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Identity-Bent Dreams

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Dreams in which you change race, birth language, tribe, or other group identity; or you become someone else, change your individual identity.

Most dreams below are still mine, as few readers have sent me identity-bent dreams yet. Are they rare, or are such dreams uncomfortable to admit to? They could (I guess) show insecurity about your own identity, or inferiority feelings you're embarrassed to reveal (do you feel you're not OK as you are?), or show a hunger to appropriate another heritage.

But often I think such dreams are quite the opposite--broadening experiences. Immersion in another culture, without risk or jetlag! To wear another's face, or, deeper, to experience another's roots and language, is powerful--after that, it's hard to fear or put down someone you've been.

Such dreams may have simpler agendas, though; using culture, language or race in purely symbolic ways--shorthand quickly setting up a scene to revealing more complex truths. Such dreams may play with embarrassing stereotypes; but don't assume this means you're ethnocentric or racist just because dreams exploit clichés! The real point may be subtle.

And such dreams sure get your attention! Shock radio of the night.

RELATED TOPICS: I'm Just Not Myself Today: dreams where you've changed (this page is a subset of it) - other subsets: dream jobs: welcome to your new career! - cross-age dreams: you're much younger or older - cross-gender dreams: you learn how the other half lives - you're not even the same species - cross-platform dreams: you're not even carbon-based life! Silicon, steel, energy, data, spirit... - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

What this site is - Add your dreams! - How to read blurbs - Ratings - Copyright - Downloading - The World Dream Bank has 3300+ dreams plus 1000 more pages on dreamwork, shamanism, surrealism, fantasy, worldbuilding, creativity and genius. Site © Chris Wayan 2001-2013.

