Decoding dreams: the science behind dreaming

Dreaming is a kind of mental state or altered state of consciousness which occurs during sleep. Often, they involve fictitious events that are organized into a loose story. They show that our brains are capable of generating entire worlds that are disconnected, but often draw inspiration from our waking environment. They have fascinated mankind since time immemorial and much has been speculated about their origins and purpose. Early accounts account of dreams from as far as 5000 years in Mesopotamia, set in clay tablets. Like many other things, they also have been subject to the fundamental human need to find a meaning in things that they don’t understand by inventing one. As such many ancient civilisations treated them as a means by which the future and prophesies can be communicated.

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You make your own luck

Picture the scenario:

You pull up to deserted T-junction in your brand new Mini Cooper. After a cursory glance in each direction, there doesn’t seem to be anything there. But then again, you’ve driven this way hundreds of times and nothings ever there. You slowly ease into the middle of the junction. Suddenly the glint of another car’s windshield enters your peripheral vision. There’s a screech of tortured rubber but it’s too late. Time goes into slow motion as the two vehicles approach at what seems a glacial speed. Everything goes black. When you open your eyes again, the world is full of twisted metal. Your head feels like the morning after a heavy night with Orsen Welles and there’s smoke rising from under the hood. You’re battered and bruised, but alive. What’s the first thing that goes through your head?

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