Monday, July 13, 2009

Oneirological Analysis, or 'How Do You Know If You Are Dreaming?'

Once in a while, you have a truly disturbing series of events. It happens fairly often — perhaps once a year or somewhat less frequently — but it happens nevertheless. You dream, and waking from it, realise you are still dreaming; or you dream, and waking from it, fail to realise you are still dreaming until you wake again. It's disturbing because when you really are awake, you remain uncertain about it.

Let me illustrate.

I woke up, whereupon I felt a curious paralysis — either an inability to move or a lack of volition to move. I could just about feel around with my fingers and attempt to identify where I was by looking around. The problem was that I could only look forward in the 60° arc in front of me, but my hands were at my side. I felt various objects which felt like railings padded with foam, but I could not grip them. In front of me was a scene lit by artificial lighting, but although I could see everything quite clearly, my brain just refused to identify anything.

And then I woke up. Or rather, my wife woke me up, full of comments about how I was being idle on a work day, how I should be having breakfast (to which I replied woozily that I already had had breakfast), and so on. I remember feeling oddly irritable, and I turned over onto my stomach and folded my arms so I could rest my head on my forearms and go back to sleep. Then a thought occurred to me: "Errm, how come you aren't at work?" Things unravelled a bit after that.

And then I woke up. I was lying in bed, and conscious of the fact that I'd spent two hours having dreams about waking up. No sign of wife; apparently she had indeed gone to work and I was right about having said goodbye to her earlier in the day. I laughed a bit, and got up and turned on the computer and did some work. I actually remember the points I had decided to work on, and apart from the fact that things seemed somewhat quiet and the light was a little bit subdued... and I dozed off in my chair.

And then I woke up. I was in bed, with my head on my arms, in the position I had been when I'd asked my wife why she hadn't been at work. I turned over, and realised I was dreaming; I was in bed, but I had this odd feeling that I was vertical, and so was my bed. I could feel something like a padded rail behind me, and the ceiling in front of me looked oddly cluttered. I said, come on, there's got to be a way to wake up. If Wolfberry can do it, so can you.

And then I woke up. And here I am typing this, and it has taken quite a few minutes, and if I haven't actually been typing this post, I shall be most upset.

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Blogger dlanorpi said...

Wow, that felt a little recursive. :x

Sunday, August 02, 2009 4:32:00 am  

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