We orient ourselves toward our own experiences, in the mind and as memory; this is what we call the mind itself, which is the inner model of the outside world (which includes ourselves in that model as well) that we build over time by having experiences with the world and with ourselves, and these experiences go into memory and inform the creation of the model.
What we call the inner mind's eye, the ability to visualize things in our thoughts, as well as dreams, is all the inner model. There is basically no difference between dreaming and being awake, except that when you are awake your body's senses are streaming billions of sensory bits into that model thus sort of over-riding or suppressing it for a large part, maybe around 90% suppression of the inner model. Thus most of what you experience with that model while you are awake is really just the sensory bits from outside, converted into the language of the model itself, while the model itself and its own stored information is suppressed to maybe 10% functioning (which 10% is your inner visualizations, imagination, inner monologue, your thoughts, etc.).
So when you dream, these body senses stop streaming into the model, in which case the model stops being suppressed and takes over consciousness. In other words when dreaming you become conscious of the model itself, only. Specific dreams are probably (based on past work I have done in this area) neurological reconfigurations based on meaning and logic embedded in and as the neurological patterns which patterns correspond to the meaning (facts, reality, significance) of our experiences, in so far as reactivating those same patterns return the original impetus of the experience back to the totality of consciousness, which totality acts like an overall context to recreate the original experience as the model's operation in the present moment for you to then "become conscious of", which is exactly what happens.
So the neurological patterns have a dual and opposite structural logic: on the one hand the neurons are trying to maximize their logical complexity to a perfect integration of the data they represent, as their connections to other neurons, so that this information is represented perfectly and without error or vagueness (basically each neurological pattern contains an implicit meta-pattern that imposes itself upon the pattern, which meta-pattern comes from the larger neurological context and represents a more perfect configuration of the neurological pattern on which the meta-pattern imposes itself), while on the other hand the neurological patterns represent complex forms with large energy requirement to maintain, and thus the neurons are also trying to entropically find a lower energy state and thus to dissolve their own patterns.
The interaction of these two competing forces, toward order and toward disorder, in the neurology as the logical pattern-structures between neurons is probably a large part of why the neurology is constantly self-active, trying to find an impossible balance point between these two extremes. The two extremes work on the level of individual neurons, neural patterns, meta-patterns, and probably globally on the entire brain as a whole. So you not only have constant dynamic self-activity of the neurons which are always "moving" (adjusting their patterns with each other according to trying to follow each of those two competing forces, which produces an imperfect sort of ex post facto "balance") but this is occurring on all levels in the brain, from an individual neuron all the way up to the totality of all neurons as a whole global system. This constant self-activity is why we dream, and what dreams (as well as thoughts, inner visualizations, daydreaming, imagination, etc.) really are. It is why we have both Eros and Thanatos, natural pull toward order/life and natural pull toward disorder/death. Eros or love is the representational experience of order and life, a summation toward the most logically expansive and integrated possible totality of patterns on all levels of the neurology, and your ability to maintain consciousness of that.
Consciousness (what you are aware of, what the inner model is focused on at the present moment) ends up orienting itself to certain aspects of the model at the exclusion of others, because it is not possible to actually focus on and be aware of the whole model itself, because it is way too huge and also is always changing. Not only do you need the best patterns, but you need to be able to orient consciousness on those patterns in ways that do not change or destroy those patterns, and in ways that are able to maintain those patterns over time and maintain your ability to be conscious of them over time. This is not easy, and takes a long time to figure out. But once this is figured out it is what we call emotions. Emotions are like a collapse of the global level "internet" kind of connected web of neurological patterns and meta-patterns, a collapse to a single perspective (consciousness-of) on a certain limited number or area of that total web, limited but sufficient to produce certain overall changes in the body (through forcing inputs back into the brain from the model, and pushing these back out to the body due to how the brain controls the body); these changes in the body are what you feel when you experience an emotion, or more specifically when you experience an emotion you are feeling many body changes at the same time, and these many changes blend and merge together in how you feel them as one thing and largely indistinguishable from each other. This one emergent feeling of how the many individual body change feelings feel, is experienced as a single new feeling and given meaning by your inner model. Most of the meaning it is given comes from the certain areas of the inner model/neurological patterns and meta-patterns that were selected to be the perspective of the present moment of consciousness, which produced the emotion in the first place. The emotion is like a global "e-motion", motion on the "internet" of your total brain-body relationship.
This is why emotions reflect and represent facts, meaning, the world around us, reality, because in order to produce the emotion at all you had to successfully limit your awareness (perspective, consciousness-of) of the total model to a narrow limited range of that same model but in such a way that is sufficient to draw out certain different connected aspects of the model itself, aspects connected in how they are meaningfully and at the factual level organized together with each other; this produces an idea, but how does the idea go on to organize the body in such complex ways to produce the many different feelings at once that come to constitute the feeling of the one feeling, the emotion, itself? I think this is because the very act of being able to successfully produce an idea like this implies a kind of super-meta-pattern organizing as a very condensed logical collapse of a huge amount of the total neurology such that these secondary connections the brain has to the various organs and body-systems are simply activated as a consequence of being brought together and up into the super-meta-pattern. So basically the "lower" layers of the brain are drawn partially up toward the higher more conscious layers, and begin to trigger feedback to the body where there already exist connections to the body stemming from those areas of the brain that are involved in that total apotheosis. But this only occurs because these areas themselves are already, in an instinctual and evolutional sense, already connected to automatic reflexive reactions to certain stimuli, and the inner model is now, because so highly delimited in this apotheosis, able to actually produce experiences that are sufficiently precise to act as stimuli inputs for these connections between the brain and the body's organs and systems. So basically for example you are able to think about a predator, and this will partly trigger your fight/flight response in the body, and can produce fear or anxiety (indeed, anxiety that people feel as a "disorder" is basically exactly this, their inner model is always producing experiences of predators/fearful experiences and feeding these as stimuli inputs into that person's body, causing the body to always be a little bit amped up in flight/flight mode), but this same logic begins to operate on more and more abstract levels the more your inner model is delimited around a logical core of meaning, which meaning successfully represents something about reality itself, something factual and significant.
“Be clever, Ariadne! ...
You have little ears; you have my ears:
Put a clever word in them! —
Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...”. -N
“A man is not great if he is not small, and he is not small if he is not great. Concepts flirt with the loss of their significance in the oscillation between ambiguous states, and this is in part the function and purpose of concepts.” -Primer on Meaning