We usually say that when we dream, we get “data” of our surroundings from our mind istead of senses. It’s a simplification that allows us not to think about nature of the process, as we think that we understand it. I think that the difference between RL and dreaming is not that simple.
Memory and mental code
We keep a big part of our life in memory. It’s very much data. Take the sight for example. How much would take on your hard disk a 24-hour high resolution movie? Our brain has big capacity, but it can’t afford storing “raw data”, like computer with camera would do. Istead of that, it “encodes” the input into things like shape, color and such. I will call the format in which we store our memories a MENTAL CODE. It consist not on raw data (like movies), but on ideas, so it’s a thought description of what we have seen. And we usually store just ASSOCIATIONS to other ideas. For example, we see something that our brain recognizes as “a red car”. So we actually store associations: 1. to our idea of red color, 2. to our idea of a car. (Of course if we remember that car better, and we usually do, the description will be MUCH more deatailed).
The same applies to other senses. For example when we hear something, we don’t store it on some sort of tape in the brain. If we hear words, we store words, not every sound wave we hear (as we would write them in letters). If we hear melody, we remember the tones (as we would write them using notes). There of course can go additional information, like pitch of the voice and such.
To conclude: we get info from our senses and encode it into the MENTAL CODE, which is based on what we already know.
Difference between dreams and RL
That’s the main part of my theory. As I said, our process in perception is:
- We see/hear/etc. something.
- Our mind encodes it into a mental code.
- Conscious mind receives the decoded info. If we want to watch something closely, we ask for more info and get more details of what we want.
I think that dreams are genereted in a mental code already (we skip step 2, and of course step 1). Of course if we want to watch something closely, we get more details.
We CAN’T see difference between dreams and RL, because we operate on mental code already.
- If we have LD, we can observe the dreamworld and nearly always it seems amazingly detailed. According to my theory, it’s just because our brain generates more detailed mental code when needed.
- In dreams, we see things we would never draw, but our mind generates them all the time. It’s because our mind actually doesn’t create visual data, but “visual mental code” data. If we tried to draw what we remember, it would be DECODING of mental code, which is usually harder (sometimes it’s even hard to explain in words what we think).
- Doing the impossible: Take the 4D vision for example. Atheist said in “what do you want us to do” thread that we can’t perceive 4d images because we simply don’t have “hardware” for it. However, it can be put in mental code - not “visual mental code” that we use to describe what we see, but just code without any boundaries - “if you can think it, you can do it”. That’s why everything is possible in a dream.
I hope I’m not repeating someone other’s post, and I hope someone will understand what I’m trying to say there…
What are your opinions/additions/reservations to my mental code theory?