Posts Tagged ‘Dreaming’

“What if nothing exists and we’re all in somebody’s dream?”
Woody Allen

This manner of thinking has been the center of many of my psychosis throughout life. When I begin to take baby steps further away from what is real. At this point reality and fantasy begin intertwining with one another. When I am dreaming I believe I am awake, and when I am awake I suppose I am dreaming. This gets very complicated because my dreams are so vivid they feel like everything is so real. When I am consumed in this mode of thinking, I get more and more mixed up. Pretty soon I am crossing each reality over and over. In a dream I may be referencing something from when I was awake, and while I am awake I am referencing dreams. This criss-crossing of realities gets awfully confusing.

One (out of many) reoccurrings thought I have been having is if I in my current state exist, or am I just an entity inside of someone’s mind or dream. I am able to battle this frame of thinking with René Descartes “Cogito ergo sum” (I think therefore I am.) If I am able to formulate thought then I cannot be inside someone’s dream because dreams do not have imagery with individual thought. I would think this is far to complex to be a fabrication inside of someone’s mind. This may be possible if I myself am the individual dreaming. If this dreamer is dreaming me as an alter ego to themselves then it would be only natural that I would have thought since this individuals mind is thinking through me in the dream state. My dream self could realistically wake up as a butterfly who had just dreamed of being a human. This is may seem doubtful, but is a very realistic possibility. In thinking I am only establishing that I have thought, but whether this thought constitutes reality could be up for debate. 

Descartes goes on in his book “Meditations on First Philosophy” to say that just because I am able to validate my existence I cannot prove the existence of others. This messes with me because it draws me to believe that reality is something I may never be able to prove. I could very well be in a dream, or I could very well be a memory somewhere in my mind. What I am doing right now feels as real as anything, but is that not so for dreams. When I am dreaming I do not question the reality I am in, unless I am amidst the psychosis I mentioned earlier.

I know or at least I think I can prove I really exist and I am not in someone’s dream by applying cogito ergo sum, but this to may be misleading. The mind is a powerful thing, and who really knows if it can or cannot produce five or five thousand different individual thinking dream people. If this is the case then this concept does not apply, and I have no way of proving whether I could be dreaming, or a fabrication in someone else’s dream. Who knows if as I type this I am actually resting snuggly in my bed? Who knows if you the reader are actually fabrications within my dream?

When I was plagued with these questions as a teenager and young adult I would focus on the mantra “I think therefore I am.” This brought me back to a supposed reality where I was able to find a baseline. Descartes was the first philosopher I read, so I took his writings as philosophical fact. I turned his musings into absolute truth. As I got older and discovered many other view points and the many different possibilities I have a harder and harder time finding absolute truth within this statement. The question whether I actually exist in physical form cannot be proven; therefore I am left with trying to find what is real. I could very well be deceased and I am living in purgatory just reliving my life. Who really knows the absolute truth behind this conundrum? I personally do not think my existence can be proven, and I do not think your existence can be proven either.

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Do you remember the feeling you had after watching movies such as “Shutter Island,” “The Sixth Sense, or “The Others?” This feeling where the whole story just seems to flip on you, where everything that was is now wasn’t. These types of twists are mind fucking adventures, and I love them. I remember thinking to myself after watching “Shutter Island” that nothing of this magnitude could ever happen to me… I was wrong.

I just discovered the greatest mind fuck of my life. My wife made a comment on a post I did last week where I said I was basically kicked out of Crown College. My wife sent me an e-mail and said I was never kicked out of that school so why would I say that? I sent her an e-mail back going over the situation which occurred and questioned her memories of this situation. She then informed me I dropped out because my mental status had worsened to the most dangerous of levels. I immediately told her to stop messing with me, and relayed that this is not a funny joke. She proceeds to tell me she is not joking, and is indeed very serious. This was my Shutter Island moment.

I am really bent by this because I have no recollection of what she is talking about. I literally have no memories of this scenario she had laid out, and what’s worse is my reality which once was is now wasn’t. One of my symptoms of my mental illness is memory loss and or confusion with my thoughts. My thoughts can get jumbled and I will interpret what I hear or see differently than most. I know I have had issues in the past where the combination of dreams, media, and real life get melded together to form an altered reality. I am now in a state of what is, and what is not. This causes me to blur these alternate realities together where I cannot tell one from the other. Perhaps I was in such a state and took memories from my dreams and supplanted them into what I now know as reality. This is really twisting me up inside because this calls to question how much of my memories are even real memories, or which ones were supplanted into my mind. I then need to question the reality I am in at this moment while I am writing this. Is this what is, or is it what is not? Is what I remembered from yesterday what is, or what wasn’t?  

I try not to think of this very often because frankly it is mind numbing. I enjoy this topic on a philosophical level, just not on a personal one. It is as if I am looking at hundreds of puzzle pieces from many different puzzles mixed together. I then have to somehow put these pieces together to form one puzzle. This is hard to explain if you have never experienced it or lived with someone who has, but it’s almost like déjà vu, but what you think you have already done before, really happened on television, in a movie, a dream, or something that has happened to someone else. It is almost as if this cross fires my brain into creating something that is not.

I have had this fractured memory in my head for seven years. This means for the last seven years I have been living a lie. I want to sit down with everyone who is close to me and unload my memories to see what is and what isn’t. I am haunted by not knowing my true reality. I wish I knew the exact reasons my mind created this alternate reality in my head, and was strong enough to have me forget months of my life. I was in a panic and called my therapist a few times to get some advice on this. She finally called me back on Friday to council me. I laid out the situation to her, and explained I was in a panic not knowing what is real and what isn’t. She told me this scenario was normal for people who reach intense mental breakdowns, and often causes the subject to create false memories.

I felt better after the call to at least know what I was experiencing was normal on a mental illness level. I am still left wondering what reality is, and which other of my memories are not real. I suppose I will only be able to find the right pieces of the puzzle by checking with those who are close to me regarding memories I have. This still does not cure the way I shape reality. I think what it comes down to is I will always be in a state of what is not, but I suppose since this is reality to me, then what is real is; so I shouldn’t worry about it.