Sleepwalking, and other like parasomnias, confound the boundary between sleep and wake.
Simply put, sleep and wake are dualities. What is a duality?
Two halves of a whole. A “this” and “that”, which in French would translate to ci and ça; also known as seesaw.
The seesaws found on children’s playgrounds are straightforward: in profile, they’re mere lines. We like lines. The line says, “ ‘A’ leads to ‘B’. Connect the dots.
Follow the stream.” With lines, there is logic. There is clear progress. There is reason. There is me, and there is you. If I do this, you do that. Seesaw.
We are comfortable with the concept of duality that the seesaw presents. It makes things easy to categorize, easy to separate, easy to define, and easy to relate.
If I am asleep, I am not awake. Seesaw.
Sleepwalking, however, doesn’t allow for such clear differentiation between sleep and wake.
On the playground, sleepwalking is more akin to the merry-go-round.
Here, the fixed line between two distinct points gets spun about an axis and becomes a relation of the larger whole—the radius of a circle.
Sleepwalking is dangerous because it transgresses the concept of “two”. It mixes, presents ambiguities, and dissolves boundaries.
What was once a clear, linear stream of consciousness becomes a whirlpool of interrelated symbols, metaphors, and images.
The circle, the merry-go-round in motion, asks, “Are you really moving forward in an infinite, linear path, or are you actually returning to the same points over and over and over again? Is all of life but a dream?