Lucidity 101

09Nov06

As it is I’ve been sleep walking through most of my  life for the last week, so I thought I might as well post on Lucid Dreaming.

First off, Lucidity or Lucid Dreaming is NOT a pseudo science and it does not have anything to do with mysticism, black magic or religion. It’s classified under Science of the Mind (Oooooh!).

Lucid dreaming is the conscious perception of one’s state while dreaming, resulting in a much clearer (“lucid”) experience and sometimes enabling direct control over the content of the dream. The complete experience from start to finish is called a lucid dream. (Source: Wikipedia)

Alright, it does sound a little out there, but I assure you that it isn’t what with having been a prevelant topic of many books and films (notably Waking Life and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

Moreover I have had lucid dreams myself and vouch for the fact that it is extremely cool stuff. Imagine being able to control your dreams. Imagine being able to do whatever you wanted to do but can’t in real life. Imagine flying. Imagine jumping over tall buildings. Imagine going to the farthest reaches of space. Imagine scuba diving in the Pacific. The whole process is ONLY limited by one’s imagination. Now people may confuse this with Astral Projections and the likes, but Astral Projections in my opinion is …um…bullcrap!

So what does it take to be a Lucid Dreamer? Firstly, you must be a light sleeper and must have a good dream recall capability i.e. you must be able to remember your dreams to an extent. It helps to maintain a book where you can jot down your dreams. Caffeine and Chocolate help too. There are various ways to dream lucidly. Below are a few methods:

  1. Reality Testing Method:As the name suggests, the Reality Testing Technique simply involves trying to determine whether you are awake or dreaming by examining the world around you to determine if it is real. There are essentially two components to this technique: being attentive to the world around you and watching for dream signs, and performing routine reality checks during the day. The idea is pretty simple: if you’re able to determine that something you’ve witnessed simply cannot be possible, then you are probably dreaming.  It does sound vague, I agree but sometimes it helps asking yourself if you’re dreaming when you are. If you do realise you are dreaming, you can control a part of what you see.
  2. Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD):The mnemonic induction of lucid dreams is a common technique used to induce a lucid dream at will by setting an intention, while falling asleep, to remember to recognize that one is dreaming, or to remember to look for dream signs. Because it is easy to master (almost everyone sets intentions frequently), it is ideal for those who have never practiced lucid dreaming induction techniques before.

 There are some other methods too like WILD and WBTB and if you’re interested you may want to check out the following links.

http://www.dreamviews.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucid_Dreaming

A particulary common Lucid Dream I TRY to have is that of flying and there are times where it has worked and believe me, the experience is exhilirating! My bro happens to be a sort of professional at it though and he’s had some pretty neat stories to tell. I started trying out this stuff when I was in my second year of college and it did take a lot of time to work but I was pretty adamant about it and finally was able to do it to an extent but I assure you I ain’t no expert. Watch the movie, Waking Life if you’re really interested.

I wonder if anyone out there has experienced Sleep Paralysis wherein your mind works but your body goes stiff. I have, and couple that with what scientists call Hypnagogic Hallucinations and you’ll see some pretty wierd stuff.

The above has also been posted on Scribez.

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41 Responses to “Lucidity 101”

  1. hypnopompic,hypnagogic…remember having checked this out on wikipedia back in college…stuff s pretty creepy man!!

  2. doctor!!when i spit lying down on my back..saliva splashes all over my face…why doctor?am i sick?wat is the scientific name for this disorder doctor!!HEEEEEEEEEELP!!

  3. @triquetra Ah! It’s commonly known as ‘a$$holyphilitis’. Don’t worry, it’s curable.

  4. But why do u wanna struggle so hard n control ur dreams too? U kud very well just day dream …. that I assure u is a lot easier 😀 But Lucid dreams? huh!! Im getting to know very strange specimens through blogging! 😉

  5. @all4love Trust me, it is different. The next best thing to real!

  6. 6 soorajrox

    hmm..i had a dream once (of eating KFC) and then mom woke me up because she saw me ‘air eating’

  7. @sooraj disturbing. go to scribez and check out the comments for some REAL lucid dreams!

  8. Regarding Lucid 101 – Anyhoo, I was just thinking about something – ur Lucid 101 post, I can relate to it. I dream a LOT, a huge humongous lot and I am generally very much in control in my dreams. And the awesome part – I actually have solved quite a few issues when I am dreaming – as corny as it sounds :-D!!!

  9. @Guru It isn’t corny. A lot of people solve things in their dreams. I think Kekule resolved some chemical structure through his dreams.

    Being in control of our dreams is awesome man…I mean it’s very real like. Makes us wonder…are we dreamng or awake now? What IS awake? 😛

  10. @Punns:

    You have add a Disclaimer to your posts;
    Should covers the issues such as dying of boredom and totally useless information unless your name happens to be Punnen. Oh and also about spoiling simple things in Life.

