Dreams and the Aluminum Foil Hat

By R.J. Moats


As I start typing this it's 6:21 in the morning and I'm not usually up this early but I just woke from a strange dream in which I was in a classroom with Thomas Magnum (yes, the P.I. guy from T.V.) and he was just about to give an oral report and announced to the class that I would present his report for him. In a panic I took the huge pile of scribbled loose leaf notes and visual aids from him and tried to sort it all out as the teacher stood hovering nearby waiting. The notes (in duplicate with carbon paper between each sheet that I had to remove) were, of course, unreadable and the visual aids were cardboard stand-ups that wouldn't. As I finally got one stand-up to hang from a nail on the wall I turned to find all the paperwork was missing (the fiends even took the carbon paper) and stood there hoping the school bell would ring early. OK, I've never been in a classroom with Magnum P.I., or Tom Selleck for that matter, and I've never seen that particular classroom or that person pretending to be the teacher before so where does it come from? This all takes me to a pet theory I have about dreams.

I've always been fascinated by dreams and I've also recently had a number of "lucid" dreams where you know that you are dreaming and can, sort of, control the dream. My control of the dream usually gets my face slapped, but it is fun to know you can do what you want and not go to jail. But where do the images of places and people come from in dreams? I've been to places I've never been and met people I've never met and wake in the morning feeling like I just got back from another world. Which brings me, again, to my pet theory. If I have never been to or seen the images in my dreams then I figure they must come from outside sources acting on my brain as I sleep. So, my theory states that I am actually receiving mental images of memories from past or recently departed souls floating around in the nether world and I am living in their world for the moment.

OK, I haven't begun putting aluminum foil on my head, but think about it, I don't have a hollywood crew in my head designing and building elaborate sets to make me live in a strange world for a half hour or so, so where else could it all come from. I figure that some dearly departed person tells the bright light that He or She wants to vacation on the other side for a bit and comes floating through my head on it's way to where ever and my brain grabs some images from their life and process them into a little drama, or nightmare, in my mind. There have been billions of departed people so the air is full of tons of vacationing spirits willing to share their life experiences with me. To those people out there who make piles of money explaining away our dreams as having some deeper meanings would be disappointed to learn that when we fly in a dream it was just Orville Wright taking us for a plane ride and not some desire to escape.

So, examining my Magnum P.I. dream, Tom Selleck is still alive even if his career has been in a coma for a while, so it couldn't have been him floating past my cerebral cortex. As I remember there was this funny looking student who was bugging me all the while I was trying to set up the report and it could have been him who invaded my slumber this morning. Or maybe the imposter playing the teacher was the spirit getting revenge on his "student". Or maybe I'm still dreaming right now at 7:29am living some past writer's life trying to be funny about a subject I know nothing about. Excuse me, I have to wake up now and write a nifty article about dreams.

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