I had one in a series of extremely vivid dreams the other day, the likes of which I have on a fairly regular basis. They’re very short—I’m lucky if they last two or three minutes—and they don’t comprise any kind of story. In fact, they’re purely visual. I like to call them dream experiments. It’s as if my brain is trying out various designs and scenarios, in impossibly rapid succession, to use in ‘real’ dreams at some point in the future.
I’m usually hovering slowly about fifty feet above the ground, and looking down onto something of exquisite beauty, whether it’s a body of water, a jagged coastline, some striking architecture, or a towering mountain range. It can be anything, really, but whatever it is has to capture my attention and make me fly down for a closer inspection. Once I do, I notice other details of different types nearby. This is going to be difficult to explain.
In the most recent dream, I was hovering over a small seaside town that was a few hundred years old. It was like an English town that had been dropped onto a Norwegian coastline. I was above some old buildings along the town’s waterfront, when I noticed a beautiful and dilapidated wooden pier, which piqued my interest. I descended a bit and saw the rocky shoreline underneath, and then I instantly began to levitate very quickly in a vertical direction, which awarded me a much more panoramic view of the town. I was probably five hundred feet in the air by then, and I could see that the architecture was varying quite a bit. I would look at one building and see its windows and roof line change once every second. The height of the building would also change. As I turned slightly to look at another building, I noticed that the entire row of buildings was changing at the same time. As I floated higher and higher, I turned to look at the ocean, which had a beautiful rocky shoreline, with a snow-capped mountain range in the distance, the peaks of which were changing and growing as rapidly as the town was. Clouds whisked by, in various shapes and patterns, as I flew ever higher, and turned out over the sea to look back at the town. By now the town had grown into a small city, and every detail of it was changing at the same time, at the same breakneck pace. I was watching the city, the mountains, the seashore, and the roads morphing before my eyes, faster and more detailed than possible in any movie or video game I’ve ever seen, as if in a giant, kaleidoscopic tableau.
All that took place in about two minutes of actual time. I know because I had just looked at the clock before I rolled over, went back to sleep, and had the dream. Those dreams are incredible, but they’re also exhausting. I wake up sweating, my body still pulsing with the dopamine it uses to remain paralyzed when it’s asleep. I’ve never done acid (or any other drugs, for that matter), but I imagine that’s kind of what it’s like.
Hey, if it gives me dreams like that, maybe I ought to start.