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Chaos, Consciousness, & Dreaming

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Originally Posted by Rachel Hensey and John Sehi

In a dream, Paul McCartney (1965) created the melody to the popular song, “Yesterday.” ¬†Likewise, Tse Wen (2003) was inspired in a dream in which he developed a breakthrough drug that greatly reduces the risks for people who suffer from peanut allergies. These two men are examples of scientists, musicians, athletes, mathematicians, writers, and artists who have reported accounts of moments of inspiration or breakthroughs during dreaming time.This construction of nonlinear meaning that occurs during dreaming is an example of chaos theory at work in the brain. The brain is a complex, chaotic system, and small shifts in its input during any state can dramatically alter how it operates. Inputs of order and chaos cause a tension in the brain that is mandatory for proper growth. Without the input from order, the brain would dream too much and thus fall into irrationality. Without the input from chaos, the brain would no longer dream and thus would function like a robot/automaton, without any real creativity. The output (our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors) depends upon a proper blend of chaos and order. For additional information on chaos in the brain, click here.