Near-Lucid Dreams and Related Phenomena: Humorous Commentaries on the Human Condition
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There's something downright funny about near-lucid dreams, in which the dreamer begins to suspect this might be a dream but then realizes: "No, I'm definitely awake!" Tests we perform to investigate these suspicions may only confirm this mistaken belief. We may discuss dreams, theorize about them, or try to convince other people that they’re dreaming, without being aware that we’re having a dream. Even if we realize we’re dreaming, we may not understand that this means we’re lying in bed asleep. During false awakening dreams, we mistakenly believe: "I was asleep, but now I'm awake for sure."
Such dreams parody our near-infinite capacity for self-deception, poke fun at our misplaced certainty and invite reflection upon the dream-like nature of waking reality. To be human is to seek wisdom, knowledge and certainty. We want to believe we're fully awake, conscious, enlightened; this time we've figured it out — whatever it is — and our new-found knowledge will save us from the suffering of life.
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
In near-lucid dreams, the dreamer, certain that he or she has figured it all out, is in fact still lost, still blind.