Variations of Lucid Dreams

Stephen Laberge is one of the frontrunners of lucid dreaming science. In a study released in 2000 he explained the three different types of lucid dreaming experienced by people. I thought I might give you a quick summary of the three as some food for thought.

Dream-initiated lucid dreams which make up approximately 80% of all lucid dreams. These lucid dreams are caused when a typical dream stimulates the conciousness to action without actually waking the subject. For non-experienced lucid dreamers this often happens when anxiety or stress dreams cause powerful enough emotions to cause you to become lucid.

Wake-initiated lucid dreams is the style of lucid dreaming often practiced by Tibetan monks. These lucid dreams occur when you enter a deep meditative state and are able to retain consciousness as you slip into sleep. This style of lucid dreaming takes much practice. Personally I have only been able to experience this a handful of times and have yet to gain any sort of control over their occurrence.

Ambiguously initiated lucid dreams is a subject reserved for those who actually practice lucid dreaming. In these dreams often lucid and nonlucid experiences will be melded together seamlessly over the course of a dream. Habits that are related to lucid dreaming practice actually occuring within the dreams are a good marker of this type of lucid dream initiation. Dreamers will often find themselves scrambling to find a journal to write down a dream completely unaware that they are actually still dreaming. This has happened to me many times and I can honestly say it’s kind of awkward to have written down an entire dream within the dream only to wake up and find that now you have to re-copy your notes and also include the experience of writing the dream in the dream for your entry. It’s a little mind-bending.

The full article can be found here: http://www.lucidity.com/VOLDE.html

Dream on little dreamers,

E

 

 

 

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Lucidity practice on a limited time schedule

Whether it be work, school or sport we all have our own reasons to say we’re busy people. Busy as you may be there is a way to manage your time so that you can have all the benefit of lucid sleep with less overall time-consumption.

Consistency outweighs accuracy when it comes to keeping a dream journal. I recommend referring to my previous post about how to manage your dream journals titled  “The Tools of the Trade.” Yet regardless of availability, consistency with something as seemingly trivial as keeping a dream journal is still very difficult for most people.

The rules of taking notes on your dreams are the same as taking notes for any other occasion. Think business meeting or lecture hall: Get the key points down, pay attention and fill in the smaller facts later. I’ve known people that have tried different focused organization approaches to their journal keeping such as organization charts, The Cornell Method (http://www.alextech.edu/en/collegeservices/SupportServices/StudySkills/LectureNoteTaking/MethodsOfNoteTaking.aspx) and just plain speed-sketching.

So you woke up and have a good idea of your dream last night but you have about an hour to bathe and eat breakfast before work, clearly you don’t have the time to get every fact you remember down so where do you start?

Well this is up to personal preference but for me the order of importance for facts from my dream goes as follows: Characters > Tones (like brooding or whimsical) > Settings > Quotes > Storyline. The reason I put storyline last is for the purpose of keeping things easy to document for this exercise. For your end-product it’s ideal to have as much storyline as possible but when you don’t have time to get through it all don’t strain yourself. It’s better to focus on preserving broader topics such as tones as opposed to only writing the beginning of a full storyline and then forgetting what the rest of the story is when you come back to your journal later.

I know I have mentioned that doodling in your journal is recommendable in the past but I’d like to stress the point again. You’d be surprised at how even bad drawings can give you a fantastic idea of how certain people or places looked in your dream when words are hard to find. The point of the dream journal is to exercise your brains ability to remember the events of your REM sleep, not to win the spelling bee. Some things are just hard to describe in dreams, its just a fact of life, don’t be ashamed to get some charcoal on your hands with some good old fashioned drawing.

Interpreting a dream

First and foremost I’d like to say that making an effort to interpret your dreams is NOT NECESSARY to the skill of lucid dreaming. Nonetheless I feel as though its pretty fun to try to predict the messages of your subconscious, I imagine I’m speaking to an audience that feels similarly seeing as you’re all reading a blog about dreams anyway.

So if its not obvious I’ll readily tell you that dreams are not very consistent with their ease of translation. Some dreams seem to drag on in a way that suits a fiction series whereas others flash by your subconscious mind like a crazed bat. Telling the difference between logical and illogical dream plots is a good first step to interpreting your dreams.

Illogical dream plots often consist of little to no permanent characters (including yourself) and a blatant inconsistency of setting. Not that dreams have to be bound to a single setting but when the settings seem to flash by faster than you can count them it usually signifies a less logical plot. Just because a dream is illogical does not mean that they are uninterpretable.

Interpreting a illogical dream becomes easiest when you stop looking for a moral and start looking for themes. Themes can consist of anything in a dream such as a theme of darkness, a theme of being watched, a theme of silence, or a theme of strangeness.Don’t look too deeply into the details of your dream to find a theme, pay more attention to how YOU feel about the scenario that played out (however odd it might seem).

I once had a dream where a small child stood outside a decrepit hospital then I was suddenly transported to a slum where I was running from two ravenous German Shepard dogs and lastly was  groveling in the dirt apologizing to my suddenly dead dream-father. At first I could see no relation between these things but felt as though everything had an apocalyptic overtone. Using the apocalypse as my theme I was able to interpret that the dream may have had something to do with not living up to my fathers expectations and an over-dramatized fear of the results of my failure.

Logical dreams are a little easier to interpret but overall much more rare. The signal of a logical dream is of course the opposite of everything that would make a dream illogical and also a sense of finality by the end of the dream. What I mean by finality is that you wake up feeling as though you got something accomplished in your sleep as opposed to emerging half-dazed as though from a wild carnival ride.

Interpreting a logical dream is usually based on your ability to characterize those that you met within the dream. Who was in the dream? Who are they in your everyday life? How was the dream-projection of them different from the real version? All characters in your dreams are derivative from people that you have met before, so although it may be difficult try and figure out who that person you met may have been (it could have even been a random passerby) make a serious effort to do so. Characters in your dreams are very much representative of your own psyche more than the psyche of the person they represent. Try to figure out how the dreams’ end-result (such as a death or infatuation) to those characters represents your relationship with that side of yourself.

There are many methods of interpreting dreams, what is most important is whatever satisfies you. Some sites like to give definition based interpretations of dreams. I recommend http://www.dreammoods.com/ and http://www.mydreamvisions.com. They are definitely helpful when just beginning to interpret your dreams although I would advise against becoming too dependent on them as they are just as scientifically based as any guess you would make is (and guessing is just more fun).

 

Dream on little dreamers,

E

A note on materialism

If you’ve ever met someone who made the argument that all processes of your mind are made up of the naturally evolved wiring of your brain you’ve met a materialist. In this view the difference between “I made up my mind to ride my bike,” and “I made up my brain to ride my bike” have no distinction, according to The Spiritual Brain by Mario Beauregard & Denyse O’ Leary.

The book is interesting and I recommend it, but to those of you with a designated view on the subject I hope you will accept the possibility of non-materialist explanations for mental processes. With lucid dreaming it is important to maintain a certain level of confidence in the possibility of “mind over matter,” as opposed to the materialist presumption of “mind is the illusory product of matter.” To accept a certain level of personal control over your faculties is nothing new to most, so if you didn’t have a predisposed opinion don’t worry yourself too much about it. Just keep an open mind and have faith in the power of your focus.

Dream on little dreamers,
E