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    Thread: Dream Nihilism and Meaning

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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."

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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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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      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.
      For me, I think it is simple. Anyone can claim anything, of course, and confusion happens. However, that doesn't make it love. Love is a state of being, and any actions that are NOT loving could not come out of this state of being, instead they come from fear. Love is recognizing the self in the other. We don't exist isolated. Our identities are not real. However, we do exist in relation to one another, and our bare essence is this vibration of sameness with all other beings and the world. When we are whole, and have learned wisdom in the place of ignorance, when we have cured our traumas and limited beliefs that can blind us, we are perpetually in this state of high vibration. When we make great strides in life toward healing ourselves, we may have experiences of this state, or something close to it. The closer we get to this state, and the longer we stay in this state, the kinder we are, the more easy going, the more connected to others. Things don't bother us nearly as much. Then, life happens, as you know, and it gets covered up while we deal with superficial emotions like fear, anger, etc. We process our feelings (hopefully, some people don't), discover the wisdom behind them, and reach our state of love, our natural being, again.

      Does the objective world exist? I don't think so. I mean, we live in it, sure, but it's not real. Nothing is real, outside of our connection to Ourself.

      I hope that makes more sense of what I was trying to say earlier

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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      But for what it’s worth, Michael, I also believe faith’s best friend is skepticism. Honestly.
      Just for you to know I'm also a skeptic or at least 25%, 50% faith and 25% knowledge, that is my mindset.
      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 mind’s ability to produce the feeling of realism whilst lucid dreaming
      I didn't write about it, because I thought you are gonna realize it on your own, but it seems you didn't get what I was trying to say when I was talking about my AP experiences. So it seems I need to write it here bluntly with no running around it.

      For me Astral Projection is a Dream, not a real physical place. Our mind space is directly connected to the Astral, there are no borders, maybe only fences. Everyone is connected to this mind space, people call this shared dreaming, but at the end of the day they are talking about Astral projecting. Astral Space it's like the Cosmos, but instead viewed in the limited 3D perspective, it is 5D or even 7D space and because of that people have hard time imagine it. They are other Spaces there beside people's minds, whole non physical Worlds, some are more stable than others and they are infinite as the Cosmos itself. Sometimes when we had a weird dream, maybe we jumped over our little fence and travel to another Space or another Dreamer Mind space, but didn't acknowledge it because of our limited mind set. Of course sometimes other beings or dreamers can jump over our little fence to mess around and Yes sometimes what you see won't be same as what I see, even if we visited the same Space and because of that the experience can be subjective.

      So let me ask you, if a place is not Physical are this gonna make it less real?
      Last edited by michael79; 10-23-2020 at 08:16 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by michael79 View Post
      So let me ask you, if a place is not Physical are this gonna make it less real?
      It's not about it being physical... For me, it's more about it being shareable, I would say.

      You know some dreams are shareable but I'm not there yet. I have to discover it for myself before I can concede it. It would be easy for me to take other people's word for it if it was demonstrated with a simple experiment (much like Stephen LaBerge did with lucid dreaming). Until then, this is the extent of my understanding.

      Quote Originally Posted by occipitalred View Post
      But for what itís worth, Michael, I also believe faithís best friend is skepticism. Honestly.
      What I meant is, I hoped you wouldn't take my present worldview for closed mindedness.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      It's not about it being physical... For me, it's more about it being shareable, I would say.

      You know some dreams are shareable but I'm not there yet. I have to discover it for myself before I can concede it. It would be easy for me to take other people's word for it if it was demonstrated with a simple experiment (much like Stephen LaBerge did with lucid dreaming). Until then, this is the extent of my understanding.
      Unless the science make a huge discovery sooner rather than later, you must prepare yourself for the Wait of your lifetime. Second option is to open yourself to a such an experience, because if you don't, you won't be able to receive it, unless is one of these experiences which are life changing and whether you want or not, you will be forced to become a believer.

      What I meant is, I hoped you wouldn't take my present worldview for closed mindedness.
      Not closed but limited instead.

