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The Dream Frontier by Mark J. Blechner

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CHAPTER 20  
KNOWING WHAT WE KNOW IN WAKING AND DREAMING

 

I dream, therefore I exist.

Strindberg

THE STUDY OF dreams brings us to some of the central questions of modern cognitive neuroscience, namely, what do we know, and how do we know that we know it? Can we sometimes know things, without knowing that we know them? And an even bigger problem is how we keep track of reality. How do we know where our experiences and memories come from? How can we tell whether something really happened to us or whether we imagined or dreamt it?

There is a Chinese tale in the Chuang-tzu: “Once Chuang Chou dreamed that he was a butterfly. He fluttered about happily, quite pleased with the state he was in, and knew nothing about Chuang Chou. Presently ...

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