Oneirology and Rationality Tables: Sleep (Subconscious)
Behavior Within Quantum Mechanics
Mammals, birds, and many fish,
amphibians, and reptiles require sleep for survival. Human sleep
is divided into either Rapid Eye Movement (REM) or Non-Rapid Eye Movement
(NREM). Each type has its own neurological feature. NREM
is divided into three stages: N1, N2, and N3. N1 is a drowsy
state where the transition of alpha waves (frequency is 8 to 13 Hz)
is made to theta waves (4 to 7 Hz). N2 accounts for 45-55% of
total adult sleep and is the stage where muscular activity and consciousness
decreases (12 to 16 Hz). N3 is called delta sleep (0.5 to 4 Hz)
where the parasomnias of nightmares, bedwetting, sleeptalking, and sleepwalking
(somnambulism or noctambulism) occur. Shakespeare's Macbeth has a crucial sleepwalking scene.
Other NREM parasomnias are bruxism (teeth grinding), restless leg syndrome,
and periodic limb movement disorder.
REM sleep is where most memorable
dreaming occurs (20 to 25% of total sleep time for healthy adults).
Parasomnias in REM can be manifested by muscle movement to act out dreams
and can be acute due to medication, such as depressants, or can be chronic
due to degenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease or dementia.
Sleep timing is influenced
by the circadian clock. The sleep cycle is normally N1, N2, N3,
N2, REM. It has been demonstrated that cognitive performance in
adults declines with six or fewer hours of sleep. Children need
more than the adults' seven to eight hours of sleep. Newborn
babies need the most with up to eighteen hours of sleep.
Sleep deprivation harms immune
systems. Sleep deprivation early in life can result in behavioral
problems, decreased brain size, and high amounts of neuronal cell necrosis.
Working memory supports high cognitive functions (e.g. decision making
and reasoning etc.) and is adversely affected by sleep loss (studies
show as high as a 38% drop in ability).
Matthew P. Walker, now Director
of the Sleep
and Neuroimaging Laboratory
at the University of California at Berkeley, et al found that people that were sleep deprived
had significantly diminished activity in the prefrontal lobe where executive
function occurs. Those people were also more sensitive to negative
things. G. William Domhoff (b. 1936), research professor of psychology
and sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, suggests
that Walker's study, as with all new claims, be given time for replication.
(William Domhoff's comment was excerpted from an email exchange
with Dallas F. Bell Jr. during August, 2009.) J. Allan Hobson
(b. 1933), professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says Walker's
data means that "sleep knits the ravelled sleave of care" (sic).
(Allan Hobson's view, a Shakespeare quote from Macbeth [Act II,
Scene II], was taken from an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell Jr.
in August, 2009.)
Christopher M. Nolte, neurologist
at the Mercy Sleep Centers, says that it is clear from sleep deprivation
studies that the effects are similar across age groups. Both (young
and old) will demonstrate emotional and behavioral changes and will
see a reduction in performance (reaction times, vigilance etc.)
Nolte adds, it is also clear from functional MRI imaging studies that
the areas involved in executive functioning change during aging.
Recent fMRI findings from chronically sleep restricted adolescents show
the same changes as seen in adults (Behav
Brain Funct. 2009; 5:9).
So when Walker et al demonstrates that the prefrontal-amygdala pathways
are affected by sleep deprivation in adults, it would not be surprising
to see similar findings in the under 25 age group (though the localization
using functional imaging may not be identical in children.) (Christopher
Nolte's remarks were taken from an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell
Jr. during August, 2009.)
Sedatives and depressants are
often used to facilitate sleep. Stimulants (i.e. caffeine etc.)
may be used to temporarily prevent sleep. When the effects of
stimulants wear off a rapid reduction in mental alertness can be expected
The Bible describes sleep as
slumber (Prov. 6:4, 9-11), desolation (Jere. 51:39, 57), unregeneracy
(1 Thess. 5:6-7), death (John 11:11-14), spiritual indifference (Matt.
25:5) and prophetic vision (Dan. 8:18). Sleep is beneficial when
by God (Ps. 3:5; 127:2), from trusting in God (Ps. 4:8), obeying parents
(Prov. 6:20-22), in wisdom (Prov. 3:21-24), from working (Eccl. 5:12),
after duty (Ps. 132:1-5), and when having a pleasant dream (Jere. 31:23-26).
Problems with sleep come when worrying (Dan. 2:1), with insomnia (Esth.
