lucid dreams and free will

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lucid dreams and free will

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:35 am

From another thread:

Last night I had a dream in which I was back in Miners Mills. It's where I spent every Summer until I graduated from high school. I was in my Grandmother's house. It had been raining hard for days and days. Finally it was only a drizzle. I remember in the dream deciding to risk leaving the house. So, I am walking up Dillon Street toward Main Street. Again, I remembered there was a risk I would run into one or more of the local tough guys who might hassle me. But I chanced it.

In both instances it was like it wasn't a dream at all. I was there and the risk/uncertainty I felt was real.

But of course I wasn't there at all. And the risk/uncertainty was entirely manufactured by my brain chemically and neurologically.

So, what if, in a way we simply do not yet grasp, the brain is also able to manufacture risk and uncertainty in the wide awake mind? We think we are taking a risk doing this or doing that but, as in the dream, this feeling is just part and parcel of the only possible reality.


This has always fascinated me.

So, on this thread I'll explore it more fully.

In particular, in regard to the experience described as "lucid dreaming".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:38 pm

From the WebMD website
Minesh Khatri, MD

What Are Lucid Dreams?

Lucid dreams are when you know that you’re dreaming while you’re asleep.

You’re aware that the events flashing through your brain aren’t really happening. But the dream feels vivid and real. You may even be able to control how the action unfolds, as if you’re directing a movie in your sleep.


The first problem I have here is that, to the best of my recollection, I have never had one of these. The closest I come to one is when, while falling to sleep, I'll be thinking about something from the past or the present and then dream about it. But in the dream itself I've never thought to myself, "I know this is just a dream, so I'll go with it".

That would be particularly surreal as far as my own understanding of determinism is concerned. In the dream, I am compelled by my brain on two levels. First, in being deluded into thinking that I am able to control my dreaming "lucidly" and secondly the part in which the brain is autonomically producing the dream itself chemically and neurologically. It's all intertwined in the only possible reality but my perception of the experience becomes all the more mind-boggling.

Whatever that means when the mind is only boggled as it ever could be.

But then ever and always this part: my failure to understand it in the most rational manner.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby iambiguous » Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:38 pm

From reddit:

Is controlling a lucid dream an expression of free will?

When inside a lucid dream, if/when one takes control over their surroundings. Understandably the things we want to do are influenced by things we have experienced before; but with no consequences & user created rules (i.e. no restraints involving physics) The usual set of constraints that hold our actions back disappear. Giving a lucid dreamer the potential to literally do anything they can think of... thoughts?


Again, in the past, I have had conversations with those who claimed to have had lucid dreams. Though not in regard to the subject of free will. I have not myself ever had one. So I really don't know what the experience itself is like. And if you google "lucid dreams and free will" the pickings are slim. It doesn't seem to be a correlation that many are inclined to think about.

But, in a determined universe as I understand it, interactions in dreams, lucid or otherwise, are interchangeable with the interactions of the wide awake selves: wholly beyond the control of anything other than that which explains what is behind the laws of matter themselves.

Nothing would seem to escape that. There is no "taking control" over our surroundings. There is only the psychological illusion of having done so. All that dreams, lucid or otherwise, do is to show us how the brain is able to create a reality that we think we do control when, upon waking, we recognize that we don't at all.

ttoyooka

Seems to me that it would be as much an expression of free will as in "real life."

To me, the really interesting question is whether your non-lucid dreams - the ones where you don't feel like you're in control - are an expression of free will


No, to me, the really interesting question is still this: am I typing these words here and now "wide awake" only because I could have freely opted not to?

Or not?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby MagsJ » Mon Mar 22, 2021 4:57 pm

_
A lucid dream occurs when the mind isn’t fully awake yet, so a person is in a state of semi-consciousness, so the dream is still being dreamt but through a partly-consciousness mind.

Until one reaches a certain level of awakedness, one cannot yet control the dream, so it plays out like memorex, in one’s mind, like you’re watching a film. As the consciousness slowly ‘unfolds’ so too does the ability to control the dream.

I often experience this state (and other mental phenomena) due to having fatigue.. the mind being slow to unfold and awaken. I can also experience colour Synesthesia and phantom smells at this point, but not always.

How do you see free will tying into that?
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ
I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Huh! - MagsJ
You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:08 pm

MagsJ wrote:_
A lucid dream occurs when the mind isn’t fully awake yet, so a person is in a state of semi-consciousness, so the dream is still being dreamt but through a partly-consciousness mind.

