5
$\begingroup$

I remember having dreams whose contents were physically impossible, to the point that when I thought about them afterwards, I couldn't reconcile them with reality in a meaningful way, although when I dreamed them, they seemed to be logical and coherent with reality. The only example I can recall: I was climbing a set of stairs, and there was a large gap in the middle where there were no stairs, and logically I shouldn't have been able to cross from the bottom step to the top, and yet I did. When I think about it afterwards, I can only visualise this as some sort of cheap visual effect, by either teleporting between the two steps, or unnaturally distorting my limbs; but I remember that while dreaming, there was no such effect. It just worked.

How is it that I could dream something that is completely incoherent with reality, or completely impossible, that I can't fully reproduce in my head while awake?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please study Carl Jung's approach to dream interpretation $\endgroup$ – New Alexandria Oct 5 '14 at 4:42
  • $\begingroup$ which of these two resembles more what you are asking: "how can you sometimes miss the incoherences at the time of dreaming?" or "why am I able to perform incoherences on a dream?" $\endgroup$ – ajax333221 Oct 11 '14 at 3:02
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for this question. I had this question like forever. Those dreams are just not illogical but physically impossible to the point that I can't even recall them because it's impossible for me to intellectualize them. $\endgroup$ – pinkpanther Jul 22 '18 at 20:25
5
$\begingroup$

Dreams aren't logical. Your mind is in a relaxed state when you dream. Thoughts become super-imposed and intertwined with each other.

Ideas and imagination is never directly related to interpretation. When you say you imagined stairs, it's actually your idea of stairs. It has no correlation to the real world at all. Your idea of stairs or empty space by themselves have no information related to how objects can physically move from one place to another. Therefore when your mind is being lazy and not focusing, concepts like logical physical movement can be ignored entirely.

We still don't know much about dreams that isn't still speculated about. These are some pretty good places to check out; How Stuff Works - Dreams, Wikipeia - Theories, The Scientific Study of Dreams

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to cogsci.SE! We encourage answers to cite sources to back up assertions--both to base the answers in science and fact, as well as to give interested readers somewhere to go for further reading. $\endgroup$ – Krysta Sep 30 '14 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Josh, that's a good start, but you still have lots of unsupported assertions in your answer that limit its quality. Think about taking it sentence by sentence--what science are you basing each sentence on? A citation per sentence is a lot of work, of course, but the best answers do require work. $\endgroup$ – Krysta Oct 1 '14 at 11:42
1
$\begingroup$

We do not know. Simply put, we do not understand the function and mechanism of dreams enough. Much talk about dreams are hypotheses based on our extremely limited understanding (see references in Josh's answer).

You think that you have dreamt of something that is impossible, therefore I think you are not asking "is it possible to dream of something that is impossible" but more asking, "what procedure/what things/drugs can I do/take before I go to sleep to have a dream that is impossible". As I said above, from a scientific point of view, we do not understand dreams enough to answer such a question.

However, many people may suggest that certain things/drugs make changes to dreams, abut these are anecdotal.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not reallly asking either question: the question is, why is it possible to have a dream which doesn't concur with the physics of reality. $\endgroup$ – Lou Oct 3 '14 at 9:02
  • $\begingroup$ Ah ok. Then, we do not know. It will be interesting when we do! $\endgroup$ – James Oct 3 '14 at 9:51

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.