The Dialogue of Dreams - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

Both collective symbols and private symbols are used. The collective symbols (Jung's archetypes?) preventrepparttar need to re-inventrepparttar 126345 wheel. They are assumed to constitute a universal language usable by dreamers everywhere. The dreaming brain has, therefore, to attend to and to process onlyrepparttar 126346 "semi-private language" elements. This is less time consuming andrepparttar 126347 conventions of a universal language apply torepparttar 126348 communication betweenrepparttar 126349 dream andrepparttar 126350 dreamer.

Evenrepparttar 126351 discontinuities have their reason. A lot ofrepparttar 126352 information that we absorb and process is either "noise" or repetitive. This fact is known torepparttar 126353 authors of allrepparttar 126354 file compression applications inrepparttar 126355 world. Computer files can be compressed to one tenth their size without appreciably losing information. The same principle is applied in speed reading skimmingrepparttar 126356 unnecessary bits, getting straight torepparttar 126357 point. The dream employsrepparttar 126358 same principles: it skims, it gets straight torepparttar 126359 point and from it to yet another point. This createsrepparttar 126360 sensation of being erratic, of abruptness, ofrepparttar 126361 absence of spatial or temporal logic, of purposelessness. But this all servesrepparttar 126362 same purpose: to succeed to finishrepparttar 126363 Herculean task of refittingrepparttar 126364 model ofrepparttar 126365 Self and ofrepparttar 126366 World in one night.

Thus,repparttar 126367 selection of visuals, symbols, and collective symbols and ofrepparttar 126368 discontinuous mode of presentation, their preference over alternative methods of representation is not accidental. This isrepparttar 126369 most economic and unambiguous way of representation and, therefore,repparttar 126370 most efficient andrepparttar 126371 most in compliance withrepparttar 126372 four principles. In cultures and societies, whererepparttar 126373 mass of information to be processed is less mountainous these features are less likely to occur and indeed, they don't.

Excerpts from an Interview about DREAMS - First published in Suite101

Dreams are by farrepparttar 126374 most mysterious phenomenon in mental life. Onrepparttar 126375 face of it, dreaming is a colossal waste of energy and psychic resources. Dreams carry no overt information content. They bear little resemblance to reality. They interfere withrepparttar 126376 most critical biological maintenance function - with sleep. They don't seem to be goal oriented, they have no discernible objective. In this age of technology and precision, efficiency and optimization - dreams seem to be a somewhat anachronistically quaint relic of our life inrepparttar 126377 savannah. Scientists are people who believe inrepparttar 126378 aesthetic preservation of resources. They believe that nature is intrinsically optimal, parsimonious and "wise". They dream up symmetries, "laws" of nature, minimalist theories. They believe that everything has a reason and a purpose. In their approach to dreams and dreaming, scientists commit all these sins combined. They anthropomorphesize nature, they engage in teleological explanations, they attribute purpose and paths to dreams, where there might be none. So, they say that dreaming is a maintenance function (the processing ofrepparttar 126379 preceding day's experiences) - or that it keepsrepparttar 126380 sleeping person alert and aware of his environment. But no one knows for sure. We dream, no one knows why. Dreams have elements in common with dissociation or hallucinations but they are neither. They employ visuals because this isrepparttar 126381 most efficient way of packing and transferring information. But WHICH information? Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams" is a mere literary exercise. It is not a serious scientific work (which does not detract from its awesome penetration and beauty).

I have lived in Africa,repparttar 126382 Middle East, North America, Western Europe and Eastern Europe. Dreams fulfil different societal functions and have distinct cultural roles in each of these civilizations. In Africa, dreams are perceived to be a mode of communication, as real asrepparttar 126383 internet is to us.

