Can you do it? I can’t. I get a vague idea of an orange, no detail. Nothing vivid and engaging.
Yet dreams can be technicolor.
Yesterday I read some interesting articles, and they nuzzled and fuzzled around in my brain as I lay in the back seat on our 8 hour cruise back home. One factoid: people who have their corpus collosum bundle of fibres that connects the brain hemispheres cut still manage to experience a reasonably unitary sense of self. The brains re-route signals to each half through other means. For instance, if you put a pencil into the left pocket of a split-head, the left side of the brain that is responsible for speech won’t have access to the sense perceptions, as the left brain only feels the right side of the body. The person won’t be able to say what is in the pocket, even though the left hand can feel it. So the right-brain does a sneak trick to communicate with the speech center in the left – it gives it a clue. It pokes the hand with the tip of the pencil. Pain moves on a different circuit as does tactile sensations, and so the left brain realizes that something pointy is in the pocket poking the finger. A pencil? Apparently our brain is full of modules that have to sneak around to talk to each other.
Other articles that primed the Neuro-Linguistic-Programming background context for my caffeine excited explorations were from visionary artist Alex Grey, lucid dream researcher Stephen La Berge, LSD discoverer Albert Hoffman, and philospher Alan Watts.
As my dreams are vivid, my brain must have a part that is adept at visualizing. I can’t consciously communicate with it directly, the ways I’ve been trying. How can I sneak communication with my imagery generator?
I learned first to notice existing colors. The pixels in the eye, the rods and cones, look backwards on themselves as well as outside, so you can notice any color flashing in them. Pattern recognitions is about priming yourself to notice. So I thought blue, and waited to notice. There – a blue spot. It remained stable, then grew to an oval. How about a red outline? I waited and watched, and lo! A pulsating, changing outline. I tried various colors – each had an immediacy of emotional depth. Blue is a different feeling than red. And the greens! So alive, and fresh, the colors. Then I noticed that images can arise not just from noticing patterns in the eyes, but from imagination also. Then the images would at times be incredibly detailed, and quickly changing. What a surprise, the incredible accuracy and vividness and creativity of this part of mind – this structure generator! I saw many detailed geometric images, vivid scenes, morphing or flashing for brief moments and changing to a fresh scene, easing out of nothing, remaining stable, morphing, all as I gently probed bedazzled.
I wondered if I could see in more than 3 dimensions. Then I noticed I see and hear at the same time – hearing adds a dimension. Unrelated and not yet formed images would also superimpose, varying in depth and intensity.
Then I noticed that what is not vivid needs to be re-amplified before it will arise into awareness. The vague parts are there, barely conscious. To make them vivid requires a playful interaction with the image generator.
I played with movement – how about putting a can of Hobo Soup into the spinning rim of bicycle tire? No problem, the rim can conveniently make space, like water disappearing behind a rock.
The image generator likes to tell jokes. It likes to tell stories. It is very funny, and deeply moving, and profoundly and incredibly creative. And lightning fast.
It must be very integrated with the emotive parts of the brain, as the colors and architectures it shows can be so moving. It has access to old memories. I don’t think it’s closely linked up to the speech centers. It can obviously do some wicked geometrical calculations and modelling. Einstein’s dissected brain was discovered to have an unusually huge visualization processing area, so maths are likely closely integrated to it. It’s amazing with visual-metaphor, and is wildly creative; showing pictures that contain over a thousand words of meaning. My dreams often include music, so I imagine it must link up handily to music appreciation (which is both mathematical and emotional).
I’m going to enjoy learning to let this part of me have greater access to consciousness, and learn to talk with it more closely.
One key lesson is to listen and be in dialogue with the pattern generator – don’t force it to show something, but make a suggestion and see what it comes up with, and re-inforce what you want to keep and grow on by highlighting it with your pattern recognition.