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Dreams: Who am I when I dream?

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posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 09:05 AM
I couldn't figure out a good topic line for this thread, I apologize if it's misleading or doesn't describe the point I'm trying to get across.

The good thing about this topic is everyone can relate to a question I really haven't seen posed or discussed much. Since everyone dreams (at least I believe they do, and some animals etc..) everyone can apply some type of experience of thought process on it.

First I'd like to point out that I'm in my mid twenties. I can control my dreams to an extent. I've dabbled with lucid dreaming to success. My dreams changed from silly/stupid dreams with the occasional nightmare when I was little to more serious sometimes epic dreams. Yes, I said epic, as I have experienced several dreams over the span of weeks and even months that play out like a book; literally they are continuations, like a saga, NOT the same dream repeated over and over. However I will refrain from that topic to a later date as I have enough to write on it deserving of it's own discussion.

Control: I think I learned a little bit of dream control before I was ten. This may sound funny but I think it was a cool start to learning the control I was talking about above, through visualization. Now this was before I was ten, and I had a little statue of Link (yes, from Zelda) next to my bed. One night after having some stupid nightmare I don't remember my mother told me that if I went to sleep imagning Link protecting me in my dreams he would do so. Keep in mind I was under ten. But it did work, some of my nightmares turned into some pretty cool dreams fighting alongside Link in some pretty neat battles.

Back to subject: as I said above I can control my dreams to an extent. Usually it takes something I don't see as "real" to trigger my thought process to switch to "I'm dreaming mode". Nightmares I can stop, under the same "this isn't real process". It's like a switch for me. I can take control and turn my dreams to anything I want at that point. But when I don't take control, when I'm just along for the ride in my mind, who is really driving? Who am I when I dream?

Point of View: I know its me, at least I think its me. But I tend to dream most of my dreams in the 3rd person, always seeing me from the outside. That's my first point of interest, I find it highly odd to dream in the 3rd person, but I don't only remember my dreams from the outside. Even in the third person views I always can remember as if I was doing it in the first person. I guess it just seems illogical to me for us, beings who experience everything from our own view our entire lives to dream looking on ourselves from an outsider's view but yet retaining first person knowledge of all that happens.

Does this play into the subconscious mind? I have read somewhere that when people are hypnotized and they tap into the subconscious that it always refers to the body in the 3rd person. Is the third person view in dreams the affirmation of what hypnotists have been saying? Either way I think it's pretty neat and definitely a worthy question that I pose in this topic.

Who is driving? Is it me deep down in my dreams, I guess like my 'soul' or 'spirit' or whatever you want to call it? I know I act differently in my dreams. I dream a lot in 'analytical mode' as I like to call it. (This is yet another topic of thought that is worth its own discussion in itself) This is the main point of this thread. Since I’m not consciously controlling my dream, who is? I know how to control my dreams, and I’m definitely not doing this all the time, hence why I said I’m along for the ride basically. What really controls it? Am I flying on instincts? Is my brain making predictions on how I would react to a given situation in the real world? Or, is my subconscious coming to shine and acting like I would in reality.

That poses an even greater question. Is my experience of life and thought all controlled by a part of me (subconscious) that I’m not even aware of? While that question initially is kind of scary it also seems really neat to contemplate over. I do things in life I question everyday, sometimes out loud, saying “why did you do that”? to myself. I think it’s relevant to my topic here to note that the statement just made is in the third person, instead of “why did I do that”?

Putting it all together: So what does all this mean? How does it fit together? I offer this thread as one to spark questions, not for answers as I’m delving into a highly metaphysical topic. I noticed my dreams took a change when I started shifting my personal views, started researching meditation and started trying to find “the me” deep down. I haven’t had any outlandish experiences, and I’m sane I can assure you, no drug use etc.. I’ve noticed sometimes when I awake I feel like I’m not even me. I think I actually may have had an OBE unintentionally this way. (note: I’ve never attempted to have one). I awoke one night after a few hours of sleep and I went to get out of bed doing so but then feeling like I was air, then getting back into bed repeating the process but suddenly I was extremely groggy and no longer feeling like air when I got up the second time. I have to question this experience.

