Last night I watched the movie Cast Away about a man who survives a plane crash and lives on a deserted island for four years until he is rescued.
There are parts of this movie that are pretty gory. For instance, when he first tries to escape the island in a dinghy he's tossed about by the waves and ends up with a gash on his knee. I remember when I first watched this movie how I was squirming at that scene. As I was watching the movie last night I decided I had a choice whether to have a squeamish-free entertainment or not. I went for squeamish-free by reminding myself that it's only a movie, a dream; and it's not real. Tom Hanks is only playing a role; he's not really injured, he's just made up to look like he is.
In other words, when I focus on the character Tom Hanks is playing, I experience that dream and all the feelings that go with it. On the other hand, when I focus on Tom Hanks the actor, I am seeing the movie as the Observer and can still appreciate the movie for what it is.
When I am seeing a dream for what it is, I am lucid dreaming. A lucid dreamer has control over his dream.
The first time I was aware of the concept "lucid dreaming" was when I was ten years old. I had just been run over by a car. Just as my head hit the ground, I heard a Voice in my head telling me it wasn't real and I was dreaming. At the time I couldn't understand what the Voice meant as the accident seemed very real to me. The accident dream turned out to be a lot of fun and a marvel to everyone involved. See Accident or Omnipresence at Work?
All realities are dreams.
I am a lucid dreamer.
Dream or not, I prefer to experience wonderful dreams than nightmares.
Related articles: Much Ado about Nothing; A Dream is A Dream is a Dream - Revisited; Lucid Dreaming; Playfulness; Disgust; Accident or Omnipresence at Work?