A BEAM OF FLIGHT: by Wayan; 1992/4/19, a dream of love and shellshock.
I'm a dance teacher, I'm King Kong, I'm a shell-shocked elf, I'm a wild bird flying...
BILL COSBY'S WIFE: by Wayan; 1994/5/5, one of many creepy dreams about a comedian I loved.
I'm Bill Cosby's wife, finding it hard to cook for him without a stove or fridge...
BRITISH TRIANGLE: by Wayan; 2019/8/18, a dream of another life.
I'm a middle-aged British writer in a triad with a sculptor and a dairy farmer
who seem happy sharing me. But it's a small town, so we must be discreet...
THE BROADS: by Wayan; 1978/11/19, a dream on self-image distortion.
We all wear magic beltbuckles. Twist one--your body stretches from squat to willowy. Except mine...
A CAT AND HER GIRL: by Wayan; 1979/5/15, a deep little dream.
I'm a doctor in the future, trying to heal the neurolink between a girl and her cat...
CHANGES, or, A WHISPER OF RESISTANCE: by Wayan; 1980/9/25, a dream of identity-chaos.
An identity earthquake that just wouldn't stop. I transform half a dozen times, and so does everyone else...
CHEAPSHIP!: by Wayan; 1996/8/6, a nightmare on my own stinginess.
I'm a crewman on a ship that's falling apart, and I do mean that literally...
A CRAIGSLIST BARGAIN: by Wayan; 2006/10/1. A dream of another life; possible ESP.
Iím an Asian kid in Pacifica, California. My parents annoy me, so I offer them for sale on Craigslist. A cop appears...
CYCLOPS, or, THE ANSWER TO MY PRAYER: by Wayan; 1993/8/24, a spiritual nightmare.
In the far future, I relive Odysseus' tale. To save my life I must give up realistic hope, and focus on...
DAWN'S DIVORCE: by Dawn Z; 2002/3/1-21, an outrageous dream sequence
While going through a painful breakup, I kept having sexy, lucid, psychic dreams...
DEMON BUDGETING: by Wayan, 2011/9/27, a nightmare on letting things blow over
A demon invades our police station, takes over our captain and lieutenant, and pushes them to fight.
But I know demonic possession can't last long. Our copshow's special effects budget is too limited...
ELIZABETH'S SOLE ESCAPE: by Wayan, 2017/7/29, a genderbent nightmare on... genes?
I'm Queen Elizabeth I, but I made a mistake--focused too much on art and culture.
Now, plotters who I overlooked smash in my bedroom door. I snatch a vial of poison...
FLEEING KAMPUCHEA: by Laura Lawrence; early 1990s?; recurring nightmares of a future client's life
My Cambodian village was burned, my family murdered. At 12,
I was the oldest survivor; I led a band of kids to the border...
FOUR SCREENS: by Wayan; 2018/1/24, a dream urging me to drop some armor--but not all
I dream my Doors of Perception have four layered screens--when one is plenty to keep out mosquitoes...
FRAN SAYS "THAT'S WHAT PSYCHIC IS": by Wayan, 1982/1/15; a self-flagging predictive dream
I turn into my friend Fran, who I haven't see for months. Then I'm me, in a hot tub,
talking to Fran, who's now a sort of lemur-girl. She insists I'm psychic.
I'm skeptical. I just get hunches, if I relax in hot water. She says...
GIANT'S HANDS: by Wayan; dreamed 1981/12/23, a split-consciousness nightmare
I was a giant carefully & guiltlessly flattening San Francisco--just following orders
to recycle it! Killing how many? While my mind inside the giant's mind was appalled...
HE SAW: by Jeffery Beam; c.1983, a nightmare with three selves
I, sleeping me, watch dream-me find a third me who saw too much
in the kitchen. Unconscious or dead? I just don't know...
HICKOPHOBIA: by Wayan; 1996/5/13; 2-page dream-comix (or plain text version)
Whenever I run out of ballet class to Japanese without asking my classmate Wendy out, I change sex...
HISTORY CHANGES: by Wayan; 1994/11/22, a dream of an alternate life.
I'm the token Chinese guy in a jazz band in backwoods Brazil, in the old colonial days, when...
HOLY ZEN MONK: by Wayan; 1978/4/24, a dream of suicide as political protest
I'm a Zen monk riddled with holes from a weird disease the government denies
is real. So as a protest, I stand naked atop a wall and let the air-sharks take me...
A HOTEL ODYSSEY: by Wayan; 1994/2/21, a Borges dream.
I live in the Infinite Hotel, but the other guests in my wing are no fun. It's time to set sail...
I DO, WE DO: by Victor Henderson; 1982/2/16, a dream & painting on swapping faces
A surgeon persuaded me to swap my face with another man's. But I found I felt compelled