    Seriously .. now u managed to spoil dreams 🙂

  11. @daedalus Assface! Read the whole thing efore you shoot your mouth! This is NOT your normal dreaming…this is different!

    And who hell’s askin g you to even come here! Sangano! 😛

  12. I’ve sang in my dream once, a couple years ago. My mom said that it was the weirdest thing she ever saw, because she couldn’t wake me up but I was…singing.

  13. Hmm, actually most of my dreams – correction make that all of my dreams are lifelike. Kekule found the structure of Benzene in his dreams – I remember my Chemistry teacher telling me this – and I telling her that I manage to solve a lotta problems in my dreams as well and the entire class laughing..

    Well, forget that.

    Yeah so as I was saying, all my dreams _do_ have some sorta connection [even if weird] with the daily happenings &| happenings in general. They are highly contextual and are highly dependent on the mood before sleeping as well :-)!

    It also helps if I wake up halfway through the dream, coz I remember it crystal – and well my better half – always manages to wake me up during some main scene :P!

    The weirdest happening my dream however was – me saying the multiplication tables and getting up – crying “Attack! Attack!” and then flopping back on to the bed. ;-)!

  14. @Guru Yeah…he found the structure of benzene. Think he saw a snake chasing it’s own tail or something.

    Anyhoo…dreams are ALWAYS contextual …that’s what Freud said in ‘Interpretation of Dreams’. Man! II used to read weird books!

    But Lucid Dreaming is different…it’s not like a normal dream, it is ‘willed’ by us and feels real…very real.

    @Vi hey …welcome…believe it or not but I sang ‘My heart will go on’ in my sleep. But that was a looooong time back…atleast I like to believe so! 😛

  15. u crazy nut!!!i read ur post yest and last nite i crashed my dad’s car…ran it over a cliff..man!!! i managed to escape..but the loss of d car felt terrible and real!! it was a hell of a stunt tho!!!

  16. @triqetra It WASN’T a lucid dream! Sigh …nevermind…no one seems to understand what lucidity is!

  17. luci?who is luci??i’m confused!!

  18. 18 soorajrox

    @triquetra
    lucidity dude…lucidity

  19. 19 soorajrox

    dude…u sang ‘my heart will go on’….when u sang the song ,did u do any kinda actions along with it???(like an action song)

  20. @sooraj I was singing…ship and kate and all. Think it was in 8th or 9th standard…looooong time! 🙂

  21. HAHAHA…. Cant believe there r more intersting specimens like u Punnen who can actually understand these things. Lolz… of all these comments, I can connect to jus one person here “daedalus”!!! Y do u wanna control the simple beauties of life … even dreams??? Control freaks!! Huh! N action song of “my heart will go on…” hehehe… thats one of the things my seniors asked me to do while ragging! lolz..anyways gr8 blog.. laughed a lot 😀

  22. @all4love You can connect with daedalus? hehe…you guys are as differnt as chalk and cheese! 🙂

  23. 23 lumeno

    Will somebody take him seriously please!!??

    Lucid dreams are certainly more exciting then real life…especially for people with sad lives like my brother and me…sigh.

    I’ve had really really weird lucid dreams. A particular subset of LDs are the so called “out-of-body” experiences or OBEs. You actually feel yourself coming out of yr body like u had a soul or something and see yr body lying on yr bed. But of course, its only just another lucid dream – a dream which you dream in the same place as you’re sleeping.

    yes call me a psycho…but lucid dreams and obe’s give really valuable insight into the physical aspects of the mind besides being a lot of fun…

    Ever heard Creed’s “Higher”…its a song about lucid dreaming

    When dreaming, you’re guided to another world
    time and time again
    at sunrise if i could stay asleep
    cos i dont wanna leave the comfort of this place
    cos theres a hunger
    a longing to escape
    from the life i live
    when im awake

    so lets go there
    lets make our escape
    cmon lets go there
    lets ask can we stay

    can u take me higher
    to a place where blind men see
    can u take me higher
    to a place with golden trees……. 🙂

  24. @prestidigitator: Hmmm… I guess even chalk and cheese can think alike ones in a bluemoon wen it comes to issues concerning u 🙂

    @lumeno : “Lucid dreams are certainly more exciting then real life…especially for people with sad lives like my brother and me…” so that xplains I guess! N abt the song, y do u say its abt lucid dreams? It kud b jus a beautiful dream dat all of us like to get into…. not a dream that need to b controld!

  25. @ lumeno: Well the whole point of this discussion is that we don’t _need_ to believe in something to appreciate it. :-)! We can have fun with it even otherwise, completely respecting the fact that the other person _does_ believe in the same thing. :-)! So, chillax.

    @ all4love: I agree A ;-)! This was definitely a great blog. I mean, altho the premise was set to be absolutely serious, we have managed to turn it around to be an entertainment corner!!

