Originally posted 8-31-08.
I was never a new ager. I grew up Christian between a Mennonite father and a mainstream Christian mother. I was never exposed to anything other than that excepting to science fiction through the tv, which back then was pretty dismal, and book titles as I walked through book stores.
Since I was a very small child, and mostly during high fevers since my parents didn’t take me to doctors after the age of 6, I have had strange experiences in my sleep that didn’t fit what I knew in my waking life. Once in awhile I would catch myself ‘drifting out’ along a wall or window, across the room from my body. I would be able to see minute details up close, such as cracks in the paint, dust on the window, or a bug that should have been impossible to see from my bed.
I didn’t talk about these things. Being on the autism spectrum, I wasn’t inclined to share anything in my head in the first place. But I also had parents who either ignored me or staunchly regarded such things as being of the devil. I knew better than to bring it up once I realized I’d like to know more.
I spent hours lying in bed doing things in my head as I transitioned from preteen to teenager. I was also very active and did lots of things outside, like biking and climbing trees, frequently testing to see how high a fence I could jump, or inventing new games with the other kids. But during quiet times, I preferred being left alone to ‘think’. I didn’t realize back then I have a unique form of synesthesia and was doing thought experiments.
I didn’t realize until I was grown up and well into my 30′s that not all my dreams are just dreams. I had known for a long time that in some dreams I follow roads, visit buildings, watch people, witness disasters, and sometimes even ‘step in’ and feel other people as themselves, but I didn’t take it seriously until I woke up upset from one dream in which I had tried to interact and had scared the other people in my dream half to death. Could they really see me? I assumed in the dream they could, but it was a dream, wasn’t it?
I have been many places in my dreams, and seen many things. Some of my dreams are scattered through surveys, articles, and other posts. I will not repeat them. But here is last night’s dream.
The geographical layout was that of a fairly large barren plain (miles and miles) rimmed on one side by a row of jagged mountains. It wasn’t a mountain range, more like separate mountains. The plain didn’t have much in the way of vegetation, nor did the mountains. I had a job testing equipment inside one of the mountains. It was a very complex automated drill system designed to self regulate, self repair, and ‘make decisions’ via interface with what reminded me of a computer system, only it was intuitive and occupied a different sort of space than the drill system. It was part of the drill system and yet separate. My job was to do a final test run before leaving the system on its own. I had been observing the drill system for some time, but still had to follow final protocol and authorize it.
During the dream I really thought this was me.
I climbed into the drill system to ‘ride’ in a tight spot of criss crossed bars that wouldn’t be involved in the machinery’s meticulous movements, but would allow me to travel along with it and observe its interface with the intelligence system. It was very dark inside the mountain, but I had no light that I recall. I could see what happened anyway. The system started up, I felt it work, vibrating as multiple drill bits chewed through the mountain in arcs all around me. The noise was incredible. I must have had a force shield of some kind around me, because I was not hit with flying debris or even dust, and I had no fear of danger. I watched in great detail this unique geometrical design full of drill bits rotate and literally fix each other, all the while the intelligence system giving redundant audio relay of every move being made. I’ve never seen anything like it on Modern Marvels or any kind of scifi show. I was completely absorbed in the machinery and being fascinated by how it worked.
Then something happened. I was watching a special drill grind a drill bit down while the rest of the drills continued rotating and chewing when I smelled a peculiar nasty odor and immediately reacted with panic. I knew I had to get out of there fast or die, simply by smell alone, and everything in the dream from there on was utter confusion. So now I’ll tell the rest from my later point of view of realizing what happened.
“I” wasn’t supposed to be there. That wasn’t really me, I was simply experiencing something along with another being who didn’t know I was there. But once that smell hit me, I recoiled and panicked, not realizing that wasn’t really me, because I was still deep in the dream. I wanted out of the machine and out of the mountain and into fresh air as quickly as possible, and I pretty much hijacked that poor being’s body making it happen. I interfaced with the intelligence system and initiated an emergency shut down and it was all I could do to get through the sequence to the point where I could literally escape through the bars and get out the entrance and stand up outside. But we were still very confused together. I wanted very strongly to push a ‘come get me’ button, and the other being didn’t know why. I couldn’t understand why it was so hard to make ‘myself’ continue with my panic, but apparently the other being was already questioning its sanity in a very protocol kind of way, so I struggled as hard as I could and suddenly woke up. Once again, I was very surprised to find myself in bed, in this life, in this body. The body I’d just left was smaller, the thoughts and feelings I’d had were much different from me in this life.
Looking back, the odor that tripped my own panic button wasn’t lethal to that other being, and it was able to ignore it. It had no idea what in the world the problem was. But in my own head, and still being tied to my own body, I instinctively knew that odor was highly toxic, and I was afraid it would kill me. If I had not smelled that odor inside the mountain during the drilling, I’d probably still be there in my sleep.
This is one of many many dreams I’ve had where I’m not even human, and most likely not on this planet. This is not the first time I’ve confused other people or beings in my dream. Usually I’m just part of it all and nothing interrupts the flow of experience, but sometimes *I* start to filter in as a separate person and things start getting confusing.
I wanted to write this one down so I wouldn’t forget it. I’ve never kept a dream diary, but if I did there would have to be many categories and definitions of dream types. This one is the most interactive accident I’ve had in quite a while, where I interrupted the other person’s experiences. Waking up from these kinds of dreams does not always cut the dream off. For a few seconds after I was waking up, I knew the other person was wondering whether the interrogation he’d go through would find him unfit for work or much worse. I felt really bad about not being able to go back and explain it was all my fault.