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Jonathan Huang

Zeta Psi Fraternity of North America

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What good is being able to control our dreams?

This week in my Bioelectricity class, we discussed electrical stimulation and extracellular fields. We learned about how voltages far away from electrical sources in the body (eg the brain and heart) are directly linked to voltages across cell membranes.

We learned that in 1924, a German physiologist and psychiatrist Hans Berger recorded the first human electroencephalogram (EEG). From our discussion in class, it was evident that EEG activity for awake humans is quite similar to EEG activity during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. An intriguing correlation arrises as lucid dreaming, the act of controlling ones dreams or at least being aware of dreaming, occurs during the REM cycle of sleep.

My question is what does controlling our dreams mean to us as humans? Beyond treating those who suffer from night terrors, is there some correlation between the ability to control our dreams and having more control of our brains during our awake phase? Since people are able to "teach" themselves to lucid dream, does that mean we can use our brains in other ways that we don't yet know of? Or should we allow our dreams to remain "free..."

We can even talk about different forms of dreaming. Shilo Shiv Suleman shows in her INK talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/shilo_shiv_suleman_using_tech_to_enable_dreaming.html) an iPad app that enables the user to enter a fantasy world of dreaming. She says that this form of dreaming is missing from todays youth.

In Daniel Wopert's "The Real Reason for Brains" he says that brains exist solely to control movement. Does this mean that dreaming has no meaning? (http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_wolpert_the_real_reason_for_brains.html)

Lastly, we can even ask what exists between the lines of dreaming and consciousness? Antonio Damasio shines light into this question in his TED talk "The Quest To Understand Consciousness" by looking at the living brain. (http://www.ted.com/talks/antonio_damasio_the_quest_to_understand_consciousness.html)

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  • Apr 3 2013: "Control" is but one aspect of our relationship to dreams, what if we changed that word to "harness"?....

    As a teenager I learned about dream control and out of body experiences. I get very good at realizing what I was dreaming, I could do it several times a week. And I had my first out of body experience and a kind of terrified me. Since then my ability to realize when I was dreaming has diminished greatly, but it still happens a couple times a month.

    I also have a long history with positive thinking (i.e. Napoleon Hill), and so I see it is very important to pay close attention to and take responsibility for one's thoughts. Within the past year I received training as a remote viewer, which is fascinating though time-consuming. So I decided to try blending remote viewing with dreaming to see what kind of results I would get. (With 20 years of personal history of dream control, I can say that I did it for entertainment value, though using it to get answers to questions seems a much more valuable excercise).

    In short, it is been a fascinating experiment that I am still doing today, and getting some very interesting results. I am not "controlling" my dreams so much as putting forth a question before I go to sleep and see if I get an answer in my dreams.

    You can read a more extended right up in the "harnessing dreams" section of my blog post:
    http://danpouliot.com/blog/2013/03/more-about-remote-viewing/

    If you are not familiar with remote viewing, I have an extensive post on that too, including my own results:
    http://danpouliot.com/blog/2012/07/remote-viewing/

    it is relevant because remote viewing and dreams share a common base which is the unconscious.

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