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Some Myths About Dreams

Any cursory dip into oneirology will present a number of myths about dreams. Believing these myths, I have found myself especially bewildered when I have experiences of the contrary.

Myth #1: You Can’t Read

The illegibilty of words is a common dream myth. Supposedly, books ought to be empty, signs ought to be unreadable, and numbers ought to make no sense. For me, this is entirely false. Perhaps it was studying typography in college? Perhaps it is how much I read for pleasure? Much of my dream scripture has worked its way into my music, song titles, short stories, and even this blog.

Myth #2: Electronics Don’t Work

The classic lucid dream acid test is flipping the light switch. If the lights don’t go on - the theory posits - then you must be dreaming. This is not my experience. Light switches, phones, computers and all sorts of other electronic devices consistently function in my dreams. (Not to mention, there are plently of burnt out lights in waking life…) While electronics tend to “work” in my dreams, they often open up new avenues of terror. Just last night I was lost in a myriad of menus on my phone as I frantically tried to navigate to the camera app. A pathology unique to UI and graphic designers, perhaps?

Myth #3: You Can’t Die

They say if you die in your dreams, you die in waking life. They say you will always wake up before you hit the ground. They say that seeing yourself die in your dream means you will die shortly thereafter. Well, I am here to report I have repeatedly experienced my own death while dreaming and I’m still alive. There is not any consistency between the death experiences. Sometimes I know I am dead and the camera lingers, uncomfortably. Other times I can only deduce what happened as everything fades to black. I read somewhere that in dream language, death symbolizes change in waking life. I find this a source of hope.

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