In my last episode, I was floating toward a wall and all these thoughts were firing, "you're in a dream", "you'll go through the wall", "don't be afraid" but the rational side that felt like I was going to slam into a wall freaked out just at the wall & I woke. I still wish I just let myself slip through the wall..
If you have nightmares, lucid dreaming techniques can be helpful for overcoming them. People often make stressful dreams worse on themselves by worrying “What if the monster catches up to me?” or “What if my weapon doesn’t do anything to it?”—you’ve got to follow it up with “Nah, I think it’s friendly and I can ride it” or “Of course my attack will work”.
You might find the dream dictionary interesting.
 - http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/
For me it was gaining a better understanding of basic physics. Something I was never taught at an early age due to a cult like upbringing. Now questioning all I have ever been taught is second nature in my waking life. Even basic things like was that shadow normal? "Oh right, nothing divine there." So now that has leaked into my dream state, whenever physics goes weird (mostly water not flowing right or objects that don't respond in a proper manner) I instantly question it and then become aware of my dream state.
When I was younger I was able to make music by counting beats in my head with a hi-hat just before I hit a hypnagogia state. I knew I was there when the hi hat would keep counting even after I stopped consciously doing counting, then an entire analog and digital orchestra in my brain would start playing wonderful tunes. Of course I could never remember them after, but it doesn't matter.
"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern."
William Blake: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790)
It feels like I am dreaming while I am still awake in some kind of transitional state, where I am not conscious and also not asleep. It is not the same as lucid dreaming, which I had a couple of times also.
Or maybe I’m just the only one.
not just you - I didn't have a name for it, but my brain pretty much does free-association in that phase. On more than one occasion I've jolted awake because I've had a earth-shattering revelation, only to realise my idea was already invented (hot air balloon) or pretty ridiculous (like having your toaster burn the day's agenda on your toast).
I can't help but wonder: how many multi-million dollar ideas have I had and then promptly forgot as I got into deeper sleep?
Shut up and take my money!
Or maybe that the numbers on the clock indicate the distance I have to run in the track meet.
My girlfriend has told me that sometimes when we drift off to sleep talking, I'll start making less and less sense. She occasionally interviews me and can keep me going in this free-association state for a couple of minutes. I'll have to get to her take notes. :)
Usually it would attempt something similar to yours, like reconciling the concept of orange with a physical shape, which just immediately fails.
Everyone heard that one for sure!
I've had this start happening to me in the past year. When I was a kid I would have horrible, recurring nightmares for months on end that were difficult to remember. At some point in middle/highschool I stopped having dreams altogether (or at least stopped remembering them entirely). It was great as I would no longer wake up in a panic or stay up incredibly late in order to get to sleep. Recently however, I've started having dreams like you describe. My sleep schedule has changed as well. I get up at 5AM, but recently I've found that I'll naturally wake up between 2-4AM at which point I'll drift in and out of consciousness having negative, vivid dreams that I partially remember in the morning.
It all started with my realization that sleep brought me answers in general; i.e. a realization that my general pattern was to work on hard problems all day until I hit various brick walls, then step away and do Real Life and then later at night I'd Sleep, and then often if I'm lucky I wake up the next morning with important realizations that get me past the previous day's brick walls, and then the cycle repeats.
Once I realized this pattern, I started optimizing for more sleep cycles per day and a more-immediate transition from BrickWalls->Sleep, basically by injecting a daytime nap in the midst of my workday if/when I can (working from home has its privileges!), aiming for ~1.5h or ~3h nap increments when I can, since that seems to match well with my sleep cycles for reaching REM in the middle and then waking back out of it on a natural cycle boundary.
I'm also a heavy coffee drinker for the stimulant effects on my thinking, and at one point heard about the "Coffee Nap" idea (TL;DR - it takes ~30m for caffeine to really kick in, so when you get tired you chug a coffee and lay down, and let yourself wake later as it kicks in).
