Am I Dreaming, Or Am I Awake?

I got this message on facebook the other day:

Hey Michael, question for you – hope you don’t mind. This morning, Jane was having what appeared to be a bad dream, so I ran my hand across her forehead to gently wake her up.  But then I wondered, is that a bad idea? Should we let dreams take their natural course?

Here was my reply:

That’s a great question, Brett. There is certainly an argument for the idea of letting a dream run its course. However, there is also the perspective that we are all participating in a living dream – and as a couple, you are each intertwined with each other in such a dynamic way, that your impulse to comfort her and wake her is as much a part of her consciousness as it is yours. I like your impulse and I REALLY like the way you executed it (hand gently across her forehead). My input is this: If you feel to do this again, be as gentle as you possibly can – perhaps with the intention rather than of waking her up, of calming her from the waking world and joining in her experience bringing comfort, grace and ease. It’s basically what you already did, but taking it one step further with intentionality.

My friend really enjoyed my answer, telling me he thought it was thoughtful and insightful.  And it got me thinking and seeking more insight to one of the questions that people have for me with some regularity.  Just how fluid is the boundary between the dreaming world and the real world?

The true answer is of course that there is no boundary and that the two worlds are one and the same.  The challenge with that answer is what we do with the information.  If we take it literally, we are lost.  Any hard scientist (or reasonable person for that matter) will flatly disagree and they’d be right to do so.  The idea that these two worlds are intertwined is an idea that has yet to be explained in any way that might be satisfying to any but the tried and true followers of hooey-hooey.  And yet, I believe it is so.

Using the example above of Brett and Jane, we have a married couple who share their lives and within that construct each night, their bed.  The brain is an electrical organization that functions on a system of waves.  Waves can synchronize and desynchronize.  In fact, the synchronization of usually chaotic and erratic brain waves is the first evidence that sleep is upon us.  It is entirely possible that when two people sleep together, the synchronization of their brain waves creates a similitude of experience that may be profound indeed.

I was once asked by my pregnant neighbors about this phenomenon.  It seemed that the husband was having just as many vivid and fantastic dreams as his hormone-saturated wife.  While pondering my answer, I found myself expressing just this notion: the electromagnetic activity in one person’s brain impacts the brain of someone nearby.  There is research to back this notion up, though it is still very rudimentary.

So does this mean that if you dream about the hot guy or gal you have a crush on that they are also thinking about you in their nocturnal journey?  Probably not.  But there is certainly more to this than meets the eye.  We are all connected in ways that are far more mysterious than explainable.  And if in the dream world we can create anything just with a thought, then that is the life I would like to be leading while I am awake.

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