The concept of the implicate order and the concept for other orders that follow from it provide us with some admittedly speculative ideas about the relationship of dreaming to the question of species-connectedness. The implicate order represents in a sense an infinite information source. The manifest order represents the way things are, free of perceptual and conceptual limitations and distortions. The perceptual order represents our limited grasp of the manifest field and, in turn, our indirect tie to the implicate order. Might our dreaming experience, with its capacity to zero in on a more real or truthful version of ourselves, be closer to the manifest order? Might it be, in effect, a bridge between the perceptual and the manifest order and be closer to the natural transformation of the implicate into the explicateÂ ?
As Bohm points out we need a new language to talk about these transformational processes. Might the language of the dream, its direct sensory approach as a way of expressing the nature of our existence at the moment, be closer to such language than our reliance while awake on more abstract ways of talking about our relation to the world? Might it be a way of bringing us back to our connection to the manifest order? Our senses have the ability to bring us direct contact with the manifest order but our personal and cultural conditioning have set up a perceptual screen separating us from the manifest order. The language of the dream is unique in that it is expressed in a sensory mode primarily but without any loss of our remarkable and creative abstract abilities. It is the language of the sensory (predominantly visual) metaphor. Dreaming may be a way of monitoring our distance from the manifest order, from the reality behind the way we look at ourselves, at others and at the social order in wich we live our lives. When, awake, we invest the time and energy to retrieve the information in those images. We are, in effect, closing the gap between the perceptual and the manifest orders. We come closer to the actuality of our historical existence and, in that way, free it of some of the perceptual and conceptual distortions that have accrued to it.
When we realign an aspect of our perceptual order with its middle-order correlate, we are simply replaying this selected aspect of our life, using a different operator. The result is strange and unfamiliar to the program we are immersed in while awake. What makes dream work rewarding is the promise it holds for enriching that program through this explosure to the manifest order. It is as if our dreams have bought us closer to a deeper sense of connectedness than comes through in the perceptual order.
Unsing these concepts the task becomes one of defining where the position of the dreamer is in relation to each of these three orders of reality. What has been called condensation (the ability of a single image to have many references), for example, may be viewed as a superposition(1) arising in an order not directly comprehensible in the waking state. The ability of the dreamer to link past and present into a sense of the immediate present may also derive from the more temporal and spatial fluidity that characterize these more basic orders. Imaging therefore not simply a primitive mode. It is necessary mode of staying closer to manifest-order reality.
By bringing us closer to the manifest order our dreams may bring us closer to the mystery of the implicate order. It is interesting to further speculate about this possible connection and the light it may shed on the nature of paranormal phenomenon. But that is another story.
(1) A. Comfort, personal communication.
Montague Ullman, Wholeness and dreaming, Quantum implications, Essays in Honour of David Bohm.