Is life nothing more than a dream?

Observe your life for a split second and let’s discuss what it is objectively. Your “life” is composed, more or less, of 5 dominant senses: vision, audio, smell, taste, and touch. Your brain attributes certain kinds of different emotions, sensations, and feelings to everything it experiences which make up your memories, beliefs, and desires. You age, die, and the slate of you is wiped completely clean while your sentience either gets completely nullified or you are simply reborn. The loop just goes on and on, and each life is like a single, long lucid dream only different from the last in terms of what you see/feel/hear/etc and the emotions you attribute to those sensations. Life is a giant recycling bin of pretty much legos (in the forms of atoms) that is constantly breaking and forming, creating and destroying, endlessly- nothing lasts but nothing is lost. The variety of these dreams is endless: some are made up of fear, some of hopelessness, some of joy, some of betrayal, some of dominance, and so forth. It’s just a giant orgy of different temporary sensations and emotions and the way that your brain interprets the universe to form this dream is also infinite- you can experience new senses if you’re born as an animal, for instance, that is completely alien to you in the human realm. Ever sat there wondering how a mosquito interprets the world?

I know this post comes off as being a little bit depressing but this world view fills me with nothing but bliss, unity, and joy. I observe people around me, especially successful individuals, who get so caught up in this dream and fuss over such simple matters that I just snigger in the corner. I’m fairly successful if you look at my life in the cookie cutter success meter but in the back of my mind I always know that this is simply a dream, that life is completely empty, and once this ends, whatever this existence is, “I” will be wiped clean forever. My reincarnated self will have absolutely no association to my current self, just as none of us remember a single detail about life before we were born, and the loop will just go on and on and on. All I want to know is why and how I’m caught up in this loop but that’s a question for another day.

Have psychedelics given anyone else a perspective like this?
Let me just elucidate how I view existence:

In your head, imagine your most prized possessions. Imagine your reputation. Imagine your friends. Imagine your family. Think deeply about your hidden, personal thoughts, opinions, desires, and so forth. Think of your soul, if you will, that you associate with so dearly

.Now place a timer on every single one of those things. How does this make you feel? Well, initially it made me anxious. Every time a timer goes off, you lose something you’re attacheddearly to. And these timers go off all the time, absolutely nothing is permanent. Once the ultimate timer of death rings, everything else will disappear too. This is what I mean when I say its analogous to a dream. When you have a dream, you’re experiencing the ultimate ‘now’ just like in real life- you often don’t even have a single association to your past self. You don’t think, wow this is just a dream. No, whoever this person is, you literally are. Those people you’re seeing? They’re literally there. And then suddenly there’s a poof- you wake up and that dream is completely gone. All the things you saw in your dream, all the deep feelings you felt (some people’s dreams get so emotionally heavy they wake up crying or so scary they wake up screaming), and that different self you may have been goes to oblivion instantly. For a few, it remains a muddy memory that you randomly recall once or twice in your life . Life is just like that, the dream is just longer but in the universal stretch its not even a microliter of water in a planet of water. A dream happens when you’re asleep and at this point the brain is no longer in maximum survival mode. It has no reason to pay a huge slice of attention to what’s going around and the sounds that are being made or to recall the person’s memories, current emotions, and so forth. The brain just wanders and creates a new reality. All being sober means is that your brain interprets the vibrations around you in the kind of way that a certain ‘code’ tells it to. The code just tells you what tastes good, what to not eat, and so forth. There is no ‘real’, what you see isn’t what really is. The entire universe and everything in it is just vibrations with huge amounts of empty space. All your brain does is observe this energy and its configuration and create a sensation based on that specific energy model.

Imagine how radically different (almost magically different) life would be if existence and the self was 100% permanent and eternal. I’m not talking about space and food, imagine if those variables were taken care of, I’m just talking about how much our attitudes towards everything would change. How ‘real’ everything would become…

Ihave absolutely no reason to believe that we will ever be judged. Its extremely biased to judge one’s actions without placing every single ‘soul’ in their exact same shoes. I don’t mean them just being in his position, I mean having his genetics, his parents, his luck, his memories and so forth. This whole spirituality stuff is a human made concept. For a few billion years the world was literally filled with wild animals that had absolutely no sense of self and operated on instinct. If these entities are real and made us and all that crap, why did they wait this long to create the only animal who can fathom the idea of spirituality (often poorly)? Animals aren’t spiritual, you must understand that. Under natural conditions they will literally kill you, devour you, slice you to bits and so forth. We derived from them. And if acting on instict is spirituality, then why fear being judged? You don’t get much of a choice if it’s instict based. I don’t associate human beings to be above animals for two reasons: firstly, lots of individuals have commited abhorable acts and secondly, animals are just like us. They survive and derive pleasure from sex. A wasp feeds it children, like a man, protects his family, like a man, builds a house for its family, like a man, searches for a mate like a man, avoids danger and pain, like a human being, and the list just goes on and on.

Merrily so.

