You Wake Up to Find You're Still Dreaming - False Awakenings


Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid and convincing, that you thought you are awake but you're really still asleep. A dream within a dream, or a double dream. 






It helps if you are a lucid dreamer. Here is an example;

I've fallen asleep on the couch, woken suddenly thinking I was late for work. Got up and rushed out the door, jacket half on, only to realize I was just dreaming. I had taken a nap after dinner. It took a moment to realize it was dark out, unusual for eight o'clock in the morning.

Because a person is still dreaming after a false awakening they might dream of getting up, brushing their teeth, eating breakfast, making the bed, only to awake again in bed still in a dream, dreaming the same event over and over again. Others dream of falling, over and over. That's also happened to me, eventually to wake up for real and afraid I was going to fall, until I realized I had just been dreaming.

The philosopher Bertrand Russell is quoted as saying he experienced "about a hundred" false awakenings in succession while coming out of general anesthetic after surgery. A lot of people can relate to that.  


Psychopathologist Karl Jaspers called it the Primary Delusionary Experience an experience where someone feels something is amiss and uncanny when they awaken. The room at first looks familiar but maybe there are no windows now, things aren't right, something you can't explain, you feel distrustful and uncomfortable.

The technique is used in entertainment quite extensively these days. When the director lets the audience get all cozy with a sense of peace and calm, then wham he shocks the viewers with disturbing images. A Nightmare On Elm Street comes to mind. 

It's the same as a "False Awakening."



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