Somehow over time all my random experimentation on these various inter-related things settled into a new pattern that works well when I can achieve it: I try to hit the brick wall while still fairly amped on caffeine (have a last cup as I'm moving away from the laptop if I'm behind on my caffeine intake), then switch over to a nap state.
As I'm laying in bed falling asleep, I initially force my thoughts on whatever my Brick Walls are, and my body's still a bit uncomfortably caffeine amped/buzzed for laying down and trying to sleep, but between the coffee buzzing and the descent into sleep, I now usually end up having a very odd transitional but semi-conscious mental state for a solid 10-15 minutes (sometimes longer) on my way to sleep. During this time, free associations and strange dreamy unrelated things start springboarding out from my initial more-directed thoughts, and it's clear this is basically an open channel to get those lateral-thinking associations going while still barely conscious. It's like a psychedelic-drug-free version of a short acid trip or useful lucid dreaming state. Eventually I succumb to sleep, but I have had a very good success rate (relatively - it's still not necessarily high in the absolute!) at getting good intuitive answers to my problems on waking.
Over time I've gotten better and better at achieving these states with practice, but it still requires a lot of these triggering conditions/patterns above. I think/hope eventually I may reach a point where I can induce these mental states at will without actually going to sleep afterwards or relying on caffeine buzz to kick it off.
I was expecting the article to be an actual dream control device and not just a device that helps you control your own dreams. Kind of misleading.
I used an app like that to trigger a lucid state (might be the exact same one) and yeah I heard it say “you are dreaming” in that creepy voice and it gave me a freaking lucid nightmare. It succeeded in making me realize I was dreaming without waking me up, but my heart raced to about 200bpm and I thought that scary voice was going to come and kill me. Who the heck made that app?
There's also a project homepage with a FAQ .
New technological approaches like this will help us peel back the veil of the tangible, 'ordinary' realities of which we are comfortable. The world will be a much more funky and weird place once we realize there are non-ordinaries realities that we can explore, too.
Certain drugs like DMT, Mushrooms, or LSD are essentially performance enhancing drugs when it comes to those powers of meditation, and they allow ordinary folks a glimpse of what the human mind/body is capable of.
That the shamanic practices will be pealed back, to reveal the familiar reality of scientific investigation.
I've had many lucid dreams, sleep paralysis, etc. "Navigating your dream state" seems really just like a lucid dream.
You're pretty much able to create a life-like world at whim in a lucid dream. The ability of the mind to hallucinate sensation in great depth is tremendous, and im sure, tied deeply to dreaming.
I believe great scientists often start in wooville before they are able to distill science out of it. “Why should not a bold thinker have guessed something that is afterwards confirmed by sober and painstaking detailed research?” -Freud
Science is a process which includes the creative step of imagining a solution/explanation.
The differentiation between science and "systematic religous doctrine" is not in the character of the people, nor particularly in the way they think. Only that the scientist has an additional goal/duty to test his explanations.
Works by Robert Monroe https://www.amazon.com/Robert-A.-Monroe/e/B000AQ8V5A
Works by Dr. Lilly
Carlos Castanteda (take it with a grain of salt :)
D. Scott Rogo's "Leaving Body" is good compilation of various techniques https://www.amazon.com/Leaving-Body-D-Scott-Rogo/dp/06717639...
I have written a blog on this topic. It relates to work I have done working with Shaman and plant medicines in Peru. Here you go: https://goodroot.ca/post/2018/03/06/the-garden-axiom/ !
> Ideas were not coming from me, they were just passing through my head
Me and my gf were really tired and both exactly in this "almost sleeping but not quite" state. We were lying down with our heads touching (my left temple touching her right temple.. not exactly the temple but just to give a generic idea). We were still talking with each other but at the same time I was seeing random fragments of dreams and the reality was fading away and coming back occasionally. At some point I saw a dream(?) about an orange (I think.. or a ball) that grew bigger and bigger till almost everything was.. filled by it and at that moment my gf says something in the lines of ".. and then there's this huge orange ball coming at me and growing bigger". I woke up immediately and asked her to explain wtf just happened because she was seeing the exact same thing that I was seeing at exactly the same time.
