Saturday 23 February 2008

The illusion of reality

Had a dream last night which seems particularly relevant to the discussion about "reality."

But first, in my dream I woke up from a dream and thought about it. So, I had two levels of dreams -- and they were connected. This has happened a couple times to me although I can no longer remember the details of the dreams.

Anyway, in my dream, I am at some sort of conference or meeting and I am sitting near a podium of sorts. As I'm looking at the podium, it does some kind of waving, shimmering thing and pretty much disappears. All that remains is a "patch" that resembles the carpet and takes on the silhouette of the podium. I concentrate on this patch and am able to make it blend in perfectly with the surroundings so that the podium is invisible. But, as I'm looking, I notice that it is more than invisible. It's shadow has disappeared and the shadows of other things appear unobstructed through the space that the podium had occupied. I move around to see the shadows from different angles and they are seamless. For all intents and porpoises (*laughs at tie-in to previous post*) the podium is no longer there even though I know that everyone else still sees it.

Then I wake up but I'm still dreaming so I've woken from my dream within my dream. Now, I'm thinking about my dream and I know that had I tried, I could have passed my hand through the space which the podium had occupied and everyone would have seen my hand pass through the podium itself. I was that sure that my "illusion" of the podium not being there was "reality." Throughout, in both levels of dream, I had the distinct impression that I, to some extent, "caused" the podium to disappear. Or maybe it was that I "caused" myself to see past the illusion of the podium?

Then I wake up for real ... or have I?


Hurlyburly said...

False awakenings are great, I get them quite a bit. Reccomend "Waking Life" as i posted a few below if you havn't seen it.

Sounds like your mind has really taken to what has been discussed and ran with it. Either that, or you're correct and the rest of us are still asleep!

The strangest thing about these kind of dreams is the presence of feeling whilst asleep. They feel so real and they feel like a revelation, you're normaly left feeling very eiree and unsettled but at the same time like a blindfold has been lifted.

Great post. Great Dream

johar said...

Crackin post! I've had dreams where I've been an observer of myself in another life and as the observer I think I should feel something different to what the 'other' me is feeling. However all I can feel is the other me's feelings which proves to me I am observing another strand. This is a bit messy hope you catch my drift. Love Waking Life BTW.

SM Kovalinsky said...

KEN: What a fascinating post. Freud, Jung and many others placed special emphasis on the "dream within a dream" phenomenom: when one dreams that they awaken, and ponder the dream, while still asleep and dreaming. The role of the observer of one's own consciousness is a special state. Thanks for posting that, Ken.

Karl Le Marcs said...

I think I've written enough on this kind of topic elsewhere on this blog and I don't want to start repeating myself, but I'm intrigued with Ken's allusion to a seemingly dream-state "blind spot".
*ponders something I'll keep quiet about for now*

ken said...

KARL-- Don't stay quiet on my account. If you get too repetitiously redundant, I can always just read every other word or so :-)

HB-- Waking Life is on my list of movies to watch. Thanks for the reference and the snippet.

SUSAN MARIE-- Do you have any references for Jung discussing dreams within dreams? I haven't read a whole lot on Jung's dream analysis although I am dipping into it just a bit for my classes.

JOHAR-- So, you as observer are part of the dream? Or are you talking about lucid dreaming?

SM Kovalinsky said...

Ken; I will have to troll through my Jung texts. I also have alot of critical commentary about Jung, and by Jung scholars and Jungian analysts. And I do remember a case written up in which a woman dreamt, and while dreaming, dreamt that she awakened, and switched on the lamp on the bedside table. And as she was still dreaming, this was viewed as an indication that the idea of the dream was becoming conscious in its contents (i.e., switching on lamp = becoming conscious). . .

ken said...

Susan Marie-- Thank you.

Karl Le Marcs said...

"KARL-- Don't stay quiet on my account. If you get too repetitiously redundant, I can always just read every other word or so :-)"

Well cheese at peacock least fountain you yesterday read seldom every mousetrap other consideration word.

*smiles at Ken*

Karl Le Marcs said...

Notice Susan-Marie's comment regarding the "lamp" and "consciousness" and my chat to you yesterday about my play !!!!!

ken said...

KARL said: "cheese peacock fountain yesterday seldom mousetrap consideration"

Hmmm, let's analyze, shall we?

Obviously the "cheese peacock" is a reference to the "show off" in Karl but a show off that is a bit pungent at times. Unless the "cheese" is "American cheese" in which case that's a sign of a serious misconception about cheese.

The "peacock" at the "fountain yesterday" refers to the unconscious memories of past lives erupting into the present. These occur "seldomly" but are very powerful when apprehended by the "peacock" and represent an important junction and, perhaps, an omen of change for the "show off."

That the "mousetrap" must be "considered" or given "consideration" refers to a careful analysis of the contents of the fountain. The water could act as a trap if it gets the peacock's feathers too wet which would prevent the peacock from showing it's "true colors." But a "mousetrap" is connected to the "cheese" and a "mouse" is a pest. So, perhaps the "mousetrap" will draw out and remove the "pestiness" by using the characteristics displayed while "showing off". Here we have the classic Jungian duality with the addition of a third to bring forth completeness in the number four. The "show off" and the "mouse" (the pest) are united in the "cheese." This tension of the opposites is worthy of full consideration in light of the unconscious archetypes that are spewing into consciousness from the "fountain."


"Ahh," says Ken in his best German accent, "even your unconscious ramblings reveal much about your psyche," and pauses to puff on his pipe.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Bravo, Ken, three times over, and again. You are a Jungian with a touch of residual Freud.

SM Kovalinsky said...

KEN: I also wanted to mention that there is a website called which has many papers on Jung and his work with the I Ching, which he believed embodied his synchronicity concept. I have read many of these papers and found them quite worth the while.

ken said...

Susan Marie-- I will check it out. Thank you!

SM Kovalinsky said...

KEN: You are quite welcome. A very thorough and concise paper is by Dr. Stephen Karcher, from the Journal of Jungian studies, entitled, "Jung, the Tao, and . . . " ( I have forgotten the rest of the title!!! But loved the critical essay, I swear. . . )

Karl Le Marcs said...


"KARL said: "cheese peacock fountain yesterday seldom mousetrap consideration""

Ha Ha!

Unfortunately, whilst in admiration of the Jungian analysis of my words I do have to admit they were merely the first 7 words that my PC generated on the OED website's random wordsearch facility.
But did my Daemon influence the timing of this; and was he aware of those words being randonly generated; will this mean something on an even deeper level than Jung himself dreamt; can there be an answer; should we ever know; and will Benson care
*aside gag to my American friends*

Anthony Peake said...


The lamp allusion is really very strange is it not - or are way falling into your Kangaroo example?

Karl Le Marcs said...

It is yes, although I see my lamp symbolically as neuronal surges over the corpus collosum between left and right brain characters AND also analogous of the "occult light". I agree to a degree re my Kangaroo Paradox but we're not dealing here with coincidences around the cognisance of the word "lamp" but of a deeper collective symbolism and an interconnected dialogue.
Or Something

*What's that skippy? There's a boy trapped down a well with only a lamp*

Hee Hee!