Do we dream less as we get older?

The origins of the imperative, "know thyself", are lost in the sands of time, but the age-old examination of human consciousness continues here.

Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:46 am

Just something I've noticed with myself. I used to dream all the time when I was a teenager and into my early twenties, and I remembered them all quite vividly, but they seem to have tailed off in recent years.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:55 pm

Dreams/Nightmares represent stress, fear, and anxiety of great change in personal life. If your life becomes stagnant, predictable, "boring" as you've admitted before, then you will dream infrequently or not at all. This is an environmental effect. Human environments become exponentially safer and safer over time, reducing stress, and so reducing the dream-state.

There are two responses to this. You can choose to remain in this human 'paradise', continue to stagnate, or you can choose to step out of it, into the 'Wild', into Existence, in which case you willingly forgo your safety and will be reintroduced to the Austerity that causes the dream-state.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Sat Apr 03, 2021 10:28 pm

And then, for those of us who are not blind, the fascinating factors embedded in this: https://www.healthline.com/health/can-b ... ople-dream

Actually, the older I get the more I dream. But, unlike with others I have spoken to about dreams, my dreams are almost never surreal or fantastic or nightmarish. They almost always revolve around actual experiences from the past.

But: what is still mind-boggling to me about that is how I never dream about the most intense year of my life: the year I spent in Vietnam. I have Army dreams but never MACV Song Be dreams. Why?

Also, I often dream about the Summers I spent in Miners Mill, Pennsylvania. But never about by childhood here in Baltimore. Why?

And then this part: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=196820
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
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Apr 03, 2021 10:59 pm

when I was young, I had many vivid, scary dreams that would haunt me,
but one day, I decided to challenge my dreams, I simply said, bring it on,
try to scare me with your worst.. and I never had a bad dream thereafter....

nowadays the only scary dreams I have is of "young republicans" and that
scares the hell out of me.....otherwise, my dreams are pretty basic...
but interestingly enough, never about anything intellectual or about a problem
I am working out in philosophy..... my dreams seem to be about working out
some sort of reconciliation or closure about my past... people or events or
workplaces that I left before I could come to terms with it....
I have several workplace jobs (dreams) that I left on bad terms and I, apparently,
need to come to grips with....one job in particular...

so in my dreams, reconciliation seems to be what my dreams are about......

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby WendyDarling » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:33 am

Urwrongx1000 wrote:Dreams/Nightmares represent stress, fear, and anxiety of great change in personal life. If your life becomes stagnant, predictable, "boring" as you've admitted before, then you will dream infrequently or not at all. This is an environmental effect. Human environments become exponentially safer and safer over time, reducing stress, and so reducing the dream-state.

There are two responses to this. You can choose to remain in this human 'paradise', continue to stagnate, or you can choose to step out of it, into the 'Wild', into Existence, in which case you willingly forgo your safety and will be reintroduced to the Austerity that causes the dream-state.


Are you certain that the mundane causes less dreams or that they, the dreams are mundane too, hence not memorable enough?
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:47 am

That is definitely a factor in it. The whole essence of a dream/nightmare is Remembrance. That's what it's called.

While unconscious the mind fragments and defragments itself, reorganizing itself and identifying stressors.

Most "dreams" are forgotten, hence this is why people dream less or not at all, because they simply do not remember the unconscious process.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:45 am

iambiguous wrote:And then, for those of us who are not blind, the fascinating factors embedded in this: https://www.healthline.com/health/can-b ... ople-dream

Actually, the older I get the more I dream. But, unlike with others I have spoken to about dreams, my dreams are almost never surreal or fantastic or nightmarish. They almost always revolve around actual experiences from the past.

But: what is still mind-boggling to me about that is how I never dream about the most intense year of my life: the year I spent in Vietnam. I have Army dreams but never MACV Song Be dreams. Why?

Also, I often dream about the Summers I spent in Miners Mill, Pennsylvania. But never about by childhood here in Baltimore. Why?

And then this part: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=196820


An interesting article, but yes, of course blind people dream. That anyone might possibly think otherwise is astonishing. My own dreams don't involve any visual component. Actually, to be strictly accurate, I have to say that I don't know for sure that they don't involve any visual component, because I'm not sure I would even recognise it if it was present. But I'm pretty sure they don't. They do, however, involve perceptions that I can't easily describe, often very vivid.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby zinnat » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:48 am

Quantity or intensity or dreams has nothing to do with age. But, it has some relation with the remembrance of the dreams.

