Genetic memory and flying in my dreams

When I was young, I used to dream I was flying (without a plane!) and truly believed that, somehow, it was quite possible.

Sweet Dream On The Sky by supakitmod from

This evening I saw an ad on TV for a supermarket, and damned if I can remember which one now (great marketing, boys!), but in the ad, a young man flies gently through the aisles, carrying his basket, and then through the checkout at the end. The fascinating thing about this ad, to me, is that the way he moves is exactly the way I move in my dreams when I am dream flying. What that suggests to me is that someone else on this planet has experienced that sort of dream – not imagined it, but experienced it.

How? How is it that another human being can dream the same thing I dream? A human being that I’ve never met and don’t have any shared experiences with? A human being that is dreaming something that neither of us can do, and yet we both dream about it in the same way?

A quick search of the internet suggests that I’m not the only one who has these dreams, with the same flying fashion of floating face down, using a bit of breaststroke, then righting myself almost vertically and pedalling a bit of an invisible bike (perhaps a bit of mid-air dog paddle) just to keep the feet off the ground. The feeling of flying is similar to that of swimming, but without the breathing, the stroking, or the pull of the water. There is much more ease in the movement – it’s much less hard work.

What if, just what if, man used to be able to fly? What if, once upon a time, our ancestors lived in a world with lower air pressure, less gravity, and were able to move around the planet the way astronauts bounce around the Moon? Step, lope, step, bounce, step, bounce higher, lean forward, start flying …

And what if, in the way that noses big and small, the ability to sing or dance, freckles and knock knees get passed on from generation to generation, what if the ability to fly was still being passed on … but we no longer live in an environmental conducive to it? What if our environment has changed, and we have adapted to it … but our genetic memory passes on the ability to fly, the way it passes on the ability to walk and talk and cough and hum …

What if we again found ourselves on a planet with low gravity and low air pressure … ?