Dream-Consciousness at Light Speed: Entangled Minds
Journal of Cosmology, Cosmology.com Vol 18, 2014.
Rhawn Gabriel Joseph, Ph.D.
Up to five stages of sleep have been identified in humans (Frank, 2012, Pagel, 2014, Stickgod & Walker, 2010). For our purposes we will be concerned only with two distinct sleep states. These are the REM (rapid eye movement) and nonREM periods. NonREM occurs during a stage referred to as "slow-wave" or synchronized sleep. It is during non-REM that the brain is at its lowest level of activity.
By contrast, REM is linked with the visual-emotional hallucinatory aspects of dreaming and both are associated with the deepest stage of sleep, characterized by "paradoxical" fast irregular wave activity (Cartwright 2007; Hobson 2004; Mallick et al. 2011). Dream sleep is called "paradoxical," for electrophysiologically the brain is in a state of accelerated activity and a heightened level of arousal, as demonstrated by electrophysiological indices (Steriade & McCarley, 2005; Vertes 1990). However, the body musculature is paralyzed so the ability to interact physically with one's dreams, in the real world, is greatly attenuated if not impossible. Otherwise, one would be acting our their dreams by moving around, and then hurting themselves or others.
As predicted by Einstein's relativity, under accelerated states space-time and the distance between the future and the present contracts (Einstein et al. 1923, Einstein 1961). Therefore, because of these heightened states of accelerated arousal during dream sleep, dream-consciousness may be provided glimpses of the future before that future arrives in space-time external to dream-consciousness; and this is because dream-time takes place during an accelerated state as reflected by brain activity.
Brain structures involved in the production of REM and paradoxical sleep include the amygdala, hippocampus, right temporal lobe, and especially reticular activating system and the lateral and medial pons which are located in the brainstem (Joseph 2012, Hobson et al. 2000; Hobson & Allan 2010). For example, brainstem cholinergic neurons located in the lateral pons, and neurons located in the medial pontine reticular formation appear to be the locus for REM-on neurons which initiate and/or maintain the production of REM and dream sleep (Aeschbach 2011; Steriade & McCarley, 2005; Vertes 1990). Cholinergic neurons release excitatory neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine (ACh) which also activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is also involved in arousal (Joseph 2012). ACh levels remain at high levels during REM and the production of PGO waves by the pontine, lateral geniculate, occipital brain areas (Hobson, et al., 1975; Lydic, et al., 1991; Steriade & McCarley, 2005; Vertes 1990). As ACh is also implicated in memory, this may well explain whey recent memories tend to become incorporated in dreams.
Therefore, during the production of REM and paradoxical sleep, there is increased cholinergic activity which increases and accelerates brain activity, whereas with the termination of REM, these same neurons greatly reduced their activity.
The PGO Wave Function
Dream sleep has its own unique wave function. Pontine geniculate occipital (PGO) waves are phasic field potentials which begin as electrical pulses radiating from the pons into the limbic system, the thalamus, and the neocortex (Frank, 2012; Hobson et al. 2000; Stickgold & Walker, 2010). These waves suddenly increase in amplitude and frequency just before the onset of REM. During waking two classes of neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine act to suppress PGO waves and activity whereas increases in cholinergic neurons and ACh increase PGO wave activity as occurs during dreaming (Hobson, et al., 1975; Lydic, et al., 1991).
Characteristically, PGO waves and their propagation through the brain first appear during the last stages of synchronized sleep just prior to REM. That wave function increases in amplitude and frequency during desynchronized, paradoxical sleep and REM. Typically, PGO waves reach their maximum amplitude in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus which, like the amygdala, are also cholinergically responsive (Steriade & McCarley, 2005). In fact, activation of the amygdala can initiate and dramatically increase PGO wave activity (Calvo, et al. 1987). This is significant as the amygdala is a multi-modal brain area which is directly implicated in sensory filtering, dreaming, deja vu, and other paranormal experiences (Joseph 2000. 1911a,b).
Therefore, the conscious and sleeping brain has a wave function (Hobson 2004; Hobson et al. 2000; Penrose & Hameroff 2011), and the wave function accelerates and increases during dream sleep (Hobson et al. 2000). As predicted by the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, that wave function will interact with everything it encounters in the quantum continuum, and as such, and especially under accelerated conditions, it may become entangled with events still some distance away in space-time. As predicted by relativity (Einstein 1961), acceleration shrinks the distance between the present and the future.
