Straddling the border

April 26, 2006

One thing I'm now able to do from time to time is to straddle the borderline between being awake and being asleep. What I mean is that in one instant I can be laying here in my bed, in my dark and quiet bedroom, and in the next instant (and by that I mean less than a millisecond) I can be in another world, a dream world, where people are talking, a radio is playing, or a phone is ringing. On a good night I can bounce back and forth between the two worlds several times before falling asleep, and the process is great fun.

A decent analogy might be that you are standing in a doorway between two rooms, and the two rooms have two radically different things going on. When you lean in one room, you are in that room, and that room only; and when you lean into the other room you are in that room, and that room only. Both rooms are completely real, but you can't be in both at the same time, and that's probably a good thing, because if they both played out at the same time your life would be one heck of a mess. If I ever lose control of this toggle switch I would have to be locked up, and I wouldn't argue.

When I lay here in the physical world, I think about how cool both worlds are, but in particular I wonder where the dream world comes from. If that entire world comes from just my brain -- wow -- what a cool thing the brain is. It can create people, and conversations between at least six different people simultaneously (yes, I counted); radios, including songs that don't exist by artists I've heard (Faith Hill, Tom Petty, Madonna); and completely realistic physical sensations, the whole works, just like being in The Matrix.

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