Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In Your Dreams: Escape to a parallel reality

By Sharon Stoner

This experience (I don’t call it a dream) occurred about twenty-five years ago, when I was in my early 40s and had lived in my own house in Tulare, California for about fifteen years. I experienced waking up in my house. I was hearing voices coming from the living room. When I got out of bed and put my feet on the floor, I noticed that it was a bare wooden floor, not carpeted as usual. As I moved toward the door, I realized that the room was larger, and it was decorated better. I was totally bewildered! I was in my own bedroom, in my own home, but it was different, and better.
    I walked down the hallway to the living room, which was also larger and better decorated, where I found my adult sons and my parents and my sisters, who were visiting me and the “jerk” that I lived with then. They all seemed transformed, happy and radiant, much different from how I knew them. The “jerk” was sitting there with them, but he seemed different too. He was laughing and looked happy, he was not the same cruel psychopath that I knew and feared.
    In this “vision,” I knew I was in a different world, on a different plane, in a parallel universe – someplace I couldn’t really identify – but it was a safe place, and I knew I was with people who loved me.
    I was suddenly afraid that if I went back to bed and to sleep, I would in the morning wake up back in “reality” – in the smaller, carpeted, less well-decorated house that I shared with the “jerk.” Everyone in the living room was asking me why I looked puzzled and surprised. I couldn’t explain to them what I was feeling. They wouldn’t believe me, and I was afraid I would be told to go back to bed and I’d be all right in the morning.
    I was terrified that I could not hang on to this happy family and retain the changes in my house, which was beautiful! But I could feel myself slipping away, slipping back to my reality.

Considerations. Many times following this “escape to a parallel reality,” I wondered what my “double” from the parallel universe experienced when she woke up in her bedroom to find it smaller, its floor carpeted, its walls less tastefully decorated – not her own home, because during those same moments I was waking up in her bedroom and walking down her hall to her living room, to find her parents and sisters and sons, and her nice companion enjoying a happy visit? And how would she have felt if I had been able to stay in her house, and she had had to stay in mine?

I really don’t think this was a “dream” – certainly not one in the ordinary sense of vivid mental activity during REMS [rapid eye movement sleep]. It was real! I know it was real. During the experience, as I was fearing to “go back to sleep,” I felt that I simply could not go back to the world from which I had escaped for an hour.
    I was not asleep! It scared the hell out of me knowing this other place existed. I tried for years to “go back” by concentrating on that existence as I fell asleep each night. I have had a difficult, emotional, abused life, but I wasn’t trying just to escape temporarily into a dream. As hard as I tried, however, the escape to a parallel reality never happened again.
    I can’t explain the feeling, or how it could be that I wasn’t dreaming. I have had many normal dreams in which I knew I was asleep and dreaming. I have on occasion clinched my teeth while dreaming and told myself in the dream to wake up before I broke a tooth. I would be yelling, in my sleep, “Wake up, wake up!” And more than once upon waking I would run to the bathroom to look at my teeth in the mirror to see whether they were broken. They never were, but it felt in the dream as though they could be.
    The account above is an example of how real some of my dreams have been, but the happenings in those dreams were nothing like the “parallel reality” recounted above. Whenever I have dreamed, I always knew that I was dreaming – whether it was a pleasant or a frightening experience – but I swear that the experience described above was not a dream. I was there!
    I believe that the human mind is powerful and capable of anything, and I know that I wanted to escape from the misery and pain that was being inflicted on me during those years. My powerful mind enabled me to escape for a short while, but I couldn’t hold on to it.

Copyright © 2016 by Sharon Stoner


  1. From my correspondence: "Whoa! That actually happened to Sharon? Are you serious?"

    1. I replied: "I believe her. As to whether she had a dream or an experience of 'exportation to a parallel universe,' I'm agnostic and willing to remain so."

    2. My correspondent agrees: "I too am agnostic and willing to remain so. Whew!"

  2. There are those that walk in their sleep. The thing that gets them up and moving is real---to them it is not a dream. They do many things---as walk downstairs and carry on conversations. I'm not sure sleep walking is the right term for what they do. It is much more than a dream.

    1. Ed, your comment serves well to remind me that my personal idea about "what dreams are" is very much conditioned by my own personal experience of them. They all have the limitation that they are my dreams (or experiences of something different from ordinary consciousness).

  3. Sharon I think you were "astral travelling" which has only happened to me once as well-I was working nights at a psychiatric halfway house for adolescents in Cocoa Florida. In this experience I was fully aware that I was out of my body but not really dreaming at all. The house I was in was built in the 1800's and had surely been through many renovations and different purposes, but I knew I must have been backward in time because there were gas lamps on the walls and gas chandeliers. The peeling walls were freshly painted and the ragged institutional carpets were gone and in their place were richly polished hardwood floors. From downstairs came the sounds of music and laughter, the clink of glasses, and from outside the unmistakable clop of horses. Almost instantly i realized I was in some other world, and as hard as I could try I could not stay. I snapped back into my crappy little bed with a start, and never entered that world again.