I’m pondering reality again, but I haven’t posted in the ‘dreams’ category lately, so let’s begin with that. I just watched another movie which fits well into a discussion about dreams versus reality, as well as a segue from the last topic: remakes or retellings of the same story.
The movie was “abre los ojos” which is Spanish for “open your eyes”. It was later remade as “Vanilla Sky” — I saw this English version first, and rewatched it a few times over the years before getting around to seeking out the original tonight. It really was the same movie (the same story!), just with different actors and a few changes to accommodate the cultural differences and technological advances.
In some ways, it was distracting to watch it with part of my mind playing “spot the difference”, while another part was having déjà vu from seeing the same actress playing her same role. But it was also an enhanced experience, being able to (pretend to) question whether or not I was simply dreaming it all. I paused the movie at key scenes so I could savor the plot twists. At the moment when I had the screen frozen on the main character saying he *knew* he wasn’t dreaming, my housemate came in and wondered how I got the subtitles to stay visible. We had a brief discussion about how the captioning mechanism worked and why subtitles disappear during rewind and fast-forward. I then accused him of trying to trick me into thinking this was not reality, or that maybe he was just a figment of my imagination.
It’s cool. We frequently have silly conversations like that. I’m sure he knows I was only joking. He did let me go back to watching my movie in peace.
Part of why I like movies like this (these?) is to see how they depict the dream state as reality, how we do not question reality while we are dreaming. Yes, there are cases of lucid dreaming, in which you are somehow aware that you are dreaming but you continue to sleep. But in general, we only realize that something was a dream after it is over, after we awaken to this reality.
One of the weirdest experiences I’ve had while dreaming was not what I would call a lucid dream, because of how strongly my mind resisted acknowledging it was a dream. I felt like it was more real that anything, and in it I had a conversation about how this could not be a dream. I would love to have that kind of dream again one day. I even turned it into a writing exercise, using it to inspire the first chapter of my NaNoWriMo novel last year.
If I can’t force myself into a lucid dream, and cannot trigger another “undream” like that one, I may have to make do with pretending reality is the dream. I’ve already gone through a phase of imaging that my world is a virtual reality projection, so it’s an easy leap to imagine that my mind is creating that projection. My dreams have infinitely more variety than my waking life, so perhaps this is evidence that I reuse graphic assets and minimize render cycles (by walking the same route to fetch coffee, for example) in the manner of a computer with small memory and weak processing power.
I’ll have to consider this in the morning, perhaps in a daydream.