The following is a short paper I wrote about a month ago to better describe my Dreaming Soul Theory. The main goal I have for releasing this to the public is to get new ideas and perspectives on it. Replies to this post are welecomed and wanted!
[Short Essay on Reality and Dreams, date: 3-16-13]
Ideas in this paper originated from my “Dreaming Soul Theory” which asks “Is human existence nothing more than a soul’s dream?”
What are dreams? What is reality? How do you know your not sleeping right now? I have been thinking about these question for quite sometime and have gone over many thought experiments trying to get to the bases of them. For the time being, I have come up with enough information that I wish to organize and explain my thoughts on the matter. If I ever release this to anyone other than myself, this will hopefully give clarity or atleast a starting point for anyone who has wondered the same things.
To understand reality and dreams, you must first understand that everything is an experience. These experiences are what make up your existence. Both reality and dreams are nothing more than experiences that your consciousness is having. The key difference between reality experiences and dream experiences is the amount of time you have been consciously having them. You call your normal waking life “reality” because you have consciously spent the most time there. Most of the time when you have dreams, you only have them during portions of the night. Sometimes you consciously remember having a dream and other times you dont. Compared to dreams, you remember more of your waking life.
So, I have come up with the following definitions of reality and a dream that I will use:
Definition of Reality: The place or existence in which you are most conscious.
Definition of a Dream: An experience that happens outside of your reality.
You may be thinking you call your waking life “reality” because your reality is real and your dreams are not, but what is real? As morpheus said in the matrix “How do you define real”? When you are dreaming you have no idea that the experience you are having during the dream isn’t “real”. Most of the time, during the dream you dont even think of it as not being “real”. Its not until you wake up, back to your reality, that you realize that you were just having a dream. In other words, it isn’t until you compare the expereinces of dreaming to the experiences of your waking life, that you know you were just dreaming. In the context of reality being real, you are associating real with the existence you’ve spent the most time in. You remember more of your waking life than you do your dreams, but to say your reality is “real” with just the evidence of time isn’t enough to justify a “real” existence, just a more familiar one.
Sometimes when you are dreaming, you become aware that the experience you’re having isn’t your normal, everyday experience. During the dream you realize, by comparing the experience you are having to the experiences you remember, that you are in fact dreaming. This phenomenon is known as lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is very powerful. Once you realize that you are dreaming, almost anything becomes possible. Almost anything becomes possible because you realize that you are existing in a place other than that of your normal reality. Its almost like going to sleep in your bed, then waking up on the other side of the world. When you would wake up you would realize that this isn’t your bed, nor your house. A dream is completely different in the regard that it isn’t the other side of the world, its a whole other existence. Once you realize that this isn’t your reality, the laws that you were abidding by get pushed to the side a little. Once you realize your dreaming, once your realize that your existing in another existence, which is so abstract and abnormal in itself, you begin to wonder what else is possible. Is there anything you can do in this existence that you couldn’t do in your reality? With this knowledge you are not bound by the limitations of someone who doesn’t have this knowledge.
Now begins a more in depth discussion, one that will soon lead to a “soul” as being plausible. Reality is the place or existence in which you are most conscious. A Dream is an experience that happens outside of your reality. If a soul were having an experience while it was sleeping, would that experience not be a dream? For instance, how do you know your not sleeping right now? In which how do you know your reality isn’t a dream? Reality is the place or existence in which you are most conscious, but how do you know the existence you call reality, really is the existence that you have been conscious in the longest? Until you wake up from a dream back to your reality, you kinda think that the dream is reality. In which you dont remember your waking life during the dream. Is the reason we call this existence reality because we cant remember the existence from where we came, in which we were more conscious? Wouldn’t that existence be reality and this reality be a dream? And if you think about it even more, on a deeper level, this could go on indefinately. Every existence you would experience, you could question whether or not it is reality or just another dream because can we ever really know whether or not the existence we call reality isn’t just another dream? Is there an absolute beginning reality or an infinite nesting of dreams?
