Sat 26 Jun, 2010 03:26 pm
I thought I'd share this; It has no particular point or postulating question. It's about dreams, memories and their potential connection.
I've had a recurring dream on and off about a single scene - a somewhat scary one to be sure - that's come perhaps once a year, maybe twice, but always left me with a strange feeling. The scene is this: I'm young and sitting in the back of a traveling car. It's night time and the only light that comes in is from below - a pale light. Nothing happens, not really, but I feel dread and fear. And that's all there is to it; a one-scene dream.
Then the other day, while my wife and I were watching some documentary about transportation, I saw on the screen before me a car that was the spitting image of one my family had when I was a child. It was a starliner (massive fins and all) and BOOM, suddenly it all fell into place and the whole memory came flooding back. I was simultaneously disturbed (about having forgot it) and alarmed that such a thing should happen to a young boy of about six years.
When I was young, we were quite poor. We rarely wore shoes and when there was an occasion to ride in the car it was a real event. Upon one such outting I was unfortunate enough to stand up in the back seat; the instant I stood up the floor of the car (which was not moving at the time) gave out, shredding my foot with rotted, rusted metal. I sat a lot after that, slowly watching my foot heal, and I remember the discussions about going to a doctor we couldn't afford for Tetanus shots. At the time I had no idea what this was, but it felt like a punishment and I begged to not be tortured so; that I'd be good and never stand up in the car again.
Until such time as we got rid of that car (some years later I believe) I still sat in my place in the back seat, watching the asphalt rush by as the car moved and watching that monster just egging me on to step down. At night time it was positively terrifying.
I think that memory engrams are awakened in dream states; in a disassociated, disorganized fashion; long forgotten scenes and feelings feel new or completely foreign. Often times dreams - I think - are simply assemblages of disconnected fragments; so much so that they feel new.
I wish I could remember everything; index it neatly to be recalled like a well-structured database.
I'm glad that the last sentences of your post answered rationally the experience. Its good to know that disturbing dreams are, as you described, just randomized memories. Dreaming is an odd ability the brain has, sometimes preferable over reality; Such is a form of depression. If you haven't already, read about Lucid Dreaming. I believe its possible personally, and correct me if I'm wrong but apparently it has formed a new science(?)
The basic idea of lucid dreaming is a state of partial consciousness in a dream state. Normally one would wake up, but with practice this means control over dreams. Neurologists have certified it is possible and nothing paranormal.