In high school, we stayed up all night solving the problems of the world. Back and forth like ping pong balls, we’d wax philosophical—trading distilled versions of chapters read from great thinkers and lessons learned from better-than-average teachers. Intellectually, we were coming of age; metaphysically, we were exploring (and, we hoped, expanding) consciousness. The more we talked, the more we knew.
Readings and topics of conversation were predictable: Aristotle and Goodness; Nietzsche and God; Montaigne and the Nature of Man; Bertrand Russell and Virtue. But in the end, it all seemed to revolve on what was real and more importantly, how we constructed reality.
Corto began to question reality from a non-human perspective, too. In tenth grade he wrote a story called “In Between Doggie Dreams,” the main premise of which was that a dog can’t tell the difference between the adventures in his dreams and the nonadventures in his home. To him, he is running through a field and in an instant is magically transported back to his favorite spot—lying on the floor, back against the wall, torso half contorted, right next to the air conditioning vent. He was in one place, and now he’s in another. That is, the dog’s consciousness is only ever int he present. At least, that’s what the story supposed.
Well, these years later, Corto became a researcher of brains and graduated from canine brains to human ones. Dreams and their relationship to reality became a real, legitimate question, and Corto created a real, legitimate tool to try to understand them.
Having grown from a wide-eyed high school student to a wide-eyed scientist, though, Corto developed a tool not for mapping the meaning of one’s dreams but for coding the structure of them.
Starting tonight, I’ll be tracking my sleep cycles and coding my dreams. You can, too. All you have to do is answer a very short dream content survey
. (Note: if you don’t wish to share your real name, give yourself a pseudonym—just be sure to use the same pseudonym every time you code your dreams).
Sleep peacefully, and have pleasant dreams.
Update on 2010-06-10 15:43 by broncofashion
Suppose I'm easing into dream coding. I forgot to plug in my iPhone, so the app didn't function properly; and I can't remember any of my dreams.
Recently, though, I've dreamed a lot about my childhood home, New Orleans (and people I miss there), and--once--fighting monsters.
Update on 2010-06-25 17:52 by broncofashion
Here are a few of the Sleep Cycle charts. As usual, I've done less than I set out to do. I haven't run the app every night, and I haven't written down a single dream. But these charts are pretty cool.
I guess my sleeping habits are pretty unstable. In this sample, I went to bed anywhere from 9:17pm to 12:02am, and got up anytime from 3:42am to 6:30am. (I usually napped a little longer after the Sleep Cycle alarm woke me up--which is probably counter-productive, but it's true.)