Personal experiences with self awareness: sleep

Personal experiences with self awareness: sleep

Personal experiences of self-awareness

When I was a child I was desperately curious about the moment when I went from being awake to being asleep. I could tell it was a gradual process but I was sure there was a perfect moment right in-between the two. A brilliant secret green where the blue of sleep was neck in neck with the yellow of awake. Perhaps it was the symmetry that I was attracted to. The line down the middle of two perfectly balanced opposites seemed profound. Not the separation of the two, but where the two become each other, where my waking self and my subconscious truced, looked each other strait in the eye and tangoed. I wanted to remember that pivot between two parts of me that usually did not coexist, so every night part of my mind would stay alert watching the rest of me drift out of focus hoping to catch a gimps of another me, hoping to experience some great threshold or gateway or a changing of the guard’s ceremony where one me punched out and another punched in. This lead to a lifetime of insomnia and lucid dreaming.

When I am fast asleep and fully aware that I am dreaming I never fly. Instead I play a terrible game. I know that everything in my dream world comes from what I already know. Nothing truly new or unknown to me can happen here. So I walk up to someone and ask them a question that I do not know the answer to which creates a feedback loop.The dream character is always eager to answer with a tidal wave of terrifyingly dark, violent, grotesque stream of consciousness that if I can listen to more than a few seconds of turns into moving pictures. It always wakes me up shocked that such unfamiliar filth could come from somewhere in me. It seems the harder I try to find something profound, the more I just find the profane.

When I wake up from a restful sleep and do not recognize where I am, I’ve noticed that I also cannot tell when I am. I do not know how old I am or what is going on in my life. At first when I noticed this I would automatically look around, focus my eyes on the walls of the room, searching for something I recognized or that had meaning. I would become present in my body to feel any sensations that would lead to clues before I knew it was safe to move. I’d remember yesterday, or the things I had planned for today, and suddenly I was me, here. I enjoyed the moments spent in the freedom of hypnopompia, my dream mind observing the real solid world. The state was naturally blank and open to suggestion, ready to attach to any kind of reality. I vowed to never fall asleep in an unsafe place. This meant that it was not dangerous to resist my brain’s instinctive compulsion to use my senses to orient myself on waking. I could prolong this state of being nobody, nowhere, outside of time. It didn’t make me not exist, it revealed a pure me free of the influences of life.

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