to carry on his life, not mine--to pass for him. And when I demanded my face back...
THE ICE CREAM KISS: by Wayan; 1993/11/27, an uncomfortable dream.
I'm Joe Leaphorn, in (of all places for a Navaho detective) a coven in San Francisco watching a creamy...
ISHI AND SNOID: by Wayan; 1993/8/4, a dream of stretching.
I'm a California Indian wandering through time, keeping the secret of time-travel from the reckless...
IT'S A DEAD MAN'S PARTY: by Wayan; 1988/10/18, a nightmare of identity.
I find myself at a creepy party supporting a dead man who's running for office. And am I Dan Quayle?
THE LADY BATHES IN GRIEF: by Wayan; 1983/5/31, a long-haul psychic dream.
Why'd a spirit-woman come to our reservation to mourn a drowned guy? Her mirrors & candles tell us...
LION-GIRL TRIANGLE: by Wayan; 2000/12/11, an uncomfortable sex-dilemma dream, possibly predictive
I'm a betrothed teenager having to choose between mates, in an alternate Africa where
lions are another tribe of people--and occasionally adopt humans...
LION-MEN: by Wayan; 1995/7/9, an eye-opening dreamlet.
I'm a traveling Zen warrior talking to a circus girl in a barn. Four guys enter--and my life changes forever.
LOLA: by Wayan; 1995/4/22, a wild dream: psychic, shamanic and... economic?
How the hell do I summarize this? Lola, a werefox I'm hot for, becomes my feudal Japanese brother, and
her fox-shape reappears as the truck-driving maid for a Han Dynasty lady. We counter the interdimensional
energy vampires by importing ghost unicorns on sailing ships, who have an orgy. Two weeks later,
it all comes true. Literally? No, but closer than you'd think....
MAGIC SCHOOL: by Wayan, 1982/1/26: a waking event and replying dream.
Phyllis Schlafly, killer of the Equal Rights Amendment, provokes a dream of being Captain Kirk
trapped in a magic school with no way out but the graduate exam. Can I learn the lesson of the tree?
A MAMMOTH FIGHT: by Wayan; 1996/2/26, a dream of another life. A tacky other life.
I'm a fight promoter whose biggest deal ever is maybe too big for me. How'd it become a four-way bout?
MARINE GEOLOGY'S NOT IT: by Wayan; 1984/6/2, a dream farce.
After finding marine geologists in my chocolate pudding, I'd rather be a Frenchman and insult my wife...
MEN CATCH FIRE: by Shannon Frazier; 2020/12/8, an identity-bent dream
I was a South Asian teenage girl. Strange men throw rocks at our house,
then explode into fire. I don't trust my dad to get my little brother out...
MUPPET WITNESS: by Bill Tjaden, art by Jesse Reklaw; pre-2000; an absurd dream
I work in a witness protection program. We hide the Muppet on the bottom
of an empty swimming pool, hand him a long straw, and fill it with...
MURDERER: by Dusan Makavejev, c.1960, twin nightmares with peculiar joyful moods
I'm given photos of what a murderer saw, but I recognize these scenes. I am the murderer! At least I've solved the case.
I'm in a bare white room. On the wall, a long fuse sparks. I feel euphoric from ozone--it means I've had a fatal radiation dose...
OPHIDIOPHOBIA: by Wayan; 1986/2/12, a dream on race and religion.
I'm a therapist with a client diagnosed paranoid--but are his doctors racist? He's not just black, but scaly...
PARROT TAMES BUSINESSMAN: by Wayan; 2011/10/6, a surreal career-advice dream poem
My last two businesses went bust. So I let a giant parrot talk me into interviewing
her people, who've been settling all those alien ruins in Amazonia. Great career move...
THE PEGASUS CHILD: by Wayan; 1982/4/4, a dream of family diversity and spiritual advice
Dad's human, Mom's a weird owl-lynx, the kid's a baby Pegasus... and I, W.C. Fields,
that fat cynical drunken old actor, am the babysitter...
POIROT'S FLIGHT: by Wayan; 1994/11/15, an anti-lucid dream.
I summon an aeroplane to escape a trap. Lucid? Not at all! Why should Poirot bother with such abstractions?
THE REAL MAO: by Wayan; 2006/7/9 and 7/11: two dreams (one possibly psychic) about an appalling book
Jung Changís exposé of Mao's brutal deeds and legacy
provoke dreams of leaders who don't listen--till I scream...
RHINZL'S SHADOW: by Wayan; dreamed 1984/8/28; two unlikely predictive dreams.
DREAMS: 1: I can't afford language classes. 2: A beautyqueen rigs a stargate; I kill monsters & sell their bones...
NEXT DAY: I'm asked "Why don't you get a language degree?" I can't afford it! I go home & watch Dr Who...
