance. Then it moves, it starts coming closer, growing as it does, then it looks like a white rolling ball, slowly filling my entire vision, rolling over and around me, engulfing me in blinding whiteness, then I wake up screaming, in cold sweat. It is always the same and I know that I am dreaming it but it is also real. I have not had it for many years now, but in my childhood it was constant. I have no idea what it means, maybe I will be killed by an avalanche (I used to ski a lot) or by a big, white Mack truck.

The white light is god and he's going to f'up your non-believing a@@ when you die. Tongue
A retorical question (or two). Why doesn't god just kill all the atheists now? Why waite? Does he have a script that he has to follow? Is the entertainment value of atheist screwing with christians that good? Did he give christians a screwed up book to follow AND put atheists on the planet to point it out to them constantly? Does anyone see the humor in this?

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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30-01-2012, 06:11 AM (This post was last modified: 30-01-2012 06:16 AM by Zat.)
RE: Dreams and Nightmares
Since nobody else came forward with their dreams and nightmares, let me continue with Carl Sagan's Dream:

Carl Sagan dreamed all his life about the possibility that such a meeting, one day, might be possible. He did everything his brilliance, energy and passion enabled him to do to find this opportunity, to be ready for it if and when it happened. He contributed substantially to Planetary Science, to research in ‘origin of life’ studies, to the planning of space missions to our planets and beyond.

He wrote books on the meaning of science, human evolution and the dangers of irrational thinking and pseudo-scientific trends. He popularized science to the masses and projected an image of human greatness in discovery, rather than conquest. He fought the establishment in their mad rush toward nuclear annihilation by pointing out the dangers of ‘nuclear winter’ that might follow even a limited atomic war.

He died relatively young, in 1996, when a real possibility of nuclear disarmament and international cooperation seemed at hand. He thought that after half a century of cold war madness it was time for dreaming and hoping again. He would be very sad and very angry now, a decade after his death.

His main theme, all through his life had been: “what if?” and “why not?”

What if it were possible to live in peace? What if it were possible to escape from our planetary prison and establish human roots on other planets, orbiting other stars? What if one day we could wake up from our nightmare of primitive savagery and learn ‘just’ to live and experience all the marvels of the universe?
This “what if?” attitude may seem naïve and impractical for many ‘serious’ people who forget that telephone, radio, TV, airplanes, computers were all “what if?” dreams of impractical dreamers at one time or another.

In his book the “Pale Blue Dot” Sagan describes the view of Earth, from Voyager1 from a distance of 6.4 billion kilometres, as it was leaving the solar system in 1992.

[Image: spaceimages_2196_12040]

Carl Sagan writes:

Quote:“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. ….. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known. --Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994”

This was the first time in human history that we actually could see our home from outer space. The exact same view we would have if our dream came true one day and we could travel across the galaxy to visit far away planets, far-away civilizations.

This dream is still just a dream of idealistic and ‘impractical’ Star Trek fans around the globe. Even though Carl Sagan did not like Star Trek, because he judged it scientifically inaccurate, but it still represents, in a symbolic way, the possibility of human greatness and cooperation for millions around the globe.

Most Star Trek fans remember Captain Picard’s speech to a group of earthmen from the 20-th century, who were found and thawed out from suspended animation, about how money had no meaning in the 24-th century, and the only challenge was realizing one’s creative potential. This assumption of peace, cooperation, creative drive of a unified humanity is central in the Star Trek Saga and coincides with the dreams of billions on this planet. The reward of this fulfilled dream would be the marvels of the Galaxy suddenly open and available for us.

Let me repeat: why is it taken for granted that only nightmares are possible in the human saga?

To quote from "Lucifer’s Hammer" by Larry Niven: "Dreams sometimes come true, even if you tell them”.

Huh
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31-01-2012, 05:47 PM
RE: Dreams and Nightmares
My nightmares are also of anxiety. There is a very great deal of anxiety in our best of all possible worlds - probably way more than our primitive ancestors had. We, too are in constant danger; though we deny it consciously, our lizard-brain can't be fooled: we smell fear and rage all around.
My worst sleeping nightmares are of confinement. My waking nightmares give tghat confinement a name and a face: oppression; prison, handcuffs, water-cannon, robocops who throw people on the ground, kick, knee and pepper-spray them, for disagreeing with a,n illegitimate power; no due process; no rights. I don't protest anymore, yet the fear remains.

