What one remembers to have fantasized while sleeping after waking up.
Dreams are interesting experiences that are not at all well understood. They
are interesting especially because while dreaming - at least: so far as one
remembers - one usually, though not always, does not know one is dreaming, and
what seems to happen to one seems to be as real as ordinary life, except that
dreams may incorporate many events one would not do or dare or care for when
In any case: Those who dream a lot, know from their dreams a sort of
parallel universe, presumably completely fantastical (since one usually can
verify that while one dreamt in fact one slept, and nothing happened to one as
one dreamt that happened), yet apparently as
real as the experiences that make up ordinary life.
This is an interesting fact, and one that is interesting for philosophy and
epistemology, since it easily leads to questions like: "How do you know
ordinary life is not a dream, albeit one you haven't woken up from, so far?"
and "Supposing dreams to be fantasies, what do they mean or imply about one's
Chuang Tzu has a nice parable about dreams, and
Wu wrote an
interesting book about Chuang Tzu ("The Butterfly as
Companion"), but the question I just posed, or the one Chuang
Tzu posed - He dreamt he was a butterfly, and woke up. Now, how does he know
he is not a butterfly who dreams he is a man? - is rather easily disposed of
by noting that ordinary life is not like a dream, and to say it is or may be
like it is to confuse a few things quite categorically, and that we have
evidence about men dreaming they are
butterflies, but no evidence at all about butterflies dreaming they are men.
Also, what dreams teach about the dreamer's person is a moot question as
long as no one really understands what dreams are. What is certain, is that
for ages interpreters of dreams have made a lot of money or got a lot of kudos
by what were basically fraudulent fantastic explanations. (Freud is one
example in a long list of frauds of this kind - and at least his name fits
nearly perfectly: Nomen est omen.)
However, while the topic is interesting, I am no expert at all on it, even
though I happen to have a degree in psychology: Personally, I dream very
This does not mean that I do not have the kind of brainwaves that
neurologists have connected with the occurence of dreaming in people (which in
fact I don't know, but I suppose I have them like almost everyone who was
investigated), but that I rarely wake up with a memory of dreams.
Also, if I dream and wake up knowing I did - once in a few years, at most - my dreams are excellent 3-D
full color movies, but not spectacular or strange, and indeed not much
different of how I would behave or feel in real life, and are normally about
persons I have known.
In any case, I know from girl friends whom I have asked that they dream
often; that they may dream in black and white; and that they may dream that
they dream, or be faintly aware that they dream while they dream. None of this
is true in my own experience, but then I also never had a nightmare.