Is This A Dream?

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Is This a Dream? Are my hands really typing on the keyboard? The music I am listening to: is it really there or am I imagining it in my head? How do I know this whole day hasn't been a dream, or a daydream in fact? For example, one day after class I took a nap. I was lying down watching a movie with my friend. She had class at 1:00 so she left in the middle of the movie. Without her presence there, I fell asleep. I can recall in the middle of my deep sleep that someone opened the door to my dorm room and walked in. I saw the image of my friend who had just left for class. It was weird because she did not speak a word. I shouted out her name, "Trisha, is that you?"� but there was no reply. I saw something there.

I tried to wake up, but my eyelids already felt like they were open. I woke up minutes later and realized that this had been a dream. But it felt so real. I thought about what we had learned in philosophy and Descartes method of doubt. I tried to think philosophically and asked myself, "Did it really happen? If it didn't happen, then how do I know if all of my dreams weren't real? Maybe reality is really a dream and I just didn't wake up."� Even though this realization did not affect my life, it did so to Rene Descartes. When he was twenty-three, Descartes had a series of three dreams. From this interpretation of his dreams, he would spend his life establishing a new, unified theory of the universe based upon mathematics, or mathematical physics.

Born in 1596, Descartes was known as the man who started the...