We all know -or at least assume- that the dream we remember a little of from last night didn’t actually happen, it was an experience conjured up by the mind. We’re still not sure exactly why these dreams occur or if they have a real purpose, but what we can say is that your experiences in your dreams are real, you did experience whatever happened in that dream, no matter how insane the content of the dream may be.
Fake Reality, Very Real Experience
Just because you didn’t physically or traditionally experience what happened in your dream does not exclude it from being pooled with every other experience you’ve ever had in your life. If you had a dream that you fought with a mountain lion to the death, you may not have actually done so, but in that moment of the dream, it was real. Presumably you didn’t know you were in a dream, so this reality felt 100% real to you, there was nothing out of the ordinary in terms of you existing and being alive so what’s the difference from if it had happened in your waking life? Well there are obvious differences.
Your dream is heavily biased. Continuing with the example of the mountain lion, you would be fighting your image and understanding of a mountain lion in that dream, so it’d be a very subjective experience. If you thought that lions only had three legs… Well you’d likely be fighting a three-legged carnivore in your dream world.
You become a biased self. Fighting a mountain lion? Yes, because in real life you wouldn’t be scared stiff in the slightest! You believe yourself to be different in your dream because you’re projecting a world from your own unconscious, somewhere with all kinds of weird and misunderstood thoughts and patterns. In your dream you can be the strongest and bravest warrior in the universe, but you can also just as well be coward incarnate. You’re a different person in a different world inside a dream.
Your Biased Experience is Your Own
So it might not be the epitome of objectiveness, that has its advantages. Obviously what we most associate with dreaming is the amazing ability to be and do anything you can imagine. You could be doing anything from exploring the galaxy and fighting aliens to practising confessing your soppy feelings to your crush. The main point is that this could be harnessed to get better at things in real life as the experience is real in your mind. We still have the problems of the bias and limitations of the human mind, but think of what is possible if we could overcome that.
Bruce Lee could have been fighting Chuck Norris for practice in his sleep! Athletes could be training in their dreams for the big event. Professors could be running through experiment set-ups and ideas in the dream world. The possibilities are endless really. The fun only really ends when it comes to physical feats e.g. a body-builder wouldn’t be setting himself up for hypertrophy if he works out in the dream world as nothing will be going on with the actual body (nothing in this day and age anyway).
Maybe One Day
Hopefully dreams will continue to become better understood as time goes on and that maybe one day we can harness the power of them to increase our mental fortitude and skills in all kinds of activities and sports. Not to mention, if we get more control over our dreams, we could lucid dream every night.