Reality Confusion to Dream a New You

Sometimes I confuse my dreams with the remembered events from which my dreams derived their emotional elements. Due to confusion in attribution, I sometimes believe I am remembering real events when those memories are actually my remembrances of dreams instead.

For example, an event of the day results in me feeling overpowered by my boss. That night, I dream I am being chased by a bear. Upon awakening in the morning, I imagine my partner is acting abusively toward me. In this case, the attribution of the emotion of powerlessness travels from boss to dream bear to partner.

Out of Attribution Confusion

Knowing that memories are fallible and subject to errors in attribution, I reconfirm that I can manipulate memories – through dreams molded to help support how I want to feel today. Maybe you can change the details of your memories to support a new you.

What if you chose to restructure your dreams from a perspective of gratitude rather than victim-hood?

“How do I do that?” you might reasonably ask. I can control a dream using lucid dreaming in which I realize I’m dreaming while I’m dreaming. This is a very powerful imagery because it includes full sensory engagement – a real experience. That’s one way to manipulate emotionally charged memories.

Comes a New You

Another method is to perform a simple bedtime exercise. As you find yourself drifting off to sleep…

  1. Recall a negative emotion-charged memory of an experience you had that day. Just let it flash across the stage of your soon-to-be dreaming mind.
  2. Resist the temptation to ruminate over the memory and how you feel about it. This is NOT about fixing a problem – it’s about confusing attribution.
  3. Then, immediately after recalling the negative event, recall a memory of ANY TIME in your life that supports how you’d rather feel. It’s important that the last memory you entertain before slipping off to sleep is one where you feel strong, capable, happy, and grateful.
  4. Then, let the dreams come.

The idea is to set gratitude as the last emotion just before dropping off to sleep. The dream-attribution mechanism  then presents stories from a baseline perspective of gratitude. That may affect your dream stories and memories of the day. It could also change your overall perspective.

You may not recall your dreams the next morning – that’s okay. The confusion just as you fell asleep may be just enough to confound your dream-attribution mechanism. You may view your emotionally-charged memory of the previous day in a new way. Perhaps you’ll solve a problem associated with that memory or suddenly experience a flash of inspiration concerning it. Who knows?

Practicing this simple exercise just before sleep might just create a new you.

Measuring Imagination

I live in a bubble of my own imagination in which I seek to measure everything. How is that even possible?

It seems paradoxical to measure by assigning values to what can’t be measured in value. It’s like holding conflicting realities simultaneously knowing they are an illusion. All the while defending those illusions of value and projecting them as truth.

Measuring Imagination

I like measuring, “How could I/you/they do better?” I call these “‘fonly” measurements – “If only I/you/they would have… [done something different than I/you/they did]… things would be better.” If better, how much better? It’s an impossible measurement because I’m basically measuring my limited perspective.

Is there anything in this universe that I’m aware of that does not exist as a concept within my mind? Does everything in my sensual perception belong to that subjective universe because it’s in my mind? Is objective reality a figment of my [subjective] imagination?

Perhaps creative imagination exists only where the concepts of diversity and contrast separate aspects of one concept.

I Question That

Let’s consider some useful questions in this regard:

  1. WHAT is separate? By separate I mean perceiving a unit apart or by itself. For example, I distinguish you from me, and etc.
  2. HOW and HOW MUCH is this separate from that? Judgments allow me to measure the poles of a concept – the maximums and minimums – and apply a comparison to those poles. “How light or dark is it?” (compared to the max/min light or dark). Perhaps what we think are opposites are actually compatible complements that validate one another as separate.
  3. WHY is it necessary to measure separation? By measuring that which I perceive as separate, I get a nuanced experience that validates a sense of being separate.
  4. WHO is doing the separation? When I focus on me, I can feel whole as one person and I can shift focus to separation mode. One person, many creative perspectives, where imagination is the virtual game board – life.

My Standard of Measurement

In my bubble awareness world, I want MY standard to be THE standard for perceiving subjective reality. That works fine until the inevitable crash against objective reality, at which point I want a scapegoat.

To measure anything, I must define the subjective in terms of objective value. That is, it must be compatible with the physical boundaries of sensory and technological capability of the one doing the measuring. For example, an objective measurement requires counting and comparing the distances between fixed points of objects to determine their relative dimensions.

There’s a problem with objective measurements – the standards question. That is, according to what standard of measurement? For the most part, we set “objective” measurements according to an agreement. A meter is a meter ONLY among those who agree to that standard. Even when the unit of measurement is “independent” – as it is with the speed of light – it only becomes a standard when everyone using it agrees. That is NOT entirely objective – it is largely subjective.

