Monday 7 August 2017

A Waking Dream About A Smashed Windshield

 photo courtesy of

From time to time on this blog I have explained the concept of the “waking dream.” The idea is that we don’t stop dreaming when we wake up in the morning. Instead, the same metaphors that we associate with dreams in general continue during the day.

If we have traditional—sleeping—dreams, we know that they are created by our subconscious minds. Our imaginations invent odd images that often make little sense. Somehow our minds splice the various images altogether into a strange “movie” that plays on the dream screen inside our heads.

But what about waking dreams? If the “dream” images are now coming from “real life”—outside ourselves—are they, too, inventions of our subconscious minds? For example, if I am walking down the street and am suddenly accosted by a mean-spirited dog, did my subconscious mind make that up—like a dream? Or is there some kind of connection between ourselves and the universe that causes strange and, at times, aggravating experiences to be orchestrated around us? 

That’s the first question. And here’s another one: What exactly is going on when more than one person witnesses the same waking dream event? Whose dream is it?

We’ll explore that question this week as we examine a waking dream that occurred to my wife and me as we were driving to the Oregon coast.

David’s waking dream:
I’m driving, going through a construction zone, so traffic is heavy and a little bit slow. But it’s going smoothly and I’m chatting with my wife. Suddenly, I hear an ear-splitting noise right near me, and my first thought is that I have hit something—another car or a road barrier of some sort. Then I look again at the windshield of the car and see a baseball-sized smashed area of glass right in front of me. Neither my wife nor I saw the projectile that hit the windshield, but it was clearly large and flying fast to have done that kind of damage. I visualize a construction truck with a load of rocks going in the opposite direction. One of the rocks has fallen off the truck and hit our car. The noise, the broken glass, the knowledge that it could have injured one of us have all been a shock, and my hands are visibly shaking. Right away I know it’s a waking dream—an important one—but I need a little bit of time to calm down before I analyze it.

We’ll continue the examination on Wednesday.

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