This article was originally published on The Lucid Hive
What is consciousness? I often wonder about its nature when I see through the eyes of others in my dreams. Last night I dreamed that I was somebody else. Just like in a sleep induced lucid dream where you have to use unusual visual prompts to find you are in fact in a dream, being in these types of dreams is in some ways similar – there are cues to recognising you’re in one. However, the translation occurs upon waking, rather than inside the dream, and often involves recognising that the people in the dream are strangers, their reactions towards you out of the ordinary for your own life, and that the thoughts inside your own head are very often alien to you too. Just like in an ordinary dream, I am not aware I am in the dream; it is normality, business as usual, taken as a given by most, like wakefulness. The most intriguing element though is that when I am in the minds’ of others – I feel like me. This is what makes these types of dreams so very difficult to spot. If they are accompanied by a death as well, it is the nightmare we notice, distracting us away from the remarkable intricacies of a double consciousness.
It is: ‘the idea of becoming someone else for a little while, being inside another skin – thinking differently, moving differently, feeling differently’ that people tend to feel and wonder about when pondering what it would be like to be somebody else – living in their shoes so to speak. Yet, in being someone else you notice something quite conspicuous; it is a very unremarkable feeling to be another person. A recognition and feeling of familiarity for their lives is felt and thus empathy comes easily and naturally. Being in touch with another soul and for its lived life to feel so similar to my own human experience gives me great hope for humanity and our shared future. The nature of my dreams involving missing people also draw me to another similar conclusion; that justice in this world matters (but to who or what I do not yet fully know).
A bit like in the film Being John Malkovich, where people enter a man’s consciousness and live and experience his life after crawling through a tunnel; I see a spinning portal/tunnel in my mind’s eye which represents a doorway. The tunnel appears to be made of stars and spins. Through it I travel very quickly as the tunnel makes sudden turns left, right, up and down, through time and consciousness. People always talk of inventing a time-machine, but the truth is, we already have one in our minds.
The tunnel is merely a representation of a portal. So I wonder too, whether what I experience through others’ consciousnesses are also representations – such as being shown a recording of the past as if on a VHS or DVD, just with the added experiences of thought, movement and feeling. Whatever it means, to me – yesterday and tomorrow somehow exist today. As John W Dunne once and forever stated: ‘A rose that blooms once, blooms forever.’
Dan aka Dream Prophecies
If you want to wake up, go to sleep