Friday, April 28, 2006


Pedro Terán says “It’s funny how you can know two things for years and not notice that they are the same thing.”
The other night I had a dream. I was playing catch with my grandsons who were in a line in front of me. The one to my left tricked me. He had the ball, feinted to my right, but then threw it to my left. Caught off balance, I lurched clumsily to my left, arm outstretched but far too late to make contact with the ball. The force of my movement woke me up.
Whereupon I thought, slightly agrieved, “Hang on a minute. What deceived me was not a grandson, it was a story (“I am going to throw the ball to your right”) sold to me by the virtual grandson in my brain. But my brain was the sole engine of that story. An “out there” object in my brain tricked the subjective presence of my brain. It was me who was tricked, and I was doing the tricking.
Pedro’s story of the dandelion also suggests that the brain has many virtual sites which seem at one time or another to be paramount, and the conscious “I” wonders among them without much logical record.


Pedro Terán said...

I like the notion of a `dream engine´ separate in a sense from the `dreaming I'.

The weirdest thing is that, when dreaming, `I´ often identify `myself' as the engine of the dream but I can't help going on playing the dream game, I'm still subject to the rules even if I know that it's not real.

My sleeping `I' never makes the decision to stop and say `OK, OK, let's drop the whole thing, just do admit it's not happening'. `He' just goes on acting.

I wonder what would happen next if he did. Would the other characters look at me oddly and try to convince me that it's not a dream? Or what?

Jago said...

I think there's a film, or a story, or a play here. I wonder whether there have been any studies of this phenomonon, there being a sort of superordinate engine which produces both the I and the me and other, apparently independent agents as well.

Chloe said...

i never trust my conscious "I" 100%. I know it is scheming and plotting with the rest of my "I"s