TWO CORRECTIONS MADE 10/26/15
I know you’ve heard of a medical problem associated with individuals with multiple personality disorder. I have my own theory about multiple personalities. I think everybody has at least two personalities – that is – two different people living in one body. In what we would normally call “normal” people one of these personalities lives on what we might call the outside. That would be the person everybody knows, the one who interfaces with the world around us. The second personality is the one who is always on the inside. That one spends all day coming up with the dreams we are going to have that night. I am uncertain about exactly how that manifests itself, but of one thing I am certain. A single person could not lead a normal life and still have time to invent the dreams we have.
This first became obvious to me when I had a dream about which I can remember almost nothing. What I do remember and what captured my attention and consideration was one little detail. During the dream – for some strange reason – my attention was drawn to a small spot on an item of wooden furniture. In the dream I examined this small spot of wood in minute detail for what seemed like several minutes. I noticed the grain of the wood, the glossy look of the finish and some tiny nicks in that finish. When I awoke I was somewhat perplexed by that one little aspect of my dream. Why would my brain come up with that as part of a dream? It didn’t make sense. Like most people I usually don’t remember my dreams. But for those dreams that I did recollect I began to notice that I often remembered only tiny fragments of the dream and I remembered them in excruciating detail.
I do have…well, I won’t call them normal…regular dreams. And those dreams are often perplexing. Over the years I have come to realize that there are certain types of dreams that seem to be associated with life events. During my college years I would often dream about not being able to find a classroom or being late for a test while trying to walk through two feet of mud or snow or whatever. When I am sick I always have dreams about trying to perform some trivial task, but being unable to complete it for any number of ridiculous and very frustrating reasons. In fact, when I have one of those kinds of dreams I know I am getting sick. The dreams I generally have, though, are quite different.
Let me say right now that I do have a sleep disorder. I often have difficulty staying awake long enough so that I do not bump my head on the bedpost when I lie down on the bed. And normally my occasional mid night visit to the bathroom that I have described previously is the only time I arise from sleep. Last night was unusual. My sleep was, as they say, fitful. My dreaming was very active, but I can only remember the last one. In this dream my Mom was still alive. Not only was she still alive, but she was still working. And not only was she still working, but she was commuting via horse. That’s right, via horse. My Mom died in 2004. These days two or three times a year I have a dream in which she is still alive. Often, at some point in the dream I remember that she is dead and I wake up. Not last night. As far as I know she never even sat on a horse. As a kid she had a neighbor who would take her and her siblings to town in his horse drawn wagon, but I think that was the extent of her equestrian experience. Why did my brain decide to bring her to life? Why would my brain have my Mom (who was retired over twenty years when she died and who would be 102 today) still working? And why would it have her riding a horse to her job at the hospital?
This is why I believe that we all have a second person inside us who spends all day coming up with the weird dreams we have. It would also explain why people who are believed to have mental problems would appear that way if that second person were to come out and interface with the real world. Because only a twisted, crazy person could come up with the dreams I have. And I don’t think it’s ME! It’s HIM. The other ME!
The next time you have a dream and remember it, stop for a minute and think about it.