Why We Dream: The Expectation Fulfilment Theory of Dreaming life paint companyApril 27, 2020 Off By Montero Theo
Recently I discovered a new website called Why We Dream, which explains a new theory of dreaming known as The Expectation Fulfilment Theory of Dreaming.
This theory has been put together by psychologist Joe Griffin, co-author of the book Dreaming Reality, as well as the Director of Studies at MindsField college, and a big player in the field of psychotherapy in general, evidently.
I encourage you to take some time to read the entire theory as put forth on their website. I found it fascinating, well thought-out, and thought-provoking. I also appreciate that the theory specifically addresses lucid dreaming as a real phenomenon.
So What is the Expectatation Fulfilment Theory of Dreaming?
The website states 3 premises that summarize the theory:
- “Dreams are metaphorical translations of waking expectations”.
- “But only expectations that cause emotional arousals that are not acted upon during the day become dreams during sleep.”
- “Dreaming deactivates that emotional arousal by completing the expectation pattern metaphorically, freeing the brain to respond afresh to each new day.”
Below are the most interesting points I see in regards to this theory of dreaming.
Read up on the Why We Dream website and join in with what you think!
On Dream Interpretation and The Meaning of Dreams
“The key to identifying what the dream was about is its emotion.”
I think this is the most meaningful advice ever in regards to dream interpretation.
On Lucid Dreaming
“Theories of dreaming that do not allow for occasional lucidity are, necessarily, incorrect or incomplete, because lucid dreaming is an acknowledged phenomenon. Our view of the REM state and the function of dreaming does not exclude lucidity in dreams.”
“However, lucid dreaming is a fairly volatile and rare phenomenon, even for those who have experienced it, and so such hopes have not been realised.”
“Lucid dreaming occurs in the REM state like any other phenomenon involving memory, metaphor and imagination. The same effects can be achieved through hypnosis, a focussed state of attention that artificially accesses the REM state. Knowledge of how to do this has been around for perhaps 40,000 thousand years.””
Ah! Finally – a theory that actually addresses lucid dreaming without dismissing it!
But wait! Doesn’t that last bit almost sound like a dig at lucid dreaming?” i.e. “The same effects can be achieved through hypnosis…”Huh?
On FLYING in Lucid Dreaming
This one caught me off guard!
The author implies that flying in a lucid dream is common because we are touching upon an ancient, pre-mammalian template in our brains for…swimming!
“They describe their limbs as pulling or propelling them through the air, as though swimming. It’s as if an ancient premammalian template for swimming, left over from a time when our far distant ancestors lived in the oceans, is still able to be co-opted by the brain for a metaphor.”
On the Similarities Between Dreaming and Hypnosis
They state 3 similarities between the two states:
Amnesia – Time Distortion – Trance Logic
I love this last term, trance logic.
It aptly describes how when dreaming and when hypnotized, people accept whatever is going on. It’s as if there’s no backdrop of what’s normal to compare the experiences against, and thus everything is accepted as it is, without question, no matter how absurd.
Side note : Based on these three points, this list can also be expanded as similarities between dreaming, hypnosis, and tripping.
On The Relationship Between Dreams and Depression
This theory states that excessive dream sleep and “reduced slow-wave sleep” causes depression. Check out their video about dreaming and depression.
On Dreams Being Actually Not All That Bizarre
This one surprised me too. The author claims that dreams are actually overwhelmingly NOT bizarre; most dreams are dreams of our routine experiences. We simply tend to remember the incredibly strange dreams, and forget the rest.
Unless it’s just true that I forget most of my dreams because they’re boring, this one just doesn’t vibe with what’s in my dream journal, so I have am skeptical about this one.
On Dreaming and…(not) Going Insane?
One point that is actually pretty funny is that Joe Griffin claims that dreaming keeps us from going insane. By derousing the autonomic nervous system every night, our stress levels don’t overwhelm us to the point of insanity. Whew – That’s a relief.
Questions I have about this theory
If this theory is right, it would be possible to create a scenario to cause an unfulfilled emotion that would then, by default, be fulfilled within that night’s dreams.
So couldn’t we purposely create unfulfilled emotions to cause a certain metaphor in the dream? To in effect, pre-emptively control our dreams?
But then how can you create an emotion and not fulfill it, for certain, before going to bed?
And then how can you actively measure if an emotion is even fulfilled?
Questions I would like to ask Joe Griffin in an interview
1) Is there a relationship between the mechanism behind dreams and the mechanism behind individual psychedelic experiences? Could the content of the “trip” be determined in the same way our dreams are i.e. from the days un-fulfilled emotional arousals to the nervous system?
2) Is there a connection between having many dreams each night and then waking up with headaches? Could I actually be causing my headaches by intensifying or prolonging the REM state with my intention to have, remember, and control my dreams?
3) Can you explain what you mean when you equate the effects of lucid dreaming and hypnosis? Are you saying that the experience achieved through lucid dreaming can be achieved through hypnosis?
What do you think about this theory of dreaming?
Using AudioStrobe Music With My Sound and Light Machine life paint company
I got my Sirius Sound and Light Machine for Christmas about 6 months ago. I’ve found some very pleasurable uses for it but now I love it even more as I’ve discovered just how freakin’ awesome AUDIOSTROBE technology is in combination with the Mind Machine!
What is Audiostrobe Technology? Well, simply put, an Audiostrobe CD is specially encoded to synchronize the LED lights with the music.
Imaging putting on your headphones and glasses, closing your eyes, focusing your breath, and finding yourself utterly relaxed listening to beautiful, trippy music with an amazing lightshow, all moving in sync together. It’s like the whole Mind Machine
concept taken up to a new level!
Now that I’ve discovered this technology, a Sound and Light machine WITHOUT Audiostrobe capabalities seems to be missing something really important.
Right now all I’ve got is an Audiostrobe sample CD with 4 songs on it; once I get some cash, I’ll be buying either 1 cd or a boxed set.
Have you had any experiences with AudioStrobe music and your Mind Machine?
The Search for Meaning life paint company
Ever since I started Dreaming Life, I was hesitant to share it with my family and friends.
It’s not like I’m writing about the latest mp3 players or posting gag videos.
I’m writing about Salvia Divinorum, DMT, DXM, Ayahausca, and Calea Z. I’m interviewing people on entheogens and asking people about their shamanic experiences in the jungles of Peru. I’m writing about going to sleep and waking up in your dreams. I’m asking people about the 10th Dimension and giving out tips on how to fly in your dreams.
This is not the stuff of dinner conversation!
And these subjects are rarely discussed with my friends and family because frankly, they’re not interested in it like I am.
But I do hope that the “drug theme” to this website isn’t seen as juvenile indulgence.
Ever since I was in middle school, I can remember being fascinated with drugs. I read all the cheesy propaganda books on LSD and marijuana available at the schools library.
Later, as a teenager, despite actually being big into straight edge, I was openly fascinated with hallucinogens and dissociatives and what their effects meant, what it taught us about the brain and our minds, how we process and understand reality, and maybe, just maybe, what these experience could teach us about things beyond our everyday experiences – the stuff along the lines of ego dissolution and feeling one with everything.
It is in this sense that I am intensely interested in drugs. It’s not about a buzz or getting “fucked up.” Far from it. Truth me told, I loathe that kind of attitude towards drugs.
To paraphrase Dan Carpenter:
despite my appearances to some, this pursuit is an inherently spiritual pursuit.
This doesn’t necessarily mean God or religion, although it could include those things.
What I mean is that my interest in drugs, dreaming, and the mind is a spiritual pursuit in that it’s ultimately about the search for meaning.