When I am in deep sleep, I often dream, and in this altered state I usually experience sensory-images, visions, sensations and feelings of various sorts. Sometimes, I occupy my dream as I do the visual field in wakefulness, and the experience is wholly subjective, in other dreams I occupy the periphery of some event I stand to observe. In any event, these experiences also occur in the waking-state, except that we don’t call them ‘dream phenomena’. Wakefulness has a fair share of images, sensations and feelings which parade before my mind’s eye, and which, like dreams, are not amenable to explanation: I ‘dream’ in sleep; why shouldn’t it happen in wakefulness?
In the waking-state, I am completely conscious, and mentally perceptive. Communication, ingestion, ambulation and procreation are activities typical of this state. But, I often experience images and sensations seemingly unconnected with these activities. They materialize on a wing not of my own making. Like dream phenomena, they sometimes tell or narrate something, as though they are fragments of a story which I cannot fully explain.
We define ‘being awake’ as the opposite of ‘sleep’, and unwittingly make of each a discrete realm of consciounsess (wakefulness and sleep) to be contrasted with the other. This polarization of the two states of consciousness may yet conceal the more ‘dream-like’ features of waking existence.