The Postmodern Condition -or- Queen of My Postmodern Domain

When I first began writing down my dreams in my notebooks in 1977, I realized relatively quickly that there was a literary aspect and method found in my dreams. There have been many themes, and as the dream below states; "some dreams don't fit these (thematic) categories." My own dreams have become allegorical by nature. Said another way they work on many archetypological levels. Plato's "allegory of the cave", is the prime illustration of the allegory of dreaming and the human condition.

My interest in the domain of the dream over the last nearly 35 years took my research into a wide range of fields including history, art, music, anthropology, physics and the medical humanities to name a few. I have traveled all over the cognitive map of the cultural hypertext of dreams. This is also why, I have chosen "1001 Nights" as a motif, to make visible the epic narrative patterning and individual and collective framing process of our nightly dreams washing over the planet as we speak.

Here then is the dream of an 18 year old girl who enjoys and is amused by her dreams;

Storylines of My Sleep World -or- Queen of My Postmodern Domain

"I've been having dream variations on the same theme all my life. Some dreams don't fit these categories, dreams that I consider "random". But many dreams are focused on the same storyline, a storyline that has been developing (I estimate) since I was about eight. I dreamed first about a world, then I became the "queen" of this world. I understood that what this meant was being the ruler of my own "domain" aka "mind". But that's when the weird stuff started happening.

The storyline of my dreams since has been complete and encompassing. I have characters, not taken from real life, but dream characters that occur constantly. I have reoccurring places, to the point where I can almost map things out. There are specific rules to my dream universe that I understand while asleep. For instance, if I'm on a road, and I turn right, a nightmare will occur. But left is either safe or boring. I enjoy nightmares because they have interesting stories, much more so than regular dreams.

Dreams are one thing that nobody is interested in hearing about as a conversation topic because by their nature they defy input. One has to simply sit back and listen to someone who's telling a dream. But to have the same storyline for more than a decade, with characters you feel attached to, seems like something worth sharing. My dreams are also ridiculously vivid, often violent, and often quirky. I've read so much on dreams, and everything seems to fall short of the sheer immensity of my own little sleep world. That seems like a brag, and of course it is on some level. Who wouldn't be proud of a vast internal world? But, it doesn't matter what you dream; reality is the real trump card. Do nothing with your life and you've....done nothing, no matter how interesting your own little personal thing. I just want input by specialists."

Mr Hagen's Reply; Tapestry of the Dream Universe-or-Garden of the Forking Paths

Your internal world, your dream universe as you call it, is a place worth exploring and building. We all create storylines in our dreams which have narrative threads and when bound together produce the poetic fabric and tapestry of our life story. From a popular culture perspective, have not the characters and plot of the "Harry Potter" fantasy novel franchise amused and enchanted millions for the last 14 years?

The use of a dream world has been a durable mythological and literary device since the beginnings of civilization. Your dream world resembles Jorge Luis Borges short story, "Garden of the Forking Paths". In this sense, your dream can be read like a cultural hypertext. You know where the road leads depending on the choices you make ("For instance, if I'm on a road, and I turn right, a nightmare will occur. But left is either safe or boring.") This is the stuff of hypertexts and the basis for what has been called "Postmodernism". Yours' is an example of what Jean-Francois Lyotard called "The Postmodern Condition". The postmodern aesthetic is exemplified in Hollywood films such as Blue Velvet, Blade Runner and Pulp Fiction.

What is good to see, is that you have maintained a healthy sense of differentiating between fantasy and reality. You state; "But, it doesn't matter what you dream; reality is the real trump card". Many dreams sent to the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR) the sense of reality has been impaired, lacking or in the extreme even completely lost. Again from a popular culture perspective the film "Inception" shows us the problems and consequences that can occur when the boundaries of what is a dream and what is reality become confused. Jean Baudrillard "Simulacra and Simulation" has discussed how the media and popular culture industries simulate and construct reality, a theme taken up in the film "The Matrix". 

Many of the articles and interpretations posted at the IIDR website speak about the effects of media on dreams (read Media Effects -or- The Information Industry)

All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.