#42. The Dream VCR
Here’s the situation:
At long last, someone invents “the dream VCR.” This machine allows you to tape an entire night’s worth of your own dreams, which you can then watch at your leisure. However, the inventor of the dream VCR will only allow you to use this device if you agree to a strange caveat: When you watch your dreams, you must do so with your family and your closest friends in the same room. They get to watch your dreams along with you. And if you don’t agree to this, you can’t use the dream VCR.
Would you still do this?
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I am accustomed to sleep and in my dreams to imagine the same things that lunatics imagine when awake. ~Rene Descartes, “Meditations on First Philosophy”
THAT GUY WHO HATED AMERICA SIGMUND FREUD made a big fucking deal out of dreams. He wrote a book about it (which is not half-bad by the way), incorporated dream theory into the foundation of his philosophy, and developed an unusual approach to understanding them. But, I’m not a fan of Sigmund Freud thus a grossly generalized overview of his life’s work is all I’m willing to incorporate into this post (and no, it’s not because he was Anti-American. The man had his reasons). Don’t you just hate it when someone mentions dreams in conversation and someone else (or the person himself) starts namedropping Freud like it gives the conversation an intellectual touch? So clichéd. Team Jung all the way. Anyway, I do agree with him that dreams are important. I agree that they are reflections of our hidden wills, desires, fears, and other facets of our consciousness. But to what extent they reflect any more than what we already know about ourselves is questionable to me. I sort of think of things like dreams and “repressed feelings” present such a difficulty and mystery in our lives because we are too afraid to face and accept them on a conscious level. I think it’s easier to leave them below the surface than attempt to discover those other significant, possibly deeper elements of our existence which may be inconvenient to bring to light. It’s not easy to confront someone, let alone yourself. But generally, I believe most people are more aware of themselves than they’d like to admit.
I am not one of those people.
All that being said, I would still go ahead and do this. I would accept this challenge because I am much too curious and preoccupied with getting to another level of understanding with myself that this opportunity is too good for me to pass up. The risk of including my closest friends and family as I watch my dreams over is a small price to pay for something I’ve always wanted to see and know about myself and something which I am otherwise unable to remember on my own, try as I might. I have a bad memory. It’s a gift and a curse. But when I do remember something I’ve dreamed of, I often recall these things to my family and friends anyway, mostly to ask them what they think it could mean or sometimes just for kicks. I’ve had some very pleasant, extraordinary dreams. And I’ve also had so many fucked up and weird shit going on that resemble much of what I think of when I am awake, nothing could shock or affect me at this point. And this is not to say I would go ahead and do this without any hesitation. Far from it. I would be a little nervous and uncomfortable, but I’d push through it and get over it. That’s what family and friends are for. If the situation called for me to do this with a group or strangers, I wouldn’t be open to try this. Such is not the case here.
So somebody please press play because I am ready to see this. Are you?