coffin_dodger » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:57 am wrote:
I'm fully prepared to be called an idiot because I'm perhaps not understanding exactly what lucid dreaming is, but..
this sounds a slightly dangerous path to follow. For instance, if I were to become a master manipulator of lucid dreaming, would I be able to distinguish between reality and dreamstate? They could, to all intents and purposes, merge into one. And to have to keep checking which state I was in would be a chore that could become a nervous 'tick' or other mental process that could become overwhelming.
Not an idiot at all. I guess maybe you have to feel a little bit "wreckless" to want to explore lucid dreaming, but honestly I'm not that brave. It's just that it is so damn interesting that the curiosity over-rides your fear (MOST of the time, that is).
I will give an example that fleshes this out. In one dream I was in the back seat of a car, my friends were driving. It was daylight and I was looking out the window, and 3 UFOs flew by. I thought to myself that I might be dreaming, and I looked at my hand. As I looked at my hand, I could see the back-seat window behind it, I could see the background racing by and little water droplets on the glass as though it had just rained. My hand moved and I became lucid. The feeling is a click like an a-ha moment where you know you are dreaming. But the crazy thing is, in most other ways it still feels EXACTLY like ordinary life.
I was in this car driving along and I thought to myself, "I want to get out of this car" - but even though I knew I was dreaming it felt so real that I was afraid to jump out of a moving car. So I decided to wait until the car stopped, and almost immediately after this thought the car came to a stop.
I stepped out of the car. I looked around and I was standing on a grassy median on a boulevard, there was a lot of traffic around me, like a traffic jam or a bunch of cars at a stop light. I had a very strong desire to fly, which for me is very common when I become lucid. I willed myself to fly and began rising up in the air. I looked down and could see everything receding below me in perfect clarity, I was astounded at how completely real it looked, the change of perspective and every detail.
But there is one particular difference in the dream-state, which is that you are most definitely in an altered state of mind. I think that part of the recognition that something is "off" is a recognition that something is altered in your own consciousness. This is why I've never had the suspicion that I'm dreaming in the waking state. A few months ago I had a very dramatic UFO sighting with my girlfriend and not once during this sighting did I think I was dreaming. In fact I never check this state in my ordinary life. I just did that in the beginning because I thought it would help. Maybe it did help but I'm not sure, so I'm including it just in case. There is a possibility that simply my intent to have a lucid dream, sustained for that year, eventually allowed my ordinary state to "come online" while dreaming.
In the Castaneda books they describe the two "minds" of a person, the waking mind and the dreaming mind. Though this may or may not be correct, it is a model that fits with my experience. There is a mental state that I normally occupy in dreaming, and if I remain in that state during the entire night then I will not become lucid.
What happens is that there is a shred of suspicion that something is "off", and this suspicion suddenly introduces what I'm calling my waking mind to the scenario - the waking mind is the mental state we are more familiar with here and now. It is normally not present in dreaming, but the suspicion occurs and then suddenly it pops online. Here in the waking state the waking mind is the boss, but in the dreaming state the dreaming mind is the boss. My impression is that the dreaming mind naturally wants to squash the waking mind back into "dormancy" and return to an ordinary dream state - so to keep your waking mind active, you have to look at your hand to "cement" that mind in the dream state, or else the dreaming mind will push it away and you will descend back into an ordinary dream. During my first lucid dream I had an intuitive feeling that I needed to keep looking at my hand, or else I would go back into an ordinary dream. I probably looked at my hand about 10 times before I finally felt like I could walk around and observe the surroundings in this new state.
You are never totally in an ordinary state of mind in the dream, the two minds I describe are simultaneously present. It is a weird sensation but very interesting, I describe this juggling act that one has to do with the waking and the dreaming mind in that other thread, if you are interested in this subject a little more.