Could it be that one of our brains was picking up the brain waves of the other (..the brains were so close together after all :)) and as our consciousness was fading between being asleep.. it didn't filter out this random interference and interpreted it in the same way, producing the same dream like encounter? Was she, in essence, "reading my mind"? Am I crazy? :)
It's well known that brains can sometimes reorder the chronology of events, especially if they occur within a short time window.
Other weird experiences include living in a new country and having at least 20 instances of deja vu there within a short time (not of having been there, but just random moments I had seen before in my head).
Did he have a prophetic dream? Probably not. Probably he saw the book through barely-open eyes and his brain generated and stored the entire dream instantaneously and he only thought he had experienced it in normal time.
I was dosing off while my family was still up. It was a short dream in which I was playing tennis. It was only 2 or 3 strokes, but I woke up with a start just as the ball hit the court surface. Turns out that someone dropped something nearby. I assume my brain heard it, played out the tennis match dream synchronizing the tennis ball hitting the court with something being dropped.
Is consciousness even real, man?
Great books if you wanna chew on basically (for now) unanswerable questions:
Peter Watts' "Blindsight" and "Echopraxia."
Neal Stephenson's "Anathem."
The even more notable aspect of the story is that it seems lucid dreaming and related phenomena is finally moving firmly into the realm of reality in the minds of sleep/dream researchers, if this article is to be any indication. Though I'm aware that lucid dreaming was technically proven to be real ages ago, the notion that it's not seems to have stuck.
Side note; one of my favourite things to do when flying is to induce a hypnagogic state and then compose, and simultaneously listen to, music in my mind. Or rather, have music be composed almost automatically with gentle nudges from me using emotions (it's hard to put into words). It requires noise cancelling headphones and either white noise or a good binaural beats track. And of course, I don't always end up in the correct state of mind to be able to do it.
The music I hear in this state is incredibly beautiful. I'm no musician however, and I've never been able to "bring anything back" that's been of any significance.
Essentially; lie down on your back. Raise your arm from the elbow as if you were about to point to the ceiling, while keeping the elbow resting on the bed. When you are about to fall asleep, the arm falls down, waking you up (hopefully).
The point is to give you the opportunity to sort of traverse back and forth over the line separating waking and sleeping consciousness quickly.
The goal is first of all to be able to "spot" the state of mind. Since it's usually just something we pass by on the way to sleep, we don't normally have a very clear sense of what the state is like. Therefore it's hard to hold for any amount of time. Familiarizing yourself with the characteristics of the state of mind helps when trying to hold on to it.
Which is the eventual goal: to remain in the state for a longer time before waking up or falling asleep.
The arm thing is rigged to wake you up rather than letting you fall asleep. This is to increase chances that you're able to bring something useful back to full waking consciousness. If you have a very successful session in the liminal state, but then you fall asleep, chances are you won't remember the details later on.
A friend of mine achieves the same effect by putting his arms behind his head, tucked under his pillow. He finds it very uncomfortable to sleep like this, so eventually he gets tired enough to slip into hypnagogia, but he never quite falls asleep.
It doesn't work for me, I find that position very comfortable.
But basically, you can be creative in this regard. Anything that helps you hover back and forth between waking and sleeping mind helps you chase down the elusive middle bit.
Another friend swears by taking a double espresso and laying down in the afternoon. Apparently this is enough to keep her from going deeper into sleep than desired. I haven't had much success with this particular method either.
>> Jibo robot would prompt them
So this is basically someone going on a guided acid trip. An induced state where real perceptions and illusions can be directed by an outside guide. As further proof, I'd like to see the robot say "your skin is covered in spiders". I'm betting that dreaming doesn't go so well.
Or as in Futurama "Lightspeed briefs, as seen in your dreams!"
Fan: "But this is closed-loop. It keeps you in the hypnogogic state."
