ICSE Class 10 Sample Papers (with solutions/ model answers) @ Rs. 225/- per subject. To order, call: +91 8013130928

DREAMS: THE CREATERS OF THE REALITY


DREAMS: THE CREATERS OF THE REALITY

MedhashriMedhashri Mahanty,
Sent-up Batch(ICSE),
St. Agnes Convent,
Kharagpore, Paschim Medinipore.

“Once upon a time, in a far far away land, there lived a great prince who was both handsome and intelligent……”

Target ICSE Creative CornerThis sounds something like a lovely long fairy tale, which we all loved to hear during those winter evenings, sitting placidly by the fire place. These tales and folk lore which we all loved and still find pleasure to hear were simple imaginations, splendid and colourful that were transformed into such beautiful stories of princes and princesses, horses and elephants, and great warriors. Dreams, imaginations and inspirations are the three basic inputs that have led man to discover so many wonders, to build so many magnificent civilizations, to form history, to create new marvels.
Dream is that incident of life that has happened to every human being. Dreams, they are something that express our deepest desires of our heart, they form the imaginary screen onto which all our wishes get expressed. Dreams have given rise to uncountable ideas and unfathomable works. Although this virtual screen, the virtual world that all of us experience in our sleep has been a labyrinth and remains a maze to be explored. Science calls this phenomenon of dream to be a succession of images or scenes ,that arise in one’s mind involuntarily during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake.
If we get back to the pristine pages of History, we shall see that the first evidence of an interpretation of dreaming, dates back to 5000 to 4000 B.C , recorded in a clay tablet, in Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia, as we know was a hub of magic and enchantments, considered dreams to be omen; but the Greeks and Romans(these names always brings forth the picture of old cathedrals and ancient wars) considered dreams to be messages from various gods and demons, sample this( taken from the Papyrus Chester Beatty III and is held by the British Museum in London) “When a virgin dreamt of her beloved , her dream was considered as a direct message from Cupid ensuring her success in her love; if a man sees himself in a dream submerging in the river, it was considered good because this meant purification from evils.”
All of us are definitely aware of the mighty king , Gilgamesh of Sumeria, Mesopotamia . Now all that was written in those old clay tablets in the epic poem are said to be incidents taken from the dream seen by the king regarding his goddess mother Ninsun. Gilgamesh’s dreams were thought of as a prophecy, where he used to control the actions in the waking world. These philosophies recorded in the Gilgamesh epic gave a valuable source of information about ancient dream beliefs.

Now all that’s what History has deciphered. This “dreaming” phenomenon was many a times questioned and analyzed by science and here’s a glimpse of what the scientists found out about this amazing incident. “Oneirology” as the mighty scientists say deals with dreams and their interpretations using various complex processes. Though, there is no proper definition of “dreaming” or “dreams” in Biology, this researcher, named as Eugene Aserinsky identified and defined Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep while working in the surgery of his PhD adviser. He noticed that the sleepers’ eyes fluttered beneath their closed eyelids. Later he used a polygraph machine to record the sleepers’ brainwaves during the periods of this activity of their eyes.
Accumulated observation has shown that dreams are strongly associated with rapid eye movement sleep, during which an electroencephalogram (EEG) shows brain activity that, among sleep states, is almost like wakefulness. Participant-remembered dreams during NREM(Normal Rapid Eye Movement) sleep are normally more mundane in comparison. During a typical lifespan, a person spends a total of about six years dreaming (which is about two hours each night). Most dreams only last for 5 to 20 minutes. It is unknown where in the brain dreams originate, if there is a single origin for dreams or if multiple portions of the brain are involved, or what the purpose of dreaming is for the body or mind.
During REM sleep, the release of the neurotransmitters and nor epinephrine, serotonin and histamine are completely suppressed. As a result, motor neurons are not stimulated, a condition known as REM utopia. This prevents dreams from resulting in dangerous movements of the body.
Despite their power to bewilder, arouse, frighten or amuse, dreams can often be ignored in mainstream models of cognitive psychology. As methods of introspection were replaced with more self-consciously objective methods in the social sciences in 1930s and 1940s, dream studies dropped out of the scientific literature. Dreams were neither directly observable by an experimenter nor were subjects’ dream reports reliable, being prey to the familiar problems of distortion due to delayed recall, if they were recalled at all. According to Sigmund Freud, dreams are more often forgotten entirely, perhaps due to their prohibited character. Altogether, these problems seemed to put them beyond the realm of science.
The discovery that dreams take place primarily during a distinctive electrophysiological state of sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which can be identified by objective criteria, led to the rebirth of interest in this phenomenon. When REM sleep episodes were timed for their duration and subjects woken to make reports before major editing or forgetting could take place, it was determined that subjects accurately matched the length of time they judged the dream narrative to be ongoing to the length of REM sleep that preceded the awakening. There is no “time dilation” effect; a five-minute dream takes roughly five minutes of real time to play out. This close correlation of REM sleep and dream experience was the basis of the first series of reports describing the nature of dreaming: that it is a regular nightly, rather than occasional phenomenon, and a high-frequency activity within each sleep period occurring at predictable intervals of approximately every 60–90 minutes in all humans throughout the life span.
REM sleep episodes and the dreams that accompany them lengthen progressively across the night, with the first episode being shortest, of approximately 10–12 minutes duration, and the second and third episodes increasing to 15–20 minutes. Dreams at the end of the night may last as long as 15 minutes, although these may be experienced as several distinct stories due to momentary arousals interrupting sleep as the night ends. Dream reports can be reported from normal subjects on 50% of the occasion when an awakening is made prior to the end of the first REM period. This rate of retrieval is increased to about 99% when awakenings are made from the last REM period of the night. This increase in the ability to recall appears related to intensification across the night in the vividness of dream imagery, colours, and emotions.
Dreams also helped the practice of medicine, sending sick people to particular temples. Sick Greeks visited these temples to perform various religious rites, sleep, and hope to have a dream that assured a return to good health. They slept for many days, sometimes trying for weeks or months until they had the “right” dream. Antiphon wrote the first known Greek book on dreams in the 5th century BC. In that century, other cultures influenced Greeks to develop the belief that souls left the sleeping body.
Hippocrates (469-399 BC) had a simple dream theory: during the day, the soul receives images; during the night, it produces images. Greek philosopher, Aristotle (384-322 BC) believed dreams caused physiological activity. He thought dreams could analyze illness and predict diseases. In the Hellenistic times, the main interest in dreams centered on their ability to heal. Greeks of that period believed that dreams offered vital clues that could help healers diagnose the dreamer. Galen, a Greek physician born in 129 AD, said that people should carefully observe dreams for clues to healing. He was so convinced of dream messages that he performed operations on the basis of dream interpretations.

