Do dreams really exist?

I’ve come across a article by Campbell Purton where he argues that dreams are not taking place a mind of a sleeping human, but are somehow created at the moment of awakening. Despite having had an isolated LD experience himself he further argues, that lucid dreams are either not dreams but some kind of hallucination or dreams, but not conscious.

And I thought that nature of dreams and lucid dreaming in particular was firmly established by past decades of research…

The article is here:

He can argue all he wants but it’s really only a matter of “how it works” not “if it exists” Anyone can prove to oneself that dreams do exist, because we experience them. If the experience is only a delusion than THAT is what a dream is.

OK, I was bit misleading in my post’s title and in the text itself. It should have been stated as “he argues that we do not experience dreams during sleep” not that they don’t exist (that would be hard to dispute indeed).


We-ell. Semi-communication in dreams kind of disproves of that. I would pay him no mind. It’s tempting to say this as well since it shifts the problem away from the embarrasing fact that no-one knows what dreams are.

He is an idiot.
Messages have been sent from lucid dreamers by moving their eyes while asleep, back and forth.

It’s an interesting theory, but there’s just too much evidence against it. Using an EEG machine, we can see exactly when people are dreaming (by monitoring brain activity and watching for signs that the person is “thinking” at the same level as they would when awake), and we can even tell precisely when they experience moments of heightened emotions or excitement within the dream. Also, it’s not called REM sleep for no reason. Your eyes are actually moving around as you examine things in the dream, because they’re the one part of you that isn’t paralyzed during that stage of sleep.

In addition to that, sounds from the external world can make their way into a dream, and the dreamer can accurately report on them after the event. For example, I’ve had dreams that incorporate sounds from a TV show or movie that I left on when I dozed off, and upon waking up, I could tell what part of my dream must have been inspired by those sounds. I’d say it’s pretty clear from these examples that dreams play out in real-time while you sleep, and aren’t simply created in an instant upon waking up.

Well there are a few debates.

I mean, one phsycologist can say
“dreams are just rapid thoughts and signals of electricity being fired rapidly while your sleeping”

Then theres Frued saying no there are symbols.

theres are so many opinions. who knows?

Well, I thought about what you said, NoctisLabyrinthus, and I then I realized that it doesn’t really matters when we dream - what really matters it how you remember your dreams in the morning. Even if dreaming isn’t real, when you wake up you can remember you dream, and that’s what really matters…

Agree with most here, this sounds as crap, as atheist said, why does the eyes move and etc then ? :smile:

One thing that used to bother me when going to sleep was this :

“What if i go to this GREAT place when i sleep, but forget in the morning?”

That question ate quite some hours of my sleep :grin:

No, dreams don’t exist, they’re all figments of your imagination.

Uh… does it matter if they’re created upon awakening or not? You still remember them all the same.

Dreams exist AS figments of our imaginations. They ARE real, existing figments of our imagination that do exist, in out minds. They are as much a part of reality as any other experience, they are just not physical.

I have just skimmed through the content of the lecture, and there are some interesting points made (even though I personally disagree with a lot of them :tongue: ).

The part that really caught my attention was what the speaker had to say about lucid dreaming:

This sums up the apparent contridiction of having conscious thought when unconscious - something that people have been arguing should not be possible. I don’t think it can be explained away simply, but just shows how little we know about the complexities of the mind.

I don’t totally disagree with the earlier part of the lecture where the speaker talks about ‘making dreams up when we awake’ and think perhaps there is some element of truth in what he says. I do think that we dream through the night as our brain sorts through thought processes and experiences that have happened in the day, but I also think that as we recall dreams, details are added to make sense and help us to interpret and analyse dreams with the waking mind. Really facinating stuff…

Dreams and your imagination are different things.

It has been PROVEN that dreaming about something is more like doing it then imagining doing it.

He doesn’t HAVE an argument against lucid dreaming. He only argues that if one has consciousness one musy have awakened wich contradicts the EEGs from lucid dreamers that show that they were in fact asleep. His second version, that the lucidity is false, is a better argument, but based solely on doubt. I think that Laberge made a much better point saying that if one was unconscious when dreaming, remembering would be impossible. I guess that’s why this guy wants dreams to occur after awakening so it makes sense to remember dreams. Why can’t he just observe the world and not try to explain the world first?