Well, it could be. Sh-boom, sh-boom Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da

(Hey nonny ding dong, alang alang alang
Boom ba-doh, ba-doo ba-doodle-ay)

I wish drive-by posters would just go row their boats.

She has 20 posts more than a drive-by.
And she signed up in June.

What if we’re all just batteries in some sort of matrix.

Whooah, dude. Think about it!

OP has posted in exactly five threads, all of which she started (or he started; it could be a he). The first thread she contributed to fifteen times, all on the same day. Her other threads have either two or one post from her.

All of her OPs carry a flavor of college dorm 1:45 a.m. bull session. Frankly, I don’t see much potential in her Doperhood, or very much interest on her part. So, for now, at least, I think I’ve settled on a salient response to any future OPs that carry her handle:

Hey nonny ding dong, alang alang alang
Boom ba-doh, ba-doo ba-doodle-ay

OP, welcome to the SDMB, for what it’s worth. If you decide to stick around, may I invite you to prove the above (admittedly dismissive) analysis wrong? A good starting point might be to participate in a thread you didn’t originate. Whatever you decide, peace! :slight_smile:

Sorry if I was wrong; we’ve had a lot of blonde or blonde__ DBP’s lately and the rather genericly provocative tone of the content has a drive-by whoosh to it. I was unable to bring up the poster’s profile. And it was a way to hang a lame joke on the stream.

Carrily, carrily, carrily on.

I’m just going to respond to what I thought we would be discussing from reading the title of this thread. I’m going to ignore the tangents on death, judgment, and spiritually.

You need to define what is "real’. If you do some reading on the observer effect you learn that we can’t really observe the absolute truth because the act of observing changes reality. However, this does not mean that what we do observe is completely useless. Because what we do observe is at least somewhat reliable.

“Dream” and “life” are just words we use to describe things we are observing. A “dream” is something that we observe that comes to an end after every night, while “life” is something we observe that keeps going after our dreams come to an end.

If you say that life is a dream because it’s based on unreliable observations from the brain, then you are just redefining the word “dream”. I agree that life is based on unreliable observations from the brain, so does everyone else. However, I don’t consider life a dream because that’s not how I define the word “dream”.

Is life nothing more than a dream? Well, our dreams are nothing more than a jumble of our memories and imaginings. Our memories are of things we of things we have seen, heard, felt, and done. Our imaginings are of things we imagine seeing, hearing, feeling and doing, based on things we have seen, heard, felt and done. If you take away our real experiences and thus our imaginings based on those real experiences, what could a dream possibly consist of?

Well, that’s one religious faith-based claim. There isn’t any evidence for it. The fact of species extinction and habitat loss implies the opposite: that life can come to a final grinding halt. If we’re stupid enough to launch the MIRVs, then there won’t be anything more sophisticated than cockroaches to become reincarnated as. And even they won’t survive the expansion of the sun, a few billion years from now.

Also – if your reincarnated self has absolutely no association to your current self – what point is there in interpreting it as “your” self? Take a new-born baby, today: is it the reincarnation of a Scot, a Swede, or a Syrian? If there is “absolutely no association” then the question is meaningless. It isn’t any specific person’s reincarnation.

You’re making claims that contradict your own declarations.

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” - E.A.P.

Yeah, you know, its like we are deep inside this cave seeing nothing but flickering shadows from the fire cast on the wall, when all the time real life is going on outside, but we can’t get there. I wonder if anybody ever thought of any of this stuff before?

“Very good (snicker) Plato. Do you often (heh heh heh) think about caves?”

There are definitely degrees of wakefulness more than simply conventional sleep and waking life. I actually think this cycle is kind of unnatural or at least unnecessary. There is something called yoga nidr I think, which is where with practice you can enter a sort of permanent meditative state such that you are always conscious and never need regular sleep again. I sometimes wonder if something similar could be done with the cycle of life and death.

The concept “dream” is meaningless without a concept for “reality.” If there is no reality, there are no dreams. What you’re describing is consciousness without anything to be conscious of, except itself.

Nihilism is the scoundrel’s last stand.

That must have been really potent dope.

If you remember dreams, they are very different from life. It is even hard to write realistic dreams - the only examples I can think of are two by Dylan (Talking WW III Blues and Bob Dylan’s 117th Dream) and Death on the Nile by Connie Willis - not actually a dream, but a very good representation of one.

When you get a bit older you’ll have a different perspective on the timers running out.

Tell you what- if life IS just a dream, take all your money, put it in an envelope and mail it to me.

I mean, life is just a dream, so money isn’t real, and you haven’t lost a thing, right?

Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?

Kudos to anyone who can identify the Northern California coffeehouse that has (had?) this favorite Poe poem inscribed on its lavatory wall.

First of all, your OP was beautiful and wise, if somewhat lengthy:) It sounds to me that you have things pretty well together.

Reincarnation, whether it "exists’ or not, is an idea. Getting off the wheel in Eastern thought ROUGHLY corresponds to Salvation in Christianity, take your pick. No matter which you choose to believe in, your seeming problems/karma can only be dealt with in the NOW. What other day?