I’m sure this subject has been beaten to death, but what do persons, blind from birth, dreams look like?
My dreams are in color, with robot-monsters, sexual encounters with girls, running from robot-monsters, being late for class and not being able to find the right classroom, finding myself back in high-school and trying to convince someone that I’ve already done all this, and running from robot-monsters and my legs won’t work, all my terrible X-bosses, etc.
I can explain “why” my dreams are the way they are, since most are based on things I experience, coupled with spicy food, and stress.
But these are all based on VISUAL data coupled with stress.
So the only thing in common would be the “stress” part.
What is the deal? Shit, what is the deal with robot-monsters, anyway.
If you were blind, your dreams would be about robot-monsters, sexual encounters with girls, running from robot-monsters, being late for class and not being able to find the right classroom, finding yourself back in high-school and trying to convince someone that you’ve already done all this, and running from robot-monsters and your legs won’t work, all your terrible X-bosses, etc.
Whatever the answer to the question of “How do blind people experience the world. Do they ‘see’ nothing but black, or do their other senses create an entire cognitive reality without vision?” is, it’s also the answer to the dream question.
Dreams are re-lived experiences and proposed scenarios we play through to practice. They aren’t movies in our heads, they’re more like simulated realities that we interact with. However blind people experience reality, it’s how they dream.
Obviously, you aren’t blind, and equally uninformed about robot-monsters.
So, do I interpret your response as “stress-only” emotional conditions?
Then, are their bad-dreams a “shudder/cry/reaction to adverse/negative stimuli” about stresses during their day, on a purely psycological level? As to say: “I slept like shit, because I had a dream about feeling like shit”?
Visual stimuli, that we daily take for granted, provides the foundation of the circumstances/arena that are played out in the sub-conscious manifestations of our daily visual/emotional stimuli.
So when a blind person has a bad dream, it it an emotional “overwhelmingness” of a problem or circumstance experienced during consciousness?
A blind-person would never know what a robot-monster is. Robot-monsters are not “stamped” into our subconscious in the way “building a nest” is for a newly-hatched bird is, whom is never taught to build a nest by outside influences.
But robot-monsters present themselves into the consciousness of a blind person in ways other than visually. They have a very distinctive sound when they are pursuing you, and you can definitely feel their metallic claws grasping your clothing as you run.
A blind person dreams with re-creations of the world as they sense it. I do not understand the the rest of your statements.
I suppose it’s a related question, but can totally blind people imagine pictures? I haven’t been able to google any helpful information on total blindness. I’m also interested in how common it is to be completely blind from birth. You’d think you’d hear more stories about what it’s like.
Doc, You don’t get what I am asking, either, and that’s my fault.
Robot-monsters say: “Fe Fi Fo Fum” while tearing apart the whole town No shit. I was there, with MANCHURIANS!..jumpin’ off a moving train, into a ditch, and running uphill, all the way! WTF do I know about Manchurians? Nothing, but at the time, they had the right idea. WTF?
The “Cocktail” of our daily lives, that is mixed in our brains, and re-served during sleep, is a culminisation of emotional e/affects that hit us during the day.
So, is a blind person’s dream an emotional “feeling” of good or bad, like a song? In what context do they remember the best of the best and the worst of the worst?
I am a VERY visually oriented person. Despite that, my dreams, which are quite odd and frequent, are almost always NON visual. They usually entirely conceptual. So, in my case at least, I can imagine how blind people dream.
I think I understand what he means. Here’s my restatement of his OP:
*We all have archetypes built into us that we learn from our culture. For example, big robot monsters are a common manifestation of “fear”, just like Santa Claus is a manifestation of good, homely feelings.
When you go through daily life, you experience some emotions. Like if my boss yells at me, I get angry or fearful. Later on, my brain will take that fear and manifest a dream out of it. For us, the brain makes a visual archetype of the emotion- sexual, fearful, liberated, whatever. But what does a blind person’s brain manifest the emotion as?*
OK, back to my voice now. Super, I think you’re totally wrong about how dreams are created. I don’t think they have anything to do with emotions we’ve packed in during the day. They’re just scenarios that we think about while we sleep. Sort of a “I wonder what it’d be like if…” scenario. Thus, a blind person would perform in the dream like they would in real life. So while you go “I wonder how scary it’d be if the town was torn to bits by a robot monster. Then some Manchurians show up…”, the blind person says “…robot monster. Then I hear some manchurians show up…” or something like that.
It is probably not very common to be completely blind from birth. Part of the trouble, though, is that newborn babies are so uncoordinated that blind ones do not act noticeably differently from sighted ones, so blindness is rarely diagnosed (or noticed) until the child is rather older. For this reason, in the scientific literature they often prefer to talk about “early blind” rather than “congenitally blind” people (they might have been blind right from birth, but you cannot be sure).
Another issue is that many, perhaps most people who are counted as blind are not, in fact, completely blind. Many can tell light from darkness, and some can see more than that, such as being able to make out vague shapes of things if they contrast strongly with their surroundings. (I am not talking about “partially sighted” people. They can see even more.)
The interconnected topics of what congenital blindness is like subjectively, how much a blind a person can know about their environment, what the imagination of an early blind person is like, and what it might be like for an early blind person to have their site restored (an “experiment” that has now been performed numerous times), has been extensively discussed by doctors, scientists and philosophers since at least the early 18th century. Here is an excellent book on the history of the subject (Amazon Look Inside - Google books does not have a preview). Here [PDF] is probably the earliest account of an early blind person who had their sight medically restored (in the 18th century). (And here is a brief modern abstract and commentary on that 18th century article.)
But in your dreams, are you talking? Are you hearing things? Are you smelling things? Are you feeling things? When you run in your dreams is your heart beating? Can you feel that? I would bet that you ARE doing all your five senses in each dream, it’s just that your visual sense is the one you’re paying attention to