21-8-00 20:24:08 -0000
My father was English and my mother was Finish and I was raised throughout asia and africa wherever my father's work took me - as a consequence there was no simple cultural backdrop for me to refer to. No one in my family ever mentioned or was interested in dreams - I assumed they had them but always felt mine were richer and altogether more superior.
During my time in school and University studying Biology I became very intrigued by the various phenomena generally labelled 'the paranormal' and by their implications on the nature of reality. In line with this interest I couldn't help but notice the almost constant synchronicity between faces and events and themes in my dreams that then later occurred in my waking life - clear evidence to my mind of precognition. I started to follow my dreams in a casual way simply to reinforce my taste for the 'unknown'.
I always felt that dreams were rather like a conversation or debate (and occasionally like a lecture) between various aspects of the self as they expressed or struggled with issues in waking life. At times I felt that this conversation took in aspects from beyond my own personality and that at such times there was often a meaningful point to be made.
Dreams have grown far beyond the interesting hobby that they used to be and I now find that I am just as awake (though not always lucid) to my night time experience as I am to my daily life - I see the two as complimentary partners with a strong and varied dialogue between them.
In terms of benefits, I find that I now use dreams and particularly lucid dreams mainly to satisfy my desire for hedonistic pleasure. Beyond the obvious sexual possibilities (not to be derided or underestimated) I find wonderful opportunities for a kind of social life I could never hope to experience otherwise. This is all in marvellous contrast to my daily experience as a serious creative writer. In particular I find that I have met and cultivated a number of 'friends' within dreams with whom I have some very interesting ongoing dialogues. Some of these characters are people I know from the waking world, past and present, but others are purely of the dream world - these are perhaps the most interesting.
In terms of my creative writing I have not found dreams to be much use at generating ideas on a large scale (what seems incredibly profound in the night is usually rather pointless in the morning), but when it comes to the simple generation of a descriptive piece for example they really come into their own - the opportunity to walk around in the body of a character I have created (male or female) and to experience things as they would experience them is profoundly useful in writing rich and vital and above all accurate narrative.
As for defining dreams - my experience of life (both waking and otherwise) leads me to believe that dreams come from much the same place as reality itself does (be it the quantum field or god or whatever). I no longer see dreams as some sort of psychological phenomena except perhaps in the way that I am coming to see the world itself as somewhat of a psychological phenomena.
Beyond all of this, it is hard to describe how profoundly my experience of dreams and lucidity in particular has changed my view of the world and how it all works. And it's all so much FUN too - which is probably the most profound point of all :)
Hope this is useful.
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