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Hacking your Wetware

By mecredis in Culture
Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:57:41 AM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)

Some think that the ultimate hack, rooting your brain, is futile without the sort of advanced and theoretical technology that would come from the imaginations of overzealous sci-fi geeks. This is not true. All it takes is a little dedication, time, a journal, and some practice. Through lucid dreaming, one can obtain the ultimate access to one's totally unsecured and vulnerable psyche. Read on for a personal account (if I can do it, you can too, trust me...) some helpful tips, and lots of links. This is meant as mild to intermediate introduction to lucid dreaming.

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There is tons of information in the Lucid dreaming community, and I am merely supplying a tip of the iceberg.

The movie Waking Life first introduced me to the practice of lucid dreaming. If you haven't seen this movie, and have access to see it, I highly encourage you to, it is one of the most interesting films I have ever seen. It'll be out on DVD soon, hopefully. Anyway, with out giving up too much of the plot (there isn't much of one, don't worry) I'll say the film involves a lucid dream. So what is a lucid dream? This is the essence of it: The active realization that one is dreaming, while one is dreaming.

What does this have to do with wetware hacking? Well, if you are able to turn off external stimuli, and essentially have total freedom to your subconscious (where dreams come from) then you can overcome any inhibitions that you might have in your waking life. I think the implications can be well understood. An application of lucid dreaming is supplied in the book Exploring The World of Lucid Dreaming by Dr. Stephen LaBerge is overcoming the fear of performing in public. Basically, a student was able to utilize a lucid dream in order to overcome her fear of playing in front of a large audience. She attempted it confidently while in a lucid dream, playing a piece she had heard but never actually read, and performed flawlessly. The next week, she had no qualms about playing in front of a large audience, and she also performed the new piece after only practicing it for a week! This miraculous example is just one of the many experiences hundreds of people have had with lucid dreaming. The possibilities are simply endless.

First I will explain how a lucid dream works, but in order to understand that, you must understand how a normal dream works. Basically what happens (this is explained in more depth in the aforementioned book and Waking Life) is that your brain cuts off external stimuli-the 5 senses, while in the latter stages of REM sleep (the 5th and 6th stage, if you want to get technical.) This happens about 6 hours into your normal sleep, but is possible to achieve during morning naps using a lucid dream technique called MILD. Anyway, once the random "noise" that floats around in your brain during dreaming that normally gets negated in the waking state gets exaggerated into a dream story, and then dream materializes. The dream story is then a stringing together of the affirmed random "noise" that had been floating around in your subconscious. The random "noise" is simply affirmations of activated schema. An example dream generation: The random thought of your girlfriend triggers thoughts of love, thoughts of love trigger thoughts of childhood crushes, thoughts of childhood crushes trigger thoughts of grade school, and suddenly your in your 3rd grade classroom making love to your girlfriend who then turns into a childhood crush. Since these random affirmations of schema are the only stimulation that your brain is receiving in the dream state, all of it is considered for your dream reality. The result is a dream state that your mind believes is reality, when in fact, no physical rules or truths apply. The trick (the hack) is to realize the physical anarchy of the dream state and abuse it. For you can have complete control over everything if you just realize you have the power.

Now, once your mind is in a dream, you must realize that you (the person you are when you are in the waking state) is in the dream. How do you do this? Through a series of reality tests and other mildly repetitive routines you execute throughout out your waking day. Routines that train your mind to check if you are a dreaming while you are awake, so that you will do it as a habit when you are dreaming. What are the techniques? Check out the Lucid Dreaming FAQ at the Lucidity Institute for ideas and techniques. This information is also presented in greater depth and clarity in the aforementioned book.

So what can you do when you are in a dream state? The possibilities are endless.

Here are some of the cooler ones I have encountered while engulfing myself in the lucid dreaming community:
  • Fly anywhere and everywhere, go to the end of the universe and back.
  • 360 degree vision (a suggestion from Waking Life the Movie)
  • Meet and talk with anyone who you desire. Go back 20 years and tell yourself to invest in Dell and Microsoft, then sell it 99, have a fist fight with Hitler, warn Caesar, meet Buddha or your respective religious figure ... the list goes on and on.
  • Become a dog. A cat, a cricket, a sperm whale. A piece of toast.
  • Have sex with anyone and everyone, with no repercussions and no rejections.
  • Continue past dreams that you wish had never ended.

You get the point. ANYTHING is possible, when you have root access to your mind's /dev/.

Are you starting to think this sounds too good to be true? Well it might be for you. It isn't for me, or for hundreds of other people, but we have put time and effort into training ourselves. We have filled notebooks with accounts of dreams, we have tested reality daily, we have put the effort into it.

Will it work for you? Maybe not. The only way to tell is to try, and see for yourself.

Now, let me describe my story in brief. After seeing Waking Life the movie, I was enthralled with the concept of lucid dreaming, and began to research it on the internet. After finding the Lucidity Institute, I started training myself and attempting several of the methods. I was initially discouraged, simply because of the amount of work it entailed and the seemingly unsubstantial results my efforts were yielding. However, after countless dreams and many many reality checks later, I have had my first entirely lucid dream. Today, February 6, after more than three months of on and off (a lot of off, actually) attempts, I have succeeded.

What happened? Well after getting about 6 hours of sleep, I went to class (9:30-12:30) and then came back to my dorm. I decided to take a nap before starting an essay I needed to do before my next class at 3:30. It was 12:49 and I put on my sleep mask and put in my ear plugs (still getting used to living on 3rd Ave of NYC) and set my alarm for 1:40. I drifted in and out of a nap state, and feared the large cup of coffee I had this morning would impede my attempt. However, I finally drifted off, and then found myself in a strange state of awareness. I didn't feel like I was asleep, or awake, something was different. Then, I realized I was in a dream. Lucidity! Finally! I had come close before (realizing I had strange powers), but never actually realizing I was in a dream. I was enthralled. Soon I let my mind drift, and I could feel reality (or so my brain thought) slipping away, I quickly tried spinning (a technique suggested to restore lucidity) and suddenly everything became incredibly intense. Although I didn't see anything, I felt I knew who I was, I had found myself, and I had a total grasp on my character. I felt an intensity I have rarely felt in life before. I walked around in a pitch black area for a bit, taking in the new reality (and dimensions?) and then heard my alarm. It was 1:40. I woke up completely ecstatic that I had achieved lucidity, and started my essay on the philosophy of Renaissance art.

So that is it, that is my story. Hopefully tonight I can get a bit longer of a dream and go somewhere, but I am still completely satisfied with my nap-dream.

Here are some tips that I suggest you check out after you have read the FAQ and/or the book:
  • Long breaks for the MILD period seem to work the best for me. Today it was 4 hours with some classes in between, but 2 hours is a good minimum.
  • Caffeine works very well for naps. Don't do too much or you won't get back to sleep, but it does help the slip into lucidity with out loss of consciousness.
  • Dream journals are important. Try to write everything down, and if you don't/can't, just try to remember all of your dreams, act like you are reciting the plot to a movie.
  • Don't over work yourself. Mind blocks due to over-zealousness were a problem for me. The best technique I have found is to approach it how Douglas Adams described flying in his books: "You have to jump and miss the ground." You can't specifically try to have a lucid dream, you need to not have a non-lucid dream. Don't look directly at it, or it will disappear. This is probably the hardest skill to master.
  • If you have a cell phone, change the banner (The one that says MY PHONE) to something that will remind you to do a reality test. Mine is "RltyCheck" Every time I look at it, to check messages or the time, I try to read the fine text and then glance again. This is a good habit to get into.
  • Buy Exploring The World of Lucid Dreaming. It has tons of info that you can't find on the net.

Here is a brief summary of the links I used:
That's it! Good luck! Feel free to post any dreams / ideas / comments below! Thanks!


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Have you heard of lucid dreaming before?
o Yes. 25%
o No. 12%
o Yes, and I have been lucid. 35%
o Yes, and I am still trying. 9%
o No, and I have been lucid unintentionally. 16%

Votes: 167
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Waking Life
o Exploring The World of Lucid Dreaming
o Lucid Dreaming FAQ
o Lucidity Institute
o Lucidity Institute [2]
o Exploring The World of Lucid Dreaming
o The Lucidity Institute
o Lucid Dreaming FAQ
o DreamJourn al
o Also by mecredis

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Hacking your Wetware | 129 comments (124 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
Not really anything to brag about. (3.40 / 5) (#1)
by theboz on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 07:16:31 PM EST

All lucid dreaming is, is taking control of your imagination during dreaming. It doesn't give you special powers any more than smoking crack gives you the ability to leap off of buildings like superman. Yeah, it's cool and fun, but I get the impression from the article that it's almost like an ego thing for you.


no, but.. (none / 0) (#17)
by rebelcool on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 11:50:46 PM EST

its well known that dreaming helps firm up neural ties in your brain (one theory ive read is that that is the reason for dreaming). That can be useful for remembering certain things (like everything you need to know for an upcoming test). I suppose one could extend that to rewiring the brain slightly in certain instances, like the woman who could speak better in front of an audience.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

I guess it can be somewhat useful. (none / 0) (#18)
by theboz on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:13:00 AM EST

I used a dream to teach myself how to make the "rr" sound for Spanish, so I have had some experience with that, but I don't know if it really helps organize my brain a lot or not.

