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Old 08-24-2014, 11:59 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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In your dreams!

Last night, as a courtesy to those of us who had flown into orbit aboard the Shuttle but had not been allowed to take part in the main mission, I visited the International Space Station. I had no idea it was so well equipped with modern conveniences. There was so much to see that I didn't even notice that some kind of artificial gravity that must have been in effect, but it certainly must have been, otherwise, how was everyone walking about so normally and how did water stay in the swimming pool? The fact that so many senior citizens were on board the I.S.S. was a bit of a surprise, but I was thinking that most were in a reduced-gravity environment for health reasons.

Where did you go and what did you do last night?

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Old 08-24-2014, 07:37 PM   #2
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Tom - did you recently watch Wall-E?
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:20 PM   #3
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I've never even seen Wall-E. I've just always had my head up in the air. Here's a dream I had twenty years ago (notice the double-spacing after each period; my pre-computer style of typing):

Spoiler:
I dreamed I was flying. Getting started was not too much trouble. I began simply by leaping into the air. With each bounce I felt myself less and less constrained by Earth’s gravity. Then suddenly I was doing it — I was airborne!

The feeling was exhilarating. Higher and higher into the air I went with each jump. The thought occurred to me that if I really pushed hard, I could shoot off right into space. I did so, and in the next moment I was tumbling wildly, not sure which way was up or down.

I struggled to find the ground, my only point of reference. There it was — off to one side over my head. I twisted to best orientate myself to the world as I had always known it. Although I worked quickly, by the time I completed my maneuvering, the curvature of the Earth’s horizon was plainly evident. Then equally as abruptly the entire globe came into view. With amazing rapidity the entire planet shrunk from view until I could no longer discern its place among the stars.

The sky looked black beyond imagination. I was now tumbling wildly through an intergalactic vortex at incredible speed. Entire stars were flying past me like snowflakes in a blizzard.

I began to feel a certain amount of apprehension. How would I ever find my way back? Space is a huge place, and even if I could find my own sun, what were the odds that, by going off into any one direction, I could hope to run into even one of its major planets, much less Earth? Yet, I felt at the same time that the real secret to finding my way back was simply to want it badly enough.

But did I want it? There was a certain feeling; was it curiosity? I don’t really know. I felt a strange longing to continue my odyssey — a certain and unfathomable sense of serenity about the whole affair — a mysterious feeling that whatever lay on the other side of this strange journey was at the least equally or even more desirable than my life on Earth. But this journey was for another day. I opened my eyes. I was back home. For now.

“This just had to be a near-death experience. What else could it be?”

I pondered the meaning of this strange dream. I knew that once I related it to people, many would have very diverse opinions. Some would ask me if I had put too much red pepper on the previous night’s pizza. Others would be sure that I had undergone an out-of-body experience (some would wonder if an out-of-mind experience was more likely). Others still would wonder if it had been a dream at all, but maybe something more. Like a near-death experience, perhaps.

Hmmm… Flying through space without some form of environmental controls — i.e., a space suit — normally would be a major concern for most people, and yet the hostile surroundings of interstellar space seemed to have no effect. How else could I account for that startling detail except to say that I must have been in my “astral body?” The dark vortex through which I traveled; what was that if not a “tunnel?” The sense that something good awaited at the end of my ride; was that not the “light at the end of the tunnel?” This just had to be a near death experience. What else could it be? Something had, beyond doubt, happened to me during the night, and I had, for a brief period during those nocturnal hours, “crossed over” to the other side.

But should I tell anyone? I realize that a few skeptics have other ideas about what causes people to undergo near death experiences. There are some scientists, for example, who believe that at the point of death, certain chemicals are released into the brain — similar to LSD — producing powerful hallucinations that survivors of such events interpret in spiritual terminology.

Dr. Carl Sagan has another hypothesis. He believes that, since dying is unlike anything else we experience in its emotional intensity, our minds, in their never-ending struggle to find connections between seemingly isolated phenomena, relate this experience to the only other thing in life to rival dying in its emotional impact: birth. Consider, he says, how that both experiences involve an occurrence of being ripped away from the world we know — traveling down a dark tunnel — beholding light at the end of the tunnel — finally, sensing a welcoming presence on the other side of the journey.