Let’s reduce that “not entirely objective, largely subjective” standard to how I experience it. Everything I perceive with my senses appears to be “something” that seems to me to BE what it is – even when I’m not perceiving it. That’s how it SEEMS. And yet, that which SEEMS is not always that which IS.

Subjective as Objective

Simply because I WANT something to be objective – according to a solidly objective standard – doesn’t mean it IS that way. Consider WHO is DOING the perceiving – ME. You, them, even me exist ONLY as I imagine us to be. It APPEARS that I’m sensing you separate from me – standard perception. Yet, when one gets down to it, that perception of separation boils down to subjective imagination. I IMAGINE you as you, them as them, me as me.

From that standpoint, the concept of perception is merely a figment of my imagination – everything is as it is because I imagine it that way. Agreement is simply my way of imposing and defending my standard as the standard.

Values are imaginary “standards” I attach to perception that serve as a means of providing me a SENSE of objective life that can be compared. That is, I perceive I’m alive at some imagined value compared with my imagination of else-wise. And that according to some level of perceptual agreement with myself. My baseline for comparison with all else is the standard I apply to my perceptual sense of self. Subjective – FEELS objective – GOOD ENOUGH for me!

Standards beg some interesting questions:

WHAT standards am I applying to my perception?

HOW much value am I applying to that perception?

WHY that value?

WHO am I?

To succeed in life, I feel I must earn my value by being right all the time – the more right, the more value. What value? According to what standard? It seems most religions and societies have an answer to this question of standards. And yet…

What if I’m wrong about my perception of objective reality? What if there IS NO OBJECTIVE REALITY? Could objective reality be a subjective illusion?

I wonder…

What about Will?

I need validation for my beliefs and if I can’t get that in the world I live in, I will find the way that is easiest to achieve it… imagination backed by will. My will doesn’t have to be in harmony with laws or principalities, just in harmony with my desires.

I always interpret reality accurately [enough] for me. At least, I know no better. It appears to me that in every instant, I’m perceiving all there is to perceive to understand it.

I have a capacity to imagine far beyond what I can perceive. For example, I might imagine how it would be to live in a dimension in which gravity was twice what it is in this dimension. That leads me to wonder just how “enough” is enough when it comes to understanding my reality.

Perhaps I imagine being Alice through the looking glass – without, literally, being in her universe. I may convince myself those realities are real enough to experience them. It’s down to imagination backed by will.

What About Will?

THIS dimension in which I believe I exist, is actually my imaginings of it. Through will, I experience a symbolically represented world in which I assign meaning I view as purpose. I make choices based on those meanings and disregard any actual sensual data that might conflict with my perspective. I jump when I perceive a dangerous serpent on the path – rather than jumping because there is a snake on the path. I’m dealing with my imagined reality rather than actual reality.

That gives me a lot of latitude for perception, belief, and experience. It also gives me access to “worlds without end” – multiple universes and multiple dimensions.

Imagine that!

How My Shattered Ego Invites Me to Transform

What happens when my ego is shattered? Transformation? It feels more like deflation. Yet, could a shattered ego lead to something useful? If so, why does it hurt so much? I like Friedrich Nietzsche connects these concepts:

“A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.”

I’ve noticed that I’m pretty resistant to new ideas – particularly those that directly affect me. Like my personal self-image. My ego’s job is to keep me safe by using tested and proven methods to “keep me in line” (safe!). One of those methods is pain, which has kept me in order throughout my life and has been a significant factor in my learning process. Thus, upon shattering my rigid ego formula, it’s likely my ego will use pain to reign me in, so to speak.

A shattered ego is one that has fought a battle against change – employing whatever strategies and weapons it has at its disposal. Of course, favoring the previously tried and proven – like pain, humiliation, shame, and guilt. Its success has kept me firmly within the boundaries of safety, propriety, and rightness to this point.

What if on the other side of shattered – with its attendant emotions like humiliation, deflated ego, and loss of self-trust – is transformation? I’ve just peered briefly into that realm – before falling back into bubble awareness. Could I use the opening offered by a shattered ego to transform myself beyond bubble awareness and embrace who I AM?

Thoughts that Transform

I’m learning that everything in my bubble awareness “reality” is merely a concept, a thought. Through sensual perception and emotional feeling, I give those thoughts power by imagining them as things of substance. Using the reinforcing power of justification and confirmation bias, I can substantiate anything at any time.

Change a thought, a judgment, about something or someone and they change to me. I literally change YOU by changing ME – perhaps more accurately, when I change MY mind about YOU and/or ME, I transform my world.

It’s just a thought, a possibility… 😉