The "We live inside a dream" theory

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The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby Low Entropy » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:47 am

Posted this originally on Facebook but wanted to post it here too.

I like to introduce the "We live inside a dream theory". I once read the problem is we as humans start with assumptions and prejudices towards a thing, instead of experiencing it as it is first. Now with Twin Peaks, we know Frost likes Theosophy and Lynch is about Transcendental Meditation, so we think what see is Cooper is traveling through an astral or mental plane, sent from a different dimension back to earth. But if we would leave this aside. Take just the opening scene. You're sitting with a giant in a black and white room. He says cryptic things. A gramophone makes strange noises. Suddenly you fade out of the room. In which context would that make sense? In the context of a dream. Let's face it, a lot of the things we see in Episode 3 makes a lot of sense in the context of a dream. For example the reaction of the characters to the supernatural is very unreal. Cole nearly get's sucked into the vortex of another dimension. No biggie to these guys. They react as if it's something that happens every day. A kid moves like a zombie and vomits as if possessed. Again, apparently nothing people in Twin Peaks would find too strange.
There is a very unreal and dreamlike feel to a lot if the scenes. The inside nuclear explosions scene for example.
It would even explain the "unrealistic, cheap CGI" we see - more fitting to dreams than realism. The glitches we have seen.
It may very well be that all we see is in a dream or an artificial reality.
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby waferwhitemilk » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:40 pm

Audrey is dreaming this all up in her coma.

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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby Low Entropy » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:48 pm

After watching all 18 Episodes, I still (or rather, more than ever) think it is the best explanation to what we were seeing on screen.
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby Framed_Angel » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:08 pm

I'd been saying this... well, mostly to myself but - - on the occasions when some characters' behavior felt out of sync or they acted irrational (Shelley one minute consoling her daughter w/ Bobby, next minute breaking her embrace of Becky to run to her lover as if whatever preceded Red's arrival hadn't been absorbing her); or time-confusion same episode, (Deputy Mitch "come see my new car" when moments ago we'd observed him assisting Bobby at the gunshot scene> RR Diner).
I was concluding around those times that the only context to make sense of these was how they resembled dreams usually: dreams feature out-of-context situations, irrational behviors; don't accommodate explanation or easy endings. Both familiar and strange aspects occupy dream worlds. I said as much once the scenes we were watching seemed more like vignettes, but I got *crickets.* So I figured it was too simple an explanation -- even though as I'd begun revisiting Lynch's other works such as MD and LH, it seemed everything featured dreams in some mention or another!~
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby Low Entropy » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:54 pm

It doesn't have to be a cheap explanation. There are badly executed Dream stories, as in Dallas, or those that are well done, like in Inception. I'd say Lynch is someone who would execute a Dream plot masterfully.
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby Low Entropy » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:55 am

I already mentioned the dream theory, but I want to add something to it. There was the theory about Inland Empire that everything happened inside the mind of one person - The One Mind theory. With Season 3 I assume we're seeing the "Universal Mind Theory" in action. I assume Lynch follows the common spiritual belief that all dreams (and all minds) are connected. Who is the dreamer? We saw two people directly break out of their "dreams" or illusions. We saw Gordon Cole dreaming. It's not just Cooper or Audrey's dream, they share a common dream; as well as every other person in the series; and every viewer - it's a vast network of dreams and minds that are connected and blend in each other. There are some heavy fourth wall breaks in the series - Lynch makes them even blend with the real work. He breaks the wall between fictional characters and real life viewers in a sense.
We all are the dreamer(s), both fictional and real. (This makes more sense if you know the spiritual teaching of the connected minds).
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby CuriousWoman » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:50 am

I don't buy the dream explanation, or at least that the characters are not real. Audrey woke up from the dream but the dream did not stop.

If anything, i consider that the universe of Twin Peaks is a dream by the lodge entities, or Judy especially (much like Azatoth in Lovecraft universe) and that they managed to fully enter it with the nuclear explosion.

The Black Lodge gorges itself on the suffering of its inhabitants and the Fireman wants to help them, making Laura the nuclei of the world, its heart.

I will try to explain my interpretation like this:

The dream is like the Matrix, it does not exist in the usual sense but it does in another. When Jeffries managed to escape the abstractions of the dream and enter the "real world" of the Lodges he was destroyed. His goal was to stop the corruption of Judy and the abominations it birthed much like Neo wants to stop the machines and their agents.
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby Spacevessel » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:36 am

I believe the dream theory is correct.

During that joyful reunion meeting at Sheriff Truman's in ep17, Coop is acting like everyone in the room, and everything around him exists just for him. He is the center of all attention, and everything revolves around him. Same feeling dreamers often, if not always have.
Then he finally notices a strange woman with an unnaturally peculiar face, and as it often happens to dreamers when they suddenly notice the lack of logic, his mind realises/remembers that he's dreaming, thus comes "we live inside a dream" thought. The strange woman then transforms into Diane, which was a very unreal thing, yet Coop quickly accepts what just happened, and decides to continue his unbelievable journey for a reason unclear, not questioning himself, his motivations or his environment. Just like dreamers would, while they live their dream persona.

I feel that most of the characters we saw this season were not real, while there is a number if actual dreamers involved in this, dreaming their own dreams, and sometimes their dreams conjoin (thus joining hands), creating the world of Twin Peaks we saw this summer. Most obvious dreamers are Coop, Diane, Cole and Audrey. Maybe Jerry Horne too.

Some of them don't realise they are dreaming, but it looks like Coop, Diane and Cole decided to continue dreaming deliberately.

And that's the theory I connect with.
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby Cipher » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:49 am

Okay, so if any portion of this season was to have been a literal dream (and I think it's a viable reading that parts were; sitting there delightfully right alongside all the other readings in a way that doesn't ruin them), it strikes me that it would be Cooper's dream in the Black Lodge.