I’ve also noticed as I’ve started researching and studying the spiritual side I have become much more analytic in my dreams. I actually woke up doing an equation quite some time ago, and it’s a real shame I can’t remember what I was working out, because it seemed like I was working on it all night. I have played the guitar for several years, and as of recent I have apparently written music in my sleep as well. And I’ve played it in my sleep, and it sounded great. But once again it’s a real shame I can’t remember it, or have written it down to reproduce in a waken state lol 

Could this be the way to understanding myself? Through my study and searching and visualizing, and general thirst for knowledge and understanding, is all I’m experiencing while dreaming, and posing questions such as in this thread.. me actually coming to my answers?

I’ll leave this thread with that very last line. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 09:33 AM
I've been wondering the same thing I either don't dream at all or when I do it is like you said a "saga" that is so vivid and strange, I wonder wt-hay is in my subconscious! Then again, I have had my most vivid dreams, when I was not me, but someone else and those are the worst!!!! I see everything very vividly (down to the faces---of people I have never seen---the clothes, the setting, everything--all of places and things I have never seen myself)....what bothers me is that when I am aware that the person in the dream is not me, instead it is me feeling what they are feeling (which is weird too)--it makes me wonder. Usually it is in the context of something bad happening to that person and I am in a sense stuck not being able to do anything in these dreams, because I am that person BUT it is almost like I am there watching what is happening to them and it is like in the past tense....

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 09:46 AM
Great who is driving when we aren't aware we are dreaming? I was actually going to make a thread about something very similar today. Last night, I had a dream, and throughout that dream I didn't become aware I was dreaming (I can do it) but for some reason, deep inside my mind, I knew I was dreaming...when I awoke I thought about the dream...and I remebered that most of the way through I had a feeling way in the back of my mind that was telling me I was dreaming. It was a not so good dream but very realistic, nothing to let me know I was dreaming...and this is what I'm getting at...I think...secretly...the subconscious mind always knows you are dreaming...but it somehow hides it from your conscious tricks you into forgetting everything you know and believing that the current reality is this opens up some big are those memories and all knowledge hidden so you ever have knowledge and memories artificially placed over the top of the real ones so that the new reality seems more believable and you can relate memories to it...I can't remember "fake" memories ever existing in any dream I seems the only "fake" memories I gain are the ones I gain while I experience the reality of my what I think is this: You are still in control, you are consciously controlling what's going on...your just living in a reality different from your "real" reality and all memories of this "real" reality are hidden away from you...and all this is conjured up by the tricks comes up with entirely new and vivid realies and even places other people with distinct personalities in your's like we create whole new people inside of our how the hell does it do all this...the mind is an extremely powerful and complex thing...I think 3rd person is essentially the same thing...although maybe less conscious involvement takes place and it's more like the conscious "watching" a story and creation of the subconscious play out...but...when you awake...or when...we become aware of our dreaming state when some things just don't add up...the jig is up...the trick has failed and all memories of our real life seem to once again be accessible....I was very recently explained on another thread of mine how the mind is our own little virtual reality generator!

As for dreaming of equations/music and other things...I can fall asleep dreaming of a problem I need to solve and spend all night "dreaming" of a solution but in the end nothing really gets remembered...I swear I came up with a world changing invention in one dream but forgot what it was...

[edit on 17/4/09 by CHA0S]

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 09:46 AM
reply to post by n1zzzn

Well first off, due to laziness I haven't yet read all of your post but I notice there seems to be two "me's" involved in the dreaming process...the "me" that I observe the dream happening to, and the "me" that does the observing. I believe that the "me" that is the participant in the dream is the me that exists here in the physical realm and the "me" who observes/orchestrates the dream is the real "spirit" me who is perhaps trying to get a message through to the "physical plane" me.(excuse the "frequent" use of quotation marks but I "like" it).

