Dreaming of Nonsense: The Evolutionary Enigma of Dream Content

From Scientific American:

Evolutionary-enigma-dream_1 Friday, June 19, 2:12 a.m.: Loading up the trunk of my car with clothes hangers when approached by two transients… try to engage them in good-natured conversation about the benefits of wooden clothes hangers over metal ones, but they make me uneasy, say they want to go out to get a drink but I’ve got to go. In a city somewhere… looks like a post-apocalyptic Saint Louis.

Saturday, June 20, 4:47 a.m.: Was just now trying to return my dead grandmother’s cane to her. Took elevator to her apartment… meant to go to the 8th floor, but elevator lurched up to the 18th floor, swung around violently then shot back down. Could hear voices in the corridors outside elevator shaft…. a mother yelling at her child. Grandma then became my other grandma, also decesased, yet in a nursing home; doctors say she’s doing fine.

Sunday, June 21, 5:02 a.m.: On a floating barge in the sea trying to get to some other country, just made it, the dogs are running all over the place but seem more like rodents.

Monday, June 22, 3.31 a.m.
: Just learned that one of my colleagues died suddenly, everyone’s in shock (they say it was “an accidental overdose of oxygen from a breathing tank; he fell asleep”). Can’t believe it, was just talking to him today about death. Also something about an airplane delay… need to get home but can’t find my test results to submit, searching all over, trash cans, pulling out drawers… people preoccupied.

These are dreams, of course. Mine from the past few days, to be precise—and they are totally absurd. Why on earth do our minds conjure up such ridiculous imagery, such inane thoughts, such spectacularly vivid and surreal landscapes, intense emotions—such narrative trash?

More here.