From this way of thinking, I can deduce or reasonably consider the existence of a soul. This existence that I call life could really just be a soul dreaming. Reincarnation becomes plausible too. When I dream at night, I dont have the same dream every night. Sometimes I do, but most of the time I don’t. Most of the time its a new dream and I am a completely new person, even though I am really myself. When a soul goes to sleep, would it have the same dream, or would it not have different dreams like I do? Reincarnation perhaps?
What else can I conclude from my own experiences of dreaming, that I could apply to a soul if it where dreaming? I have lucid dreams sometimes, so can a soul have lucid dreams too? What if, and really think about this, a person were to actually realize that their life really is a soul’s dream? In which they would kind of be having a lucid life? Insane. If a lucid dream makes many more things become possible from the knowledge of knowing that one is dreaming, what becomes possible of a person who realizes that they really are a soul dreaming? Is this where spiritual and energetic phenomenon such as channeling, esp, seeing ghost, controlling chi energy, astral projection, and many other spiritual abilities come from? People who do these kinds of things, maybe not obviously, but on some level might consciously realize that there is more to this reality or “dream” then the obvious laws by which most of us live our lives by.
First I want to say interesting idea.
Next I would love to hear more about your theory as I have a little difficulty piecing together the details, though I understand the gist.
Food for thought. Our dreams (both Non/REM dreams and “daydreams”) could be a link to a non-“physical” existence in which we are connected. A kind of dual life. Both my physical body and my “soul” living all at once and the “Dreams” are simply a way to interpret the other reality. Where the big picture (ie, the visuals and sounds) of my dream is relatively unimportant but the concepts and lessons that lie therein are the major pieces.
@monkeyzazu, Holy shit man I was thinking the same thing earlier today and I was going to post a topic called Life is a dream when I had my idea more thought out. Some of the things I thought about is a comparison of death and sleep. If there’s no life after death, or death before life, it would be like going to sleep and never waking up. Now try to imagine that, or do the opposite and try to imagine always being asleep but then you randomly wake up. It doesn’t really make sense because we’ve never experienced that, also I’m probably not explaining it that well but hopefully you get the main idea.
Now lets look at how sleeping actually works and compare it to death with reincarnation. So you start of awake, then you got to sleep. You dream for a bit and after that dream there is time between it and the next dream. That time is just empty because you brain isn’t working. When you start your next dream you won’t remember the previous one. It feels like that is the only dream you have ever had. In your dreams you don’t feel like you have very much control. It almost feels like you have no choice and everything is playing out like a movie that your dreaming(at least that’s what usually happens, I’ll get to lucid dreaming and how it works in this dream later). This cycle of dreams and the empty time between them repeats until you eventually wake up and realize it was all a dream.
Now reread that whole explanation of sleep but change the word for sleep with life or live depending on the usage, and the time between dreams would be changed with death. It makes perfect sense, at least to me,
So with lucid dreaming you have complete control and you realize the dream is just an experience so you make the best of it. Lucid living is the same thing, you realize there is a system in place that wants to control you but you live on a huge planet filled with millions of possibilities. You might not be able to break the laws of physics and start flying but you certainly don’t have to follow what everybody else is doing and be stuck in a shit routine.
I had some other thoughts about this concept that I can’t remember right now but I’ll come back and post them when I remember them.
Hey replies! Awesome!
Yea, this is the only part of my theory that I have peice together enough to really explain well. Other parts include ego and death. To be honest, I’m still thinking about those and how they are tied to dreams. I haven’t really put together a body of words to explain my thoughts on them. The ego part deals with if I am a dream that a soul is having, am I the soul itself or just an ego of the soul? The death part deals with if death in this life is kind of like the death of a dream. Would you just wake up?
“Where the big picture (ie, the visuals and sounds) of my dream is relatively unimportant but the concepts and lessons that lie therein are the major pieces. ”
I really like that. I have heard that dreams are lesssons that we are trying to teach ourself. Kind of like self-therapy or something.
I understand what you saying. It makes alot of sense. I like your thinking about the space inbetween the dreams we have and how thats what death could be like. Dreams and reality are closely related. So I think if we examine how they both work and look at the similarities, we can get a better picture of things.
