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    Thread: Dream Nihilism and Meaning

    1. #1
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      Dream Nihilism and Meaning

      I attained lucidity last night, in a false home with a false family. I was ready to let it all go but then, I thought, if I say all these things are not real, what will I be left with? Nothing. Just darkness. So, I stayed and indulged, but still confused, trying to puzzle this problem out.

      I realized then, that if I could feel as if I were astral projecting, if I could somehow tell myself that despite knowing I was asleep, knowing I was dreaming, I could also be convinced that everything around me was real, that is, objectively real in some sense, then that would be ideal. Yet I couldn't.

      In waking life, our postmodern world is often criticized for its tendency to deconstruct and understand multiple underlying factors. Some feel this makes life feel less meaningful because there isn't a simple essential truth they can hang on. In this dream, I felt this but intensified.

      And I wonder, what are some ways to find meaning in a world with no objective truth?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      And I wonder, what are some ways to find meaning in a world with no objective truth?
      Could you clarify, are you here referring to the dream/inner world within us?
      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

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      I look at it differently. I think that there are many ways or paths to approach life, problems, etc. But in the end, no matter what path you take - you will end up at the same truth. Maybe a different reason for it, but the same truth nonetheless.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      I attained lucidity last night, in a false home with a false family. I was ready to let it all go but then, I thought, if I say all these things are not real, what will I be left with? Nothing. Just darkness. So, I stayed and indulged, but still confused, trying to puzzle this problem out.
      Sometimes false family can be better than no family.
      I realized then, that if I could feel as if I were astral projecting, if I could somehow tell myself that despite knowing I was asleep, knowing I was dreaming, I could also be convinced that everything around me was real, that is, objectively real in some sense, then that would be ideal. Yet I couldn't.
      I don't think Astral Projection works that way.

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      You might be ahead of the Game. Occipitalred:

      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      I attained lucidity last night, in a false home with a false family. I was ready to let it all go but then, I thought, if I say all these things are not real, what will I be left with? Nothing. Just darkness. So, I stayed and indulged, but still confused, trying to puzzle this problem out.

      I realized then, that if I could feel as if I were astral projecting, if I could somehow tell myself that despite knowing I was asleep, knowing I was dreaming, I could also be convinced that everything around me was real, that is, objectively real in some sense, then that would be ideal. Yet I couldn't.

      In waking life, our postmodern world is often criticized for its tendency to deconstruct and understand multiple underlying factors. Some feel this makes life feel less meaningful because there isn't a simple essential truth they can hang on. In this dream, I felt this but intensified.

      And I wonder, what are some ways to find meaning in a world with no objective truth?
      Or, maybe we should all suck it up intellectually and come to realize that, like it or not, there is objective truth in waking life? Whether that objective truth has any meaning depends on what we decide to attach to that truth, I suppose, given that objective reality/truth doesn't really give a crap about meaning; it just is.

      I guess the same would follow for an AP adventure: there would be no need to convince yourself that everything around you is real if you were actually AP'ing, and not just trying o construct one in a "normal" LD. So I guess the thing here is that you don't want to feel as if you were AP'ing but rather feel as if you were going somewhere; somewhere real. Something to think about, anyway...

      I think the first step in finding meaning in the truth is find/accept the truth; once you know a thing is real, its meaning can be whatever you want it to be (just don't tell anyone else, because their meaning is different!).

      Oh, and in my opinion, nihilism in dreams is counterproductive -- as you seem to have noticed!

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Or, maybe we should all suck it up intellectually and come to realize that, like it or not, there is objective truth in waking life?
      I think so. At the end of the day, we're all love. It's our barest essence, and our objective truth.
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      Well, while I've been thinking about the original post, I actually remembered something I'd mostly forgotten about, so I'll just start with that, because to me that's what your dream experience must have felt like.

      I've had a handful of moments in waking life where I felt truly nihilistic.

      The most recent one was a year or so ago. I was alone and doing some chores and suddenly stopped, like a switch flicked, asking myself "why am I here?"; I thought about how I got there, why was I here at all? I thought about family, relationships, life goals and so on and felt like none of it mattered at all. Why wasn't I somewhere else or with my family or why did I choose to be with anyone at all? I thought about being born, living and passing away. I lost all faith in anything beyond the physical world during these moments and genuinely felt "there is nothing". I thought about how I could have helped others more, how others could have helped me more and so many other situations and contexts of duality. I didn't feel angry, happy or sad, just nothing. I didn't feel like taking any action about anything at all and I just felt pointless, nothing at all mattered in this moment.

