Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wait Just A Doggone Minute! Huh?

in between wakefulness & sleep
in between wakefulness & sleep (Photo credit: JAZEL KRISTIN)
          In my previous post I discussed how we can sometimes wake up from a dream feeling confused and disoriented.  The dreamer might take some time reentering the waking world not fully understanding surroundings or circumstances.   As the dreamer leaves the subconscious dream state he may cling to the dream as that which is familiar at that moment and be unwilling to accept the world of wakefulness.

          Likewise, someone who may be in the company of the waking dreamer may be equally startled or confused by the waker's behavior.  A sleep partner may be awakened by the waking dreamer's erratic actions or, if awake already, find the waking dreamer to be a curiosity and even at times frightening or amusing.  

         The waking dreamer may also rise in a semi-conscious state and enter into the presence of another or others who are awake.  This can be disconcerting, annoying, or funny depending on the circumstance.  The scream in the night that rouses others to the dreamer's bedside can also occur, especially in the case of children who have had nightmares.

          Stephen T. McCarthy's comment in the previous post sums it up nicely:  "Huh?"  Waking from the dream and taking that experience into the waking world can be very confusing to everyone involved.

           Here's a funny story that my mother used to tell about my father.  This occurred when I was a baby.  I was the first child in my family.   My parents, still in their twenties, were living in an apartment in Cleveland, Ohio.  In the first couple of years my mother's mother would sometimes come to stay with them to help my mother take care of me and to help out with the household chores.

             My mother always laughs when she tells about the night when she and her mother were sitting in the living room and suddenly my father ran out of the bedroom in his pajamas with a startled look on his face as he shouted, "Who poo-pooed in my hair?"

              He stood there in the hallway looking confused for a moment until he apparently came to his senses and turned around and went back to bed, leaving my mother and grandmother laughing until they were in tears.

              Obviously my father had been dreaming, but it was so real to him that he awoke believing the incident was real.   His confusion lasted long enough for him to leave his bed and query those in the living room.  That was a disoriented awakening.

              Have you ever had particularly funny or embarrassing dream disorientation experience?    Have you ever been present when a sleep partner or another sleeper nearby awoke in a confused state?   How long did the disorientation last and what was their reaction and your reaction?

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Disoriented Awakenings

Science Museum of MN - Social ScienceScience Museum of MN - Social Science (Photo credit: massdistraction)

         You've been there I'm sure.  Perhaps it was a vivid dream. Or maybe you don't remember a dream.  Then you open your eyes.

         "Where am I?"  you may wonder.  You might stumble out of bed or the chair or wherever it was you fell asleep, thinking that some confusing activity is still happening or has happened.  You stop and try to remember, to figure out what has happened, decide what to do now.  

          Vaguely you regain your senses, still looking for something that is rapidly fading from your memory.  What was it?  Where is it?   Why are you looking for it?

           Coming back into the waking world you realize you have been dreaming.  The crossover into waking life has been awkward and at times even unwanted.

          "Why did I have to wake up?" you think.  "I want to go back to that dream."

            After you've stumbled across the brink of half-sleep and almost begrudgingly enter into the world of that which is real, you start trying to sort it all out.   Sometimes a song may be sounding its last vestiges in the recesses of your memory or it may be a consuming thought or an idea that had made complete sense a few moments ago and now is making less and less.  

            The dream is leaving.  Or you are leaving the dream.  Like emerging from the most wonderful infinite sea that part of you wants to sink into forever, you crawl onto the sad sandy shore realizing it is not your time yet.  You must come back.  You must awaken and face reality again.

            Have you been there?   Have you awakened from sleep or dreams and been totally confused?   What strange things have you done or experienced in those circumstances?

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

In College in Guayaquil Ecuador

StudentStudent (Photo credit: Anarkee)

The following is an account of a dream that I had in mid August:

       I am younger and a student at the University of Guayaquil in Ecuador.  I go to a class in a tiered lecture hall.  The professor is the late ex-husband of my present wife and he reminds me of Zero Mostel.  He seems scruffy and gruff, but highly respected by students even though they make fun of him behind his back.  His teacher's aides are somewhat condescending and rude towards me while pretending to be friendly at times.   

       The professor's wife (who is currently my wife in real life), is lying on the front row with sheets draped over her.  She is taking the class but seems bored and almost embarrassed to be there.   Every now and then she peeks out from under the sheets to look at me.  I am surprised how much younger she looks from how I now know her.  She seems to recognize me and coyly acknowledges me.  I have a dual awareness that in the dream she is the wife of the professor as well as my future wife.

        I have a difficult time understanding everything since the class is in Spanish.  The class seems to be a combination of history, literature, and philosophy.  The prof seems like he could be drunk.  I try to be witty.  The other students seem to like me for the most part and think I am funny.  They respect me because I am intelligent and an American who is trying to speak in their language.

       At the end of the class the professor reprimands me for something and tells me to come to his office.  The TAs accompany me there as other students give me "knowing"  looks.  One TA is particularly rude and hits at me and tries to provoke me.

         In the office the professor is funny and actually quite nice. He asks me some questions, quotes someone famous, and explains some things.  I realize he actually likes me and I may be one of his favorite students.  I expect that he will be of great help to me during the school year.  He lets me know that I have great potential and he will be giving me extra help in the class.  The professor seems to give me his approval.