Dreams are pipelines through which messages flow: fromrepparttar 126384 beyond (life after death), from other people (such as shamans - remember Castaneda), fromrepparttar 126385 collective (Jung), from reality (this isrepparttar 126386 closest to Western interpretation), fromrepparttar 126387 future (precognition), or from assorted divinities. The distinction between dream states and reality is very blurred and people act on messages contained in dreams as they would on any other information they obtain in their "waking" hours. This state of affairs is quiterepparttar 126388 same inrepparttar 126389 Middle East and Eastern Europe where dreams constitute an integral and important part of institutionalized religion andrepparttar 126390 subject of serious analyses and contemplation. In North America -repparttar 126391 most narcissistic culture ever - dreams have been construed as communications WITHINrepparttar 126392 dreaming person. Dreams no longer mediate betweenrepparttar 126393 person and his environment. They arerepparttar 126394 representation of interactions between different structures ofrepparttar 126395 "self". Their role is, therefore, far more limited and their interpretation far more arbitrary (because it is highly dependent onrepparttar 126396 personal circumstances and psychology ofrepparttar 126397 specific dreamer).

Narcissism IS a dream state. The narcissist is totally detached from his (human) milieu. Devoid of empathy and obsessively centred onrepparttar 126398 procurement of narcissistic supply (adulation, admiration, etc.) -repparttar 126399 narcissist is unable to regard others as three dimensional beings with their own needs and rights. This mental picture of narcissism can easily serve as a good description ofrepparttar 126400 dream state where other people are mere representations, or symbols, in a hermeneutically sealed thought system. Both narcissism and dreaming are AUTISTIC states of mind with severe cognitive and emotional distortions. By extension, one can talk about "narcissistic cultures" as "dream cultures" doomed to a rude awakening. It is interesting to note that most narcissists I know from my correspondence or personally (myself included) have a very poor dream-life and dreamscape. They remember nothing of their dreams and are rarely, if ever, motivated by insights contained in them.

The Internet isrepparttar 126401 sudden and voluptuous embodiment of my dreams. It is too good to me to be true - so, in many ways, it isn't. I think Mankind (at least inrepparttar 126402 rich, industrialized countries) is moonstruck. It surfs this beautiful, white landscape, in suspended disbelief. It holds it breath. It dares not believe and believes not its hopes. The Internet has, therefore, become a collective phantasm - at times a dream, at times a nightmare. Entrepreneurship involves massive amounts of dreaming andrepparttar 126403 net is pure entrepreneurship.

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and

Visit Sam's Web site at

Misdiagnosing Narcissism - Asperger's Disorder

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

Thus, whilerepparttar narcissist avoids pain by excluding, devaluing, and discarding others -repparttar 126344 Asperger's patient achievesrepparttar 126345 same result by withdrawing and by passionately incorporating in his universe only one or two people and one or two subjects of interest. Both narcissists and Asperger's patients are prone to react with depression to perceived slights and injuries - but Asperger's patients are far more at risk of self-harm and suicide.

The use of language is another differentiating factor.

The narcissist is a skilled communicator. He uses language as an instrument to obtain Narcissistic Supply or as a weapon to obliterate his "enemies" and discarded sources with. Cerebral narcissists derive Narcissistic Supply fromrepparttar 126346 consummate use they make of their innate verbosity.

Not sorepparttar 126347 Asperger's patient. He is equally verbose at times (and taciturn on other occasions) but his topics are few and, thus, tediously repetitive. He is unlikely to obey conversational rules and etiquette (for instance, to let others speak in turn). Nor isrepparttar 126348 Asperger's patient able to decipher nonverbal cues and gestures or to monitor his own misbehavior on such occasions. Narcissists are similarly inconsiderate - but only towards those who cannot possibly serve as Sources of Narcissistic Supply.

More about Autism Spectrum Disorders here:

McDowell, Maxson J. (2002) The Image ofrepparttar 126349 Mother's Eye: Autism and Early Narcissistic Injury , Behavioral and Brain Sciences (Submitted)

Benis, Anthony - "Toward Self & Sanity: Onrepparttar 126350 Genetic Origins ofrepparttar 126351 Human Character" - Narcissistic-Perfectionist Personality Type (NP) with special reference to infantile autism

Stringer, Kathi (2003) An Object Relations Approach to Understanding Unusual Behaviors and Disturbances

James Robert Brasic, MD, MPH (2003) Pervasive Developmental Disorder: Asperger Syndrome

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and

Visit Sam's Web site at

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