When I leave a dream, I often feel that I step from one room into another. It's a "just so" feeling. I was there, and now I am here. When I exit a dream, I avoid saying "I woke up." That is such a boring way to end a dream narrative. And it's entirely possible that when I open my eyes in one reality, I have fallen asleep in another world that is no less real. When I finish recounting a dream adventure, I may say. "then I left that scene" or, “then I came back to my bedroom”. Sometimes, of course, the exit is less gentle. I return to the dormant body in the bed with a thump, feeling that I just fell to Earth or was dragged out of my dream life in chains. Sometimes the dream stays with me, and I am in both locations - the bedroom and that other room - in a state of dual consciousness after I come back to my body. I am often aware that, when I step out of a dream, the dream and its players may go on without me, leading autonomous life. I have the impression I am not wholly absent from these scenes. A second self has assumed my role - or reclaimed the role I took on for the time of the dream.
Photo: Jean-Robert Ipoustéguy, "Man Passing through Door" in Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.
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