I Dreamed A Recursive Dream

So the first big storm of our northern CA winter is crashing in off the
Pacific tonight….I can always tell that it’s going to be a soaker when the 
dead branches from the redwood tree in my backyard start pummeling the
 kitchen skylight and my back door window starts to rumble and roll.  Weather 
like this puts me in a very abstract mood and I start exhibiting convulsions 
of convolution, or something like that.  It has much to do with the arrival
 of low barometric pressure…I’m sure.

Anyway,  I had this dream last night and I need some help to figure out what
 exactly went on there in my head (storm warning?)  I dreamed that I 
dreamed a dream, and in my dream, the in-my-dream-dreamed-dream came true 
(ie: in my dream, I witnessed the dream-prophesized event occurring).   A
 hall of mirrors dream.  A state of fractal sleep.  Very strange and I don’t 
remember ever having woken up quite so confused and intrigued.

You could say…yeah, let’s use the standard top-level Freudian analysis:
 Emily, you obviously had a wish-fulfillment dream.  Well, who wouldn’t dream 
that all their dreams came true? Dreaming about dreams coming true…that’s 
an ur-dream.   But see, the content of the prophecy was not a wish that
 awake Emily wanted fulfilled.  I’m not going to reveal the details of my
 dream (this is my first blog ever here and no way are you getting the dirt
 out of me….and I’m far more concerned with form than with content at the
 moment…. that’s a whole other discussion — the form vs. content wars etc 

So what do I make of the fact that the me who dreamed inside my dream 
dreamed the wrong dream? At least it was the wrong dream for the waking
 Emily to have had come true in her dreaming head. What does this
MEANNNNNNN???  I am well-known among friends and family for imagining that 
things that are obvious are really very complicated  (I was always the one
 who screwed up the standardized tests because I thought there must be a
 hidden trick to the simple algebra equation and thus I would fill in circle 
D: “none of the above”) Now, I really think  I need to go turn on the TV
 and watch something silly but before I go……

I did a bit of sleuthing on the net to see who else has had a “recursive
 dream” and gone public with it and I found Steve Rainwater, whose
 subconscious is apparently far more interesting than mine and he has done a 
brilliant job of leading us through the maze of his peculiar nocturnal
 brainwave distortion.  (Thanks to Steve, now my highest Alpha aspiration is 
to have a truly baroque dream like his and I would like it please to include
 a completed orchestral score running through my dreaming ears from one stage 
of the multi-level dream theater. And who knows what alien musical 
encounters that I’ll never remember I may already have had in Delta, but
 that’s another 300,000 words …..)

Check out Steve here and roll down his page a bit to find the following:


“I had a recursive dream last night. I don’t think that’s ever happened to 
me before. I went to sleep in my own house and dreamed (dream level 1) that
 I was on a business trip and staying in a hotel room. I went to sleep in the
 hotel bed and dreamed (dream level 2) that I was at a party. I became tired 
at the party and was led to a bedroom where I slept, dreaming (dream level
 3) that I was in my office coding while someone stood beside my desk playing 
an electric guitar. I somehow became aware (in dream level 2) that this
 (dream level 3) was a dream and began listening to the guitarist, noticing 
how good the audio response was and wondering how my brain was able to
 produce such a good guitar solo in a dream when I can barely put two notes
 together in real life. Suddenly I woke up back in the bedroom in the house
 where the party was (return to dream level 2) and decided to leave the
 party. As I opened the front door to leave I was awakened in the hotel room 
(return to dream level 1) by someone saying that I was having a bad dream
 and should wake up. As I sat up on the bed in the hotel room, I awoke in my 
bed back in the real world. My first thought on realizing what happened was 
wondering how many recursive realities I could push onto the stack before my 
brain had a stack overflow and dumped core…”

Jungians, Freudians, Lacanians, Grofians have at it………….

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