The Presumption of Dreaming

I have long suspected that waking reality is a kind of dream, albeit of a different class than sleeping dreams. Recently, I have come to the conclusion that the truth of the matter is irrelevant; I make the decisions I like most when I presume I’m dreaming.

If we watch a movie about a person who is bullied at his place of employment, the last ending we expect is that the victim should apologize and then go home to watch television. We expect, that sooner or later, the victim should find the strength to stand up to his abusers, even if it means losing his job.

When we watch a movie, we do not expect an immediate resolution. We do not expect the movie to end after ten minutes. Characters have problems, or make problems of ourselves, and we want to see how each reacts to the others. Of special interest is noble characters interacting with bad faith characters (high versus low lucidity). The show is going to be over in ninety minutes, all the characters erased from the screen, and the characters may well be fictional — that is no matter. What decisions did they make while they had the chance to make decisions?

Imagine that we are all waking dreamers, or characters in an alien computer simulation. We don’t know how long we have been here. It could be minutes. The only thing we can know for sure is that we are have experiences and that we are making decisions. Decisions are the currency of the dream economy.

When I’m dreaming, I don’t make decisions that increase the length of the dream. I don’t make decisions to increase wealth that can only evaporate when I awake. I don’t make decisions to increase my comfort. I don’t even know what it could mean, since everything is part of the adventure. All my decisions, in fact, have more to do with improving the adventure than anything else.

Another consequence about the presumption of dreaming: Everyone deserves the same amount of respect. Here is the reasoning: Everyone dreams with some level of lucidity. There’s always some one with more lucidity than I have and there is always some one with less, even if not in the same dream. I can change my level of lucidity, but I can’t change the nature of the game. If someone is acting crazy, stupid, or unreasonable, that is very nearly the definition of a lower level of lucidity. Those people are not posing problems to me that I do not pose to someone else. We, who are at different levels of lucidity, are equal in the game.

The consequences to the presumption of dreaming are quite profound. First, there is no point to living small. Second, there is no situation that should make me cranky. The show is going to last a certain amount of time, and I need only concern myself with the quality of my decisions. Finally, there is no person who deserves my disrespect or contempt. Some people are foils, some are allies; all are here to help me increase my adventure.

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