Exploring the Sleeping Mind

The Demon in Disguise

The Dream: “My boyfriend and I had fallen asleep lying next to each other on the couch. I was facing away from him, toward the front of the couch. I woke up in sleep paralysis and the room just looked dark and normal, but I realized there was an additional presence in the room. Somehow I knew it was a demon, and I could tell it was only a few feet away, standing behind the couch and over my sleeping boyfriend, behind me, but since I was in sleep paralysis, I couldn’t turn to look. It was speaking with a voice that sounded robotic, even though the thing itself had a living presence. I think it was using some kind of technology to speak instead of speaking with its own voice, like a disguise. The technology took different sounds and put them in sequence to form words, like it was experimenting with speech. The words and sentences it formed were horrific. It was talking about things like harming children, and said this all to my boyfriend, but he didn’t wake up. I kept trying to wake up to yell at the demon to leave him alone, but I couldn’t.”

The Background: The dreamer experienced sleep paralysis. When humans fall into deep sleep, the body essentially paralyzes itself to avoid acting out its dreams and therefore putting the dreamer in danger. During sleep paralysis, the dreamer becomes aware of the fact that the body is completely paralyzed. This can be a terrifying feeling and people in sleep paralysis often experience nightmares from which they are unable to run.

The Analysis: The dreamer feels that her boyfriend is under a threat somehow, and a threat that he is completely unaware of. This threat disguises itself as something that it is not. When asked if there has been anything she feels has been a threat to her boyfriend lately, the dreamer says that she has been horrified as her boyfriend has been more and more attached to his smartphone lately, and has been drawn to more and more subversive content online, like violent videos that he says he simply watches out of morbid curiosity. It appears that her mind has anthropomorphized his cell phone in her dream, giving it consciousness and intent. In this context, the dreamer sees the violent content online as something evil and poisonous, traveling via technology into her boyfriend’s mind, and subconsciously influencing him more than he admits or realizes. This evil is not an incidental evil of which her boyfriend happens to be a curious consumer, but rather an intentional and directed evil, something deliberately formulating a manipulative plot targeting her boyfriend. The intentionality of this evil can be interpreted in one or both of two ways depending on your viewpoint: one, it is a product of the dreamer’s own anxiety as she worries about her boyfriend’s smartphone addiction, and/or two, the dreamer is witness to an actual, external evil attacking her boyfriend.

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