Although Medical Scientists know much about the physiology of the human body: How the Body Works—Why the Body Works as it Does—What the Body Needs—What Harms the Body—What Harms the Brain and Nervous System — Medical Scientists still do not know what Sleep is!!
Every baby sleeps almost constantly.
Why? It is as though the baby arrived from a Different Universe and is caught in a Time and Space connecting path, unable to return to the Old Universe and still not capable of entering the New Universe.
We know, from Electro-Encephala-Grams (EEG) that babies dream. What do babies dream about?
Babies have very little experience in this world. They spent nine months in the uterus with very little to do. The uterus is a warm friendly environment with just a few sounds, no visual experiences, and, perhaps, sensations of taste and smell.
And, yet, babies with extremely limited experience on this planet dream and dream. Could it be that they are dreaming about another planet and another life?
As we grow older we sleep less and less and our dreams become connected with experiences on this planet. Some of our dreams are frightening and some are pleasant. Most of them are difficult to recall, but we can tell observers that they were quite vivid while we were dreaming.
The behavior of ourselves and other people and other objects in our dreams has a logic and a persuasion all its own. This logic and behavior is so strange that not one person or group of people has ever discovered an interpretation that is considered scientifically valid.
Professor Sigmund Freud of Vienna published a number of books on the interpretation of dreams which made him world famous.
Dr. Freud’s system of interpreting dreams was based on what he considered a logical analysis of the dreamer’s desires, fears and angers.
Dr. Freud believed, like many primitive people, in Symbolism.
Since Dr. Freud was preoccupied with sexuality, he decided that Dream Objects were symbols for sexual parts of the body or sexual acts.
He also was deeply aware of inter-family pressures and behavior. Thus, for him, dreams were solutions or partial solutions to the inner desires or fears of the dreamer in a context of members of the family.
Initially, Dr. Freud’s interpretation of dreams were met with skepticism, derision and even hatred.
Later, as more and more evidence of sexual behavior in the family became uprooted by sincere and reputable scientists, the scientific world acknowledged Freud’s approach as probably a valid approach.
Dr. Freud became world famous.
However, as more and more decades passed and additional scientific evidence was unearthed, the validity of his assumptions was challenged, and today his work is not considered scientifically proven.
WHAT THEN IS THE FUNCTION OF SLEEP AND DREAMS?
It is well established that all animals and plants go through a process of METABOLISM whereby nutrients and their solutes, almost always water, are brought from outside the organism, into the organism, where in complex biochemical pathways they are turned into energy and the molecules needed by the body for structural and functional processes.
During the process of METABOLISM molecules are created which, if left in the organism, would eventually destroy parts of the organism or kill the entire animal or plant.
These molecules must be evacuated from the plant or animal in order to allow the plant or animal to survive.
This process of evacuation or cleansing the plant or animal takes time.
Although the process of evacuation or cleansing goes on constantly, unless we have a period of time where less toxic molecules are produced we cannot evacuate all the toxic molecules that would accumulate.
The most efficient method for cleansing the body is to have the body almost motionless, using the least energy possible, in order to have a net decrease in the total number of toxic molecules created in any day or any one time period.
What better and most efficient way to do this than to have the animal (or plant) Sleep?
We know that in the process of evolution, when unicellular organisms progressed to multi-cellular organisms, that the controlling anatomical system, the Nervous System, probably developed the ability to slow its need for observation, integration and movement and Pause.
This Pause, or period of doing very little physically, we now call Sleep. During the Sleep-Pause the body creates very few toxic molecules and can rid itself of those that were created during the Non-Sleep Phase and remained in the body because there was insufficient time to cleanse them from the body.
Although almost all the muscles become passive, the diaphragm, the powerful muscle that pulls the lungs open and closed, is activated, and breathing becomes deep, the mouth opens to allow air to pass in and out. Snoring occurs.
This ‘Ventilation of the Lungs” pumps CO2 out of the blood stream, raising the pH of the blood, so that the blood is at a neutral pH and pure. This purification of a toxic gas is almost only accomplished during sleep. This Purification Process gives a reason for the great need for sleep in any one time period.
Since the planet Earth goes through a period of light and darkness every 24 hours, what better time to have this Sleep-Pause than during the period of darkness? During this period of darkness all animals are confronted with a lack of sight or the ability to attack. Predators find it more difficult to find and kill their prey. In addition, predators who never have a Sleep-Pause would never survive because their own bodies would kill them.
BUT WHAT ABOUT DREAMS?
A Sleep-Pause may be necessary to cleanse the body of toxic molecules created by our metabolic needs in the process of producing energy and structural molecules, but Dreams are not necessary to have this Sleep-Pause.
Yet all animals dream. Our scientific methodology demands that all events have a relationship in time and place. That present events be preceded by past events and be causally related to past events.
Thus, if there is a dream today it must be related in time and place to an event or events of the past.
We know that dreams occur in the Central Nervous System. Experiments have demonstrated that without a brain or central nervous system an organism will not dream.
We also know that dreaming is more intense and more frequent when the animal or organism is young and that such dreaming decreases with age.
Freud hypothesized that Dreams were necessary to keep the person from awakening from sleep.
We must agree that anything that causes an animal or human from sleeping would be detrimental to the animal and ultimately cause the animal to die. Therefore, Dreams are necessary for the health and survival of the organism or animal.
Yet, the content of the Dream must be sufficiently engaging that the dreamer remains fixated on its events.
Babies have almost no experience in this world sufficient to provide content for dreams that occur almost continuously. We must posit, therefore, that the content of baby dreams comes from a previous period of time. This requires that there be an area of the central nervous system that was not destroyed prior to the birth of the baby.
Such an area can only be Spiritual. The baby was originally formed of two cells: an egg and a sperm. There was no central nervous system. Whatever babies dream about was not included in their physical inheritance.
However, if they inherit a spiritual component, such as something most religions refer to as a Soul, this spiritual area could have many experiences held within it.
As the central nervous system of the baby evolves it can easily access the spiritual area and discover the many experiences the soul contains.
This explains the dreaming of babies which continues through life.
As the baby grows older the new experiences on this planet blend with the older experiences of the spiritual component and the results are the strange and undecipherable scenes that we call Dreams.