    @ PS: Dude, My Hear Will Go On Action Song ROTFLMAOI!!

    @ daedelus: Hehehe dude, that was one of the best comments ever! *snorting like monica [ala friends fame]*!!

  26. @guru Dude go to the post on scribez…there are some pretty amazing cmments…esp the one by Spickering! now thats a Lucid dream! 🙂

  27. 27 lumeno

    @all4love: ooh skeptic huh? scott stapp, creed’s vocalist is a lucid dreamer and he confirmed this interpretation of the song in an interview.

    Quote from Wikipedia:

    “Higher” is the first single to be lifted from Creed’s 1999 album, Human Clay. Although it is widely believed to be a song about drug-induced hallucinations or a dream of heaven, vocalist Scott Stapp actually wrote the song about the power of lucid dreaming.

    The song was written after Stapp used the technique to stop a recurring nightmare he had been experiencing in which he was pursued and killed by a gunman. In the dream, he would turn right at the end of a highway and hide under a bridge, only to be found by his assailant and shot. When he had studied lucid dreaming and tried the technique, he was able to turn left and escape the gunman. Stapp stated that after he wrote the lyrics, he never had the dream again.

    okiii???

  28. @Guru: 😀 We sure did!! Hi five!! 😀

    @Prestidigitator: Oh yeah… I meet unique ppl in ur blogs 🙂

    @Lumeno: :-O Where do u get all those unnecessary infos from? U definitly need more fun in ur life.. go swimming or mountain climbing wid frnds or smthing 😉 Emmm n skeptic…. u gotta be/pretend to be one wen ur talking to one! 🙂

    In b/w Guru, jus curious… how does lucid dreams solve “issues”???

  29. @all4love Haha…ur telling my bro to have fun! haha…trust me he’s done a lot more stuff than you and i can imagine! 🙂

  30. @ Lumeno: Dude, I like the way you prove your point ;-)!! And what kinda fun are we talking about here – bro’s bro?

    @ all4love: A possible reason, as I am unaware of how I actually solve “issues” in my dreams – you are unbound by the shackles of thinking so many things at once, sorta like this uber concentration state. :-P!! I dunno, but it happens. btw issues such as – a particular problem not having a solution, your thoughts about something!! Tell me this – doesn’t sleep you quell anger, frustration, etc? How does _that_ happen?

  31. 31 soorajrox

    how wierd is not knowing the difference between dream and the reality?
    and about the action song ……..I asked seriously….like an example….didn’t mean to amke this discussion go somewhere else

  32. @Guru All kinds of fun! muhahahahahah muhahaha muhaha *cough cough*

    @sooraj no action song man…no akshuns! 🙂

  33. 33 lumeno

    @all4love: ummmm…mountain climbing? already done that (i’m in the hiking club in college and we frequently have natural rock climbing trips)…swimming? havent learnt yet but we’re having a white water rafting trip in december and i’m looking forward to it 😛

    @guru: think ^ should partly answer yr question 🙂

  34. It not just answers my question – it raises moi level of respect to thee.. I pledge my allegiance to thee oh-great-one!! ;-)!! Hehehe!!

  35. @All4Love n Guru
    Thanks ! Somebody had to stop him.

    And his bro actually encourages him .. sigh..

  36. @Lumeno : Grrr… Big deal!! I know swimming and U DONT !!! :p

    Okay I confess…. ur bro Lumeno is hampering my ego… big time!!! But hey, mera number bhi ayega…. I’ll go around the world n see places n eat n play n try out everything thats there to be tried out… may be even Lucid dreaming!!!

  37. How about growing some weed @ home and distributing freely for some of us?? ;-)!! I am sure Lumeno would do that!! Would you please!! Pretty please :P!!

    And by weed – I mean pot, mary jane, MJ!! ;-)! Just to be sure :P!!

  38. I usually fly in my Lucid Dreams. The flying thing appears to be universal across a large sample of LD’ers. I think it may be just because flying is the near-to-closest impossible thing for us to do in real life.

    I don’t usually seem to exert much control over my LD’s, since I fall into just observing my dreams. I am setting intentions to try more control-based stuff now.

    Bill

  39. @Bill Apart from flying, one of my other fav is being underwater. That is extremely neat!

    Very neat blog btw! 🙂

  40. @Prestidigiator,
    Thanks for the compliment. I just launched it, and intend to make it a one-stop for both general and specific LD-related information. As soon as I get back into the regular rhythm of dream journaling, I also plan to put the “publically acceptable” entries from my dream log onto the blog. I’m going to call it my “Dream Blog” as opposed to Dream Log. kinda catchy I think.

    Bill

  41. 41 Boris

    Astral Projection is not bullcrap. It is a real experience that people have. True, it could all be a phenomenon that lives only in the far reaches of the unconscious mind (not necessarily in an “astral plane”), but the experience itself is real. Whether we understand it or not doesn’t change that.


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