All humans use to dream almost in the same quantity, irrespective of age, gender or any other difference whatsoever. But, there is a lot of difference how much of the dreams an individual can remember.

Dream remabrance depends on many things like one's state of mind, how much one sleeps and how relaxed is one going to the sleep. That is why children are able to remember their dreams more than adults though both use to dream in the same quantity.

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Ecmandu » Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:26 pm

Zinnat,

That’s just not true. As a child, I never remembered my dreams. As an adolescent, I never remembered my dreams. I’d sleep and just wake up. Now I remember like 3 dreams a night.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:38 pm

Maia wrote:
An interesting article, but yes, of course blind people dream. That anyone might possibly think otherwise is astonishing. My own dreams don't involve any visual component. Actually, to be strictly accurate, I have to say that I don't know for sure that they don't involve any visual component, because I'm not sure I would even recognise it if it was present. But I'm pretty sure they don't. They do, however, involve perceptions that I can't easily describe, often very vivid.


All I can hope for here is that you might make the attempt to take us through what you experience in your dreams. How would you describe what you experience.

With those not blind [like me] descriptions seem to revolve more around what we see in the dream. I see people at my old job or in my family or from my political activism years. I see us doing things. I see events unfolding as I see them in the waking world.

In the film Children of a Lesser God the attempt was made to explore the way in which those who hear and those who are deaf are and are not able to bridge that gap.

Admittedly, I have never had many experiences with those who are blind. So I wouldn't pretend to understand the way in which the world appears to them. In or not in dreams.

There is only grappling to the best of our ability to communicate with those who, in any number of important ways, are different from us.
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: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:49 pm

Blindness of vision is forgivable.

Blindness of the mind, is not.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:36 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:
An interesting article, but yes, of course blind people dream. That anyone might possibly think otherwise is astonishing. My own dreams don't involve any visual component. Actually, to be strictly accurate, I have to say that I don't know for sure that they don't involve any visual component, because I'm not sure I would even recognise it if it was present. But I'm pretty sure they don't. They do, however, involve perceptions that I can't easily describe, often very vivid.


All I can hope for here is that you might make the attempt to take us through what you experience in your dreams. How would you describe what you experience.

With those not blind [like me] descriptions seem to revolve more around what we see in the dream. I see people at my old job or in my family or from my political activism years. I see us doing things. I see events unfolding as I see them in the waking world.

In the film Children of a Lesser God the attempt was made to explore the way in which those who hear and those who are deaf are and are not able to bridge that gap.

Admittedly, I have never had many experiences with those who are blind. So I wouldn't pretend to understand the way in which the world appears to them. In or not in dreams.

There is only grappling to the best of our ability to communicate with those who, in any number of important ways, are different from us.


It's probably best if I describe a specific dream, one that sticks in my mind more than any other (which I've mentioned before). I had it when I was at school, a few days or so before we came home for the summer holidays.

I was crawling through a massive pile of rubble, consisting of bricks, broken glass, pieces of splintered wood, that sort of thing. I could feel all these things scraping the bare skin of my knees and hands, cutting them open till they bled. I could smell the dust in the air and I felt a terrible sense of desolation and destruction. It was all so vivid, even more so than real life.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Bob » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:14 am

Ecmandu wrote:Zinnat,

That’s just not true. As a child, I never remembered my dreams. As an adolescent, I never remembered my dreams. I’d sleep and just wake up. Now I remember like 3 dreams a night.

That doesn't really mean that Zinnat is wrong, much of what we remember we dream is dependant upon our state of mind, and how life is treating us. It is as he says, we dream all the time, but we don't always remember them.

I know that I dream a lot at my advanced age, but I don't hold on to those dreams when I awake. Maybe I should, but I know that sleep and dreams can also be a method of escapism for people in my condition, so I try to engage with the world rather than hide in sleep.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:33 am

Maia wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:
An interesting article, but yes, of course blind people dream. That anyone might possibly think otherwise is astonishing. My own dreams don't involve any visual component. Actually, to be strictly accurate, I have to say that I don't know for sure that they don't involve any visual component, because I'm not sure I would even recognise it if it was present. But I'm pretty sure they don't. They do, however, involve perceptions that I can't easily describe, often very vivid.