6:1), and with overwork (Gen. 31:40). Sleep is not appropriate
in harvest (Prov. 10:5), when excessive (Prov. 6:9-11; 24:33-34), and
during some dangerous occasions (Prov. 6:1-5; Matt. 26:45-47).
Dreaming is the perception
of images and sounds that the dreamer feels is a participant as suggested
A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Dreams are stimulated by the pons and usually occur during the REM period.
Pons are the nerve fibers on the ventral surface of the brain at the
anterior of the medulla oblongata.
Oneirology (Gr. oneiro
means dream) is the scientific study of dreams. Hypotheses of
the function of dreams range from Sigmund Freud's view, that dreams
are a free will function of expression of desires in the subconscious
that can be interpreted to uncover desires, to Allan Hobson's activation
synthesis theory. The subconscious, as defined in this paper,
is a state of not being conscious but able to return to consciousness
by reacting to natural stimuli, such as loud sounds, pain etc.
Unconsciousness is a state of not being conscious and not being able
to return to consciousness from natural stimuli due to a breakdown of
natural systems, such as low oxygen levels, low blood flow to the brain
Hobson's theory suggests
that signals interpreted as dreams are caused by the random firing of
neurons in the cerebral cortex during REM sleep. Mark L. Solms
(b. 1961) found that patients with damage to the parietal lobe stopped
dreaming. Hobson and Solms' findings have been combined into
continual-activation theory. This theory proposes dreaming is
a result of both brain activation and synthesis.
William Domhoff found that
visual imagery in dreams is intact after lesions to the primary visual
cortex as it is for people that go blind after 5-7 years of age.
Solms found that damage to the occipito-temporal region of the visual
association cortex caused dreams to become non-visual. John Sutton's
paper titled Dreaming discusses these studies in more detail.
(John Sutton, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at Macquarie
University in Australia, recommended his papers in an email exchange
with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in August, 2009.)
In physics, quantum theory looks at mathematical models that
combine space and time. Some space-time theories include other
dimensions. The number of dimensions that are needed to describe
the universe (all that exists) is debated. String theory predicts
10 or 26 dimensions, with M-theory (developed by Edward Witten) predicting
11 dimensions (10 spatial and 1 temporal). The existence of more
than 4 dimensions seems to only make a difference at the subatomic level.
Max Tegmark explains that if
T (temporal dimensions) differs from 1, the behavior of physical
systems could not be predictably reliable from knowledge of the relevant
partial differential equations. That universe would not be thought
capable of allowing intelligent life manipulate technology. If
T > 1, Tegmark says that protons and electrons would be
unstable and decay into particles having greater mass than themselves.
If N < 3 (N is spatial dimension) gravitation
becomes problematic and the universe is too simple to contain observers
(i.e. nerves cannot overlap without intersecting in N <
The Bible does have many passages
that indicate other dimensions. For example, Elisha showed a realm
surrounded by protective forces (II Kings 6:17), Jesus walked through
walls (John 20:19-20, 26), and Paul spoke of invisible things (Rom.
A central problem with the
interpretation of quantum mechanics is the duality of time in physical
systems. Hugh Everett (1930-1982) suggested that the universe
is indeterminate as a whole. This leads to a many-worlds interpretation
which leads to a many-minds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Many-minds extends the many-worlds view by making a distinction between
worlds at the level of the mind of the observer.
The human brain operates as
a pattern of switching, as described by Matthew J. Donald, like a quantum
mechanical switch. However, Edward Witten (b.1951), to date is
the only physicist awarded the Fields Medal (1990), states that there
are no (unique) quantum insights about dreams and that most brain functioning
can be described by a classical model (including some randomness).
(Edward Witten's, mathematical physics professor at the Institute
for Advanced Study, statement was excerpted from an email exchange with
Dallas F. Bell Jr. in September, 2009.)
Dream content was shown to
be commonly experienced by Calvin S. Hall (1909-1985) when William Domhoff
made Hall's reports available to the public. Dreams usually
incorporate recent personal experiences, emotion (especially anxiety
and other negative emotion), sexuality, recurring narratives (falling,
slow running, late for an event, nakedness, being lost etc.) 12%
of people dream only in black and white.