[ Parent ]

Problem Solving (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by bleach on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 01:47:21 AM EST

In a lucid dream you can have enough focus to solve the most difficult of problems. Example:

I used to be heavilly involved in this mud at achaea.com, and this mud had a VERY fast paced combat system involving afflictions and multiple attacks. People used their mud clients to "Trigger" around afflictions to be more effective in combat.

To take advantage of this they added abilties to make "illusions" in combat that would allow me to send any text i wanted to your screen for the sole purpose of messing up your triggers.

People tried for years to find a way to trigger around the illusions and never found a way to do it. In a Lucid dream the answer became very clear and I was able to write a trigger program around that.

Now.. that was just a mud, but you can imagine where lucid dreams have helped me in the real world by being the only place I can focus enough to actually solve difficult problems.
#define CODE "\270\105\000\000\303";
int (*foo)();main(){foo=CODE;printf("I like to %d\n",foo());}
[ Parent ]
Why don't you try 'Remote Viewing' ? (1.00 / 1) (#47)
by Patrick Bateman 10005 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:07:17 PM EST

I'm sure 'Remote Viewing' is just as effective and reputable as 'Lucid Dreaming'. I think I first heard about both practices on Art Bell.

[ Parent ]
thought control (none / 0) (#22)
by juju2112 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:04:30 AM EST

It is something to brag about -- it's taking your brain off auto-pilot. Who in their right mind doesn't want to be in complete control of their own brain?

Ok, here's the thing. Various times throughout my life i've realized that I'd developed certain thought patterns, habits, and ways of thinking. But sometimes a person's situation changes, and you find that the way you've viewed the world and organized your brain isn't useful anymore. In these cases it's useful to change the way you think. It's sort of.. a personality change to deal with a new life situation. Being "mentally adaptable", if you will. Lucid dreaming helps you do this by teaching you to have a greater control over your own thought processes.

[ Parent ]
Wow, nice article (3.66 / 3) (#2)
by carbon on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 07:17:53 PM EST

Great selection of links. Lucid dreaming really is a fascinating subject, and I've attempted several techniques I've found online to no avail. I may just have to buy or check out a copy of that book...

Anyone else heard of the "rope climbing" technique? This is where you deliberately start a concious dream by imagining yourself climbing out of your body. This technique simply didn't work one dang bit for me, has anyone else had any experience with it?

Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
Yes; Works Great (none / 0) (#6)
by snowlion on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 08:14:28 PM EST

Yeah; I know what you are talking about.

That'd be Robert Bruce, if I recall correctly.

Works great; I'd write more, but I've got a 10 month old girl in my left arm right now, and, though I have done sufficient cyber sex mudding in my day, it's a little difficult to talk about this just typing w/ one hand...

Short version: Yes, it works. I have a friend who tried it and it didn't work for him. I have done a lot of meditation before, though, and have an easier conscous connection w/ the spiritual world. It affects things. I'll try to remember to post to you later when Sakura isn't so needy.

I practice Surat Shabda Yoga, Light & Sound / Word union. Not a legit Rhadhasoami Beas line; Rather, based in Paul Twitchell's Eckankar, itself derived from Kirpal Singh's line of Shabda yoga.

Fuck; I hate writing w/ just one hand...

Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Well, I might be able to do something like that... (none / 0) (#127)
by carbon on Mon Feb 11, 2002 at 02:23:22 AM EST

Short version: Yes, it works. I have a friend who tried it and it didn't work for him. I have done a lot of meditation before, though, and have an easier conscous connection w/ the spiritual world. It affects things. I'll try to remember to post to you later when Sakura isn't so needy.

I guess it's kind of hard for me to say anything conclusive about it, as I haven't done that reality check technique (or any other technique), though I should some time, I'm always carrying my ancient but sturdy pda around with me, it would be fine. Btw, Sakura is a nice name. Reminds me of a cool character in Outlaw Star... Any ways, I've done some sort of meditation technique, I think. It's hard to say, since I haven't read too much about it, but I can tell something weird is going on because
  • While attempting to do that, I can sort of generate a tingling sensation on demand, though I have not the slightest clue if that means anything or if it's just psychosomatic (then again, in a lucid dreaming situation, psychosomatic might be good :-) ).
  • I notice that for some reason, I've stopped blinking. This makes whatever technique I'm doing great for winning staring contests, cause I can prevent myself from blinking for a long time, though my eyes ache like crazy afterwords. Did I mention I find it a lot easier to do this with my eyes open then closed, which sort of conflicts with every movie I've ever seen with meditation in it. Oh well.
  • I tend to notice a sort of highlighting going on. That is, I'll notice a fuzzy color cast over a pattern on whatever it is that I'm seeing. If I'm looking at a tile wall or something, the color cast (usually greenish) will appear in a checkerboard pattern, or expanding tracks, etc.

Since I haven't read too much about it, I have no idea what any of these things might mean. And speaking of reading...

I practice Surat Shabda Yoga, Light & Sound / Word union. Not a legit Rhadhasoami Beas line; Rather, based in Paul Twitchell's Eckankar, itself derived from Kirpal Singh's line of Shabda yoga.

B0rk w00t w00t? Sorry, I have not the slightest idea what any of those terms refer to, is there some sort of decent glossary for these things? I'm tempted to just do various searches on google, but I have a feeling I'd probably end up with loads of psuedo-science trash sites, wheras I get the feeling you know what you're talking about, or at least are more likely to know what you're talking about then the average site online about this sort of thing.

Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
another technique to try (none / 0) (#25)
by juju2112 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:49:06 AM EST

Yeah, i've heard of the rope-climbing technique. The technique that i've found that works the best is the "Reality Check".

Here's how it works. Periodically throughout the day, ask yourself, "Am I dreaming?" How can you really be sure? The only way to really be sure is to imagine something changing in your environment and see if it actually changes.

This excerpt from the FAQ Mecredis linked to describes what i'm talking about. I don't care too much for the wording of the surrounding text, but this particular part is good I think.
1. Do a reality test.

Carry some text with you or wear a digital watch throughout the day. To do a reality test, read the words or the numbers on the watch. Then, look away and look back, observing the letters or numbers to see if they change. Try to make them change while watching them. Research shows that text changes 75% of the time it is re-read once and changes 95% it is re-read twice. If the characters do change, or are not normal, or do not make sense, then you are most probably dreaming. Enjoy! If the characters are normal, stable, and sensible, then you probably aren't dreaming.

For some reason this is not nearly as hard as changing the setting or making someone disappear. Anyway, I guess the reason this works is because in the back of your mind, you are expecting the digits to change. In a dream, if you expect something to happen, it usually does happen.

An example: Say you are being chased by a monster, and you are about to go through a door to escape. If you expect that door to be locked, it will be locked. Why? Because you unknowingly created the reality.

[ Parent ]
When I was a kid.... (3.80 / 5) (#3)
by daystar on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 07:23:34 PM EST

.... like ten or so, I remember taking control of my dreams. It was very reassuring and made nightmares MUCH less scary.

But NOW, as a mid-thirties guy, I never remember my dreams. I don't even know if I could do it, cuz I'm unaware of HAVING any dreams. Odd. I wonder if there's something about that in the FAQ....... Yep, a link to something about improving dream recall. Guess I'd need to start there.

There is no God, and I am his prophet.

getting high? (3.00 / 1) (#7)
by jungleboogie on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 08:43:56 PM EST

i never had dreams when i smoked pot every

[ Parent ]
not me... (2.00 / 1) (#14)
by daystar on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 10:31:26 PM EST

I've never tried the demon weed (though not for any particular reason). I drink a fair amount, but I didn't remember my dreams even when I DIDN'T drink. Most of my adult life I have not been aware of my dreams, regardless of the extra-curricular chemistry in my life.

There is no God, and I am his prophet.
[ Parent ]
remembering your dreams (none / 0) (#27)
by juju2112 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 04:03:46 AM EST

You almost immediately forget your dreams when your mind gets distracted by the real world when you wake up.

Think about this -- at the very moment you wake up, you were likely just dreaming a few seconds ago. You just have to remeber when you wake up to keep your eyes closed, and lay there still, preferably not moving. Now try to remember your dream. An alarm clock is a huge deterrent because you wake up to this huge blaring noise and your mind immediately focuses on stopping it. By the time you've turned it off the dream is already gone. It's best to wake up naturally, and just lay there with your eyes closed and think about what you just dreamed about. Then, after you think you remember it all, reach over to your nightstand and write it all down. Because no matter how much you might think you remember now, as soon as you start receiving input from the real world again you WILL forget it. But anyway, my point is, input from the real world (sights, sounds, etc) upon waking up distracts your mind and makes you forget.

[ Parent ]
Wake up Naturaly? (none / 0) (#56)
by Vlachen of Aranias on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:55:31 PM EST

I have the same problem as Daystar. I rarely remember dreams. The odd thing is, the few dreams that i do remember, seem to occur later in life.
For instance, when I was aproximately 14, I remember having a dream that I was in an office, behind a computer, working on a part, when a co-worker asked me something. Upon waking, the first thought in my mind was "I'll never get an office job." Low and behold, the senerio played itself out late summer 2001.
These dreams that I remember are usually very vivid in detail, but mundane in subject.

