Decoding Dreams #2a Dream Problems

What triggers our dreams? Why do we see characters and places which we haven’t even seen in real? These are some questions which Freud has tried to answer here. Freud, with an elaborate critique of related past works,  identifies four broad dream triggers :

External Stimuli: A sudden drop in room temperature can trigger a dream and so can pressure on any body part. Ever found yourself stuck in a stinky dream, well it’s the change in smell in the surroundings. An interesting example here is of a common dream where an individual feels that she is falling down from a height. Ever wondered why that happens?  Well, while you were sleeping and shifting around , your long legs began to hang out in the air! That’s it!

Internal Stimuli: Once an individual sleeps the brain starts to focus on the organs. Yeah, no vision, not so much noise either, so the brain focuses on organs. Any existing or imminent problem in the organs can trigger a dream. Freud suggests that a heart attack can be prempted through dreams. An individual with a faulty heart will have dreams where she is burning. Sounds weird right! Can’t really challenge him though. So chill!

Pre-sleep Thoughts: This one’s quite logical. It says what one thinks of just before going to sleep triggers the Dream and also becomes a part of the Dream.

Psychic Influence: Now this one’s funny because he himself writes that whatever can’t be explained by above three falls under this. To be frank I myself couldn’t understand this part as much.

Ah, so now that we know what triggers the dreams, the next question is why we see all weird stuff in dreams, people we haven’t ever met or cuisine we haven’t ever heard of?  Freud says that all images that one sees in a dream is what one has already seen while he was awake. These images are there in one’s subconscious all the time, just that they pop out only even one sleeps. So, dreams are not entirely vague, they are in fact quite real. Just that we don’t know it!

Yup,  that’s it!  In the next blog I’ll try to cover why one forgets what one dreams about?  And yeah much more  🙂

Share your views and experiences in the comments. See you!


Decoding Dreams #1 Introduction

aid2099-728px-Interpret-Your-Dreams-Step-1Thanks to a friend I could lay my hands on “Interpreting Dreams” by Sigmund Frued. I’ve already started reading this book and I have to admit its not an easy read. In fact the translator J.A. Underwood himself admits, with examples, that its extremely difficult to reproduce Freud’s work in English (from German).

The introduction to the book, written by John Forrester, mentions that the book was written over a long span of time over which Freud established and contradicted his own theory. In addition, a lot of dreams (examples) mentioned in the book are Freuds own dreams, hence, there may be a figment of bias here and there.

Well, all being said, I’ll try to write a series of blogs to summarize this beautiful gem on understanding dreams, their origin and hopefully their meaning. And while I’m at it, I request the readers to share their thoughts too.

EAT PRAY LOVE – A Decent Read

-A book written by Elizabeth Gilbert

I was at the Mumbai International airport, waiting for my flight to Bengaluru;which got delayed by 4 hours due to Mumbai’s relentless rains, when I happened to pick this book. In fact, I had wanted to buy this book since quite some time by then. The cover page of the book says, ‘ one woman’s search for everything ‘, for a moment I wondered why in the world would I want to read it, but the truth is that the cover page of this book attracted me- The book is now a Julia Roberts starrer motion picture- with Julia Roberts enjoying her Gelato-spoon snugly placed in between her smiling pursed lips and a glitter in her eyes full of exuberance- in the upper half and Richard Jenkins dancing with Julia Roberts in the lower half.

Ok I shall stop blabbering now…

It’s a very girly book; should not have been so liberal with the explicit textual-declaration at the cover page and given in to eye pleasing visuals, but it’s not all that bad even from a guy’s point of view. It starts off with the protagonist-which is the writer herself, whimpering in bathroom of her appartment. She’s maried-a love marriage, but she’s not happy with whatever is happening in her life including her marriage. So the whole story revolves around her quest to lead a happy life by exposing herself to practices she never followed. She tries to establish inner peace by consolidating mind-heart relationship through Yoga and Meditation. She travels to Roam, eats like a glutton there, then to India, prays/Meditates like a psychic yogi, and in the end to Bali, where she hopelessly falls in love with a Brazilian guy. What’s great about this book is the way she describes each feeling, where she makes even the flipside equally tangible. And then the beauty with which she elaborates on every aspect of Italian food-Pizza at Naples and Pasta in Roam- is sure going to make your taste buds go all wild and leave your stomach feel hungrier than ever. I personally felt a deep craving for Italian food when I read through this section of the book, in fact one of my friend who is a big-time foodie herself has read ‘only’ that particular section 7 times.
One thing which I could relate to in this book is the praying part, how difficult it is to slay one’s mind to not to think anything else-it’s a humungous task beacause mind keeps on hovering from one thought to another interminably, while praying. In all, it’s a good read for women, men can give it a skip for obvious reasons. 🙂

Veronika decides to be a pain in my ass..!

Veronika is mad, Coelho a lunatic to write about her, and I am a fool to keep on reading his insanity-infused book. Maybe I don’t have a taste for reading such novels, gloomy, somewhat dark, irritating because it keeps on talking about same stuff time and again. A few amongst them being astonishingly surreal, like temptation of the a young girl to masturbate in front of a schizophrenic guy. Doesn’t sound unusual, right. I know, but when you read it in backdrop of intricately woven details conveyed by the author; which were not so convincing, the whole idea seems just stupid. It kills the drive to read further..

However, in my opinion, the way in which Coelho has described a depressed person’s tendencies, symptoms and feelings, is commendable. For a person like me, it was like getting close to a once unexplored ambit. It did manage to give me a decent shock..!

Veronika Decides to Die

Adapted as a movie..

This happens to be the new book I’ve started reading. The story’s written by Paulo Coelho. I’ve had the opportunity to read a good number of books by him; including Eleven Minutes, The Alchemist, The Winner stands Alone. Winner Stands Alone unfolds at snail’s pace which makes it a good deal boring. It took me close to 3 months to get done with this textual harrasment-the least I can say. But it did manage to invoke a positive vibe about the author. Most of you who have read Paulo’s novels would know his way of introducing nuggets of wisdom here and there. This motivated me to pick his other novel, Eleven Minutes, which is a unmistakably eloquently written. You would like it instinctively; without knowing what made you like it in the first place.

Guess, I should catch up with what this blog was actually about ie. Veronika Decides to Die. In my opinion Paulo has this strange habit of introducing characters of his own novels in his new works. I was slightly annoyed when he made reference of the protagonist of ‘The Alchemist’ in Eleven Minutes. Now when I start reading Veronika I discover that he keeps mentioning himself in the first few chapters. Like..

Paulo Coelho came across the story of Veronika…”

Self conceited beyond repair, I think it was. Then slowly, as I pushed myself to read further; which I admit was difficult, with all Paulo-ness pouring in, it became easy to read. I think it’s going to be a descent read. I shall update in some time.

End of the Geisha Saga

‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, the novel I was reading since last two whole weeks has finally come to it’s end. It’s about a Geisha who was sold to an Okiya-by her father-at a very young age. Read through my previous posts for detailed description or simply google. Well, it’s a very gripping novel, so well written that it is. The beauty with which the whole story unfurls in the end is amply satisfying and equally thrilling. I would admit that abruptness towards the very end was slightly disappointing but all-in-all it’s marvelous piece of work by Golden-the author.
Next thing on my mind, definitely, is to watch the Geisha movie.