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      Quote Originally Posted by michael79 View Post
      Unless the science make a huge discovery sooner rather than later, you must prepare yourself for the Wait of your lifetime.
      Such a discovery would have a huge implication, but it would require nothing new. Only just that two isolated people can share basic information together in a significant way. It's almost as easy as proving phones worked if very few people could use them. That no one has ever used this ability in a consequential way... that cannot be glossed over if I aim to be sincere with myself. That's why in the meantime, I am trying to find other true things in dreams, not that I haven't found any.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      .... That's why in the meantime, I am trying to find other true things in dreams, not that I haven't found any.
      Yeah sure, good luck with this
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      When I shared with my mother my very first lucid dream many, many years ago, she gave me a, "so what?" stare to me, as if such an idea felt unworthy of attention. When I spoke to my friends about them, they were intrigued at first, but the novelty quickly wore off. My father said to me, "I don't understand, what happens if you're conscious in a dream?" The question surprised me. I never thought I had to explain how groundbreaking it was to be aware inside a dream, what it meant to have an altered state of consciousness and the possibilities behind it, so close within our grasp. I think much of the thoughts behind lucid dreaming stem from that meaningless notion people think dreams have, Occipitalred. But I saw it different than them. I think most of us do.

      I remember a dream when, upon attaining lucidity, I grew fearful of a creature behind a door. I remember MoonageDaydream leaving me a comment regarding shadow work, about facing my fears head on. Shortly thereafter another lucid dream came, but when I found myself in a similar spot, I realized it was hard for me to go about doing it, no matter how much I rationalized it as not being real. The thing I was scared of did not exist, it could as easily be gone with a flick of a thought and what, would I be left with, nothing. There was nothing to be scared of, but then why did it managed to affect me so much?

      There was a non-lucid dream I found memorable where I touched the bark of a tree and was connected to it. The impression it left in me could be felt for a few minutes even while awake. And I couldn't answer why. Why was it that I felt such a surreal experience from something that had no real place in this world. And how could such a thing leave an effect in me, even while awake? But isn't that what meaning is all about? About finding purpose in the things we perceive? Life is utterly meaningless if I can't interact with it in any way possible. The point of things and what makes them real, is that we can experience them. That is the truth to this, that things happen, and they happen because we can perceive them happening. And this is true for each and everyone of us. It's a thing that is shared between us and it makes things real for all of us.

      Much like watching a movie or reading a book, we can find meaning in things even though they're represented without a physical source. Subjectivity varies between the type of perception we get from the experience, as well as the interpretation of it, but the need to perceive is the truth for all of us. The reality of your false family, Occipitalred, doesn't hinge on the how it existed, or whether the experience can be shared or not only at that precise moment. It is real because it happened to you. You know it, and I know it. That's the extent of the amount of sharing that's needed for it to be real. And I know it because I understand what you're talking about, because I have attested to an experience that is much the same as yours, independent of the content of each dream, because we perceive them in the same way.

      How different would things be if there was no input between you going to sleep and waking up to a memory of a dream. You wake up today with a thought, but there's no recall of it happening to you. I guess then, the dream would be meaningless.
      Last edited by Silence11; 10-31-2020 at 10:10 AM.

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      Yes, Silence, I agree with you.

      Last night, in a dream, I met a woman in a local park and was struck with the realization that she was another person sharing my experience and that somehow this confirmed my own theory of consciousness, that is, that consciousness or the subjective world is one whole (there is one "I (consciousness)") but we experience it separately because of our separate bodies ("I (ego)" is numerous). It seemed to me at the time that the consciousness isolated in two bodies until then was now joining into one subjective experience for the time of that dream.

      Upon waking up, I'm reminded that it was illusion. I manifested my own sense of realism to my own theory of consciousness. Yet, I still appreciated the spiritual experience and reveled in it.

      In the next dream, I left a party and walked in a gentle rain, only acknowledging that it was a dream enough not to mind stepping in wet grass, and letting myself feel I was really in the here and now otherwise.

      I think overtime, I am finding a better balance of tangibility in my dreams. My goal, as I continue to improve this balance, is to seek to know whatís true about me, to reconnect with my memory at the onset of lucidity.

      Unexpectedly, I wonder which are the satisfactory answers to this question. If I stop myself in a dream to wonder, who am I? Is it satisfactory to remember my name? Are my age, physical appearance, location, profession, interests, social circle, where I went to bed" the type of knowledge that would confirm I have connected to memory? That's what I will be working on.
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