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    1. #1
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      Dream Logic in Waking Life?

      This is a question related to mental health: has anyone else ever experienced the kind of contradictory mental processes characteristic of dream logic in waking life? I've experienced this mostly in relation to calculating numbers and estimating time. Here are some examples of situations where it has cropped up:

      Making change
      This has happened frequently throughout my life. Say I need to make 25 cents in change. I might put down a dime and a nickel, and then there's an awkward moment where the clerk is staring at me like, "Where's the rest of it?" and I'm staring at her like, "There's your 25 cents!"

      Getting to the airport
      A couple years ago I was visiting my mom and had a flight scheduled to leave the next day at 11:20am. When she told me it would take twenty minutes to drive me to the airport, I concluded that we should head out the next morning at 11:00. It wasn't until we were halfway to the airport that I realized my mistake, and was completely flabbergasted that it had not occurred to me more promptly. (Yet the fact that my mom never questioned my plan either suggests that this might be an inherited trait!)

      Planning a flight
      This just happened today. I have to fly on March 25th, and wanted to make sure to book at least three weeks in advance so I didn't get stuck with high fares. Today is the 6th, so I thought I was good until I actually looked at the ticket prices. I told my husband how unusually expensive they seemed despite booking three weeks ahead, and when he heard the dates he said quizzically, "That's two weeks." I thought he must have misunderstood and explained patiently, "I'm leaving March 25th. Today is the 6th. 25 minus 6 is 19." It all made perfect sense, until his look of incomprehension made me finally realize the problem: "Oh! I'm operating on a six-day week." I can't explain how this happened, but in planning this flight I had for several days now apparently assumed that three weeks consists of 18 days, so that would leave enough time to buy my tickets.

      It's not that I'm stupid, in any conventional sense. Academically I've always performed extremely well. And it's not that I don't know, if I think about it, that 10+5=15 or that I need to get to the airport an hour early or that three weeks is really 21 days. It's just that if I'm not consciously attending to these facts, the wires sometimes get crossed. All I can say is that it feels exactly like dream logic, the contradictory propositions that make intuitive sense until you wake up and review them rationally, so I was wondering if anyone else here has experienced lapses of this kind. Mine seem to have been getting worse in the last few years, though I'm not sure if it is because I'm more tapped into the dreaming functions of my mind, or just a side-effect of getting older.

    2. #2
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      Could it be that you were not as alert/aware at the moment you made the calculation? This happens to me sometimes if I am absent-minded.
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    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by NyxCC View Post
      Could it be that you were not as alert/aware at the moment you made the calculation? This happens to me sometimes if I am absent-minded.
      Absent-mindedness could account for something short-term, like making change, but in the cases where I've held the erroneous proposition in mind for the much longer period of a day or more, it feels different from the lapses of momentary inattention. This morning I was actually convinced that three weeks consisted of 18 days... it's hard to explain in retrospect, even to myself.

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