ὁ Ἡράκλειτός φησι τοῖς ἐγρηγορόσιν ἕνα καὶ κοινὸν κόσμον εἶναι τῶν δὲ κοιμωμένων ἕκαστον εἰς ἴδιον ἀποστρέφεσθαι
"The waking have one common world, but the sleeping turn aside each into a world of his own."
-Heraclitus (fr. 89)
A fascinating insight, but in the end, not quite right. The dualistic relationship between the "inner " and the "outer" worlds (which develops around the time of the Pre-Socratics, culminates in Descartes and his followers and enemies in the following centuries and structures much of our own thought and metaphors to this day) is a creation of a metaphor-generating consciousness that has located itself in a mirror. In truth, even giving credence to the split between the "inner-world" and the "outer-world," the outer-world still works its cumulative magic on us even when we sleep. The dreamworld can be shaped by outside stimuli. I remember one dream I had years ago that was strangely (even for the dream) interrupted by the Backstreet Boys steeping unto the stage of the my personal Cartesian theater. They sang one of their hits, popular at the time, and before I had a chance to ask for bad-boy A.J. McLean's autograph, I awoke to find the alarm-clock radio blasting, you guessed it, the Backstreet Boys.
Heraclitus' dreams might have been guided and shaped by the night-time murmuring of River Cayster, flowing outside his bedroom window in Ephesus. Mine are effected by this douchebag:
Wake up, honey. I made you breakfast.
(P.S. Kevin Richardson, the Backstreet Boy shown here, seems to prefer a style of facial hair popular in Spain, France and Italy during the 17th century. Perhaps he is trying to resemble French pirate François l'Olonnais?)