View Full Version : Dopers: do you have a "dream universe" that you frequent?

John DiFool
02-24-2010, 03:59 PM
Inspiring thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=553541).

Because I most certainly do-and it's probably where I spend at least 75% of dreaming time in. It's much like this world, but a little "off", for the complete lack of any better term. I used to call it the "Boremare Universe", but I've come to realize that that is a misnomer; lately its started to take on a definite numinous, almost magical quality, where before it seemed very mundane and static. Basically things tend to be exaggerated a bit; for example in my old back yard on the river the live oaks would get maybe 75 feet tall (and the pines sometimes 150 feet), but the equivalent in my dream universe has them about 200 feet tall, with a resultant voluminious understory. The other constant is that it is almost always twilight, as in sunset (c. 5 minutes after the sun has been down). In a recent episode I remember looking at some fall colored trees with all their reds and oranges and being absolutely enchanted. I used to always be in search of something, but never able to find it, but again that has changed and I just often walk around now and take in the scenery. I know of course it is a mirror of my psyche in a number of different often subtle ways.


Translucent Daydream
02-24-2010, 04:36 PM
I always dream that I am independently wealthy. I mean I obsess on it.

teela brown
02-24-2010, 04:47 PM
Yes! I thought I was the only one who did this.

There's a whole alternate dream universe that I visit, in which my childhood home and streets are distorted and weird, but still vaguely recognizable. Other places that I visit/have visited are represented as well, even vacation destinations like Hawaii.

I dream about places and buildings way, way more than I dream about people or situations.

John DiFool
02-24-2010, 05:09 PM
Yeah, that's the other thing-interactions with people are typically very brief and transitory-they'll appear and disappear almost at random.

02-24-2010, 05:29 PM
I very rarely remember my dreams, and when I do, there is rarely any consistency between them. However, I do have one recurring theme.

I have a dream house. It is a very old house and a very, very large house, and it's not in very good shape. But for some reason I know it is mine and I live in it. It has a very large basement with big wooden support pillars all through it, with stairs on the front and back side of the basement to get upstairs (since the house is so big). I have a workbench and a work area in the basement that takes up only a tiny corner of this huge basement. The rest is just empty.

The house itself is a bit of a maze. There is a big grand staircase that gets you up to the second floor. There's also a tiny second staircase on the back side of the house. Halfway up the back staircase is an entrance to a big room which is used as a TV room, and it is filled with big couches and lots of big pillows. The door is kinda awkward to get into for some reason.

The second floor has an area around the stairs that is mostly open, with railings around the edge that look down upon the stairs. The layout looks fairly simple, but then there's an almost unremarkable hallway off to one side that if you go through that, goes down a very long hallway and leads to a bunch of extra rooms (a couple of spare bedrooms and a bathroom).

Somewhere on the back side of the second floor there is a second kitchen. It is very old, with appliances that haven't been updated since the 1950s or 1960s. It has an old linoleum floor, and a bunch of tables and chairs. For some odd reason, I use this space kitchen as my computer room. Hey, it's got a stove and a fridge, it's a great place to make snacks! (somehow that makes sense in my dreams).

There is a third floor, but the stairs leading up to it are very rickety and I'm always afraid they are going to collapse when I go up. There are two stairs leading to the third floor, one coming from the front side of the house and one from the back, and the two stairs meet at the top in a short hallway. There is a room at the top of the stairs with a bunch of boxes with old books in them. There is another bedroom on the third floor as well.

So, obviously, at least parts of the house were designed by Mrs. Winchester (google Winchester House if you have no idea what I am talking about).

The fact that the house is very old and not in good shape seems to be important, because if it wasn't so old in an bad shape then I wouldn't have been able to afford a house that large.

This house bears absolutely no resemblance at all to any house I have ever lived in or even seen in the real world. And yet, for some reason, it is remarkably consistent between dreams. In one dream I found a passage in the basement that led to a bunch of bedrooms and a living area that were modernized and in good shape, but mostly the house is the same from one dream to the next (on the rare occasions that I dream about it).