I think you said something about not being able to remember dreams when your in other dreams, but I have done that before. It kinda of felt like deja vu, but in a dream? I was having a dream and thought to myself, “havn’t I already done this”? I then remembered that I was thinking about another dream I had, while I was in that one. I didn’t really think to much about it until I woke up. If remembering your reality in a dream is how lucid dreaming starts, what does it mean to remember dreams in other dreams? Its kind of like if you were to remember a past life you have had.
@monkeyzazu, You must have better dream recall than me. For the most part every new dream feels like the only dream I’ve ever experienced, when I become lucid I can sometimes remember previous dreams but usually I’m to busy enjoying the lucid dream to care. Something you said made me think of recurring dreams, so if you can have the same dream more than once and everything we’re discussing is true than you should be able to live the same life more than once.
I dont mind if you don’t like the way I explained things. Everyone’s views and opinions are relative to the way they think and what they believe in. So, relative to how I think and reason, this is just what I have come up with.
The main reason I made this post was to get feedback. Good or bad, all feedback is welcomed. Please in more detail give your explaination of why you think I murdered interesting ideas or how you think I’m confused?
Yea, I did keep a dream journal for about 3 months. I was able to pretty much remember all of my dreams. Its was crazy. I was having a like 6 or 5 dreams a night that I could consciously remember.
Yea, I can see that as a possiblity. Don’t know how it would work, but in theory, if you can have the same dream over, you should be able to live the same life over.
All is mental activity and it gathers no dust.
The key difference between reality and dreams is not in the time you have to experience
each of them, but in the quality of the experience. Most people have faded experiences of
reality, and almost no experiences of dreams. You start you essay with a background knowledge
that the waking reality is more real than dream reality, which is where i most disagree with
you. Defining reality as the place you are most conscious is wrong. You can be as conscious,
or even more conscious in a dream than in reality, although you can’t spend as much time
in a dream.You define dream as an experience that happens outside of my reality. Well, for me,
my reality is everything that happens inside my brain, which means, the whole fucking world
and everything i know about it. The keyborad under my fingers, the computer screen and my
ideia of myself, the world and everyone else, are things that are happening inside my
brain, not «out there» in the world. So yeah, i would strongly argue that dreams are as real
as you are, and they are not, as you say, something that happens outside of reality.
I wish they were…but as far as i know there’s nothing in dreams that could prove you’re
outside of your brain, which is the only way i can conceive of being outside of reality, where
you could take a look at yourself and say, well i guess this is my soul…
If you went to the reality «above» this one, and found out that all this is actually a dream,
like you said, nothing would prevent you from thinking there was another level above that one,
maybe the real reality. You say you can reasonably consider the existence of a soul, yet
nowhere in your text do you suggest a definition of a soul…
The idea that we are a soul dreaming is interesting and probably old as time, and yes, I agree
with you when you say that people with, let’s say, superpowers are probably people who
can see our reality for what trully is. I guess buddhists would call it: enlightenment.
I think you got alot of my texts mixed up in your explanation, but I think I understand most of what your trying to say.
First off you say:
“You start you essay with a background knowledge that the waking reality is more real than dream reality, which is where i most disagree with you.”
No where in my eassy do I say that waking reality is more real than your dreams. I state that most people think their reality is real, then ask “what is real”? I talk about how most people don’t even think that there dream isn’t “real” until they wake up. I then go on to say, “You remember more of your waking life than you do your dreams, but to say your reality is “real” with just the evidence of time isn’t enough to justify a “real” existence, just a more familiar one.”
Secondly you say:
“Defining reality as the place you are most conscious is wrong. You can be as conscious,
or even more conscious in a dream than in reality, although you can’t spend as much time in a dream.”
I think you interpreted what I meant by most wrong or maybe I just didn’t explain myself well enough right there, but I do later on in the eassy. I didn’t mean to imply that your more conscious in your waking life than in a dream. I meant to imply that you “have been” more conscious in your waking life than in your dreams. Time wise, your consciousness has been in this reality longer, than in your dreams. To further refine this, I just read that the average person spends six years having dreams. That compared to the average of atleast 60 years in waking life is far less.
“So yeah, i would strongly argue that dreams are as real as you are, and they are not, as you say, something that happens outside of reality.”
