A reality of dreams

The NeuroEnhancing Effect of Illusion.

In the best of circumstances, many of us struggle to get to the core of reality, of what is actual and what is just illusion. Imagine living an existence where that boundary were even more blurred, where the construct of a dream would permeate your day so clearly that you would go so far as to make funeral arrangements for a loved one who “died” in your sleep.

Though narcolepsy is a disease, an abnormality of the immune system gone rogue, maybe we could learn something from this condition, something about the way we struggle to define reality. Do you trust yourself to call something real? How secure are you in declaring the tangible, the solid, to represent what is true?

Physicist Martin Savage makes the argument that we may actually be simulated beings, created by a designer that enjoys enormously sophisticated power to manufacture a very realistic environment, a sort of Matrix. If this were the case, could the Simulation Model give us insight into “diseases” such as narcolepsy? Or schizophrenia? Or those eerie moments, the times when strange synchronicity seems to create events too coincidental to be accidental?

So contemplate self-healing from that perspective, just for a moment. Imagine the placebo effect, which turns out to be very powerful indeed, as a sort of subroutine, a reboot or system rebalancing program. If we are simulated beings running on a super-sophisticated computer, wouldn’t it make sense for the code designer to include a routine to debug and defrag? And could conditions like narcolepsy represent an errant process, a bug, that simply demands a reboot, or some debugging to improve the system?

Chew on that a bit. Drop that one in for some contemplation then tell me: Which of your systems needs the most debugging? Your patience? Your endurance? Your level of compassion and empathy? Or how about your sense of direction? And if you could run a reboot, how would your life be different with the “new you” running better than ever?

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Mind Hacks

The journal Sleep has an interesting study on how people with narcolepsy can experience sometimes striking confusions between what they’ve dreamed and what’s actually happened.

Narcolepsy is a disorder of the immune system where it inappropriately attacks parts of the brain involved in sleep regulation.

The result is that affected people are not able to properly regulate sleep cycles meaning they can fall asleep unexpectedly, sometimes multiple times, during the day.

One effect of this is that the boundary between dreaming and everyday life can become a little bit blurred and a new study by sleep psychologist Erin Wamsley aimed to see how often this occurs and what happens when it does.

Some of the reports of are quite spectacular:

One man, after dreaming that a young girl had drowned in a nearby lake, asked his wife to turn on the local news in full expectation that the event would…

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