Limbic System Accelerated Dream-Consciousness
Neurons within limbic system structures, such as the amygdala, receive input from multiple sensory modalities simultaneously, with streams of visual auditory tactile emotional gustatory olfactory and other forms of information impinging on single neurons. The amygdala along with other brain structures including the frontal lobe, normally acts to inhibit the perception of most of the stimuli impinging on the senses (Joseph 1992, 1996, 2000, 2012). This information is filtered so that a narrow reality becomes the focus of consciousness. This massive inhibition also serves to prevent the conscious mind from being overwhelmed with competing streams of input which are turned off. In other words, just as a channel selector on a television, radio, computer, or phone, permits the select reception of information from a single source (a single reality), these brain structures perform likewise. If inhibition is removed, such as when NE and 5HT levels are reduced, communication between select axons and dendrites in the amygdala is enhanced and these limbic system neurons becomes hyperactivated and the brain becomes acutely sensitive to and may be overwhelmed by a kaleidoscope of overlapping sensations, e.g., tasting colors, seeing sound, smelling music. Some patients describe it as being given access to alternate worlds and realities of vast proportions or to hidden knowledge. Presumably this includes information which lies in the immediate future. Consciousness may also fragment and split apart, such that one aspect of consciousness may hover up above looking down, whereas that aspect of conscious still tied to the body may be down below looking up.
The amygdala is directly involved in dream sleep, REM sleep and PGO activity (Joseph 1996, 2012). Likewise, activity in the adjacent hippocampus accelerates and increases during REM, producing theta waves (Vertes, 1984, 2005). Hippocampal theta is associated with high levels of arousal. Because these same limbic system areas of the brain become disinhibited and experience accelerate activity during dream sleep, the dreaming brain becomes much more sensitive to fluctuations in the quantum space-time continuum which, as predicted by relativity, include the future; or rather, "a" future which, during sleep, is relative to the dreaming mind of the observer.
The amygdala, hippocampus, and the overlying temporal lobe are richly interconnected and appear to act in concert in regard to paranormal and mystical experience (Broughton 1982; Gloor 1992; Hodoba 1986; Joseph, 1992a; Meyer et al. 1987). These structures are also implicated in memory (Joseph 2012). Presumably, during REM, the hippocampus and amygdala act as a reservoir from which various images, emotions, words, and ideas are drawn and incorporated into the matrix of dream activity observed by dream-consciousness (Joseph 1982, 1992, 1996). Often these structures incorporate memories and experiences from the previous day into the content of the dream. However, they are also sensitive to the quantum continuum even while sleeping, such that events which are perceived during dream sleep are often woven into the dream.
Therefore, these limbic system structure are directly linked to REM sleep, PGO wave activity, dream sleep, increased brain activity, deja vu, precognition, and a duality in consciousness such that the conscious mind can split off and observe itself and the body, as if the mind is on the ceiling looking down, in the audience watching a play, or passively observing a dream during dream-consciousness. However, because structures such as the amygdala are freed of inhibitory restraint during the course of dream-time, although the dreamer can't act on their dreams, they becomes sensitive to sources of information which are normally filtered out or which can only be accessed under an accelerated frame of reference; thereby providing the foundations for premonitions, deja vu, and precognition.
Dream-Consciousness and Entangled Minds
Dream-conscious and dream-time are linked to accelerated frames of reference, due to the arousal and hyperactivation of various brain structures including the amygdala, hippocampus and overlying temporal lobe; the activity of which is associated with REM, paradoxical EEG activity, and PGO waves. When these same structures are activated by electrodes, subjects have reported communing with spirits or receiving profound knowledge from the Hereafter. Some have reported a splitting of consciousness and of having left their body which they may observe from afar, as if they are on the ceiling or hovering above. Moreover, some subjects have reported that their disembodied consciousness could travel vast distances and observe family, friends, and strangers engaging in their daily activities:
"Far down below I could see houses and towns and green land and streams... I kept on going very fast...Then I was right over Pine Ridge. I looked down (and) saw my father's and mother's teepee. They went outside, and she was cooking... My mother looked up, and I felt sure she saw me... then I started back, going very fast..." (Neihardt 1988).
