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I had this dream in an afternoon 3-hr long nap today where I was so drunk that I could not keep track of the present. I remember, at one moment I was conscious that I feel drunk and then the next moment I knew of, much time had already passed from that previous moment of awareness. This all was in the dream itself. There were also accompanying signs like heart palpitations which are actually true for me in real life too. The surprising thing is that I did not drink in real life at all in the past few weeks, and neither did I drink within the dream.

I was just curious if there is any insight in Buddhism on this - does it hint at any blockages, or hindrances that I may have in "real life"? Thanks for any insights.

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  • This is partly a homeopathic symptom of nat mur from what I remember from someone years ago. You should probably seriously think over addictions of alcohol.
    – User 29449
    Dec 31, 2023 at 16:14

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Dreams can arise due to many factors like cravings , conditionings , karma etc. Dreams of alcohol are coming due to cravings.

Dreams are impermanent. Dreams arise , change and vanish. Therefore it is not appropriate to call the dreams as me , mine or myself.

If you have quit drinking then it is good step and there is nothing to worry about.

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  • I actually have never been addicted to alcohol... I have barely drunk, can barely drink a beer without pushing myself. I understand that it's not me and mine... The real reason I asked this question was the mind state associated in the dream, not the content itself. I actually was mentally drunk, feeling the effects probably clearer than in real life. This is what surprises me Jan 1 at 2:46
  • @Kobamschitzo Are you deeply associated with anyone who drinks or was addicted to alcohol ? Jan 1 at 3:14
  • No, I am from an Easter conservative family. None of my family or friends drink alcohol except me, but I too barely drink.. like thrice a year or so. Jan 5 at 21:15
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Dreams are just mental formations arising and ceasing in succession, a way to let the mind relax and fall into the many varied and myriad of fabrications it can concoct. Not to be taken for anything other than that.

Imagine it as a dice roll RPG, like dungeons and dragons or something. This roll you are wearing stockings (6) while you are a tyrannosaurus rex (9) in barbados (4)......there is your dream.

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Drunkenness is a state of mind to which we can become attached.

SN8.12:2.1: “We used to wander, drunk on poetry,
SN8.12:2.2: village to village, town to town.
SN8.12:2.3: Then we saw the Buddha,
SN8.12:2.4: and faith arose in us.

And about attachment, the Buddha also advised:

MN62:3.2: “Rāhula, you should truly see any kind of form at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near: all form—with right understanding: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self.’”

A three hour afternoon nap is unusually long. Sometimes an unusually heavy meal can stupefy us into a drunken slumber. Look beyond the dream.

AN5.210:1.1: “Mendicants, there are these five drawbacks of falling asleep unmindful and unaware.

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    Yeah I think you basically answeed it.. It was this slumber hours wondering about, because I ate earlier. its amazing the slumber was quite intense within my dream and it felt quite real, more real I would say than real life drunk. Jan 1 at 2:48
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Our minds work by association. You see something, its characteristics remind you of something you have experienced before, and you assume it's related.

In this case, your dream experience contained some signs (nimitta) like the loss of balance, blured vision, a lapse of awareness and so on, and in your memory these signs are associated with the state of being drunk, so that's what your mind assumed. If you had memory of an earthquake, your mind could have associated these signs with that memory and then you would see a little earthquake story. This is just how it works.

Another question, why those particular signs were produced, and why that association came up. Your specific reference to the lapse of awareness makes me think you must have spent some time recently paying attention to your awareness, and it slipped into your dreaming mind. So it could be a good sign that you are taking it seriously.

Another component of the association mechanism is emotion. Can you remember what emotion you experienced in the dream when you were drunk, and when you noticed that time lapse? That's the most interesting part of the puzzle.

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