Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Today's word is based on a whim I had when I awoke in tears from a horrifying dream. I thought to myself, "it was just a dream- a nightmare more like, but still just a dream. This is reality and things are different here."

"Reality" is defined on Dictionary.com as being 1] the state or quality of being real. 2] a real thing or fact. 3] Philosophy a. something that exists independently of ideas concerning it. b. something that exists independently of all other things and from which all other things derive. 4] something that constitutes a real or actual thing, as distinguished from something that is merely apparent.

While reading these definitions I was struck with an idea. I live in "reality". I dreamed my dream inside of this "reality". Doesn't that make my dream part of the reality? I mean, really, it did happen. But it was inside my head, and no one else saw it. Does that mean that it didn't really happen? (The dream itself, not what happened in the dream) According to the third definition of "reality", starting with philosophy, yes. My dream did not exist independently of all other things. My dream only occurred because I dreamed it in the first place.

But what happens when dreams come true? How does that fit into the definition of reality? It's rare, but it's happened before. I've had a dream about something and then it actually happened. For example, this one time, I was probably seven or eight... maybe nine years old. My whole street was planning this giant yard sale. In the dream I had, I was with a friend of mine, a girl who lived down the road from me, and we were watching the yard sale from inside her house. It was kinda foggy feeling, and I felt like I couldn't really see what was going on, but I could see enough to know that two boys from a few streets up the hill had come down to check things out. They had ridden down on their bikes. They stopped at the driveway that lead to the house that we were inside, and they made a purchase from my friend's older brother. Two basketball jerseys. They pulled them on over their heads and t-shirts and rode away. Now a week later, the tag sale happened. I wasn't surprised. We'd all known about it for months. And then the strangest thing happened. I was sitting in the living room of my friends house, it was really hot outside and we had gone in to get a drink. And I looked out her window through lace curtains. And I watched as my dream played out in front of me. I must have looked strange because the girl asked me what was wrong. I pointed to what was happening and she just looked at me. When I explained what I had dreamed about, she called me psychic.

Now, I don't know if I'm a psychic. But I do know that I dreamed about something and then it happened, breaking the third definition of "reality". My dream existed because I dreamed it, and then in reality, it happened anyways. Does that mean that I willed it to happen? Or that I really was predicting a small portion of the future? How does that fit into the definition of reality? It doesn't. The Laws of reality say that it shouldn't have happened. But it did...

What about incidents where some little girl is kidnapped and they bring in a psychic to help find her? What about that fortune teller at the fair who knew that your significant other had blue eyes? Honestly, I'm not sure that reality is as definitive as we want it to be.

Now, I'm not saying that the dream I had today is going to come true. Technically, it can't. Things that existed in my dream just aren't that way in reality. But what if the things that couldn't be were a symbol of what is going to happen anyways? I dreamed that someone that I trust with something very precious was related to-- directly related to-- someone who I had dated a long time ago. The individual whom I had dated-- well he didn't word out. He was under the impression that while I wasn't around he could do whatever he wanted with other girls without consequences. He thought he could keep it hidden from me. Now, the individual who was related to him in the dream-- that's not possible. The two are not related. They're not even remotely alike in any way, shape or form. But what if?

I suppose that's how reality is. It's a thing that exists with ideas of what could happen. Lot's of "what if's" are floating around until one of those "what if's" becomes a reality. Someone once thought "I will make something that will connect everyone who has one in the world together in minutes." That "what-if" became a reality with computers and the Internet. Same goes for cars, trains, guns-- anything really. Flying cars are a "what-if". Twenty, thirty years from now, will they still be a "what if" or will the be part of our constantly evolving reality?


DanielMelville said...

a dream is a ticked away from reality.

Predictions can be made about events and turn out to be accurate.. It happens all the time to me, just based on a complete stranger's look, body language, and demeanor i have made accurate guesses on their preferences and actions.

I also think dreams are formed around anything you think deeply about, be it desires, fears, or past events that have impacted you greatly.

we can predict reality with some success, but beyond guesses… no one can be absolutely certain what the future holds