Now, about "waking up naturaly." Thats a bit of a challenge for me. My main problem is the whole being to work before Noon. Some would (and have many times) suggest that I go to sleep earlier. No help there. It matters little when I go to sleep... I will sleep untill something wakes me.
Another problem with this is the depth of my sleep. It takes me 2 alarms at least, one running at 90 db and the other at 60db or so. They're timed to go off tandemly. I've been known to sleep through these long after their 2 hour time out period is over. But as a norm, I sleep through them mabey a half hour or so. I've slept through tornadoes, and storms (about the only loud activity in my part of the country). Waking naturaly really isn't an option on my end.
So on the dream front, I seem to be rather screwed.

Vlachen of Aranias
"Larger then life, and twice as ugly"

[ Parent ]
remembering your dreams (none / 0) (#59)
by juju2112 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 02:06:42 PM EST

Yeah, I know what you mean. Most people have their morning obligations and can't afford to 'wake up naturally'. The best compromise i've found is to just do the experiment on one your days off.

The 'no alarm clock' thing isn't really an absolute requirement. It just really helps. People have varying levels of skill in remembering their dreams. Some have a good enough memory so that can have distractions and still remember their dreams. Some people have a good enough memory to be able to do this. You won't remember as much of the dream though, and you would have remembered more if you hadn't been distracted.

If you really want to remember your dreams, remember -- No Distractions. They are your memory's enemy. It's best to drift back into consciousness naturally. Also, when you realize you've awakened you have to remember to remember your dream. That's a hard thing to remember to do, because you have to remember to think about your dream at that particular moment in time, and usually you're kinda dazed at that point. :) I usually just remind myself periodically throughout the day so that it stays fresh in my mind.

[ Parent ]
waking (none / 0) (#69)
by sykmind on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:45:32 PM EST

I have a quirky little thing about waking naturally. On my days off from the grind I have no external alarm clock, but my internal one is always on. Though I may not be waking up at 8 am, my body won't let me sleep past noon. If sleep later than that, it isn't a solid block of unconsciousness. Once I hit about 10 am my body starts recognizing more external stimuli, (birds, etc...) until something finally triggers me to snap back into reality completely. I can usually convince myself to snooze for another couple hours, but it usually makes me feel worse. I remember few dreams, but I am convinced that I dream every night. I experience Deja Vu almost every day, and I can usually recognize a scenario I dreamt is actually coming to be in "real life". Other times I can look back and remember that I dreamt what had just happened. It's very strange, but also very useful.

[ Parent ]
Missing poll option: (4.37 / 8) (#5)
by ffalcon on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 08:08:43 PM EST

Yes, and I am currently lucid dreaming.

I wonder... (none / 0) (#8)
by Tatarigami on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 09:35:34 PM EST

... if the miracle of lucid dreaming can take us this far...

My problem with lucidity (3.66 / 6) (#12)
by jabber on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 10:05:30 PM EST

Well, actually I have two.. Once I realize I am dreaming, I either immediately wake up, or, I stop taking the dream seriously and it ceases to be fun. In either case it ends.

Lucid dreaming is just like daydreaming with intense focus.. You can, right this moment, imagine yourself doing anything at all.. But, while dreaming, you are sort of in 'protected mode'.

Lucidity is actually quite useful to me at times, but it takes a lot of effort. See, lucidity while under stress is very difficult, but that's when it is also most useful. Specifically, I've crafted software while lucid, managed to remember it after waking, and coded it. It worked beautifully.

That was pretty cool, but I've also coded drunk off my ass.. It also worked, but when reading it sober, I couldn't make sense of how..

Anyway.. Tapping the facilities of your mind while it is unencumbered by 'real world' constraints can result in some breakthrough stuff.

Flying around and talking to Caesar are fun, but pretty pointless. Realizing you're dreaming is a rush, but also of little value beyond entertainmet.. Unless you also learn to bring something back with you.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Lucid dreaming can be very useful.. (4.00 / 2) (#21)
by juju2112 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 02:46:02 AM EST

Flying around and talking to Caesar are fun, but pretty pointless. Realizing you're dreaming is a rush, but also of little value beyond entertainmet.. Unless you also learn to bring something back with you.

It might not seem like Lucid Dreaming has any obvious value, but I think it has tremendous value. Understanding and exterting the most possible control over one's mind is very important. A lot of people don't care much about their minds -- they let it go into disrepair or even intentionally dampen it for fun. To me, exploring one's mind is very useful (As Socrates put it, "Know Thyself").

Remember in the movie "The Matrix", when Neo realized that he had the power to shape the Matrix however he willed it to be? That's exactly what Lucid Dreaming is like, except instead of the matrix being made up of computer code, it's made up of your own thoughts. It's the realization that as long as you're in the domain of your own mind, you are in complete control.

Every physical thing you see manifested in your dream is actually one of your own thoughts. So in order to change something, you have to learn how to control your own thoughts. That seems trivial but surprisingly it's actually not. See that person standing there next to you? Will them to not be there. It's harder than you might think to convince yourself that a person you see standing next to you is not really there. You can close your eyes and imagine them not being there, and then open them up again and hope that you made the change. But more often than not, there will be some small doubt in the back of your mind. If there is any doubt, the thought will not go away, and when you open your eyes the person will still be standing there. It's the dreaming equivalent of truly believing that you can jump off a building and fly away.

I know this sounds crazy, but having that sort of control and pure willpower over your own thought processes is very useful in real life.

[ Parent ]
Two thoughts (3.50 / 2) (#39)
by jabber on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 09:56:52 AM EST

On the simple level of understanding what you just said: Yes, it's my own world where I can do anything.. But I'm the only one that is affected by this.. So, big whoop.. It's a masturbatory exercise in jumping off buildings and dodging bullets.. It's just entertainment.

On the deeper, and immensely more interesting level: Dreams are manifestations of the subconscious. A dream of being chased, for example, often suggests an impending decision that needs to be made.. So, by consciously facing the Jungian metaphors, there is a feedback effect which projects through the subconscious into the waking world. This is exactly what I mean by 'bring something back', though my examples were much more practical in the above post.. Neurohacking is fun.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

thoughts (3.00 / 1) (#44)
by juju2112 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 11:19:31 AM EST

One thing i've gained from it is greater mental disipline. Like, say, my girlfriend has left me and I have to convince myself that I don't care. Or, say, I have to convince myself that my Calculus class is really very interesting. It's really not very interesting to me, but the only way i'll do well in it is to be interested in it, so I have to change the way I think. That sort of power over your own natural thought tendencies can be useful from time to time.

Anyway, I guess it's true that you're the only one who's affected, but that doesn't mean you can't gain things from it.

[ Parent ]
Another bit of reading (none / 0) (#13)
by fluffy grue on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 10:11:56 PM EST

"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

Wow. (none / 0) (#33)
by Locando on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 05:43:12 AM EST

Very cool. And written in only a month, I'm impressed. I wish my dreams were that interesting, lucid or not...

People are strange.
[ Parent ]
Actually... (none / 0) (#60)
by fluffy grue on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 02:07:13 PM EST

It was written in only two weeks of that month. :)
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

No, and have been lucid unintentionally... (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by premchai21 on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 11:17:15 PM EST

This happened to me a few years ago. An approximate account:

... lying there, lying there, drifting, drifting... sleeping, sleeping, dreaming, dreaming, -- ?

"Hey wait a minute. I'm dreaming, aren't I?

"Hmm. Well, if that is the case, which it appears to be, then since my dream is generated by my mind, and I control my mind, I should be able to directly modify the environment... let's see now."

*materializes several pieces of fruit*

"Hey, it worked."

*beep beep beep beep beep*

"Ah. Time for school..."

... drifting, waking, shutting off the alarm and getting out of bed, some back portion of my mind wondering how that happened...

Incidentally, I've been doing a lot of introspection lately, and have to some extent reverse-engineered myself such that there are now a few parts which I can just reach in and directly modify...

I've been doing it for years... (none / 0) (#20)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 02:35:15 AM EST

... off and on. One thing I dispute in the atricle is the claim that you can control everything in the dream. That just isn't always the case.

My most interesting dreams had other speaking characters that shared just as much power over the dream world as I had... sometimes they had more.

a tip (none / 0) (#23)
by juju2112 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:20:15 AM EST

Try this:

When you see someone in your dream, close your eyes and imagine that they are no longer there. Now, realize that your imagination is now reality, and that they are gone. The only catch is, you must truly belive that the person is no longer there. If there's any miniscule doubt in the back of your mind -- then they will still be there when you open your eyes.

It's just like that often-quoted scene in "The Matrix", when the child talks to Neo in the waiting room of the Prophet's apartment.
"Do not try to bend the spoon. Only try to realize the truth."

"What truth?"

"That there is no spoon."

I'd bet anything that that scene is directly lifted off of Lucid Dreaming research. Anyway, in my experience you can change everything. It's just that if you have the slightest doubt or hesitation when attempting to will something then it will just not work.

[ Parent ]
Ahh,... (none / 0) (#82)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 11:43:52 PM EST

... but these days I don't want to get rid of them. They are the most interesting aspects of lucid dreaming as far as I have seen. I mean, what are these other characters that they don't respond to my will, that they are able to talk to me and tell me things I don't think of myself. Are they other aspects of me? Simulated people which I have blocked my own access to? With most characters I can feel that I am putting words in their mouths before they speak, but some characters are different. They seem to have just as much of a separate will as people I meet in this, the real world.

