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Orcseeker

Dreams of the blind from birth

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Since the concept of colours and many aspects of life would not be possible or them to observe. What would their dreams look like? Are they still able to think of colours? Are their dreams completely different or even somehow similar to ours?

Thoughts or anecdotes?

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I read something that said most blind people (blind from birth or a very early age) do dream, but their dreams are different in the sense that they consist of mostly being able to speak, listen, taste, smell, taste and touch (feel).

Some blind people also describe "feeling" like they are seeing something, but are unable to describe what whatever it was looked like. I think it's similar to those things that happen in dreams where you just "know" something, despite being unable to fully understand or describe it. (Like occasionally waking up with a really uneasy or upsetting feeling but you don't know why).

Edited by sarah_444
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What Sarah said. I have a blind from birth friend. He dreams the same way he experiences the world: touch, smell, sounds, emotions. There is nothing called "vision" in their experience. Why would dreams have it?

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That's a very interesting way to dream, thanks for the replies. I wonder if we could take it a step further and hypothetically consider those who are blind, deaf, with asomia, ageusia, void of emotion and inability to feel. How would their dreams be like? They are incabapable of almost knowing they are alive, a torture in itself. Just capable of thought.

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Interesting thread. I've never considered it. It would be quite fascinating to see a study or something like that.

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You won't ever really see something if you aren't capable to feel or experience it first.

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Since the concept of colours and many aspects of life would not be possible or them to observe. What would their dreams look like? Are they still able to think of colours? Are their dreams completely different or even somehow similar to ours?

Thoughts or anecdotes?

I have read accounts where a blind person experiencing an OOBE can literally feel an entire room at once. An awareness greater than perceived vision.

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I have read accounts where a blind person experiencing an OBE can literally feel an entire room at once. An awareness greater than perceived vision.

i found this interesting quote: "You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see, but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel." :wub:

Close your eyes, clear your heart, let it go... The content ... "You see, every little girl - and every little boy - is asking one fundamental question: am I loved, does someone see me? am I worthy? I am worthy of LOVE? AM I worth it? IT=LOVE.... :innocent:

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the eyes only see what the mind is prepared to comprehend...

the soul sees more than the physical eyes.....

when you open your heart to a reality outside of yourself you will see things more clearly....

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That's a very interesting way to dream, thanks for the replies. I wonder if we could take it a step further and hypothetically consider those who are blind, deaf, with asomia, ageusia, void of emotion and inability to feel. How would their dreams be like? They are incabapable of almost knowing they are alive, a torture in itself. Just capable of thought.

Now this is going to sound out there, but it's something I've thought about after reading a metaphysics book. Dreams are a way for you to process conversing with the part of you that you don't consciously get to interact with in this waking world. You could consider this sleep state as the 'behind the curtain' time, where the real work in consciousness and its processing gets done. At some point in this state, you exit, and eventually wake up. I think dreams could be a memory of this time you spent outside of the box, but are placed in your waking conscious memory the only way they can be accepted, interpreted into things you know (familiar, or at least known in some way, settings, people, objects, etc.) in your conscious state. Your time outside of your usual state of consciousness is summed up and created into a story which uses settings and things you know as symbolic representations of the things you thought about, felt, learned during your time out. So of course someone who can't see will only be able to interpret the 'dreams' using their other senses. Like in waking life, whatever senses you have will pick up the slack for whatever sense you lack.

Just an idea about the consciousness dip during sleep, but the other senses taking over for the lost one is most likely true.

Edited by _Only

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:clap::-*follow-your-heart.jpg

As much as I disagree with a lot of what you write, I loved this. I was sitting in the forest one night in and out of thought when I came up with the saying 'the love of true beauty is the beauty of true love'. I must have said it 30 times before it became more than just nice words and the meaning really sunk in.

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Since the concept of colours and many aspects of life would not be possible or them to observe. What would their dreams look like? Are they still able to think of colours? Are their dreams completely different or even somehow similar to ours?

Thoughts or anecdotes?

you wouldn't know if their dreams were colored because they couldn't tell you that. i would guess their dreams are impressions not pictures, because they would have nothing in their memory to draw an image from

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You won't ever really see something if you aren't capable to feel or experience it first.

Thats not entirely true. A sighted person can dream of things they have never seen because we can create mental images and concepts from our imagination and via extrapolation or synthesis.

For example i have dreamed many times of moving through thick rock, as well as through thick stone walls several metres thick. Ive never actually seen inside a wall or rock, but my mind supplies the imagery.

I've also visited many forms of alien places and planets and met many alien life forms. None of these have i seen before in a movie etc. When i was a child i dreamed of all sorts of locales that Id never encountered or seen. Ive flown on the backs of dragons, in light ships between the stars, and via flying carpets. Ive flown around the world, sat on top of the pyramids, (there is a small flat area on top of one of them where you can sit and watch the sun rise). and through the zambesi falls. Needless to say Ive never done any of these things in person, nor when i dreamed them had i ever seen them on a movie or documentary.

