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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Malpass

Am I Dreaming?

I haven't been sleeping very well lately. I've been having bad dreams about that skydiving thought experiment in which my parachute didn't deploy properly. In my dreams I wasn't rescued like in the thought experiment; instead, I plummeted to my untimely and painful death! When I awoke, I was so grateful it was just a dream.

Then last night the dream was different. In last night's dream instead of falling out of the sky to my death, I suddenly sprouted wings and flew away like an eagle! I soared way up high, even to the edge of space! I could see the curvature of the earth and satellites zooming past overhead. Next I dove down steeply, and pulled up just above the treetops. I flew over a wintry forest of snow-capped evergreens; then across a crystal blue mountain lake, only inches above the surface of the water, stealing glances at the glittering fish swimming in the water below my reflection. So peaceful! So free! When I awoke, I was a little disappointed it was just a dream.

Soaring on eagle's wings.

What do you dream about? Any of the common dream themes in this list? (Caution, friends—some of these are a little spicy!)

  • Falling

  • Flying

  • Being chased

  • Naked in public

  • Infidelity (your own or your mate's)

  • Taking a test you're not prepared for

  • Death (your own or that of a loved one)

You know, in neither of my recent dreams did I think to ask myself, "Am I dreaming?" In the falling to my death dream, I assumed it was the real me, really dying. Likewise, in the sprouting wings dream, I thought it perfectly reasonable that my reality would include a provision for rapidly adding eagle's wings so I could soar away to safety and grand adventure. Considering it now from outside the dream, it seems utterly impossible, of course.

When you're dreaming, do you know it's only a dream? I've heard some people can tell, but I can't ever figure it out. During the dream, it seems so real!

Hmm. As a profoundly perceptive philosopher, I suppose I must question whether this reality I'm experiencing right now—the one that includes this blog, The Main Thing, and you delightful readers—isn't just a dream from which I'll awaken soon. And when I awaken into that new reality, will this reality seem utterly impossible?

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