An Unsolved Mystery

January 5, 2006

The day before New Year’s Eve I had a very strange dream or maybe it is more characterized by a sleep problem as I wasn’t exactly “dreaming”. Dreaming implies that I was asleep, which is a binary condition; you are either asleep or awake. My problem was I could not fall completely asleep. I was in this grey area. Usually I lay my head down on the pillow, eyes closed, and do one of two things: try to think of nothing, or let my mind go free. I suppose I chose the latter.

There were short periods where I would sleep but it wouldn’t last for more than 30 minutes (which is 1/3 a sleep period according to REM studies). But as strange as all this sounds, it wasn’t what was really bothering me. I guess I was just sleeping a little lighter than usual. What bothered me was the incredibly strange and repulsive reality which existed in my bouts of dreaming. Sounds awkward, yeah. Especially for someone who rarely remembers their dreams.

To start with an example: Take a ball, drop it, and it will bounce. There are two events in this situation. The ball dropping, and then the ball bouncing. The second event depends and complies with the reality that exists for the ball dropping. But, and here’s the important part, my dream didn’t follow these logical rules. A ball would drop and stick. A ball would leave the hand and stay still. The second event would not comply with the previous event. Everything that happened contradicted what happened previously. It’s like reverse-determinism or something. It freaked the hell out of me. Partly because I considered this reality “lying” to me, and trust is an already skeptical idea to me. Almost foreign nowadays. I don’t know whether to characterize this as a nightmare because “nightmare” carries with itself horror-like connotations: ie, monsters, death, blood, goo. This is more along the lines of a repulsive science-fiction dream. Nightmares also usually imply that you are scared while dreaming. I was scared afterwards.

Nightmares also imply that you are asleep, which I for the most part wasn’t. Like I said, I let my mind go free while I was trying to sleep which resulted in an awkward sleep cycle. I had similar dreams episodes for a few days later but haven’t had any problems since. But now I’m back to not remembering my dreams.

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