Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What’s In A Dream?

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A very trite question? Why not. It’s only been since time immemorial that man has been asking those grating questions about his inexplicable dreams – what they mean and where they come from.

Over time by sheer dint and patience, we have collectively learned a lot about them through the sciences. Thus, many of us now hardly register any surprise or interest when people say that dreams emanate from one’s subconciousness, (or should it be unconsciousness?) as distinguished of course, from his wakeful consciousness which is in use in dealing with the realities of his existence. And we now accept as common knowledge that scientists have postulated that dreams typically are initiated during REM sleep (rapid eye movement), a kind of deep sleep that comes after the initial phases of sleep. And we know loads more, more than any one person can learn in his lifetime.

But still, the world of dreams, or the dream world, continues to be as mysterious and confusing as ever, if there ever was one phenomenon in human experiences.

Thus, many of us continue to be perplexed when we experience dreams that appear not only out of this world, but appear to have no basis or reflection of the multitudinous experiences of our consciousness. In other words, dreams that are completely unknown and unattached to any of our previous experiences that are stored in memory.

And so we continue to be mystified and continue to untiringly search for relevance and meaning. Not many will dispute though that our typical dreams are somehow reflections of our realities or even our known fantasies, thus many dreams are experienced and subsequently discarded without much reflection or anxious concern. The power to fly appears quite common in most dreams.

But there are those unusual ones that stagger one’s imagination for their otherworldly eeriness and complete detachment from our individual realities. We wonder how they can be concocted by an unconsciousness or subconscious mind completely from thin air, strictly outside the purview or parameters of the person’s experiences or thoughts.

One such dream the other night hit me so hard as to nail me down on my tracks. Immobile and unable to wiggle out of it for a good time.

Thus decided that maybe by thinking about it and lending words to it, the mystery or mystique may be slowly unveiled and may lead to some kind of acceptable understanding and resolution.

So here goes.

A dream that occurred in the early cold morning, while lying crouched in fetal position and thickly bundled up with a multi-ply layer of blankets.

The surreal scene unravels in the inside of a rather typical multi-storey house with wooden floors in a large hallway between two rooms. There are at least 7 characters involved, including me as observer installed unobtrusively in front of everybody else. Two sweaty men in sleeveless shirts are conspicuously on their knees on the floor, both looking tired and weakened. More like in some kind of drunken stupor. From the looks of it, the rest of the characters are trying to get to the other room up front, using the backs of the two men as their transport. One man had just gotten off the back of the man on my left and a rather large lady is trying to mount his back with some obvious degree of difficulty. The guy on the floor is being both verbally and physically prodded to prepare himself to carry the lady. The guy on the right is in the same predicament, where one guy is also trying to mount his back with no success. This bent man is again in obvious difficulty, unable to carry the other man trying to mount his back. This prospective rider finally is frustrated and pushes the bent man rudely, signaling for him to proceed to the other room on his knees and by himself. He continues to have great difficulty get started, leaving a wet trail as he plods along on his knees until suddenly one leg becomes unbelievably distorted at a horrible angle. That anybody looking will conclude that that leg has been broken.

Then just as suddenly wakefulness interrupts the unfolding drama and brings me to the cold reality of an unheated room with temperature having plummeted in the 20’s.

This whole dream experience is utterly senseless and meaningless to me. And still is.