Author Topic: What dreams may come? If any.  (Read 1172 times)

Offline Taylor

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What dreams may come? If any.
« on: October 31, 2011, 04:38:20 PM »
This question isn't about editing or grammar, but I didn't know where else to post it.

I have reached the point in my story where one of the character's seems to wake from sleep. He's actually been hit over the head with a blunt object, but he hasn't realised that yet. My question is: Could someone still dream while in that state of unconsciousness? Does anyone think - or, better still, know - it's possible? I'm not sure.

Cheers in advance, guys.  :)

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

Philip K. Dick

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: What dreams may come? If any.
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 05:21:31 PM »
Quoting from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_eye_movement_sleep

 "Vividly recalled dreams mostly occur during REM sleep."


Mostly does not mean exclusively.
Skip
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Offline Taylor

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Re: What dreams may come? If any.
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 07:05:57 PM »
Thanks, Skip. I've been thinking about it for a while and wondering if I could get away with it. But now I'm beginning to suspect a rewrite is in the offing.  :)
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

Philip K. Dick

Offline heidi52

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Re: What dreams may come? If any.
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 07:11:55 PM »
I find the question really interesting and hope someone can give you a definitive answer.

But I have to say, how many people/readers are going to know for certain whether you can or cannot have vivid dreams while unconscious?

I for one wouldn't find it unbelievable so if it works for your story it might be fine.

Just my 2 cents and you know what that's worth.  :D

Trust life to unfold as it should, and appreciate the gift of each day.

Offline Taylor

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Re: What dreams may come? If any.
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 07:38:31 PM »
Food for thought, heidi. Thanks.

It does work rather nicely for the story, I think, and not in the dreaded 'it was all a dream' kind of way.  :)

I was just wondering if such a thing was possible, technically speaking. But who knows.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

Philip K. Dick

Offline heidi52

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Re: What dreams may come? If any.
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2011, 07:03:31 AM »
I've often wondered if people who come out of a long coma remember having dreams. Drs say they can hear, so why wouldn't they dream?

And if they don't dream, does that mean the subconscious is just a biological function?

I hope not, it's too connected to the concept of soul in my personal cosmography.
Trust life to unfold as it should, and appreciate the gift of each day.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: What dreams may come? If any.
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2011, 08:00:34 AM »
I chased this around the web for a while and it seems to be general belief that people who are truly and deeply unconscious don't dream.  We do know that most of the vivid dreams happen in the lighter phases of sleep.  But...  I've often suspected that those who claim to have dreamless sleep just don't remember.

In a reasonably eventful life I've had a few blows to the head which were enough to make me technically unconscious, but I've stayed on my feet fighting.  Which, to me, suggests that unconsciousness as with sleep, has different layers.

On the other hand I have passed out twice and found myself on the floor with absolutely no recollection of time having passed.  So much so that the different orientation of the world around me, as my eyes started to work again, was a great puzzle.   Obviously a total shutdown can happen.

None of this is a definite answer, but as someone else has said, if you can make the idea work then go for it.

Gyppo
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Offline johnnyh2

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Re: What dreams may come? If any.
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2011, 04:15:18 PM »
Hi there.

When I was 34, I had meningitis.  I was in a coma, on a life support machine for three weeks.

I had extraordinarily vivid dreams. 

One about me and some people in the back of a black cab.  These people were pissing me off, talking about me as if I wasn’t there - arguing over who should have my house keys.

In real life, while I was unconscious, my friends were around my hospital bed discussing who should have my keys. :o
Johnny. :)
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Offline Taylor

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Re: What dreams may come? If any.
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2011, 10:15:38 AM »
johnnyh, glad you pulled through, mate. If you can dream while in a coma, it's safe to assume one can dream after being knocked out cold.  :) Like heidi said, I considered coma patients and wondered if any doctors had observed rapid eye movement in such cases. Thanks for taking the time to read and reply to this. It's fascinating and, more to the point, saves me rewriting the chapter in question.  :)

Gyppo, many thanks for taking the time to chase this around the web. I appreciate your help and advice. It was interesting to note that you had no recollection of time having passed after you came to. My character feels as if hours have passed, and I'm wondering if I should alter that in light of what you said. And, remind me to buy you another if I ever spill your drink.  ;D

heidi, the idea of the subconscious being just a biological function is a sobering one for many reasons. The question is deep, and one which, I believe, will be debated for a long time to come. Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

Philip K. Dick

Offline Gyppo

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Re: What dreams may come? If any.
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2011, 11:10:36 AM »
It was interesting to note that you had no recollection of time having passed after you came to. My character feels as if hours have passed, and I'm wondering if I should alter that in light of what you said.

If you think your story will work better, change it.  If not, leave it as it is.  It is, after all, a story.  More importantly still, it is your story.

I think most of us carry some some of mental timer in our heads.  Even when we're asleep it's still ticking away, recording the passing of time in general terms even if not minute-accurate detail.  But certain circumstances will turn it off and when this happens it tales a while to get back into the regular rhythm of life. 

Coming round from anaesthesia in hospital is weird, because, for me at least, no time has passed.  My clock has just stopped running during the entire process.  A total shut down if ever there was.  This may depend on the drug they use.

I remember them pumping the stuff into me, and asking me to count backwards from ten.  Apparently I was out at eight and took up counting again at seven when I came round.  I was convinced the drug hadn't worked.  The nurse told me this belief was quite common.

=====

Here's another clue that people in comas can dream.  My Dad was in a coma for six weeks following a motorcycle accident, but spent quite a bit of this time chatting away to his brothers, including the one who had been dead for several years.  Listening to these one sided conversations it was obvious he was hearing answers.  A lot of the time they were fishing together. 

Dad said he couldn't remember dreaming, but he was probably re-living chunks of his earlier life.

Whether a re-run of a mental video is truly dreaming is a moot point.

Anyway, best wishes for the tale.

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1