Friday, 7 May 2021

Flashback to a dream: subconsciousness and memory

I went to bed at midnight - no alcohol or cheese consumed, but a 500mg magnesium tablet taken, washed down with a large glass of mineral water. I woke up at quarter to three having had a intriguing dream, which offered a stunning new insight. 

The dream had exactly the same atmosphere (ambience or klimat) as one I had several weeks ago - I was walking down the same street I dreamt of then - there were bars and cafes, yellow, pre-industrial brick, tall trees in leaf. Some roadworks were going on. This was neither Britain, nor was it Poland, but closer in atmosphere to Poland than to Britain. Nothing much happened - no narrative, no people I could recognise. Yet it was instantly familiar. In my dream I realised what was going on: this is a flashback to a dream, a dream qualia memory. And I knew that as I'd had this dream not long ago, I was bound to find it in my diary.

Back to bed, back to sleep - another dream about a NATO conference at a modern four-star hotel in Poland, filling my plate at the breakfast buffet and sharing a table with three RAF Harrier pilots. An entirely normal dream, then. But the earlier one intrigued me, even as I slept.

So when I finally woke, I consulted my dream diary. Before long, I found exactly the dream I dreamt I dreamt. It occurred on Sunday 7 March; a dream of Yugoslavia (a country which I've never visited in my life). I dreamt then that I there was on holiday, got into a fist fight with an old communist, lost my rucksack and had a meal in a café on that same street that I'd go on to dream of again two months later.

Wow! As I read those words, the flashback sensation was instant and powerful. 

What I had felt in my dream last night was analogous to - but not quite the same - as my regular anomalous qualia memory events (exomnesia) in waking life. The sense of feeling something entirely familiar and yet unplaceable. A déjà vu that I can now pick off with precision as being not from this life. Here, the feeling was the same. I'm walking down a street in my dream, aware of the fact that I've walked down this very street before - but in a previous dream.

The benefit of keeping a dream diary becomes clear - you can go back and track down dreams (I've yet to digitise or index them all).

When I read what I'd written on 7 March, it snapped back with a joyous precision and clarity. YES! That was it - that's just how it felt - the qualia of the two dreams matched!

I think there's an inkling of how reincarnation feels. It isn't that you will be feeling like you all the time in a next life. You won't be feeling or thinking like you for 99.9% of the time. As a new biological entity, the new ego will be in charge, with its own demands. But from time to time - and, I believe, increasingly as your consciousness passes from life to life, you will occasion to remember such subjective experiences felt in past existences, the ego stripped away. Pure consciousness. 

Sensitivity to such phenomena is a must - a sensitivity blunted by materialism and scientism. 

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

This time ten years ago:
'Old school' = pre-war

This time 11 years ago:
Britain chooses a coalition government

This time 12 years ago:
Landing over Ursynów

This time 13 years ago:
On being assertive in Poland

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