1. Optimize a simple open-loop system using, say, number of repetitions, inter-repetition interval as f(repetition), and amplitude as f(repetition). Use your outcome of choice (e.g. the Alternative Uses Task) and a factorial design to explore the space.
2. Optimize closed-loop system for the same outcome, exploring its parameter space.
3. Randomize 100 people to (1) or (2)
4. t-test on the means
5. Get back to me
6. Even if p(2>1) < 0.05, (2) is still just a fancy example of "people's thoughts are affected by words that they hear."
Dr. Horowitz may be onto something. Let's not get ahead of ourselves with clickbait headlines while we wait and see.
But at some point, I was amused by where my mind was going to, so I started writing the dream fragments down. They were dreamlike, too -- they would sort of take over my brain, it was very difficult for me to recognize that they weren't rational or at all related to what I had been thinking about, and after I fully awoke they'd slip away entirely. But like I said, there was a point before falling asleep where I would become aware enough to realize what was happening, then grab onto some fragment of the dream, and wake up enough to write it down. So here's the list (these are all snapshots, as that was all I could hang onto):
* my son saying he's going to jump up to the sky and then him soaring upward
* someone being trained in the Israeli army
* getting kicked out of a band
* cutting an Adam's apple out of a chicken neck
* stomping on something that looks like a painting lying on the floor, and shattering it
* holding and tilting up a spatula, onion, and lemon
* shooting missiles at the butt of an enormous cow
I'd imagine a queue like this would work, regardless of if I was sleeping.
It's strange that the title says 'dream control' yet 'lucid dreaming' is barely mentioned once in the article. It seems like they just mean more awareness in a hypnagogic state, or the ability to wake up quickly after entering one, which can also be attained just by practicing.
The data provided attempting to show the benefits of this is severely lacking as well. A sample size of six with little specific description of their alternative use task is not useful in the same way saying they spent 158 seconds longer writing stories is not. I'm sure someone who remembers all their dreams can tell you a long and 'interesting' story, but it's not necessarily useful.
It can take months of active practice to have lucid dreaming.
The liminal state takes about five minutes to learn. The article has a story about Thomas Edison dropping balls on the floor; this works well.
The process of falling asleep feels like having my mind squeezed through a narrow gap, surrounded by random proto-thoughts like fragments of words and images. I wonder if that’s just my perception of the lower frontal lobe activity they describe in the article. Once I’m out on the “other side” in a dream, I feel like my mind can stretch out and relax again.
When I was a kid I really had this thing for switching a light switch between off and on. Know what I mean? There's a spot you can hold it between off and on where the light flickers, and buzzes, at low power, sort of randomly.
I guess this is like that for wake-sleep. Cool state to be in and to get there without drugs, concentration, or whatever else. Very simple.
Can you lucid dream/OBE? Was it possible to learn?
I spent about a month practicing methods to lucid dream before being able to achieve a few lucid dreams over a couple weeks. It became difficult for me to keep up some of the exercises in order to do so (such as waking up to write down my dreams in my dream journal in the middle of the night would interrupt my wife's sleep). It can be time-consuming for some people as well, as learners benefit from being able to get 7.5+ hours of sleep each night. I still attempt to lucid dream when convenient, but I don't practice every day like I used to.
Great resources to get started with learning lucid dreaming:
- Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. & Howard Rheingold
Unless you’re well practiced with lucid dreaming, you probably won’t be able to exert direct control—either your efforts simply won’t work, or you’ll wake yourself up. A useful technique I use is to think something along the lines of “Oh, of course this is what will happen next” and it often does—the structure of the dream is often driven by your expectations and beliefs of how things ought to operate. Poke around and try stuff to see what works for you! :)
When I was learning how to lucid dream, one of the triggers that I used to tell I was in a dream was flipping a light switch on and off. When I saw nothing happened, I knew it was a dream.
Another big one I use is looking at any words, numbers or clocks to see if they were legit, or random characters / garbage.
