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  • Writer's pictureJ J Hanna

What I know about Dreams

Dreaming is one of the most interesting things I've ever encountered. The book I'm currently working on stemmed from a dream I had about a vigilante/robin hood-type hero saving people along a desolate ice cap. I have no idea where my mind came up with that one, but it stuck with me, and is stemming a second novel in the same genre as Existence. There are many different thoughts on dreams, just as there are many takes on why humans sleep. There doesn't seem to be any reason that our bodies require us to rest for extended periods of time like we do, except that we can't survive without it. Nothing about how our bodies work, however, seems to require that sort of shut down for extended periods of time. It's one of science's great mysteries. There are some, however, that suggest that while we sleep our brain stores memories and processes information. We know that this is at least somewhat true, but it is not the sole reason for sleep. Regardless, we know that our brain doesn't fully shut down while we rest. This is clear because of dreams. As Levi Cobb said in Inception, "Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." You can dream about a purple sky and a never ending staircase where it rains flower petals and the sun glows a bright blue light, but while you're asleep none of it seems odd. I think that is incredible. However, there's something else that's intriguing about dreams. Most of the time, if you realize something is off in your dream, and you realize that you're dreaming, you will wake up. But if you manage to stay asleep, you can do something called lucid dreaming. This gives you the ability to manufacture your own dreams, you can consciously control what goes on in your head while you sleep. This is very exciting. But the dangers discussed in Inception about losing a sense of reality and getting stuck in limbo, as they put it, are actually there. Lucid dreaming can be addicting, like a drug. Because who wouldn't want to be able to control every aspect of their life? Who they fall in love with, what they do for a job, different adventures they go on, their peer's reactions. The possibilities are endless when you're asleep, and it can make it so that you don't want to wake up. My advice? Don't dive too far into trying to lucid dream. It can be fun for a while, but all good things should end eventually. Nothing should last forever. But then there's the other definition of dream, like a goal or aspiration. One of those for me was to become an author. Did I ever expect to be 18 and have a second book on the way to being printed? Never. But after I caught the writing bug, it was all over. I didn't want to do anything else, and so I did what it took to get to where I am now. (So, if you like Thrillers and Crime fiction, stick around. I have at least two of those coming, and I really enjoy writing them, so you can expect more.) Long story short, don't give up on your dreams. Your goals are achievable. The doors might just blindside you because you thought you had to go in one single direction. (That's what happens when you haven't done a ton of research. I got hit by the door labeled "Self Publishing," but the headache was quickly replaced by amazement at my options.) And don't forget to get adequate sleep. Often the best inspiration comes when your head is on the pillow.

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