multiple streams of consciousness

The other day I believe i experienced something for the first time: simultaneous independent conscious thoughts (2 streams of consciousness).

The reason i say “believe” is because this occurred while falling asleep after a long day and 12 cups of coffee…I try not to assert the reliability of claims in this state.

Anyway the thoughts were short lived … recognition of this event occurred at the same time as the joining of these two streams of consciousness back to my normal single stream

My streams were very different - one was a reflection of the events that occurred during the long day, and the other was a creative, sensual imagination of sexual act i was performing upon the silhouette of a female torso (no specific person).

I’ve been reflecting on this for a few days, and i guess its not suprising that when i have trouble falling asleep, i am usually being very reflective… while when i fall asleep quickly, it’s usually a pleasant thought (i’ve used sexual thoughts as quick means to fall asleep since i was maybe 11)

please note that this felt completely distinct from multiple thoughts experienced in one stream of consciousness… normally i would divert my attention if only for a short moment to a separate task or jump back an forth quickly to “multitask”

has anyone else experienced such a phenomenon? is this common? please voice your thoughts on the matter should you have some

thanks

I’m guessing that you are becoming aware of different areas which have been more or less in the subconscious, from the information in this thread and another one about your dream awareness.

And I would say it’s normal to have different streams of awareness IF one is somewhat fragmented for some reason, and we may notice other parts when some of the walls or membranes that have been separating these parts becomes less solid.

Please tell us more if you notice other episodes like this.

Thank you.

you are correct (not sure if you meant it in this way), but i have recently been trying to take control of things i do subconsciously (mannerisms, body language primarily)… not sure if its relevant though

I was to ask you what you’ve been doing for these to happen.
And you answered it already. :slight_smile:

Thing go just like that, sometime.

I’ve tried counting the number of conscious thoughts I can keep in play in my mind at any one time. My total, so far, is six–which includes the counting. But if I stopped to give any one of them a concreteness, through definition, four would disappear, leaving me only with 2–one of which would be a continued awareness of the remaining one. At first, this may seem idiotic–but think of something you really don’t want to think about. Then think about why you don’t want to think that thought. Add to that everything you can think about that keeps you from thinking that unwanted thought–playing music in your head–whatever. Then think about whether or not what you’ve done has kept your unwanted thought from progressing. All the while, keep on thinking your original thought and keep on thinking everything you’ve done to keep from thinking your original thought.

Does all that mean you’re garbanzo beans? I don’t think so. If it ‘means’ anything, it means you have the ability to separate your thoughts into those that are ‘useful’ to you and those that are not. Calling up the useful thoughts depends on your goal.

lizbethrose,

i’m not convinced that your thoughts are independent streams of consciousness

the reason i say this is because you are describing an approach that makes one thought dependent on the other… for example thinking about “why you dont want to think that thought” is dependent upon “something you don’t really want to think about”…the later is a prerequisite for the former… this “ordering” of thoughts is what i refer to as a “stream of consciousness”

now i suppose this could be used a mechanism to spawn multiple streams of consciousness, but i think that thoughts are perhaps too intimately related to be able to distinguish one stream from another… so if i think about “why i dont like cheese”, sure i’m simultaneously thinking about cheese and why i dont like it… but that’s just interpreting one thought in two (multiple) ways

i could perhaps keep six conscious thoughts in mind in one stream of consciousness (maybe 25, maybe 100 who knows… although i’m bad at multitasking in general so probably like 3 or 4 lol)

what i experienced is more along the lines:

“i wonder why my boss said that to me today, (thought a) is it because she thinks my code is not clean? (thought b) well perhaps tomorrow i will document my code thoroughly to dispel her of that idea (thought c)” (a → b → c)

and

“silhoutte of a torso (thought d), let me touch her stomach and slide my hand up it and across her breast (thought e)” (d → e)

while i could give order to these to these thoughts (a ->b ->c ->d ->e) or a → d → b ->c ->e etc… etc…, that’s not how they were experienced

i experienced a->b->c in the same perceptible atomic unit(s) of time as d->e… i felt very split-brained or multiple-brained if that makes any sense

(know that i have given concreteness to these thoughts that wasn’t there as i experienced them, also know that because the second stream was a more vivid, imaginative/creative description, describing the thought with words and ordering wont give it justice - it is difficult to describe the thought… i would prefer to “replay” the thought for you if i could)

My first thought was something I didn’t want to think about. If I describe it here, I’ll think about it, which I don’t want to do. Instead, I try to block it in every way I can–knowing that, if I’m not successful in blocking it, I’ll think about it. So I put up defenses against that thought. The original thought is still there, but I need to overlay it with other thoughts. So I sing to myself, I try to come up with happier thoughts, I count my thoughts, I do everything I can think of to do in order to block the original thought–including thinking about my thinking.

Am I holding all of these things in my head simultaneously? Perhaps not–perhaps they’re really sequential. But, if they are, the sequence is too fast for me to recognize. Thinking this would make me look at it which would take my mind off thinking about blocking the original thought. Therefore, I’d start thinking that thought again.

I’d rather juggle the balls of conscious thought than go back to that original thought.

I guess it depends on what you don’t want to think about and how you can defend yourself against what you don’t want to think about.

I’m sorry, but the whole discussion has brought up the thought I don’t want to think about. I have to leave now in order to put up my defenses against thinking that thought.

incorrect,

I just stumbled to this thread and have been interested to share my experiences because I think I also have been in the same experience you described here, still keeps a bit difference. Though I am neither a philosopher nor a psychologist but I am interested.

