Friday, April 04, 2008

In Dreams Begin... What?

Since this is, among other things, a What If? kind of blog - here's one:
I woke in the small hours from a tortuous dream in which I was apparently attempting to make my way across Holland by train, impeded at every turn by endlessly ramifying, fantastically detailed Kafkaesque complications (in dreams I can't so much as cross a road, let alone Holland, without stuff like this happening). As I awoke I was filling in some kind of fiendishly elaborate form, in a script I didn't recognise... My first thoughts were along the lines of Duh, where did all that come from? (I haven't the faintest idea). And then I thought, What would life feel like if we didn't dream? I think it would hugely affect our sense of ourselves, of what our selves are, and would make life flatter, more prosaically causative, diminished by what amounts to a dimension, and a most mysterious one at that...
Any thoughts? What would it be like if we just went to sleep, woke up and that was that? (We'd probably be less tired - I would anyway).


  1. Dreams (or the intense kind that remain in the memory) are the product of a troubled mind. I watched that programme on meditation and I bet those yogic flying boys don't dream much (nor the buddhist monks - nor any monks, come to that). Yes, life would be more stressful, I imagine...

  2. In all my years in old Vienna, I never encountered a case as intriguing as yours. Tell me what do you think of when you see a woman slicing a cucumber with a large knife?

  3. If we didn't dream I supposed we'd be automatons, unable to make sense of the world, our memory shot, and with no prospect of understanding that life is a dream "rounded by a sleep". But, sigh ... back to reality. It would be OK if one could hit the sack with every expectation of a trip to cloud-capped towers and gorgeous palaces, but as you say in practice the trip so often involves being stuck in some dreary Mittel Europa among sinsiter and disagreeable people. Perhaps we live in an age so utilitarian we can only dream utilitarian dreams and if ever we did see the great globe itself we'd dismiss it as as a wanton luxury and impractical with it. Still, having gone through a stage of strange dreams when going to sleep was even scarier than waking up I'll take what's on offer and no carping. It's just mind. None of it's real anyway. The trouble starts when you think it is and begin to take it all too seriously, like the "Viennese quack".

  4. The Welsh JacobiteApril 04, 2008 11:19 am

    Or what would it be like the other way round? If our imaginations worked only during sleep, but not whilst we were awake - "dreamless waking", pure perception and nothing more.

  5. You need to soak your cheese in Port or a Brandy. Which for some reason or another seems to install more fonts. It allows you the aah moment when flicking through, and you find the font which makes sense. You need to be careful, Kirsch is not recommended, see what happened to the Swiss. The Gallic War has them an exciting bunch.

  6. Recipe for a rollicking good dream...
    6 x large glasses of BruichLaddich.
    1 X frau Malty's chicken Taleggio.
    4 x large glasses of Bruichladdich
    30 mins of Seefrieds Il re Pastore.

    The above heady mix led to the following..

    Kidman, that wiped the icy stare of her face.

    Nordschliefe, 6mins 18 secs in any group C that came to hand.

    The Peuterey ridge, and finish it this time without the aid of a helicopter.

    Then off to the Berlin Opera, Mar. 1945,
    to join the lads for the final act of Gotterdammerung.

    Go on, try it for yourselves, who among us needs reality?, if reality exists.

    PS its pronounced "Brookladdy"

  7. May the Holland thing be to do with Holland Park? i mean that your sojourn in a park resulted not in a peaceful affinity for nature but rather in getting shat on by a bird, as if nature itself is mocking you.

    i wonder if the entire dream is an expression of your feelings about travelling as a difficult business. i don't know if you have to commute but if you do, and if you are a natural countryside walker, traffic etc. must seem like trying to write in an alien script, or making your way across Holland with the possiblity of being shat on by the Luftwaffe. And if so i'd guess any ambivalence about travelling is really a difficulty with modern cities, which don't seem set up for human beings as such.

  8. By the way, was the alien script like ours, lots of curves and loops, such as can be written with an ink pen, or was in angular and jagged, such as might be engraved in stone?