Last night I was taken to a rather expensive restaurant called VU's on the 50th floor of the Emirates Towers here in Dubai.
The eight course meal must have been cooked by Gordon Blue (Cordon Bleu), as each dish was very small, for example the appetiser was one small mushroom set upon an equally small amount of sauce, but in the end the whole meal was very filling and superb.
Retiring to my bed, I drifted of into a very heavy sleep which resulted in those dreams which are so vivid.
I dreamt that I had been in a previous employment many years ago, and that after I had resign, I was accused of taking a sum of money from the company, a cheque valued at £2,000.
The whole scene was so vivid, yet so unreal, as I recall that some of the scenes were set it seems in a classroom I studied in when I was a schoolboy many years earlier.
I knew I was innocent as I tried to prove that there had been a mistake, also protecting my staff from being accused who I knew were innocent. Yet, the management wanted blood, my blood, especially from one manager whom I realised was a nasty piece of work, using any tactic to help him climb the ladder of success, removing those who got in his way, and I was in his way.
I was in panic, so much panic, it awoke me, or was it the bright desert morning sunlight?
In this half awake, half asleep state, I was guilty, and although I used my logic, my memory of the real event of leaving that job or employment, I was guilty.
I knew I had dreamt that I had been accused of this crime, but my mind, part of my conscious mind was adamant it was true.
It took me some minutes to rationalise, to reason with my conscious mind, to convince it that it was just a dream.
This whole incident of my dream reminded me of one of the radio interviews I had just done (listen) on beliefs, what they are and how they formed, it also reminded me about false memories, those memories of passed times which we are totally convinced are true, but are in fact totally wrong and untrue.
Perhaps you have been with a friend discussing something that had happened sometime ago, one said this happened and you knew it was something different that had happened.
"Jane wore that blue dress she always wears" your friend say, and you reply convincingly, "No, it was her red dress".
Who was right?
There have been many cases of people being accused and convicted of crimes that they have not committed, especially in child abuse cases, where the child with their active minds, or people who were mentally unstable, or people with a grudge against the accused, have told stories that were so convincing that they believed them to be true, the judge and juries believed to be true, even leading to the accused believing them to be true, and you and me perhaps believed to be true.
False memories. False beliefs.
In the 1970's and 1980's, especially but not restricted to the USA, many people were "brought to justice", for child abuse, only to be later overturned as evidence was submitted to prove innocence, or it was proved there was no evidence in the original trials, or that false memories had been created.
In 2001, Margaret Talbot wrote in the New York Times :-
"When you once believed something that now strikes you as absurd, even unhinged, it can be almost impossible to summon that feeling of credulity again."
A policeman was accused and convicted along with some his colleagues, of abusing his daughters. His strong religious beliefs, and his beliefs that his children would never tell lies, placed false memories in his own mind that he had done those atrocities, and he admitted his (false) guilt. The way that the daughter had been questioned by investigators, the way the interviewers had constructed their questions, the interviewers' preconceived ideas or notions, because the interviewers' had authority with the child, the child wanted to please, because the child had been repeatedly asked the same questions, because the child had perhaps heard similar stories from their friends, had led the memories to become what the interviewer wanted, they were false memories, their beliefs.
I was asked to travel to Italy to work with a lady who was having problems. With her doctors permission, I worked with her. It turned out that at a time of stress, the birth of her child, a family member who had just started a physiology type course, tried to analyse her help her, and placed in her mind that she had been, as a child, raped by her father, then her mother, her aunties and uncles, the villagers, her pet and then the animals in the surrounding farms. Her relative had placed in her mind false memories which she believed to be true. My job was to help her back to reality, to reprogram those memories and not remove them.
Many examples can be cited here, the case of brainwashing by counties, regimes and organisations, for example the Branch Davidians in the Waco Siege of 1993,
In recent months we have had the case of Amanda Fox, Rafaelle Sollecito and Meredith Kercher, many beliefs were created, and not knowing all the facts I am not going to express any opinion on the outcome. These beliefs firstly led to convictions, then led to acquittals.
Firstly we had the alleged preconceived ideas of the investigators, the alleged methods of questioning, both the accused, Amanda Fox, and the investigators under stress, and the differences in Italian and English languages, how in translation words have and could be given different meanings and thus outcomes. This led to strong beliefs in the prosecutors, defendants, jury and press, and thus the public, you and me, as to what was the truth.
Even after the retrial and acquittal, people still hold on to their beliefs, as Margaret Talbot said above.
I have to be very careful of how I construct my language, how my words are being translated in my courses given in so many non English speaking countries. It could be the problem given in the recent incident between the Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and Carlos Tevez who is alleged to play against Mayern Munich. What is the truth? Which ever story is stronger, which every side of the fence you fall, will be your belief.
What ever we are taught at school, in your religious teachings, by your parents, family and friends, what news we are being fed by the radio, TV, newspapers our governments all create our beliefs which are of cause the truth.
So was my dream true or not. I had to dig deep, to chunk down, to gather more information to prove my dream was just a dream and not the truth, even if it was so vivid, so much so that it could become my belief.
We have to go below the surface level (iceberg effect) to find the truth that become our beliefs, but are they true?
Is our Cat on the Mat the correct cat?