Most vivid was the one a few days ago where I dreamed I was at a party and I wanted to leave but I couldn't find hoiho, who was supposed to be coming with me. I asked lots of people (including simonb, who was playing computer games, can't remember who else now, but they basically just shrugged and weren't interested, so I ended up searching the entire house on my own, with various people telling me to stop looking, and at one point I wondered if they knew he was dead and that was why they didn't want me to keep looking, but in the end I went down a tiny narrow staircase and he was there, sort of under the stairs, and he grabbed my arm as I went past which terrified me and then I was just cross with him for hiding, and he said "I needed some answers to some questions" but wouldn't explain beyond that. And I was trying to talk to him but couldn't talk, and woke myself up trying to talk (I do this quite a lot in dreams), so I woke up feeling cross and frightened and worrying about him, and couldn't shake the feeling for ages even though I knew it had all just been a dream.
I wonder if the emotions are already there (consciously or subconsciously) and that's why the dreams occur -- as an outlet for them? Or are the emotional triggers in given situations so strong that even imagining the situations can invoke the emotions? Are dreams like 'imagining' or more like experiencing 'for real'? There's something that stops us actually getting up and moving around while dreaming -- they've done experiments with cats where they suppress that thing and the cats run around and 'hunt' in their sleep -- so maybe it's actually closer to experience than imagination?
On the way into work today I had a bizarre experience while crossing Jesus Lock bridge -- for a couple of seconds I just didn't have a clue where I was, though something was telling me it was Oxford, but it was -- how can explain this? -- just the name 'Oxford', not any meaningful knowledge of place -- and the not-knowing made me feel terribly panicky for just those couple of seconds. Then once I 'knew' again I started wondering how I knew, and what made this one place rather than another ... which makes no sense really, but feels awfully like something I experienced in another, er, state of mind. Weird and disorientating.