Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Beyond the Gates of Dream

I've talked a bit before about the fact that I am a frequent lucid dreamer. That means that often during a dream, I am aware that I am asleep and dreaming. Not always. A lot of the time I just dream like anybody else, accepting the events of the dream at face value. But usually several times a week I become aware that I am dreaming. This happens in a couple of ways.
Last night as I was dozing off, I fell almost immediately into dreaming, before I was even completely asleep it seems. I knew that I was in bed and just beginning to slip away and then suddenly I was stepping through a revolving door and walking down a street in a strange city. However I remained aware that I had just gone to sleep, so I knew I was dreaming.
Other times it's because of a sudden lapse in the "logic" of a dream. The other night I dreamed that I was going to a new art supply store in a strip mall that doesn't exist in the real world, but that I've visited before in dreams. (This is another odd thing about my dreaming world. There are consistent locations in my dreams that don't exist in the real world. Some I've been visiting since I was a kid.) I saw the sign for the art supply store as I pulled into the parking lot, but then after I left the truck and started toward the stores, I suddenly couldn't find the art supply place. I made a slow circuit of the entire strip mall but the store wasn't there. I knew it couldn't have simply vanished since I had seen it from the road. At that point my brain made the jump in "logic" and I realized I was asleep and dreaming.
I'm putting quotation marks around logic because dream logic isn't the same as real logic. For instance, I might be dreaming that Tarzan, Red Sonja and I are on the Death Star for a surprise party for Elvis. The entire lack of logic for that plotline wouldn't bother me or push me into lucid dreaming. Dreams have their own internal logic and as long as nothing violates that, I go right along with things. However if I'm dreaming about being at a hotel in Florida and suddenly realize that I neither drove not took a plane to the sunshine state, I may realize that I'm dreaming. The other night I dreamed I was having a conversation with John Wayne outside of a gas station. Didn't bother me at all.
Anyway, I seem to be in a period of frequent and very vivid dreams, so we'll see what else I run into.

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