The official site of the sleep-deprived

Monday, November 9, 2009

Are you awake? Or are you dreaming?

Okay, I had another one of those MADDENING dreams last night – we all have them – the one where you’re trying to make a phone call and the phone is missing numbers, or entire keys, or you’re talking and the other person can’t hear you, or you can see the entire keypad and numbers but for some reason your fingers keep hitting the wrong ones? Often in my dream I’m also in a hurry which only amplifies the confusion.

For years I’ve wondered what was behind these frustrating dreams. And maybe that’s it. Maybe they’re nothing more than the manifestation of the things that frustrate us about being alive, about being in this body, and on this physical plane. Communication is a huge issue in our daily reality – trying to be heard, to be understood, to understand what someone else is trying to say, to get a point across. If we communicate inappropriately we risk hurting another’s feelings. I mean, how often do you feel like you had a truly stellar communication day? Where the entire day you were diplomatic, empathetic, sensitive, humorous, and able to access exactly the right words every time in every encounter? Maybe these dreams are the culmination of the frustration we feel in general with our lack of communication and inter-personal skills.

What I have learned about these dreams is that they can be excellent triggers to alert me to the fact that I’m dreaming. When things start to act up and turn strange I have the perfect opportunity to stop and realize I’m dreaming. Once I realize I’m dreaming I can often turn the frustration into a productive lucid dream experience instead.

Another type of trigger, which has some interesting side effects of its own, is to ask yourself, whenever you think of it, “am I awake or am I dreaming?” Do this long enough and you’ll find yourself saying it in your dreams as well. And when you find yourself stopping to consider this question in a dream, you realize that in that moment you also have the ability to completely change direction if you like.

What has happened for me as a long-term result of this practice is that it has blurred the line considerably between “waking life” and “dream state.” Go ahead and try it right now. Ready? Out loud, ask yourself the question, "am I awake reading this or am I dreaming I'm reading this?

Are you sure?

How do you know?


Anonymous said...

I've been waking up between 3:15 and 3:24 on the dot for two years now , I open my eyes and its either 3:15 or 3:24 and I hear either music playing in the living room (we have no radios) or I hear my mom calling me (her room is at other end of the house)I get up walk over through the house and everyone is asleep. I am a very ver sensitive light sleeper, I hear and feel the slightest noises or rustles. As a child i was able to see the future and tell people about it as u got older it became harder for me to retell what I'd seen, last time I was able to stop a tragedy I was 26 I am 41 now. What do u think could be going on? Do u ever lose a gift like that? Janie

Skye Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Janie. I think we often receive communication from spirits while we're asleep or partly asleep, as well as in meditation and at other times when our ordinary, everyday minds are quiet. Some people, like you, have the ability to see the future or to see things beyond the normal range of vision. This is sometimes called clairvoyance. Like any talent, it often gets better with practice--you can find many books and online sites that offer techniques for honing your ability. Distractions in our daily lives can interfere with the ability to hear or see into other levels. Best wishes to you.

Daniel said...

I have dissociative identity disorder and have 2 separate entities inside me other than myself, both are female and one has caused me he'll in the past and the other has saved my life more than once, in therapy I identified these entities as demonic because of what I learnt from each of them, I wake every night at 3am and I still believe to this day that's what they are, starting to believe that these having something to do with the 'demonic witching hour' and along side this things unexplainably move around over night, items personal to myself, I don't believe that Dissociative identity disorder is the explanation of this I think I inhabit demons inside of me as these two alternate entities, when these entities are actively in control I have unexplainable physical strength and can make weird things happen for example being able to move things without touching them and also to be able to communicate without the use of words.

Skye Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences, Daniel. For the record, the "witching hour" is not a demonic time, however, it seems to be a period when spirits visit some people. Nor do demons usually torment or harm people. In some cases, spirits have been known to move objects, interfere with electricity and computers, and engage in other behavior that may seem strange or even scary to some individuals. Often spirits do this to make their presence known and to try to communicate with you. These may be spirits of people you once knew who have left their physical bodies or spirits you have not known in the physical world, such as angels or guides. Do you talk to these entities? If not, you may want to try asking them what they want and who they are.

Anonymous said...

This Comment Posted by Unknown

Hello, I am writing in concern to my daughter who is 13. She has been experiencing a reoccurring nightmare for 3 weeks now. In the dream, there are several faceless versions of herself attempting to attack her. She wakes at 3:23am ever night. She experienced this dream a year ago where only one faceless self was chasing her. It stopped for almost a year and has since returned. She is barely sleeping and her "Dr" instructed her to pray it away..... insight please.

Skye Alexander said...

Many dream researchers believe the beings in our dreams represent parts of ourselves, perhaps parts we aren't aware of in our waking lives. It's interesting that your daughter sees faceless versions of herself. You may want to read some of the work of the psychoanalyst Carl Jung to gain insight.