The Importance of Situated Awareness
I had a non-lucid dream last week, sandwiched between two nights of lucid dreaming, which impacted me more deeply that any other dream in the past few months.
In the dream, it was raining and the streets were flooded. A line of cars were parked ahead of me, and people were outside in the rain, praying the Hail Mary. I walked up and joined them in prayer. Turning around, I looked up toward the south, and saw hundreds of tiny clouds creating the shape of a man with his arms outstretched. I was awed and puzzled, not sure if it was natural or supernatural. Then, to the west, a disc the size of several suns appeared and began to spin slowly, drawing into itself the cloud shape that was moving toward it. The disc became more visually sharp, and looked more spherical than flat. Suddenly, the disc broke open like an egg, and a bright white flower emerged and descended slowly toward the world.
I love this dream. And the fact that I wasn't lucid was actually a blessing. Why? Because there was no thought that this "wasn't real." In other words, it had maximum emotional impact precisely because I believed it was real.
I have spoken on the importance of situated vs. non-situated awareness. I argue in a presentation that I gave not long ago that true integration of "the other" within us requires an encounter between autonomous entities, of which we (the dream ego) is one. If we do not believe that an encounter is real or actual, then how can we experience the encounter as a relationship? Tarnas says in The Passion of the Western Mind that a true relationship depends on for an autonomous, reciprocal exchange between freely responding persons. And how is that possible if we experience the "other" in the dream as illusory or self-created.
I have posted that presentation audio somewhere on my server, and I will link it here shortly, in case this topic interests you.