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- Surrealistic writing
- Add to dance
Mixtures involving only two qualities at a time, such as those considered above, should be more common and easier to find or distinguish in behavior than those involving two mixtures, or four qualities. The following complex mixtures are all predicted to be elements of dancing generally, based on the structure of English idioms and other aesthetic phenomena: dynamic—down + up—static dynamic—in + out—static disorder—down + up—order disorder—in + out—order bright—dark + bright—dark bright—down + up—dark bright—in + out—dark high-pitch—down + up—low-pitch dynamic—static + static—dynamic up—down + up—down fluid—solid + fluid—solid fluid—down + up—solid spiky—down + up—round long—down + up—short The mixture pairs in the list should appear more interesting, or impart a greater sense of moderation and familiarity (an excitement balance near zero) than the unmixed, psychothermal pairs combinations: dynamic—up + down—static dynamic—out + in—static disorder—up + down—order disorder—out + in—order bright—up + down—dark bright—out + in—dark high-pitch—up + low-pitch—down dynamic—dynamic + dynamic—dynamic up—up + up—up fluid—fluid + fluid—fluid fluid—up + down—solid spiky—up + down—round long—up + down—short Aesthetic mixtures dynamic—down + up—static (the moonwalk or backslide, the moonwalk dance of the Red-capped Manakin); dynamic—in + out—static (Chubby Checker’s The Twist); disorder—down + up—order (); disorder—in + out—order (); bright—dark + bright—dark (); bright—down + up—dark (); bright—in + out—dark (); high-pitch—down + up—low-pitch (); dynamic—static + static—dynamic (); up—down + up—down (); fluid—solid + fluid—solid (); fluid—down + up—solid (); spiky—down + up—round (); long—down + up—short (). Thermological combinations dynamic—up + down—static (waving, waving arms); dynamic—out + in—static (); disorder—up + down—order (); disorder—out + in—order (); bright—up + down—dark (); bright—out + in—dark (); high-pitch—up + low-pitch—down (); dynamic—dynamic + dynamic—dynamic (); up—up + up—up (); fluid—fluid + fluid—fluid (); fluid—up + down—solid (); spiky—up + down—round (); long—up + down—short ().
- Mixtures in dreams
“It was the radiance of an opium-dream—an airy and spirit-lifting vision more wildly divine than the phantasies which hovered about the slumbering souls of the daughters of Delos. Yet her features were not of that regular mould which we have been falsely taught to worship in the classical labors of the heathen.” -Edgar Allan Poe, Ligeia (1838) “The freeze is inescapable. It invades the dream worlds too, but there it might accede to the possibility of its own overturning, to its melting.” -Esther Leslie, Liquid Crystals: The Science and Art of a Fluid Form (2016) Dreams are of interest because they consist of nearly pure fantasy, more so than conscious fantasies, stories or art. The prediction of a higher than expected frequency of mixtures in various human aesthetic realms follows from the high frequency of mixtures to be found in idioms and language, as does their use in courtship more widely, in other species, but none of these elements of waking life should necessarily lead to the prediction of a high frequency of mixtures in dreams. Nevertheless, an examination of the fantastic content of dreams reveals that they involve as many, if not more mixtures than the aesthetic material we make and enjoy when we're conscious. If dreams have enough aesthetic mixtures then when people remember them they should often correspond to aesthetic phenomena, and might therefore be used to create art or determine excitement levels for phenomena not currently placed in one or the other category. Assuming the brain favors mixtures in dreams, fluids and fluid-like phenomena will tend to be dark (e.g., black, blue, purple, green), or turn dark, and solid things will be bright (e.g., white, red, yellow, orange), or turn bright. Solid things are expected to undergo transformations into fluids, be destroyed chaotically, move dynamically in place or travel up and out. Solid things should be multiplied. Fluid and disorderly things should tend to get collected or be contained. Round things should be mixed with long things. Long things should be dark. Dark colors should be accompanied by bright ones, so that an instance of blue will often give rise to one of red, darkness to light, or light to darkness. Rising should commonly mix with downwardness in some way. Exciting, spiky animals and monsters should be accompanied by cooler phenomena like dark coloration, downwardness or roundness. Downward destruction, disorder and fluidity should be present. Entrances should be elaborate and mixed with outwardness or projections. Females should be mixed with more exciting things than males on average. Containers should be multiplied, mixed with fluids or set in motion. All of the mixtures found in idiomatic language should be observable given a large enough collection of dreams. The following dream samples come from DreamBank (https://www.dreambank.net, 2021) which has a database of over 20,000 dreams. I took the first dream in a set as a sample, leaving out those which might be