In early January, Sarcastic Muse Amanda Headlee wrote about getting inspiration from your dreams. It’s a great post, you can read it if you like, Ill wait. I left the following comment:
“I get a lot of ideas from dreams. I use Evernote to write them down because my handwriting is as bad as yours. I can usually wake myself from a dream. Not the result of conditioning, just something I’ve always been able to do. Then again, I may just be dreaming now.”
I started to add:
“However, not everyone’s conscious self is removed from the dream sequence.”
But I realized that my comment was going to be longer than her post, so I decided to write this post instead. You see, I periodically experience what some refer to as lucid dreams. According to (what did you expect) Wikipedia:
“A lucid dream is any dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming… In a lucid dream, the dreamer has greater chances to exert some degree of control over their participation within the dream or be able to manipulate their imaginary experiences in the dream environment…”
My dreams often start as nightmares until I realize that I am dreaming. Sometimes, I tell myself that I am dreaming and sometimes, I simply decide to wake up. When I realize that I am dreaming, I can often interact with the dream sequence. I explain these dreams to my wife and I get the look that says: “I married a nut job” but my daughter also experiences such dreams.
One of the things I can almost always do during one of these dreams is change the location to a familiar place. If I am having a bad dream and I’m confused / being chased / being detained, I can move the dream to a city / street / building that I know well. This gives me the upper hand and the dream continues along this altered path with me in charge.
The Wikipedia entry describes a debate over this phenomenon among psychologists with some being skeptical that the “dreamers” are actually asleep. Asleep or awake, I have had dreams like this forever. Some psychologists say these are periods of brief waking. So, maybe a daydream? I don’t know. I’m not a psychologist but neither am I a nut case. Really honey, I’m not!.
I decided to wait until I had a recent lucid dream that I could describe. This one occurred on January 9, 2015:
The dream started on a winter night with three black sedans chasing me on the highway. I was driving my current car, a 2012 Jeep Patriot. The cars were gaining on me and I was scared. I realized that I was dreaming, took the next exit and led the cars to Spring St. in Windsor Locks, CT. I was now driving my 1988 Dodge Ram pickup. (When my daughter was little, we would go to Spring Park for a little off-road adventure in the snow).
I turned into the dangerously steep entrance to Spring Park and drove to the parking lot. The three sedans followed. The first car skidded into the lot behind me. The remaining two cars crashed on the final turn, blocking the driveway. I then escaped via the dirt road through the woods where I knew no car could follow.
At the point where the dirt road merges back with Spring St. I remembered starting the notes for this post, woke up and enter this into Evernote.
You may recall that a few posts ago, I wrote about the Baader-Meinhof effect. Some of you shared your support for there being odd connections in our world and some suggested that these things are just random. A week after I had the dream described above, but before I finished writing that post, I experienced another lucid dream. This time, I was in a cavernous steel structure with hundreds of other people waiting for an event to begin. The din of people talking was quickly overshadowed by sounds of steel straining, rivets popping and metal crashing against metal. The people in the room were scared. I was scared. Then I realized that the sound I was hearing was the baseboard heat. I started shouting “the building is fine. It’s just the heat.”
I woke up and decided to add that little dream sequence to the notes for this blog post. I reached for my phone (Evernote) and noticed a new text message from my daughter.
Coincidence? Maybe. We both live in CT – it was equally cold in both places. We both have hot-water baseboard heat but Faith had never tweeted about it or commented on it and I can’t remember ever incorporating the sound into a dream before.
Maybe my wife did marry a nut-job. Maybe I was consumed by thoughts about phenomena and these dreams are just the natural outcome of that thinking mixed with a bit of coincidence. I don’t know why I have these dreams, but I have had them as long as I can remember and I think they make my life, at least my dream life, richer.
Poll – What about you?