The curious case of dreaming in the times of a global pandemic
“I saw broken houses and I vividly remember the walls falling down one by one and crumbling into disappearances. I do not know what to figure out from this dream. Is the about the past, the present or the future, I cannot tell but I will keep figuring out”, said the 30-year-old writer as she was falling short of words explaining it further. Another middle-aged man artist shared, “ I felt suffocated by the colours on the palette. The colours turned into a rope and got inside me through my mouth. I couldn’t scream or call for help but I remember the feeling and live it everyday since I have had this dream.”
An 8-year-old girl shared, “ I see animals living in my house. There are living in my room. They are in hiding. Maybe, they want to play. They are also bored, she says sighing her boredom. Many among us have been struggling with the kind of bizarre dreams that we have been experiencing in the times of an uneven lifestyle that we are currently leading. Social media is full of #pandemicdreams sequences where people share their horrors and looking for a relative space where they want to feel as well as convey that we are all together in this. The many layers of the conscious and the subconscious space have been equated as we travel into stranger domains.
As they say that dreams are the stories that our mind creates while we sleep. many researches and theories have come up in the past to validate and negotiate with the idea of dreaming. British scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, Matthew Paul Walker wrote in an article in 2017, titled, ‘Why Your Brain Needs to Dream’ for the Greater Good Magazine, “...while many of us may feel that our dreams have special meaning or a useful purpose, science has been more sceptical of that claim. Instead of being harbingers of creativity or some kind of message from our unconscious, some scientists have considered dreaming to be an unintended consequence of sleep—a byproduct of evolution without benefit.”
Day-to-day experiences have changed. The stories around us, the lives around us has changed. The individuality of happiness is not relevant anymore. What you do affects others around you and vice versa. The multiple films and series we are consuming or the classics that we are revisiting, the hunt for pandemic tales where many managed to survive is permanent on our search list. The dark reality of the hilarious memes that we share and circulate all day with the intention of sharing our griefs and a few laughs till we can. We are looking for measures and quick tips to make our lives easier and longer. Participating in fancy challenges is also becoming boring. How many types of dishes and cocktails you will share in the virtual space to mark yourself safe from this pandemic. The fear that has always been imaginary is taking up more space than ever and if all put into words, the world of fiction writing will change forever.
The dreaming world is a black hole. What goes into it and what comes out of it remains a mystery. Many also talk about handling and directing the dreams, for example, the last thing you consumed before you went to bed, the last person you spoke to before calling it a night, the many worries you cook up in your mind and take it to the next level, a past memory that hit you out of nowhere, missing someone you lost recently, it all keeps coming and going taking space in the holdall of life. The many traumas one goes through on a daily basis thinking about how are others dealing with the same fear. Are they stronger than us, are they facing similar obstacles, are they suffering in the same way or do they have more than we do. The idea of déjà vu is weary and it makes us wonder if we have lived certain moments before. One takeaway from here is that we all are in the same boat. More or less, experiencing the same things in different ways. How do we identify with the dreams we experience? Are they prophetic or just a mirror of our conscious lives? If anything, we all have something to share with each other. The many hollow fulfilled and unfulfilled dreams that are making us stronger for the future.