Tag Archive: the meaning of dreams

TOM page 099

Making the audience think just a little, like a detective story. Perhaps the screenplay overstates the obvious, but again, it’s W.I.P. Testing options! With an intention to shoot more & edit back, rather than shooting too little…

T.O.M. pg 042

I think it’s important for a director to have a philosophy that’s driving their project forward – in this case my interest in the meanings and utility of dreams (and of A.I.).
It’s also great for audiences to be challenged and provoked into thinking deeper. They appreciate it. Not too much though, as that would be tiring. So after dropping a ‘knowledge-bomb’ or two, it’ll be back to the action shortly… 

TOM pg 039

As a sign of how fast things are moving now… when I first drafted this story, 10+ years ago, I thought I was pushing my luck having a computer identify an image by just holding a page in front of a lens – but that has come to pass with Google Lens – an A.I. app doing exactly that. 
Which hopefully should make others wonder – what else in this story shall also soon come to pass? (and why this may be a project/body of work worthy of investment?)

As we approach machine-consciousness (A.I.), surely we should get to know our own states of consciousness much better? And that means understanding dreams!

If we get Symbiotic A.I. – an A.I. Internet enabled by our collective emotional & sensory human input – and if that might then be called an Artificial Consciousness – shouldn’t we now be spending more time getting to grips with what Consciousness is and what it means? And study more our own Altered States of Consciousness – from Dreams to Meditations, and even Psychedelics, Shamanic journeys and beyond?
i.e. Will there one day be a CompSci 101 course in Altered States?



Many, perhaps most, people in Sub-Saharan Africa have a very different approach to their dreams, to the Western outlook. They will think nothing unusual of conversing with their ancestors in dreams (or even in waking life, for that matter).

This panel was inspired by an interview I did with the chieftess of a Himba tribal group, in Northern Namibia. (Though the headdress – that beaded fringe – is more like what a Sangoma – a Xhosa medicine woman – would wear in South Africa.

The Oracle Machine - Himba

Most people acknowledge that nightmares frighten them, and other dreams help them wake up relaxed or in a jolly mood, but beyond that, it seems to me, that too many people dismiss any value to their dreams – mostly because of the supposedly random imagery involved.

However, I believe we do have a deep ‘inner-self’ that speaks to us in dreams, but that it uses images partly because it seldom uses a voice. Perhaps this is because we already have another inner-dialogue, more conscious ‘voice’ we already use. (Although in lucid dreams, I have experienced external-sounding voices…)

So instead our inner-self communicates in images, and it uses images from our subconscious, that already have ’emotionally-loaded’ meaning for us. This is why dreams will throw up images from the past – representing something we experienced whose impact became embedded in us, and associated with that image. Furthermore, these images are intertwined with symbols and personalities we may never have consciously encountered before.

Jung used the word ‘archetype’ – now part of our lexicon – to describe his idea that our instincts have become so refined as to be ‘personalities’ that reside within us, and influence us greatly. These characters can be seen in mythology, because myths are stories that have been passed down through the ages, and have thus been shaped over time – like a smooth pebble on a beach – to reveal these archetypes.

And the fact that such similar myths and archetypes pop up across the world, across all cultures, and across so many dreams – should be evidence that they are deeply part of us.

What’s interesting now is that A.I. brain scanning is becoming able to visualise the images we imagine. Does this mean that soon A.I. will see what we dream? And when it analyses the dreams of 20 million people – or perhaps 1 billion when we have mobile phones embedded in our heads – will A.I. then see the patterns, or streams, of mythology, and ‘meet’ these archetypes?

I agree with what Harari says – that we really should all try get to know ourselves better, before an A.I. knows us better than we do. So shouldn’t we all be paying much more attention to our dreams?

The Oracle Machine - more dreams