Until We Understand Sleep, We’re Half-Asleep

The first photograph of the hand of God, 1986

My daughter wants to stay up and I’m putting her back to bed. “You know the best way to sleep?” I said. “Go to sleep!” She said she can’t sleep, but I tell her this. “You never remember the moment when you fall asleep, but it always happens.” Sleep is that cusp of consciousness, and the border is forever hazy. We spend our lives half hallucinating, and think we understand anything. We still don’t know why we sleep. We just pass out and drool on ourselves every day and we think ourselves masters of the universe. It’s laughable.

When I say we don’t understand why we sleep, I mean that within psychology there’s no clear explanation for sleep. Why? What? Fucking how? Parents can’t explain it to kids and the new priests we call scientists can’t explain it to adults. It’s still in the realm of philosophy, where we don’t even understand the question, nevermind the answer. And that’s just the physiology of sleep, not the crazy shit that happens when you’re dreaming. Last night I dreamt that my friend walked to the edge of his flat, stood on the edge, and just jumped over. It felt real as shit. That friend has dreams of fucking zombies almost every night, real night terrors. We have no explanation for this, no remedy, I’m honestly putting in calls to an exorcist.

Dreams are that nether realm between personal and scientific consciousness. Both the personal self and the dim scientific sense of collective consciousness are extinguished at night. We simply cannot record dreams, we cannot share them, we cannot study them in any coherent way. We cannot share them with a solitary soul, let alone remember them properly ourselves.We’re still as far from dream interpretation as the pharaohs were. We’ve honestly gotten more lost because we stopped believing in dreams at all.