Podcast #011 – Am I Dreaming Right Now?

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Everything seems so stable. I keep looking around and am not noticing something that would indicate that I’m dreaming. Yet I remain unconvinced because there is a strange feeling in the back of my mind.

Perhaps feeling isn’t the correct word, but I don’t know how else to describe it. Something is very peculiar and is getting more intense every day. The present moment keeps presenting itself to me, and I’m not even trying to shift into it.

I will be walking into my kitchen and will just stop and stare. What am I looking at right now? What is this large object? Sure, it’s just a refrigerator but wow it’s incredible. What am I experiencing right now? Why am I combining these strange symbols together? What does it all mean? Where is this coming from? Sure, it’s just life but wow it’s incredible.

I’m such a strange looking thing when examined. Sure, I look at myself in the mirror every day, but rarely do I exaimine myself without interpretation. I look at myself and I don’t see Carl. I don’t see a man with glasses. I don’t see blonde hair, blue eyes, big nose, arms, legs, fingernails or nipples. I see something that I can not explain to you with these useless symbols. How could I possible convey this alien being?

Why am I here right now? How did I get here? How did I end up sitting on my bed with this black object on my lap that emits a glow? That is the nature of dreams, you never really know how you ended up where you are, you’re just there.

Sure, I can go back. I have many memories. I got into bed yesterday, I can remember that. I had my wisdom teeth removed yesterday, I can recall that past memory. Last week I played beer pong. Last month I watched lights explode in the sky. Last year I was married. 7 years ago I graduated from high school. I can even remember sitting on stage in a silly blue gown with a sillier hat on my head with hundreds of similar beings watching. I can tap into this memory and see a glimpse of what I saw then.

I remember 10 years ago, falling asleep in class and having the teacher throw an eraser at me. 20 years ago, in 1st grade, I recollect a young girl peeing her pants in class. I can see the puddle on her chair and the teacher telling us that sometimes these things happen. I can rewind this memory one year prior. I am pacing back and forth waiting to go inside a large building. For a reason that I do not understand, an authority figure orders me against a wall. I understand that this action is disciplinary. But I didn’t do anything wrong, I was just looking at my feet, pacing back and forth. Why did she place me there?

I can go back further yet. I am sitting at a large table looking at some other children I’ve never seen before. We all look scared. I was scared. I didn’t know who any of these people were. I remember I didn’t know how to draw a star and drew a spiky circle on one of my assignments. I didn’t care, that was a star to me. And now that I think of it, that makes a better star anyway.

And here I am again, shifting back into whatever this is. My present existence. I was reliving all of these past experiences in my mind, but I could see them all. I still don’t know why I’m pressing these keys to form words and sentences right now, but I still continue to do so.

I was absent from the first day of Kindergarten. When I arrived the next day, I was asked many questions. Why was I absent? Was I sick? No, my mom thought we started on the 4th, not the 3rd.

I recall my past self being inspired to write an entry titled, Am I Dreaming Right Now? after reading a Steve Pavlina post on subjective reality. I then stood up and performed a reality check. My mind keeps telling me I’m not dreaming, yet I am still unconvinced.

I can go back even further. I remember jumping around in my living room. We had a large recliner that I would jump on and off. However, this time I jumped onto the back, misjudged something and my mouth smacked against the top. There is blood everywhere. I am screaming. I’m now in the hospital. A lady asks my mom “Is he going to need stitches?” My mom replies, “We’re not using that word around him.” I don’t know what stitches are, but I am afraid. I’m holding my mom hands while she fills out paperwork, with a cloth pressed against my bleeding gums. Later I find I don’t need stitches after all. I must be about 3 years old now.

I just took a drink of water, I’m 24 again.

I’ve been reliving past memories but I still can’t complete my reality check. How did I get here? I can only go back so far, then I no longer exist. There is a point where I have no more evidence. I don’t know how I got here.

The first thing I learned about lucid dreaming was to perform reality checks. I should constantly assess my reality, look around, and determine if I am in fact dreaming or not. It’s best to do this after I perform a certain ritual or when something strange happens. Then, I will find myself in the dream world and will ask myself the same question, assess my reality, and conclude that yes, I am dreaming.

However, there have been times when I have done this, and came to a false conclusion. It’s so obvious looking back to my dream memory. I was in a large room, with some other person whom I don’t remember. I looked at the clock and it was around 5:00. A short while later, the clock had changed drastically. Too drastically. The clock now read closer to 8:00. Confused, I thought about it and resolved that sometimes these things just happen. Doh!

How can I be sure that I’m not dreaming right now? Perhaps I’m not performing the correct reality check, or maybe I’m not noticing an obvious dream sign. Perhaps I will wake up and write a blog entry about how I should have known I was dreaming. Or perhaps I will keep walking through this dream, completely oblivious and continually mistaking reality.