[edit on 4/17/2009 by MsSmartypants]

[edit on 4/17/2009 by MsSmartypants]

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 09:53 AM
Dreaming is an interesting topic. There are two things though that have always perplexed me about dreams. First, unless it is a lucid dream that I happen to be experiencing, I seem to be clueless that everything I'm experiencing in a dream IS a dream .. at least not until I've awoken from it. This of course bugs me a bit because, like right now, I can't say for sure if even ALL THIS is or is not just another dream. If a dream can fool me once, who's to say I'm not being fooled right now. And the second thing that has perplexed me about dreams is this: Just who ARE all those other people in my dreams? And how did they get into MY dream? It is MY dream that I experience when dreaming, right? And, when others have told me I was in their dreams, how in the heck did I end up in their dreams without my knowledge that I did so?
And, since we are so easily fooled by (non-lucid) dreams, how can we ever be certain that ALL THIS isn't just another one of those dreams? Oh, and one more thing: If I commit a sin within a dream, will I wake up in hell in the morning?

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 10:08 AM
reply to post by mkultraangel

I have wondered just what exactly the subconscious mind is.. When we are asleep, the conscious mind is not active, and the subconscious is.
When we are awake however and our conscious mind is active, the subconscious mind is STILL active. It never sleeps. It's almost like another entity. you can use sleep programming, hypnosis, and a variety of other things to influence it. It is susceptible apparently: repeating things to yourself, or having someone else say them, causes the subconsious to believe it: "you are brilliant, aren't you?" and the subconscious believes it(unless it's heard far too much of the opposite).

We know what our conscious mind thinks it wants, it rarely shuts up. But what does the sub - conscious want? Does it want anything? does it "write" our dreams for us, and our conscious mind is on the receiving end? I once read somewhere that trying to understand the subconsious mind with the conscious mind is futile, like a dog chasing it's tale.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 10:09 AM
reply to post by Divinorumus

Please allow me to answer:

1.You are being fooled right now.
2.The guy in the blue sweater is Manny. The rest of the people are his friends.
3.There's a little door in the back just like in "Being John Malkovich"
5.You were sleep walking.
6.Because I say its not.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 10:24 AM
reply to post by Divinorumus

Originally posted by Divinorumus
First, unless it is a lucid dream that I happen to be experiencing, I seem to be clueless that everything I'm experiencing in a dream IS a dream .. at least not until I've awoken from it. This of course bugs me a bit because, like right now, I can't say for sure if even ALL THIS is or is not just another dream. If a dream can fool me once, who's to say I'm not being fooled right now.
I will post a little of what I said in a recent thread I made as it seems to have a lot of relevance here:

Originally posted by CHA0S

Originally posted by locster
If we are generated by an alien computer program, we probably would be programmed to not question our existence.
So are we, the ones asking questions, made by alien hackers to corrupt the system?
What if we were artificial intelligence? Like the "bots" in our games...but much smart infact...we think for ourselves and are aware of our own existence...and what if there were "players" (ie Aliens) running about this simulation playing the game...or what if we are the players...we link our brains up to the "system"...and the game begins...we are born and start fresh with no's all part of the's the ultimate virtual reality...we might not even be human outside of this would make one hell of a movie (I claim this story as my intellectual property)
Notice, the lack of memory like in a dream...I came up with all of this a few hours ago...but it has a lot of relevance with what we are saying here...

Originally posted by CHA0S
There still remains the possibility of hackers though...maybe they work from the inside...or the's all very similar to the matrix but we aren't born into a prison reality, rather it's a game we can enter whenever we what could be the goal of these hackers? What would be the goal of us players? And if we are living in a VR right now...what happens when we create VR...virtual reality within a virtual reality...haha...that could be like the big twist at the end of the movie...when we die we exit this VR...but it turns out that what we thought was the "real" world is actually just another VR...Ooooo...

