In my last post I talked alittle about my brain, a subject that fascinates me. As much as I would like to learn more on the subject am lazy when it comes to reading text books on technical subjects so I rely mostly on short simplified articles, movies and TV series or what people say.
When I mention the brain and its functionality and complexity or weirdness the first thing that comes to mind in Dr. Pierce a fictitious character in the TV series Perception. In the first class of neuro science he asked his students a question that though it may sound easy, its a tricky one, “What is reality.”
The students gave different answers, one of them was that reality is what we see and feel, exactly what most of us would say. He then goes ahead to say, much to their bewilderment that reality is a “figment of our imagination.” Yaa.. Right. You thought I exist and that you are reading this…its just a figment of your imagination.
Don’t stone me before you get the explanation. And I quote, my understanding of his explanation.
” Its in the middle of the night, in your sleep you are being chased by something, its scary and dangerous. You run for your dear life. Breathing hard, sweating and panting and maybe scream. ”
You wake up, you can feel your heart beating fast and you are unable to stop youself from shaking. You take hold of the corner of your sheet and wipe out the sweat from your face.
So, is that a reality or a dream. Or are dreams realities too.
Our brains do not differentiate the two, whether its happening for “real or not” the brain sends the same neuro chemicals or signals.
Then I met a friend who got me really scared. He had taken a class of psychology in college and he had this to say about our brain. Most times when we are having scary dreams we never die in them or never live to tell the tale for those who die in them. Even when every one dies we stay alive and just when we are about be killed or die we wake up.
In the case where one dies in a dream they die for real. Why? How? You may ask. Simply because the brain send signals to shut down your system the same way it sends signal for your heart to beat faster or sweat glands to act or diaphragm to move faster.
I understand this clearly because from my village we’ve always believed that when one dies in their dreams they do not wake. When someone is sick he’s usually woken up time and again to ensure that he does not dream of dying and actually dies.
The other day my aunt’s blood pressure shot to 183/130, that’s stroke level high. The night before she went to hospital she was so afraid to close her eyes, in the fear that she would not wake, she did not like the kind of dreams that she was having. Maybe her system was at the point of shut down.
Witch doctors use this concept to kill their victims, whether they are aware of it or not. Mum once told us that one morning when she was young she saw a man walk past there home, a man she had seen in her dream the previous night trying to lock her inside a coffin. She reported him to her mum. That man was coming to confirm whether his craft had been successful.
As I write this after having just six hours of sleep I marvel at how my brain works. Since the school holidays began two weeks ago I have been having nine hours of sleep mostly from ten pm to seven am. My twin cousins who I currently share a room with in my aunts home are mesmerised by how heavy a sleeper I am.
It was my duty to tutor my other twin cousins who will be sitting for national exams in two months time, so I told my head to wake me up at 3pm. But I had to sleep at nine because I usually have three hour cycle of sleep after which I wake up very time to use the bathroom. This is because I take two glasses of water before bedtime for I read somewhere that it helps prevent stroke in sleep. Interestingly I woke up at 3am having slept for six straight hours without a break. Is it because I was gonna have only six hours of sleep, and my head decided not to break it.
Its a marvel.