My best dreams, sleeping or awake, are of summer in the country. So is the best of my real life.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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31-01-2012, 07:21 PM
RE: Dreams and Nightmares
My 'waking' dream/s are: 1) Food and shelter for all mankind, 2) travelling to another 'terraformed' planet or just general galaxy travel and 3) for greed and corruption to be wiped from the human psyche.
As far as sleeping dreams; well, as a child I used to dream of being on a very large property (in the back corner of the backyard) - it was always a very scary atmosphere (foggy and dim) and way in the distance I could see an old mansion. I just seemed to stand there, looking around but having this sense of impending doom and knowing there was a flying 'man-like' creature constantly observing me just waiting for a chance to swoop down and drag me away to some hellhole.
I had this dream fucking heaps when I was young. It was shit Dodgy

Humankind Dodgy (a total misnomer)
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31-01-2012, 09:11 PM
RE: Dreams and Nightmares
I used to have a horrible dream like that about an attacker (never seen clearly; just a big, menacing, looming shape) until i read a story like Planet of the Apes and some friendly gorilla type creatures showed up in my happier dreams. Somehow, i managed, one time, to summon a giant ape into the nightmare to confront the attacker. Boy, was that satisfying! That attacker never scared me again.
You can't always pull it off, but when you get that little bit of control, to manipulate a dream, it changes the whole power dynamic.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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31-01-2012, 11:35 PM
RE: Dreams and Nightmares
My waking dreams? To be a researcher that cures cancer, genetic defects, and invent futuristic devices that help us.

I don't recall having sweet dreams, let's skip that.

My waking nightmare? Losing my memory of those who I care for or who cared for me, and not being able to fulfil my waking dream.

Nightmares in my sleep? Well, my dreams usually involve exploration around buildings and complexes, but there are three main areas in which I constantly revisit, each revisit reveals more of the area, and the buildings seem to "upgrade" for every revisit. I keep a small record of my dreams.

The first area is the mall, where it all starts. 5 times I've visited this place, each revealing more shops being opened. The first dream involved the basement of the building (a fact which I do not know until the 3rd revisit). A conveyor belt carrying discarded furniture and goods into a burning furnace. It involved an attempt to escape the whole system of machines. The second revisit involved the upper floors, most shops closed and abandoned. The third revisit involved the whole complex, in which I was sent to a room containing puzzles. There are many levels containing puzzles, each of a different nature. The first one involved picture puzzles, the second involved defeating monsters, the third involved collecting tokens from arcade games. I got lost in my dream doing the third puzzle, and realised how this is part of the whole mall. The fourth revisit involved escaping something, chasing through graveyards and the upper levels. The fifth revisit reveals a busy megamall, with a play being performed at the center of the mall, featuring people I know. It looked like Hamlet or King Lear.

The second area involved a futuristic city, in which I have visited 4 times. The first visit involved a reunion with a friend. The sky was eerily red and dark, but the air seemed fresh. Tall elevators shooting into the sky, with buildings looming at great heights. The second and fourth visit are similar, in which I experienced deja vu in my fourth visit. It started in an abandoned fast food store, with nothing on me except a card. The rest of the dream involved escaping something, chasing through arcade centers, fountains, broadwalks and only when I've reached a certain house, I wake up. The third visit involved participating in an ice hockey match, with futuristic stadiums and lodging.

The third area will be a science center. The visits are generally the same, exploring in the dark. Mazes scattered everywhere, leading from one maze to another, with malicious exhibits plastered everywhere. Now and then I am presented with a vision of the death of the people I know. Horrible accidents, Glasgow smile torture...

The recurring dreams have stopped, but my dreams still remain sinister. One started with a train wreck, killing nearly everyone in it. An expedition into a valley revealed a city. In the city, the trapped people, those who were killed in the train wreck, are forced to relive their final minutes in the train station and in the train forever. It was disturbing.

The latest involved a counter-strike like environment in which everyone is equipped with spray paint. Apparently the aim is to don the troll-face and spray insults on walls to make someone mad.

With regards to controlling my dreams, I've tried many attempts. I used my imagination to conjure images to help clear obstacles, with my dreamscape countering my attempts with greater obstacles. If I tried to manipulate my abilities, such as shooting fire from my hands, I feel pain and paralysis. For the fire-shooting attempt, I feel a horrible burning sensation at my hands.

Well, these are my dreams, enjoy.

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
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