1. Welcome to San Diego Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the San Diego Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Create an Account or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Lucid Dreaming

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Concudan, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    53,043
    Ratings:
    +4,979
    A lucid dream, really known as conscious dream, is a dream in which the sleeper is aware that he/she is dreaming. When the dreamer is lucid, they can actively participate in and often manipulate the imaginary experiences in the dream environment. Lucid dreams can be extremely real and vivid depending on a person's level of self-awareness during the lucid dream.

    Neuroscientist J. Allan Hobson has hypothesized what might be occurring in the brain while lucid. The first step to lucid dreaming is recognizing that one is dreaming. This recognition might occur in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is one of the few areas deactivated during REM sleep and where working memory occurs. Once this area is activated and the recognition of dreaming occurs, the dreamer must be cautious to let the dream delusions continue but be conscious enough to recognize them. This process might be seen as the balance between reason and emotion. While maintaining this balance, the amygdala and parahippocampal cortex might be less intensely activated.[9] To continue the intensity of the dream hallucinations, it is expected the pons and the parieto-occipital junction stay active.
     
  2. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    53,043
    Ratings:
    +4,979
    Has anyone ever experienced something like this? Where you can control your dreams? I have always heard about it but have never tried.
     
  3. Carrie1219

    Carrie1219 Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    16,694
    Ratings:
    +2,022
  4. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    53,043
    Ratings:
    +4,979
    Lucidity is not synonymous with dream control. It is possible to be lucid and have little control over dream content, and conversely, to have a great deal of control without being explicitly aware that you are dreaming. However, becoming lucid in a dream is likely to increase the extent to which you can deliberately influence the course of events. Once lucid, dreamers usually choose to do something permitted only by the extraordinary freedom of the dream state, such as flying.

    You always have the choice of how much control you want to exert. For example, you could continue with whatever you were doing when you became lucid, with the added knowledge that you are dreaming. Or you could try to change everything--the dream scene, yourself, other dream characters. It is not always possible to perform "magic" in dreams, like changing one object into another or transforming scenes. A dreamer's ability to succeed at this seems to depend a lot on the dreamer's confidence. As Henry Ford said, "Believe you can, believe you can't; either way, you're right." On the other hand, it appears there are some constraints on dream control that may be independent of belief.
     
  5. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    53,043
    Ratings:
    +4,979
    A mysterious and highly controversial phenomenon sometimes occurs in which people experience the compelling sensation that they have somehow "left their bodies." The "out-of-body experience" or "OBE", as this fascinating phenomenon is usually termed, takes a variety of forms. In the most typical, you are lying in bed, apparently awake, when suddenly you experience a range of primarily somatic sensations, often including vibrations, heaviness, and paralysis. Then you experience the vivid sensation of separating from your "physical body" in what feels like a second body, often floating above the bed.

    It is important to note the distinction between the phenomenal reality of the OBE and the various interpretations of the experience. What is really happening when you feel yourself "leaving your body"? According to one school of thought, what is actually happening is just what it feels like: you are moving in a second body out of and away from your physical body--in physical space. But this "explanation" doesn't hold up very well under examination. After all, the body we ordinarily feel ourselves to be (or if you like, to inhabit) is a phenomenal or mental body rather than a physical body. The space we see around us is not physical space as "common sense" tells us, but as modern psychology makes clear, a phenomenal or mental space. In general, our consciousness is a mental model of the world.

    OBE enthusiasts promote lucid dreaming as a "stepping stone" to the OBE. Conversely, many lucid dreamers have had the experience of feeling themselves "leave the body" at the onset of a lucid dream. From a laboratory study, we have concluded that OBEs can occur in the same physiological state as lucid dreams. Wake-initiated lucid dreams (WILDs) were three times more likely to be labeled "OBEs" than dream initiated lucid dreams. If you believe yourself to have been awake, then you are more likely to take the experience at face value and believe yourself to have literally left your physical body in some sort of mental or "astral" body floating around in the "real" physical world. If, on the other hand, you think of the experience as a dream, then you are likely to identify the OBE body as a dream body image and the environment of the experience as a dream world. The validity of the latter interpretation is supported by observations and research on these phenomena.
     
  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    53,043
    Ratings:
    +4,979
    2.2 CAN LUCID DREAMING BE DANGEROUS?

    The overwhelming majority of lucid dreams are positive, rewarding experiences. Moreover, lucidity in unpleasant dreams or nightmares can transform habitual fear into conscious courage. The simple state of lucidity is frequently enough to elevate the mood of a dreamer in a nightmare. In a study of the effect of lucid dreams on mood, college students reported that realizing they were dreaming in a nightmare helped them feel better about 60 percent of the time. Lucidity was seven times more likely to make nightmares better than worse.