That these other characters exist and have taught me more about controlling dreams... like I said, they are the most interesting part for me.

I have also got caught in feedback loops of dream realities mixed with real sensations while trying to wake up. That was another good case of not being able to control everything. Major disorrientation... but looking back it was fun and interesting too.

I guess I just got over being a 'dream control freak' after I directed a good number of them the way I wanted. After all, even having dream-sex with the sexy singer of my dreams (Bjork in my case) gets old. I looked for the boundaries and, luckly, I found them looking back.

[ Parent ]

Dogmas (none / 0) (#24)
by mbiggs on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:26:44 AM EST

Dreams fascinate me, and the idea of controlling them is even more appealing. Why is this not the case for others? Many people write off lucid dreaming as just some new age crap that does not mean anything. Unfortunately, they have good reasons for doing so.

Usually, subjects of new age thought are mystical, fluffy things that no one can really get a firm grasp of. There are always some kinds of clouds, stars, silhouettes, or eyes involved. When I see these symbols, I automatically tell myself to be weary of what is said by these people. I am not sure why I think that way; it is probably just some dogma that has been engrained into me. Most people seem to think this way also. The natural tendency is to think that these subjects are for the hippies and the dreamers that might have done too many drugs when they were younger.

I do not think it has to necessarily be that way. The people at Stanford seem to be taking lucid dreaming seriously. More than likely, they had a lot of trouble starting their research, though. But they ignored the naysayers and went on with their work. I respect them for that.

So, is it just a certain dogma that needs to be discarded in order for lucid dreaming to be taken more seriously? Or will there always be a certain "new age" connotation with controlling dreams? I hope it is the former. I would like to see progress in lucid dream research because it seems like it has great potential.

but they did it on star trek! (none / 0) (#100)
by deadplant on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 11:07:04 AM EST

I first heard of the concept of lucid dreaming was on an episode of star trek the next generation... actually I think it's been mentioned on a couple of episodes. Since I'm a rabid star trek fan I assumed it was a perfectly legitimate thing.

There was another movie, uhh, "the cell" where they used technology to achieve the same sort of thing. Kind of a VR dream state...

[ Parent ]
My Dreaming (none / 0) (#26)
by Shalom on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:50:56 AM EST

I have found that very often a part of me realizes it's a dream, or at least that it's not reality. It's kind of like there's a narrator/storyteller in me who is aware that it's a story, if not a dream, and changes parts of it to make it more dramatic, more interesting. "That's not suspenseful enough," I think, and the bad guys are suddenly closer on my heels. Or if I die I have to rewind it or invent some way to make the dream continue in an interesting way without me. (I have lots of adventure dreams--mafioso, spies, interplanetary exploring.) I wonder if this is common.

The one time I did fully realize I was in a dream I was 12 or so. There was a G.I. Joe character there taking autographs, and I realized that cartoon characters aren't real so it couldn't be a dream. Unfortunately I didn't know enough about the possibilities and the first thing I tried was to wake up. I squoze my eyes shut real hard and thought about waking up, and there I was, awake.

Death in dreams (none / 0) (#40)
by crankie on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 10:09:55 AM EST

"Or if I die I have to rewind it..."

I've done this fairly often. When this happens, while I am aware that I'm dreaming, my level of control is fairly low. If I die in the dream, or if I find that I don't like the way the dream is going, I'll rewind it and try to alter the course of events. If I still don't like the outcome after several attempts, then I wake myself.

The process of forcing myself awake always feels exceptionally strange to me. It feels like I've sat up suddenly in bed, but I haven't. That explanation doesn't quite describe it though. Anyone else want to try and descirbe it?

"The great thing about hardcore socialists is the silence they emit once they start earning a decent wage." - tombuck
[ Parent ]
half in/half out (none / 0) (#67)
by sykmind on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:17:49 PM EST

I have experienced similar feelings, mostly when I am having a negative dream and want out. These usually occur when I don't have the oppurtunity to sleep as much as I need (I have suffered from chronic insomnia for about 7 years now). I feel extremely disoriented at first, wondering where I am, etc.. I find that I feel my best when I have a "half in/half out" experience. Basically what this is a feeling of deep rest, while still maintaining a grasp of what is happening in the outside world. The longest I have held this state is about 4 hours. When I "woke up" I felt like a million bucks. I don't know if this any kind of doorway into Lucid Dreaming or if I am just a freak, but these are some of the things I have discovered in my battle with sleep.

[ Parent ]
Waking up (none / 0) (#107)
by YesNoCancel on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 06:07:38 PM EST

The process of forcing myself awake always feels exceptionally strange to me. It feels like I've sat up suddenly in bed, but I haven't. That explanation doesn't quite describe it though. Anyone else want to try and descirbe it?
You mean when you "wake up" and your senses are already "connected" to your brain (i.e. you feel that you're lying in your bed, you hear your environment clearly etc.), but are totally paralysed and can't move for maybe 10 or 20 seconds, then suddenly you regain your motion?

If that's what you mean by "process of forcing oneself awake", then I know it. It's a terrible experience, because I usually desperately try to move or open my eyes, but simply can't. That's how a paralysed person must feel, I guess.

[ Parent ]

Tibetans and Shamans (4.50 / 2) (#28)
by Baldrson on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 04:24:09 AM EST

Tibetans call it "dream yoga" and it is really one of the more powerful yogas in Tibetan practice for achieving enlightenment. The trick is to transcend the "god realm" where one attempts to sate all one's desires and achieve perpetual bliss without all sentient beings along for the ride. Likewise, other traditions, including some Western traditions, use lucid dream states for a variety of "practical" purposes -- many of which the Tibetans would consider, again, getting stuck in the god realm. Gnostic beliefs, upon which the movie "The Matrix" was based, have a good dose of this Western god realm as a key component. Remember when Agent Smith says they tried creating a perfectly blissful world "But people kept waking up!"? That actually corresponds to englightenment -- although Tibetans view the unenlightened state as filled with inevitable illusions and associated suffering while the enlightened state is free from illusion as such and therefore free from subjective suffering. (I think I got that right... any bon po's out there can correct me.)

-------- Empty the Cities --------

my lucid dreams (3.50 / 2) (#29)
by stealthysquid on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 04:33:41 AM EST

I've had two lucid dreams that I know of in my life. Both happened when I was much younger (at least 20 years ago).

The first was in I think 4th or 5th grade. I was at school, and knew three things that just didn't make sense. The first thing was that I knew it was Saturday - I have no idea how, but I knew that it was Saturday and I shouldn't be at school. The second thing I knew was that I had no shoes on - this was totally wrong. The third thing was that I did not have a lunch with me - I always had the lunch my mom packed for me at school. For some reason, the knowledge that these three things were wrong snapped me into the pseudo-reality of a lucid dream. I don't remember much more, just that I was able to be at school but didn't have to do anything school-related ;)

The second was a dream about swimming in a pool. I was swimming with a friend and his brother - and I was breathing underwater. They were unable to at first, but I told them it was okay, they could breathe underwater also - and then they could. I then realized that something was not quite right - duh. And again, I kind of "snapped into" the knowledge that I was dreaming. This time I recall being able to take control of the dream; I thought if I could breathe underwater, why not fly? And so I did - I remember that vaguely, but not much more.

I've been trying for years.. (3.66 / 3) (#30)
by krkrbt on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 05:14:22 AM EST

... and I've done it all - dream journal, B-vitamins, herbs, MILD, waking up after 6hrs sleep (& then going back to bed), trying to nap in the day time, reality checks, SuperNovaDreamer, hypnotists (real-life and mp3 types), etc, etc... And I really haven't gotten anywhere. It's been over three years now since I started on the dream quest thing - part of my problem, I think, is that I only started to try after I had a somewhat traumatic head injury (I don't remember two weeks - but I've decided this detail is not as significant as I might have once thought it was). Most mornings I'll wake up without any memory of the dream, and even if I do, often it will be primarily a story line - with few/weak visual images. =(. No, my problem is in Stress/stored tension.

All hope is not lost - In the past three months I've come to understand my situation much better than I did for the first three years. Even though I don't typically dream very visually, and nothing I seem to do brings much of a strong dream experience about, I know that I am still capable of having that intense dream experience I've mostly read about. This spring (during spring break), for a week and a half, I awoke, every morning (every single morning! it was wonderful!) from an intense, vivid dream scene, completely breathless. At the time, I wasn't sure exactly what it was I'd done differently, but now I do. And it's about to be presented exclusively here on K5. If you read all those links above (or even other links, such as Lars' Dreaming FAQ), you won't find what I'm about to share with you.

They say that virtually everyone is able to learn to remember their dreams. I think that 'they' would specifically mean "recall the imagery of a dream". I wrote down pages and pages of dreams in my log, but they were most all just dry stories, like you'd find in the pages of a dusty old encyclopedia. My dreams are almost all missing an important element - imagery! visual imagery, auditory imagery, imagery of smells, tastes, touches, etc. They're just the fucking story.