Dream interpretation is the
process of assigning meaning to dreams. Historically, dreams were
considered supernatural communication with the Divine, whose message
could be explained by those gifted with the ability. In Egypt,
priests acted as interpreters of dreams. The Bible records Joseph
(c. 1716- 1714 B.C.) and Daniel (C. 594 B.C.) interpreting God's communication
The Bible gives many examples
of dreams: Abimelech (Gen. 20:3-7), Jacob (Gen. 28:10-16), Laban
(Gen. 31:24), Joseph (Gen. 37:5-10; 40:5-22), Pharaoh (Gen. 41:1-13),
a Midianite (Judg. 7:13-15), Solomon ( I Kings 3:5-15), Job (Job 7:14),
Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2:1-13), Joseph (Matt. 1:19-24; 2:12-22), and Pilate's
wife (Matt. 27:13-19). The purpose of dreams is restraint of will
(Gen. 20:3-7), to reveal God's will (Gen. 28:11-22), to encourage
(Judg. 7:13-15), to reveal the future (Gen. 37:5-10), and to instruct
(Matt. 1:20). The interpretation of dreams are sought after (Dan.
2:1-3; Num. 12:6), are God's and revealed by God (Gen. 40:8), may
be delusive (Is. 29:7-8), and can be false (Deut. 13:1-5).
An analysis of a biblical dream
can be broken down into the thing or subject (noun), movement and time
(verb and tense), systematic theological monads, physical natural laws
and natural laws of freewill, and choice. These components can
be expanded on by using the rationality
tables and other modeling
Dream interpretation was made
a part of psychoanalysis at the end of the 19th century.
The belief was that the content of a dream had latent meaning from the
psyche of the person dreaming which could be analyzed. Sigmund
Freud and Carl Jung believed that dreams were an interaction between
the subconscious and the conscious. Whereas, Calvin Hall considered
dreams a cognitive process. These methods are strikingly different
from the biblical emphasis.
Not all dreams occur during
sleep at night, n'est-ce pas? A daydream is a common
phenomenon. It seems that daydreaming consolidates learning in
the brain for the daydreamer. Research with fMRI shows the complex
problem-solving part of the brain is activated during daydreaming episodes.
While daydreaming has been thought to be non-productive, there are numerous
examples (Einstein etc.) of artistic and creative breakthroughs occurring
during daydreams. Guido d'Arezzo (c. 991-1033) may have invented
musical notation in such a creative state.
Daydreams are not visions or
trances which may be God generated. A vision is something seen
in a daydream type state that evokes a supernatural appearance or revelation.
Biblical characteristics of visions are understandability (Dan. 7:15-28),
glorify the Divine (Ezek. 8:1-4; Dan.2:19-24), personal (Dan. 10:7-9),
prophetic (Dan. 9:23-27), dated and localized (Ezek. 1:1-3), cause trembling
(Dan. 10:7-17), interpreted (Dan. 9:21-24), necessary (Prov. 29:18),
sure (Ezek. 12:21-28), Messianic proof (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:17-21),
and can be false (Jere. 14:14). Visions are for guidance (Gen.
46:2-5; Luke 1:11-22; Acts 10:3-8), direction (Acts 16:9-10), encouragement
(Acts 18:9-10), warning (Is. 21:2-6), judgment (I Sam. 3:15-18), and
Divine action (Acts 26:19-20). Things revealed in biblical visions
are Israel's future (Gen. 15:1-21), world empires (Dan. 7:1-28), Ram
(Dan. 8:1-27), borders (Ezek. 47:1-23), God's glory (II Cor. 12:1-11),
and God's throne (Rev. 4:1-11). A trance is a state of partially
suspended animation. Biblical examples are Balaam (Num. 24:4-9,
16-25), Peter (Acts 10:10-17; 11:5-10), and Paul (Acts 22:17-21).
The Bible says that it shall
come to pass in the last days that God says He will pour out His Spirit
upon all people; and their sons and their daughters shall prophesy,
and the young men shall see visions and the old men shall dream dreams
(Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:17; 10:45). Oliver Wendell Holmes' (1909-1894)
Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table,
Chapter 12, states that nothing is so commonplace as to wish to be remarkable.
(Real) Fame usually comes to those who are thinking about something
else. Holmes' points out that there are always charlatans.
The environment of truth among believers, in the last days, will be
exploited by deceivers (Matt. 24:11; II Peter 2:1-2; Rev. 19:20) for
power and money (Is. 8:20; I Kings 13:1-32; Jere. 23:17-40, 28:15-17;
Matt. 7:15-20, 22-23; II Peter 2:3-22; Rom. 16:18; II Thess. 2:3; Col.
2:4). So believers beware!
In conclusion, the connection
between oneirology and the rationality tables can be made as sleep and
other subconscious states can be seen in a behavioral context within
the modern quantum theories of physics.
RIGHTS RESERVED © 2009 DALLAS F. BELL, JR.----------