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Are we all merely dreaming?

February 5, 2018

 

HANNAH JONES
Staff Reporter | hej006@latech.edu

 

What if a friend was to say, “Prove to me you’re not dreaming right now.” How would you prove that you are awake? Would you have that friend pinch you and then pinch them back for posing the baffling statement in the first place?

 

Or perhaps you would prove that you are awake by comparing your dream-state to the supposed state of being awake.

 

Maybe you would appeal to the notion of time, arguing that while dreaming, you have no concept of time.

 

Yet maybe that is the very thing that makes our notion of the “dream world” more real — the idea that our minds are outside of the dimension of time while dreaming.

 

Then maybe you would argue that dreams are often chaotic, unrealistic and absurd. The fact that the current day had followed a regular pattern of plodding on through the usual schedule toward sleep and a restart the next morning proves consciousness.

 

But what if the very fact that dreams appear outside of reality is because they are, in fact, more real? What if dreams are rather memories of our minds floating into ultimate reality before being trapped back in this physical world?

 

Well, what about consciousness, you say. Surely the state of being conscious proves that I’m awake.

 

Maybe there is something to that argument. Or there might be if the state of being conscious was not defined as the state of being awake.

 

However, it is also being aware. Could an argument be made that because you are responding to an eternally produced statement (“Prove to me you’re not dreaming right now.”), you are aware, and therefore conscious?

 

Yet such is the case with lucid dreamers: they have the ability to gain awareness of the fact they are dreaming, therefore gaining the ability to manipulate their dreams. Perhaps you’re simply very competent in the art of awareness.

 

But wait a minute, is there not science that proves that whether or not a person is dreaming?

 

Perhaps there is, and perhaps that science was merely part of the dream in which you are currently living.

 

What is truly being awake? What kind of evidence can prove the state of being awake at this current moment? Can this evidence even be considered reliable evidence because it may also be a component of the dream? Is anything absolutely true?

Hannah Jones is a sophomore English major from Frisco, Texas who serves as a staff reporter for The Tech Talk.

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