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Perchance to dream?

Put up with it folks – Ms Raccoon is in whimsical mood, having just enjoyed a romantic trip down a moonlit river to a tiny village with a handily placed Chinese take-away, and the world’s best breakfast the following morning.
It were luvverly. Except that the MSG or whatever it is in a Chinese takeaway always makes me have the most extraordinary dreams.
Fear not, we are not about to go into dream analysis per se; more a question of where do the images in such vivid dreams come from? How do they get into our brain?
You don’t need to be Freud to figure out that when I dream that I have left Mr G in a hotel (next to a curtain factory where our curtains won’t be ready ’til the next day’? Sheesh!!!) in order to buy a packet of cigarettes that I haven’t smoked for 3 years – and then can’t find my way back again…I’m a) probably feeling guilty because he has mastered the sewing machine and made new curtains for the boat as a surprise, and b) I subconsciously fret that I might leave him somewhere and not remember where that somewhere is!!!!!
So far so mundane and explicable. As were the many street scenes I encountered on my myriad wrong turns, a mix of Marrakech and Istanbul – long buried memories dredged up from the subconscious.
I sat an exam once, a matter of six hours after I’d had a general anesthetic (long story) in Land Law – I subject I freely admit I have never understood, couldn’t argue my way out of a paper bag on the subject – yet I answered the questions so perfectly, (before falling asleep head first over the paper !!!) that my paper was sent for external marking…I was so spot on I could have been copying the answers out of a text book. So I understand that whilst you think you might not remember something you’ve seen or learned – it is in there, in your subconscious, and if it takes an anesthetic to let your subconscious rule supreme and ensure that you don’t have the capability to talk out of your backside in an exam, I highly recommend – anaesthetic!
But what about the bits I absolutely know for certain I have never set eyes on – the mountain I climbed that turned out to be entirely comprised of 1930s utility furniture, and the bizarre machine I found at the top that was hauling new pieces up to make the mountain higher even as I was climbing?
I would say I don’t ‘have’ any imagination. I certainly couldn’t write the sort of fiction that J.K. Rowling writes for instance.  I write because I’m trying to explain a pile of facts – that’s not imagination. I’m learning to paint – by copying exactly what is in front of me – if it wasn’t there, I couldn’t ‘imagine’ it.
So how can my brain throw up images that don’t exist, that are totally fantastical, yet seem so real that you wake up shaking, unsure whether you were dreaming? – Where do they come from? How do they get there? If I was hypnotised, would I recount them as real life?
Can anybody tell me?

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