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Lucid Dreamer

Posted: July 20th, 2010, 12:12 pm
by Skysaw
Hi all,

One of the reasons I was so excited to see this movie was that I have been an avid lucid dreamer for about 15 years. I love that lucid dreaming is starting to come out as more mainstream of an idea. At my most prolific, I was able to have a lucid dream four or five times per week, with a few of them lasting 30-45 minutes. In many of these I had extreme clarity and control. If you're curious I have an old dream journal still available here: http://mortalmist.com/forum/dream-journ ... m-journal/ I don't do nearly so well now, as I am necessarily on a sleep aid, and it makes it much more difficult.

While Inception gets a lot right about lucid dreaming, there are a few things that are in direct contradiction to experience (leaving aside the obvious: dream sharing, infiltration, etc.)

I just thought I'd open a thread to see if there were any other avid LDers here, or anyone who wanted to ask me about my thoughts on how it plays out in the movie.

One quick thought to start with: it is nearly impossible to keep numbers (and letters) straight in a dream, even if you are completely lucid and aware. It's actually one of most consistent methods for determining if you are dreaming -- just read a line of text twice. If the text doesn't change, you are awake! Keeping a six-digit number in your head for as long as Fischer did is unheard of. It was necessary as a plot device, so no complaints.

Re: Lucid Dreamer

Posted: July 20th, 2010, 12:23 pm
by xSeanZx
I just want to know how to effectively trigger lucid dreams :p

Re: Lucid Dreamer

Posted: July 20th, 2010, 12:51 pm
by Skysaw
xSeanZx wrote:I just want to know how to effectively trigger lucid dreams :p
You can absolutely learn to do this. There's two main ideas you have to learn to get started.

1. You need a way to reliably tell if you are dreaming. This is known as your "reality-check." You must be committed to doing the check even if you are 100% sure you are awake. I have been 100% sure I was awake before only to have my check prove otherwise, which immediately throws me into lucidity. Some checks people use are: looking closely at your hands (they are usually distorted or have extra fingers in dreams when examined), holding your nose and trying to breathe through it (in dreams you often can), trying to push the finger of one hand through the other, or reading something several times to see if it changes.

2. You need to learn your "dream signs." These are things that typically happen in your dream, and varies from person to person. Some very common dream signs are: light switches that don't work, strange weather, trouble dialing phones, trouble reading/writing, seeing family members you don't often encounter. Light switches, rotary phones, and my father are my most frequent signs.

Once you've got these, you need to get into the habit of doing reality checks. Do them whenever you happen to think about it, but especially when one of your dream signs pops up. The idea is that anything that becomes habit in your waking life will become habit in your dreams. If you're actually dreaming, remembering to do the check is usually all it takes to throw you into lucidity.

And by the way, it absolutely rocks.

Re: Lucid Dreamer

Posted: July 20th, 2010, 1:11 pm
by mchekhov
i would think my most frequent signs is seeing people i know in places that are very unlikely....like seeing my friends from new jersey in Saint Petersburg, Russia :lol: :lol: :lol: ...or places quickly changing


my thing is, I'm often able to recognize that I'm dreaming, but that doesnt give me control over the dream and often times after I realize I'm dreaming I hand over the control to my subconscious and fall back into going along with the dream as if I believe its real

Re: Lucid Dreamer

Posted: July 20th, 2010, 1:32 pm
by Skysaw
talli wrote:my thing is, I'm often able to recognize that I'm dreaming, but that doesnt give me control over the dream and often times after I realize I'm dreaming I hand over the control to my subconscious and fall back into going along with the dream as if I believe its real
Your brain has a way of trying its best to convince you that you are not dreaming. Losing your grasp on lucidity is very easy to do, but it gets better with practice. What you need is a grounding technique -- something that anchors you more fully to the dream. I associate grounding with the detail of the dream, so what I usually do is reach out and touch something to feel it with my hand. Some people say that rubbing your hands together or spinning in a circle work very well.

In a way, it's kind of like trying to focus really hard on something when you're very sleepy. It's easy just to give in and lose focus, but you have to concentrate, and remind yourself that you are trying to make it happen. It can help to say out loud "I am dreaming" when you first realize. Hearing your own voice say that can help you remember in those first moments. Once you are fully grounded, the sky is the limit... though you will eventually just slip out and into a normal dream. I've managed to hold on as long as 45 minutes once or twice, but that is extremely rare.

