dreaming | fantasising

This dyad emerged out of conversations with Lurch.


Of course we could use the words 'dreaming' and 'fantasising' to mean many things, but one interpretation maps straight onto positive and negative difference. 

In this case, fantasising is constructing various ideas and fantasies about our (future or past) selves which we wish to become (or to return to). A fantasy of being a certain type of human in certain contexts.

My own fantasy is pretty much the idea of people thinking I'm amazing. "What an amazing guy" they will say, in my fantasy, where amazing equals whatever I think is virtuous - intelligent, generous, insightful, caring etc. I think I've pretty much had this fantasy since the time during which some of reality tried to match and encourage it. I'm talking about schooling and being rewarding for being 'smart' and a 'leader' etc at primary and secondary school. Straight-As kid and all the perches and hang-ups that go with this. I don't think I've really bought too much into the financial gain story, but certainly into the social status and cultural capital story. Ie, my fantasy is to be famous, not rich (some, I know, would prefer the opposite: riches without fame). The point is that any fantasy is going to produce a story of negative difference. I am different to the fantasy, in that I am not yet as famous, as rich, as virtuous, as loved, etc etc as I wish to be. So my current state of existence is negative geared, an absence of something that is itself absent (I am not now what I am not yet!).

Dreaming however is about the recombination and mixing and matching of what current exists right here and now. The dreaming is an active process, and any ‘dream’ could only be framed in retrospect (if the dream exists prior to the dreaming, then it would be a fantasy). 

We never really know where we are going nor who we are, when we are dreaming. And dreaming can only be described positively. The dreaming is of this and that and this and that. And this description would itself be part of the dreaming, lest we could turn the dreaming into a fantasy (by stepping outside of the dreaming to pitch the dream as future or past, outside of here and now). So whilst I can tell you my own fantasies, I can’t tell you any of my dreams, because they only come into being in the dreaming itself (we could talk about what dreaming feels like, and how to get into and out of dreaming, but that different to narrating the dream itself).


Dreaming is mooching about, going here and there, traveling into whatever territories are thrown up by the mind, within the mind, through the mind. It is like a great random association machine happening in your mind, as you sleep and as you wake. It is a mode of thinking that we desperately need, because it is the offering of random associations which we then sift through, which helps us explore other options that then ones that seem obvious. And if we are going to better adapt to complex, unknown, evolving situations—which is the situation we currently and probably have always found ourselves in—then we are going to have to try out new things and make new connections most of which will not work for us but occasionally some will and upon them we build a better life (however we define better). Which is to say, through them we re-possess, re-experience, re-encounter life.

So our mind, which is the ultimate machine for making connections, has a kind of inbuilt making-connections hum that we call dreaming. Dirt Man reckons we dream all the time, but just only realize this when we stop concentrating of whatever is taking up our concentration. So this often happens in sleep time, but can be experienced at any time we are awake too.

Foraging is being nomadic. And being nomadic is being rhizomic. And being rhizomic is being is any possible direction from the last position. Like dreaming. 

So dreaming is foraging.