I've read Carl's accounts of dreams with a sense of wonderment and delight. Do most folks remember most of their dreams? I don't, and never have. In all my life I can't remember much more than ten or a dozen dreams. So the ones I do remember were and remain powerful. Life-changing? In some cases yes indeed, and probably more than I fully understand.
Which is more real: a dream or a shadow?
Some of my dreams take the form of epic fantasies - perhaps if Anne Rice and Carlos Castaneda had collaborated on The Lord Of The Rings. Two that I can think of had themes of imprisonment and integrity. It was the integrity part of both of them that bothered me. There have been at least a couple attempts to turn one into a novel. I worked on one for almost ten years before giving it up. I don't have the manuscript anymore, sad to say. It was the one about Jesus and Judas.
I know that I dream, frequently if not nightly. Most of the time it's as if a door slams shut as soon as I wake. If I remember a dream at all, there's no need to write it down. I'll always remember it. I've never had a wet dream. Occasionally I have dreamed of pretty women that I've known, in situations where they were nude, but the odd thing is that in the dream there was never anything the least bit sexual about it. I would wake thinking Wow, that was strange...and knowing that just as I thought, the kitchen manager has very, very nice breasts. And that would be that. I've had dreams with naked women in them, but I have never dreamed about naked women. I don't think I have ever dreamed about sex.
There's a story that if you dream about falling you always wake before you hit the ground, because if you hit, you'd die from the imaginary trauma. Well, that may not always be true, and it may never be true. I dreamed I fell out of an airplane into a lake. I remember going under and having the wind knocked out of me. I was perfectly alright when I woke, however - a little out of breath as I recall. I was about ten.
Dreams are a mystery to me. Some have given me insights into myself, and some have given me views of alternate universes that seemed every bit as real - and still do, like Carl's indescribable crystal mountain - as my everyday life. Our brains are as active when we dream as when we are fully engaged in the waking world. Which side of the veil is more real? Is that even a question that has meaning?
It is if we're in danger of getting lost in our dreams, of losing touch with reality. But wait a minute, which reality? What if we get so mired in this world that we lose our dreams and forget who we are? What if those places we visit are every bit as real as what we call The Real World?
I find I cannot say that everything about this world is more real or even necessarily as real as any other. I don't think science can prove anything one way or the other. I certainly hope not, because I can envision the kind of experiments they would probably conduct trying to find out. Let them finish defining this reality first. That should keep them busy for a while.
There are levels of reality - aren't there? Consider my words. I'm not writing, I'm typing. And I'm not using a typewriter but a computer. As soon as I hit the button, and as nearly three dozen other souls log on and read my words, they will enter your own thoughts and affect them in some small way. All of which is unquestionably real. But where exactly is the reality? What could I show a stranger to prove I wrote this? There is no paper and no ink, nothing tangible at all. If we all unplug, then my words are gone, except for the ghost in our minds.
Carl's dream changed his life, something my words are unlikely to do. Which is more real?