EDIT: When you hurt your self in some way...your nerves send an electrical signal to your brain...your brain makes you "feel" pain...they could send fake signals to the brain to make u feel anything without actually harming a dream...I've felt, smelt, heard, seen, and tasted things with extreme detail and life-likeness...I have dreams so vivid there is no difference between this reality and the dream...Dreams are VR really...our brain is our own little virtual reality generator...

[edit on 17/4/09 by CHA0S]

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 10:27 AM
You said "But what does the sub - conscious want? Does it want anything? does it "write" our dreams for us, and our conscious mind is on the receiving end?"---it is an interesting way that you put this and the whole post for that matter. It does seem like the writing of a script or a screenplay sometimes and it would make more sense to me if there were bits and pieces of movies or images I had already seen...but when these are completely "new" (or at least I never remember having seen the things I so vividly see in my dreams---and this is just lately btw...
it does make me wonder)---it's as if my mind has been hijacked by a malevolent screenwriter

edit to say I was replying to: Inkrinhuminge

[edit on 17-4-2009 by mkultraangel]

[edit on 17-4-2009 by mkultraangel]

[edit on 17-4-2009 by mkultraangel]

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 11:31 AM
I've really enjoyed the responses I've read so far!

It's nice to see others interested in the same things!


posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 08:24 PM
Sometimes I wonder if all of this is a dream, a dream in the mind of god. When we dream, we, our higher self that's laying in that bed sleeping, are technically the god of that dream world that we create and experience. The same could possibly be true right now, that we, collectively, in our higher self outside of this dream, are god of this illusion too.

I am starting to come around to the idea that we do exist within a holographic universe. This makes a lot more sense to me than trying to figure our how SPACE came into existence, and all of this matter that is supposedly within it, all out of nothing, just like in our dreams. When you begin to think in terms of all of this being illusionary in nature, then it all begins to make more sense.

It is said that god had created us in his/her image. If this is true, then that god must also sleep and dream .. and all of this, you, me, and everyone else and everything else we see here within, are part of gods dream, just like how we create realms and worlds and people within our dreams. And, it is said that on that 7th day god rested. Is it possible that god fell asleep, and all this is gods dream?

It has always bugged me that we often do not know it when we are experiencing a dream, we seem to always believe it all is real, until we awaken from those dream. I've run from monsters in my dreams before. Had I known it was all just a dream, I wouldn't have run. And, just like right now, how can we ever be certain that all this is not just another dream we're experiencing? If we can be fooled so easily in so many of our dreams, it is possible that we're being fooled again right now. If we can be so easily fool, then there really is no necessity for any of this to be really real. The theory of the big bang is quite easy to comprehend if all of this is just an illusion, as opposed to trying to figure out how "something" came into being out of "nothing" within "no place" in some kind of real way.

Oh, also, lucid dreams are the bomb, ha. The next time any of you experience a lucid dream, try pretending like you are jesus or a magical wizard within that dream. Perform lucid magic tricks before those others in your dreams and see if they don't start bowing down and worshiping you, ha. I had a lucid dream once where I was trying to tell others within it that all of this is just a dream and everyone laughed at me. Well, the joke was on them when I decided to wake up and put an end to all of their laughter, huh?
I wonder where they all went after I existed from that dream. Maybe they descended into a nightmare after I checked out, ha.

To me, this idea of the nature of reality being holographic in nature makes a lot of sense. If I were a gambling man (and I am), I think I would place my bet on all of this being gods dream. Yup, ha, that's my guess .. that all of this is merely gods dream. It also explains how a dude named Jesus could have turned water into wine by blinking his eyes.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 09:12 AM
reply to post by CHA0S

Dreams. Don't dream much. I try to solve problems in real time.
Dreams are healthy for one's mental and physical health. They are the subconscious mind in motion unbridled by sensory distraction while one is awake. We solve many issues in our sleep and have the ability to think creatively from the core of who 'you' are.

