The Mind Unraveling Like a Threadbare Sweater

The other day I saw a comment (It wasn't to one of my posts.) and she was listing some strange things that she had seen in a dream that kind of gave her the heebie-jeebies. One of them stuck with me though; a bunch of random kids that she didn't recognize. I've read and heard quite a bit about the happenings of the subconscious while you sleep. There's a few different theories that I find interesting and each has a certain level of merit.

One that made me think about the "random faces" my friend was experiencing is that while sleeping, the mind will go through a "compiling" process, if you will, of all the information that it took in since the last time you slept. If you stop and think about all of the stimuli that you're subjected to over the course of a day, it can be quite overwhelming. While walking about town you could see hundreds of different faces and, although you couldn't pick one person out from another, the image of their face, clothing, and mannerisms has stuck with you somewhere among your synapses. Just watching TV or looking around the Internet for different bits of info will load your brain with facts and figures that, if you're like me, will most likely never be able to recall if asked about them.

As I thought about the "random faces" some more, I started to think about some of the more memorable dreams I've had. The only people that really stood out were those that I interacted with. The rest were just generic people, but they constantly changed. It was a lot like the idea of the scramble suit in Philip K. Dick's book A Scanner Darkly. Undercover narcotics agents would wear full-body suits that projected images of thousands of randomly generated people at a time. It was to protect each of the agents identities and blowing their covers. The movie did a pretty good job of showing this.

This images this suit creates is very similar to the way I see background characters in my dreams. The only difference is that the gender and race are the same, but features are melded together and gradually change. I wonder if Dick got his idea from the suit from his dreams, or if I'm just a crazy guy whose brain is constantly in a state of flux? I don't sleep that well, so the latter could definitely be a viable scenario.

No comments: