Thursday, August 25, 2005


Painting by Elaine Meinel Supkis

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

I am really aggravated by the headline of the article about this vital matter. From Associated Press:
Study Links Daydreaming, Alzheimer's
only because it gives the impression that the activity called day dreaming leads to Alzheimer's when it doesn't. Alzheimer's is a disease that changes the physical shape of the nerve clusters in the mind. Like any virus or parasite, the changes are obvious and are like cancer in that it multiplies out of control rather than shrinks or kills. The web of nerves make the normal path of impulses impossible so they literally short circuit.

I know this disease well for I have watched it take down more than one unfortunate person. It is the ultimate madness for there is no escape but it is no different, in the end, from all the other diseases of the mind, for it is a disease, not a condition. Unlike drinking heavily which literally shrinks the mind due to nutritional problems, Alzheimer's is like syphillus, for example.
A new Washington University study shows the part of the brain used to daydream is the same where Alzheimer's disease develops — in some people — later in life. It suggests the normal brain activity of daydreaming fuels the sequence of events leading to Alzheimer's.

"The implication, albeit a speculative one, is that those activity patterns in young adults are the foothold onto which Alzheimer's disease forms," said lead researcher Randy Buckner, associate professor of psychology. He said they may lead to a life-long cascade that ends in Alzheimer's disease in some people.

"It suggests a new hypothesis and opens an avenue in exploration," Buckner said. "By no means is it definitive."
Various diseases attack various levels of the mind. It so happens, cruel Alzheimer's attacks the part that is the most human: the place where our wishes live! The reason why people with the disease can't recognize loved ones is because they no longer hold the mental image of the loved one in the special chambers of the mind, it is filled with cobwebs. The retreat is slow. First, one forgets those nearest in time, the outer chambers, then the disease wrecks more and more internal rooms until the last room is entered, the one where Mother reigns eternally. When all memory of Her are gone, the spirit has fled and the body rapidly decays and would die instantly if not artificially fed.
The hallmarks of Alzheimer's, which affects 4.5 million Americans, are brain lesions called plaques and tangles, formed from different proteins, that are associated with nerve cells not communicating with each other and eventually dying. The result is a progressive deterioration of memory, learning and language.

The part of the brain involved in daydreaming is always active, even if the mind is at rest, said William Klunk, coauthor of the study and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. "It's like an engine on idle," he said. "It never shuts down. That activity might fuel the sequence of events that could lead to Alzheimer's."

He said the connection is a "problem."

"The answer is not shutting down our brains," Klunk said.

"It means it's very important to identify changes in the brain at early stages of illness, so that as newer interventions come along, we can start them at a time when it makes a difference."
Even the doctor here is worried people will misunderstand this information which is why it puzzles me that the headline writer couldn't get it right, it only increases the confusion.

This part of the mind is the vital core of humanity's soul. That it is attacked first by this disease is interesting since evolution decrees all living things will exploit all possible niches and our bodies are merely an open savannah for germs and they ruggedly invade whereever they can. This disease is only in the elderly or in rare cases, due to genetics, younger people, because if it invaded at a young age, humans wouldn't reproduce and the organism would cease to exist so it doesn't stubbornly exist except as a late life trigger.

In other words, thanks to modern medicine, the potential hosts for this disease have grown hugely in numbers. Since all our other weaknesses haven't killed us, this one will.
Neil Buckholtz, chief of the dementias of aging branch at the National Institute on Aging, which funded the study, said the data are interesting even if the conclusion is speculative.

"A critical question of Alzheimer's disease is why certain parts of the brain have diseased nerve cells and other areas of the brain seem fine. This paper speaks to that question."
Why brains break down is interesting. In the wild, once the brain of an animal surrenders to death, it dies. Keeping living things alive past this time is an artifact of human society since we first began to build communities. There are no senile animals in nature for they get eaten or die of hunger long before then.