offensive, or those without enough fantastic elements. The database has a random sample option. Setting the word range from 1 to 9000 and the number of dreams to 9000 usually returns all the dreams from a chosen series. Available information about the dreamer, and the year of record, are included after the name of the person who contributed the information and the years have links to the original material on the DreamBank site. Errors in the original writing have not been corrected. Merri (an artist, 1999): Sample 1: "I was putting together a plastic bag full of buttons and sewing paraphernalia. It was time to break out of a Hong Kong prison and I was on the fourth tier cell block. I had to wait till the window washers were busy and distract them by throwing ping pong balls so fire hoses filled with cyanide could be squirted on passers-by. I threw a rock through a plate glass window. A thunderstorm had blown up from the south and a guy said I had to be real careful. (The job paid) $4000 to work Sunday through Wednesday with one day off. "Now count the money," she told me, and handed me a stack of counterfeit bills. One five. Two tens, twenty-eight twenties and a $14 bill with (a picture of) millions of New Yorkers. She said, "Leave or I'll shoot." I had to squirt the fire hose uphill to wash the bubbles out of the grass. Then the boss lady said, "I had 3 men working for 4 days and had to shoot them with cyanide sulfide. CLEAN UP THESE BUBBLES AND CYANIDE. Count the $4000. Two of them have the day off." In Merri's dream all of the round objects (buttons, ping pong balls and bubbles) are multiplied. Mixtures and combinations include in—many—round (buttons in a bag), in—out/disorder (breaking out of prison), solid—fluid, out—round/many (throwing balls) long—in—poisonous—fluid—out—disorder (spraying cyanide on people from a long hose) out—solid—disorder—solid (throwing rocks through windows), in—dynamic—disorder—fluid (the approaching storm), fluid—out—up—disorder—bubbles—many—out (squirting a fluid uphill to scatter bubbles out of grass), disorder—round—many—poisonous fluid (cleaning bubbles and cyanide). Merri’s dream alternates intricately between more and less exciting things, and it contains more mixtures than combinations. Her dream is either exceptionally thermoaesthetic, or dreams are this way in general. Many interpretations are possible, of course, but one can see from this dream and those below that the mixtures which permeate the aesthetic component of our waking lives are also a major component of the unconscious mind. Alta (a detailed dreamer, 1957): Sample 2: “The one at the Meads's house, where it's bigger inside than out; there's a European village just inside, with a cobblestone street and a Pied-Piper sort of man with curly hair, he can do things like juggle - I go up the back stairs [there aren't any in the real house] and then down the other side [since there's a second set, immediately] then down a short empty hallway that turns a corner, where I find a tiny room...a young woman with shoulder-length blonde hair in a pageboy is there, cooking at a stove that almost fills the room...she's nice to me. Now outside, I'm waiting for my aunt to pick me up - she arrives in a little round convertible and we go for a drive, not very far - we cross a little bridge over a creek, then double back and she drops me off at the house again. Inside (?) I sit with a couple of people, playing with a string of blue balloons.” Alta’s dream has an impossible contradiction between in and outwardness. It contains the mixtures many—solid, solid—high-pitch, up—order—unreal, up—down, down—short—in—dynamic, female—long/bright, hot—in, round—dynamic, solid—fluid, dynamic/long—dark/round/many. Angie (age 18 to 20, 1996): Sample 3: "My memory of this dream is vague. I think the setting is on a college campus. I'm in a cafe and two elderly ladies walk in and start talking to me about a university that a guy I am dating got into for law school. They were saying that I was accepted. I thought that this information was weird because I didn't even apply to this school. I got the feeling that while I was talking to these ladies, that they were interviewing me as art of the orientation to go there. I was also pregnant in the dream and he cafe that I was in was a hospital cafe. The guy I am dating is in the dream and we were talking, but I'm not sure about what." It's notable, perhaps, that Angie meets with two elderly ladies in this dream; otherwise it has no obvious examples of mixtures, although it's also notable that most of the content is not especially fantastic. Chuck (a physical scientist, 1991): Sample 4: "There are four of us at the beginning and we are among Those on Earth. A spirit, a powerful angel, comes for us and we follow her through the air to a room -- is it in the clouds? The room is long and narrow, and we sit at chairs on the same side of a long, narrow table, looking blankly at the Earth somewhere below us. My chair is the left-most one, and I have a vague feeling of loss, a vague sense that the right-most seat of the four is empty. The angel announces, "One of us did not make it, and we know what that means." I do not completely understand the