A stunning girl fixes a spacetime portal. Smugglers kill alien monsters & sell their ashes as a drug...
RORAIMA JUMP: by Wayan; dreamed 2016/9/18, a surreal dream of deadly outrage
I'm a Brazilian in the Olympic waterfall-jumping finals. The Russian & American cheat--threaten my family.
I snap! Fight recklessly, knocking them off their ropes. We all tumble down the cliff...
THE RUNES: by Denise Levertov; c.1963, an identity-bent oracular dream
I'm a small child in Finland writing out the meaning of three ancient runes
about trees, ships and elbow room. They seem to hold serious advice...
THE SHAMAN INSPECTOR: by Wayan; 1996/7/31, a dream on core values.
My work as a federal shaman inspector involves judging a rainbow of traditions by a few basic principles:
A SHELLFISH EPIPHANY: by Wayan; 1996/6/14, a spiritual dream.
Our family of Japanese pearldivers is cast away on an atoll. One day, lonely, scared, I cast away fear...
SILK PINS: by Wayan; 1992/5/13, a self-mocking dream.
I'm a trade rep for Terra, on a new world. But an old rival, a rep from another world, arrives, and...
SUPPORT TEAM: by Wayan; 2005/6/6, a dream-comic on what creative leaps need
I'm a married couple--the cook and laundress for an English observatory in 1948.
Why are we testifying to a Labor Party committee that we WANT to be servants? Well...
TALISMAN: by Wayan; 2016/3/3, a dream hinting I need some long-term dreamwork!
I'm a boy from a Southwestern tribe whose rite of passage is a bike race.
I wear a jasper pendant with mysterious powers...
THINGS WASH OFF: by Wayan; 2009/4/22, a dream fingering the cause of a breakup; Dreamverse #49
Those Hollywood lovers in the tub seem perfect together, until... oh, read the title!
TRAILER PARK ELF: by Dolores J. Nurss; 2001/11/18; a troubling dream of incompatible realms
I dreamed I was a blond guy tracking down an elf who lived in a trailer park. She'd gone mad; elves trapped
in the human world mostly do. Awake, I sketched her, then saw she's a lot like my younger self! Disturbing...
TRUE LOVE = CHOICE! by Ms. Mira; Jan. 2008, a dream-lesson on compassion and free will.
I'm on an alien world inside the minds of two women and a child struggling with moral choices in a civil war...
MY TUTELARY UNCLE: by Wayan; 1993/5/28, a shamanic dream.
I'm half Anglo, half Kwakiutl. My uncle the shaman died,
but he still wants to teach me his medicine...
AN UNEXPECTED MOVE: by Wayan; 1998/12/17, a peripatetic dreamtale.
In the Los Angeles ruins, a wizard-gang jumps us. Desperate, I try a crazy un-Angeleno move: I use my feet...
THE VOICE OF GOD: by Wayan, 1993/1/31, a psychic nightmare-epic.
Half-mad with fear, I massacre a cult, till my gun manifests stigmata: a gory miracle.
Then I'm a cultist, resisting the Voice of God pushing all us mortals to murder in His name.
I woke up haunted, and wondered for weeks what this was about... until the Waco Massacre.
VOR: by Wayan; 1984/3/27, an indescribable dream
Am I King Kong? No, it's a city of midgets! I leave and find I'm gay. Gay bugs come out of the closet too,
storming the fundamentalist flies of Heaven. And then Vor, the purple alien, does something peculiar...
THE WHO IN HELL AM I: by Wayan; 1984/1/28, a stubborn dream.
I'm Pete Townshend of the Who, climbing stubbornly out of Hell by noticing what I don't want...
WHO'LL BE MY LOVE?: by Wayan; 1986/4/14, a dream noir farce; part 4 of UNICORN TAG.
I'm a hardboiled detective wincing as I grill a meek little psychic
(probably me) about squish-softboiled topics like unicorns and love...
WHOSE DREAM WAS IT?: by Wayan; 2008/10/18, a nested-dream poem, Dreamverse #35.
I'm a Chinese kid fleeing the Japanese Occupation in 1938. As we near San Francisco,
I wake to find it's all my dad's dream. Wait--he's alive again? But he was never a refugee.
Is it a pastlife memory? If so, whose--his or mine?
WOLF DROOL: by Wayan; 2011/12/16, a seeming sex dream that's really a health advisory!
Miniaturized, smuggled over a border inside a she-wolf's mouth, I long
for where I got briefly hidden--her labia. But healing first, sex later!
YOU REALLY AREN'T LUNCH; 2012/6/11 by Maia Spencer; a cledonic dream of facing fears
Hiding in the woods I meet a Cyclops. But I'm not me, I'm the editor of the World Dream Bank...

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