Saturday, May 12, 2012

32. Directed Dreaming

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It's time to apply everything you took in up till now about dreams, that is, articles, tests, and video and put them to work while listening to the audio which inspired the gap-filling exercise below.

Listening practice: Directed Dreaming
[adapted from New Success at First Certificate,
by Robert O’Neill, Michael Duckworth & Kathy Gude]

The interviewer is asking the psychologist about the kind of 1. ___ they are doing in their department. The doctor says that they are trying to find out about an area of 2. ___ ___ to them at the moment, namely 3. ___ ___.
In order to explain the notion, the psychologist gives the example of the quite common experience humans have  of 4. ___ ___ in the middle of the dream and 5. ___ ___ to the dream when they go back to sleep. 
Unlike such random instances, 6. ___ ___ are trained people who are able to 7. ___ the contents of their dreams almost 8. ___.
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Research aims to find out whether everybody may develop the ability in a similar degree to that of the three 9. ___ dreamers they work with.

One of the experiments they are currently carrying out consists in asking these very 10. ___ subjects to dream about 11. ___ ___ each other while they are sleeping.

Their task was to go – in the dream – to a 12. ___ down by the river that they knew and 13. ___ ___ each other.

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On the following day, during separate interviews, the two male subjects told the psychiatrist that they 14. ___ ___ a dream and could remember it; that in their dream, they had met down there, and had had a talk, but that they hadn’t 15. ___ the woman. 

Surprisingly, the female subject said she hadn’t 15. ___ of anything at all that night or, that she couldn’t remember anyway.

The Pharaoh (see the extract from Genesis in the previous post) asked for help. It was Joseph who explained – or, shall I say, interpreted – the dream for him. That’s how the Pharaoh became sure that his dream was the premonition of the seven bad years to come. How much of a myth does the story contain?
Yet again, what do you think you could achieve by becoming a directed dreamer?

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

31. Pharaoh's Dream

Adrien Guignet, Joseph et Pharaon
(Google Images)
‘Pharaoh dreamed that he stood by the river, and out came seven fat cattle, who fed in the reed-grass. And then seven lean cattle came up out of the river and ate the seven fat cattle, and Pharaoh awoke. He went back to sleep and dreamed that seven good ears of corn came up on one stalk, and then seven thin ears sprung up after them and swallowed the good ears, and Pharaoh again awoke.
In the morning, Pharaoh was troubled and sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt and told them his dream, but none could interpret it. Then the chief butler spoke up, confessing his faults and relating how Pharaoh had put him in prison with the baker, and a Hebrew there had interpreted their dreams, correctly predicting the future.’ (Genesis 41:1-8.)

Let’s take another deep plunge in the mysteries of the mind, albeit for us to see how different our experiences are from those of other people's. [The key to the previous cloze test is to be found after the page break]
In what way does the information in the video you've just watched reflect Elias Howe's experience?
Much has been said and written about the different treatment granted to the importance of dreams in the Eastern and Western world views, respectively. What differences can you mention?
Do you see any advantages to developing the ability to dream what you want?

Sunday, May 06, 2012

30. A Grasp of Reality (III)

Salvador Dali, Memory
       I. Following the thread of the previous post, here is a possible variant of the enlarged summary:

“Ideas have always been the motor of progress along the centuries, yet they are far from coming in a flash of inspiration – they are more often than not the result of years of concentration. An inventor’s life is not an easy one: he needs, above all, to work hard and work long hours. Such was the case of Elias Howe, the first person to design a sewing-machine that really worked. Like many other inventors, Howe went on thinking about the problem he was trying to solve in his restless sleep. The dream he had associated the unsolved design of the sewing-machine with the holes he noticed in the tip of the spears that some fierce savages were carrying: so, in order to stop the thread from getting caught around the needle, he had to pierce the tip.

There are also other renowned creators whom the text mentions for having found inspiration in dreams in order to solve their problems: inventors such as Thomas Edison, composers like Igor Stravinsky – even writers like Charlotte Brontë. That is the reason why dreams are sometimes called 'secret messages to ourselves': they contain strange images which communicate ideas.

[You will find the key to the exercises of the previous post after the page break] 

[adapted from New Success at First Certificate,
by Robert O’Neill, Michael Duckworth & Kathy Gude]
This is a dream that a young man called Martin Ellward once had. It is told in his own words but some of these words are missing.

Salvador Dali, The Fourth Dimension
I dreamt that I was standing in…….(1) of a small aeroplane. I was trying to persuade my girlfriend to.......(2) in it with me. At first she didn't.......  (3) to but finally she agreed. I started the.......(4) and we took off. I wanted to impress her so I started.......(5) some dives and rolls. I could.......(6) that she wasn't really enjoying it so I.......(7). Then I suddenly noticed that the weather.......(8) turned bad and that we were flying.......(9) some mountains. They.......(10) very dangerous, with tall, jagged peaks.......(11) fell away steeply. It was just then that I heard a strange.......(12) from the engine. It was coughing and spluttering as if we were about to.......(13) out of fuel.

'What's happening?' my girlfriend.......(14) me. I.......(15) her everything was all right and that there.......(16) nothing to worry about. But suddenly the engine stopped and we began to.......(17) height. The mountains were getting closer and closer and I knew we were going to.......(18) into them. My girlfriend turned to me with a terrified.......(19) on her face. 'This is all your.......(20)!' she shouted.

Here are fifteen of the missing words. Where do they belong? Can you guess the rest?

asked- crash- doing- engine - front- get- look- looked/were -noise- stopped- told- towards- was- want- which/that
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