Upon reflection, however, I have come to consider one other possible explanation for the events of that night. Earlier that evening, on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” I had watched as Dr. Julian Bashir, the resident physician on board the space station, had (to put it discreetly) joined the “Zero-G Club,” and, well…

Have you ever incorporated elements of a television show into your dreams?

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Old 08-25-2014, 01:45 PM   #4
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I'm always doing the breast-stroke to fly, in my dreams. Some nights the air is thin, and doesn't "push" well, but other days I can get great speed just using my breast-stroke.

Hmmm -- I haven't had that dream in a while. I wonder why?
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:15 PM   #5
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I had a mixed bag of experiences. At one point I was officer Pete Malloy trying to bring in a suspect (I always did like Adam-12) and later I was on some island somewhere trying to rig up some sort of raft to escape some sort of Gov. run facility where secret population controlling devices were being developed. I don't know where that one came from aside perhaps the recent talk about 007 in some of the threads here.
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
Last night, as a courtesy to those of us who had flown into orbit aboard the Shuttle but had not been allowed to take part in the main mission, I visited the International Space Station. I had no idea it was so well equipped with modern conveniences. There was so much to see that I didn't even notice that some kind of artificial gravity that must have been in effect, but it certainly must have been, otherwise, how was everyone walking about so normally and how did water stay in the swimming pool? The fact that so many senior citizens were on board the I.S.S. was a bit of a surprise, but I was thinking that most were in a reduced-gravity environment for health reasons.

Where did you go and what did you do last night?
I was once the main crew of Deep Space 9.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:33 PM   #7
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I'm always doing the breast-stroke to fly, in my dreams. Some nights the air is thin, and doesn't "push" well, but other days I can get great speed just using my breast-stroke.

Hmmm -- I haven't had that dream in a while. I wonder why?
I usually do something similar: I flap my arms. I don't have nearly the number of flying dreams I did when I was younger, but I treasure them whenever they occur. I had one just recently, but don't recall much about it.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:44 PM   #8
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I've had dreams that repeat before. One I had several times when a kid was of going into a darkened room and being sure someone else was in there but not being able to turn on a light. I think it was one of my pre-teen mind's ways of dealing with some of the stresses of growing up.
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Old Yesterday, 04:27 PM   #9
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I don't often dream of flying, but I do dream of running on all fours.
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Old Yesterday, 04:36 PM   #10
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Cool! Are you "yourself" or some animal? Furry?
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Old Yesterday, 04:56 PM   #11
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Which reminds me; for some reason, while I was in Vietnam (class of 69-70) I had recurring dreams where an animal would be speaking to me, and I would be replying to whatever it was saying. It would seem perfectly normal until I reached a point in the dream when I became aware that I was having a conversation with an animal. It's been well over forty years, and I can't now be sure of what animals I was talking to, but I believe they were mostly jungle cats.
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Old Yesterday, 05:33 PM   #12
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Which reminds me; for some reason, while I was in Vietnam (class of 69-70) I had recurring dreams where an animal would be speaking to me, and I would be replying to whatever it was saying. It would seem perfectly normal until I reached a point in the dream when I became aware that I was having a conversation with an animal. It's been well over forty years, and I can't now be sure of what animals I was talking to, but I believe they were mostly jungle cats.
Maybe it was your subconscious mind's way of dealing with the stress in the environment you were in. I can't think of a more stressful situation to be in than to be out in the field while in the military. Though I've never served I can only imagine how stressful it would be to wonder if today would be the day you would be shot dead by the enemy.
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Old Yesterday, 07:15 PM   #13
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I worked at a medical dispensary and later in a hospital. I was never in the field, fortunately, and the only times I was shot at was when I was in places I shouldn't have been. Still, it could have been stress, I suppose. Either that, or I met my Guardian animal. It was the 60s, and I'd been on many a vision quest of a sort prior to my visit to that country.

I've heard flying dreams are a reaction to stress, but who really knows where dreams originate?
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Old Yesterday, 07:38 PM   #14
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Well, for some reason, last night I was in Vegas, buying a medley of checked pants ... in all colors ...

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Old Yesterday, 07:59 PM   #15
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Obviously, your subconscious wants a pair of checked pants!
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