Figments of My Imagination -or- Dream within a Dream
Exploring and learning about the garden varieties of the experiences of dreaming was always a goal when I first started my notebook on dreams. As a student, I was very interested in the creative process of image formation, what we popularly call the imagination. Two of the books (among others) that informed my knowledge base was Marti Horowitz's, "Image Formation and Cognition ", and Jerome L. Singer's "The Inner World of Daydreaming". A few years after I graduated I purchased the insightful book (published 1987) that is still part of my library, The Variety of Dream Experience: Expanding Our Ways of Working with Dreams by Montague Ullman and Claire Limmer (eds).
In the dreams below (that a 24 year old woman has sent to the International Institute for Dream Research), we find a young woman experimenting and learning to stretch her imagination during sleep and during her waking hours. She clearly realizes that the dream is a problem solving channel; "they may represent something my brain is trying to sort out in reality." The techniques of lucid dreaming are being explored; ", i try to push myself to get better at controlling and manipulating things in my dreams. In one of my dreams, i made it a point to look in a mirror and make myself remember it... the image was fuzzy, but i could tell it was me...when i talked, the mouth on my reflection only moved a little."
Neuro-linguistic programming is also a dreaming technique that is being implemented; "i sometimes say aloud in the dream that ‘I need to remember this when i wake up'." Finally we find dreams within dreams (much like in the film Inception), where she says ..."i suppose i would liken it to trying to keep a sand sculpture together while the waves are distorting it, in a way." Dreams within dreams are known from a literary perspective as stories within stories, a time honored literary device. Ironically, what you are reading is in part a story within a story of the Fieldnotes of a Dream Researcher. We live in the epochal age of The Postmodern Condition (read interpretation) of dreaming called the Global Village.
I do not want to be perceived as sounding harsh (because all the varieties of dreaming are worthy of research), however like so much in the dreams of youth, they are often confused and do not understand that they are not the first dreamers on our planet. Many have traveled down similar poetic paths, if only everyone would inform themselves of the oneiric (dream) paths already traveled. This is one of the messages the IIDR has attempted to deliver to an often ill-informed public. Especially the poetic observation of her dream being like "sand sculptures" was given voice by Edgar Allan Poe in his poem "Dream within a Dream". From a popular music culture perspective Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Alan Parsons Project pays homage to Poe and his poem. Watch and listen to the music video Dream within a Dream.
I'll start by saying that i can control my dreams to an extent...i can say aloud that i am dreaming and i can explain to people in my dreams that they are figments of my imagination and that they may represent something my brain is trying to sort out in reality. When i can, i try to push myself to get better at controlling and manipulating things in my dreams. In one of my dreams, i made it a point to look in a mirror and make myself remember it... the image was fuzzy, but i could tell it was me...when i talked, the mouth on my reflection only moved a little.
When i come across something interesting in a dream, i sometimes say aloud in the dream that "I need to remember this when i wake up". My dreams tend to be random in content, often jumping from one subject and/or location to another. I am learning how to finish a task in my dreams before everything changes to something else.
I also experience the dream within a dream within a dream and so on through several levels. It is difficult to keep things going in one direction, and it's difficult to see things clearly sometimes...i suppose i would liken it to trying to keep a sand sculpture together while the waves are distorting it, in a way. I apologize if my submission doesn't stand out as interesting, as I'm sure you get plenty of riveting subjects to research, but thank you for taking the time to read this.