remark. Something about the angel reminds me of my mother. The angel then flies down to sing for Those on Earth. The scene is a rock concert, where the angel is on a stage with microphones. Her audience on Earth is very large, and we can see all of this from our seats in the long, narrow room. It is night time and the angel sings of the stars. I look at the sky and the stars appear beautifully to me. I want to see the stars more closely, so I get up and leave the long, narrow room, a move I am not sure I should be making. Curiosity is stronger than doubt and I do go back to the Earth. When I arrive I find I am a butterfly skipping across a large meadow near a mountain. One of Those on Earth sees me and touches me. It is very painful: my body, my wings, all feel as if on fire! Even the very sky turns red as I am touched, and I yell out a very loud, "Ow!" The person touching me can not hear the yell, and touches me again, apparently trying to catch me as I fly away in hurt. The second touch is just as painful. Altogether I am touched two or three times before escaping. Now I am hiding in the mountains, halfway between Earth and the long, narrow room in the sky. I can not go back to either, and I am now alone. And suddenly I have a great insight: the other from my original group on Earth (the one who did not make it to the right-most seat at the long, narrow table) is a butterfly just like me! The butterflies are the ones who leave boredom looking for beauty. The long, narrow room is a place we must go to when its time has come, but it is also a place we leave when we are ready." Chuck’s dream is similar to the dreams of Merri and Alta in that it alternates in complex ways between more and less exciting things and contains numerous mixtures and combinations, with mixtures seeming to dominate. Mixtures include up—fluid—female, up—in, in—long, female—dynamic—down—high-pitch, dark—female—high-pitch—bright, bright—in, out—down, up—down—dynamic—up—solid, wings—fire—up—red—in—up—out, multiple—in, in—solid—down—solid—up—long—in, and long—in—dynamic—out. Barb Sanders (1997): Sample 5: “['I have the big gun.'] I am on a beach. There is some group game going on where people run toward the ocean with guns. We had been trained by the army. Off they go and I am in my wheelchair and going as fast as I can, but in the sand, it isn't fast enough. The group arrives at the shore and fire their guns. They all run out of bullets just about when I get there. I take careful aim at the big boulders out in the surf and fire one shot from a huge pistol. I blow the boulders to smithereens. It's a large explosion. Now I go back to the sand to rest and play with Charla. We are hanging out together when some man picks up our backpack, with Charla's boots in it and walks off. I call after him. He drops it. I see the boots laying in the sand. I now want to return the gun to the army but can't find any army people around. I wander around and see a rifle in the sand. I return to where Charla is. We sit and the wind picks up until the sand storm is very powerful. I hold a pink cloth, perhaps a scarf up behind Charla to protect us. Now I notice street lights going by and see that I am now riding in the back of a pickup truck. My own truck. I figure Ellie my daughter got tired of hanging out on the beach and decided to drive us home. I try to look into the cab but the glass is difficult to see through. I see the shadows of four people. Two men and two women. Some punk teens had stolen my truck. I ask one woman to stop the truck and she laughs and says, "Hey, I'm only the girlfriend." I sneer and say "Oh, That kind of a woman huh?" I turn to the ones driving and tell them to stop the truck. They laugh. So I pull out the big gun I still had and smash open the glass threatening to shoot. They pull over and get out. Charla and I get into the truck to drive away." Mixtures: dynamic—fluid—solid (running toward the ocean with guns), in—dynamic—static (moving slowly in a wheelchair through sand), hot—solid, round—solid—many—out—fluid—disorder—out (shooting boulders in the serf and seeing them explode), dynamic—static—dynamic (going to rest and play), up—container—many—container—dynamic—out—down (a backpack containing boots being picked up and taken away and dropped) down—multiple—container (boots in the sand) dynamic—solid—solid—dynamic—down—fluid—solid—dynamic (wandering, seeing a rifle in the sand, returning, siting as the wind picks up and a sand storm), in—bright (pink cloth in a hand), bright—dynamic—in (watching street lights pass from the back of a truck)... Bay Area girls (grades 4-6, 1997): Sample 6: “I was looking at the moon and another thing that kinda looked like a cutesie-poo sun. I was with my friend Anna L., and Rita L., her mom, but it wasn't really Anna's mom - it was someone who looked like her mom. And then Rita got transported to the moon and told the people on the moon to take a man who looked like Al L. (Anna's father) and transport him to the moon. So they went down to earth (the people on the moon) to get the person who looked like Al, but Al - or rather the person who looked like him - did not want to go. The people who came from the moon told the person who looked