“To die, to sleep – to sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub, for in this sleep of death what dreams may come…” (Hamlet)
In BISENTIENT we are introduced to a place called ‘the Realm’.
We don’t learn too much about it because its inhabitants are still trying to make sense of it themselves. You could think of it as a kind of dream world. Certainly Mason Plater is part fascinated and part scared as he discovers more about it.
Throughout history many people have tried to understand what it means when we dream. There are plenty of books out there that will offer interpretations of dreams describing how they are indicative of our mental state or what our subconscious mind is occupied with. Others with a more spiritual, occult or religious leaning might offer another explanation such as that god may be contacting us through our dreams. Some might even suggest that there is a separate plane of existence, called the Astral Plane, that we visit when we sleep.
Regardless of how we try to make sense of it there is no doubt that sometimes our dreams can seem very real. So real in fact that we are disoriented when we wake and may take some moments to realise where we are.
When I was a teenager I was a member of a fledgling organisation called the Borderline Science Investigation Group (BSIG). It was started by some like-minded individuals in the town I lived in then, Lowestoft in Suffolk. As the name suggests it set out to look into phenomena at the ‘borders’ of mainstream science. We used to investigate reports of ghosts, local legends (of which there are hundreds throughout Easy Anglia), UFO sightings, anything that was unexplained.
As well as this the group did try some experiments in directed dreaming. This is where one keeps a diary on the bedside table and tries to record, in as much detail as possible, any dreams. This is of course what Mason Plater is told to do in BISENTIENT. The next step, once the person can recall in some detail their dreams, is to go to sleep intending to dream of something specific. It could be anything, like a football match, flying on a plane or taking the dog for a walk. Once that can be done the idea is to agree to ‘meet’ someone else that has achieved the same level of ‘directed dreaming’ within one’s dream and communicate some piece of information known only to you.
I remember taking part in this experiment but was never able to achieve the directed dreaming phase and even those that did were unable to ‘meet’ their colleagues in their dreams. Certainly in BISENTIENT it is not easy for people to consciously enter the Realm. I sometimes think it is a pity that I can’t seem to achieve the directed dreaming necessary to recall my dreams with clarity. On the other hand, if something like the Realm does exist then perhaps I might be better off not knowing…..