Nothing significant ever happens in the house. It's just a house I live in.

02-24-2010, 05:47 PM
It's a real place, but tons of my dreams happen in the house I grew up in. In the dream, it's not necessarily my parents' old house, it could be my house, or a friends house, or just where I happen to be, but it always looks the same.

I haven't even been there in 10 years, never mind lived there, since my parents moved when I went to college.

02-24-2010, 05:56 PM
In about 90% of my dreams, I'm a guy. ... Does that count?

Fair Rarity
02-24-2010, 06:22 PM
I have a mall I visit often, unlike any I've ever really been to.

And my college, but it's not anything like the one in the real world.

I forget what I dreamed about last night, but I remember waking and being like "wow, that was a new place. I haven't been there before."

The wind of my soul
02-24-2010, 07:25 PM
No, I don't. But I think the concept sounds really cool and I'm slightly jealous.

02-24-2010, 07:50 PM
Yes, but I don't get to it as frequently as I would like. There's some cool stuff there.

02-24-2010, 08:00 PM
Hmm.. i think i do. There are a lot of dreams where in it i realize that i have dreamt of this place before (somewhat of a lucid dreamer).

Very similar to engineer_comp_geek: if i dream of a house, it's usually quite big from the outside. Inside, however, is mind boggling huge: room after room (every one is adjoined with another, not just a long corridor with multiple rooms) floor after floor, stairs all over the place, most of the time it's hollow in the middle and there are dozen floors till the ceiling , where it's usualy open to the elements) and each room ( bed/bath/livingroom, etc. It's never a kitchen) has a distinctive style.

If i am trying to get away, i can go through so many adjoining rooms, or secret doors inside closets/along the wall...

02-24-2010, 08:12 PM
I used to, but not so much anymore. Now I try to solely live in the moment so that I'm not disappointed with my life. 'Cause otherwise, I would be.

02-24-2010, 08:19 PM
:( Not for many years now. When I was young, I 'lived' in a house that was part 'Snow Queen's palace' and part 'Princess' castle'. All marble floors and the bathroom had a bathtub shaped like a giant seashell. The faucets were gold, shaped like fish. There were oval bars of Sweetheart soap in seashell soap holders. My bedroom had a lavendar satin canopy bed and tons of throw pillows, and one of those long bolster pillows. (I must have been mightily impressed by some killer dollhouse in a museum, somewhere!) Outside was always autumn woods, black trees against a blazing red sunset. Sometimes it was winter, all dazzling white ice and snow against a sunny blue blue sky. Of course I had a stable of Arabian horses!... I daydreamed in my chilly palace well into adolescence, but it eventually faded. Every so often I catch a glimpse of it, in October, or on a sunny winter day. Maybe it's what my heaven looks like, if there is a heaven!

John DiFool
02-24-2010, 09:38 PM
I used to, but not so much anymore. Now I try to solely live in the moment so that I'm not disappointed with my life. 'Cause otherwise, I would be.

Yep-that's why my perception of this place (mental space rather) has pretty much done a 180, precisely because I no longer really run around looking for something I actually can't usually define, and just enjoy the sunsets and the sky and the flowers and the overall ambiance-be it in the dream world or my waking life. Still dreaming of it tho-a barometer of my psyche you could call it.

Malleus, Incus, Stapes!
02-24-2010, 10:52 PM
My fantasy world is, well, fantasy. The magic-swords-and-epic-battles type of fantasy. I have, over the years, come up with an entire somewhat coherent magical system, to deal with questions like, "How come ghosts wear clothing?" and "What would win in a fight, a gun or magic?". I have recurring characters and often-used narrative devices. This may come in handy when I write my Great American Fantasy Novel some day.