All I can hope for here is that you might make the attempt to take us through what you experience in your dreams. How would you describe what you experience.

With those not blind [like me] descriptions seem to revolve more around what we see in the dream. I see people at my old job or in my family or from my political activism years. I see us doing things. I see events unfolding as I see them in the waking world.

In the film Children of a Lesser God the attempt was made to explore the way in which those who hear and those who are deaf are and are not able to bridge that gap.

Admittedly, I have never had many experiences with those who are blind. So I wouldn't pretend to understand the way in which the world appears to them. In or not in dreams.

There is only grappling to the best of our ability to communicate with those who, in any number of important ways, are different from us.


It's probably best if I describe a specific dream, one that sticks in my mind more than any other (which I've mentioned before). I had it when I was at school, a few days or so before we came home for the summer holidays.

I was crawling through a massive pile of rubble, consisting of bricks, broken glass, pieces of splintered wood, that sort of thing. I could feel all these things scraping the bare skin of my knees and hands, cutting them open till they bled. I could smell the dust in the air and I felt a terrible sense of desolation and destruction. It was all so vivid, even more so than real life.


I should add that I've kept a daily journal, or diary, since the age of 11, and went through a phase of recording my dreams in it as well as daily events. Eventually it got to the stage that the dreams were taking up something like 90% of the text, so I eventually stopped doing it. I suppose this may have something to do with why I seem to remember them less now.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:13 pm

Maia wrote:It's probably best if I describe a specific dream, one that sticks in my mind more than any other (which I've mentioned before). I had it when I was at school, a few days or so before we came home for the summer holidays.

I was crawling through a massive pile of rubble, consisting of bricks, broken glass, pieces of splintered wood, that sort of thing. I could feel all these things scraping the bare skin of my knees and hands, cutting them open till they bled. I could smell the dust in the air and I felt a terrible sense of desolation and destruction. It was all so vivid, even more so than real life.


Again, for many who are not blind, it might be difficult to grapple with dreaming about bricks, broken glass and splintered wood in ways that did not involve having first seen these things in the waking world. To dream more in terms of how these things feel when the body encounters them is just something that sighted people will only be able to grasp up to a point. They are more likely to wonder how a blind person can experience a brick without ever having actually seen one.

On the other hand, blind or not, dreaming or not, we all come to have our own understanding of what a "sense of desolation and destruction" feels like.

But here the communication between people can become all the more difficult to translate into an understanding that both can agree on. Here, instead, others are thought to be blind because they don't understand something the same way you do.
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: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:35 pm

I find this interesting.. as a profound hearing impaired person, soon to be
totally deaf, I have never had a single issue in my dreams with hearing loss....
always during my dreams, I can hear quite well.. whereas in real life, not
so much...my handicap has never been a problem in my dreams.....

my dreams are not so much about what I can't do, as my dreams
are about how much I can do.....I can fly and sing and fill an entire
room with laughter.. things I can't do in real life....are dreams some
sort wish fulfillment? things that aren't possible in real life are possible
in my dreams.....are dreams possibly, an intention to seek out
and identified what my possibilities are? what is possible for me,
is what dreams are all about? not what you can't do, but about what you can do?

I wonder.....

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:02 am

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:It's probably best if I describe a specific dream, one that sticks in my mind more than any other (which I've mentioned before). I had it when I was at school, a few days or so before we came home for the summer holidays.

I was crawling through a massive pile of rubble, consisting of bricks, broken glass, pieces of splintered wood, that sort of thing. I could feel all these things scraping the bare skin of my knees and hands, cutting them open till they bled. I could smell the dust in the air and I felt a terrible sense of desolation and destruction. It was all so vivid, even more so than real life.


Again, for many who are not blind, it might be difficult to grapple with dreaming about bricks, broken glass and splintered wood in ways that did not involve having first seen these things in the waking world. To dream more in terms of how these things feel when the body encounters them is just something that sighted people will only be able to grasp up to a point. They are more likely to wonder how a blind person can experience a brick without ever having actually seen one.

On the other hand, blind or not, dreaming or not, we all come to have our own understanding of what a "sense of desolation and destruction" feels like.

