Ekstatische Lyriken Pinnwand

Dreams with their own Memory Space

written by Pj on Wednesday July 18th, 2012 -- 1:20 a.m.

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Some long time ago I noticed that some dreams, though seemingly very few of them, seem to occur in their own memory bank, which is preserved between dreams.  Such dreams always occur in the same dream world, but often in completely different parts of it.  However, when the dreams do occur in the same part of the world as a previous dream, the world is just as it was before. 

For example, in this dream world, the apartment I lived in until recently is a three story building, with the floor above the one I lived on being a vacant apartment due to the floors not being structurally sound.  The passageway leading to the door of the apartment has stairs which for no obvious reason go up to the third floor, then right back down to the second floor, before entering the apartment.  There are also additional apartment units in the back.  The basement has a tunnel which goes underground all the way to the end of the street.  Another corner of the building is quite large, but I don't know what is in it, though in at least two dreams I tried to figure out, only to find a maze of rooms and eventually end up on the roof without ever discovering the purpose of it all.  My bedroom has a sort of doorway that goes out to a balcony, though for reasons I don't recall, I'm not supposed to go out there.  There are also a few hidden holes in the structure, if you know where to look, which allow you to get in between the walls, some of which allow you to go up to that third floor.  Outside, under the middle of the intersection of the two roads, is a large hollow area of unknown purpose, which I only know to exist because in one dream the road collapsed, exposing the void underneath.  I've been in at least four other apartments in the building, plus that section of unknown purpose, but each exploration occurred in a different dream, but they all connect because whenever I go to a part of the building I've been to before in a different dream, it is once again as it was in that dream, rather than being something new entirely. 

The town where I grew up is also in there, with quite a number of secret underground tunnels, which I believe were inspired by the "underworld" in the Legend of Zelda due to several similarities, which would seem to date the design of the area to when I lived there and frequently played that game, which was a least 10 years before I became aware that these memories even existed in my dreams.

The dream world is a derivative of the real world, as the layout is quite similar, but it has its differences, somewhat like the differences between the light and dark worlds in A Link to the Past.  (though the differences aren't inspired by that game, as I never played it until long after discovering this dream memory, it's just a convenient analogy) It also remains quite constant, with dreams separated by a year having the same stuff in the same place when the dreams happen to occur in the same place, the only difference being whatever I happen to be doing in the dream.

When I happen to wake up during one of these dreams, I can access the memory of all of these dreams, but only for about 20 seconds.  ...and once that time is up, anything I remembered gets lost just as the memory space itself becomes lost.  All that I remember permanently is whatever happens to be active in my mind at the time the transition occurs.  (which of course turns into a game of seeing how much stuff I can think about at once and keep thinking about for 30 seconds so that I don't forget it) So all I remember of any of it are bits and pieces, along with being amazed at just how incredibly vast the memory space is.  It seems to have been created over thousands of dreams -- or so I remember thinking.  Unfortunately, once I'm awake, it's all gone and so in reality all I remember are bits and pieces of perhaps twenty dreams.

As if it wasn't strange enough that the mind would keep an isolated memory space for dreams, it's even stranger because it doesn't use it for all dreams.  The majority of the dreams I remember have absolutely nothing to do with this memory space and are completely random made-up-on-the-spot nonsense which rarely preserves a common theme for more than a minute before suddenly the dream is about something else entirely.  The dreams with this memory, however, are quite stable.  The world has been preserved seemingly since I was born, and whatever I am do in these dreams is typically what I do for the entire dream, no matter how long the dream is.

Also strange is that the dreams are so rare.  Sometimes I'll wake up seemingly after every dream during the night, yet none of them are this type of dream, which seems odd since the dream memory seems to have been created over thousands of dreams.  ...but then, for a thousand dreams to have used it over my lifetime only requires about one dream to use it every ten days.

What could possibly be the purpose of the mind storing this stuff and then using it so rarely?

I'm curious how many other people are aware of this happening with themselves.  I know Phaelonimare has the same thing happen to him as he mentioned it once in a phone conversation.  So I tried to search on the internet, but was only able to find this little passage:

I agree that dreams are an experienced reality, probably stored separately from other memories.  Since I've been keeping track of my dreams, I've noticed that they have their own history.  In my dreams I sometimes "remember" other dreams, as though they were events from my waking life, with just as much certainty that the dream event happened as I have about memories of past events from my waking life.  There is also a certain progress or development that can occur in dream time. It can minic waking experience in that respect.  So I'm thinking the dreaming part of the mind must have its own memory bank that parallels in some ways the memory bank that we rely on for a sense of personal identity over time.

This person seems to be describing the same thing, but I'm not entirely certain.  ...and without any sort of specific name for the concept, it's nearly impossible to search for.  Any search along the lines of "dream memory" just comes up with the same nonsense about how dreams are the result of the mind consolidating memories. 

It sucks when my internet searches are ruined by informational memes.  No one actually knows whether dreams and memory are linked, it just sounds plausible and people find it interesting, so everyone talks about it any time the subject comes up.  Thus everyone knows it, and if everyone knows it, it must be true.  Just like how every year hundreds of kids drown when they go swimming immediately after eating and get stomach cramps.  I mean, everyone knows that happens, and kids die from all sorts of obvious accidental causes all the fucking time, like playing with firearms and jumping from high places.  So for something so seemingly innocent to be so fatal, they must be drowning in public pools all the time, what with the food stand being right there next to the pool and all.  If only there were a law banning food stands from being located within 500 feet of public swimming pools...

...and why does everything I write end in an off-topic rant of some sort?


Same - Anonymous - 8/15/12
On dreams and memories. - beanamonster - 4/1/13
Quick question! - nate - 12/15/15
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