But from time to time, I'll wake up from a dream, and that visual component is still there. Why some mornings, and not most? The answer lies in bodywork (specifically deep tissue work/massage). That week this past spring (spring break), while I was home, I saw a "trigger point therapist" three times, to help treat a Repetitive Stress Injury. I was making inroads on the RSI (though that didn't last - I couldn't/didn't find another trigger point therapist when I returned to school, and it was back to pain as usual).

I returned to the same person some months later, but what she did didn't work anymore.. So I moved on to Rolfing (ah, do your own Google search for a link, sorry). Rolfing is a series of 10 treatments - I only had time to fit the first 4 or 5 in, before I had to go back to school again. But my Rolfer told me about experience where she's working on someone and hits a spot which releases some sort of trapped memory for the individual - something that's been weighing on them for years and years, without them even being aware of it. (See The Molecules of Emotion, by Candace Pert, for an explanation of how memories/emotions can get "stuck" in the body/on organs. Availible at Amazon or your favorite book retailer). I went back to see her once this winter break, and while I didn't get that same intense dreaming I'd had in the spring, I was waking up with something (and it was wonderful again! =).

So then I got talking to my dad's new girlfriend... She'd been to a chinese trained ... body worker of some sort (I don't know what type she did, sorry. Email & I'll find out for you). This body worker asked permission to 'go deep', the gf granted, and so she did.. And even left bruises. At the end of the session, she told my dad's friend that something would happen in the next few days in her life (I don't remember exactly how she put it) - and it did. Before too long, she (dad's gf) came to realize that she'd been holding on to something that'd happened to her in the past, which was causing all sorts of trouble for her, and was able to finally let go of it (that's not a 'finally' as if she'd been trying - she just didn't know that she needed to).

So, back to my story. While I was home, I tried to get an appointment with this bodyworker, but I only had a couple more days, and I never got a call back. :(. So, since returning to school mid-January, I've been trying to find a good deep massage therapist, someone who's willing to leave bruises. I've been to two (this was before I really knew what to ask for) so far - while the first one didn't get very deep, I was getting dream imagery for a while, before it wore off.. The second was really more of a topical massage, and it didn't do much of anything for me. :(. (I've got some leads, but if anyone out there knows of a bruising bodyworker in the Albany, New York area [or even down in the city!], please let me know!).

Something about why I think it works: I had (have?) some residual scarring in my neck from the head injury.. perhaps the trigger point therapist assisted my body in clearing that stuff up? There's also something about lactic acid - I hold an incredible amount of tension in my shoulders, back and shoulderblades. And this guy says that stress is bad for your health (I think I got the lactic acid idea from here.. read his FAQ, look for 'stress'). I hold lots and lots of stress in my body - stress which probably prevents my dreams from coming out like they should. Or maybe it's something else entirely, something I'm not conciously aware of.. I guess I'll know when I get to it.

If this post seems a little disorganized, well, it is. It's 5:00am, and I'm usually in bed by this time (was up late working on other things).. I'm posting this now because I feel this is important information to share - I was planning on doing a story on it, once I've crested the hill (so-to-speak), but this opportunity came up.. I hope someone appreciates it, 'cause my body's bitching at me right now...

Anyways, thanks for the story - you've got some good links, but this is something that everything I've ever read has overlooked. Bodywork truly is where it's at!

Reflexology = dangerous pseudo science (none / 0) (#32)
by jcolter on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 05:38:12 AM EST

Deep massage has not been scientifically proven to have any health benefits. Indeed, causing bruises on a body is a good sign that you are doing something wrong. Please reconsider your course of treatment, before you start seriously hurting yourself.

[ Parent ]
who said anything about Reflexology? (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by krkrbt on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 06:35:29 AM EST

I never said anything about Reflexology. http://www.skepdic.com/reflex.html. This page even supports my post, thank you!

Is there any scientific evidence for the claim that each part of the body has a corresponding double in the feet? No. Is there evidence that a good massage of the feet, neck, hands, back, etc., can make you feel better? Yes.

All I want is to feel better. Drugs haven't helped me to feel better. Massage does. So screw you all who would deny me my path to feeling good again! And I hope that you take back your comment, as it might scare people away from trying something that might finally hold the answer they've been looking for.

There are lots of things that have not been "scientifically proven" to be of help, and yet they are anyways. I have a friend who does reiki; I usually see her for a [free] treatment once a week. I don't know why or how it works, but I usually leave feeling better than I did. For me, 'why' is not so important as 'what' (results). Perhaps you are the other way - maybe you have to know all about why and how something works before you're willing to give it a go?

A ficticious dialog:

Person A: Yeah, I just got back from my [X] treatment. I feel so much better!
Person B: [X]! Don't you know that [X] is quackary! Why do you waste your time?
A: Yes, I've heard it before, but it seems to work, and it always leaves me feeling so much better. What would you suggest I do?
B: You should go see a Licenced Medical Doctor. They can help you, and if not, they can send you to a specialist.
A: And the advantage in going to an M.D. would be... ?
B: You get a mainstream treatment that's scientifically proven to work.
A: [X] has been experimentally proven to me to work.
B: ... (okay, so I ran out of ideas. And the train of thought has some pretty serious flaws - ie, seeing a MD is probably a good idea for 99% of all people out there, but I'll get into that some other time, some other thread.. I've been to a doctor, and he was unable to help. Maybe you can continue as 'B' and I'll be 'A'?)

The point is ... what would you suggest as an alternative? I have nothing else to do, no other paths to try, and besides, "scientifically proven" is overrated anyways. I feel the stress and tension in my body, I need help getting rid of it!

And furthermore, I resent you attempting to protect me from myself.

[ Parent ]
chill...jeez (none / 0) (#50)
by ChannelX on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:32:14 PM EST

take a bit of perspective here. why would you be so offended by something someone who you dont know and most likely never will know posts here? maybe a source of stress? ie: giving a shit about what other people think is usually only useful in making you stressed out.

[ Parent ]
oops..almost forgot (none / 0) (#51)
by ChannelX on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:33:57 PM EST

heh. was going to reply to your dialog up above. I've found the same thing about chiropractic. most people think its quackery until they actually go to a chiropractor. Funny thing is an MD buddy of mine says that chiropractors know the skeletal and muscular system better than most MDs. Not that it surprises me considering that is what they primarily study.

[ Parent ]
stress (none / 0) (#52)
by ChannelX on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:37:11 PM EST

I'm not sure if youre comment about the guy saying stress was bad for you was in reference to the body holding stress or not. whatever the case pretty much everyone says stress is bad for your body and I believe that it can be stored in parts of the body. my wife is proof of that to me. hell....same for myself. for me stress presents itself as a heart skip (skipped beat). when I'm really under stress I feel them all the time. its a completely normal thing and most people dont feel them. for whatever reason I become very aware of them when under stress and its a very disconcerting thing to have happen to you.

the problem is too many people ignore all the signs their bodies are giving them. its pretty ridiculous.

[ Parent ]

Skeptical (none / 0) (#31)
by jcolter on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 05:20:27 AM EST

I am not sure that lucid dreaming in any way "rewires" your brain. However, supposing it does, what makes you think that the normal method of dreaming is not also the medically preferable one?

Is there any evidence to support this being any thing other than an amusing diversion?

random neurons (none / 0) (#38)
by senjiro on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 09:11:41 AM EST

I have to agree, and am pretty certain there is nothing to be gained here past entertainment. Not to discourage this, i've done some exploratory here also. The thing is, until you can catch up on reading, study the internal workings of the linux kernel, or do your taxes while lucid dreaming you really aren't doing anything terribly useful. If Lucid dreaming enabled you to, say, absorb information in half the time with twice the retention, I'd buy the "rewiring" thing, but I think it is at best just a nice way to spend a few hours. Probably get some benefits on the "self-knowledge" front too.

Side note: how many of you coders/admins/geeks dream or have dreamt code? I find that whenever I'm working on a particularly challenging project I sometimes have dreams about it, and specifically the text. I can't recall ever waking up in the middle of one of these dreams and shouting Eureka! However, it does sometimes help me get or keep perspective. Crazy little subconcious!

it is by will alone that i set my mind in motion
[ Parent ]
Dreaming code (4.00 / 1) (#54)
by nstenz on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:41:01 PM EST

I don't dream exact code really, but I dream up program design... Ideas... Little bits of things come to me in my sleep, and I just hope I can remember them all in the morning on my way to work.

However, since I take a shower before going to work, the ideas I think up generally evolve from the "what" point to the "how" point while I'm in the shower. I'll think up psuedo-code for a procedure, scan loops and all that; It's really quite interesting. I must have come to work at least 10 times this year with an idea I thought out while in the shower and while driving to work.

And my boss thinks I'm crazy for thinking about coding then, even though he'd like me to work more. Meanwhile, he'd like the wife and kids to disappear for a while so he can write code. What's the difference?

[ Parent ]

Mental rehearsal (none / 0) (#46)
by gidds on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 11:37:26 AM EST

`Rewiring the brain' is perhaps putting it a bit too strongly, but this sort of thing happens even in waking life.  `Mental rehearsal' might be another way of putting it.

How many times do you mentally rehearse a difficult situation?  People often prepare for a job interview or whatever by imagining themselves in the situation, going through the questions they might get asked etc.  This applies especially to performers of various kinds; I'm a singer, and I find it helps tremendously to picture myself at the venue, in front of the audience, singing really well.