But here the communication between people can become all the more difficult to translate into an understanding that both can agree on. Here, instead, others are thought to be blind because they don't understand something the same way you do.


It's the same for me, of course. No matter how many times people try and explain to me what it's like to see things, I just can't imagine it. And it's something I've tried to do my whole life. It's endlessly fascinating, mainly, I think, because it's impossible to ever comprehend what the other person perceives. I have probably bored people to distraction asking them to describe things.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:04 am

Peter Kropotkin wrote:I find this interesting.. as a profound hearing impaired person, soon to be
totally deaf, I have never had a single issue in my dreams with hearing loss....
always during my dreams, I can hear quite well.. whereas in real life, not
so much...my handicap has never been a problem in my dreams.....

my dreams are not so much about what I can't do, as my dreams
are about how much I can do.....I can fly and sing and fill an entire
room with laughter.. things I can't do in real life....are dreams some
sort wish fulfillment? things that aren't possible in real life are possible
in my dreams.....are dreams possibly, an intention to seek out
and identified what my possibilities are? what is possible for me,
is what dreams are all about? not what you can't do, but about what you can do?

I wonder.....

Kropotkin


This is very much the experience of people who lose their sight at some point in their life, too. Their dreams are full of visual imagery.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:39 am

Maia wrote:It's probably best if I describe a specific dream, one that sticks in my mind more than any other (which I've mentioned before). I had it when I was at school, a few days or so before we came home for the summer holidays.

I was crawling through a massive pile of rubble, consisting of bricks, broken glass, pieces of splintered wood, that sort of thing. I could feel all these things scraping the bare skin of my knees and hands, cutting them open till they bled. I could smell the dust in the air and I felt a terrible sense of desolation and destruction. It was all so vivid, even more so than real life.

I recommend that you keep your fears to yourself and those you trust most, because people will tend to use them against you throughout life.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:02 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Again, for many who are not blind, it might be difficult to grapple with dreaming about bricks, broken glass and splintered wood in ways that did not involve having first seen these things in the waking world. To dream more in terms of how these things feel when the body encounters them is just something that sighted people will only be able to grasp up to a point. They are more likely to wonder how a blind person can experience a brick without ever having actually seen one.

On the other hand, blind or not, dreaming or not, we all come to have our own understanding of what a "sense of desolation and destruction" feels like.

But here the communication between people can become all the more difficult to translate into an understanding that both can agree on. Here, instead, others are thought to be blind because they don't understand something the same way you do.


Maia wrote:It's the same for me, of course. No matter how many times people try and explain to me what it's like to see things, I just can't imagine it. And it's something I've tried to do my whole life. It's endlessly fascinating, mainly, I think, because it's impossible to ever comprehend what the other person perceives. I have probably bored people to distraction asking them to describe things.


Of course for me, here at ILP, the fascination and the frustration revolves more around endless failures to communicate regarding all of our conflicting moral and political value judgments. But I suppose the exasperation can be even more the case with something that everyone does in fact agree exists. In or out of a dream, a brick, broken glass or splintered wood can be held in our hands, touched, the weight of felt. We can come to experience what we ourselves perceive them to be through various senses in different contexts. But if someone is not able to actually see the brick in her hand or as part of a wall or a building...that's just a fact of life. Communication here between those who see and those who don't can only go so far.

It's like that scene in the movie A Scent of a Woman where the blind Colonel Slade has Charlie Simms come to the limo and, with his hands, explores the contours of his face. His own way of "seeing" him. Here I suppose beauty would be in the fingers of the beholder. But, as they say, when someone lacks vision or hearing, their other senses often become all that much more acute.
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: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:35 pm

iambiguous wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Again, for many who are not blind, it might be difficult to grapple with dreaming about bricks, broken glass and splintered wood in ways that did not involve having first seen these things in the waking world. To dream more in terms of how these things feel when the body encounters them is just something that sighted people will only be able to grasp up to a point. They are more likely to wonder how a blind person can experience a brick without ever having actually seen one.

On the other hand, blind or not, dreaming or not, we all come to have our own understanding of what a "sense of desolation and destruction" feels like.

But here the communication between people can become all the more difficult to translate into an understanding that both can agree on. Here, instead, others are thought to be blind because they don't understand something the same way you do.


