Elements of Artificial Dreamspace
Dreamscapes of Wonderland The Alice Analogy
To the astonishment of the scientific community, recent and shocking revelations suggest, with possibly indisputable evidence, that psychiatrists had been studying artificial dreamspace as early as the 1870's, more than a century before the development of dreamspace equipment and artificial dream-inducing drugs, or even the idea that the human brain could facilitate a virtual environment was conceived.
In 2094, historian and dreamspace researcher Charles Dreyfuss published a report in the Polaris Science Journal (Feb 2094 edition) suggesting that beginning in 1864, a patient in a psychiatric hospital had been locked in a desperate war with her own subconscious for the control of her mind and body.
While original reports from the hospital itself never used the language employed to discuss any aspect of artificial dreams, Dreyfuss explained throughout his 120 page report that the patient in question was imprisoned in the limbo of her mind for an incalculable amount of time, battling for control against projections he described to be Agents and Shades.
Before proceeding, readers are reminded that Agents are powerful projections created, employed and commanded by the subconscious to destroy any foreign elements that the subconscious is exposed to. They are usually generated following events of psychological trauma.
Shades are semi-independent projections constructed on memories and imagination of animating beings such as humans, animals, or other living anomalies the individual has imagined.
What makes Dreyfuss' paper so controversial in academia is the fact that no currently known REM-inducing drug existed in Victorian-era Britain. Neither was the entire concept of artificial dreams in existence.
Critics argue that the patient, Alice Liddell, may have suffered several mental disorders as interpreted from the surviving records, or may have been exposed to hallucinogenic drugs to trigger the experiences she reported as summarized by the overseeing psychiatrist Dr. Hiernymous Wilson in his journals.
Other key facts that question Charles Dreyfuss' hypotheses are that projections can only be created if the human brain is exposed to a REM-inducer that creates artificial dreams, as well as the entire virtual environment itself. Alice could not possibly have received the closest stimulation of her senses from the depths of her own mind or her (natural) dreams that would compare to the stimulation of the real world.
According to Dr. Wilson's surviving records, after being admitted, Alice lost touched with reality (McGee) was comatose for ten years after she was admitted. In his paper, Dreyfuss suggests through his arguments and interpretations of Dr. Wilson's reports that Alice came under the assault by her own subconscious that threatened to "imprison her in her limbo and/or devour her."
Since Rutledge Asylum no longer exists, and since there was no dream sharing technology in the 19th century, it cannot be determined, or even flatly denied that Alice may have been to perhaps the most violent and dangerous dreamspace imaginable today, the living hell to which she called Wonderland.
It should also be noted that the records on Alice are limited. Rutledge Asylum was destroyed by German bombers during World War 2. Surviving records were found at the Houndsitch Centre for Wayward Youth in 1970, and were moved to the archives at Oxford University.
Alice Liddell was born on May 4th, 1856 to a wealthy family in Lancashire, England. Her father was the head of a trading company which transported goods throughout the British colonies. Her mother was the daughter of a baron who owned a large portion of central Britain's manufacturing industries.
In 1863, at age 7, Alice reportedly fell into a rabbit hole as she played around the base of a large tree. According to her caretaker, she had been sleeping next to her, and there was no rabbit hole, however she did have Alice describe her tales of Wonderland of which she later published as a series of storybooks.
It is highly questionable as to how a happy child growing up in a well off family could lapse into a catatonic state without any real stress even for a brief duration. Any signs other than a typical afternoon nap would have obviously been detected, as it would not have been possible to wake her up.
In November 1864, the family's manor was destroyed by a devastating fire that killed the rest of her family and their servants. Alice was discovered lying on the snow outside of the burning building unconscious from smoke inhalation. She and her cat were the only survivors. Authorities suspected arson, but the case remained unsolved until 1961 when archaeologists determined the fire was caused when an oil lamp fell off a table and hit the floor. Their findings and eyewitness accounts suggested the main culprit was the flammable interior decor, such as drapes, tapestries, carpets and banners, and above all, the wall was made of wood. A popular theory suggests the culprit was Alice's cat, while no solid evidence can confirm this.
Alice was treated for first degree burns on her arms and sent to the Rutledge Asylum when she showed visible signs of severe psychological trauma. Suffering from the loss of her parents, survivor's guilt, and the effects of rough early-era psychiatric treatment, Alice withdrew and slipped into a deep coma under which she spent the next ten years. Despite her catatonic state, she maintained a tight grasp on the stuffed rabbit she retrieved when she escaped the burning house.
Before she fell into her coma, Alice reported hearing her parents screaming for help, and then for her to escape herself as the flames quickly spread throughout the house.
In October 1874, ten years after she was admitted, Alice recovered from her coma, right into an episode of insanity or psychosis. After she was sedated, she fell asleep and re-entered Wonderland.
Within days, Alice's recovery was almost spontaneous, and was restored to the mental state of a normal person. She recounted her stories to Dr. Wilson who dutifully wrote every detail into a memoir of his experiences and work with her case. Alice was later released and transferred to the Houndsitch Home for Wayward Youth where she was monitored by psychiatrist Dr. Angus Bumby.
