Electric Dreams

The Future of Dreaming: Comments from the Internet

Richard Catlett Wilkerson 

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    Wilkerson, Richard Catlett (2000 January). The Future of Dreaming: Comments from the Internet. Electric Dreams 7(1). Retrieved July 14, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams  

This survey went out online in December of 1999, but its not too late to get your opinions in!

1. "Have all the good dreamwork techniques been found, or are there more coming soon? What are some of the possible new dreamwork movements that are likely to appear?"

The creation of new movements never cease (except perhaps during Ice Ages). Expect to see lucid dream production companies and dreamcasting organizations in the near future, complete with advertising on day-world media. ("Thousands of Interactive Dream Channels to choose from every night!") Bill I.

No I don't think they have all been found. I doubt that dream work that takes full advantage of this medium has been even really begun. With even more changes in the field of communication technology there is even more to consider. Robert_G

2. "There will come a (hypothetical) time when one cannot easy tell the difference between Virtual Reality and what we now call common reality. How will this effect dreaming and dreamwork?"

If this comes to pass, folks will dream of Virtual Reality and sometimes find it difficult to distinguish between waking and dreaming (this already happened, in spades, during the Hallucinogenic Era.) Bill I.

I would think so ... dream medication ... hallucinogenic drugs .... dream-machines ... dream electronic probes to stimulate dreaming while in labs while awake ... only the limits of imagination will limit the possibilities Robert_G

3. "Will virtual reality reach a point where one cannot tell the difference between lucid dreaming and VR? (when is the holodeck going to appear?)"

This sounds like apples & oranges to me, but I could be wrong. The StarTrek holodecks are based on waking consciousness, with its own distinct "feeling tone;" unless you've been stoned for a week, you can always tell the difference -- dream and lucid dream consciousness have their own distinctive tones. Bill I.

"Are there going to be dream-machines, how soon, and what kind of phases will they go through in their development?"

"Commercial" dreamcasting is possible now (almost as a joke, of course) -- there's no reason a core group of lucid dreamers couldn't stage a production tonight, complete with commercial advertising (but it might be real tough finding a sponsor until a significant percentage of the population accepts the concept). The development of machines to aid this requires further understanding of the dream environment (see Seth) and the usual financial incentives to fund research. Bill I.

"Will interest in dreams continue to flourish in the future or will images mediated by the outside become more dominate?"

Interest in dreams will continue with the likelihood that it will increase. In truth in the big picture I don't think that dreaming is all that valued or respected. Robert_G

There is no outside, now, is there? All is created within, from dreams to television, movies, and Internet Video and other waking life entertainment. If a group of lucid dreamer staging nightly productions becomes popular, well, that will simply add a new twist to things, possibly driving advertisers permanently insane. A future in which devices somehow aid/accelerate this, funded by commercial interests, is a bit much to contemplate. Perhaps the world of commerce and industry will have melted down by the time this is feasible, rendering the possibility void. Bill I.

"How much dreamwork in the future will be nostalgic (all about the past), how much teleological (about the future) or autotelic (kind of just play with itself?)"

In the dreamworld, all time is simultaneously accessible (as it actually is while waking); autotelics rule, as always. Bill I.

"We now use email, mail lists, bulletin boards, usenet, iphones, cams and avatars to share dreams online. What's coming up in the next year, the next decade, the next century?"

Already, today, famous discarnate personalities, masquerading even as themselves, are interacting in cyber-environments via channeling (quite consciously). This kind of weirdness will continue to accelerate. The commonality between waking, dreaming, and "dead" will become more apparent, with cyberspace merely aiding this process of "awakening." Bill I.

"What will be the average amount of time a person can spend in lucid dreaming if they give it 10 minutes or so of attention each day? That is, given that our techniques, machines and intentions develop, what can the average person expect to experience in terms of number of lucid dreams?"

"When will the first Dream Church or Religion appear? Will dreamwork have a disaster like jonestown or heaven's gate? Or will dream religion appear more like neo-urban shamanism?"

Why separate dreaming from other consciousness in this way? Regardless of the increasing perception of the commonality of conscious states (dreaming, death, waking, etc.) this separation is unnecessary in a world in which separation itself becomes increasingly seen as illusory. Any new religion spawning, myth-making activity must involve the total increasing sphere of expanded awareness, not just the dreamworld. If someone begins to increasingly encounter religious types (which they've created) while lucidly dreaming, will this not merely enhance their waking religious activities? (But more fundamentally, are we not moving away from organized religion -- the creation of power structures in which we embed "spiritual" beliefs? Haven't we already had more than enough of this over the last 6,000 years or so?) Bill I.

"As cyber-personalities begin to gain more legal status, will dream personalities begin to demand more rights as well? If people like Linda Magallon are correct, that their is a distinct dream personality(s) separate from the ego, and we grant this personality entity status, how far will this go?"

Definitely not. Legal status is by its nature a thing of the waking world, invoking the restrictiveness of F1 focus reality. As this expands and becomes closer in nature to the dreamworld & afterdeath realities, I would expect things to go the other way -- a lessening of legalities here, not an expansion of them into inappropriate places. Bill I.

"If we meet up with aliens, and they dream, will they have the same psychodynamics in their dreams, or will they be so different we will be pressed to call it dreaming? What might this look like?"

Yes and no. Yes they will be dreamers, yes they will connect to the ONE which is author. they will be different in terms of their biological and sociological context (which helps us to create the stage and cast of characters within our personal dreams). rgl

Try it and see. What is truly "alien?" Inner dimensions have always existed, and visitors from distant reaches of inner space with them; encounters with such "alien" consciousness are almost commonplace during on-line ICQ sessions involving group meditation and such things.

"What will happen in various dream fields in the future? Dreams and Biology, Dreams and Neurology, Dreams and Anthropology, Dreams and Literature, Dreams and Film, Dreams and psychiatry, and so on?"

Again, the distinctions and artificial separations (part & parcel of the Age of Reason and absolutely necessary for the maintenance of the structures of academia) are melting. Bill I.

<< As cyber-personalities begin to gain more legal status, will dream personalities begin to demand more rights as well? If their is a distinct dream personality(s) separate from the ego, and we grant this personality entity status, how far will this go? >>


Richard, I love this question. My dream personality is so different from real life, I'd trade places in a second if given the opportunity. Actually, I have two different bodies over there. One is perpetually 18, strong, beautiful... better than any Barbie doll every was, is intelligent, and in full control of her life.

The other dream personality is tall, over 7 feet tall, thin, blonde, beautiful, and seems to be young also, around 21 or so. This one is also intelligent, and lives on a spacecraft.

I never see myself as I am in the physical, 5'10", fat, and old... age 60.

As a result of my dreams, I have an extremely good image of myself. I'm always shocked when I look in the mirror and see what I really look like. I always feel like I could get up off the couch and do backflips or ice dancing with the best of them... until I actually make the physical move to do so with a groan and aching knees, and walk stiffly across the room.