Friday, May 11, 2007

The Mystery of Dreams

Any comments on this post are welcome. I wanted to share a little bit about my thoughts on dreams, and a recent bizarre example of what the brain can do when it starts defragmenting the unconscious mind.

About a week ago I was "stuck" for hours in a dream about numbers. Not just any numbers -- prime numbers. My mind was calculating primes, searching for the highest prime it could calculate. I was trying to determine the primality of numbers up in the thousands. In my waking moments, I might think to myself, "oh, those weren't real prime numbers...it was just my imagination making up what it thought was prime numbers..."

However, upon waking from my dreams I sometimes have a remnant memory left on the forefront of my consciousness - this time is was a table full of prime numbers. I rolled over in bed and said to my wife, "what does 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19..." have in common? She looked at me like I was crazy -- I said "they're all prime, and they were all just in my brain upon waking from calculating non-stop for the highest prime I could find." She looked at me like I was crazy -- and I felt crazy.

I regularly see a psychoanalyst for reasons apart from my crazy dreams. Psychoanalysts are trained not only with a Doctorate in psychology, but they receive even more extensive training in working with people's unconscious mind. An analyst will welcome any remembered dreams during a session. One thing that the analyst will do will ask "what comes to mind when you think about X (detail of dream)?"

My answer to this one was, "Well... prime numbers are strong. They are independent, and indivisible. They can't be broken up by any multipliers other than one and itself." Again, the therapist asks a follow-up question, using free-association -- "and what comes to mind when you think of that?" My first thought - unconditional love. Unconditional love cannot be broken, divided, or comprimised by anything. It is strong. It is unbreakable. Kind of like a prime.

Maybe that's why my unconscious mind was searching for the highest prime number.

3 comments:

Teddy the Labradoodle said...

By the way, my cell phone number can be factored down into only three prime numbers -- if you ever need to call me, those key factors are 13 * 1237 * 590,383

Ryan said...

What...a nerd. Even your dreams are nerdy.

Teddy the Labradoodle said...

true that.