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Dream reality and waking reality, no difference?

  1. Oct 31, 2006 #1
    Is there any difference?

    I guess i should say why i'm interested in this question. I've often had what is called 'lucid dreams' in which i realise i'm dreaming while i'm dreaming... it doesn't happen often, but i've defeinetely experienced it. For example, in the middle of a dream, i'll suddenly realise that i'm actually asleep in bed, in the town where i live on planet earth etc... but apart from this insight i'm still completely experiencing the 'dream reality'. That's lucidity.

    That experience made me wonder about the nature of reality. Ask yourself, why do people usually not realise they are dreaming, while they are dreaming? Isn't it odd that no matter what happens in a dream, no matter how bizzare, you don't question whether what is happening is 'real' or not? Likewise, when you're 'awake' you never question wether what is happening is real or not. There's two important points here that i'm trying to make. The first point is that you accept each, the dream and waking realities, with complete conviction while your experiencing each. The second point i'd like to make is that, we never question the 'validity' or 'realness' of a reality unless we are looking back on that reality from a difference reality. Here's a thought experiment: imagine that a baby is born but in a coma, and never experiences this reality... but the baby does dream and experiences the dream reality. The baby would never be able to question the validity of the dream without experiencing this waking life... i.e we need some kind of frame of reference.

    There's another point i'd like to make. We are always trying to understand the 'universe', to define it using maths and physical laws. But no matter how perfectly we refine our equations and theories, no matter how exactly they describe how the universe functions or was formed etc, you'd never be able to actually turn a piece of paper with equations written on it into a world. So the equations would basically describe something which we are powerless to recreate. However, our own mind does this creation process every night when we go to sleep. A dream isn't just images that flash across your mind. Having had many lucid dreams i can assure you that everything in dreams is as real and as absorbing as this world. You can experience pain, objects have hardness, weight, you have an identity as being an individual self...in essence all of your senses function normally. The only difference i can think of between dream and waking reality, is that in dream there doesn't seem to be any constant laws of physics. For example, gravity can behave in any way you want it to behave (you can fly etc).

    I'm just curious as to why there isn't more interest in dreams. Every night we actually create realities which i would argue are every bit as 'real' as this reality. Only when we wake up and compare the two realities are we able to dismiss the dream as being unreal. I think it's wrong to dismiss dreaming as just being chemical/electrical processes in the brain... i'm not saying that that isn't what dreams are, but those processes are more than just processes in that they create new perception, reality etc.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2006 #2
    From my experience, lucid dreams usually collapse when you reach a point at which you witness a logical fallacy that you cant deny or explain away. Often things are surreal and bizarre or confusing, but as soon as something illogical or impossible happens you abruptly wake. The real freaky ones are where you think you wake but you enter a new dream that you dream you just woke up....They are like loops within loops.

    For example, i have this re-occurring semi-lucid dream about flight. I am able to fly completely free but only with the aid of some focal device, sometimes a pillow or cushion, sometimes a mechanical device or a wing. The object is usually something new, its only purpose in the dream is "This makes it possible to fly". I fly over houses and soar and stuff for a while. I often find that if I question the logic of the device or it disappears i wake or tumble and wake.

    I'm a curios person, i like to question a reality and how things work. I find the falling to death dreams always end when you hit the ground, funny that.

    Reality is the only loop in which logic always seems to hold, at least thus far. And the only one we can all share.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2006
  4. Nov 2, 2006 #3


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    Well this is pretty foremost to me being on the high end of lucid dream frequency. Reality is this, and it seems irrelevent to question if this is a "dream" in itself. When you are non-lucid, and dreaming, that is reality—it is relative. If you are color-blind, delusional, or deaf, your reality is different from those around you, and even if you aren't any of those it is because we are all individuals.

    For me, I can just sense that the world is different—I just know I am in a dream. I don't need to do any reality checking (RC) or see any blatantly physically illogical actions.

    I think our mind creates it's own world based on memories. The baby? I don't believe it would "dream" at all. It has nothing to draw upon, to draw onto the tabula rasa.

    But they're not—I have many different kinds of dreams. Some dreams seem more real than reality—as if you are on other levels. Some are barely real, they are more like closed-eye hallucinations. But I always know I am dreaming. It is something about the smell of the place for lack of a better word (I can't recall any time I've percieved an olfactory sensation in a dream though).

    Maybe I'm confusion reality with perception of reality. But what is reality but what we perceive?
  5. Nov 11, 2006 #4
    This makes me think sometimes that reality is only what the mind creates, that everything you see or do is merely created by the mind, that there are other universes and stuff. I dont know though, most of that just doesnt seem possible then you say it doesnt have to be possible in this universe, whatever. I just cant comprehend that and they talk about new dimensions with the new particle accelerator in 07. Im not sure about those other universes but Id like to see what death has in store, maybe itll be nothingness or maybe we actually will go to another universe but I just cant imagine it without the help of some drugs.
  6. Nov 26, 2006 #5
    Hello there people. I just came across this forum randomly and happened upon this particular thread, so thought i would share some of my own experiences as they relate to lucid dreaming.