I started to "feel" what a lucid dream was because I would get some nightmares that would eventually wake me up. It felt real and I could remember everything about it (for a few minutes). The big ones always involved me falling from a building, and waking up once I hit the pavement.
Over time, I forced myself to try to mostly stay asleep during these nightmares. I remember falling from stuff, hitting the pavement, waking up, but keeping my eyes closed and trying to keep from waking up. It got to the point where I would "half" wake up, but still be in the nightmares. Then with some practice, I could do that to normal dreams too.
I can't really do it on demand, so it's more if I am having a crazy dream, I can usually snap out of it and fully control everything about it.
I once was having dinner with a girl and the topic of conversation drifted to dreams and how one might tell if one is in an "Inception" type scenario. I used the menu as an example-- read a line from the menu, close the booklet, reopen and reread the same line. I told her if the two lines aren't the same line, you're dreaming (the rendering hardware in your brain apparently uses different PRNG seeds for procedural texture generation).
I paused awkwardly as I realized that items in the menu kept changing each time I reread them.
She was very offended when I told her she was a figment of my imagination.
Pinch your nose, close your mouth, and try to breathe. If you are dreaming, you will be able to inhale and exhale without any conceivable path for the air to flow. Also works if you are underwater.
Light switches always do something in my dreams. It might not be turning the lights on and off, but a thing happens when I flip the switch. (One time, it made some rabbits explode. That was fascinating, and I blew them all up one by one, and then felt guilty about it after I woke up.) Although most of the time, my dreams don't even have light switches, and I don't notice when they are absent from places where they should be, according to building codes.
I almost always have hands and a face, and the ability to move, so the two tricks above usually work.
That has happened to me before! It was more an accident of experimenting around in a lucid dream. I didn't think anything further of it. You're right, though, that it should be a default technique since you can close your mouth and attempt to breath in about any dream situation. Thanks a lot!
I use reading and re-reading to test whether I'm in a dream.
I relate to this on a spiritual level. When I was a child, I would go around the house and set all the switchs to that "in-between" state.
~ Leslie Lamport
There are more ways to purposefully check if you're dreaming, such as by trying to push your finger through your hand, or breathing through your nose while you pinch it with your fingers. But some of the examples above just passively happen while you're dreaming and you can train yourself to notice them.
We already invented this and named it “television.”
So, now you're dreaming a lot. You now have to wake up in the dream. Techniques to do that are called "reality checks" since they tell you what's real and isn't. You do them all throughout the day of waking life to make a habit out of them. The habit kicks in during the dream either on autopilot (script) or when you remember to do it. You spot a discrepency between what's expected from reality and what you're seeing. You're therefore dreaming. You will probably wake up immediately with a mental rush. Lucid dreaming websites or books will give you techniques for "anchoring" from there like spinning around that hold the dream together. You can also do it with mental focus. You can also prime your subconscious to do it for you for a while but we're in tricky territory there with a lot to debate. Here's some reality checks I use to get your started:
First, ask yourself if you're awake. When you're awake, you know you're awake. If you're not sure, assume you're dreaming unless you prove otherwise. There's apparently some sense we have for that.
Second, there's often something to write with in dreams from a pen to your fingers on a surface. Write something down. Look at it to take in the words themselves plus their visual details. Hold it in your head while looking at other stuff in the room in similar detail. Then, look back at original writing to see if it changes. For some reason, the words will be different or start doing weird things like moving. You can do this with configuration of objects you find in room around you, too, but I find semi-cursive handwriting to be best. I speculate the difficulty is that the simulator has trouble telling what you're focusing on. That they're different components of the brain is already predicted by research on intuition vs reason.
Third, reflective surfaces like mirrors. They'll often have no reflection or reflect something unexpected. I'm probably the only person my friends meet who doesn't care about appearance much but always looks at mirrors. Get interesting reactions when I tell them I was just making sure the world was real instead of a dream. "No, I'm not worried or confused: just a good habit of mine." Another interesting reaction as that doesn't make it better haha. I take it as an opportunity to tell them about lucid dreaming or start a "how do you know what's real?" philosophy discussion. Or ensure they've seen The Matrix.