I remember reading that mental rehearsal can be just as effective as physical rehearsal for learning or practising certain things.  And if you can do it while you're awake, why shouldn't it be even more vivid while you're dreaming and your imagination can run free?

I haven't had much luck with lucid dreaming, though – a few times I've spontaneously realised I'm in a dream, but as soon as I do, I wake up.  I've tried the `spin' technique, but I just can't stay dreaming.  :(

BTW, I discovered when I was very little how to wake up if you want to: try to open your eyes really really wide.  It works, too, though I only found out why many years later: the sleep paralysis that prevents the rest of your body moving during dreams doesn't apply to your eyes (hence the Rapid Eye Movement during dreams).  Well, I found it interesting...

[ Parent ]

empirical evidence (none / 0) (#89)
by juju2112 on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 04:49:33 AM EST

Lucid Dreaming has the potential to greatly improve your mental health. Self-confidence, self-awareness, self-understanding, and self-control are all things lucid dreaming can help a person with. Mental health, however, is not scientfically provable. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

[ Parent ]
man or butterfly? (3.50 / 4) (#34)
by redGiraffe on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 05:49:03 AM EST

The one problem I've found is my waking day becoming less conscious, has anybody else had this?

I know that all too well... (3.00 / 1) (#48)
by Aphex Kid on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:08:47 PM EST

Yes, and I think (for me, anyways) it's an immediate byproduct of having entered the working world within the last few years and thusly becoming accostomed to a very rigidly defined pattern. That said, I'd be quite interested in more literature that touches on this, mainly because I'm not particularly big on the idea of evolving in a mid-twenties zombie.

[ Parent ]
Me too. (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by Jman1 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:02:21 PM EST

I too am relatively new to the working world and I often feel like I'm semi-conscious. Hardly ever feel truly alive like I used to. Lemme know if you come up with something. ;)

[ Parent ]
jobs in the subconcious (none / 0) (#84)
by redGiraffe on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 01:38:46 AM EST

change jobs once a year - works for me

[ Parent ]
I hope you are not talking about this (4.00 / 1) (#75)
by nusuth on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 06:53:42 PM EST

I worked on lucid dreaming a lot when I was in my early 20ies and had partial success, but soon the experience started to be very disturbing.

I had a problem prior to that. It is hard to explain to someone who has never experienced that but I'll give it a try anyway. Well, for more than six months when I as 17, I lost my connection with myself. I could observe "me" and steer "him" to do anything, but it was a telepresence experience. It was not I. Whom I was, I had no idea. I had a fairly good idea who "he" was and "I" used to be one with him, alas no longer that was the case. I felt nothing, all sensory perception was external to me, I had no body. He saw things, he felt things, he heard things; I knew about them to the most minute detail, they were just not my primary perceptions all I had was second hand knowledge. Funny thing is noone ever noticed anything odd about us. Then oneday I woke up, and we were me again. I have been an almost normal guy since.

A few years after that, I heard about LD. When I stared having success with LD, dreams were cool. I couldn't control them to any large extend, but the power to interrupt the dream, letting myself to believe the reality of the dreamworld or letting myself to enjoy the experience as an external viewer was a newfound power. I no longer had disturbing dreams, if I chose to have none, that is (one of my funniest and darkest dreams were the dream I was squash, the fido mail tosser. It was a nightmare by all means, but I chose not to realize that it was a dream and still recall the weird memory of it.) The dreams were not the problem, the waking hours were. More and more I felt like the time I was 17, the world -together with the body- and the observer was two distinct things. I started to lose experiencing the world first hand. I suspended my experiments with LD. I was OK. I restared lucid dreaming and I was back with the same problem. So I gave up LDing.

Now, it might be just me. It might be because I had a problem earlier. But if you ever start to feel your body, your usual identity and the whole physical world external to you, I urge you to stop lucid dreaming. It is fun having a robot made of flesh, but the novelty soon wears off.

[ Parent ]

interesting (none / 0) (#87)
by juju2112 on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 03:39:54 AM EST

That is really really fascinating. I have experienced something like this as well, thought who knows if it was the same phenomenon. I wasn't scared of it -- I always felt like I had a pretty good handle on it control-wise. Perhaps you experienced it at a much more intense level than I.

Sometimes my mind slips back into that state, maybe a few times a year. It's almost like it falls into that mental state by accident. But it never lasts for very long anymore.

[ Parent ]
actually it has a name (none / 0) (#105)
by nusuth on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 03:23:54 PM EST

And that is "depersonalisation syndrome" if my self-diagnosis is correct.

[ Parent ]
Pop music (none / 0) (#36)
by QuantumG on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 06:58:30 AM EST

I can reprogram my brain by associating people with various songs and playing them over and over. Intermixing songs has various effects too. I've even experienced unintended consequences, like coming to enjoy a previously hated artist's music because I have associated someone I like with them.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
I've tried lucid dreaming (none / 0) (#37)
by A Trickster Imp on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 07:38:27 AM EST

I've tried lucid dreaming, but I always wake up just before my mouth engulfs the crotches of Britney or Posh Spice. It's so frustrating that I go fire up Serious Sam and kill stuff with the half-ton Gatling gun just to settle down.

[ Parent ]
once years ago (none / 0) (#41)
by Ender Ryan on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 10:10:18 AM EST

I had a lucid dream like you describe once many years ago. I think I was in 5th grade.

An older friend of mine was talking about lucid dreaming a couple days before and about reality checks like you describe. One had to do with external stimuli invading your dreams and recognizing that the external stimuli was outside of your dream world, and then you realize you are dreaming.

Anyway, a few days later, I had my first and only lucid dream. The thought had stuck in my mind, and I was constantly pondering reality checks.

So one day while sleeping in really late, my dad must have come into my room and opened the blinds letting the sunlight in. In my dream, the world went from somewhat dark to the middle of the day with the sun overhead. That alone didn't alert me. In my dream I was pondering reality checks, and I realized that the sudden change from night to day was wrong. In my dream I wondered if it was caused by something external. Then I thought, no matter, I know I'm dreaming. So then I immediately ignored the stressful situation of my dream(something imaginary to do with school) and proceeded to lift off into the air and fly. I also recognized how bizarre and insane everything happening in my dream was, which was quite humorous.

I woke about a minute later after some seriously entertaining flying around with the sun shining in my eyes.

I was never able to do that again intentionally or unintentionally. I have been able to fly many other times, but only as a distortion of reality that happens in dreams, never knowing I was dreaming, so I never recognize how bizarre it is.

Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!

Dreams within dreams (none / 0) (#42)
by rkh on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 10:24:33 AM EST

Personally, I find lucid dreaming to be a bit frightening. A few years ago, I experienced a dream in which I was deaf. Suddenly, I realized that I was dreaming, and attempted to wake myself up. I believed that I was successful, so I got up from my bed and left my room. Then I realized that I was still deaf. I had not woken myself up. I was trapped. Oddly, though, the dream was soon over, and I came to conciousness. Scary thing, a runaway mind.

I had one like this (5.00 / 2) (#77)
by rickward on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 07:59:36 PM EST

but it was little freakier. I dreamed I was putting a gun in my mouth and looking into a mirror, so I could find out if, when you shot yourself, you see your brains hitting the wall or if you black out.

In my dream, I pulled the trigger and woke up, a little disoriented. My glasses were on the bedside table. I put them on and saw the gun on the floor.

I turned and saw a big blood splatter on the wall behind me, turned again and saw that the back of my head was gone.

And that's when I really woke up. It was dark and quiet and I was scared. Man, that was a bad one.

"How am I to trust my own 5 feeble senses? Who's to say that when I open the freezer door that I'm really not just opening a gateway to a very cold dimension populated by wire racks?" —MisterQueue
[ Parent ]

I thought everybody dreams like that... (none / 0) (#43)
by CmdrWacko on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 10:32:14 AM EST

I was always able to do that. I didn't even realize that it's something special. I could start dreaming anytime I wanted even when taking just 15 min naps. I could decide what to dream and change the direction of the dream, always fully aware that I'm dreaming. I could even continue yesterday's dream and at the beginning have a short recapitulation of the yesterday's dream - like in TV series. It's a great entertainment. Definitely beats TV. For last few days I'm running a series with Britney and J Lo... I have to check therapeutic potentials of that. (Lucid dreaming, not Britney) Maybe it helps that for last 10 years I never slept more than 2 or 3 hours per night.

less sleep, please (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by kraft on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 05:52:53 PM EST

Maybe it helps that for last 10 years I never slept more than 2 or 3 hours per night.

I was about to mention that. I read a book on sleep a few years back, and remember the part about people who don't sleep at all. They all have one characteristic in common: they lucid dream (this wasn't the term they used in the book, but the descriptions matched) for about 20-30 mins a day.

Btw, I have always been jealous with people who sleep so little: What the hell do you do to not get tired? Are you in super shape? What kind of work/activities do you do during the day? How/Why did you start sleeping less?

