Saturday, July 01, 2006


Intresting/scary dream

Dreams typically occur during the REM (rapid eye movement) phase of sleep, which is not a considered a deep stage of our sleep. I thus interpret this stage of the sleep (and I may be technically wrong) where our "input, output devices" (the sense organs) are relatively active. This explains why it is easier to awaken people when they are in the REM stage. This also explains why several dreams interfere with the reality. For example, several times I have dreamed of chocolates and end up waking trying to open the 'wrapper'. I also remember some bed-wetting episodes I have experienced in my childhood where in my dream I'd actually be urinating (supposedly in a toilet). The last example is a clear case of the external impulse, the need to urinate, interfering with the dream's "screenplay".

A couple of weeks ago I had a similar episode. I was sleeping and was probably in the REM stage and was apparently dreaming. Apparently I had also felt a need to urinate. (when I was dreaming/sleeping). So I remember, (in my dream) I was going to a toilet and was planning to urinate. Just as I was starting, a person entered the toilet(I had forgotten to close the door. )
A person entering when one is about to pee, is a fairly common incident. But what generally happens next is the person leaving at once with a sorry or something, and then we are allowed to continue. But in my dream, the person just would not leave. Even after me literally howling at the person, the person would not budge. Have you ever experienced the need to stop when you have just started is one of the most uncomfortable experiences. Naturally due to the "discomfort", I was awoken and I had not urinated in the real world.

Now these are the interesting questions:
1. Will I have urinated in the real world, if the person left the toilet at once?
(or if the person did not appear in the first place) -- I think yes.
2. Was the incident of the person entering the toilet and refusing to leave a coincidence? -- No I dont think so.

Then who 'planned' the whole situation of the person entering? -- A tough question. I am not really sure...but I think it is what people call the 'subconcious'.

But the intresting thing is the fact that above work of the subconcious (i.e planning to prevent my peeing) is what people would consider "intelligent". So this shows that the subconcious is capable of "intelligent" activities. The scary part is the following: there is something within us which is (by the very definition) not under our control, but capable of "intelligent" activity.

Now, it was my firm belief (and is still is) that whatever "progress" one could achieve in life is only achieved via pure "reasoning" within us. But now, it is very easy to think of a situation in which the subconcious (whoever that is) could easily corrupt this reasoning within us, thereby stalling/reversing our "progress".

Probably I should start doing 'sandhya vandhanam' now :)

Thought-provoking as always!

Dreams has been a favourite topic among philosophers: the "jagrat swapna, susupti" concept... you may also have heard of Freud's theories on dreams.

Btw, a couple of days back I dreamt of a rocket, in a short time after launch, turning 180-degrees and falling on the ground head-first. The next morning, I hear of the missile failure, and the next day, of GSLV failure. :-) Just a co-incidence, most probably.
"...The next morning, I hear of the missile failure, and the next day, of GSLV failure. :-) Just a co-incidence, most probably."

--- really surprising!!

"Just a co-incidence, most probably."

I have absolutely no idea.
The topic of "coincidence" is indeed an intriguing one.
everything is presumed on your answer to q 2 being right, which cannot be proved. intuitively, you feel that way - mostly because you want to account for the person in a "logical" manner.
i agree with your REM definition, though.
my advice : poi thoongu.

I must admit you are an authority on REM for I have spent several nights conversing with you only to find minutes later that you were speaking in sleep!

As for someone entering while you were in the toilet, I'm sure that happens to you quite often :) I would suggest locking (or atleast closing) the door!

The scary subconcious man inside us taking us for a ride is funny alright! But I guess some bodily actions don't like being monitored. If you try to follow your breath as you inhale and exhale for a few cycles, its likely that you will struggle to breath normally for a while.

Even curiously, when someone is watching us intently, we somehow realize that and look back at them. ok I found this while bird watching :)

Yes you are right, nothing can be proved; I am not claiming to prove anything. (in this context)

Yes I am indeed trying to explain to myself the incident in a "logical" manner;
I am not saying I am entirely sure that the pupose of the person was so and so. I am saying, there is a high chance that the pupose of the person was so and so.
And according to my evaluation of the chance, the chance was high enough to become a belief.

Infact according to me, it is reasonable (meaning provable) for the world to run on beliefs rather than proofs.

Proof: Set A: Set of true things.
Set B: Set of proved things.
Certainly B is a proper subset of A.
(I just need to give one counter example.-
It is not known whether P=NP)

So if there is a fact A, which cannot be proved; (and can not be disproved) it is entirely based on our "intuition" to evaluate its veracity and form a suitable "belief". A negative connotation is this is superstition...right? I guess it is called a superstition, when the beliefs are static in our mind, they should be dynamic and we need to re-evaluate every fact based on new observations.
Dei Balaji,

I dont remember putting the "Apiring journalists welcome to comment here" note --anyway.

"...only to find minutes later that you were speaking in sleep!"

Shall we form the Balaji Ganesan Test (named after the first human to pass the test) of human stupidity --like the Alan Turing test of Machine Intelligence.

it proceeds as follows: a human judge engages in a natural language conversation with two other parties, one a human who is awake and the other a human who is asleep; if the judge cannot reliably tell which is which, then the judge is said to pass the test.
This test is a sufficient (but not necessary) condition for the human to rank in the top 1 percentile of stupid humans.
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