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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...
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...
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...
BELT-SNAKE MYOPIA: by Wayan; 1983/12/25, a dream of innocent sabotage.
A shy woman's belt slowly comes alive, but like most snakes, it has weak eyes. Would glasses help?...
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; pre-1961, a predictive dream with a crucial hole
The crane toppled and fell onto the riverbank. I saw the number, but not if the operator got free...
CUTE-STUPIDS: by Wayan; 1974/1/15, nightmare-poem about a Tragedy of the Commons
Happy beer drinkers from the Now invade the Tower of the Future.
Eggheads find idiots as lovable as kittens, and just can't eject them...
DREAM-DENIERS: by Wayan, 2014/5/31, a dream contemplating the meaning of dreams
In a museum I talk to a stained-glass artist who's a dreamworker like me.
But a meme seems to be spreading that says dreams mean absolutely nothing...
THE ENTWINED CHILD AND MADAM PURR-SAY: by PurplePurplePurple; 2013/7/5, twin poem-dreams
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...
THE EQUATORIAL BET: by Wayan, 2017/7/24, a dream of a climatological game that politics intrudes on
I'm playing 'Drop Me Anywhere' with a friend: I pick the latitude, he picks the longitude.
Can I survive naked one day? I pick the equator as my best bet...
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...
THE EVEREST MARATHON: by Wayan; 1986/4/12, a wild dream epic, part 3 of Unicorn Tag.
In the great race up Everest, I become an e-snake, cross 3 eco-bubbles, beg a wary deer-taur to splice my spine,
help Ariane (my childhood crush), and solve the Dream Equations. Climbing Everest takes not 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...
FALL AT THE RIGHT SIZE: by Wayan; 2018/7/14, a dream shape-poem on a lifesaving indecision.
I fall off a tower, but I can change size. Tiny things fall slower, but they also tempt the local falcons!
Be big & hit hard, or tiny & be eaten? There's a third choice, but I sorta fell into it...
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...
THE FOUNT OF CANADIAN WISDOM: by Wayan; 1982/11/17; a dream-poem on miracles. Stupid miracles.
A Jungian figure dispenses Wisdom. Overwhelmed, annoyed, I try to shut him up
by manifesting money out of nowhere. But nothing shuts up the Fount of...
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, helping him see he's dreaming. His guide points out spiritual implications...
THE GRIFFINS' LESSON: by Wayan, 2018/6/1, a pair of predictive dreamlets
I live through two teens' nightmares, then "wake" with them to find they were drugged by a third party! Why?
Then I'm with a wagon-crew of cheerful flirting griffins & talking horses who pull a cart made of grammar or logic.
Six days later, I see images from both dreams on TV!
HALF PAST FOUR: by J.W. Dunne; 1898, a dream of clocks and time
I say it's 4:30 PM; the waiter says 4:30 AM! I wake in the night to find
my watch says 4:30, but it's stopped! I wind it, and next 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...
IS THE DREAMWORLD ROUND?: by Wayan; 2006/7/5; a dream about dreamwork
Dreamworlders, exploring our waking world, tell me of their home.
Their known dreamworld is just a one little patch on a huge unknown 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--an experience
so splintered that it's hard to figure out which life 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; 2002- (ongoing Sisyphean project)
19 nondream imaginary worlds rendered in text, art, & sculpture. Most teem with intelligent life--alien Edens!
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...
SECRET SCREEN: by Wayan; 2018/4/19 and 2018/5/16, three linked dreamlets of escape
A friend nags me to be lookout as he steals a cult's papers. I know it'll end in murder, but foresight paralyzes me!
In a videogame that keeps freezing unplayably, I find a button calling up a secret screen of second chances...
I'm lost in a grim basement, but two kids show me a cobwebbed glass door you can walk through like air...
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 prophetic shell that warns of a flood rushing toward us...
SHOUT IN A CROWD, or, How to Survey Galactic Civilization: by Wayan; dreamed 2014/4/15,
a dream exposing what my brain's up to when I forget my dreams!
I wander the galaxy in my dreams, finding and testing crowds to see if anyone reacts
to the sound of shouted English or Chinese. One in a thousand does! This implies...
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 20 spoons block me! Can I remove them? With warped teacup logic & reciprocals…
33 EGGS: by "Anonymous #12"; pre-1963, a short, pointless, precise predictive dream
I dreamt a farmer gave me 33 eggs in a bucket. On the stair, he handed me 3 more. I woke, told my family...
TOO MUCH TO BEAR: by Wayan; 1997/4/28, an alt-world 10p. dream comic or text w/pics
I dreamed that huge nouveau-riche polar bears invaded San Francisco, evicting us locals...
TRINARY: by Wayan; 2012/3/17, a base-3 dream.
I meet a woman named "2-0-1-0", realize that pronunciation means it's not base ten, but
mistake it for binary. Not with a 2 in it! It's trinary, and hides a diagnostic message...
VAMPIRE TESTS: by Wayan; 2015/8/22, a lurid dream-response to a quiet day
Captain Kirk is testing vampire myths on a world where they don't bleed you dry.
At the moment, three vamps are sitting in a tent in a sunny meadow, queasy but alive...
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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