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Varieties of Oneiric Experience

...is what tomsdisch labelled these investigations, and he held that hearing (in this case reading) others' dreams is as amusing as hearing any story can be, which I agree with completely, whether creepy and unheimlich or goofy and dadaist.  There's just no doubt that it all means something, and something important, but what or why can't be said, just as with stories themselves.  Teaching a lesson (or learning one) just won't do.

Anyway, after carefully grooming the data I seem to arrive at no conclusion -- most people don;t have those kinds of dreams and of the few who do there seem to be as many women as men -- so forget it.

It does suggest though the need for a real taxonomy of dreams:  not an analytic mode or method, we are far from that pace Freud and others, but a simple taxonomy, like the meme structure of folktales.  SO you can wake up and say oh one of those.  We do that anyway of course, but this would be science, like.

The Forgotten Errand.
The Big Nice House  (this one is cognate to the New Apartment, which in my dreams is always a wonderful refuge, sometimes with free meals or similar).
The Big Nice Elaborately Produced City.
The Big Guy who makes me Guilty/Nervous/Anxious
The Rock Band that Needs my Help (this can't, at least in this form, be a permanent fixture of mentality, though it might have earlier cognates. e.g.  The Shaman who Neeeds me to Beat the Drum.  In my case it was auditioning to replace the bassist in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, a band I never even listened to much.)
Meeting Dead People who Act Alive
Being Dead but Still Alive
Meeting Famous Dead People who Act Alive

... well I seem to be drifitng into inconsequence, like the Chinese Encyclopedia. 


Comments

jackfirecat
Jan. 23rd, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
The in-dreams-familiar house is the most common. The dream house wins! Yay for Jung who would have appreciated that.

Proper is-it-significant stats may have to wait a while as although once zoologist I never mastered the stats bit, and I'm away for the next few days. Also, as has been pointed out, several key dream locations/scenarios were missed out (due partly to a ticky boxes limit).

Maybe a first stab at codification would be to separate out serial dreams (in which you remember the particular location/scenario and its history from previous dreams) from recurring themes (such as being chased or flying).

It's a work in progress.

The Forgotten Errand: 6
The Big Nice Elaborately Produced City: 9
The Big Guy who makes me Guilty/Nervous/Anxious: 4
The Rock Band That Needs My Help: 1 - just me then
Meeting Dead People who Act Alive : 8
Being Dead but Still Alive: 5 (whoa! really?)
Flying: 12 (high five, fellow flyers!)
Being Invisible: 2 (it's rare but it does occur. So what do you do with your invisibleness is the obvious question.)
Back at School: 13 (no surprise)
Falling from a High Place: 4 (so few?)
The Dream House: 19
Being Killed: 5 (ooh, interesting - I did think that was just me)
Breathing Underwater: 4 (I threw it in because I'd heard rumour that other people could do it, and apparently so)
The Big Party with pretty much everyone else there: 7 (great! I didn't know that was common)
Ticky Boxes: 4 (you people are strange and possibly should LJ less)


lizjonesbooks
Jan. 23rd, 2007 10:49 pm (UTC)
Awesome!
You know, it might be interesting to set up some kind of site(would a community work?) where you could do a longer list and some more specific features like frequency and etc. I think it shouldn't be too hard to do-- people write those blogthings all the time. (*I* don't, so I have no clue how that would work.) The goal would be to get a large number of people to send results over a long period of time. You could also have people suggest dream topics of their own, which might dip into an even deeper pool of concepts.
After all, the Grimm Brothers went out and asked people to tell them stories, rather than listing off all the ones *they* knew of.

Any thoughts?
Anyone out there know how to do this sort of thing?
jackfirecat
Jan. 23rd, 2007 11:17 pm (UTC)
I think a community is an excellent idea. You'll have to excuse a pause of a few days if i'm to set it up, but if someone sets it up in my absence I will be a contributor.

lizjonesbooks
Jan. 23rd, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
I'll be happy to set it up, but I'll confess that I know nothing about designing polls or quizzes.
How's this:
I'll set up a community(I'll post here with the name)
and for a little while, the recommendation will be for people to contribute the themes of their recurring dreams-- as many of them as they can. We will hope for a volunteer with a clue about designing quizzes to rise from the group and make some kind of a checklist that people can mark off their experiences on.
I'm going to go for something like "dreamtaxonomy" as a title, but I'll let you know for sure when it's up.
lizjonesbooks
Jan. 23rd, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
Done.
Here's the link:
http://community.livejournal.com/dreamtaxonomy/

Have at it!
jackfirecat
Jan. 24th, 2007 12:10 am (UTC)
As founders of an idea are bound to do, we will fall out. ! 1. Clearly the title should be 'The Oneiric Experience'. (after Tomsdisch and thence Crowelycrow and cool coz the words chime)

2. Yes to everything else.

3. I think we could have a disagreement later about whether 'meanings' are ever to be sought or applied - for me no. But if in the initial it's gathering information then I'm with you.

Quizzes are easy, but you have to have a carefully formualted question and answers to have real results. It's certainly possible to geneate really interesting, significant, results from this sort of survey, if we're careful how we ask the questions.


crowleycrow
Jan. 24th, 2007 12:41 am (UTC)
You uys are fast, and my vote is moot, but Firecat's suggestion is a good one -- "Varieties of Oneiric Experience" -- though that could be a subtitle (as we bookheads call them) and dreamtaxonomy the oneword thingie.

And NO INTERPRETATION ABSOLUTELY. We stick to our mission as collectors and namers. The brave explorers in pith helmet and khakis who went onto the jingle to discover the okapi did not ask WHY there is an okapi.
crowleycrow
Jan. 24th, 2007 12:43 am (UTC)
I meant "jungle." Going into the jingle yields no okapis.
lizjonesbooks
Jan. 24th, 2007 12:48 am (UTC)
Hee! I go make dinner, and all the interesting stuff starts up.
I agree totally on the no interp. There's already plenty of that out there-- what we lack is some kind of central data pool (not that this is central, but hey. We do what we can)

I'm off to change the title, and try to think of a jingle that involves okapis...
lizjonesbooks
Jan. 24th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
I changed the title!
I was thinking of quizzes mainly as a structure to gather and tally data-- not to draw conclusions. Down the line, it might be interesting to have people add additional information about how they correlate their life experiences with particular dreams (this is the anthro and psych geek in me coming out), but I think that might be another poll for another time. This is all about the dreams themselves!
crowleycrow
Jan. 24th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC)
I vote for YOU setting it up. Your tiger (Hobbes?) logo inspires confidence.