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Numbers, Math and Logic

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Numbers, math and logic in dreams. Euro-American culture, from well before Freud right up to current dream research, has held that dreams aren't just illogical, they can't add any better than a toddler. Is that true?

Could we be mistaking signal for noise? Numbers do act strangely in dreams, but is that ineptness... or a deliberate choice? I think these discrepancies can be highly symbolic; sometimes satiric, mocking the illogicalities of your waking life, the way "Alice in Wonderland" satirized adult illogic from a child's viewpoint. Sometimes dream illogic can be deliberately teasing you--prompting you to realize you're dreaming, pushing you toward lucid dreams.

Think I'm ascribing too much intent to dreams? Well, why is this culture so sure that dreams lack intent, are some mechanical process? Think of all the other entities in the last century that proved to be smarter than science thought: non-Europeans, women, kids, dolphins, primates, ravens and parrots... Your dreams have access to a brain three times the size of Koko the gorilla's. The size, to be exact, of YOUR brain. If that thing can't handle math and logic, humor, subtlety, teaching... how the hell do YOU?

This list is short not because I've found few dreams of math or logic, but just because they're usually idea-dreams and not terribly interesting as stories. But if you're interested, such dreams can be incubated. If you have a hard math/physics problem to solve, ask your dreams each night to come up with a solution. You may be surprised. It isn't all benzene snakes.

RELATED TOPICS: lucid dreaming - dream humor - calendrical and anniversarial dreams - memory and cryptomnesia - dreamwork and dream research - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

