Don’t worry–I’m not going to tell you my dreams. I’m just speculating…wondering what they are all about. Do they serve any purpose? Well, I have a theory about that. Sort of. It isn’t as well-developed as most of my theories, but the basic idea is there. Here’s what I think:
It’s a tidying-up process. Did you ever sit in front of your computer screen, mesmerised, watching the little boxes being shuffled around like a complicated game of Solitaire as your hard drive was being de-fragmented? Well, I reckon that’s what is happening in our brains when we dream. The weird jumble of Time and Place, the unlikely combinations of People—and the bizarre organisation of Events–is just too much to be mere imagination. All of these ingredients which make up the huge stew of our collected conscious and unconscious experience are constantly being rearranged. Some of the stuff just sits in our memory bank where we can access it when we want. But some of it gets randomly recycled into dreams. Otherwise, imagine how cluttered our brains would be! Yep. I reckon dreams are de-fragging — or de-cluttering our brains. And thank heavens for that!
There are a number of other still-unanswered questions about dreams, such as: Why do we recall some dreams and not others? Why do some people dream in colour and others in black and white? Why are some dreams scary? Hard to say, really. I haven’t worked all of them out yet, but you can be sure I’m working on it.
In the meantime, if you can find a better explanation of why we dream, I hope you’ll share it with us. MM
P.S. My favorite ‘dream quote’ is from Calvin, Of Calvin and Hobbes. “I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can play together all night.”