Mrs. Cake
02-24-2010, 10:57 PM
I used to. For years most of my strongly remembered dreams, good & bad, took place in and around some version of my grandparents' house. It was just a nice little 1940's bungalow with a yard - no reason it should be the site of about 20 years worth of beautiful dreams and horrific nightmares (featurring cannibal cops, necrophilia, and poisonous glowing groping hands growing on the lawn)

02-24-2010, 11:31 PM
I still have my "safe place." When I was a kid in therapy, my therapist had me come up with my safe place, where I felt like nothing was wrong. It was a snowy clearing in a forest, but more like a room as opposed to being out in the middle of nowhere. It has a big, comfy, white bed with lots of pillows. It had an oversized white chair, a bookcase, a white piano, and a big, white clawfoot bathtub. I still remember this place; it's still real to me in my mind. I had the bed there for when I was scared, tired or worn out. The chair and bookcase for when I wanted to escape from the bad stuff that was going on. The piano when I felt like I just needed to do something, to create, to make. The bathtub was for when I needed to relax, to be soothed.

I didn't realize all these things had significance when I imagined my safe place. I was just asked to describe it. Then we worked on what they meant and how I could find ways in my own life to not need those comforts.

02-25-2010, 12:32 AM
I have a dream house.

Me too, though I have at least three, and one is a friends house. My general description of each would be very similar to yours. Weird.

02-25-2010, 02:49 AM
Nah, most of my dreams seem to take place in the real world, though a version of the real world where my grandfather and dead cats disconcertingly pop up pretty often.

However, there's a city I go to occasionally. It used to be just a town or two away from where I spend half my childhood, but as I've moved, so has it, always staying just a couple town over. The main draw of this imaginary city is that the library and the stores are better than anywhere I've ever lived in the waking world. "The mall" and "my dorm" (other reoccuring dream places) are probably not far away from the city, either, because I've gone from both to it. The bad thing about this city is that I never ever get to eat any of the food I buy.

02-25-2010, 03:05 AM
I also have a rambling dream house, and I'll often find previously undiscovered rooms in my dreams. It's a completely illogical house, with multiple kitchens, etc.

One horrible aspects of this house is that two rooms are haunted. One room has a lot of poltergeist-like activity and you are quite likely to be lifted in the air and spun around the room. No harm comes to you though, it's a very large hall rather than room.

The other room is another matter. It's small, about the size of a double room. And something very evil happened in this room. Even moving towards the door of this room (it's off the large hall) invokes feelings of dread and if you actually enter the room, you are very quickly overcome with fear.

Thankfully, I don't go in there very often, but when I do, it's frightening enough to wake me up. :(

02-25-2010, 09:25 AM
Most of my fantasy time is spent in a world where I've had my three wishes granted and I'm living the life they grant me. Fun times.

Otherwise I just fantasise about winning the lottery, but as I'm not particularly motivated by wealth what I end up thinking about probably isn't the same as most people.

Ann Hedonia
02-25-2010, 03:45 PM
Thanks for starting this thread........I thought I was the only one that did this and why I try to describe it to my friends they totally don't get it.

My dream world is very elaborate and encompasses all locations I visit in my dreams, sometimes the same place will look different on different occasions.

There are some common elements in my dreamworld, one being mass transit trains that are more like roller coasters..........open cars and twisty tracks. Also my dreamworld has lots of boats and water.

I know part of this is just the "dreams are weird" thing and alot of the connections are confabulated.......but when I dream of a house or traveling on a road, I KNOW where it is located relative to other places in my other dreams.

Another good example would be...........in my dreams there is a public library on the street to the south of where I live. The interior of this library is different in different dreams, sometimes it is a modern place with escalators and and other times it's old and dusty with industrial style shelving and big windows ( but it's my dream world, I know it's the same place and I extrapolate it as being different rooms in the same building.)

I can always get books I've never heard of there, though :)

I have developed my "dreamworld" into a sleep aid......when I turn out the lights and shut my eyes I start to imagine walking around the dreamworld and.......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

No more insomnia and I used to have a problem.

It really never fails, I think if you have a good enough conception of your "dreamworld" you can throw your brain waves into a sleep pattern within minutes.

