Dream of: 25 September 1997 "Identifying Dream People"

I was talking with a thin bespeckled woman (probably in her late 30s) about how I wrote my dreams. I was explaining the way I sometimes identified people in dreams. I explained that sometimes when I wrote my dreams, I would identify the person in my writing, even though I hadn't been sure who the person was when I had been dreaming.

I wanted to give the woman an example, suggesting a scenario in which I saw her, the woman, in a dream. But I couldn't remember the woman's name, and I didn't want to admit to her that I had forgotten her name.

So instead I just made up an example using a "Mr. X." I said that if I dreamed I saw someone in a room, while I was dreaming I might not actually know who the person was. But when I awoke I would realize the person had actually been Mr. X. Now when I wrote the dream, I could use one of two methods. First, I could write that I saw Mr. X in the room. Or, second, I could write that I saw a person who resembled Mr. X, but who I wasn't sure was Mr. X, in the room.

What I wanted to point out was that the second formula was so much more cumbersome, it was better to use the first formula. But at the same time I realized that I had long ago dealt with this problem and that I didn't use either of the two formulas which I had given. The formula that I had already decided to use was to simply say that I had seen a person who resembled Mr. X. This was a truthful formula, which wasn't cumbersome. The only detail that my formula failed to state was whether I had realized in the dream that the person resembled Mr. X, or whether I had realized upon waking that the person resembled Mr. X.

Nevertheless, I didn't mention the formula which I actually used to the women. Instead I continued to argue for the first formula which I had mentioned, the formula which simply said I had seen Mr. X in the room (not the formula which said I had seen a man who resembled Mr. X in the room). I also didn't admit to the woman what I realized was true: that the first way wasn't completely accurate. Instead, my argument was that there was some reason why I had picked Mr. X above all other people in the world, and that reason was sufficient to justify saying it was Mr. X whom I had seen in the room. I said this was "logical." And indeed, my argument did appear logical. Yet at the same time, I could sense a certain flaw in my argument, a flaw which I couldn't exactly pinpoint. I had to admit that even though logical, to say I saw Mr. X in the room, didn't seem completely truthful.

The woman said, "I don't think so."

I didn't like this woman. She was being too picky and too uncompromising. She didn't seem to understand some of the difficulties encountered in making dreams readable.

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