Until one reaches a certain level of awakedness, one cannot yet control the dream, so it plays out like memorex, in one’s mind, like you’re watching a film. As the consciousness slowly ‘unfolds’ so too does the ability to control the dream.

I often experience this state (and other mental phenomena) due to having fatigue.. the mind being slow to unfold and awaken. I can also experience colour Synesthesia and phantom smells at this point, but not always.

How do you see free will tying into that?


_
The mind fully awake, the mind dreaming, the mind somewhere in between dreaming lucidly.

Free will comes into it given the extent to which we can determine if the human brain as matter is wholly in sync with the laws of matter such that in whatever state the mind was in, is in, will be in, it is the only possible state that it can be in.

In other words, if I am typing these words wide awake, or in a dream or in a lucid dream, it's all interchangeable in the only possible reality.

And, thus, when some insist that, no, they are fully capable of opting not to read these words, this merely reflects the psychological illusion of free will built into the biological evolution of matter culminating in the human brain on this particular planet.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby MagsJ » Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:48 pm

MagsJ wrote:How do you see free will tying into that?

iambiguous wrote:The mind fully awake, the mind dreaming, the mind somewhere in between dreaming lucidly.

Free will comes into it given the extent to which we can determine if the human brain as matter is wholly in sync with the laws of matter such that in whatever state the mind was in, is in, will be in, it is the only possible state that it can be in.

I gather you mean, at that particular point in time?

The final state of mind leading up to the point of entering the dream state would be dependent on the right combination of factors coming into play, up to that point.. so not pre-determined, but more of a psychological slot machine.

In other words, if I am typing these words wide awake, or in a dream or in a lucid dream, it's all interchangeable in the only possible reality.

Well.. there is only one reality playing out, but the interchangeability of the different dream states is still dependent on the on-going combination of the right factors of specific physiological biochemistry, which is not determined but transient.

And, thus, when some insist that, no, they are fully capable of opting not to read these words, this merely reflects the psychological illusion of free will built into the biological evolution of matter culminating in the human brain on this particular planet.

Being compelled to do something, i.e. read this post, is different from choosing to, which is different from fated to.. although the state of a diminished consciousness at any time of day, will also lead to a dream-like state.

The consciousness changes states throughout the day, in most, which is again dependent on many transient biochemical factors.. so not determined.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ
I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Huh! - MagsJ
You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby iambiguous » Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:02 pm

MagsJ wrote: How do you see free will tying into that?

iambiguous wrote:The mind fully awake, the mind dreaming, the mind somewhere in between dreaming lucidly.

Free will comes into it given the extent to which we can determine if the human brain as matter is wholly in sync with the laws of matter such that in whatever state the mind was in, is in, will be in, it is the only possible state that it can be in.


MagsJ wrote: I gather you mean, at that particular point in time?


As I understand a determined universe, any particular point in time is only as it ever could have been...if the human brain is but more matter inherently/necessarily in sync with whatever brought into existence the "immutable laws of matter".

I just don't "pretend"/pretend to know what this means going that far back.

So, did you "gather" here given the psychological illusion of free will to speculate on my meaning or did you gather given that you were free to opt not to?

MagsJ wrote: The final state of mind leading up to the point of entering the dream state would be dependent on the right combination of factors coming into play, up to that point.. so not pre-determined, but more of a psychological slot machine.


Okay, so how does one go about demonstrating how, when, why the brain "shifts" from one point to the other? My contention is that all of the points are interchangeable in the only possible reality. Unless, of course, somehow "human psychology" itself managed through the evolution of non-living matter into living matter here on planet Earth, to acquire the extraordinary capacity to reconfigure the laws of matter into minds able to opt freely to choose among alternative possibilities.

And I'm not arguing this is not the case, only that there does not appear to be a scientific and a philosophical consensus that in fact does pin it down.

In other words, if I am typing these words wide awake, or in a dream or in a lucid dream, it's all interchangeable in the only possible reality.


MagsJ wrote: Well.. there is only one reality playing out, but the interchangeability of the different dream states is still dependent on the on-going combination of the right factors of specific physiological biochemistry, which is not determined but transient.


Right factors, wrong factors. What does that mean in a world where all factors are just dominoes toppling over onto each other in the only possible reality.

Then we're just back to that amazing human brain able to make such distinctions in the first place. No other matter on the planet seems able to. Even right and wrong behaviors as construed by all other animals -- either as predator or prey -- is derived almost entirely from instinct. Their brains "order" them to do what they must to survive.

But our brains? That ghost in the machine somehow able to opt among conflicting orders? Is that just the illusion of free will? Dreaming or not?

