Art By Shayna Markowitz: Tel Aviv

What Happens When I Daydream?

By Sybil Ottenstein

Daydreaming is hypnotic, allowing us to lose track of space and time.

We dream. We are dreaming all the time.


Sometimes these dreams occur when we are lying, cuddled amongst the blankets and pillows in our warm bed, cycling between deep cycles of sleep. Other times, we are staring at a screen or out the window, and our mind drifts off and we enter another, albeit different, dreamlike state. Sometimes we are fully awake, conscious and focused, and we dream in concrete terms and visions about what we want to be, do and become.


We are also all intimately familiar with the strange and beautiful world of our dreams, where the subconscious uses symbols and images to express and communicate our past, present and sometimes future. These dream experiences, characters, settings and sensations merge and cross-pollinate in sequences and processes that don’t appear logical to the conscious mind. The physical immobilization of our bodies in the dreamlike being is counteracted by the state of overdrive our minds experience, as we explore a world beyond space and time.


Where does one draw the line between a night dream, an unconscious fantasy and unconscious human thought? Mental images and thoughts that occur during sleep are often what we use to refer to our ‘dreams.’ However, the mental images and thoughts which occur while we are awake are what we consider our ‘imagination.’ Imagination by day, dream by night?


Unlike when we are fully conscious and awake, the daydreaming state is hypnotic, allowing the dreamer to momentarily lose track of space and time. In these moments, our subconscious is in the drivers seat and what emerges is our innermost thoughts, memories, fears and fantasies.

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