It seems most these days are on another's schedule other than their own.

Most are not awake though many are awakening. Seems like a logical start; what do you think?

I used to have two re-curring dreams:
* whistling through the night-sky.
* I had a consistent dream where I had a suspicion I didn't complete 1 course out of 6 of which I had scheduled in my last semester at the 'University'. This carried on for many years after graduating. Figured it out later on. No more dreams that I'm aware of.

With all that is going on around you, I find it's necessary to separate problems in your mind from your conscious knowing that 'you' have decided to take up the matter when it is 'efficient' to do so. Best way to explain this would in the movie Minority Report where TC is shifting scenes around with his hand while putting front and center the issue of the 'day'.

Dream on.....though why not go to sleep with your 'idea' or 'vision' for yourself. What do 'you' say about you? Only you know, all another can do is provide guidance when asked? Always liked the 'village' concept. More efficient and personable.

[edit on 6-5-2009 by Perseus Apex]

[edit on 6-5-2009 by Perseus Apex]

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 12:14 PM
Here is an excerpt from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, an ancient Indian text, that might explain a few things for you:

The Self, pure awareness, shines as the light within the heart, surrounded by the senses. Only seeming to think, seeming to move, the Self neither sleeps nor wakes nor dreams.
When the Self takes on a body, he seems the assume the body's frailties and limitations; but when he sheds the body at the time of death, the Self leaves all these behind.

The human being has two states of consciousness: one in this world, the other in the next. But there is a third state between them, not unlike the world of dreams, in which we are aware of both worlds, with their sorrows and joys. When a person dies, it is only the physical body that dies; that person lives on in a nonphysical body, which carries the impressions of his past life. It is these impressions that determine his next life. In this intermediate state he makes and dissolves impressions by the light of the Self.
It is said of these states of consciousness that in the dreaming state, when one is sleeping, the shining Self, who is ever awake, watches by his own light the dreams woven out of past deeds and present desires. In the dreaming state, when one is sleeping, the shining Self keeps the body alive with the vital force of prana, and wanders wherever he wills. In the dreaming state, when one is sleeping, the shining Self assumes many forms, eats with friends, indulges in sex, sees fearsome spectacles.
But he is not affected by anything because he is detached and free; and after wandering here and there in the state of dreaming, enjoying pleasures and seeing good and evil, he returns to the state from which he began.
As a great fish swims between the banks of a river as it likes, so does the shining Self move between the states of dreaming and waking.
As an eagle, weary after soaring in the sky, folds its wings and flies down to rest in its nest, so does the shining Self enter the state of dreamless sleep, where one is freed from all desires.
The self is free from desire, free from evil, free from fear.

And here's one from the Chandogya Upanishad:

When one is absorbed in dreamless sleep, He is one with the Self, though he knows it not. We say he sleeps, but he sleeps in the Self.
As a tethered bird grows tired of flying about in vain to find a place of rest and settles down at last on its own perch.
So the mind, tired of wandering about hither and tither, settles down at last in the Self, dear one, to which it is bound.

I know I can find a lot more in this book, and even explain a bit. Any questions about the preceding text? Some things I still cannot fathom but I always find an answer. Try to find the Self in you, which is unaffected by the physical world, but looks on curiously. Imagine the part of you that is watching as you dream, and even as you think, you are not your mind. Be silent and go deep, find the watcher, or as Rumi would call it, the "Friend."

[edit on 6-5-2009 by siree]

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 12:17 PM
Your astral body is watching your "dreams"/mind

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 07:34 AM
I've been able to have lucid dreams, since I was about 4 years old or so.

I am simply myself everytime, and I have complete control. I can do whatever I want. I can fly, destroy or even create what's around me.

The secret is being able to realize that you are inside a dream when your dreaming. Some people say, try looking at your own hands first.

What worked for me was, when I was 4, I could bring myself in and out of my dream by will, the rest kind of evolved from there, until now when I have complete control.