Maia wrote:It's the same for me, of course. No matter how many times people try and explain to me what it's like to see things, I just can't imagine it. And it's something I've tried to do my whole life. It's endlessly fascinating, mainly, I think, because it's impossible to ever comprehend what the other person perceives. I have probably bored people to distraction asking them to describe things.


Of course for me, here at ILP, the fascination and the frustration revolves more around endless failures to communicate regarding all of our conflicting moral and political value judgments. But I suppose the exasperation can be even more the case with something that everyone does in fact agree exists. In or out of a dream, a brick, broken glass or splintered wood can be held in our hands, touched, the weight of felt. We can come to experience what we ourselves perceive them to be through various senses in different contexts. But if someone is not able to actually see the brick in her hand or as part of a wall or a building...that's just a fact of life. Communication here between those who see and those who don't can only go so far.

It's like that scene in the movie A Scent of a Woman where the blind Colonel Slade has Charlie Simms come to the limo and, with his hands, explores the contours of his face. His own way of "seeing" him. Here I suppose beauty would be in the fingers of the beholder. But, as they say, when someone lacks vision or hearing, their other senses often become all that much more acute.


Bricks, and all the other things, are just objects. I suspect you can't remember the first time you saw one or in what context, but you know exactly what they are. Likewise for me, I can't remember the first time I felt one, or picked one up, for example, but I nevertheless know exactly what they are, by touch. It's rare that I'll touch something and not know what it is, or at least have a pretty good idea, and even if I don't, a little investigation will soon provide the answer. All these memories are no doubt imprinted on us when we are very little.

As for that face thing, I know it's common in fiction, but blind people don't actually do it, or request it (at least, almost never, I suppose in the history of the world there may have been exceptions). Touching someone's face is a sign of intimacy. And also quite unpleasant and extremely invasive, in the wrong context. Beauty and attraction are always in the eye of the beholder, as they say, and for me, the first thing I always notice about a person is their smell.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:44 pm

Maia wrote:Bricks, and all the other things, are just objects. I suspect you can't remember the first time you saw one or in what context, but you know exactly what they are. Likewise for me, I can't remember the first time I felt one, or picked one up, for example, but I nevertheless know exactly what they are, by touch. It's rare that I'll touch something and not know what it is, or at least have a pretty good idea, and even if I don't, a little investigation will soon provide the answer. All these memories are no doubt imprinted on us when we are very little.


True. But then we are still confronted with the question, "Is there any difference at all between the reality of those who can see bricks and those who cannot...given a particular context?"

I'm not blind myself and I have had no extensive personal experiences being around those who were blind. So, sure, my reaction to that question would be more intuitive. It seems that the reality would be different but I'm not able to explain how. Here we would need the input of those -- blind and sighted -- who have thought it through in a far more sophisticated manner.

On the other hand, if someone was blind and another was throwing bricks at him, a lack of sight could make all the difference in the world.

Maia wrote:As for that face thing, I know it's common in fiction, but blind people don't actually do it, or request it (at least, almost never, I suppose in the history of the world there may have been exceptions). Touching someone's face is a sign of intimacy. And also quite unpleasant and extremely invasive, in the wrong context. Beauty and attraction are always in the eye of the beholder, as they say, and for me, the first thing I always notice about a person is their smell.


Again, the gap between what I think I know about blind people and what blind people know is not true -- or seldom true -- is no doubt significant. Some of the misconceptions are explored here: https://lifeofablindgirl.com/2017/07/06 ... blindness/

From the life of a blind girl website.

And I'm sure that within the blind community itself there are conflicting points of view about any number of things.

Everything here will revolve around each of our own actual experiences being in a relationship with someone who is blind. We can learn new things with each encounter. But it would seem inevitable that the communication will eventually breakdown over some things simply because someone is not blind or someone is not sighted.

Then it's back to similar complexities explored in regard to hearing and deaf people interacting in Children of a Lesser God. Although [to the best of my recollection] the William Hurt character was not himself deaf. There the controversary revolved around whether deaf people should learn to speak.

Or think of the "sense of reality" of someone like Helen Keller. In or out of dreams.
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
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:12 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:Bricks, and all the other things, are just objects. I suspect you can't remember the first time you saw one or in what context, but you know exactly what they are. Likewise for me, I can't remember the first time I felt one, or picked one up, for example, but I nevertheless know exactly what they are, by touch. It's rare that I'll touch something and not know what it is, or at least have a pretty good idea, and even if I don't, a little investigation will soon provide the answer. All these memories are no doubt imprinted on us when we are very little.