like Al that the person who looked like Rita said to bring him to the moon. But then the person who resembled Rita said that she never said that. But the people from the moon said they had proof because they had one of Rita's 200 earrings. And that was the end.” Jasmine (2001): Sample 7: “This is the first time in a long time that I've actually been able to wake up and remember the dream that I had. They've been slipping away from me as soon as I gain consciousness for some reason. But the other night I had a dream that I was at this run-down house -- kind of like Aunt Kristin's house -- and we heard this band playing. And Christina and I were walking around, and we were going to try to record this thing, and it was playing in one of those portable classroom-like things. And we were walking around to get the best vantage point because she wanted to record it. And we even stepped inside and realized that it was much quieter in there, because their amplifier was, they had the wires like under the door and everything outside so that we could hear them. And it looked just like Mom's vacuum cleaner, only without the hose. [laugh] And then I was listening to a tape that was supposed to have some oldies on it, but instead it had some bluebird songs and some oldies. And I dreamt that Christina and I -- it was dark by then -- we were walking and she gave me three numbers. One was 898-2956, the usual one. The other one was one that she had gotten for her birthday, but she got it taken away because she violated her curfew. And then the third one was another one that she got.“ Vietnam Vet (2015): Sample 8: “I'm in the Army, I have been to war, and now am in a large military warehouse. I'm climbing up a huge pile of boxes that are packed with thousands of small black toy trains. An MP comes by and harasses me. I start to climb down from the boxes, toppling them, causing the trains to spill out and onto the floor. I tell the MP nobody pushes me around. I threaten him, and he leaves. I walk to another part of the warehouse, a gymnasium. Off to one side, a small group of black women are watching TV. Otherwise, the area is vacant. In my bare feet, I start to skate on the wood floor. I'm going fast, making large sweeping turns. Then a man with movie star looks grabs me. He's kidnapping me. He and others put me in a car. He keeps telling me not to fight him, but I won't let him go. They drive me to a place where criminals do business. The man in the car wants to kill me. We struggle. He keeps trying to break free. I call to the criminals as they walk past, but it's hard to speak, I make only garbled sounds. Then they hear and see me and approach, and I say to them, "Kill him.” I wake up moaning those words.” Sally (a forester, 1983): Sample 9: “[my last year of high school] I was walking outside in a neighborhood, nothing I recognized. It started to get grey outside, it was going to rain. The clouds were huge, puffy, and they were moving fast. A grey cloud descended toward me. It went over my head, and when it got about 3 feet from the ground, behind me, a lighting bolt struck out of it, down to the ground with a loud crash. It occurred to me that I was in a dangerous spot, that I could be struck, too, so I began to run back to my house. Then another cloud descended. These were agile clouds and moved quickly. It also went over my head behind me, but this one skidded to the ground, and the minute it touched the cement of the street, the earth crumbled. A tremor earthquake split near me and I ran, or climbed, it seemed, for the earth seemed to be rolling, falling, and I had to keep on top. It was suddenly just a huge ball. I scrambled toward my home because in front of me was a large crack splitting open the earth. I thought: I'm going to be separated from everyone. The earth kept falling apart until all I lay on was a red, orange substance or ball. I could see ahead across the black space (I was in the universe, or space, without an atmosphere.) I saw a fragile white globe with a hole in one side, the hole was about 50 feet across. This sphere was large, as large as our moon, and I could see it from a distance so that I could see all of it, how large it was. It was hollow inside where the hole was. The hole was not ragged, it had a beveled or smoothed edge. Somehow I knew that white ball was my destination, that I should go to it, climb in the hole. But I was debating it. I don't know if there were other people with me, or who I was discussing it with, but I was telling them, yes, we/I should go there. I did. It was easy enough to get there. I think I just crossed over or stepped on to it. But there is something more about the red 'lava' ball I had just left, that I am forgetting now, something I peered into, got swallowed. So I crossed to the white globe. I clung to the edge of the hole and looked inside. A bright light filled the entire globe, but it was coming directly from the other end of the globe, opposite the hole. This huge bright light did not have implications of life after life. It seemed rather more like a sun, a life, a place to go to live. It was just a light inside a globe. I knew I must go there, but I hesitated. It was very windy. I can feel my