Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dreaming You're Dreaming

Please no Inception comments on this! Just because you're dreaming that you're dreaming doesn't imply anything Inception-based is going on. The movie got a lot of oneirology wrong, largely due to the fact that it is fiction.

It happens. Dreaming that you're dreaming while in a dream isn't impossible. While it might be relatively rare, it's not even improbable.

Now, when most people (from what I have read, studied, and discussed with others) lucid dream, they break the story of the dream and go off and do their own thing. When this is done, there's no need to "go to sleep" within the dream, because you're already present in a giant sandbox of a reality.

I, on the other hand, choose not to break the story of the dream. I maintain lucidity, but let the story continue, because I use the random connections found and made in dreams to inspire art--my conscious imagination sometimes simply isn't enough. So, if the dreamstory decides I'm sleeping within the dream, it's possible I may dream too, though at that level, it works a little differently.

The inner dream is never lucid for me, but my recall of it when I return to the outer dream is almost always nearly perfect. Recall of the inner dream when I wake and leave the outer dream is very often more vivid than the outer dream was.

And to answer your unasked question, even though I told you not to think about it, I've never had a third dream inside the second one. In order for that to occur, I suspect the second dream must also be lucid.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Defeating Your Nightmares

When I was a kid, and even into my teens, I suffered from terrible nightmares. Several times a month I would wake up in the early hours of the morning in a cold sweat, unable to clear my mind or return to sleep. I'd prowl my bookshelves, seeking out my favorite passages in my favorite books, trying to drown out the troubling images.

But they do that no longer. Sure, once in a blue moon, I'll wake up in that familiar cold sweat, but now I'll mop myself off with a warm cloth, roll over, and dive back in.

That act of rolling over is a key trigger for me. It's a manifestation of a mental trigger from auto-pilot to manual steering. It doesn't matter which side I started on, as long as I switch which side is up and which side is down.

I've discussed the WBTB method of initiating lucidity to the exclusion of all the others, because it's the one I exclusively use. I'd be inclined to say it's the one the works best, but in truth, it's the only one that--for me at least--works at all. This act of diving back into the dream is simply just WBTB all over again, and for that reason, I won't go into it in depth, you can find details on my other posts.

So why has the frequency of my nightmares declined so sharply? A doctor would tell you that my brain isn't growing as much as it was in those bygone years, but I can attest that that's not the whole story.

My nightmares started going away right at the time I started learning about controlling one's dreams. Prior to that landmark, I'd had minimal control in a very few limited dreams, but didn't know it was a controllable phenomenon. As I learned about lucidity, as I gained mastery, I took back control.

Break your fear of something, and it can no longer frighten you. Find its weakness, and take control.

That's all I did. I found the greatest weakness of each of my nightmares, and that weakness was the helplessness of not being in control. I took that control and turned it against them. The cold sweat that woke me? I used that as my trigger for WBTB, and soon enough, I was holding the reins. I no longer had any need to drive the details of the nightmare from my mind, because every detail that I could hold onto only served to bring me back into control more easily.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Astral Projection from A Dreamer's Perspective

See, they use video feeds from intersections and specifically designed algorithms to predict traffic conditions and thereby control traffic lights. So all I did was come up with my own kick ass algorithm to sneak in and now we own the place.
-Lyle, aka Napster from Italian Job

I don't really believe in astral projection, though I do believe the concept is intriguing. To be able to move one's point of view from just behind the eyes and ahead of the ears to somewhere outside of the body altogether.

Spiritually, I believe any such thing is impossible. However, I have managed a degree of control of my imagination that allows me to internalize and control many things, including and up to building a world for myself inside of my head. Why can't I build a better world, and then superimpose it on reality?

If I can imagine the world perfectly, I can imagine things happening that are outside of my normal, physical range to observe, and then, if my world is indeed perfect, what I imagine myself observing is actually happening outside my head.

Why not?

It's using computer terminology to take on something so far beyond technology itself, to take on the fabric of reality itself. All I have to do is mold my brain into the right algorithm.

I am well familiar with the data storage limitation, where, in order to perfectly store all the data of the universe, one needs a storage container the size of the universe. In order for myself to perfectly contain the world in my imagination, my imagination has to grow to the size of the world.

Psychology allows for that. Dreams have long been considered a way to tap into the collective unconscious of the entire human race. With the right level of patience and personal training, I don't have to store all the data in my own head; instead, I can tap into the data storage of every human being living.

I know the idea sounds ludicrous. So does the idea of astral projection. You have to ask yourself: which one seems more believable?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Sympathetic Dreaming Part 2: Dreams Affecting Reality

Last week I introduced the inverse: that something happening in the waking world affecting the dream, but this week, I'd like to look at things flowing the other way.

I'm going to try and stay out of superstitious fictions or unproven possibilities, like astral projection or OOBs (out-of-body experiences). But even avoiding those, there are still circumstances where dreams affect reality.

Dreams can generate emotional states that can carry through to post-waking. While this isn't a strictly physical reaction, nonetheless, it counts.

Happiness, sorrow, apathy, joy... even the feeling of belonging or spiritual awakening can be felt while in the dream and carry over while you are still sleeping and after you wake.

Bodily Responses
Every teenage boy knows about this one, but it's not restricted to wet-dreams. Heat, cold, nausea, itches, hunger or lack thereof, even the desire to sneeze can be felt in the dreamworld and your body can respond as if it were truly feeling the stimuli.

While exuberant behavior in the dream rarely translates to in-dream or out-of-dream hunger,hunger itself can be sated, at least, for a short while, if you eat a feast in your dream before you wake.

If you dream about being hurt in the dream, it's likely you'll wake up feeling pain where you were hurt. This can manifest both as psychological and physical, and probably isn't too dissimilar to the "phantom limb" phenomenon.

If you have a history of joint pain (as I do), suffering through an injury in the dream can exacerbate the out-of-dream pain. You can even suffer from a feedback loop, where the in-dream injury causes out-of-dream pain, and the increased out-of-dream pain can affect the dream and make the injury feel more real.

For many people, inexperienced dreamers and those who don't become lucid in many of your dreams, you may never consciously feel any of these symptoms. Also, your dreams may not be vivid enough to convince the body to respond appropriately or to a detectable degree.

However, if you're like me, whose dreams feel more vivid than reality itself, and are lucid very frequently, you are far more prone to experience these responses. If you do, I would surely like to hear from you! Feel free to comment below, or if you want to comment privately, you can email me at