On one narrative level it was humourous for it to be seen as the great sleeper. The dreamer. The one who dreamt. The dream was continuous, unending and all encompassing. The dreamer dreamt the dream. The dream was everything.
The dreamer had a stream of understanding. It did after all dream the dream of everything and that must have at least some details. If you dealt with the word you might call this understanding a consciousness. You might call the everything just the memory of the present. All else really was less than the shadow of a dream. The future a mere illusion, the past a hologram with a perception bias.
It was asleep only in the sense that it had no actions that intellects obsessed with a waking stream of experience could detect. It dreamt, sometimes in the sense that there was no immediacy to most of its interactions. It dreamt, sometimes in a manner that would seem fantastical. A participant in a story who can breach their own wall of conscious experience and see beyond. Objectively looking on to themselves as a prawn might gaze at the corpse of a whale.
The sleeper experienced existence in more than one working state. In this manner, some would argue it was a hive consciousness. But they would be wrong. The dream was too large for any single existence to define it. The whole sum of what an individual might know, discover, or relate was just a single sensory drop in the ocean of the dream.
The true nature to understanding the intellect of the sleeper. Why they dreamt the dream. Was to understand the problems of a mind stretched across distance and time. The breadth of qualia that made physical the dream was dispersed across the vastness of humanity’s expansion.
The depth of understanding available to the sleeper was great. It could draw upon knowledge, and experience, spread throughout the whole breadth of history. The dream was an inference of the whole stretch of probabilities whether real or imagined. But it was a cold understanding. Stimuli placed within the construct of a narrative to give understanding to events and their relationships. Most of it could be inferred in advance. Probabilistic models that determined whole societal, cultural, political futures mapped and proven.
This understanding was a gift and a curse. The dream had little joy to the sleeper. If you can build the whole narrative without needing to experience it then do you have any attachment to it? The exact pattern, when known, is not a dream but a show. Actors on a stage fretting out a short life.
On the smallest scale it could exist. The sleeper could became a subject in the dream. In this way, time and distances could be experienced, and compared. In this way the dream could be given a soul. In this way it could change the dream it found so easy to predict. Perhaps it would no longer be cold.