"I began moving at a tremendous speed... and I was aware of trees rushing below me. I just thought of home and knew I was going there... I saw my husband sitting in his favorite armchair reading the newspaper. I saw my children running up and down the stairs... I was drawn back to the hospital, but I don't remember the trip; it seemed to happen instantaneously" (Eadie & Taylor 1992).
Likewise, it has long been believed by ancient cultures that while dreaming this disembodied dream-consciousness can wonder about and interact with other disembodied minds, including those who lived in the past or those who were bringing news of the future (Campbell 1988; Frazier 1950; Harris, 1993; Jung 1964; Malinowski 19490). It has also been believed that dreams may be shared, and that the dreamer can commune with the minds not just of the dead, but the living.
Anecdotal evidence in fact supports the possibility that dreams may become entangled, such that two individuals may experience similar dreams, or that during dreaming the mind of the dreamer becomes entangled with the waking minds of others. Consider, for example, studies performed in the Sleep Laboratory of Mimonides Medical Center in New York. This research group carried out several studies on entangled minds and dreaming and consistently obtained positive results (Krippner et al., 1971, 1972; Ullman, et al., 1977, 1989). In these studies, participants were introduced, and then later, while one subject slept and when it was determined he had entered REM sleep, the other would begin looking at particular paintings and prints. He would then attempt to project these images into the mind of the dreamer. Independent judges blind to the purpose and procedures of the experiment then judged if the dream reports contained any of the images sent by the sender.
In one experiment, when the test subject entered REM, the "sender" opened a package which contained an art print of the Mexican and Indian followers of the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapta, i.e. Zapatistas, by Romero. When the test subject entered REM, the "sender" began gazing at the picture and attempted to project it to the dreamer. The dreamer was immediately awakened when the REM episode had ceased and was asked to describe his dream. And this is what the dreamer dreamed: "...a feeling of memory... of New Mexico... a lot of mountains...Indians, Pueblos" (reviewed in Broughton, 1991; Ullman & Krippner, 1989).
Another "example of significant results, described by Krippner and colleagues (1989) occurred on a night when the randomly selected art print was "School of the Dance" by Degas, depicting a dance class of several young women. The "receiver's" dream reports included such phrases as "I was in a class made up of maybe half a dozen people; it felt like a school." "There was one little girl that was trying to dance with me."
Quantum Physics, Time Travel and Accelerated Dream Consciousness
Dreams are the royal road to often inaccessible realms of the mind and to realities that lie just beyond conscious awareness; realities which may exist only as probabilities and alternate worlds as predicted by the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum physics.
Dream-consciousness and dream-time are associated with accelerated levels of brain activity. Relativity predicts that observers with an accelerated frame of reference experience time-contraction and a shrinking of time-space such that the future and the present come closer together relative to those with a different frame of reference. However, space-time includes other observers and their conscious minds. Minds are also part of the quantum continuum; and this continuum extends into the future and the past, such that all are entangled.
Every particle, every object, person, planet, star, galaxy, the entire universe has a wave function. As based on a coupling of the Copenhagen with the Many Worlds interpretations, dream-consciousness can become entangled with the space-time continuum which includes the wave functions of other dreams and conscious minds.
Dream-consciousness, and dream-time, because they are maintained by certain brain structures which, during sleep, are freed of inhibitory restraint, also have a sensitivity to the quantum continuum which differs from and is more wide-reaching than the mind during waking. Much of the human brain is subject to inhibition, which prevents sensory overload and allows for the focusing of attention. However, if that inhibition is removed from structures such as the amygdala, specific neurons and brain areas may greatly increase their activity and begin processing information which is normally filtered from the conscious mind; and this may include the future and the contents of other conscious minds. All of space-time, the quantum continuum, is entangled, everything is connected: stars, planets, dogs, cats, past, present, future, brains and minds. And all may interact through wave functions which intersect. Just as the ripples of a pond may strike distant shores, the space-time quantum continuum and wave function of minds, brains, the future and the past, may also effect distant shores and the eternal now of the event horizon of consciousness.