And, thus, when some insist that, no, they are fully capable of opting not to read these words, this merely reflects the psychological illusion of free will built into the biological evolution of matter culminating in the human brain on this particular planet.


MagsJ wrote: Being compelled to do something, i.e. read this post, is different from choosing to, which is different from fated to.. although the state of a diminished consciousness at any time of day, will also lead to a dream-like state.


Not if your brain is compelled to delude you into thinking that you are free to make these distinctions.

MagsJ wrote: The consciousness changes states throughout the day, in most, which is again dependent on many transient biochemical factors.. so not determined.


Like you can actually demonstrate to the scientific and to the philosophical communities that this assertion is in fact true.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby promethean75 » Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:25 pm

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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby promethean75 » Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:33 pm

Wait hold on she tried to slip out the back in that attempt to rescue freewill. Bro I thought the video would be good because she's Paul churchland's girl.... But she just totally made no profound point in that example of 'control' as 'freewill'. what she just said meant absolutely, irrevocably, and unequivocally..... not a gosh darn thing against the deterministic argument.
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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby MagsJ » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:39 pm

Will reply more appropriately, later..
Last edited by MagsJ on Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ
I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Huh! - MagsJ
You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby MagsJ » Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:18 am

promethean75 wrote:Help em out Trish

https://youtu.be/YqdChFIJo3k

It ain’t me who needs her help.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ
I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Huh! - MagsJ
You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:17 pm

From reddit:

The causal constraints on your dream-actions -- lucid or otherwise -- are the same as those that attend your waking states. You are mistaking the many potential futures you can imagine as evidence for free-will. However, your actions admit to deterministic compulsion by antecedent events.

charlesdarwood


My own point more or less. The brain asleep, the brain dreaming, the brain dreaming lucidly, the brain wide awake. It's not like there are buttons we can push to shift it from one mode to another. It's the same brain doing what it must do given the "antecedent events" that led up to the evolution of matter into brains.

Unless, in fact, the human brain has an "extra ingredient". A "secret sauce" that [somehow] makes it qualitatively different from all the other matter in the universe. Matter that either does this or does that. Period. No questions asked. And that's because with all the other matter no questions can be asked.

Though I'll be the first to admit that viscerally, deep down inside, I still can't think myself into believing that I don't have components in my own brain that allow me to freely opt to stop typing these words right now and go make a sandwich...

Sandwich made. Sandwich eaten. Typing new words.

You tell me.

Then this:


You were predetermined to feel conscious in the dream, and everything you end up thinking of and doing was predetermined as well.

Not that it matters though - We have the illusion of free will, and that is what's important.

Jger


The waking brain has created the illusion of free will. We think that we are free even though we could never have thought otherwise. And some then take "greater satisfaction" in this...as though the satisfaction they feel is not in and of itself wholly determined.

And that's when brains like ours become particularly surreal.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby iambiguous » Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:50 pm

From Reddit
Is controlling a lucid dream an expression of free will?

exnihilonihilfit

If anything I'd say lucid dreaming is less of an expression of free will than any real world action could be. I don't believe lucid dreams to be "lucid" at all, they're simply dreams one remembers in which one dreamt that one was aware that one was dreaming. They're no more lucid than any other dream, it's simply that in the dream one thinks oneself to be dreaming, but seeing as how one can think oneself to be dreaming while awake, it shouldn't be surprising that that is possible and in fact likely to happen at some point.


I still don't really grasp what it means to experience a lucid dream. Instead, almost all of my dreams are lucid in the sense that, well, it makes sense that I would dream it because it revolves around experiences in particular contexts that are familiar to me. It's just that when I wake up I will remember things in the dream that could not possibly really happen in the wide awake world.

But to actually be aware that I am dreaming in the dream...to "gain some amount of control over the dream characters, narrative, and environment"?

Nope, never had one of those.

If one is going to try to settle the question of determinism, dreams are the last place one ought turn, as I'd say that even if one has free will in real life, ones dreams are still quite clearly determined (one frequently does things in a dream that they otherwise wouldn't do, and that's only if one dreams of oneself at all, I frequently have dreams where I exist only as a 3rd person viewer); excepting, apparently, the lucid dream, but the lucidity of such dreams is suspect.


Actually, if someone like me-- "here and now" a determinist -- has already thought himself or herself into believing that they have settled it, dreams are as good a place to start as ever. Why? Because wherever you start you were never able to not start there.