It was through Alice's written descriptions journal entries from Bumby and Wilson that Dreyfuss applied the dreamspace theory to Wonderland. There's neither way to determine which dream level this Wonderland was at, nor a way to determine whether it was at the core (or Limbo) of her mind.
Dreyfuss' summaries can be condensed into a basic outline of Alice's war against her own subconscious. Despite that there were no dream drugs or intravenous devices, which are required to 'set up' the dreamspace in someone's mind and create the projections (which remain dormant when the individual is not dreaming), Alice subconsciously created Wonderland, and the projections that occupy it, including the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, and the Caterpillar, the card guards, and the Red Queen.
However, after surviving the house fire and succumbing to the resulting psychological trauma, Alice was rejected by her own subconscious, perhaps as a direct or indirect result of the survivor's guilt she experienced, and/or as a security measure to protect her body (in these terms, the human body is the vehicle) from such danger again, since Alice woke up with only minutes to escape before being consumed by the flames.
Alice's subconscious transformed her shade, the Red Queen into an Agent. It is assumed that as Alice's mind deteriorated into a torrent of chaos, which was channeled through the Red Queen. As a shade in pre-disaster Wonderland, the Red Queen, or Queen of Hearts as earlier named, was hostile to Alice since she entered the area ruled by her.
It is suggested that since the Red Queen was already hostile to Alice, and that her own subconscious split and turned on her, it had made the Red Queen into an Agent with far greater powers, including abilities of Architects, Forgers, Chemists, as well as primary roles as the Dreamer and Subject, hence, giving the Agent complete control over Wonderland and any other dreamspace Alice may have entered as a Dreamer or Subject in the present.
The memory and data composing Wonderland and all projections that inhabited it became completely corrupted by the disaster, and by the subconscious and it's Red Queen Agent. Other Shades, such as the Mad Hatter, the Duchess, Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum, and numerous other projections turned against Alice at the direction of the subconscious.
The only influential independent projection that remained Alice's ally was the Cheshire Cat, although its appearance was forged to an emancipated creature by the subconscious. It is debated whether Alice gave the Cheshire Cat enough memory, imagination and power to resist the subconscious and continue to act freely as she had originally created it to.
Amidst all the insanity, Alice fought her way through Wonderland battling and destroying hostile projections with as much malicious intent as a crazed serial killer, while the subconscious sent hordes after her. Like a betrayed friend testing her tenure, the Cheshire Cat only assisted Alice with hints at how she was to navigate her way through distorted world. She later reported that after gaining and losing other allies, she finally earned the Cat's trust and heard it's pleas for her to successfully defeat the Red Queen or seek death and an end to the suffering of her mind. Alice wrote later that the Cat was killed by the Red Queen, which she found more saddening than when she witnessed the White Rabbit being crushed to death earlier.
Alice's writings on her battle with the Red Queen depict a long and difficult battle in which she used her wits and instincts to influence her subconscious (to protect herself) by mere thoughts, giving her a slight but significant advantage. She also wrote that she was 'given a stern and clear warning' by her subconscious to 'return to the safety of her delusions' (thus, forever remain as a projection imprisoned in her mind; or remain comatose for life) or be completely destroyed.
This threat was believed to be her subconscious' indication that it could kill her, and take over the body. Had this happened, Alice would have been considered alive as her body would still be alive, but the Alice Dr. Wilson knew would have been gone from existence.
After the final battle, she eventually defeated the Red Queen.
Alice didn't describe in present-day terms how she took back control of her subconscious and body, but according to the records and written journals, she succeeded by destroying Wonderland and restoring it to its pre-disaster state, and restored the friendly projections that were destroyed by the Red Queen.
Her restoration of Wonderland also resulted in the restoration of healthy chemical balances in her brain and body, and the rebound of her mental state to a happy, sane young woman. After spending another few months under observation and reporting of her 'adventures,' Alice was released from Rutledge and transferred to London to be monitored by another psychiatrist as she re-integrated into society.
Not much else is known about Alice after her recovery at Rutledge. The last report Dr. Wilson had on her was a letter from his colleague overseeing her recovery. She attended a finishing school, and worked in a textiles shop on the outskirts of London.
The theory that Alice's Wonderland was an artificial dreamspace has sparked interest and debate despite that surviving records from a defunct psychiatric hospital cannot provide any actual evidence beyond interpretable theory, however, it has sparked curiosity and concern in the scientific community that where people end up if they withdraw into their minds is actually an artificial dreamspace or comparable virtual environment within the human brain.
Despite the controversy over Charles Dreyfuss' report, it has inspired research into such matters as described above, and has shown a theoretical insight into just how dangerous the subconscious and the imagination can really be.
If Alice had been alive in the present day, dreamspace researchers may have seen perhaps one of the most fantastic and terrifying glimpses into a human mind gone completely mad. Among dreamspace researchers, historians and others who romanticize the story of Alice, she had become an icon of legend. Since Dreyfuss' report was published and spread, many dreamspace venturers ,researchers, patients and anyone else struggling with their own inner turmoil, viewed Alice as a hero in the war she fought to regain her own peace of mind.