In thinking about upcoming posts, last week I asked myself: “What is most important to me that I can write about?”

Because I spend two-thirds of my life sleeping, the answer to this question unsurprisingly was “Dreams.” But unfortunately, this is a subject that is harder-than-hell to make interesting to anybody but the dreamer.

Everybody dreams, and your dreams are interesting to no one but yourself (or maybe the rare dream researcher). Dreams are a weird conflation of reality and fantasy, and therefore difficult to take seriously (except for the rare interpreter who’s fascinated by the symbolism of dreams).

Joseph used to use dreams to foretell the future, but this application has pretty much gone out of fashion. They say that Lincoln had a strange dream about his impending death before he attended the theatre, but where did that get him?


dreaming 7.

My most memorable dreams transport me to fantastic places that are primarily a mix of vision and emotion that’s impossible to describe in a way that can be conveyed to others. And anyway, who would care?

A lot has been made of the subject of “lucid dreaming”—the state of knowing that you’re dreaming and trying to control what happens next in your dream-life. But this doesn’t interest me at all. I enjoy the experience of free-falling through my imagination, and examining the elements of synthesis that my brain puts together.

I rarely, if ever, have nightmares… so I am not motivated by this particular “pathology” of dreaming. I have had maybe three or four days of depression in the last 14 years. So my dream-life is one of pure pleasure, unknowable adventure, and escape from a pretty satisfying existence (despite its trials).

I am fascinated by the speculation by some that the dream-state offers glimpses into alternative realities that are just as real as our waking state, but this is a mind-game that cannot be resolved to my satisfaction. The recurring dreams that I do experience take me to places that are familiar, but not in a way that convinces me they are as real as places I have actually seen in my waking life.

I did have one experience, however, that gave me pause. Years ago I visited a childhood friend who I had not seen for over thirty years. He gave me a tour of a house his family had bought in the intervening years, and I had the impression I had visited the home once before in one of my dreams. I was knocked out by the experience.

But when I related this strange fact to my friend, he didn’t seem to care. Maybe he’d had a similar thing happen in his own dreams. Ho-hum.




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