So our minds can put together facimiles of places etc we have never seen.

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There seems to be some dispute, perhaps only semantic, about whether people, blind from birth, see visual images in their dreams. The current belief is that they do not, but this is disputed by some researchers.

Three careful sleep laboratory studies (Amadeo & Gomez, 1966; Berger, Olley, & Oswald, 1962; Kerr, Foulkes, & Schmidt, 1982) and at least one rigorous study of home dream reports (Hurovitz, Dunn, Domhoff, & Fiss, 1999) have shown that congenitally blind dreamers and those who became blind in infancy do not have visual imagery in their dreams, whereas those blinded in adolescence or young adulthood often retain visual mental imagery in their waking life and in their dreams. These controlled experiments confirm what has been reported in a number of earlier self-report studies reviewed by Kirtley (1975), who concluded on the basis of his extensive appraisal that individuals blinded before the age of about 5 report no visual imagery in dreams as adults, whereas those blinded after about the age of 7 are likely to retain visual imagery in dreaming.

According to Foulkes (1999), these studies have theoretical implications beyond the issue of blindness because they suggest that the mental imagery necessary for dreaming develops between the ages of 4 and 7. This suggestion fits with his finding that preschool children awakened in the sleep laboratory rarely report dreams and that the reports are bland and static on the few occasions on which they do recall dreams (Foulkes, 1982, 1999). Thus, the findings on blind dreamers add to the support for a cognitive theory of dreaming (Antrobus, 1978, 1991; Foulkes, 1985).

http://www2.ucsc.edu/dreams/Library/kerr_2004.html

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Now this is going to sound out there, but it's something I've thought about after reading a metaphysics book. Dreams are a way for you to process conversing with the part of you that you don't consciously get to interact with in this waking world. You could consider this sleep state as the 'behind the curtain' time, where the real work in consciousness and its processing gets done. At some point in this state, you exit, and eventually wake up. I think dreams could be a memory of this time you spent outside of the box, but are placed in your waking conscious memory the only way they can be accepted, interpreted into things you know (familiar, or at least known in some way, settings, people, objects, etc.) in your conscious state. Your time outside of your usual state of consciousness is summed up and created into a story which uses settings and things you know as symbolic representations of the things you thought about, felt, learned during your time out. So of course someone who can't see will only be able to interpret the 'dreams' using their other senses. Like in waking life, whatever senses you have will pick up the slack for whatever sense you lack.

Just an idea about the consciousness dip during sleep, but the other senses taking over for the lost one is most likely true.

Interesting thought, I can understand the possibility of this being true. As in, why do we dream in the first place? Could be answered by this. A practical use for us.

Edited by Orcseeker

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you wouldn't know if their dreams were colored because they couldn't tell you that. i would guess their dreams are impressions not pictures, because they would have nothing in their memory to draw an image from

They are still capable of feeling and some blind people get an idea of how some people look like by feeling them. So I think some sort of imagery is capable. The concept of colours could be understood by someone who has never seen it.

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There seems to be some dispute, perhaps only semantic, about whether people, blind from birth, see visual images in their dreams. The current belief is that they do not, but this is disputed by some researchers.

Three careful sleep laboratory studies (Amadeo & Gomez, 1966; Berger, Olley, & Oswald, 1962; Kerr, Foulkes, & Schmidt, 1982) and at least one rigorous study of home dream reports (Hurovitz, Dunn, Domhoff, & Fiss, 1999) have shown that congenitally blind dreamers and those who became blind in infancy do not have visual imagery in their dreams, whereas those blinded in adolescence or young adulthood often retain visual mental imagery in their waking life and in their dreams. These controlled experiments confirm what has been reported in a number of earlier self-report studies reviewed by Kirtley (1975), who concluded on the basis of his extensive appraisal that individuals blinded before the age of about 5 report no visual imagery in dreams as adults, whereas those blinded after about the age of 7 are likely to retain visual imagery in dreaming.

According to Foulkes (1999), these studies have theoretical implications beyond the issue of blindness because they suggest that the mental imagery necessary for dreaming develops between the ages of 4 and 7. This suggestion fits with his finding that preschool children awakened in the sleep laboratory rarely report dreams and that the reports are bland and static on the few occasions on which they do recall dreams (Foulkes, 1982, 1999). Thus, the findings on blind dreamers add to the support for a cognitive theory of dreaming (Antrobus, 1978, 1991; Foulkes, 1985).

http://www2.ucsc.edu/dreams/Library/kerr_2004.html

This is an interesting study. I believe our body uses what we experience in our lives and uses that as tr building blocks for dreams. So if we aren't experiencing any colour, our subconscious wouldn't create dreams of colour because we haven't experienced it and therefore cannot be recycled to use in dreams.

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