Except it wasn't a dream. Nicole and Michael Sebastian thought it would be amusing to meet for drinks at the Dream Palace, a scary Scottsdale bar featuring an all-nude-girl revue. We met there because the Sebastians are professional dream interpreters who've authored Trust Yourself: Master Your Dreams, Master Your Destiny, and this bar had the word "dream" in its name. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The Sebastians call themselves the Dream Dudes, although Nicole looks less like a dude than an off-hours Playboy bunny. While nude women gyrated nearby, the Sebastians and I talked, sometimes in circles, about waking and dreaming and the true meaning of Fay Wray.
New Times: What are dreams, really?
Michael Sebastian: They're a memory of our travels in the other dimension. The reason we don't remember them very well when we awaken is because we've gone to places we aren't very familiar with.
Nicole Sebastian: Yes. When we go to sleep, we shut this reality down and hook up to an inner consciousness.
NT: No kidding.
Michael: In our book, we go into quantum physics, and use it to explain how everything in the world is part of a large matrix, where A equals B equals C. I'm hooked up to you, we're both hooked up to Nicole, and we're all hooked up to the distant neutron star in Alpha Centauri II. It's all one. So if I tell you I know exactly what you are thinking right now, it's not so unusual, since we're all connected.
NT: So each of us is connected to some greater intelligence, which is communicating with us while we're asleep? Wouldn't it be better to communicate with us while we're awake?
Nicole: No! When you're asleep you don't have mental things to block the message. When you go to sleep, there's just pure information coming in -- we call it a dream. So in the morning you write down the dream, you decipher its message, and you have the answer.
NT: What if there's no question?
Nicole: That's fabulous! Let me tell you about waking dreams. They're messages from the universe. I came home one day and the clothes rod in my closet had broken. Do you know what that means?
NT: You own too many sweaters?
Nicole: No! It was the universe telling me I have too many hang-ups! Get it? Hang-ups!
Michael: It's like if you're driving and you spill hot coffee, it means you're about to get burnt by someone in your life. Or if you're driving too fast and a cop pulls you over, it means your life is moving too fast in a direction it shouldn't. That's waking dreams.
Nicole: Yes! You get a flat tire, it means your life is out of balance. Your car battery goes dead, it means you're out of energy. Everything means something! It's all parts of a puzzle, and that really makes life cool. I've been sober for 10 years, and what allows me to stay sober is that life is a really entertaining puzzle. I'm constantly working on my own personal puzzle, so I never need to watch TV!
NT: Here's my theory: Dreams are built on things you thought about or saw not long before you went to sleep. Period. Nothing mystical.
Michael: Well, that's true. But there are also important messages in your dreams. Like when we were trying to decide whether to move here from Austin last year. We started seeing synchronicities: I'd see Phoenix license plates; I'd turn on the radio and there'd be a story about the weather in Phoenix; I'd see symbols of phoenix birds everywhere I went.
NT: Speaking of birds, what does it mean when I dream I can fly?
Michael: You're out of your body. Flying dreams are when our energy is traveling to another place. You're in an altered state.
NT: What about the one where I'm back in school, but I'm only wearing Jockey briefs?
Michael: Everyone has that one. It's about feeling vulnerable, and the being in school part means you have some more life lessons to learn. Some issues you didn't face.
Nicole: Sweetie here met me in a dream five years before we actually met.
NT: Did you recognize her when you met her awake?
Michael: Not at first. Because in the dream she was a personal trainer.