         After I leave the meeting with the professor I interact with other students. Now the TAs are quite nice to me.  I go to take some kind of building tour that ends in a theater where a production of "Peter Pan" is in rehearsal.  At one part of the tour is a grand view of the city.  It seems to be dusk and many lights are on in buildings and I see the skyline silhouetted against the sky.

        When I reach the end of the tour I find myself taking the tour again with a new group.  This time we stop in one room where videos of old rock groups are being played.  I start watching one that seems rather mundane with poorly excuted music.  It is a group I remember.  As the performance progresses the band and the song get better.   I feel like everyone in the tour has stopped to watch this with me, but when I turn I see that most have left with the tour guide and only are few are watching this video.  These stragglers too start to leave with the group so I join them.

        We pass through a dressing room where actors are getting ready for the "Peter Pan" production.  As we continue I find that we are at the rear of the stage in the middle of the production.  The audience can see us, but we seem to blend in with the actors.  There are very few people in the audience and there is an orchestra between them and those of us on the tour.  The orchestra leader who also appears to be the play director tells us that we should leave the stage, but he seems neither excessively surprised nor upset.

       The tour group goes outside where it is now dark and raining.  I notice that my TA's from the class are there and they are glad to see me.  The group all disbands and I join the TAs to go back to their apartment.  We get some Chinese food on the way at a place in a food court that seems to be affiliated with the university.

        At the apartment we discuss various things.  I tell them what I ate at the Chinese restaurant and they mention that something that I ate had bugs in it, but this seems to be the norm and something that many have frequently eaten.   It's a matter of sanitation problems at the restaurant.  I say that I'm not overly concerned since I've been camping a lot and bugs sometimes get in the food.

       I awaken at 3:58 feeling very refreshed and optimistic with a sense of well-being.  When I turn over in the bed my wife wakes thinking there's been an earthquake.  I reassure her that there has not been one.   I want to tell her the dream, but I know she wants to sleep.  I go into my office and record it for this post instead.

        Some interesting facts:   My wife attended the University of Guayaquil and eventually received her doctorate from there.   She was married to the professor depicted in my dream prior to coming to the U.S. where she eventually met and married me.   Her ex-husband died a few years ago.

        Any thoughts?   Have you ever dreamed of people in your partner's past that you did not know?

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Family That Dreams Together: A Guest Post from Faraway Eyes

         A couple months ago I had a series of posts that touched upon or discussed the concept of dreams shared with other people or simultaneous dream experiences and telepathy in dreams.    You can find those posts here, here, and here.  In the comments of those posts, we were joined by the blogger known as Faraway Eyes from the blog Far Away Series.  She promised to share one of her shared dream experiences and today she makes good on her promise.

dramatic dreamdramatic dream (Photo credit: unNickrMe)
I first became aware of simultaneous dreaming one day when my daughter came to me seriously distraught. She had a nightmare that she wanted my reassurance about, but really didn’t want to tell it to me. She started into this elaborate dream, which I was in, when she got to the point that really disturbed her, I was able to finish the dream with the exact description she was going to use. We found out, at that time, that we both had the same dream. We both dreamed that I had died. I was unfazed by the whole thing. I often dream that I die. She was truly upset. I reassured her that I had no plans to die and that dreaming this was pretty normal for me. We were then able to compare notes on the dream and all of the details matched up.

In the future anytime either of us ‘stars’ in a dream of the other we get together and compare notes to see if we have dreamed the same thing on the same night. It seems to happen often. At one point my daughter related a dream to me, (I can’t remember the topic or description now) that I was not present in, but I did have a very similar dream that same night and she didn’t appear in mine. It was not over an event or any stimulus that we might have remotely shared. This seemed freakier than dreaming the same dream where each of us was present.

I first became aware of this when my daughter was a teenager, she is now a grown woman with children of her own (I’ll accept NO wisecracks here about my supposed or perceived age as to what it actually might be. Ha!). About the time I first mentioned this in a comment on one of the earlier posts linked in the introduction, at the beginning of the summer; my six year old granddaughter was spending four days and three nights a week with me, while her mother worked. 

One night I had a rather disturbing dream about being left in the rain forest by some friends to find my own way home. I made it out OK, but was uncomfortable with the situation of being abandoned by folks that I thought were my friends. The following morning at breakfast, my granddaughter tells me she had a nightmare that really scared her. She goes on to relate the same nightmare that I had. I of course, was not in it, and the people who abandoned her were not the same as the ones who abandoned me, but they were friends she trusted, just as me. We did not appear in each other’s dreams, but we seemed to have had the same nightmare. This has absolutely no connection to a movie we watched, or a story I read to her or any other outside stimulus. This one really freaked me out. This nightmare was uncomfortable for me, but it was a lot more terrifying for a six year old. I’m also left wondering if my granddaughter shares dreams with her mother. Upon asking my daughter, they have never connected on this, but then with a six year old, she probably isn’t telling, even if she even remembers, all of her dreams.

I’m very close with this daughter although she is not my only child. Also, with this granddaughter, more so than my other grandchildren. We seem to have not only a physical attachment, but one that is spiritual also. Could that be the reason we share dreams? Is it some spiritual communications? Is a six year old capable of this without conscious thought? Apparently so. The occasion has never come up to discuss my dreams openly with others much, but I wonder if there are other people that I or someone else might be as connected to that we are possibly sharing dreams.

I would be extremely interested to hear if anybody else has had a similar experience or just what others think of this. Other than, of course, that I am a total nut case, which is always possible.

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