the unruly gnomes of our dreams and emotional lives

Thinking about dreams, and the possibility that their weird rules of gradually resolving vagueness may give a peek into how our sub-minds work.

(For me any theory of consciousness that acts as if the mind is single monolithic entity is a non-starter; it seems that the mind is made of supbarts that end up have on some level their own agenda, and that's true from bad old Freudian thought up to Internal Family Systems and Minsky's Society of Mind.)

Like, I woke up a little from a dream and was in that liminal state of being able to recollect pieces parts and analyze them and I got annoyed. (the difficulty of remembering dreams is part of the frustration of course) It was some dream about a band I was in being recruited to cheer on these artists doing large largeish sculptures, lots of brightly colored parts and wielding.

At one point I saw one of the artists, and/or bandmates, with distinctive PJ like pants and top, and then I was jealous because all the artists got matching outfits and I didn't. Also there was a woman i was running around with whom I guess I was romantically attached to, and then in a conversation it was gradually revealed she actually had COVID but hadn't told because wanted to keep running around. Topical drama!

But I realized the revelations of the PJs, the woman, the COVID- dreams are all this weird vagueness combined with a game of "Yes, and" my brain runs with itself, where some piece of my brain throws out a spark, and gets expectations about what that is, and then those expectations are met and expounded on and the vague things gets drawn a bit more sharply. (And somehow he part of our brain the prevents gullibility is cranked way down)

But it raises the question: are these whimsical yet often fearful dream makers in my brain the same thing powering my emotions during waking hours? Like in my new metaphor model where emotional bits are unruly students in a K-12 classroom with the emergent rational self as teacher trying to control them- are those "students" the same things making the dream logic happen?

(like I know how emotions give impetus to everything we do, and when you lose that, you become profoundly and often passively depressed. so I know these dreamers or whatever powers the emotional furnaces is critical to our well-being)

but still, if the dreamers and emotional motivators are the same subsystems of mind.... YIKES! These dreamers are frickin' idiot gnomes swinging between wish fulfillments and deep anxiety exploration. The way so many people then have trouble managing their fear and angers, have to distract themselves, or maybe talk it out with others lest they be driven by these gnomes... how an unattended to gnome sulks and smolders and maybe finally outbursts destructively... oof.

And that scales upwards to psychology and into sociology. Like in our dreams, we see what we expect to see, and I can see that kind of preconceived notions thinking strongly building up our politics and other macro level interactions. Ditto how our dreamers are all about fears and hopes and that's what our politics is too.

I am sorta glad that my gnomes are manageable in the daylight hours, that somehow they accept their model of the world and intuitive preferences being subjugated to a best rational guess about objective reality and group preference. Yeah I maybe miss some of the peaks of happy gnome ecstasy, but my guys still manage to keep me cheerful and happily engaged with the world, and I miss the worst of gnome panic and despair. (I do suspect deeply lived philosophy is a bit of an anti-depressant, sharing the cutting off of peak highs and lows but offering a lot of pleasantness in between if you are graced with the right spirit.)

The world is always new... however old its roots.
Ursula K. Le Guin

In order to see birds, it is necessary to become part of the silence.
Robert Lynd

Birds chirping around you is a beautiful realization that life is incredibly good. Let this sound be a gentle break in your routine.