Note posted on November 6, 2020
One of my favorite theories is when we dream, we're not only seeing things from our subconscious mind. Instead, we're seeing bits and pieces from everyone's subconscious minds mixed in. But we never know exactly which parts of the dream are ours and which are someone else's.
I got this from the idea of a collective unconsciousness. There are thoughts shared by almost every human, like instinctual and archetypal thoughts. I like to stretch it further and think of it as a giant current of thoughts flowing in the surrounding air. Most of our everyday thoughts get drowned out by dominant ideas, like a drop of water in the ocean. But sometimes our thoughts survive and drift further into the collective unconscious. If we're lucky, they're picked up by people as they sleep and appear in their dreams.
I know this likely isn't true. But I like to believe we have those surprise glimpses into the minds of those around us. Even if we'll never know the full context behind it all, it helps us build more empathy one step at a time.