My sleep needs have increased during the last 2-3 years. Now I need at least 8 hours. My own explanation is that I have 3 hours of French lessons a day (I live in France, but dont speak the language very well) and I work 8+ hours coding. Maybe it's just the kind of activities that require lots of sleep?

a signature has the format "dash-dash-newline-text". dammit.
[ Parent ]
Re: less sleep, please (none / 0) (#85)
by CmdrWacko on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 01:42:52 AM EST

It's a thing I picked up in a war. I had no choice than to live like that for some time. For first month and a half I was going crazy. I lost 40 kg and probably half of my brain cells and then, one day something just clicked and it became normal. Since then I tried numerous times to sleep normal hours being afraid of medical consequences of lack of sleep but never succeeded.

Point is you can train yourself into that. And it's good for the figure too.

It's very useful, I'm doing project management/consulting or programming during the day and programming at nights (most of the times it's paid) and I regularly exercise.

But even I had to sleep 4+ hours when I was taking French lessons

[ Parent ]
Lucid dreaming? (3.25 / 4) (#45)
by Signal 11 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 11:22:13 AM EST

Geez... being aware of the fact you're dreaming and being able to get your brain to decide that, yes, you really can control what's going on is entirely another matter. This is my issue with lucid dreaming... it's saying more is possible than is (at least for me).

Whatever subjective reality has been created for my consciousness I simply can't override. I can think inside my dreams, even take limited actions (until I roll off the bed), but I can't just imagine myself into another environment. It's never happened, and I doubt it ever will. Not to say I haven't tried... just that the attempts all turned out very, very, badly.

There's a reason we dream. I've noticed when I'm under stress (I'm under a lot right now), I dream a lot. That's not a coincidence: Whenever I have got to focus on something in my life, whenever there is a significant threat in my life... I dream more. It sharpens my reflexes, and heightens my senses, and generally just acts as a super huge shot of caffeine that lasts all day: But without the 'damping' effect that caffeine has on certain activities (high level thought). And I remember over half of my dreams... though they fade quickly, which is why I used to keep a pad and pencil on the night table.

A piece of advice though - don't screw with your dreams by trying to force it into something else. You're dealing with something just as potent as an acid trip except that if you have a bad dream you wake up within a few minutes, not a day later. The after effects can be just as powerful, and if you have a bad dream... at least in my experience... you're more likely to have another one soon. Enough messing around with your dreams, and every dream is a nightmare. I can tell you this is Not Cool(tm).

So try lucid dreaming if you want, but to draw an analogy: You're not a good programmer right now, and you'll probably smash the stack a few times learning the rules. Good luck... but whatever you do, for god's sake, don't force something!

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

nightmares (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by juju2112 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 02:30:13 PM EST

To me, it's a matter philosophy -- my mind is the most important asset I have. Without it, I might as well be a stump on the ground. So, the thought of my own dreams holding power over me is just insulting. I mean, your dreams are created from your own thoughts. So if you're afraid of your own nightmares, you're a prisoner of yourself.

[ Parent ]
odd (4.50 / 2) (#49)
by CodeWright on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:25:23 PM EST

I have been able to do what is described as "lucid dreaming" for as long as I can remember (my earliest memories date back to when I was only a year old). I can enter a dream-state from a conscious-state whenever I want and have even been able to sleep with one half of my brain at a time (slightly disconcerting, but very useful on long road trips). I will frequently use lucid dreaming to solve programming problems or to write long reports -- it lets me work around the clock while also getting sufficient sleep. Long periods of "forced" lucid dreaming can be quite draining, however....

I never knew that this process was called "lucid dreaming" or somehow associated with mystical mumbo-jumbo until a hippie-yoga acquaintance of mine lent me a book describing this stuff a couple years ago. I just thought it was a normal part of human imagination.

wow (none / 0) (#72)
by sesquiped on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 05:31:56 PM EST

That ability (sleepin with half your brain) sounds amazingly cool as well as useful. Can you explain anything more about that? What it feels like, how you attain it, etc.?

I don't believe I've ever solved programming problems within a dream, but I have during the hypnogogic (sp?) state, which comes right before falling asleep. I find it easier to control my thoughs during that state than during an actual dream. Actually, I've never been able to control my thoughts during dreams at all, and only very rarely been aware that I was dreaming during a dream.

[ Parent ]
it is handy (none / 0) (#97)
by CodeWright on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 09:37:35 AM EST

Technically speaking, it's probably less "sleep" than "hypnosis".

A synopsis of the "discovery":

In high school, I started fiddling around with self-hypnosis for various reasons. While I was in college, I experimented with extreme sleep deprivation (an experiment I terminated after my longest trial -- nearly two weeks without sleep, towards the end of which I was experiencing nonstop visual/auditory/olafactory hallucinations, finally ending with me precipitously blacking out while on a set of stairs). As a result of the sleep deprivation experiments, I think I broke my internal clock (circadian rhythm) because, after that, I never had any coherent sleep pattern. Its probably analagous to what they do during military training to break recruit resistance to odd duty shifts.

Anyway.... with a broken internal clock, I was able to almost instantly fall asleep whenever I wanted and wake up an arbitrary period of time later (experimenting with that revealed that the combination of a 30 minute nap and 4 hour REM sleep was more than sufficient for sustained normal activity -- unfortunately, most workplaces frown on a midday siesta). The combination of a dynamic sleeping capability and near-instant self-hypnosis (learned in high school) led to the unexpected upshot of being able to self-hypnotize one half of my brain.

I first experimented with it when I was stuck in traffic in Detroit -- I hadn't had much sleep, but had lots of things to do -- but I also couldn't just go to sleep while in traffic. So, half-for-fun, half-out-of-boredom, I started to self-hypnotize, but concentrated on just one half of my body. To my surprise, I was able to drop that half into a hypnotized state while remaining fully aware with the other half. At first, I didn't believe it, but a great deal of experimentation later proved (to my satisfaction, anyway) that it worked.

I haven't found any good use for that capability beyond being able to alternate which side of me is awake during long road-trips (extending range before being overcome with exhaustion). It could be, however, that my perception of the useful applications is colored by my method of discovery.

A more specific description of how I do it:

Well, whatever method you use to self-hypnotize (personally, I just focus my attention intently, then blur the perceptual focus until I am in the hypnotic state -- but that is after a lot of practice), just use that. The trick is to only apply the hypnosis-inducing behavior to (roughly) half of your self-perception. Thinking back on it, I probably also had the advantage that I had thoroughly explored the limits of my self-perception, fairly clearly discovering its various constraints. In addition, I have a fairly decent (layman's) understanding of human anatomy (from several different traditions -- Western medicine along with, um, other traditions). Because of those things, it was not too difficult to focus the sensory capabilities of just half of of my body/self, and then blur just those senses until I reach the half-brain hypnosis.

I hope that helps. I s'pose I could try to come up with an even more detailed description if it doesn't....

[ Parent ]
Meditation (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by Rhodes on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:39:26 PM EST

And the ultimate test is to be awake, but know that reality is just a dream. The advantages of living while one is dreaming is that one is relaxed, and that relaxation inflects on all actions.

Huh. (1.00 / 5) (#55)
by xriso on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:50:56 PM EST

Sounds nice and boring.
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
True story (4.50 / 6) (#57)
by epepke on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 01:06:51 PM EST

I had a dream once. In the dream, someone was asking me "So what you're saying is that all your dreams are lucid?" "Yes," I replied "except for this one."

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

sometimes (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by evilpckls on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 01:42:02 PM EST

i usually can control my dreams, but usually only when im not sleeping deeply. this entire week i have been unable to stay asleep, but i drift in and out of consciousness (if that makes sense) and i can continue the dream after i sleep again, which sorta indicates that im more daydreaming than really dreaming, or soemthing. when i actually asleep, and i know im asleep, the times when i can actually control a dream are when i have the same dream more than once. the second time through, i realize ive done this before, and then i start changing things. but i cant change too much, or the dream alters drastically and then i lose it again...i can, say, change the color of the monster thats following me, but if i try to make the monster disappear, i lose control of the dream.

"This is proof that fish geeks are just weird. You look like you've wet your pants, and I have a fish in my coat." --nstenz

Missing the point? (2.50 / 2) (#61)
by Rich on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 02:22:03 PM EST

Everyone about seems to have dismissed the usefulness of lucid dreaming, imagine being able to do something and knowing u cannot fail? At the very least it will allow u to build confidence in areas of your life where your confidence might not be at its best e.g. shyness around members of the opposite sex, fear of heights. Any area of your life where you would like to be more confidant, you will find that you can do amazing things if you are confidant about what you are doing just like the story about the girl playing the piano. In short never underestimate the power of confidence and lucid dreaming is a very powerful method of achieving confidence.
I Expect history will be kind to me as i intend to write is. Winston Churchill
How is lucid dreaming different than visualization (none / 0) (#64)
by drivers on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 02:40:41 PM EST

For the purpose of building confidence, how is that different than visualization, or cognitive therapies like writing down what thoughts you think when you are anxious about something, spotting flaw in your thinking and writing the corrected thought. (such as in the book "Feeling Good.") www.feelinggood.com

[ Parent ]
link correction (none / 0) (#65)
by drivers on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 02:42:01 PM EST

obviously the correct link is: this

[ Parent ]
visualizations (none / 0) (#88)
by juju2112 on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 04:06:08 AM EST

Perhaps it is the same as the things you mentioned, but it's more powerful and effective because you're completely immersed in the visualization.