Once again I never said dreams were not real. When I was trying to come up with a definition of a dream, the only thing I was sure of was that dreams are expereinces that aren’t apart of this experience I call reality. They clash too much together. For example, I had a dream last night that my sister died. I wake up from that dream back to my waking life, and shes still alive. So, I don’t think dream experinces and waking life experiences are apart of each other in which I dont include dreams as being apart of my reality.
I have to make the rest of this quick, because I have to go to work.
“but as far as i know there’s nothing in dreams that could prove you’re
outside of your brain, which is the only way i can conceive of being outside of reality, where you could take a look at yourself and say, well i guess this is my soul…”
I have had dreams lucid dreams before where I have seen my body sleeping in my bed, even though I wasn’t in my bed. And I have had a dream where I actually saw myself in my bathroom mirror. That was a really wierd dream! I looked exactly the same, just a little darker in contrast.
Just an update for myself. I think this video gives a very visual representation of how I was thinking when I was conceiving my Dreaming Soul Theory. Original seen here: https://www.highexistence.com/videos/view/joe-rogan-what-is-reality-2/
does a person who has been completely blind from birth experience visual dreams?
yes, i have heard of this. I think when you sleep your using your third eye to visualize your dreams and other images. Dont really know how its correlated to everything else, like how a person actually sees with their eyes.
Does a person who has been completely deaf from birth experience auditory dreams?
dont really know or have thought about it. would be something nice to research later
Do androids dream of electric sheep?
“If you are god then you can explain to a blind person what the color purple is.”
I guess. your wording is a little confusing there. I dont believe in a god. God is a term used to personify the energy that makes up everything. Everything explaining to a person what the color purple is…. interesting. Would probably be one hell of a teacher.
@pedro, “i think YOUR explanation of things is a murder of some pretty interesting ideas out there. Either YOU’RE confused, or expressing yourself needs some working on.
Sorry for the bad review… ”
This is the most annoying response I have ever read on HE. I don’t know why.
@monkeyzazu, I have thought about this, but its nice to see it pieced together by someone else. Until I am convinced otherwise, I would have to say this is the most plausible theory about existence I have heard.
Interesting points. I agree that your existence is the sum of all you experience. Reality, dreams, thoughts, senses, emotions, ect. But what I have a difficult time understanding is why are dreams separate entities than your walking life or reality? I don’t really believe in the whole soul thing, but to each his own. I believe reality is in fact “real” as most people would understand, and dreams are simply just another piece of the puzzle that makes up our lives. Similar to our thoughts and memories if you ask me. Just my thoughts…
@whowhatwhy, exactly, I don’t believe dreaming or anything else are “escapes” from reality. everything is reality, whether your physically doing, imagining in your mind, recalling memories, dreaming in your sleep- its all part of the same reality
Thanks. There’s more, but this is all that I have organzied right now. Everything else is just random thougths and notion about dreams and death, and ego and dreams. Don’t know when, but I will post another updated essay that includes those other topics.
That video, “Joe Rogan – What is reality” is really good and recommended. I feel like its my essay, but in video form almost.
Yea. I was only drawing from my own experiencing when I wrote that essay. Sense then, I have thought about more things and other peoples notions of reality and dreams. Then again, that was the main reason for posting this on HE, to get more opinion and views.
Like in another thread, @whowhatwhy brought up objective reality…. mind trip. But as I said in an earlier post on this thread, I don’t think my dreaming experience are the same as my waking life experiences or what I call my reality because they clash too much together. One night I had a dream that my sister died, but then I woke back up to this reality, she was still alive. So to me, they are different.
Have you guys watched that “Joe Rogan – What is Reality” vid I posted in this thread? I just found it this morning. Kind of gets my point across better I think.
@monkeyzazu, I haven’t watched the video, but I will when I get some time. When you say you dreamt of killing your sister, yet in reality you did not…what’s different with that than just thinking about killing your sister? would you consider that separate than reality as well? I personally think dreams are no different than thinking. both are realities…just realities within your brain and not physically seeable to others. just like memories and feelings. but again, maybe after I watch that vid I will see your point differently