True. But then we are still confronted with the question, "Is there any difference at all between the reality of those who can see bricks and those who cannot...given a particular context?"

I'm not blind myself and I have had no extensive personal experiences being around those who were blind. So, sure, my reaction to that question would be more intuitive. It seems that the reality would be different but I'm not able to explain how. Here we would need the input of those -- blind and sighted -- who have thought it through in a far more sophisticated manner.

On the other hand, if someone was blind and another was throwing bricks at him, a lack of sight could make all the difference in the world.

Maia wrote:As for that face thing, I know it's common in fiction, but blind people don't actually do it, or request it (at least, almost never, I suppose in the history of the world there may have been exceptions). Touching someone's face is a sign of intimacy. And also quite unpleasant and extremely invasive, in the wrong context. Beauty and attraction are always in the eye of the beholder, as they say, and for me, the first thing I always notice about a person is their smell.


Again, the gap between what I think I know about blind people and what blind people know is not true -- or seldom true -- is no doubt significant. Some of the misconceptions are explored here: https://lifeofablindgirl.com/2017/07/06 ... blindness/

From the life of a blind girl website.

And I'm sure that within the blind community itself there are conflicting points of view about any number of things.

Everything here will revolve around each of our own actual experiences being in a relationship with someone who is blind. We can learn new things with each encounter. But it would seem inevitable that the communication will eventually breakdown over some things simply because someone is not blind or someone is not sighted.

Then it's back to similar complexities explored in regard to hearing and deaf people interacting in Children of a Lesser God. Although [to the best of my recollection] the William Hurt character was not himself deaf. There the controversary revolved around whether deaf people should learn to speak.

Or think of the "sense of reality" of someone like Helen Keller. In or out of dreams.


Are you asking if there's any underlying difference in the reality of something, depending on how it's perceived by a blind or sighted person? I can't really answer that. What I know is that I find it impossible to imagine what it's like to see something.

A lot of people who have been blind since birth have a very good sense of echo-location. I'd have a pretty good idea if someone was throwing something at me, bricks or otherwise.

There are indeed a lot of misconceptions around. One of the worst, in my opinion, mainly because it's really annoying, is that sighted people should avoid saying the word "blind" around blind people, or anything to do with sight. It's really embarrassing when that happens.

I know there's a lot of controversy within the deaf community about cochlea implants, and they're very into the idea that sign language, specifically BSL (British Sign Language) is a genuinely separate language in its own right, and is central to their identity. If they learn to speak, using cochlea implants for example, this will be taken from them. Or so some of them believe, anyway.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:39 am

Maia wrote: Are you asking if there's any underlying difference in the reality of something, depending on how it's perceived by a blind or sighted person? I can't really answer that. What I know is that I find it impossible to imagine what it's like to see something.


There are going to be different perceptions...reality understood in different ways...but the difference itself is always going to be more or less important depending on the context.

If both a blind and a sighted person are able to hold a brick in their hand and have come to understand why bricks exist in the world -- what they are used for -- that might be as far as it need go.

But if a sighted person is told to place the brick on a table that was just brought into the room, she sees the table and immediately walks over to it. The blind person may have be instructed as to where the table is. The sighted person immediately sees a brick in a building or in a bridge or as part of some other structure while the blind person may or may not have to be told about the building or the bridge or the structure...and without ever having actually seen it.

Or suppose the discussion shifts to whether or not a house someone wants built would be more appealing if constructed of brick or stone or wood or glass and metal. How here would a blind and a sighted person discuss it given the differences in perception?

Here, to me, there just seems to be a greater possibility for gaps in communication. But, again, what can I really know about the many possible implications/consequences of this unless I do become involved in a relationship with someone who is blind.

Maia wrote: A lot of people who have been blind since birth have a very good sense of echo-location. I'd have a pretty good idea if someone was throwing something at me, bricks or otherwise.


Here of course it would be the sighted person's turn to wonder how that would works.

Maia wrote: There are indeed a lot of misconceptions around. One of the worst, in my opinion, mainly because it's really annoying, is that sighted people should avoid saying the word "blind" around blind people, or anything to do with sight. It's really embarrassing when that happens.