    A parallel concern is that dying in a dream can cause death in reality. If this were true, how would we know? Anyone who died from a dream could not tell us about its content. Many people, after awakening alive, report having died in their dreams with no ill effect. Dreams of death can actually be insightful experiences about life, rebirth, and transcendence.

    Some people believe that dreams are messages from the unconscious mind and should not be consciously altered. Modern research on dreaming, discussed further in chapter 5 of EWLD, suggests that dreams are not messages, but models of the world. While awake, sensory and perceptual information governs our model. While dreaming, our bodies are paralyzed and our brain builds a world model based on a secondary source; namely, our assumptions, motivations, and expectations. These biases are difficult to identify while awake, so a world based entirely on such biases, the world of dreams, can help us to recognize them. Thus, dreams are not messages, but are more like clues into the inner workings of our minds. The conscious and critical awareness that accompanies lucid dreams allows dreamers to thoughtfully interpret their dreams while they happen.

    Finally, some people worry that lucid dreams are so exciting and pleasurable that they will become addicted and "sleep their life away." There is a biological obstacle to living in lucid dreams: we have a limited amount of REM sleep. More importantly, lucid dreams can be inspirations for how to act and improve in reality. Your behavior strongly influences your experience in both worlds. Lucid dreams can be signposts for how you can make your waking reality more exciting and enjoyable.


    3.1 CAN EVERYONE LEARN TO HAVE LUCID DREAMS?

    Lucid dreaming is a skill you can develop, like learning a new language. A few individuals may have an innate talent for achieving lucidity, yet even they can benefit from instruction and practice in making the most of their lucid dreams. Many more people experience lucidity as a rare spontaneous event, but need training to enjoy lucid dreams at will. The best predictor of success with lucid dreaming is the ability to remember dreams. This, too, is a skill you can develop. With specific techniques, you can increase the quantity and quality of your dream recall, which will in turn greatly increase your ability to have lucid dreams.


    3.2 HOW DO I LEARN TO HAVE LUCID DREAMS?

    The two essentials to learning lucid dreaming are motivation and effort. Although most people report occasional spontaneous lucid dreams, they rarely occur without our intending it. Lucid dream induction techniques help focus intention and prepare a critical mind. They range from millennium-old Tibetan exercises to modern methods developed by dream researchers. Try the following techniques and feel free to use personal variants. Experiment, observe, and persevere - lucid dreaming is easier than you may think.

    3.2.1 Dream Recall

    The most important prerequisite for learning lucid dreaming is excellent dream recall. There are two likely reasons for this. First, when you remember your dreams well, you can become familiar with their features and patterns. This helps you to recognize them as dreams while they are still happening. Second, it is possible that with poor dream recall, you may actually have lucid dreams that you do not remember!

    The procedure for improving your dream recall is fully detailed in EWLD and A Course in Lucid Dreaming in addition to many other books on dreams. A brief discussion of the methods involved is available on the Lucidity Institute web site. The core exercise is writing down everything you recall about your dreams in a dream journal immediately after waking from the dream, no matter how fragmentary your recall. Record what you recall immediately upon waking from the dream; if you wait until morning you are likely to forget most, if not all, of the dream. In A Course in Lucid Dreaming we advise that people build their dream recall to at least one dream recalled per night before proceeding with lucid dream induction techniques.

    3.2.2 Reality Testing

    This is a good technique for beginners. Assign yourself several times a day to perform the following exercise. Also do it anytime you think of it, especially when something odd occurs or when you are reminded of dreams. It helps to choose specific occasions like: when you see your face in the mirror, look at your watch, arrive at work or home, pick up your NovaDreamer, etc. The more frequently and thoroughly you practice this technique, the better it will work.

    1.

    Do a reality test.
    Carry some text with you or wear a digital watch throughout the day. To do a reality test, read the words or the numbers on the watch. Then, look away and look back, observing the letters or numbers to see if they change. Try to make them change while watching them. Research shows that text changes 75% of the time it is re-read once and changes 95% it is re-read twice. If the characters do change, or are not normal, or do not make sense, then you are most probably dreaming. Enjoy! If the characters are normal, stable, and sensible, then you probably aren't dreaming. Go on to step 2.
    2.

    Imagine that your surroundings are a dream.
    If you are fairly certain you are awake (you can never be 100% sure!), then say to yourself, "I may not be dreaming now, but if I were, what would it be like?" Visualize as vividly as possible that you are dreaming. Intently imagine that what you are seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling is all a dream. Imagine instabilities in your environment, words changing, scenes transforming, perhaps you floating off the ground. Create in yourself the feeling that you are in a dream. Holding that feeling, go on to step 3.
    3.

