Monday, August 01, 2011

Life as a series of dreams



I am aware of the danger, that my blog will look like a Dylan fundamentalist website, to someone who's only read the last 2 months posts. Maybe I am a Dylan fundamentalist, but as anyone who's listened to Dylan, or read good poetry, his songs act more as a medium in which one can find not the answers, but other questions that put the original question in a broader perspective.

I had written about a peculiar Dylan song, which did not make it to any "studio" albums, called "The Series of Dreams" earlier [link to the earlier post]. To this day I am not sure, what kind of dreams Dylan is referring to. The key question is, how does one know that one is not dreaming? I am not trying to go down the Matrix path. How do we know that our perception is different when we are dreaming? Maybe, a series of dreams are not just series of dreams, but a metaphor for life itself? Or even one step further, life IS a series of dreams? Or what do our dreams say of our experience of the "real world"?

These are the questions I am currently pondering on, after reading the review of Eric Schwitzgebel's new book  "Perplexities of Consciousness" on New York Times [link to the review]. Asked if you dream in color or in black and white, you would probably reply color. Amazingly in 1950's people were reporting that they were dreaming in black and white. They were simply looking for an analogue to classify their dreams, and the only available ones were black and white films they were watching. This is incredible. Because it leads to the central question of the book:

"What exactly is my experience?" If exactly means simply, this question is one to which there's no good answer.
There are many more questions in my mind than answers. I am eager to get a hold of this book, and read it with Dylan in the background.

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