When one finds oneself reflecting upon a dream, remarks of how little one can remember are nearly always made. What is not remarked on are the mechanics of the space within a dream. It is a rare occurrence that an individual recalls the events that transpired within a dream and the environment within but it does happen, albeit not in totality. Upon presenting two questions the first distinction between what we term a “nightmare” and what we term a “dream” becomes clear:
when an individual dreams does the space in which the events take place ever remain the same as the events unfold?
after awakening from a dream can an individual immediately fall back into the prior form of the dream upon falling asleep, experiencing the same set of events with little change?
The answer to question one will be in the favour of “no” for the majority. The answer to question two will also favour the former, but if we ask those two questions about a nightmare the favour is tipped in the opposite.
After hearing numerous accounts from many different personalities possessing varying levels of emotional and cognitive intelligence it was determined that for these individuals the space in which the events of a nightmare unfolded remained for the most part unchanged with a few small changes noted which can be observed in physical space (reality), such as a door being open or a light emanating from a location when in prior instances of the nightmare the door was closed and there was no light. Changes in weather and temperature were also mentioned.
The major discovery was found in the answer to question two, however. The individuals reported that they had to struggle to refrain from entering the nightmare again, as if something was pulling them back in under the guise of heavy eyes. The struggle was always reported to be futile in spite of the struggle and they found themselves visiting the nightmare for the second, third or even fourth time within a duration of 8-10 hours sleep, some not surprisingly mentioned that they found themselves in the same instance more than a month later. Recurring nightmares are no large secret and are typically attributed to horror media consumption or some form of metaphor for emotional responses to memories or events taking place in physical space by Freudian psychoanalysts. They also say that the same applies for dreams, inferring that nightmares and dreams are the same and that a dream is a subtle response to the aforementioned whereas a nightmare is an extreme response, but how can they be the same when the mechanics within and how they influence an individual are different?
A further discovery was found in those who had experienced less than 6 hours sleep on a consecutive basis. These individuals still had nightmares and still found themselves in unison with the findings of the earlier individuals but they noted that their nightmares were different. The individuals who had a standard duration of 8-10 hours could describe their nightmare vividly, taking place in areas you could find in the world, but the individuals who had a duration of less than 6 hours reported their nightmares to be abstract and “existentially terrifying,” taking place in vast spaces or small rooms with no discernible entrance or exit, and even “within sounds” which the individual could not describe.
The following theory will now be put forth.
It is believed that dreams are nothing more than one’s memory attempting a cataloguing of the events of the day, week and/or month. This theory is heavily supported by the alterations of the environment which occur within a dream, such as venturing down the staircase in one’s house, yet finding oneself in a classroom when arriving at the bottom, two different spaces or memories merging into one space due to the cataloguing process. Nightmares however, are something entirely different.
1), a nightmare cannot be the result of the former belief because the space never changes or changes very little, which is contrary to the cataloguing process being manifested in a dream by the convergence of memories. 2), one can enter the near exact same instance of a nightmare multiple times shortly after waking from it or several weeks/months later; with a dream, one cannot. 3), there is no forceful variable pulling you back into a dream, whereas with a nightmare there is, regardless of how it is manifested.
If a space never drastically alters while the individual is present or absent, and can be revisited multiple times within lineal time periods it cannot be a product of one’s imagination or cataloguing of events. For if it was, the mechanics of a dream and its manifestations thereof would surely and logically apply. If what we term a “nightmare” is not in fact “all in our heads” then just what is it? The findings would suggest that a “nightmare” is a physical space that can be reached and both does and does not adhere to the laws which govern our existence and the universe. It adheres to these laws because the space never fundamentally changes even while the individual is absent from it, but it refutes these laws because individuals have reported on how the beings’ animations within a nightmare are unlike any organism within the scope of what we can normally observe; how their interaction and movement speed is slower, thereby deducing that that the air density and gravity level is different, and how an individual can find themselves in a nightmare that may exist in different aeons and historical time periods, contrary to lineal time.