I started keeping a dream journal a few years back. The idea occurred to me after a particularly potent dream and upon awaking realized I’d had that same dream before.
I wonder how many people can remember their dreams. For me, I must concentrate on that last flicker and can then work my way back eventually remembering the entire dream. But during the day I’ll eventually forget it (forever) and so must write it down.
One very interesting aspect about awakening from a vivid dream is that my mindset is completely different for the first few moments. I think different thoughts and it is almost like I’m not 100% me.
To try and explain this I guess I could use climate change and weather as an example. Day to day weather is erratic, but the climate follows a predictable curve based on the data from the weather over time. The same could be said for my mood/experiences and the mentality that make me, well, me! My mood and experiences I have change from day to day. The experiences I have most likely affect my mood and this changes from day to day. Although I have to say the experiences I have from day to day aren’t that different and I’m just not a very moody person so I would say my mood and experiences stay within a rather small range compared to others.
My overall mindset however is pretty much the same day in and day out and changes very very slowly based on my experiences and corresponding moods. Over a long time my mindset changes and it could be said that I’m a different person now due to a different mindset than I was at twenty or thirty.
After awakening from a potent and vivid dream however my mindset is very different for a couple of moments. I think things I’ve never thought of before and my mood can reach a level of depth that just isn’t reached during my waking hours. Perhaps one could say this is the quick transition from the subconscious to the conscious. I really don’t know, I’m not a psychiatrist but it makes sense to me.
Anyway, I’ve started to pay attention to these first few moments after I awake and find that I can come up with some pretty neat ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
The New Yorker starts and article by describing the moment I refer to above, when you’ve just awoke but are still in the “twilight zone” for those first few moments after awaking.
“The Surrealists’ ideal state for making art was the twilight between wakefulness and sleep, when they would dredge up images from the murky subconscious and throw them onto the page or canvas.”