In a way, our dreams are like a Fight Club that we all have sworn in secrecy not to talk about. But today, I’m going to break convention and discuss the underground world of our dreams along side this epic film.
Each time we enter our dreams there is a kind of project mayhem at work within our subconscious mind. And this chaotic world of illusion sometimes puts us into a similar situation to that of the narrator in Fight Club, except every night is like night one – so guess what? You have to fight.
It should be no surprise that a vast majority of this epic film takes place during the night, implying a connection to our dreams. But beyond that it deals with the interaction between the conscious and subconscious mind. “Who you were in fight club is not who you were in the rest of the world” and so it is with our dreams – a totally different side of ourselves awakens when we close our eyes at night.
In Fight Club, there are several sub textual associations that can be drawn to theoretical concepts that have been taught about dreaming, especially those stemming from Sigmund Freud and his perspective regarding identity and the two parts of the self.
This movie is VERY Freudian in nature. And if you look through Freud’s thick Coke bottle glasses, I can assure you that it adds a 3D perspective. You’ll notice interesting and sometimes hilarious references to things like the concept of projection, repression, transference, and the Oedipus Complex.
Freud taught that there are two parts within us all and we can see these roles being filled by the narrator and Tyler Durden. The Narrator represents the conscious mind, while Tyler obviously represents the subconscious.
But the truth is that every one of us has an inner Tyler and an inner Narrator. We are all composed of a conscious side and a subconscious one. These parts coordinate with one another, but occasionally, they have opposing agendas, which can make things kind of interesting.
The conscious mind is influenced by a sense of morality, but the subconscious mind doesn’t really give a crap, kind of like Tyler. Instead, it is instinctual and neglects moral obligation.
Similar to how Marla and the narrator decide who will be attending what group meetings and when, in real life, the conscious and subconscious minds have a very similar agreement. They don’t like being in the same place at the same time, and so, like two divorced parents - they divide their schedules.
But occasionally we find ourselves in a dilemma where these two parts within us have a disagreement. For instance, have you ever been trying really hard to eat healthy and then subconsciously eaten a huge triple patty cheeseburger by yourself? Neither have I…
But this would be a prime example of the two parts of the self and their opposing intentions. The subconscious mind has inherited an instinctual appetite for high fat content because our primal ancestors were programmed to capitalizing on such opportunities, while our conscious mind tells us not to since it desperately wants to look sexy like the people in the magazines. I do at least.
But both the Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde sides of our identity have important functions in our lives. Our hearts wouldn’t beat without the subconscious mind, and we’d probably all end up in prison if it weren’t for the conscious mind.
In one of my recent lucid dreams, I had an opportunity to meet what I consider to be my inner Tyler Durden. It was perhaps the most fascinating/ disturbing dream experience I’ve ever had. It looked something like this. To be continued... ;)