It's just that, with lucid dreams, it seems more problematic given at least some measure of autonomy. If you accept that the waking hours are experienced freely and that dreams are entirely the domain of the brain chemically and neurologically, how exactly would you fit the control you have over your sense of reality in a lucid dream?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby MagsJ » Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:03 pm

_
How do you not already understand such things at your age?
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ
I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Huh! - MagsJ
You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby iambiguous » Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:27 pm

MagsJ wrote:_
How do you not already understand such things at your age?


First let's go back to this above:

iambiguous wrote:
MagsJ wrote: How do you see free will tying into that?

iambiguous wrote:The mind fully awake, the mind dreaming, the mind somewhere in between dreaming lucidly.

Free will comes into it given the extent to which we can determine if the human brain as matter is wholly in sync with the laws of matter such that in whatever state the mind was in, is in, will be in, it is the only possible state that it can be in.


MagsJ wrote: I gather you mean, at that particular point in time?


As I understand a determined universe, any particular point in time is only as it ever could have been...if the human brain is but more matter inherently/necessarily in sync with whatever brought into existence the "immutable laws of matter".

I just don't "pretend"/pretend to know what this means going that far back.

So, did you "gather" here given the psychological illusion of free will to speculate on my meaning or did you gather given that you were free to opt not to?

MagsJ wrote: The final state of mind leading up to the point of entering the dream state would be dependent on the right combination of factors coming into play, up to that point.. so not pre-determined, but more of a psychological slot machine.


Okay, so how does one go about demonstrating how, when, why the brain "shifts" from one point to the other? My contention is that all of the points are interchangeable in the only possible reality. Unless, of course, somehow "human psychology" itself managed through the evolution of non-living matter into living matter here on planet Earth, to acquire the extraordinary capacity to reconfigure the laws of matter into minds able to opt freely to choose among alternative possibilities.

And I'm not arguing this is not the case, only that there does not appear to be a scientific and a philosophical consensus that in fact does pin it down.

In other words, if I am typing these words wide awake, or in a dream or in a lucid dream, it's all interchangeable in the only possible reality.


MagsJ wrote: Well.. there is only one reality playing out, but the interchangeability of the different dream states is still dependent on the on-going combination of the right factors of specific physiological biochemistry, which is not determined but transient.


Right factors, wrong factors. What does that mean in a world where all factors are just dominoes toppling over onto each other in the only possible reality.

Then we're just back to that amazing human brain able to make such distinctions in the first place. No other matter on the planet seems able to. Even right and wrong behaviors as construed by all other animals -- either as predator or prey -- is derived almost entirely from instinct. Their brains "order" them to do what they must to survive.

But our brains? That ghost in the machine somehow able to opt among conflicting orders? Is that just the illusion of free will? Dreaming or not?

And, thus, when some insist that, no, they are fully capable of opting not to read these words, this merely reflects the psychological illusion of free will built into the biological evolution of matter culminating in the human brain on this particular planet.


MagsJ wrote: Being compelled to do something, i.e. read this post, is different from choosing to, which is different from fated to.. although the state of a diminished consciousness at any time of day, will also lead to a dream-like state.


Not if your brain is compelled to delude you into thinking that you are free to make these distinctions.

MagsJ wrote: The consciousness changes states throughout the day, in most, which is again dependent on many transient biochemical factors.. so not determined.


Like you can actually demonstrate to the scientific and to the philosophical communities that this assertion is in fact true.


To which you posted:

MagsJ wrote:Will reply more appropriately, later..


And then there is the discussion that you and Wendy keep dodging here: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 7&start=25
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby promethean75 » Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:35 pm

Hey your boy Harris did a new 45 min podcast three weeks ago on freewill.

https://youtu.be/u45SP7Xv_oU
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Re: lucid dreams and free will

Postby iambiguous » Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:28 pm

Artimas wrote:If the choice isn’t ever our own, what’s thinking?


More to the point, the part where we think, feel, and intuit [given a truly visceral certainty], that we are doing it because we opted to do so of our own free will.

How can any hard determinist not take pause with that?

On the other hand, here I go back to dreams. Last night I had a truly elaborate "work dream". Back to the company I worked for for over 25 years. Back to a work context I know like the back of my hand. Back to people I interacted with for years. In the dream I was thinking about what I was doing and exchanging conversations with those who were reacting to what I said and did. People popped up in the dream doing things that were out of the blue. But there I was in the dream thinking about what I was seeing and sharing what I thought about it with others.

Only it was all "just a dream", right?

But how to explain a world in which from my point of view in the dream I was not dreaming at all. I was "experiencing" instead what I perceived to be the real deal world.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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