Re: Lucid Dreamer

Posted: July 21st, 2010, 12:54 am
by xSeanZx
Skysaw wrote:
xSeanZx wrote:I just want to know how to effectively trigger lucid dreams :p
You can absolutely learn to do this. There's two main ideas you have to learn to get started.

1. You need a way to reliably tell if you are dreaming. This is known as your "reality-check." You must be committed to doing the check even if you are 100% sure you are awake. I have been 100% sure I was awake before only to have my check prove otherwise, which immediately throws me into lucidity. Some checks people use are: looking closely at your hands (they are usually distorted or have extra fingers in dreams when examined), holding your nose and trying to breathe through it (in dreams you often can), trying to push the finger of one hand through the other, or reading something several times to see if it changes.

2. You need to learn your "dream signs." These are things that typically happen in your dream, and varies from person to person. Some very common dream signs are: light switches that don't work, strange weather, trouble dialing phones, trouble reading/writing, seeing family members you don't often encounter. Light switches, rotary phones, and my father are my most frequent signs.

Once you've got these, you need to get into the habit of doing reality checks. Do them whenever you happen to think about it, but especially when one of your dream signs pops up. The idea is that anything that becomes habit in your waking life will become habit in your dreams. If you're actually dreaming, remembering to do the check is usually all it takes to throw you into lucidity.

And by the way, it absolutely rocks.
When exactly do you do this check? Also, do you have any good resources or links on more information on it?

Re: Lucid Dreamer

Posted: July 21st, 2010, 1:28 am
by Dan_87
and i heard that when training yourself to become a lucid dreamer you need a fix sleep-wake cycle? if its the case then i can't do that...because my job (doctor) doesn't permit me to have a fix sleep wake cycle :(

Re: Lucid Dreamer

Posted: July 21st, 2010, 7:03 pm
by Skysaw
xSeanZx wrote:When exactly do you do this check? Also, do you have any good resources or links on more information on it?
I do a check whenever I happen to think about it, just to get into a habit. But I'm especially reminded to do so if anything unusual is happening, like a sudden downpour, or seeing an accident. I always, always do a check if I flip a light switch and it doesn't work. This happens to me all the time, but I only remember it being real once! :)

For more information, I highly recommend getting Steve Leberge's Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming. It's eight bucks on Amazon, and worth every penny. I could already do it a bit, but there were so many good ideas in there that it really started to take off for me after I had read it. You can also check out mortalmist.com (where my above old journal is posted).

Re: Lucid Dreamer

Posted: July 21st, 2010, 7:11 pm
by Skysaw
Dan_87 wrote:and i heard that when training yourself to become a lucid dreamer you need a fix sleep-wake cycle? if its the case then i can't do that...because my job (doctor) doesn't permit me to have a fix sleep wake cycle :(
It helps a great deal to have a normal sleep cycle. It also helps if you can get a full 8+ hours, as the best time to go lucid is usually towards the end of the cycle. You can definitely still learn to do it, you just may not get as many dreams. I haven't been getting nearly enough sleep for the past six months, and it's really cut down the number for me.

Re: Lucid Dreamer

Posted: July 21st, 2010, 8:06 pm
by carwashguy
Hey, I'm a lucid dreamer, too! 5 times a week for 45 minutes a pop is crazy! I trained really hard at first (doing like fifty reality checks a day and gained really consistent dream recall, among other things). I gave it up after a few weeks--never achieving an LD the whole while... until a month later I got one out of where. I was dreaming I was in a hot tub watching sports on TV drinking a beer. This is so uncharacteristic of me, so I did a "fingers" check and counted twelve fingers. I did it two more times before realizing, "hey I'm freakin dreaming!" I'll have an LD maybe once every three months nowadays (which is great compared to never). I guess I just needed to "break the seal," so to speak. Nowadays I do the nose/breathing check.

Anyway, I wonder how many other ways the movie differentiates with reality. Most people aren't familiar enough with dreaming to realize how unrealistic some of the movie devices are. I think I read about how science has found that dream time moves at the same speed as reality.

Also, when Ariadne creates the mirrors, and we see a perfect reflection in the mirror, I almost cracked up laughing. That's freaking hard! I had a mirror dream once and my image was so messed up (then I went through the mirror and woke up I think).