TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What is imagination and dream? Are they the same?

Here relation between imagination and dreaming is sought. The case might be they are not related at all.

Share:
  • May 22 2014: I would have to say they are fairly closely related. It seems that the process that gives rise to both of them is one and the same.

    Our imaginations break away from the information being recieved from our sense organs and construct something like a holographic program that we can immerse ourselves in, exploring possibilities (and impossibilities).

    I have heard of dreaming as being a process of our brains "digesting and absorbing" the experiences we have had. Somehow the process of dreaming seems to help our subconscious minds to understand these experiences and come up with models of potential future situations and our reactions to them.

    Both involve a process of constructing a virtual reality that we can explore, though sometimes only passively. Both are free from the constrictions of the laws of physics, causality, and logic. They both seem to me to be a way to explore potential "realities" or experiences, though the freedom of both our imaginations and our dreams means that as often as not, they are not probable "realities" or experiences.
  • thumb
    May 22 2014: Like Robert said, imagination is a conscious thing, and dreaming is not a conscious thing. The two are not related. You imagination requires your consent, as you purposely imagine things and situations, typically that please you. Dreams do not require your consent, and you can't consciously control the influx of dreams in your mind while you are sleeping.

    Now, if you take the less literal definitions of the words, and instead refer to the definitions used when saying things like, "I dream of a day..." or "I imagine a day..." then the distinction is less apparent, but still simple. In this scenario, a "dream" literally becomes a wish or a longing. The imagining, however, isn't necessarily a wish. It's simply something that you visualize. It could either be bad or good.
    "I dream of peace"
    "I dream of war"
    One is pleasant and one isn't, but both imply that the speaker desires it.
    "I imagine peace"
    "I imagine war"
    Again, one is pleasant and one is not, but neither implies any kind of true opinion on it.
  • May 13 2014: Imagination is conscious, dreaming is not conscious.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagination