The term derives from two separate words, “Super” and “Reality,” thus meaning above or beyond normal reality. Dreams are often described as surreal, or surreal experiences as “dreamlike.” In the novel, especially in the early expositional chapters, but also throughout, I have relied not only on dreams, but memories, visions, hallucinations, and alternate POVs to attempt to approach this psychological realm. Not usually without flagging the reader, however.
The idea here is that our everyday reliance on our five senses fails to yield a full experience of all that is “out there,” or more importantly, “in there.” A dream, for example, no matter what its overt images and sounds, gives us access to a deeper level of our fears and desires than we will even admit to ourselves.
In the screenshot here from the film Seraphim Falls, a man confronts his own dark self, or (unkillable) doppelganger, in the stark landscape of the American desert. What he hates in his enemy are those things that, deep down, he despises about himself. Is this real, or “only” a dream–because if a dream, does that make it any less real?