    Being a regular lucid dreamer i have had many interesting experiences, but there are a couple things i would like to share in particular as they relate to some of the previous posters on this thread.

    Two things are of particular interest to me concerning lucid dreaming:

    1) I notice that if i take my mind with me to the dream world or awaken it "there" somehow, it can sometimes have the effect of bringing me under its limiting influence. In other words, at the moment i become aware of/assume my normal human "sensibilities", i may become limited in my expression by the beliefs/truths i identify with as my human-self. For instance, if i "awaken" to find myself flying over a landscape, then start fearing that i may fall (because i am now suddenly aware of the laws that i am usually governed by 'back on earth'), it will almost always have the effect of making me fall immediately unless i can change perspective or maintain awareness/or an attitude along the lines of "This is a dream. I can do anything!". I notice that if i don't think about flying, but 'just fly', then there is no difficulty. But the moment i begin to think about "how?" or question it, i lose the ability almost immediately.

    2) I can "manifest" or make appear any environment, being, situation or object virtually instantaneously by just thinking about or imagining it. (Note: Perhaps that's why some people say that you best have a clear conscience at the point of death, otherwise you will go to "hell" because your feelings/thoughts of guilt will generate a reality consistent with them.)

    From these types dream experiences i have come to understand one thing in particular...Dream reality and waking reality may be more closely related than we tend to believe.

    My experiences in human reality have shown me that if i concentrate on bringing about a certain objective or experience or desire, and go about this during my day to day activities without doubting myself, i will pretty much always get/produce/achieve whatever it is i think i can have or believe i can achieve. In other words, where ever i place my attention, if i focus on that and work towards attaining that desired end (mentally, emotionally, and physically), it will manifest by a series of events that may even appear completely unrelated. Similarly, in the dream state, i find that if i desire to manifest something, be it a different environment, object, a car, or if i decide i want to fly, these things or abilities will become actualized or made possible at that moment, but only if i do not question or doubt my ability to do so.

    The key main differences i have observed between the two seeming separate realities (dreaming/waking) are:

    1) The time-lag between 'conception of' and 'actualization of' thoughts/emotions --- i.e. Thoughts and emotions generally materialize at the moment of conception in dream-states, whereas 'back on earth' there is usually a significant delay...... You want a big mac? you gotta go down to McDonald's and get one. And if you're an Eskimo minus supernatural powers living in an igloo at the north pole, then chances are you'll only ever get to eat one in your dreams lol (This time-delay, i find, is usually caused by mental conflicts which situate you in such a position (in your life) that make it difficult for you to translate thoughts into actuality with rapidity. But that's another issue perhaps worthy of a new thread.)


    2) The level of freedom of expression -- i.e. In dream reality, creative potential is far more multi-dimensional than in waking states. In other words, possibilities are vastly more expansive and things that are considered impossible to actualize in waking reality are easily accessible in "dream" reality. For instance, if you want a fancy house here on earth your options are (usually) limited to the laws of physics and the capabilities of architects and builders as well as the level of wealth you are currently active on. In dream states these laws and limitations do not apply. "There", it is just as easy to create a diamond palace as it is to create a mud hut.

    From my experiences and understanding, i theorize that it is possible for any individual to "wake up" to the realization that this "reality" is actually just a co-created dream world, and so be able to defy/redefine the laws that had previously been regarded as "true" and absolute, but only for oneself and no other.

    One other thing i have noticed during dream experiences is that i don't actually "become conscious" at the point the dream turns "lucid". What's actually happening is that i am already conscious, but i become aware of my human-self (mind/memories) which brings that part of me into focus so that i can operate/consider/think from that specific perspective.

    To me, if you're dreaming, you're already conscious whether or not you perceive things from the reference point of your human-oriented-self or ego.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2006
  7. Dec 2, 2006 #6
    Im glad you brought this up, because if I did no-one would really understand me. Obviously my writing skills arn't as good as most people here. Anyways, this makes you think of the quote, "perception is reality". Wouldn't that make you a "God" yourself?

    On another note, consider this. A few times i've died in a dream and when i wake up I realize my bodies been holding "its" breathe. Or (im sure this has happened to a few of you) you go to the washroom in a dream!
    I'm wondering where the connections are from your dream reality playing some how in the waking reality.
  8. Dec 2, 2006 #7
    I have only experienced a handful of "lucid dreams," but, to me, they didn't seem too real to the point where I would call them "reality."

    Humans live in one sect. They interpret the environment and make conclusions and hypotheses based off of their interpretation. But, unfortunately, what reality "really is like" is bounded to our eyes, ears, hands, nose, and taste. Humans can't differentuate their own reality from what reality "may really be." Now, even so, the problem is whether this "true reality" exists or is another human thought. Reality is a abstract and linear concept. It is understandable that some people would believe that human interpretation is wrong because they simply have seen that within history. But that doesn't really make a valid argument that "true reality" exists. It could simply be a strange human paradigm. Likewise, this reality of a lucid dream is a human paradigm based on the 5 human senses. The baby example ties well with Plato's Allegory to a Cave and something like a relative example to SR (in its concepts). Reality can be only measured to the human observer and can't be questioned without other views of reality.
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