This is my second shot at writing the blog this week. Kind of. Maybe. I remember going through the process of typing it all up, and being really proud of it. Some of the phrases are still tickling at the edges of my mind, but I can’t now remember what the actual subject was. This is because it happened the other night, when I was mostly asleep.
Reality is a strange thing. I remember writing it out as clearly as I remember making my cup of tea this morning, but to a large degree it’s fair to say one happened and one didn’t. Although no-one witnessed me make my cup of tea, and if it came to it I couldn’t really prove I did that either. I could have a hallucinated it. I could have convinced myself that because I make a cup of tea every morning I must have done so this morning too. Maybe I dreamt that as well, and woke up with a memory so clear my waking mind interprets it as having been true.
It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been watching a lot about the potential applications and ramifications of virtual reality – it certainly seems to be the hot topic at the moment. If we rely on shared experience to substantiate our reality – which otherwise is largely subjective – but can manipulate a synthetic shared experience, how real is that reality? If all our senses, our emotion, our intellect can be ‘tricked’, how do we know when they are betraying us and when they are not? At what point does it cease to matter?
Of course there are individuals with circumstances that mean they have to deal with similar experiences as a matter of course. For most of us, the closest glimpse we get are confused fragments of dreams, almost-memories of never-happened, vague projections of might-have-been, garbled remembrances that surface in moments of déjà vu. Certain branches of study tell us that with the right tools and techniques we can sift and hone these experiences, gaining value and insight into realms locked away from the conscious mind.
Dreams, like books, can give us an enticing glimpse into alternate realities – tempting to say the least when there are already so many challenges in navigating this one! But there’s always a stinger – dreams can so easily become nightmares….
(See this month’s Dream On workshop for more on dream symbolism and navigation)