Saturday, April 4, 2015

Sympathetic Dreaming Part 2: Dreams Affecting Reality

Last week I introduced the inverse: that something happening in the waking world affecting the dream, but this week, I'd like to look at things flowing the other way.

I'm going to try and stay out of superstitious fictions or unproven possibilities, like astral projection or OOBs (out-of-body experiences). But even avoiding those, there are still circumstances where dreams affect reality.

Dreams can generate emotional states that can carry through to post-waking. While this isn't a strictly physical reaction, nonetheless, it counts.

Happiness, sorrow, apathy, joy... even the feeling of belonging or spiritual awakening can be felt while in the dream and carry over while you are still sleeping and after you wake.

Bodily Responses
Every teenage boy knows about this one, but it's not restricted to wet-dreams. Heat, cold, nausea, itches, hunger or lack thereof, even the desire to sneeze can be felt in the dreamworld and your body can respond as if it were truly feeling the stimuli.

While exuberant behavior in the dream rarely translates to in-dream or out-of-dream hunger,hunger itself can be sated, at least, for a short while, if you eat a feast in your dream before you wake.

If you dream about being hurt in the dream, it's likely you'll wake up feeling pain where you were hurt. This can manifest both as psychological and physical, and probably isn't too dissimilar to the "phantom limb" phenomenon.

If you have a history of joint pain (as I do), suffering through an injury in the dream can exacerbate the out-of-dream pain. You can even suffer from a feedback loop, where the in-dream injury causes out-of-dream pain, and the increased out-of-dream pain can affect the dream and make the injury feel more real.

For many people, inexperienced dreamers and those who don't become lucid in many of your dreams, you may never consciously feel any of these symptoms. Also, your dreams may not be vivid enough to convince the body to respond appropriately or to a detectable degree.

However, if you're like me, whose dreams feel more vivid than reality itself, and are lucid very frequently, you are far more prone to experience these responses. If you do, I would surely like to hear from you! Feel free to comment below, or if you want to comment privately, you can email me at

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