Now, all of us must have thought that why do we see things that can never happen in the real world, incidents that can never occur in this valid earth. All of us have two sets of personalities hidden inside us, namely, the sub-ego and the super-ego. All of us have some wishes, some desires, that can never be fulfilled, because either that is a fairy tale wish or something that can never be accepted to the society. The dreamer, although, has let all these utopian thoughts to come in his mind and then while he sleeps, the super- ego , which otherwise controls his whole being, remains in an intoxicated swoon( but not asleep) and so the desires in the mind of the dreamer are allowed to escape from the cerebrum into the virtual screen via the ID( the place that Freud considered, to store all the conscious, sub conscious and unconscious reflexes) and emerge as dream. The super-ego remains suppressed and hence it allows all the suppressed yet the unrealistic desires to form a continuous picture or rather an incident.
Although there’s something called “day dreaming” and even though we consider this to be an indolent time pass, there were some great personalities whose prowess proves that day dreaming can even be constructive. Napolean Bonaparte, and the gorgeous Macedonian prince, Alexander dreamt that they would triumph over the entire earth, and now History tells us their greatness. Albert Einstein, the mad genius and the discoverer of “E= mc2” always dreamt that he was sitting in a dark room when his conscience came and told him” Albert, lighten up this room, lighten up” and so he did, he enlightened the world, renovating the platform of science in a new way. “The father of the nation”, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had the intense desire that the so called “mighty” Britishers must be forced to depart from India, not by war or acts of aggression but by Satyagraha and it’s proved that today we are living in an independent country and as says Sanjay Singhania, the present C.E.O of British East India Company, “Last time I gave an interview in ‘Good morning London’, they asked me that what would Gandhi do, if he were alive and find an Indian as the C.E.O of British East India?”
That’s it! That’s exactly what dreams are, be it good or bad. Humans dream every half hour, but seldom remember most dreams. The brain is releasing every day’s stress and if a human didn’t dream he would go mad. Is the purpose of dreams to discard data, to sort it, or to solve it? Is it to satisfy our fantasies? No one knows, but a little of all three (and more) is likely to be the correct one. After a good night sleep, waking up fresh in the next morning, no one ever thinks of all these events related to dreaming, but never mind, all that we see in dream becomes an inspiration for the reality and all of us know the simple truth that for achieving what we dreamt, we must work hard, for even though we will not hit the moon but surely we will land in the stars. So, what else, but just Happy Dreaming!!

References:
Journal: The neurobiology of dreaming, by Alfred Adler(Fiebert,1997)
Books: Dement, William (1996). The Sleepwatchers. Springer-Verlag.
Aserinsky, E. Kleitman, N. (September 1953). “Regularly occurring periods of eye motility and concomitant phenomena, during sleep”. Science 118 (3062): 273–274.
Papyrus Chester Beatty III , is held by the British Museum in London.(This is a papyrus writing dating back to 3467 B.C)

Post to Twitter

Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

For further information, drop in an email at: support@targeticse.co.in
Associated Site: Target CBSE
| © 2010 Target ICSE