- Sleep paralysis
- Autoscopy, aka autoscopic hallucinations. Seeing one’s own double.
- Lucid dream training
Oneironaut — One who travels without moving
What is dreaming? ∞
Dreams are fabrications of and in the mind. However they happen, they are experiences created within an internal world which is inspired by the real one. There are many different opinions on why dreams happen and what they are for. My belief is that the downtime which sleep represents allows the mind to pour over the day’s thoughts and experiences, cataloguing them, and that dreams result from this.
There are areas of the brain which are normally reserved for processing sensory information which no longer have as much to do with the real-world. One’s senses are still active while in a resting state. This may be seen when one jolts awake at a sharp noise, or when one sleeps soundly during patterned noise but is roused when one’s name is spoken.
Since the brain never turns off, I think that one aspect of dreaming is that the sensory areas of the brain ‘long’ for those sensations, and turn their attention inward, picking up on the mind’s cataloguing process and inferring sensory activity from thoughts which stray close.
Experiences in a dream are all derived internally. All objects and actions which take place in dreamtime are generated internally. As such, there is a limited amount of resources. One’s attention can only consider one set of things at a time. This ‘focus’ can mean that one becomes detached from certain perspective and is able to very strongly focus on others. Because of this, the experience of dreaming can be far more vivid than experiences in the real world.
Imagine that, in the real world, you sit in a chair and stare at a wall. This is probably a really sad example, hrm. Well, you feel the weight of gravity pulling you down, you feel the blood running through your body, you feel your breath, the texture of the chair, the tightness of your shoes, the line of force running from your neck through your back. There are many ‘real world’ sensations which all collaborate to create this experience. Your attention of staring at the wall is quite distracted by many other sensations.
The same action, as performed in dreamtime, may not have all of the sensations which could apply in the real world fully (or even properly!) mapped in your dream self. One may become so enthralled at the experience of looking at a wall that one forgets about one’s body completely. The experience of sitting may become irrelevant and the real-life body which one’s dreamtime mind may want to emulate will dissolve. The ‘no-body’ is one of many perspectives which can make dreaming completely elating. I suppose this concept may be equated to taking LSD while in a nice relaxed and ‘safe’ mood.
What is Lucid Dreaming? ∞
1a : suffused with light : LUMINOUS
- 1b : TRANSLUCENT
- 2 : having full use of one’s faculties : SANE
3 : clear to the understanding : INTELLIGIBLE
Lucid Dreaming, simply put, is being aware of dreaming whilst dreaming. It is a layer of attentiveness over top of the dreaming state and abstracted from the mind’s underlying cataloguing state.
The term ‘lucid dreaming’ was coined by Frederik van Eeden (possibly in A Study of Dreams, by Frederik van Eeden). Lucid is a reference to mental clarity, as opposed to the fog of normal sleep.
How do Lucid Dreams Happen? ∞
Lucid Dreams are usually triggered when a little piece of a person’s logical side is awake enough to notice something ‘strange’ happening.
I had heard of a monkish technique of concentration which allows one to drift off to sleep and still keep a certain portion of your mind awake enough to enter straight into Lucid Dreaming. Something about visualizing or drifting into a state where you begin to see geometric patterns and such. I experimented a little, and it sortof works as a method of bridging memory.. but I’m sure I didn’t work hard enough to do it right. I’ll need to do way more research on this. Nevertheless, there are methods of waking yourself up and going back to sleep to enter into a Lucid Dream more directly.. breaking one’s sleep in the middle, so to speak.
What’s a Lucid Dream Like? ∞
Imagine that you are dreaming, and you are aware that everything around you is part of a dream. You come to understand that every sensation is generated by your own mind. You learn that every object and person is as a character in a play within yourself. Consider this sensation of omniscience.
Then you realize that this world ‘doesn’t matter’, and that you are the only observer. The entirety of your dream is selfish and exists within you to serve you and only you. Imagine the feeling of elation.. the feeling of power.
No longer shall external culture and morality dictate your actions. No longer shall the decisions of others have meaning. You fly about, feeling connected to the universe, shouting at your imaginary sky.. challenging your personal God.
And your dream falls apart.
You try again, and it happens again. Every time. You might be able to rape and pillage all you want in your little world, but there are barriers that erect themselves. You wake too easily, or you lose control and your world slips away as you drift back into normal sleep.
Lucid Dreaming isn’t about the elation of realizing your enacting several plays every evening. It is not about throwing away the laws of physics and the rightness of morality. It is the act of embracing and sustaining the experience of being an actor in that play.
Real Lucidity is a matter of purpose and intent. It is a applied and nurtured decision. As applied to dreaming, it is a matter of not overwhelming your dream self. Balancing one’s thoughts and desires within the dream world is essential. Many people learn to use lucid dreaming as a tool to analyze their dreams, or to take a vacation within themselves. Some, like myself, use it to experience variations on reality; to pursue situations not normally available. I myself got to go skydiving and hang-gliding even though I’m uneasy at heights. In it’s peak, Real Lucidity is used to train. One can refine one’s mind within that realm. Remember that dreaming is a way of the mind to ‘sort out’ one’s thoughts and experiences. Dreamtime can grant access to those thoughts and experiences, allowing one to practice events. One can challenge and overcome one’s fears, and enter into embarrassing or challenging situations with dignity, purpose and focus.
Imagine a world where money has no meaning and where your body has no limit. Consider a life where focus and positive intention really do get you everything you want. There is no chance, only you.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s actually get into things. First, a little bit of background about myself and my interests in this.
While my instincts carry me forth with much more ferocity than advise ever could, I owe much of my understanding of Lucid Dreaming to Stephen LaBerge and his PHD thesis which grew into the book Lucid Dreaming[doesn’t exist].
Since then he has collaboratively produced at least one other book, which I should probably read. I feel that he is largely responsible for introducing the notion of lucid dreaming to the scientific community and the creation of controllable and reproducible methods for the attainment of lucid dreams. I’m not in the field though (thankfully) so I don’t really know for sure (or care, no offense, Steve).
I was a lucid dreamer before being introduced to Dr. LaBerge’s book, and I wasn’t particularly compelled to follow it’s instruction. What the book provided me was the idea that there are other people out there in the real world who have experienced some of the things which I have. It’s always nice to have one’s sanity confirmed.
So, I’ve had some practical experience and have burned a bunch of years of my childhood studying Lucid Dreaming. I progressed quite nicely and enjoyed myself immensely. For reasons I’m not going to really explain, I stopped. Mostly this is because I wanted to cement myself in the real-world for a while again.
Well, I’ve done so, and my grips on reality won’t get firmer.. not to say that I’ve much of a grip in the first place. My interests have returned, so I’m back to check things out. The natural instincts which I followed to become a Lucid Dreamer in the first place have been handily barricaded, so I’m going to do this the “Normal” way.
Why should you care? Well, because I’ll be documenting things, you too will be able to learn to induce Lucid Dreams. It’ll change your life.. it’ll make the chicks dig ya.. fame and fortu.. ok, well maybe not.. but it’ll make you feel good, and make sleep nearly as important as wakeful life. Can’t imagine how that’s possible? Heh. You ain’t seen nothin’ little one.
To Do ∞
Techniques for expecting and inducing Lucid Dreams:
- Resolve to know that you will dream as you are going to sleep. Focus on little else. Your waking thoughts will seep into your sleeping motivations.
- When you wake, assume you were dreaming and focus on that. Do not consider your daily affairs but your sleeping affairs. Remember as much as you can and pour over things several times. Keep a dream diary.
— Dream recall is key to making dreaming useful in waking life.
- Questioning waking reality so you can learn to question sleeping reality. If you never question the validity of your waking world, then why question the reality of your dreaming world? You must question to uncover that you are dreaming.
- Lucid Dreams vs reality – influences
- Dream Diary
- Dream Interpretation
- Stuff to explore while Lucid
- Bending reality
Lucid Dreaming and Sex
Functionally speaking, sleeping on one’s back (the supine position) may preserve a state of vigilance and therefore lead to the greater probability of self-awareness during REM sleep.
Primary Resources ∞
- A set of FAQs on Dreaming and Lucidity. Amazing stuff.
- Sortof kindof neat. I think.
Secondary Resources ∞
- 2006-03-11 or earlier — For some fucking reason they believe that dark red on black can somehow magically be read.
- Ludic Dreaming Guild Discussion Group
- Really quiet right now.
- Kindof a crappy layout, but it’s well-intentioned.
- A good solid site.
- How is dark blue on black readable?
Tertiary Resources ∞
- A Sample Session From AOL SeniorNet Board
- Not updated since ’99
- Yahoo Clubs: Message Board
- Requires a login.. I wonder if it’s active.
- Commercial, but has tertiary good advice.
- Really fucking “feature rich”, so it’s inaccessible.
- Lucid Dreaming
- Dark Corner: Lucid Dreaming
- Electron Paradox: Lucid Dreaming
Uncategorized Resources ∞
Related Resources ∞
- psychology.about.com: Dreams
- Dreaming-related websites; lots of them.
- https://community.ld4all.com/?p=111827 [ 3 ] was http://forum.ld4all.com/viewtopic.php?p=111827