One thing I liked to read:
“When i have trouble falling asleep, i am usually being very reflective”

I think all of us have certain times frames when mind is on its peak to be very reflective, for me it’s the same as you describe when I am in between conscious and semiconscious state. It happens just before I am about to sleep. I remember my school days when we weren’t able to find the answer of equations what weren’t been taught by teacher. But before sleeping it comes in mind and at that certain point brain starts to create layers of imagination even you become able to handle all of them to switch from one to another to link it with your main problem, eventually it must be related in a way you want to go to find your answer. you handle all layers and finally get the answer. surprisingly even when you don’t know the rules you become able to make rules.
It’s bit surprising for me as you wrote, same time your brain is handling two different kind of imagination what are anyhow doesn’t relate with one another. One is your day experience and another one starts to please your mind what you are feeling consciously. Probably it’s a dream :slight_smile: because for me it’s somehow not possible to handle these two streams in a conscious manner. To do it I must follow lizbethrose, try to avoid that particular thought which is disturbing. They may be three but you cant really work on all of them.

It happens when I have lucid dreams I feel my dream consciously and I also control them. It may be idiotic but it is like that. When I am having a dream and if I don’t like it. at the same time one other dream is about to come but I am not able to go there because I have already one. Sometimes it just changes by linking some way it finds itself, but sometime If it doesn’t. I do it physically. Believe:) I change my position how I am sleeping so If I am traveling in train and the train has been hijacked you force not to be there but you are still there and you cant quit, then if I change position at that point the train becomes an airplane or something like that. It doesn’t mean that my brain is now handing the imagination of train. It just disconnects. it could have been possible to stay connected if I was in the position I was just before sleeping in one term, that they are linked together anyhow.

Probably I tuned the thread from conscious state to unconscious state. But I felt them consciously.

So I think you can make ideas (a-> b-> c → d and more) but they must be passively stored somewhere unless you actually need it for your original thought and I think the quantity is depend from man to man.

Would be glad to hear more comments.

incorrect,

I just stumbled to this thread and have been interested to share my experiences because I think I also have been in the same experience you described here, still keeps a bit difference. Though I am neither a philosopher nor a psychologist but I am interested.

One thing I liked to read:
“When i have trouble falling asleep, i am usually being very reflective”

I think all of us have certain times frames when mind is on its peak to be very reflective, for me it’s the same as you describe when I am in between conscious and semiconscious state. It happens just before I am about to sleep. I remember my school days when we weren’t able to find the answer of equations what weren’t been taught by teacher. But before sleeping it comes in mind and at that certain point brain starts to create layers of imagination even you become able to handle all of them to switch from one to another to link it with your main problem, eventually it must be related in a way you want to go to find your answer. you handle all layers and finally get the answer. surprisingly even when you don’t know the rules you become able to make rules.
It’s bit surprising for me as you wrote, same time your brain is handling two different kind of imagination what are anyhow doesn’t relate with one another. One is your day experience and another one starts to please your mind what you are feeling consciously. Probably it’s a dream :slight_smile: because for me it’s somehow not possible to handle these two streams in a conscious manner. To do it I must follow lizbethrose, try to avoid that particular thought which is disturbing. They may be three but you cant really work on all of them.

It happens when I have lucid dreams I feel my dream consciously and I also control them. It may be idiotic but it is like that. When I am having a dream and if I don’t like it. at the same time one other dream is about to come but I am not able to go there because I have already one. Sometimes it just changes by linking some way it finds itself, but sometime If it doesn’t. I do it physically. Believe:) I change my position how I am sleeping so If I am traveling in train and the train has been hijacked you force not to be there but you are still there and you cant quit, then if I change position at that point the train becomes an airplane or something like that. It doesn’t mean that my brain is now handing the imagination of train. It just disconnects. it could have been possible to stay connected if I was in the position I was just before sleeping in one term, that they are linked together anyhow.

Probably I tuned the thread from conscious state to unconscious state. But I felt them consciously.

So I think you can make ideas (a-> b-> c → d and more) but they must be passively stored somewhere unless you actually need it for your original thought and I think the quantity is depend from man to man.

Would be glad to hear more comments.

i didn’t intentionally do this, that’s why i posted about it lol, it was a cool experience

i’m not sure i would call this a lucid dream, partly because under no circumstance was i aware that i was yet dreaming (if i was… i don’t think i was)… but mostly because when i lucid dream (that i can remember), it generally occurs when choosing to sleep after a sufficiently long period of sleep… like i’ll sleep 8 hours, wake up fine, but go grab a bite or take a pee and then go back to sleep cause i can… its during that after-sleep nap when i usually experience the most vivid lucid dreams… short of that, i occasionally experience them waking up… lucid dreams falling asleep dont really happen that much for me

it also sounds to me (from this thread, and my other recent one in this forum)… that i am way less experienced in lucid dreaming/controlling ones own thoughts than some others :slight_smile:

i guess the next step is to try to provoke it? :slight_smile: that appears to me to be a suggestion hidden between the lines

Inncorrect, may I get back to you later about ‘lucid’ dreams? I do have thoughts about them, but I also have a deadline to meet that concerns other things.

Thanks.

I have had at least two running thought streams for quite a while now. One stream is usually more prominent, more in the foreground than the other. For a good while I had trouble reading books because of it. I’m wondering if more dreaming sleep solves that problem because my reading concentration has improved, and I’ve been having more memorable dreams as well.