Monday, April 09, 2007

A simple dream

I was speaking to one of my daughters yesterday so naturally I had a dream as if I had roommates again as she does. In my dream one of them hadn't been paying the cable TV bill. The amount owed on the bill I saw was so large I had trouble telling if it was 5 figures or 6 figures. Yet in the dream I was perfectly accepting that this was possible. Hmm, that's too much for me to pay. I wonder how high the bill will go when no one pays it.

I remember feeling some fear about this in the dream, but as I've learned from my needy clients, if some situation is impossible, you just have to turn your thoughts to something that is possible. At least I remembered that much in my dream, even if I didn't remember my actual life or that the cable TV company shuts off service long before the bill even reaches a thousand dollars.

Dreams fascinate me. Some people pretend they understand them so well, whether they see them as messages from the unconsciousness or something even more mystical. Yet they're just guessing. Neuroscience understands the brainstem mechanisms for REM sleep somewhat, but what generates the content for dreams is such a mystery. Dreams are so mysterious scientifically some trivialize them as if they are merely dumping data from the previous day. My dreams aren't that trivial.

Dreams are so different from wakefulness. Dream-like images are incredibly detailed, like waking sensations, instead of the flashes I get from memory or willful imagination I engage in while awake. I regularly get dream-like images while awake, not often enough from my perspective, as they are almost always interesting associations to something I'm doing, as that image of a fairy tale I mentioned in that last post. Why is that so infrequent? If it's my unconscious trying to tell me something, why doesn't it just tell me, in images if it has no words? Why doesn't it tell me everything it knows in one straight story? Maybe it doesn't know that much, but it is creative.

And somehow I'm not the same person in my dreams. I accept whatever I see. Not so when I wake. On awakening my brain quickly figures out that there's no way a cable TV bill ever could get that high. Besides I pay the cable bill in real life, and it's not due for another 2 weeks in reality. There is no threat as there was in my dream. Dumb, naive dreamer. Why so dumb and creative at the same time?

I don't know, but that way of thinking is in me, and I'm sure it's in a lot of people, some while awake. Someday science will understand. For my lifetime I'd settle for people understanding just how much no one understands, but that's something like a cable TV bill of $100,000. It's beyond me to do anything about.

No comments: