Movies: The second showing is free!

If there’s one thing I’ve really come to notice about movies is how directly they influence dreams. TV shows and series can also have an influence, but movies are unique in the ability to affect your perspective in just 2-3 hours. I’d like to take a quick look at how and why movies imprint themselves in this way.

It’s late in the evening and you have a few hours to kill before bed. You curl up into your favorite recliner or just a theater seat that has no one in front so you can put your feet up. The next few hours it’ll be you and a screen, sometimes you’ll be so enraptured that you’ll  forget you’re even watching a movie. As though in a trance, you’ll dote on every quirk of the characters and twist of the plot.

Personally I’ve come to dislike watching too many movies as I feel their affect is too pronounced on my dreams. But that doesn’t mean that movies are a negative influence for lucid dreamers. In fact learning to manipulate the power of movies can give you a useful tool to have all sorts of dreams.

It’s common sense for most to think that a scary movie like The Exorcist or Insidious: Chapter 2 will cause you to have nightmares. In just the same strain of thought movies like Spirited Away or Memento can cause fanciful and thought provoking dreams. Similarly, its entirely possible to have dreams of movie universes like the Star Wars trilogy or The Avengers by having a movie marathon (bring a friend!).

I think a lot of the reason that movies become so imprinted on our subconscious is because our mind is processing the bulk of new information presented to us. The same affect happens when we read a new book, or go to a vacation somewhere exotic. The only difference being that while reading a new book or traveling may take half a day or more, movies pack all that newness into 3 hours. Superheros, demons and space stations are not things that we see on a daily basis, so our minds asses those images by reanalyzing them in our dreams. At least that’s my theory.

So why does it matter? Well it matters because fictional or not the characters in movies become symbols in our dreams long after we watch those movies. By contrasting what a movie character originally is versus our relationship with that character in our dreams we can make some interesting interpretations.

For example, I recently had a dream where Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean was sprinting around my apartment complex cutting into ship sails fastened to the side of the building with a scimitar. I wondered if I should stop him but he was running way too fast to catch. Soon he had ripped every sail attached to the apartment complex, leaving it woefully unable to go to sea again.

The unbelievably fast saboteur is quite different from the drunken free-spirited pirate from the movies. This might represent a feeling of being held back by those that once seemed fun to me. Or maybe something else entirely. What do you think?

What movie do you think has the best atmosphere?

Dream on little dreamers,

EB

Manifestation vs. Manipulation

I often get asked by friends what kind of control I have in my dreams. I’ll usually answer with a practiced bit of how I have basic decision-making abilities, and sometimes can make myself fly and similar fun things. Here they usually ask if I’ve placed them in a lucid dream, and if so what happened to them.

First and foremost, its usually best not to tell people about their dream-projections as it’s a quick route to awkward conversation. Ignore this rule if their dream-projection did something particularly hilarious.

However on a more serious note, this question prompts an interesting debate about the difference between manifestation and manipulation in lucid dreams. Both are definitely possible in dreams, but the levels of difficulty are completely polarized. In this post I hope to distinguish the two in a way that will lead you to have more realistic expectations of your dream world.

Many expect that any amount of lucid dreaming practice will lead to the ability to manifest objects in your dreams. This includes generating fireballs, creating dreamscapes and summoning characters from your everyday life. It is very dissuading to newcomers when they find that this is not indeed the case in most recalled dreams. While it is possible, it is in fact the exception for lucid dreams. More often than not manipulation will be the primary way in which you exert conscious control over your dreams.

Manipulation in dreams works very much like real-world manipulation. You are presented with a situation and you have the ability to react in any way you choose. In the real world an example might be a rainy day, and whether you choose to stay-in or brave the rain. In the dream world an example might be an infinite white space, and whether you choose to sit-down or go exploring.

Especially in the early stages of recalling your dreams this will be the primary way in which you take an active role in your dreams. Try to take note of the decisions made in a dream in your dream journal. Anything from “there was a fork in the road, I turned left,” to “the man asked me to take a bite of the burger, instead I slapped it out of his hand” counts for this exercise. During the dream try to recognize points where you feel the power to make a decision. Try doing the exact opposite of what you think would be a good idea. Although you may end up in some particularly interesting situations, this is a good way to practice the power of manipulation.

Manifestation is a feasible goal for lucid dreamers, but it is in fact a lofty one. It is also definitely NOT the only way to have fun with lucid dreams, so acquiring this ability should not be a stressful process. The ability to manifest characters and objects in your dreams comes with a lot of practice.

As a disclaimer, I do not have the ability to manipulate everything in my dreams (nor would I want such an ability) so this is entirely theorized.

The easiest things to manifest in your dreams are things that you are very familiar with and have no definite dimensions. An example of this would be the quintessential ball of fire. The hardest things to manifest are people. Yes, that includes all of you inquisitive friends of mine. While it is easy to fling an object it is much harder to create a anatomically correct human being with a proper persona. Go figure.

My recommendation for working towards manifestation in your dreams is to recreate the simplest thing you can imagine. The “anchor” you chose (see my post Lucid Dreaming: The Basics) is a great start. Maybe create a list of objects that you check off each time you successfully manifest them. Something like this would work: Anchor object > pen > book > sandwich > ??? > fireball. Just a warning, on occasion trying to manifest even the simplest objects may wake you up as a result of the conscious effort you’re exerting.

I want to stress the fact that manifestation is NOT the only goal of lucid dreaming, and the inability to do so should not be seen as a failure on the lucid dreamer’s part. Relish in the power you do have in your dreams, you may find that even the smallest manipulations can bring great insight.

 

Dream on little dreamers,

EB

Faces of my dreams

A Dream

There was a large girls restroom with the stall and sink utilities in separate rooms. In the sink room a girl stood alone staring into a mirror. Her eyes were cold and jaded. She was wearing shades of purple and black but with the eyes she observed herself with she may as well have been naked.

With a nod she pulled out a stick of red lipstick and leaned into the mirror. Steadily pressing the lipstick against the glass she began to draw a complex set of hieroglyphs on and around the image of her own face. She became completely absorbed in her work, meticulously tracing each glyph as though she were trained. 

Another girl wandered into the sink room and quickly spotted the girl drawing on a mirror. For a moment the newcomer clutched the lipstick in her pocket and stared longingly at a nearby mirror. The girl in the corner turned to take note of the visitor. Her face was covered in the hieroglyphs she had drawn on her mirror image. The newcomer dropped her lipstick onto the ground and ran away, horrified.

Thoughts

I often have dreams where I take no part but simply observe a cast of oftentimes nondescript characters. In these dreams I find that the symbolism is more pronounced than first-person dreams. In this particular dream the overriding themes seemed to be loneliness (large room with one person inside, dark clothes), fixation (cold eyes making her seem naked, meticulous glyph tracing) and faces (lipstick, jaded eyes, longing look).

My best guess on the meaning of this dream is some kind of moral anecdote on the fruitlessness of covering up who you really are and the damage you can do to yourself in the process. I think that the female restroom setting of the dream along with the focus of girls looking in mirrors supports this thought. What I found intriguing was the fact that the second girl felt momentarily compelled to model herself after the first girl until she saw the (albeit creepy) result.

You don’t have to be a lonely girl cooped up in a restroom to worry about your appearance to the world. It is in dreams that we find that our most vulnerable selves are revealed. I think we’ve all seen ourselves stare back with jaded eyes, its a matter of sublimation as to whether we choose to hide what we see or embrace it.

 

Dream on little dreamers,

Eric Bandin

 

Hello again sleepyheads

This will be my first post of the semester. I have a lot of plans for how to revamp this blog for the new year. One of my primary goals is to make it more follower interactive (once I get some followers that is).

 

The fears and frustrations of real life are often incarnated in our nightmares. How we react to these symbols of weakness in our dreams reflects on how well we are able to deal with these problems everyday.

Lately I’ve been having a lot of nightmares that have me running away from dogs. I’m a huge dog fan and have had a Jack Russel Terrier named Wishbone for 13 years. These nightmare dogs aren’t even very intimidating breeds. Its really something else be hunted by vicious Pugs and Schnauzers on a nightly basis.

I believe the normally affectionate dogs gone rabid represent new relationships in my life that are stressful to manage. I find it difficult to face these nightmares as dream-violence doesn’t seem to be the answer to fending off the creatures, I’m too conflicted by how I actually like the sight of them. Especially the pugs, they’re such silly creatures.

What do you think this could mean? What are some silly nightmare characters that you’ve encountered? Post below 😀