From a 1999 article about Freud on CNN:
"The Interpretation of Dreams," published on November 4, 1899, re-created dreams as a powerful probe of the unconscious mind. Suddenly they were messages from a landscape entirely within us, and yet totally unknown.

"Before Freud you would say that dreams were considered as spirits, as otherworldly things, messages from the other world. They were dealt with in religious and philosophical ways," says psychoanalyst Leon Hoffman. "Through his study he came to the idea that the mind worked outside of our awareness and that dreams had meaning."

A century later, science is putting Freud to the test. New brain-imaging technologies allow researchers to see which parts of the brain are active during a dream, and which are dead to the world.

"That is helping in being able to test all of the ideas in a scientific way, in a reproducible scientific way," says Edward Nersessian, a psychoanalyst in New York City.

Freud argued that dreams are a person's most deeply held wishes, expressed in symbolic form. Their purpose? To keep the unconscious drives that constantly pop up within us from waking us in the night.

"That was the essence of Freud's theory, that dreams protect sleep," says Mark Solms, a neuroscientist at St. Bartholomew's and Royal London School of Medicine.

Few psychoanalysts believe that today. But Freud's more basic idea, that dreams are messages from a part of the mind beyond our conscious control, is stronger than ever.
Dreams are more than what any scientist can concieve. They are the Other Realm. We exist because we have minds and our minds are not controlled by our wills. If one exerts one's will ruthlessly over the whole mind, it rebels and you go insane. This is why sleeping is so important. The mind, left to its own devices, runs merrily away to romp in Dreamland. This is where all sorts of things get sorted out, in odd ways. It is also the door to the Other Side, what I call the Outer Darkness. This is where the great heaving mass of spiritual powers reside and it is a very dangerous place. Even in Dream World, you can't enter this without becoming very small and slipping between the barriers of the Dreaming Mind to enter that primal place, the place where nightmares are manufactured.

This is where the really important memories are stored, you know.

The ones the waking Will wants to forget. (Hitler had this big thing about the Will!)

Past that place is yet another place: where Time and Space entangle. This is why dreamers can "see" the future sometimes. Seeing the future within the mind is an important human thing for this evolved as our ancestors coped with a deteriorating environment. As the Ice Ages assaulted us, we tried to figure out the riddles of nature and had to guess what would happen next. Humans that could imagine the future survived more often than those that plodded along, taking each day as it came, thoughtlessly.

The greatest minds survived and even thrived. This growth of the mind was so powerful, it overwhelmed other evolutionary forces like mother survivability from birthing. Giving birth is a very deadly process for us human females! The only reason this destructive brain size that causes babies to jam up in the birth canals like my son with his huge head did, survived is because smart human females were helped by others, giving birth. Cultures that force women to give birth alone and unattended tend to have smaller brain sizes, for example, since large ones die and kill their mothers during childbirth.

Back to the process of dreaming: when one tries to control one's dreams too much, the ability to "see" the future via the deep dreaming process is thwarted and one cannot understand the future or foresee consequences. Bush is brain damaged. He and his fellow con artists, so intent on creating their own reality, have ruthlessly suppressed the parts of their dream world that are connected with the deep unconscious and so they cannot see the obvious even as it unscrolls before them. They are killing people and will kill many more, if allowed to continue.

This lack of inspiration is obvious. Note how poor their language skills are! All of them. I see, on liberal forums and blogs, a flood of words. As we foresee the future and make predictions and explain, we dream collectively, our words inspire more dreams within each other's night worlds, the other Realms, the other half of our existence, and we waken, renewed in our collective alarm at how things are devolving, we see climate change again and we see all the things that the great minds of our ancestors saw and we know that destroying our dreams means death to humanity.

My dream world is very powerful. I am blessed/cursed with the ability to remember all and any dreams and to have waking dreams all the time, being directly hit by a very powerful lightning bolt when young did this, I am guessing.

A heavy price to pay for the Keys to the Outer Darkness.

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