One of the most beautiful relationships I’ve had in my life was my relationship with my grandmother. Only 38 years older than me, she was always my rock of love, strength and support. We spoke on the phone most days and two of our favorite topics of conversation were telenovelas (soap operas we were watching) and dream interpretation. Throughout the years she had gifted me with many dream dictionaries and we would always try to decipher the meaning of our dreams together.
As a result of this hobby I have been paying close attention to my dreams since I was ten years old. It has now been twenty two years. My dreams tend to be the first thing I think about when I wake up, whether it happens in the morning or in the middle of the night.
Over the years my ability to recall what I had seen in my sleep has improved dramatically. I may forget some of the dream or some details, but never all of it. I have had many lucid dreams, I have had many dreams that came true and many dreams where I learned things other people were thinking and doing that I should not have been able to know. I started to notice that when my ability to retain my memories improved I stopped having dreamless sleep. In fact I no longer believe that I ever had dreamless sleep at any point in the night or that anyone else does. I believe that what people call dreamless sleep is in fact a deep dream state followed by amnesia upon waking up.
Therefore it is surprising to me when I hear people I respect and admire talk about the three states of consciousness as the state of waking, the state of dreaming, and dreamless sleep. This has not been my observation. It makes me feel like we live in a world where people jump to conclusions without ever properly investigating.
I wish that I could investigate the state of consciousness of people under general anesthesia as thoroughly as I have investigated the state of sleep. But I doubt there can be much to recall for someone whose mind was prevented from having and recording any experience.