These three techniques have woken me in every dream I've ever had where I at least was aware enough to check them. Two of them are instances of a general pattern of simply observing the world in detail with a questioning mind. In my dreams, I similarly observe and question what I'm seeing with the WTF's going through the roof at some point. There's actually a compound effect where more simulation failures happen as I start noticing them. Confusion is how it starts. Then, my barely-functional, scripted mind starts wondering off script noticing things "aren't right." The second I'm partly independent of the dream's control I attempt a reality check out of habit. Then, I either wake up or have lucid control of the dream. My sneaky imagination sometimes counters, though, by switching to a new script to block my awareness. It adapts. The worst adaptation was, after seeing Inception, it incorporating the dream in a dream concept where I had to wake up 10+ times on occasion before I was awake. The dreams became inescapable.
That leads to the last point about practicing lucid dreams that people should know about: we can also get lucid nightmares. They're like all the creativity of your brain channeled in to writing your own personal, horror movie staring you as the perp, victim, or both. All depends on what you've seen/read previously and luck given dreams are semi-random connections between a vast array of thoughts/memories. ;) Most people can just wake yourself up to escape or at least nullify it knowing it's not real. That even feels empowering when you do it as you awaken to take on life's petty challenges after conquering something much worse. Some of us can't escape or make it go away, though. Nobody is sure how to determine that ahead of time either. One subset that was obvious was that any mental condition that brings anything from anxiety to paranoia can cause this since the same brain components are used in dream creation/control far as anyone can tell. My PTSD from head injury, aka "always-on worrying," turned some of lucid dreams from beautiful vacations I was used to into Freddy Krueger shit I couldn't escape from. Started happening a lot. Now, I just wake up the second I can since good ones aren't worth the bad ones to me.
Again, doens't happen to most people either anxious or not. I'm just giving the warning since anyone in that category will wish they knew ahead of time to make an informed decision about taking the risk. Everyone else, get a dream journal, start doing the reality checks, start taking naps, and prepare to have a blast just when you thought your day was "over." Also, you'll be the most experienced person in any conversation about what's real and isn't since you're ability to assess that will have been tested many times. ;)
Regarding my case, I rarely had them over many years of lucid dreaming. They were 2-3 layers deep if each wake-up is a layer. After the movie, I had more in next months than I had in years with 3+ layers common with some around 10. I also increased lucidity after a few layers with changes to the dream script that tricked me into thinking I was more awake. The reality checks even failed on some of them. The simulation was that realistic. Except No 1 because I always know when I'm finally awake. I just couldn't apply No 1 in those dreams for some reason. I just eventually got out after massive, prolonged effort with many false positives until I was truly awake where I could apply No 1.
Freaky stuff. I'm not necessarily blaming the movie itself so much as saying it gave my mind an idea that unconscious creativity ruthlessly exploited from there. I can't prove causality but it's quite a huge correlation to be accidental. Fortunately, I managed to reduce the problem a bit using the reverse of learning lucid dreaming. Hit and miss. I haven't had one of those mega-layered dreams in a while.
The common hurdle for practitioners seems to be remaining calm while maintaining the lucid state, which takes far more effort and skill overall. It essentially becomes a meditation finely balanced between waking up and falling back asleep.
It's not news if it's old is it? The press isn't going to investigate. Instant buzz...over (next to) nothing. Welcome to the modern world.
That void is either intentional. Not good. Or due to a lack of awareness (or the obvious). Again, not good.
Talk to the grand parent. They seem to think its this easy thing that people have been doing for thousands of years. I'd love to know the easy way too..
Prince of Darkness (1987)
But Vice and BuzzFeed both do a lot of quality journalism these days. This article is a good example.
Is judging an article by its domain the modern equivalent of judging a book by its cover?
My issue is: why not link to the actual paper? HN is full of intelligent people, we can understand the primary literature.