      I did come out of this gradually, starting to feel sad. But unless someone's had such an experience they can directly relate to, it's really difficult to try and put this into words and convey how it felt.



      In any case, I think a notable difference between this waking experience and a dreamt experience of the same sort is that physical reality is unchanging and cannot simply be willed into anything else. In that moment I did not have a choice of simply abandoning everything or changing my life course on some kind of whim. It just wasn't physically possible. To me, that's a big deal; in a dream world I am free to create meaning as I see fit, and whether I do or not, my dream environment is always doing things that don't cross the threshold of consciousness even when lucid...

      Anyway, more to what I actually wanted to say initially when I asked for clarification above, and which Sageous has already said quite well:

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous
      Or, maybe we should all suck it up intellectually and come to realize that, like it or not, there is objective truth in waking life? Whether that objective truth has any meaning depends on what we decide to attach to that truth, I suppose, given that objective reality/truth doesn't really give a crap about meaning; it just is.

      (...)

      I think the first step in finding meaning in the truth is find/accept the truth; once you know a thing is real, its meaning can be whatever you want it to be (just don't tell anyone else, because their meaning is different!).
      In my view, ultimately all meaning is an abstract construct and as long as we are able to function and link together with the rest of the world with some balance, it's nearly irrelevant if, or how, we choose to create meaning.

      This is probably the main reason I have become so absorbed by studies of symbols and symbology as a whole. It lets me make my own meanings and truths in an especially visual way and from then on, I am free to perpetuate my own fictions of meaning in my mind. I prefer this much more over the more empty life views I have found myself dwelling in, when I was younger. It makes me wonder if ancient mythologies have similarities to such a process but more collectively (rather than individually).
      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      Could you clarify, are you here referring to the dream/inner world within us?
      When I asked about finding meaning in an objective world, yes, I meant in the dream, where, at first lucid sight, nothing is material or consequential or shared.

      I kind of made a hint to other discussions about the real world being devoid of objective reality because I suspect that solutions to that problem in real life can also perhaps be applied to dreams.

      I also made a comment about AP because as I continue to think about it, my belief leans towards the idea that the AP experience is the mindís ability to produce the feeling of realism whilst lucid dreaming. But for what itís worth, Michael, I also believe faithís best friend is skepticism. Honestly.

      MoonageDaydream, I can empathize with your idea of objective truth. Reading between the lines of your first post, I could already guess what you confirmed in your second post: that your objective truth is love. I agree in the right hands, saying that can be a focus of wholesome vibes.
      Yet, not everyone agrees on what constitutes a loving thought or action. Many propagate hate in the name of love and not everyone would agree on who does so and to which extent. I say this only to mention that love is nuanced. Its nuance does not invalidate it, however. We just need to be critical.

      When Sageous turns it back around and says, there is objective truth in waking life, I think I agree. I still think everything is nuanced but some things are unavoidable. Walls canít be crossed. Drinking water is necessary. Someoneís scorn hurts more than anotherís. Blue appears a certain way in my mind under a certain set of factors.

      So yes, I would rather feel as if I were going somewhere, somewhere real. The question I had in the dream was, is any of it real? If I leave this family that is false, can I go somewhere, somewhere real?

      So, whatís true in a dream?

      1. Itís true that I perceive the things that I perceive
      2. Itís true that I have particular relationships with the particular contents of my dreams.
      3. Itís true that some dream contents are more likely to show up or to follow other dream contents.
      4. Itís true that some things have more meaning to me than others.

      So, I guess, if I were back in that dream, in front of that house with the false family, on the neighbourís lounge chair where I decided to sit to ponder (since the non-existent neighbors property rights over this lounge chair were dissolved in the face of my lucidity), I could go to real places. Not places real on physical coordinates. Rather, places significant in terms of my psychology. I can be inspired by MoonageDaydream and go to love. I can go to a memory. To a hope.

      Last night, in a tumultuous dream, I realized the conflict was only meaningful due to my dreamerís insobriety and transported myself through a staircase to somewhere more grounded. What I found was a goal. I still had a dreamerís drunkenness and felt satisfied by this although waking up, I found out this was after all not my goal, but my brotherís goal I had discussed with him the previous night.

      So this is where I am with this subject, after reading your replies and reflecting. And I think going forward, I need to continue to, at the onset of lucidity, to seek to know whatís true about me, to reconnect with my memory to thus establish more appropriate goals within the dream. If I took the time re-establish that connection, I could lucidly know whatís true and to which true place I want to go.

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