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Multiplication of beings

When my kids were little and required a watchful eye, I would sometimes have dreams that duplicates of them would appear. So for instance, I'd dream I'd just helped the ninja girl into the car, but here is another ninja girl. It was bewildering. It wasn't a case of one being a fraud, or of my somehow overlooking that they were twins; it was just pure duplication. It was like when you add a stitch accidentally in knitting. There was just one of her, but now there are two of her. Occasionally I'd have dreams with further multiplication. It seemed wrong, but there was nothing to be done about it. Certainly I couldn't just ignore or neglect the duplicates--it wasn't there fault there was this hiccup in reality.

Not the ninja girl. Source

You know how, in film, a series of still shots are run in succession, and so you see motion? If a person is walking across the street, each still shows them a little further along--but it's the same person, just one person, and when we watch the film, that's what we see: one person walking across the street.

If I were to imagine an explanation for my dream experience, it would be that versions of the ninja girl from very near, but distinct, points in time somehow got detached from their place in time, as if a person in a film still could climb off the film and wander into another still, somehow while the film is running (and then from then on I guess the film compensates by having the duplicate in all the subsequent stills? I'm getting tangled up in an analogy that's imperfect.)

In the dreams, the extras usually disappeared eventually, which was a relief. I don't know how to work that into the film analogy--it's more like double vision that clears if you blink hard.

I thought of it just now because I was snuggling with our cat, and I thought I heard him calling from outside the door. I'm always alert for when reality might start to behave like a dream.

ETA: Maybe I'll write a story with this in it....


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 13th, 2016 12:15 am (UTC)
Do it! Do it! I'd love to read it!
Oct. 13th, 2016 11:13 am (UTC)
Hahaha, okay, I will.
Oct. 13th, 2016 05:27 am (UTC)
That's a remarkable dream to remember in such detail.

Also, that picture of adorability! Multiplied!
Oct. 13th, 2016 11:14 am (UTC)
Isn't that cute? I found it by image searching on "multiple images of the same person in one picture" or something like that. There are photoshop tutorials you can do...
Oct. 13th, 2016 11:06 am (UTC)
Wow, that is a weird dream experience!
Oct. 13th, 2016 11:15 am (UTC)
Yeah--I never have it about grown-ups, but sometimes I have it about, for example, our cat, or about other random babies or small children, so it clearly has to do with needing to take care of (someone) and there being problems with the job.
Oct. 13th, 2016 12:13 pm (UTC)
I was wondering about that. It seems vaguely creepy, rather than cheery.
Oct. 13th, 2016 12:15 pm (UTC)
yeah, definitely more of an anxiety dream. It combines worry about being able to take proper care of someone or something with worry about **recognizing** them or keeping track of them.
Oct. 13th, 2016 11:10 am (UTC)
Can't wait to read the story if you get around to it.

Aren't dreams powerful things? They can be so many things: so awesome, so scary, so confusing, so stress-inducing, so neat...
Oct. 13th, 2016 11:17 am (UTC)
They can definitely be all those things, and one more: another part of your lived experience. While you're in the dream, that's your life. Thanks to dreams, I've experienced so much more than I would have if I was limited to my waking reality. Admittedly, it's my own brain's idea of what the experience would be like, and experiencing the thing in waking life might be different (often would be different), but still: it's an experience.
Oct. 13th, 2016 12:55 pm (UTC)
Have you read C.S. Lewis's The Pilgrim's Regress? I thought of it even before seeing the boxed-girl images.
Oct. 13th, 2016 04:37 pm (UTC)
That's one I haven't read, though I like the title of it. Is there a multiplication of people in it?
Oct. 13th, 2016 05:17 pm (UTC)
There's a multiplication of people as a metaphor for ~~sin~~, early on. It's a pretty weird novel, interesting if you're interested in Lewis, but not generally regarded as very good.
Oct. 17th, 2016 08:52 am (UTC)
I love The Pilgrim's Regress, but it's not a novel. It's an allegory set in an extended metaphor.

Which edition did you read? For people who didn't like the first edition, I'd suggest the one with the footnotes.
Oct. 17th, 2016 12:05 pm (UTC)
I read the first. When I first read it, as a child, I adored it. As an adult, less so, but still found it very interesting. As a child, of course I didn't have the background to understand the philosophical references, but that didn't matter a bit to me.
Oct. 13th, 2016 08:59 pm (UTC)
Let us know when you write that story.
Oct. 14th, 2016 11:16 pm (UTC)
I started it today.
Oct. 14th, 2016 04:16 am (UTC)
That's a vivid anxiety dream, and it would make for an interesting story....
Oct. 14th, 2016 11:17 pm (UTC)
*fingers crossed*
Oct. 15th, 2016 01:36 am (UTC)
*sends encouraging thoughts*
Oct. 16th, 2016 07:58 am (UTC)
That's an interesting dream! I had a funny moment just this week when Liem came to call me to dinner, and I tried for a moment to remember who the other people were who lived in this house (besides Liem, HL and I). The answer, of course, was no-one, but for a few seconds I was wondering...
Oct. 16th, 2016 02:03 pm (UTC)
I've done similar! It's a weird, lingering, "Am I forgetting someone?" And I've gone through a list of who-all's home sometimes, and yet not had that translate to the right number of, say, cups for drinks. How could I list five names (or four, or six), and yet put out the wrong number of cups?
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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