Today is day 12 of my third subjective reality 30 day trial. In short, I’ve been living with the assumption that I’m in a dream, and I- as well as everyone else- are dream characters. It’s been a bit wild and a bit painful, and being in an endless dream is apt to produce some freak-outs. But that’s okay, because I do appreciate a good freaking-out.
I’ve been feeling rather introspective and contemplative lately, right now in particular. Simultaneously, the dream seems to be pulling on me to stop movement. It doesn’t want me to go, go, go as fast or in the direction that I normally do.
This would make sense, as switching perspectives can bring out a lot of junk that’s been overlooked or distorted. Now, in order to process that junk, I need to stop working with the momentum that came out of my old perspective. Otherwise, I might as well still be holding that perspective.
How can I expect things to change if I remain caught up in the typical momentum of my life? I suppose it’s possible in that I can gradually step my way out, which I can.
But perhaps that momentum can also do with clear, though temporary, breaks as well. Get used to this, man. This is just the preview.
The dream’s lovely way of stopping me has been with illness. Normally it would be called the “stomach bug,” but I’ve just had a week of nausea without actually yielding any products, so to speak. Still, it’s been bad enough that I haven’t been able to do much, in part due to a lack of energy. The usual activities of running and going to school are among them.
This disease has been running rampant among the people around me. Maybe we’re all car-sick from being pushed into these crazy dream-goggles all of a sudden! Or perhaps we all are sick in the heart and in the head, as shown through how ridiculously we live. Ooh. Dark.
Whatever the case, I definitely know it’s not from some little polygon with stick legs running around in people, possibly blowing up microscopic ovals known as “bacteria” along the way. Now that just sounds ridiculous. ;)
How Does this Darn Dream Work?
From the usual more objective perspective, I’d mull over worries that I’m getting used to being sedentary and am becoming weak (though this is illogical anyway, since a week isn’t that long in the scope of years of consistent exercise). This worry compounds when I observe that other dream characters are likewise quite lazy and outwardly stagnant.
However, I know that I don’t have to be concerned about being like this forever or even having to “fight” against it. Instead, I can just run into it. If I want to fight I do indeed have to stop moving forward- don’t I?
A dream doesn’t have to be a sprint, in which I’m constantly pouring all of my energy and effort into moving as fast as I can. You can’t sprint forever anyway.
Rather, in an ultramarathon, if you need a few minutes to walk you are best off to acknowledge this. In fact, if you’re the typical ultrarunner, you had better walk, or you’ll regret it later when your legs are screaming in pain.
At least at this point, I’d prefer not to think that the dream lies. That just seems silly. I don’t know that I have any logical justification to give you for that. That doesn’t mean that dream characters within won’t lie, but overall I don’t think the dream will lie to me about its deeper message.
After all, that deeper message is dependent upon my interpretation of it. Sure, I can lie to myself without being aware of the fact, but what I think right now is simply what I think right now. Somehow pure, individual thought doesn’t seem like as big of a deal in the scope of this dream. But I won’t dwell on that point now.
Perhaps more clear is that it’s becoming quite a bit easier to acknowledge when I’m either telling myself a soothing story (i.e. lie) or doing something purely to find a sense of familiarity and structure. I must say I’m surprised at how quickly (10 days) I’ve locked into seeking structure within the dream. It seems that a lot of what I do involves this. Eating, sleeping, keeping my body in a specific place with specific people (a house, with my family), bothering with the existence of school… are we dream characters really so needy?
I know that with certain changes in consciousness I can break from these comforting structures, home and school in particular. Perhaps I will be scared when I realize that I am parting from them, just as similar changes have gone before. But I know that ultimately I will be fine, and I’ll probably find other sufficient structures on which to hang consciousness (like a hook- not a noose!). And I trust that these new ones will serve me better than the ones I have now, as they will be more congruent with what I really want.
The push to connect with what I want vs. what I don’t is becoming stronger. Lately, when faced with conversations I’d rather not have (primarily in regards to the person I’m having them with) I’ve been even more unexciting than usual. Sometimes I’m totally monotone and lifeless, barely respondent to the drivel being sent my way. Perhaps this is rude, but I think what is steadily happening is a break from those “comforting” things I’ve long accepted in my reality, and have feared ridding myself of.
My physical limitations have been the most potent of such comfort. When I feel the army of knots in my legs (which have presumably contributed to my running difficulties and general sense of weakness) there’s a thought that I don’t want to get better, and I feel like I can’t fight that thought. It just won’t work.
