Attitudes and beliefs about dreams vary widely across the Fifth World. Some share the opinions of many of their ancestors that dreams do not matter, while others accord them great significance. People in the Fifth World accord phenomenological truth a weight that their civilized ancestors often did not. They would not naively try to place dreams within the normal confines of time and space experienced in the waking world, but we experience both, and those experiences have a particular reality to them.

For some families, dreams reveal parts of one’s self normally hidden or obscured. They interpret dreams in a psychological light. Other families consider dreams messages from another world. In a dream we “remix” our sensory inputs from the waking day, often synesthetically. The most scientifically-inclined in such families might explain that our unconscious minds inhabit a different world — or more properly, a different way of perceiving this world — where our waking minds do not so rigidly sort sensory inputs. Our dreams come to us as messages from this world, giving us new ways to interpret the waking world. Can we really say that the extra layers of carefully sorting our sensory perceptions and labeling them with our waking minds, shaped by language, really gives us a more real perception of the world? Or does the synesthetic experience of raw perception, before logic or language have a chance to try to clean it all up, provide a more real perspective? Most sages would say that neither does; rather, they simply provide different perspectives, neither more true or real than the other. But more than that, most would consider the entire explanation tedious: it still comes down to the original experience of dreams as messages from another world, so what does all of that explanation add that one did not already experience from the dream itself?

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