Perhaps the best solution for both blind and sighted people who meet for the first time would be to get that part right out in the open. How much experiences does the sighted person have being around blind people? What assumptions or prejudices about the blind does the sighted person have? Then through the experience of being together both can learn from each other where the communication may or may not break down. They are just going to have to accept that from time to time there may not be a frame of mind able to be shared in the same way.

Maia wrote: I know there's a lot of controversy within the deaf community about cochlea implants, and they're very into the idea that sign language, specifically BSL (British Sign Language) is a genuinely separate language in its own right, and is central to their identity. If they learn to speak, using cochlea implants for example, this will be taken from them. Or so some of them believe, anyway.


Again, in the film Children of a Lesser God, I recall the biggest controversy of all revolved around the deaf learning to speak. And this revolved around the extent to which the deaf may or may not want to interact at all with those in the hearing community.

Given your own experiences, are there similar controversies/conflicts within the blind community? As it relates to the community itself and insofar as the blind interact with the sighted community.
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: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:49 am

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote: Are you asking if there's any underlying difference in the reality of something, depending on how it's perceived by a blind or sighted person? I can't really answer that. What I know is that I find it impossible to imagine what it's like to see something.


There are going to be different perceptions...reality understood in different ways...but the difference itself is always going to be more or less important depending on the context.

If both a blind and a sighted person are able to hold a brick in their hand and have come to understand why bricks exist in the world -- what they are used for -- that might be as far as it need go.

But if a sighted person is told to place the brick on a table that was just brought into the room, she sees the table and immediately walks over to it. The blind person may have be instructed as to where the table is. The sighted person immediately sees a brick in a building or in a bridge or as part of some other structure while the blind person may or may not have to be told about the building or the bridge or the structure...and without ever having actually seen it.

Or suppose the discussion shifts to whether or not a house someone wants built would be more appealing if constructed of brick or stone or wood or glass and metal. How here would a blind and a sighted person discuss it given the differences in perception?

Here, to me, there just seems to be a greater possibility for gaps in communication. But, again, what can I really know about the many possible implications/consequences of this unless I do become involved in a relationship with someone who is blind.

Maia wrote: A lot of people who have been blind since birth have a very good sense of echo-location. I'd have a pretty good idea if someone was throwing something at me, bricks or otherwise.


Here of course it would be the sighted person's turn to wonder how that would works.

Maia wrote: There are indeed a lot of misconceptions around. One of the worst, in my opinion, mainly because it's really annoying, is that sighted people should avoid saying the word "blind" around blind people, or anything to do with sight. It's really embarrassing when that happens.


Perhaps the best solution for both blind and sighted people who meet for the first time would be to get that part right out in the open. How much experiences does the sighted person have being around blind people? What assumptions or prejudices about the blind does the sighted person have? Then through the experience of being together both can learn from each other where the communication may or may not break down. They are just going to have to accept that from time to time there may not be a frame of mind able to be shared in the same way.

Maia wrote: I know there's a lot of controversy within the deaf community about cochlea implants, and they're very into the idea that sign language, specifically BSL (British Sign Language) is a genuinely separate language in its own right, and is central to their identity. If they learn to speak, using cochlea implants for example, this will be taken from them. Or so some of them believe, anyway.


Again, in the film Children of a Lesser God, I recall the biggest controversy of all revolved around the deaf learning to speak. And this revolved around the extent to which the deaf may or may not want to interact at all with those in the hearing community.

Given your own experiences, are there similar controversies/conflicts within the blind community? As it relates to the community itself and insofar as the blind interact with the sighted community.


I would know immediately where the table is. I click my tongue and I can judge where objects are in a room, and the size of the room too. I can also tell if a wall I'm near is made of brick, or something else that deflects sound differently. Personally I prefer wood, it's much nicer. Softer somehow, and more natural. I don't have to touch it to know what it is. Stone is good for monumental purposes, rather than a place to live. I don't like metal structures at all, though. I also get claustrophobic, and hate being in cars, for example.

I have to admit to having mixed feelings about the blind community and the extent to which it's something I'm happy to be a part of. Since leaving school I have increasingly distanced myself from it. The controversies and arguments keep going round and round, without any resolution, but each time getting more political. I do, however, miss playing sports, which we did at school.
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