02-25-2010, 05:30 PM
Yep-that's why my perception of this place (mental space rather) has pretty much done a 180, precisely because I no longer really run around looking for something I actually can't usually define, and just enjoy the sunsets and the sky and the flowers and the overall ambiance-be it in the dream world or my waking life. Still dreaming of it tho-a barometer of my psyche you could call it.

As usual, we're on the same page. I've found that I'm much happier now that I don't fantasize about anything. On the other hand, much like you, it does still seep into my subconscience and I dream about it on a some what regular basis.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
02-25-2010, 07:15 PM
HP Lovecraft wrote an entire fantasy series, set in his dream world.


02-25-2010, 07:58 PM
No, I have no dream universe. But I am a lucid dreamer sometimes. When things in my dream get bad, I whip some kind of crazy weapon (like eye lasers or machine gun fingers or a giant cannon that comes out of my chest) and fly away in some crazy way (with the jet engines in my feet or the wings that I grow or being shot out of the catapult that materializes underneath me). Of course most of my dreams occur in a place that I know from the real world, but is actually completely different, in that weird dream way.

02-25-2010, 08:08 PM
Yes! I thought I was the only one who did this.

There's a whole alternate dream universe that I visit, in which my childhood home and streets are distorted and weird, but still vaguely recognizable. Other places that I visit/have visited are represented as well, even vacation destinations like Hawaii.

I dream about places and buildings way, way more than I dream about people or situations.

I'm similar, but people are in my dreams fairly often. My dreams are frequently a distorted and random collage of people and places I'm familiar with. For example, I'll dream that I'm in the bedroom of one of my old college apartments, but when I walk through the door to where a hallway should be, but by going through that door I enter the living room of the house I grew up in. Sometimes the context of the dream changes as well, but often I am aware that, while I'm in the living room from the house I grew up in, I'm still located, somehow, in my college apartment.

My family owns some acreage with two houses, and I dream about those locations a lot, but the distance between them and the distance between our neighbors gets hugely exaggerated and distorted in my dream. What would actually be a 1/4 mile walk on a dirt road becomes miles and miles of countryside going from one house to the other, or from one house to that of a neighbor. Sometimes the distances get smooshed closer than they actually are, but usually things are spread further apart.

With people, there are often mismatches between what I 'see' in my dream, and what I perceive, like my subconscious couldn't find the face of one of my friends, so it used some face I don't know, but in my dream I somehow still know the person with the strange face is my friend. Not a friend in the generic sense, but a specific friend who actually looks nothing like the person playing them in my dream.

Many locations in my dreams incorporate all of the above into something very sprawling and maze-like, but when I'm wandering around in them in the dream, I do not feel lost or confused. Everything seems just fine as I'm wandering around a very busy urban area that I know is my old university even if, once I wake up, I'm only able to recognize a few things as actually being part of my university here and there.

My cats are also often making cameo appearances in my dreams, usually in very inconvenient ways where for whatever reason I'm moving around a lot, sometimes urgently, and I have to keep worrying about them or picking them up, or trying to keep them contained somewhere safe.

ivan astikov
02-25-2010, 08:16 PM
The majority of the dreams I remember take place in various kinds of prison.

Some are nightmarish spires with cells all the way to the top and I'm usually in a bunk on the highest floor, but at the bottom of the stairs with my food tray, then, sometimes I'm in "prisons" where I can sneak out at nights, or all the guards are people I know.

Yes, I must have a very guilty subconscience. :)

02-25-2010, 11:25 PM
What would you think of someone who not only remembers (and drones on about) his long boring dreams, but half the time they take place in his mother's old house? Where he hasn't lived in over 30 years? We often wonder when he's gonna take the big step and move out of mom's basement, and get his own house.

02-26-2010, 01:37 PM
I have a dream city where I spend some time. I can walk through the differents streets, and reach places I've been in before. It's a version of the city I actually live in, but it's gray and a lot bleaker. I don't think I've ever seen the sun there. It's also kinda run down and half deserted. Half the shops from the mall are shut down. I still like it because it's home. But this only applies to the streets. If I go into one of the houses, there's always good food and nice people.

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