Dreamed 1983/7/7 by Chris Wayan
A long dream, forgotten now except for the climax:
Someone turns on the radio, it warms up a moment, then a loud horn section rings out. A rich fanfare.
I wake in instant shock--because the horn chorus isn't just in my dream ears but my physical ones! A melodious shifting chord. Well, sounds like horns, but isn't: turns out to be a huge truck that strayed onto our quiet street! Its brakes rubbed, vibrating the whole chassis into a fanfare Debussy would be proud of.
But the dream set it up BEFORE the sound began. The dream character turned the knob a tiny but noticeable fraction of a second before the music started--in either world!
NOTES IN THE MORNING
Last night I dreamed a scene that seemed predictive of a TV show I saw the next evening; but I thought "it could have been coincidence". Denial, minimizing. So my dreams come back with a prediction fulfilled undeniably just a moment later, so I CAN'T evade the issue!
33 YEARS LATER...
It's conceivable my sleeping mind subliminally heard tiny notes from those brakes and had just enough time to whip up that radio before the music went full-volume; but not all anticipatory dreams are subliminal. In 1865, dream researcher Alfred Maury famously dreamed he was led in to the Guillotine--as it beheaded him, he woke to find the headboard had fallen and hit his neck just where the dream-blade had struck! Yet the dream build-up to his beheading had been long. Maury mistakenly concluded his whole dream must have been instantaneous, and this model survived another nearly a century till the discovery of REM disproved it, leaving only wild chance or ESP as explanatory models.
It's suggestive that Maury, like me, was studying dreams intensely, but had a mechanistic model of stimulus/response. As with me, his dream may have been challenging that model! And did a better job: even if Maury's headboard creaked before it came loose, that's no subliminal tip-off of a beheading! How'd the dream know not to turn a croak or a groan into a ship at sea, or a giant frog on his head? Instead he was guillotined at the climax of an epic dream. It's as if the shock to come was itself the prompt.
Knowing Maury's dream makes me slow to assume my own was subliminally prompted.
For a slightly similar feverdream, apparently running several seconds ahead of our time, in which the dreamer seemed aware of both times at once, see FIP: 4: A Midlands Mum, reported, like many other time-anomalies, by JB Priestley.
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