As noted, things go perfectly in his favor. The negative qualities he possesses are shifted onto doppelgangers. We get two super-imposed faces during the season, and one is Laura's (Cooper's obsession, appearing before Cole), and Cooper's (at 2:53 in the sheriff's station, right at his greatest and most surreal moment of self-assured triumph). Afterward, he exits the Lodge once again, after an attempt to save Laura that probably did happen. There are also The Arm's unsettling word's mirroring Audrey's, who we also witnessed awaken. A teasing question -- "Did you just dream a long dream? Did your story end?"

If that's the case, the Cooper with all aspects of his personality intact who we see meet Diane outside the red curtains would be the "real one" who dreamt his fantastic dream, maybe dreamt himself straight into another world, in the Lodge, and the only version of Cooper to exit it. The finale then proceeds as we see it.

And maybe that's as true as anything else the finale reveals. Normally I resist giving into any "dream" endings, but this doesn't strike me as dissatisfactory as an alternate reading, especially given the fluid nature of Twin Peaks' worlds. It could both be true and not be true--it offers up feelings just to entertain it.

Then again, that's not quite satisfactory, because then what brings Diane into the sphere of the Lodges in the first place? And surely there really was a doppelganger too.

Or is Richard the real Cooper all along? That also can't quite track, so is it all just, as I recently saw someone on reddit phrase it, "dream worlds inventing each other"? That tracks, and that's both beautiful and horrifying, and a pretty decent mission statement for Lynch's longest work. The big mystery. There are layers and layers of dreaming and wonderful, fearful imagination, but no one knows whose dream it is.
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby DeepBlueSeed » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:00 pm

I largely subscribe to the dream theory, with the caveat that dream seems to be pretty much the reality of the Black Lodge. As such I can believe that much of what we see happens in the 'real world' of the TV show, but much is wish fulfilment (or, conversely, nightmarish), and the lines between are blurred. As Cooper comes closer to 'awakening', and returning to Twin Peaks, popular characters within Twin Peaks, most notably those Cooper knew, seem closer to achieving their dreams. I think this is why we see the Roadhouse flit between events that are apparent real and those that seem unlikely. Towards the end of the dream we see other people's stories largely overwhelmed by Cooper's. When Cooper's face fades over the top of the scene, and he announces We Live Inside A Dream it feels like he's has become the most lucid, the most in control of the dream, seemingly aware of things he shouldn't know, and everyone else is just a background character. I largely feel that he has been dreaming of his own existence in the world, and doesn't really enter the real world until part 18, having experienced the whole awakening as a mythological heroes quest. And I believe he IS able to affect the past, that the dream allows him to jump back to 1989, to change events in time. But In leaving the Lodge properly after 25 years, his personality reasserts itself as the sum of all its parts, the dark and the light, and all the bundle of contradictions and insecurities and memories that entails. Only to discover that reality isn't quite as forgiving and as fluid as the dream.

In FWWM we see Jeffries announce the same line about living inside the dream, but we see it mostly from the view of the other FBI agents. Jeffries seems to blink into existence and then out again, and whilst he is around strange things happen (like Cooper's image on the camera). Jeffries is the dreamer. In The Return we see the dream (and the dreamer) from the other perspective.

I think there's something to be said for characters that almost break the fourth wall, for recognising that the world of the TV show is distinct from the real world but that it might be possible to blur those lines too. In a way we're all supporting the same dream. Whilst Audrey seems trapped in some dream-like state it is when she reacts to our memory of her theme song that she seems to revel in being a character within a fictional setting, all reality temporarily suspended whilst we (and the surrounded cast) watch her dance. Gordon Cole's dream seems to be suggest that he is the dreamer, but it could just as well be Lynch. Even the owner of the Palmer house at the end being played by the actual owner of the house makes it feel like we've stepped away from the crazy dream and into something that borders our reality.
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby Low Entropy » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:15 am

DeepBlueSeed, I incorporated your thoughts into a new text:
more on the universal mind / shared dreams theory. we see a network of dreams basically, dreams shared by multiple dreamers. some dreamers are more aware of this, though. ed realizes he is dreaming when he is pondering at night and sees the glitch in the reflection. it becomes a lucid dream for him then, and he uses this to dream up a happy end with norma. audrey breaks out of her passive dream reality too. the one that is most advanced though is cooper. when the face is superimposed on the happenings on screen and we hear "we live inside a dream" he becomes fully aware of his dream. he uses this to generate a happy end for laura. not all is perfect though, and he needs to "cross over" to get to a better solution (which we don't see onscreen.
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby powerleftist » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:21 am

Cooper/Richard is the dreamer. Starring Kyle MacLachlan.
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby tresojos » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:37 pm

its like im having the most beautiful dream, and the most terrible nightmare. all at once
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby Deep Thought » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:10 am

Spacevessel wrote:I feel that most of the characters we saw this season were not real, while there is a number if actual dreamers involved in this, dreaming their own dreams, and sometimes their dreams conjoin (thus joining hands), creating the world of Twin Peaks we saw this summer. Most obvious dreamers are Coop, Diane, Cole and Audrey. Maybe Jerry Horne too.

This is how I am seeing the season now. I would add James to the list of dreamers, and Ed.

Albert seems he is a prop most of the time, from the get go I saw him as a passive character. He could be appearing in several dreamer's stories. Cole's, Diane's, and in Coop's he gets a cameo.
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Re: The "We live inside a dream" theory

Postby mtwentz » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:53 am

Of course, 'we live inside a dream' could be just a general statement of Lynch's philosophy of life- it does not necessarily mean Twin Peaks is a dream (though it suggests that possibility).
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