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ANNABEL ROSE: by Emily Joy; 2006/12/14, a ghostbusting dream on... love? sex? what?
Edgar Allen Poe confronts his dead girlfriend, who wants to drag him into the grave with her...
CAUTION: HUNGRY GHOST, SEX TALK
ARISTOTLE'S WIVES: by Wayan, 1984/5/20, a dueling-philosopher dream.
Aristotle keeps marrying my friends and fucking them up. So I challenge Mr. Logic to a shamanic duel...
CAUTION: THE F-WORD. OOPS, TOO LATE! LESBIAN FISH, TOO.
BELL CURVE IN THE DARK: by Wayan; 1982/8/17, a dream on... the gifted?
A human pinball game played in the dark, with bells for stoppers, sorting people into a Gaussian bell-curve...
BOGNOR MARRIAGE: by Thomas Hood; 1825; a newlywed nightmare
I found a honeymoon cottage by the sea, and the old landlady gave me a very reasonable rate. Everything was fine...
CRANE CRASH: by Anonymous #33; before 1961, a predictive dream with a crucial hole
The crane toppled and fell onto the riverbank. I could read the number, but couldn't see if the operator got free...
THE ENTWINED CHILD AND MADAM PURR-SAY: by PurplePurplePurple; 2013/7/5, two mirroring poem-dreams the same night
I dream my autistic son, miraculously high-functioning, recites a math-poem to a crowd...
Then I become cartoon cat Madam Purr-Say and chant my own defiant poem at the dream gods...
CAUTION: FIRST POEM AUTISTIC, SECOND PISSY
ETHICAL INVESTING: by Wayan; 2012/8/11, a financial-advice dream
I go to an investment counselor who asks ME for advice! I lay out a plan, then wonder it'd work in nonfinancial affairs too...
THE ETHICS OF LUCIDITY: by Wayan; 1994/2/19, a thoughtful dream on time and cause.
I'm at a symposium on how our beliefs alter not just the future, but the PAST...
CAUTION: CONTAINS IDEAS
THE EVEREST MARATHON: by Wayan; 1986/4/12, a wild dream epic, part 3 of Unicorn Tag.
During the great race up Everest, I become an e-snake, cross three eco-bubbles, beg a wary deer-taur to splice my spine for me, help Ariane (a childhood crush on the run from sentient tanks), and solve at last the Dream Equations... I learn climbing Everest doesn't take strength, but... trust?
EXPLORATION OF TAROT IMAGES IN A DREAM: by Roswila, 1998; an analytical numerate dream
Tarot cards fuse and meanings layer, to warn me I've similarly (con)fused real and trance-induced memories during therapy...
CAUTION: ABUSE ISSUES
FIBONACCI: by Wayan; 2011/4/18, a dream-poem with answers
My friends are all computer programs. But then, so am I. But it's not so bad, because...
CAUTION: DREAM-PUNS
FREEZE!: by Wayan; 1984/5/29, an asymptotic dream.
Demons of fire invade the house, and the Voice of Truth says they can't be killed. What would you do?
GENNADIUS: by Gennadius, ca. 415 AD, apparently the first recorded lucid dream
Gennadius re-dreams a previous dream, prompting him to notice he's dreaming. His guide points out the spiritual implications...
HALF PAST FOUR: by J.W. Dunne; 1898, a dream of clocks and time
I'm in an argument--is it 4:30 PM or AM? I wake to find my watch says 4:30, but it's stopped! I wind it, and in the morning...
HANDMADE DIMENSIONS: by Wayan; 2009/3/2, a how-to dream.
I meet an interdimensional traveler. Her navigational technique is unbelievably rough! Yet it works...
Is it time to drop my belief that math and science are always necessarily precise?
HOBBIT SNIPER: by Wayan; 1998/10/13, a dream on strategy.
I'm a sniper in a desert battle of men against hobbits. Guilty for not fighting openly, but that'd be suicidal...
CAUTION: MATH AND WAR
IS THE DREAMWORLD ROUND?: by Wayan; 2006/7/5; a dream about dreamwork
Dreamworlders, exploring our world, tell me of home. Their known dreamworld is just a little patch on a huge globe...
IT DOESN'T ADD UP: by Wayan; 1995/6/26, an arithmetical dream.
Dream math often seems bad, but I think the discrepancies are a signal, not noise...
A LIFE IN PERCENTAGES: by Wayan; 2013/5/19, a dream about dreams--and timesharing
A man I meet leads half a dozen consistent dreamlives--a life so splintered it's hard to be sure which is his waking one...
THE NIGHTMARE EFFECT: by Emily Joy; 2006/12/14, an anti-nightmare.
My own fear creates a field of time/speed distortion; can I use it against my attackers?
PERSONAL CHAOS THEORY: by Wayan; 1994/12/4, a spiritual math dream.
My life is a mess, so I take a class on the four flavors of chaos, and find my Strange Attractors are shifting...
PLANETOCOPIA: by Wayan; 2006/6/3, an annex to the Dreambank with 16 nondream imaginary worlds. A mix of sculpture, drawings, travel writing... science and art.
Alternate Earths, possible futures, and pure experiments in planetology, biology, sociology. Most of them teem with intelligent creatures--alien Edens!
CAUTION: ANARCHISM, NUDITY, COMMIES, EVOLUTION
POIROT AND THE DICKHEADS: by Wayan; 2010/3/11, a comic antilucid dream
I'm detective Hercule Poirot, but I'm losing my case and my brain--because my story isn't by Agatha Christie, it's a knockoff...
CAUTION: PINK DILDO HATS
SHELL AND STONE: by William Wordsworth; late 1840s, a dream of a new Great Flood
An Arab shows me a stone he calls a book, and a shell that speaks prophecies of the flood rushing toward us over the desert...
SLEDDING NEAR C: by Albert Einstein; around 1890-95; a transcendent career-advice dream
Sledding at night, I approached the speed of light, and the stars turned colors I'd never seen...
SPOON CHALLENGE: by Emily Joy; 2006/8/30, a mathemagical dreamlet.
I want to drink the elixir, but negative twenty spoons block me! Can I remove them? With warped teacup logic and reciprocals…
33 EGGS: by "Anonymous #12"; before 1963, a short, pointless, precise predictive dream
I dreamt a farmer gave me 33 eggs in a bucket, returning to hand me 3 more on the stair. I woke, told my family the silly dream...
TRINARY: by Wayan; 2012/3/17, a base-3 dream.
My misreading of a woman's mathematical name, "Two-oh-one-oh", turns out to be a triple message concerning Lyme disease...
WITCH AT THE IRON CORE: by Wayan; 1998/10/16, an engineering-proposal dream.
A witch in the future invents a new way to terraform small dense moons--and it'd work!...
ZERO SUM: by Wayan; 1996/5/29, a game-theory dream.
I'm lecturing to a crowd: "Love's a win-win game, and abuse, lose-lose. But blame is zero-sum..."


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