a practice for transpersonal evolution

Time within the dreamtime

Time within the dreamtime

There is a phenomenon I have experienced many times both in lucid and normal dreaming. The phenomenon is experienced as a mismatch between the subjective experience of time, and the “objective” passing of time, as measured by a clock.

By this I mean is that my experience in the dreamtime can last days, even weeks, and yet when I wake up only a few hours have passed in the outside world.

I have had dreams in which I am a different person, in a different environment and living a different life. When I wake up I can’t recognize my bedroom and don’t fully remember who I am. It takes a few minutes for my mind to re-capture the reality of this “waking” world. There is a moment of cognitive dissonance, and then the experience of the dream recedes to the background and I remember who I am and what I did the day before.

On one of these occasions I realized I was an Inuit young person living on the ice. I experienced the life of this person for about three weeks; I hunted, I ate raw meat, I had a complex emotional life; I even experienced a different belief system in which I could communicate with animal spirits and had a close connection with the spirit of a polar bear.inuit

After three weeks I went to bed one night, and I dreamed that I woke up in a dark bedroom, in a strange environment I could not recognize. I was sleeping besides a person I could not remember. It took me a few minutes to remember my life as “Venus”, in my bedroom in East Vancouver. The cognitive dissonance lasted for a few confusing minutes, and then the dream reality went into the background, remaining as a strong memory.

Which one of these “selves” is more real? The one I am experiencing at the time. When I am an Inuit, I don’t question my reality and sense of self any more than I do now, in this reality, writing this on my computer. Maybe there is more to consciousness than this every-day reality, and we can certainly explore it through dreaming.


An interesting video:

Life, Death and Dreaming