“I was in London. The imagined landscape was nothing familiar and nothing that, I suspect, Londoners would recognise. The sense was that the location was Southwark and out to Bermondsey. I was in a scenario. I knew and believed that much. I had taken the morning off to tour, allowing Ruth and a 3–4-year-old Genevievre time for their leisure activity in another part of the south London area. It was time to re-join the family and I could not find them; I could not see them in the square and near the bridge. I climbed a steep hill, which looked back to the cityscape across the Thames. There was Ruth riding a bicycle with Genevievre in a trailer seat, down the side street in front of me. I called out. They did not recognise me and passed-by. I tried my mobile phone but pushing buttons on the screen was becoming incomprehensive. I felt I was losing my mind. I was really experiencing my sense of delusion. I crossed the street to a central road-island, a bus stop, and asked assistance to call for an ambulance. I knew I was gravely ill and losing my sense of reality. As dreams go, the resolution happened in a flash, talking to doctors about what I was experiencing and the facts which led to the knowledge door of reality. Ruth was dead. Genevievre was in her late 20s, and not an infant. Then in a flash I knew where I was, in bed in my Sunnybank Hills home.”
That was my account of a dream or a nightmare or both. It was something, while in it, I was believing. As we have come to know, dreams and nightmares are scrambled, and yet we are in them, we experience, as individuals, the appearance of reality, to experience its intensity, the emotions, and thoughts. However, it is not as global skeptics would have it. We are not trapped in a dream of a dream. There is a doorway of knowledge, and once passed through, there is no more dreaming. Coherence is regained. There is ground beneath our feet. Yes, knowledge can still be fragmented, but there are two touchstones. The first is meta-reflection. In the dream to realise illness, or to see the illusion for what it is, and then comes a doorway. The second touchstone is disposition. I was disposed in bed and realised where I was coming out of a dream/nightmare. To be disposed is the opposite of reflection. There is no pondering on truth. It is simply the nature of the reality. It pulls us back from illusion. This does not mean that what is disposed is what only happens. Thoughts legitimately construct social reality. It is more than disposition, but disposition simply keeps us grounded. Once grounded we have the capacity to rationally imagine in better ways, coherently with a unity of knowledge, which, although never complete and always contestable, is what we know of reality. Not trapped in dreams and nightmares.
View from One Tree Hill, London, by Chris Downer, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14065897
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