It seems like everywhere you turn, the music of Billie Eilish is playing. From television shows to viral internet video clips songs from Billie Eilish’s debut studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? can be heard. After watching her video Bury a Friend, I can genuinely appreciate the dark and creepy overtones in both the lyrics of the music and the cinematography.
I found it interesting that the album doesn’t contain a song entitled When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? But instead that line is in the lyrics:
What do you want from me? Why don’t you run from me?
What are you wondering? What do you know?
Why aren’t you scared of me? Why do you care for me?
When we all fall asleep, where do we go?
The question can be looked at from two angles. If by “fall asleep,” she means dies. Then it’s where do we go when we die? But I was more curious about the second angle. When Billie Eilish says, “fall asleep” as literally falling asleep. What happens each night when we lay our heads on the pillow and drift off to sleep.
When we all fall asleep, where do we go?
To answer this question, we need to exam what sleep is?
Merriam-Webster defines sleep as “the natural, easily reversible periodic state of many living things that is marked by the absence of wakefulness and by the loss of consciousness of one’s surroundings, is accompanied by a typical body posture (such as lying down with the eyes closed), the occurrence of dreaming, and changes in brain activity and physiological function, is made up of cycles of non-REM sleep and REM sleep, and is usually considered essential to the restoration and recovery of vital bodily and mental functions.”
The key phrase that really struck me in that definition was the “absence of wakefulness and by the loss of consciousness.” Clearly, when we are asleep, we are not awake. But when we lose consciousness, what happens?
Have you ever had a super realistic dream? When you wake up, you have a hard time realizing that the dream wasn’t real.
I have had dreams where I dreamt that a killer was hunting me.
It was dark, and I was walking through the woods. A blonde woman in a blue baby doll dress and a vintage plastic Halloween mask is standing beside a tree. She is heavily pregnant. She looks like she needs help. I get close to her, and she pulls out a large butcher knife. The pregnant woman pushes me. I lose my balance and fall to the ground. She quickly straddles me. She raises the knife and plunges it into my side.
Just as the tip of the knife breaks my skin, I wake up with a massive cramp in the same spot where she stabbed me out. I think I am still in the forest and quickly enter flight or fight mode. After a moment, I realize I am home in my bed.
But where was I at? Where did I go when I fell asleep that night?
Or as Billie Eilish would put it, “When we all fall asleep, where do we go?”
My mind did not know I was still in bed. My body may be, but my consciousness wasn’t. This baffles me. I want answers.
I could turn to science, but sometimes the answers to these tough abstract questions can be better explained by examining art. And when I say art, I mean movies. When I say movies, I mainly mean horror films. After all, I am a horror freak.
So what do horror films tell us about where do we go when we fall asleep?
The first movie that comes to mind is the original Nightmare on Elm Street. This 1984 Wes Craven horror classic puts forth a good theory. Nightmare on Elm Street is about a group of teens whose dreams are invaded by Freddy Krueger.
What makes Krueger so terrifying is that he can harm you in your dreams. He can also control your dream world. This means that the place we go to is a dream world. Could this dream world be another dimension? Or is this dream world all in our imagination?
Freddy Krueger could stab and kill his victims. When the victims died in the dream world, they also died in the real world. This may sound farfetched. But in the example dream that I described, I had a physical reaction from something that happened in my dream world. Yes, I didn’t have a cut, but I did have a cramp in the same spot as the knife entered me.
Insidious is the other horror movie that I think of when I think of dreams. A young boy is in a sleeplike state. The family tries to figure out what is wrong with him medically. Then they turn to the paranormal.
The explanation in the movie is that the boy is in an astral dimension called The Further. So is it possible that we travel to an astral plane when we sleep?
An astral plane is supposed to exist between the elemental (or physical) and the mental (or causal worlds. Yogadedia states It is from the astral world that some believe we emerge when we are born and where we return when we die.
Is this an astral plane where our consciousness goes when we fall asleep? It would make sense. Our consciousness was somewhere before we were born. Our consciousness could go somewhere when we die.
It makes sense to me.
To answer Billie Eilish’s question. When we all fall asleep, where do we go?
My answer is we go to an astral plane. Think about it. Sleep is like death. We lose consciousness when we are dead and when we sleep. It would only make sense that our consciousness would wander off into an astral plane.
Our consciousness was there before it was born. And it goes there when we die. So why wouldn’t it visit this plane when we sleep?
In conclusion, no one knows for sure where we go when we all fall asleep. There are only theories. It boils down to what you believe and the experiences you have.
Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts on the question; when we all fall asleep, where do we go?