A discussion on the likeness of dreams to movies, where does reality start and the dream end
I love waking up from a dream having explored a different reality, freshly inspired, indefinitely curious… yet somewhat confused as to why I tuned out just at that moment – unless the alarm forced the conclusion! Over the course of the day I often analyse the content, and then see how the messages apply to my life at present – working to integrate what my subconscious has so readily spat out.
Even though some may claim not to dream, they do - they just don’t remember them. Regardless, the beauty is there is no denial about their existence and even sceptics get curious about their mysterious and somewhat absurd content.
Almost all schools of thought will agree that dreams help prepare you for day-to-day life - the only variance is how and why they’re a necessary and important part of our life.
Almost anyone who knows the word psychology will know of Sigmund Freud, or at least his rather sexually prolific theories. His position on dreams is interesting in regards that he sees their events as wish fulfillment. Sure, I’ve had some pretty raunchy encounters, and some that really aren’t at all. There are plenty of movies that play to these kinds of desires! Either which, some dreams, and movies too, have the power to put smile on my face, no matter the context.
There is a theory that relates to training your primal instinct, which is why as a child you often have vivid nightmares. A big scary animal chasing you in the dark? a car about to run you over? your mother or father being in danger, or perhaps you were in danger or unable to reach them? This is all part of instilling into you the dangers of reality, even in the context of your dreams, this prepares you to make the best decisions.
Sometimes though you have to wonder what happens when you have that déjà vu in real life, because you’ve seen it before in your dreams. How did you know that a certain event, person, feeling, words would arrive just as they have? The older I get, I find these events more striking rather than less, and the surreal yet more than real, an exceptionally potent experience - more than real perhaps? But who’s to say that this experience, or even reality at all, is something more valid or real than the worlds we tap into at night, but just seems to be the one in which we have more memories, more experiences.
People often liken dreams to movies, and what is kind of cool about movies is that you can just ‘skip scenes’ like you would in a dream. The continuum is there, just, not as we would have it in a context of reality where time is of different value, and duration.
The only difference I find between movies, dreams and life is this.
Movies and dreams can skip scenes, show you the impossible, and gets to the important bits, stat! Reality, that needs longer to play out, however when you’re watching a movie, you know where the ideas come from, who played all the parts, and who put it all together, that’s what the credits are for, then you’re free to continue with your day when you walk away from the screen, and leave this dream world in front of you behind.
So, since we never seem to have the credits rolling, are dreams preparing us for life? Or is it the other way around? Without our dreams to guide we could possibly never integrate the amazing messages they bring that inspire us to live a better life. Or perhaps without our reality, we have no context or validity to bring to our dreams. I know that the more I dream, the more full a life I can live, simply because it shows me that not all limits are real or sometimes even exist.
Sometimes I know I can tell what influenced my dreaming content – that conversation with my friend I had moments before sleep surely played out in my dream context last night! Maybe when this reality ends the credits could roll on like after a movie. Or perhaps it will just flash to another scene, another dream.
Whichever worlds you take your consciousness and self into, be lucid and make the most of it. You never know when the scene may change and the credits may roll and end what was once supposedly a life, and not merely a dream.
‘Who looks outside: dreams - who looks inside: awakens.’
© Lauren Neko 2012