Socially, however, I seem to be picking up more momentum. I’ve experienced enough well-less-than-ideal connections that I know I don’t want much of these anymore. I certainly am still holding on a little bit (or a lot), and perhaps I will for some time to come- or even, to some extent, always.
Even as I type this, resistance comes up. I think that this is unfair and rude and those people are going to be there no matter what and What are you doing, resisting the dream? But from my experience, it doesn’t feel like I’m resisting the dream as I do this.
In fact, my despondence feels more like adherence to the dream. I think trying to put on a nice, funny face for everyone would be quite a bit more resistant.
Dream Logic, Possibilities, and Beliefs
I’ve noted many times lately that dream logic seems to be skewed- squirrely, if you prefer. A lot of things happen that just seem ridiculous, and decisions are made obviously without thought.
This is not just on my part, but this is all around me. I suppose if I simply said, “the government,” that would be sufficient to most people’s understanding. ;)
Does this, however, justify a lack of logic from me? No, but this “experiment,” if you will, seems to require a frequent suspension of what typically seems to be thought of as logic. Otherwise it would be far too difficult to “go with the flow” of the dream. It would seem way too crazy to do so.
It seems that dream logic, which can broadly be referred to as “dream interpretation,” has the potential to be wiser and more powerful than typical, objective logic. However, this higher logic must be countered- thus, we have the ridiculousness that is characteristic of dreams.
So in subjective reality, it may be that I am more apt to experience extremes than in objective reality. Why must this be?
The easiest explanation is that subjective reality is directed by my beliefs, and I believe that “craziness” is more likely in a world of consciousness (a dream) than in a world of objects (physical reality). Far more is possible here than in some world “out there.”
At the same time, however, not as much is possible in subjective reality as in a “normal” dream. During the typical dream beliefs about how reality should operate seem mostly suspended somehow.
In this dream perspective of reality, however, I am not even remotely close to achieving that extent of suspension. I’ve lived too long in a world of objects, and thus my beliefs about how that world operates are established pretty tightly. I’m just not ready to let go of those beliefs. That would be too much for me to deal with right now (again, no logical combatting of ideas will be done here).
Holding Down the Dream: Keeping Perspective
Perhaps this subjective reality trial isn’t all that crazy since it’s not my first. This isn’t to discount my experiences of the last 10 days, but it did seem just a tad more overwhelming during previous attempts.
However, I do also have some difficulty maintaining the perspective. Especially at the end of the day or when I feel sick, I just think “my brain is fried” and I let a stream of silly thoughts move in and take jobs as background noise. Perhaps it’s “scary” because I know the powerful potential this perspective has.
Perhaps I need to slow down so that I can process the dream and assess how I ought to act within it. I know that if I really go with the flow of the dream, shit will just get crazy. Sometimes, however, I am indeed open to that. I hope one of those times is coming soon. J
Earlier when I was talking about the complacency of my physical health and the changes in my social life, I wanted to add that, from the dream perspective, it seems wrong to compartmentalize my life into different “aspects.”
Perhaps different “aspects” of my life do indeed represent different aspects of consciousness. But they are still a part of the same consciousness. I can’t attend to one and pretend that the other is not connected- the same, in fact. In the context of the dream, that just won’t go down so hot.
One thing I’ve done “right” (or perhaps just different) this time in comparison to past exploration of the subjective perspective is actually stay in the dream. In the past, sometimes when I would feel overwhelmed by fear I would think, “Silly me, I’m objectifying!” (i.e., seeing the world as one of objects, rather than a dream).
But saying something like that is to use both perspectives almost simultaneously, which doesn’t always work so well. It’s like trying to move in two different directions at once.
Now, I know that when I do this “experiment” I’m supposed to always be in the dream (at least, as much as possible). I have to “pretend” that there is no other way of looking at reality. The premise of an objective reality is unknown to me, so there’s no sense in acting like it is.
I must say that the dream perspective almost seems like an unfair pass on logic. The other day one of my friends told me about Hilbert’s Paradox of the Grand Hotel, a math problem which basically asks, “If there are an infinite number of rooms in a hotel and they all are full, can the hotel fit another person?” The answer, even if you want to fit another infinite number of people, is yes.
I didn’t think about it too subjectively at the time, but now it seems that the answer can be “yes” without even having to work through a proof. Instead it’s simply, “Of course that’s possible. How would it not be?” Show me a proof for how it could be false, man. But even that might be simply and unfairly conjured up in a dream world.
Yes, if you take this too far you will indeed defy known logic and conventional beliefs. The reason we aren’t all floating around on a puffy cloud of chocolate right now, however, is that this is very difficult to do, at least for some beliefs (e.g. gravity).
Pretty much the whole dream operates in favor of the idea of gravity. Talk to any person, read any science book, or just look at your feet on the ground, and it seems that support of this idea is inescapable. Good luck working against all that just to hover around for 3 seconds, before you inevitably freak out and return to the dirt and muck.
This ties back into the concept of resisting the dream. Yes, the defiance of gravity is possible in a dream world, but the “flow” or “forces” of the dream pull the dreamer into a world that has gravity. Resisting this would be a massive waste of energy. Who the heck would make such a futile effort?
Dreaming Intelligently (and Responsibly)
Well well, you probably know what I’m going to say- a whole lot of us do, to a milder extent. Look at yourself, and you’ll see that you’ve resisted the dream time and time again. And what for? So that your little object-self can attain some intangible object known as “reputation” or “validation” for a fleeting period of time? If you live in a world of objects why do you care about chasing these non-object things anyway? Or do you really think they are things “out there” to be captured?
In a dream world those “abstract objects” become primary (as opposed to concrete objects, such as your body). However, concepts such as “reputation” aren’t very important, because “reputation” is actually the product of trying to combine the objective and subjective mindsets. It is thus something elusive and basically uncontrollable.
In a purely objective or subjective reality, it is not only useless, but essentially nonexistent. I told you not to combine perspectives, darn it.
The dream, you have to remember, isn’t your dream per se. That would be to combine the perspectives again. You just plant and receive suggestions in the subconscious of some other, broader dreamer. You, my dear, are but a dream character who just so happens to be aware of the dream.
I’ve said before, in contrast, that the other people you see in dreams do not have thoughts just like you do. So does this make you special?
Perhaps. I don’t think that’s very important. From the dream perspective it seems useless to weigh the significance of any person, though I do like to focus on certain aspects of consciousness (i.e. specific people) in comparison to others (what can I say- some are sexier! J ).
What I like to think this demonstrates is your responsibility as a lucid character within this dream. It is up to you to interpret the messages of the dream and act accordingly, or let the whole thing go to hell while you rot in your perceived separateness and objectness.
Sometimes it’s clear that I’m rather lacking in smoothness and continuity. I’ll be doing one thing, and then a thought to do something else will explode, and I’ll start trying to multitask, and then the whole damn party is just jumbled. Perhaps like this article. I’m not sure whether I should feed into object-based fears and try to be more logical and organized, or just go with the jaggedness of dream life.
But, of course, considering “object-based fears” is to leave the dream perspective. It often feels necessary to do that while writing, so that “people” who might read this can actually understand it. I don’t know if it’s possible to write for an “audience” from a purely subjective perspective.
I’d like to think it is. Often, when I address “you” you in an article, I “pretend” that this “you” is myself. That makes things quite a bit more interesting- and, in terms of subjective reality, accurate.
Who the hell else would “you” be? I can only address myself. To think that I can be a God teaching people from a mountaintop… I don’t think the dream will even let me do that. While so much more seems possible here, there are simultaneously so many not-that-crazy things that I just cannot bring myself to do or consider.
The thought of eating animal products, for instance, feels like more of a turn-off than usual. It might just be due to illness, since those foods would be hard to digest with a weak stomach, but it also may be the tendency toward nonviolence that seems almost characteristic of the subjective perspective.
It’s surprising, considering that I’ve actually considered learning how to hunt (maybe I just don’t like crappy animal products, silly supermarkets). To use the word “products,” however, just doesn’t jive too well with the dream perspective.
Usually I refer to objects as “dream stuff,” though I have more resistance to using that label with animal-derived foods. Maybe I’ll try an egg when I’m feeling better and see how it goes down- both biologically and consciously.
Anyway, I’m pretty darned convinced that no change can occur without some equal change that counterbalances it.
You cannot become more insensitive without becoming more sensitive.
You cannot become stronger without becoming weaker.
Sometimes it feels like everyone in the dream world is a hypocrite, including me. Damn!
You cannot become more loving without being able to feel more pain. And these changes don’t come one after the other- they happen simultaneously. The dream, I believe, must operate this way.
