Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are you you when you dream?

My dreams have been very vivid lately and it got me thinking. What point of view do people usually experience in their dreams? Are you always you? That is as in the you that you feel you are when you are awake. Are you you but a different you? Are you some one completely different from the awake you? For example, are you a different gender than your waking self? Are you more adventurous or more timid? Are you an observer? Or, perhaps, are you all the people, witnessing the dream from every one's point of view at the same time?

What kind of person is the dream you?

5 comments:

Nat F. said...

About 3/4 of the time I am me. The other 1/4 I am an outside observer following a cast of characters, or I switch from character to character. I am not very self-aware in either case (I think I would wake up if I were) but in the case where I am me I am very "in my head." I come up with very elaborate and detailed explanations of what is happening. It's funny to think about them when I wake up, because they're very logical but don't make any sense (I trust you as a philosophy major to understand what I mean by that; I'm not sure I do :).

I think your questions about personality are really interesting, I'm going to have to think about that some more. I know I have "dream versions" of people and places that are consistent from dream to dream but not very much like their real-life counterparts. But I'd never considered whether I had a dream version of myself.

What are your vivid dreams about? What are your answers to these questions?

raven said...

There are a few landscapes that I almost always dream in. I could probably draw a map of them, only it wouldn't be a two dimensional map like what we can make in real life. Time and scale have very little meaning when I dream.

These days I'm not usually the waking me. I tend to be either all characters (view the dream from all their points of view and have control of their actions). I feel like I am a collection of individuals acting out a story. Something like Humanculi.

Most of my dreams, the ones where I am not the waking me, tend to be post apocalyptic hero dreams. Very Jungian archetype type dreams. These are actually highly entertaining (better than TV) and thanks to one of my co-infections, extremely vivid.

(don't worry, logic has no direct bearing on reality so it doesn't have to make sense. That's what rationality is for - it's requires a kind of logic that is compatible with reality instead of living in it's own little logical dream world.)

Claire said...

I am always me in my dreams, no matter how crazy the scenarios are.

Heather in SF said...

Oftentimes I am the female version of James Bond in my dreams.... I call them my "I Spy" dreams. Given what movies are coming out the past few years I should send some of my dream experiences to script writers in Hollywood.

Josiane said...

I rarely remember my dreams, so it's kind of hard to tell. Though there was a period, about two years ago I think, when I remembered my dreams much more often than is usual for me, and in these I was me. Which wasn't quite ideal, though, because I ended up being killed in each one of the dreams in that series. It was a bit disturbing, and I never found out what it meant, if it had any meaning.
I have experienced once in real life the feeling of being outside of myself and observing the situation I was in from above; that was an interesting feeling, and I think it helped me go through the long minutes that that painful situation lasted.