hands clinging to the edge of that fragile globe, as I climbed over and dropped. I let myself go and dropped fast all the way through the middle of the white toward that light. This part I don't remember as well. All I remember is a grey, milky substance that I could see in slow motion, bursting, forming into drops or streams. It was as if I had come out through the other side of the globe and was either shooting out in front of, behind, or within this milky liquid. I was heading directly toward something. I was being pulled, gravity. I thought - where is the gravity coming from? My memory now skips something, and I found myself in a large house with red-brown furnishing. I knew something then, like, 'this is my entrance into it, my way in, through this, my house.' The house was for me and I knew it. I had started exploring it, walking in and out of rooms, up and down levels, steps through doorways, looking around my new house. It was furnished, and not exactly to my taste, but it was nice. I suddenly thought - here, I can have anything that pleases me - so I set out to get a dog. I was not in my house now, but I came to a door (in a line of doors, in a wall outside), opened it, looked through, and on the ground, lined up were 20 or 30 black labs sleeping on their sides, in a line going across the doorway. A man came to help me choose. I told him I wanted a weimaraner and lab mix. We looked through them, turning them over and looking at the labels, until we found one marked 'lab/weim.' They were no longer alive, but statues of dogs. I can't remember ever taking one home, or going back to the house, for that matter. I walked around my new area, but it wasn't a neighborhood, there were no homes that I saw, just areas divided by steps, fences, passages, outdoors. There were some large open spaces. I then found out that in this place you could have anything you wanted, that you didn't even have to ask, but just 'think' that you want it, and it was there. There was so much creativity and freedom to be curious and invent/materialze things. You could move things with your mind. It seemed that I could do this more or better than everyone. That I had the largest house. Everyone was most partial to me and I discovered that I was the leader, or head ruler, here. I just 'knew' it all of a sudden, because of something I had done, maybe entering through a more physical way than the others. The next events were all showing how I could use my mind to do things, that anything I wished for appeared. I spent several years there full of events I can't recall now, but one day, (this is somewhat hazy) across a large breezy field, was a small house. I saw myself first from the other side of the field, then close up, and then my mother and father were there, talking solemnly to me, explaining something. I remember thinking to them - but I don't want to die! I like it here - but what I was thinking to myself was - I don't want to leave here and go live with you. But they calmly explained something. I think I submitted to it then.” Ringo (1964): Sample 10: “My little brother chased me out of the house one day with marshmallows. He was throwing them at me. I decided not to throw any back. I ran to my car and took off. I burned my tires going out he driveway, making a lot of noise. There was a police car behind me. He stopped me and gave me four tickets. This made me mad because had had them written up before he got out of the car. The left front door was open and the cop was standing about 4-10 inches from the car. After he gave me the tickets, I slapped it in reverse and took off. This knocked him over, but I was still mad about the tickets. I went over to school, but just getting to school I stopped and looked down a hold in the ground 8' diameter and 12' deep. It had like cheese cloth over the top and music and news were emitting from somewhere in the hole. I have seen this hole many times in other dreams. After that I met two friends in the parking lot and was showing them the tickets, but got so mad about them, I woke up.” Chris (a transvestite 1968): Sample 11: "I arrive home and note that I am driving a jeep, but it is the wrong jeep and so I drive back to a church and there a priest is standing next to my own jeep. (Priest a stranger). He says that he knew I had the wrong one, but that the owner of my jeep had already departed. He said that I was to bring both jeeps with me. I look for warm clothing since the jeep is open and it is now nighttime. I look in a garage and also see the priest there fastening rear and front bumpers of the two jeeps together, and I wonder how this is going to work." Works Cited Dreamers: Merri, Alta, Angie, Chuck, Barb Sanders, Bay Area girls, Jasmine, Vietnam Vet, Sally, Ringo, Chris. DreamBank, www.dreambank.net. 2021. Thank you Adam Schneider and G. William Domhoff from UC Santa Cruz, Psychology Department, and all the researchers who collected them and made them accessible. Leslie, Esther. Liquid Crystals: The Science and Art of a Fluid Form. Reaktion Books, 2016. Poe, Edgar Allan and Gerald J. Kennedy. The Portable Edgar Allan Poe. United Kingdom, Penguin Publishing Group, 2006.
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