From an object-perspective, again, this seems ridiculous. You can’t get fatter and thinner at the same time, or louder and softer, or taller and shorter. But the general theme can still be found, eh?
Sometimes when you eat more (in terms of volume) you’re really eating less, because your food is probably less nutritious. Or you could say that when you consume more energy, beyond a point of excess, you become less energetic.
When things get louder, they may actually get softer soon after due to hearing loss. When you focus obsessively on being physical beautiful, you may become internally less so.
But I still do tend to assume that women who are beautiful
on the outside must be beautiful on the inside, too. I sure hope so.
Resisting the Dream and Waking Up
One more thing to cover: interpreting the dream. Sometimes it feels that the dream can be interpreted a variety of ways, perhaps even tailored to evil intentions. I experienced more the last time I did this “experiment” than now, and more in the first half than the second.
As I said earlier, there seems to be a flow or force to the dream that I’m pretty much useless to fight against. Perhaps at first, when all your beliefs are up in the air, your wild freedom of interpretation is accurate.
But as you settle into dream life and your beliefs do with it, you get caught up in a certain momentum which guides your interpretations. Hopefully this momentum is basically “good,” compared to a hum-drum, objectively-driven existence.
It’s also far more fluid and subject to change than the “average” life-momentum. You know that your beliefs are just dream-code, which direct the dream. You know you can suspend your beliefs and live without (relatively speaking, at least) filters for a little while, even though this can be hard to do. You know you can challenge your beliefs, and that the collective dream will do its part in challenging them, also.
A little side note I want to make on dream “forces” is technology. Having my cellphone and wi-fi turned on gives me a subtle paranoia, like I’m connected to… something. Something that is pulling me toward it. Something with all sorts of whacky stuff on the other side, if there is an other side. I’ve preferred to keep these things off when I write anyway, but now they seem even more daunting. I’m not sure I can explain it quite yet.
Perhaps I’m being pulled into monkey-brain-level distractions. Well, or the government is watching. That’s not too elegant or dreamy of an explanation, but it’s something, eh? :P
Today time is moving very slow, just like I have been lately. Sometimes the dream moves pretty fast, but I think now it just wants me to stop and process what’s happening. Then go, go, go again- right? Soon. Not yet, but soon.
I acknowledged a feeling earlier that I’ve had many times in this experiment, which is some ambition to “wake up” and go beyond the dream somehow. I don’t feel like I’m beyond the dream, but after considering the feeling I now seem like more of a lucid dreamer.
At least for these last few hours it’s been easier for me to maintain the dream perspective, and it seems less frightening to me. So I suppose I did “wake up.”
But go beyond the dream? What might that mean? Perhaps I won’t know until my “experiment” is over.
Accepting this Weird Dream Stuff
Somehow it feels appropriate to just end this article here, and leave it with all the loose ends that it has. For myself, I don’t feel that I need to explain and justify everything that I’ve said. Perhaps this is because I’ve said many of these things before, so there is no need.
Or maybe I don’t need to explain away these things to myself anymore because I accept them now. I don’t need to be convinced. I’m living the explanation: I’m merely processing my experience of it here.
But how about that reader “out there” who doesn’t know what I’m talking about? Perhaps he reflects the part of myself that is resistant to the dream, and no amount of explaining will help him to understand. And if that’s not the case, and my writing is just incomplete… Well, he’ll be okay. Won’t you? :)
Also, it’s far easier to experience and appreciate beauty while in a dream world. I love walking out of my house, looking at the sky and the snow, and thinking, “Whoa, cool dream!”
Perhaps this has applied to music, most of all. Certain songs are more beautiful at certain times because they arise just when I’m in the right state of consciousness to receive their message. Wow, I sound like I have a mental disorder.
Anyway, music is fabulous in subjective reality, so I’ll leave you with a song. Imagine that life is serenading you sweetly, attempting to tell you something of importance (at least, I think that’s how this thing works).
Please note that I have no affiliation with Fifty Shades of Grey. ;)
I’ll let you set the pace
‘Cause I’m not thinkin’ straight
My head’s spinning around
I can’t see clear no more
What are you waiting for?
Love me like you do, love me like you do
Love me like you do, love me like you do
Touch me like you do, touch me like you do
What are you waiting for?
-“Love Me Like You Do,” Ellie Goulding
Read Related Articles:
For some reason that's the only one that seems appropriate to list. But others exist. They do indeed.