“Why is it that from time to time I expound contradictory and irreconcilable processes for dreaming and learning how to dream? Probably because I am so used to seeing false things as if they were true, dreamed things as vividly as if I’d really seen them, I’ve lost the human distinction (false, I think) between truth and lies.
All I have to do is see or hear (or perceive with any other sense) a thing clearly to feel it to be real. It may well be that I feel two things that cannot exist at the same time. It doesn’t matter.
There are creatures who suffer for hours and hours because they cannot be the figures in paintings or on playing cards. There are souls on whom not being able to be people from the Middle Ages weighs like a malediction. I’ve had that problem. But not today. I’ve gone beyond it. But it does pain me, for example, not to be able to dream of two kings in different kingdoms belonging, for example, to universes with different kinds of space and time. Not having achieved this truly saddens me. It’s like going hungry.
To be able to dream inconceivable things by making them visible is one of the great triumphs that even I, great as I am, only rarely attain. Yes, dreaming that I am, for example, simultaneously, separately, unconfusedly, a man and a woman taking a walk along a riverbank. To see myself, at the same time, with equal clarity, in the same way, with no mixing, being the two things, integrated equally in both, a conscious boat in a southern sea and a printed page in an ancient book. How absurd this seems! But everything is absurd, and the dream is the least of the absurdities.”
(Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet, from note 21 in Alfred Mac Adam’s translation, which is note 32 in Maria Aliete Galhoz & Teresa Sobral Cunha’s edition of the Livro do Desassossego.)