- I would like someone to answer though, I dream of fish every single night. Always fish. There is ALWAYS fish swimming. Does anybody know the significance of fish is in your dreams? It's like the only thing I don't have control over. There HAS to be fish all the time.

[edit on 8-5-2009 by CrygSol]

[edit on 8-5-2009 by CrygSol]

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 08:17 AM
... I am enjoying reading this thread...

I have long been interested in the process of dreaming. I came across a book about Tibetan Dream Yoga some years ago... Now, dream yoga describes what is know in the West as lucid dreaming... It also provides techniques to acheive this goal.

Even before coming across Tibetan dream yoga, I had experienced lucid dreams... I still do.

Sometimes when I am dreaming, I know I am "me"... Yet, I have experienced "worlds" where my life is different; I know different people..
And, I even have "memories' in the dreams of these people, and events we had experienced together...

Now, even in lucid dreams, ther are inhibitions I experience... I cannot "kill" or let's say "rape" in a lucid dream... At the same time... I cannot
be harmed...It's kinda like a kid's game; "bang" you're dead! and the dream may be disrupted..or I would wake up..

Also...I have experienced dreams where I am obviously not "me"... Not
me in the sense that "I" exist in a body that I cannot recognize... My "mind" seems to be the same, but not the body...

I experienced one "lucid dream" of such intensity that it actually seemed "real"... Because I was lucid dreaming, I was able to will myself awake... I could see the world around me... But, as I closed my eyes..
I was back in the dream. I did this two or three times 'till eventually it faded..

...Now as to "serial" dreams... I have experienced thoes also.. one "serial" dream I was shot with a weapon point blank...

I have not returned to that "dreamworld" since...

posted on May, 9 2009 @ 05:04 AM
reply to post by CrygSol

Must be an intolerance to Pisces.

I'm often in the ocean whether I'm dreaming or not.

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 09:27 PM
Firstly, i would like to mention that for a while now, my brother, who is my close friend, has been trying to explain to me why and how this "reality" is a dream. Now, he knows very well that this is not proven, it is merely a thought he planted in my mind. Though this is totally possible, i don't believe it to be all truth.

In all honestly, who defines what is conscious and subconscious? For all we know (which is not much, i might add) it could be completely the opposite of what you think it is. I also think its very interesting that you mention the whole third person thing. I've pondered this myself, unsuccessfully not getting an answer. Possibly, there is no answer. But...i think its more interesting if you imagine there is.

So, lets cut to the chase.

In the "reality" that we're living in now, even though you may think you're living in a first person kinda life, you're really not. What we visualize isn't all that is there (perfect example of third person). In fact, who says what we visualize is actually there? With that note, what is third person? A different point of view, containing different perceptions and "realities" (I'm saying everyone has their own reality). So really, this life, and everything that comes with it, including our appearance, sensation, visualization, ect. is ALL in third person; JUST LIKE A DREAM. Now, i realize that not all dreams are in third person, which is an excuse as to why some or all of the things we experience may actually be true. In all honesty, i don't think you have any idea what im saying. Read this last paragraph slowly if not, but, keep in mind that all im trying to do is prove that our life is a dream and that the people we know and the places we go are all made up by ourselves, but we have no memory of the being that actually is dreaming us. Whos to say that that being is human, either? Have you ever had a dream that you weren't human? I have. And very probably this being is more complex then us humans, so it is always dreaming of things that its "not" in actuallity (like a human for example). Hope that makes sense

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 09:30 PM
I would like to also add that i have had many "real" memories in third person. I just think this is rather ironic and it should be mentioned.

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 03:22 AM
I'm in no position to give a particularily elaborate reply, but I've had hypnagonic phases where I'd take the identity of others, once I even was a discussion between my dad and my brother...Well your perspective shifts depending on what you think about and usually your self-perception shouldn't be coherent with your waking-state because after all dreaming is about perceiving altered perspectives.

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