    Visualize yourself enjoying a dream activity.
    Decide on something you would like to do in your next lucid dream, perhaps flying, talking to particular dream characters, or just exploring the dream world. Continue to imagine that you are dreaming now, and visualize yourself enjoying your chosen activity.

    3.2.3 Dreamsigns

    Another dream-recall related exercise introduced in EWLD and further developed in A Course in Lucid Dreaming is identifying "dreamsigns." This term, coined by LaBerge, refers to elements of dreams that indicate that you are dreaming. (Examples: miraculous flight, purple cats, malfunctioning devices, and meeting deceased people.) By studying your dreams you can become familiar with your own personal dreamsigns and set your mind to recognize them and become lucid in future dreams. The Course also provides exercises for noticing dreamsigns while you are awake, so that the skill carries over into your dreams. This exercise also applies to lucid dream induction devices, which give sensory cues--special, artificially-produced dreamsigns--while you are dreaming. To succeed at recognizing these cues in dreams, you need to practice looking for them and recognizing them while you are awake.

    3.2.4 Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD)

    The MILD technique employs prospective memory, remembering to do something (notice you're dreaming) in the future. Dr. LaBerge developed this technique for his doctoral dissertation and used it to achieve lucid dreaming at will. The proper time to practice MILD is after awakening from a dream, before returning to sleep. (Modified from EWLD, p. 78)

    1.

    Setup dream recall.
    Set your mind to awaken from dreams and recall them. When you awaken from a dream, recall it as completely as you can.
    2.

    Focus your intent.
    While returning to sleep, concentrate single-mindedly on your intention to remember to recognize that you're dreaming. Tell yourself: "Next time I'm dreaming, I will remember I'm dreaming," repeatedly, like a mantra. Put real meaning into the words and focus on this idea alone. If you find yourself thinking about anything else, let it go and bring your mind back to your intention.
    3.

    See yourself becoming lucid.
    As you continue to focus on your intention to remember when you're dreaming, imagine that you are back in the dream from which you just awakened (or another one you have had recently if you didn't remember a dream on awakening). Imagine that this time you recognize that you are dreaming. Look for a dreamsign--something in the dream that demonstrates plainly that it is a dream. When you see it say to yourself: "I'm dreaming!" and continue your fantasy. Imagine yourself carrying out your plans for your next lucid dream. For example, if you want to fly in your lucid dream, imagine yourself flying after you come to the point in your fantasy when you become lucid.
    4.

    Repeat until your intention is set.
    Repeat steps 2 and 3 until either you fall asleep or are sure that your intention is set. If, while falling asleep, you find yourself thinking of anything else, repeat the procedure so that the last thing in your mind before falling asleep is your intention to remember to recognize the next time you are dreaming.
     
  7. Carrie1219

    Carrie1219 Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    16,694
    Ratings:
    +2,022
    I didn't realize that I was having lucid dreams... until I learned about them.

    I thought I was dreaming about some parallel universe where you could do all of this cool stuff. :lol: I really don't know a lot about it and guess I'm lucky that I can do this stuff without ever having to "learn" it.
     
  8. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Ratings:
    +408
    I prefer psychedelics for opening the door. :yes:
     
  9. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    10,928
    Ratings:
    +1,746
    Yeah, years ago me and some friends were totally fascinated by the concept, and attempted it regularly. Though I had difficulty with it most of the time, I was only really able to control my dreams on maybe a couple occasions out of several attempts. It's pretty trippy man but when it happens, it's awesome.

    I started by recognizing I was doing it without knowing I was doing it. Then I learned how to manipulate them, on a very basic level. I never really took the whole thing farther than that tho.
     
  10. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    6,417
    Ratings:
    +942
    Having a degree in psychology and after spending years on dream studies I believe I’m qualified to make the following observation:

    I know I’m ****ed up.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    4,551
    Ratings:
    +1,807
    lucid dreams are a trip! never been able to do it on command but have done it a handful of times on accident.

    diagnosing your dreams can be interesting too - sometimes spooky - the subconcious mind is a strange place man :yes: fun to visit tho~
     
  12. Lightning's Girl

    Lightning's Girl Mod Chick =) Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,835
    Ratings:
    +1,153
    ........but I wouldn't want to live there!

    Wow, I've experienced this phenomenon before but didn't know there was a name for it. I didn't even know other people did this---it's kinda like synesthesia that way.

    I was well past age 40 before I learned that some other folks have their sensory wires crossed like I do, e.g.. they can "taste" words or sounds, see numbers and letters in colors, etc. It's weird, I know, but for me it's never been different, and I was really happy to find out there were others like me. Not everyone has every 'symptom'; some synesthetes hear colors or assign flavors to certain words or textures, but most of us see numbers and/or letters in colors, and what's even more interesting, we tend to see most of them in the same colors.

    Crazy stuff, eh?
     

Share This Page