Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Coffee In A Submarine

Coffee In A Submarine

Because I dream frequently and vividly I have long been fascinated with dreams and with the intersection between dreams and the waking world.  There are thousands of books written on the psychological, spiritual, and metaphysical implications and interpretations of dreams.  Personally, over the years, I have come to the conclusion that dreams move along three primary vectors.

The first is the psychological vector - dreams as the working processes of the subconscious, related to and inspired by the conscious activities we engage in.  I think these are the most common type of dream. Sometimes they are significant messages from the subconscious to the conscious.  Sometimes they are just "ordinary processing".  For example, I routinely dream of work and work related items.  I routinely have very ordinary dreams.  I dream about taking my car to the garage.  I dream about doing laundry.  I dream about conversations I have had with people.  I dream about places I am going to go or have gone to.

The second is the spiritual vector - dreams as a connection between the spiritual and temporal worlds.  This one is a little to big for me to tackle here, though I will wrestle with it in another essay.

It is the third vector that dreams move down that I wanted to write about today.  The entertainment vector.  The Dreaming Channel.  The Rod Entertainment Network.  I think that some dreams are purely entertainment.  As human beings we have the incredible ability to play.  We have the ability to entertain ourselves.  Even what appears to be passive entertainment (watching TV, listening to music, watching movies, reading, chatting online) is a highly interactive process on a mental level.  We project ourselves into the medium that we are passively observing - we move into an imaginary world.

I think our dreams are sometimes the same process, minus the external stimuli of mixed or mass media.  We tell ourselves stories in our dreams.  Entertainment dreams range from the very ordinary to the very strange.

Last night I had one of the dreams that was entertainingly strange. My dream life has been popping this spring, for a variety of reasons.  I have had some interesting, strange, and very cool dreams that have moved along all three vectors.  Last night was a busy, fun and chaotic evening.  I got my car back from the garage (it was out for a month with a burnt transmission), I spent some time learning a song on my guitar.  I popped online and chatted a couple of times.  I cleaned my laptop. I logged on from home and did some work.  I went for a twilight walk.  I stopped and watched the NCAA Championship Game. (I rooted for the Tigers, they lost. The outcome was not good, but the game itself was a lot of fun to watch, and involved much screaming, cheering and yelling.)  I read some from a history book I have.  I read some from a novel I am reading.

My dreams followed the same pattern as the evening.  They were chaotic and all over the place. I dreamt about basketball.  I dreamt about guitars.  I dreamt about walking through the neighborhood.  Then, I dream I stopped to visit someone (a dream person, not someone I knew).  They lived in a trailer park.  Except...

Their trailer house was a submarine.  A submarine on wheels.  It was very nice.  Not too big, all glossy and shiny and black.  They invited me in for a cup of coffee.  We climbed up the ladder onto the deck of the submarine and then went down through the conning tower, climbing down the ladder into the dining room.  They poured me a cup of coffee and then gave me a tour of the submarine.  Inside, it was tight and close quarters, but well designed and well decorated - lots of shining hardwood, gleaming brass, glass and nautical themed decorations.  The living rooom area was great - thick plush carpet, quiet, a great little high tech home entertainment center.  One of those places that is just comfortable to spend some time.  We sat in the living room and drank coffee and chatted about the advantages and disadvantages of living in a submarine in a trailer park. Then, I crawled out the torpedo tube to get outside, dropped down to the grass and resumed my walk through the neighb!

Now, I suspect Freudians are currently salivating to interpret the significance of my wandering around in a big, glossy, black trailer park submarine, but I think they would miss the point.  It was just a cool dream.  It was an entertaining dream.  My dreams during the night were mostly dreams of daily things and then the dream cycle ended with coffee in a submarine.  That seems to me to be very ordinary.  Doesn't everyone's dream end with coffee in a submarine?

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