[ Parent ]
Similar to many posters.... (4.50 / 2) (#63)
by jdaemon on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 02:35:40 PM EST

I've had intermittent episodes of lucid dreaming my entire life, most often after becoming deeply enthralled in fiction with vivid and arresting imagery.

By far, the coolest lucid dreams I've ever had were through about a two week stretch of nights as a young child around 1985 or so, (coincidentally?) during a particularly traumatic stretch of childhood at age 8 or 9. Anyway, virtually as soon as I closed my eyes, I became some sort of Spiderman persona, and the world became completely real to me... I'd swing through these enormous metropolitian cityscapes, and it was such a consistent world - I had to trigger and shoot each web strand by clenching my two middle fingers, and the free fall until the slack would catch and centrifugal force would pull me as the air whizzed by was astonishingly real. But I was in control of it all, and completely comfortable... after all, I was Spiderman!

I had tremendous adventures every night, and the entire next day would be an endless wait for night so I could enter this immersive world where my avatar was potent and adventures were exciting and interesting beyond all normal experience.

During all this, I was completely self-aware, and maintained vivid memories of the previous night's events upon awakening... much more akin to memories of real experiences than shadowy dream-outline-memories.

Anyway, I've maintained some limited ability to enter this state on occasion, though no longer at will per se... When I become aware in dream state, I immediately recognize it, and it feels like home... like my superuser abilities are finally available again, and I can go on to have a tremendous session. Sadly, this occurs maybe once or twice a year, anymore, and I suppose I ought to make some sort of effort to bring it to the fore more often.

I've always resisted making conscious preparations or "attempting" to enter this state purposefully, because it feels like such a gift when it happens, and I'm afraid I might screw it up somehow by getting greedy. :)


Advanced Dream Yoga (4.50 / 4) (#68)
by Baldrson on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:25:27 PM EST

The state you achieved is one of the more advanced forms of dream yoga -- the simple lucid dream being one of the preliminary forms of dream yoga. There is lots of stuff out there on this.

-------- Empty the Cities --------

Some warnings on hacking your subconscious... (4.50 / 2) (#70)
by bodrius on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:57:21 PM EST

I always had some problems with lucid dreaming. I never had problems when I didn't think it a big deal, because I didn't try to control it too much and just enjoyed the experience as an observer. When I learned it could be useful beyond its spontaneous benefits (distraction, satisfaction and frequent inspiration) I tried to take conscious control of it. I wanted to use it for psychoanalysis and some psychological engineering, but the results have been less than pleasant. The fact is that it's not that simple to take control of your dreams, at least not for some of us. Probably most of us. We're not logged in as "root", and we don't even know the system's daemons. Sure, some rules specific to this reality are not present and that gives the sensation of power, but there are other, more subtle rules, consistent within themselves. Trying to control content tends to work for a short relative time, before the dream develops into something else. Not that this process by itself is not useful, interesting and illuminating. I have been able to analyze dreams on the spot, and often to continue them when they are interrupted. I have seen things that I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise, except for deep psychoanalysis (at least I identify them with jungian concepts). But it can be extremely unpleasant and it could be actually dangerous for the unprepared. I would advise some caution before using it to cure insomnia or as a game to explore the flexibility of your imagination. It may not be a walk in the park. Do some research, read a little, and if you find something that scares the hell out of you be careful of your own misconceptions.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
In order to truly hack you need understanding... (3.33 / 3) (#71)
by joshpurinton on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 04:19:04 PM EST

"If you ignore reality, it automatically works against you." -- Robert Ringer

This organization puts on free* 10-day experiential meditation retreats at locations all over the world. There you will learn to observe yourself and begin to see what is the phenomenon you call 'I'. Then you can start to change the habit-patterns of your mind at the deepest level.

* They do accept donations, but only from people who have completed one of their retreats. This is optional, and there is no suggested donation amount.

Dreaming (3.25 / 4) (#74)
by DJBongHit on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 06:34:37 PM EST

I came across a page on lucid dreaming about a year ago, and have been trying to get it to work since then. Unfortunately, smoking weed seems to inhibit dreaming (I rarely remember dreaming if I go to bed stoned), but when I don't smoke for awhile I get REALLY vivid and intense dreams (still no lucid dreams, though).

I have solved programming problems in dreams though. When I was 12, I was fucking around trying to write a 3d engine, and the concept of using octrees for world subdivision came to me in a dream - this was before I had even heard of binary trees, or any tree structure in general.

On another note, I don't remember having a single nightmare in my entire life. I wonder what the deal with that is.


GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

WOW.. just wow.. (none / 0) (#125)
by freija crescent on Sun Feb 10, 2002 at 01:44:41 PM EST

I too have tried for years to lucid dream. I kinda gave up, sadly. Then I read this Thursday while at work. I think I made a startling revelation.

You see, they say to make reality checks. It's the one thing I've never tried in the past. So I did this by looking at the employee number on the back of my name badge. I'd turn around and look at it again maybe 10 seconds later and note if it was the same number.

I felt silly.

I doubted that it would make a difference.

Saturday morning, it happened. I was in a dream, walking through my apartment complex at night. For some reason in my dream, I decided to look at the number on my employee badge. The moment I looked at it in my dream, I got excited.. it was different from what I remembered in the waking world. I looked at it a second time.. BINGO.. it was like 15 numbers long instead of 5. Also some of the numbers where letters and numbers superimposed.. things that didn't make sense.

I realized immediately that I was in a dream. I stopped, and turned around the other direction and then started to look for things to do. Sadly my experience in this field is seriously lacking. As I walked, I felt kind of weird, like I was drunk. I had this weird feeling in my chest, like a slight pressure and a little warmth. This feeling also happened to me once in the waking life when I smoked a LOT of weed. I thought I was having a heartattack. I stopped smoking after that.

Anyways, I managed to make the sun come up in the middle of the night, and noted just how freakishly real everything seemed.

And it happened this morning again.

In both cases I think I was flying in the earlier part of the dream, and I know i've flown in my dreams before, not like superman, but more like just gliding above the ground by a foot or so. I've never been 'lucid' in the past, but this event caused me, in my dream, to perform a reality check, and bingo.

Maybe this will work for those of you who are having difficulty getting the ball rolling. This was my second intentional lucid dream after 4 years of trying, and only 2 days after reading the article here at K5.

By the way, I also went to bed at a decent hour, and woke up due to nature calling at about 7:00am. Both lucid dreams happened after I went back to bed and I woke up both times around 8:00am, with my heart just racing like mad. Don't know if that is normal or not... =)

Getting woken out of these dreams really suck. I felt kinda sad. I moved my leg in real life when my cat brushed against me, and became consious of this in my dream, and POOF.. i was awake.

Don't kill your cat if this happens, you will get a second shot like I did.. =)


[ Parent ]
off-topic-p? (none / 0) (#76)
by erp6502 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 07:43:10 PM EST

What a great resource for first-time lucid dreamers. I have to admit that my life looked much more like a cartoon than usual for a day after I saw Waking Life, and it rekindled my desire and ability to remember and actively participate in my dreams.

Too bad that all of this has very, very little to do with hacking your wetware. Less so even than NLP. Is lucid dreaming anything much more than wanking around in your mind's configuration space with the freedom afforded by having your brain disconnected from your body?

I might even be willing to contend that its easy to reinforce "harmful" behavior patterns in lucid dreaming where most of your reality checks are null and void. You are the bleed-through of your dreams into the waking world (and vice-versa). Some dreamers are certain to bring back patterns into our consensual waking life that nobody wants to deal with.

I've seen this happen to friends who became convinced they could control others' destinies by sheer force of will (and a generous helping of vicious gossip). You'll note that the latter is generally more effective.

Remember the dialogue in Waking Life on the inscrutability of linguistic communication? I'm not an advocate of NLP, but it's one discipline that attempts to make use of the precept that "you can't not believe everything you hear", i.e. in order to disbelieve something, you must first accept it as true in order to test its falsehood. Now that is a powerful back door to exploit in hacking your own (and others') wetware.

Sleep tight!

Lucid dreaming rocks (none / 0) (#78)
by RenegadeShadow on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 08:29:26 PM EST

I've had a number of lucid dreams - they're amazing. Good post.

But I don't dream. (none / 0) (#79)
by rebug on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 09:52:08 PM EST

I haven't had a dream that I've recalled in years. Sometimes when I wake up I feel like my brain has been up to something, but I can't remember any aspects of any dreams I may have had.

It's kind of a drag, really.

You Might Be... (none / 0) (#92)
by driph on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 07:43:40 AM EST

We tend to forget our dreams quickly. One thing to do(and this is actually a step in the direction of lucid dreaming) is to start keeping a dream journal. Throw a pad and pen or a mini tape recorder next to your bed, and every morning when you wake up, write down anything you can remember of dreams you may have had. If you can't remember anything, just write the date and "Nothing." or whatever suits you. The main thing is to get in the habit of keeping the journal.

Eventually, you may come to realize that you are dreaming, and remembering your dreams. Either that or you'll have pages full of "xx/xx/xx nothing," but hey, it's worth a try. :]

Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]

Chemically facilitating lucid dreams. (none / 0) (#80)
by Rainy on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 10:40:59 PM EST

I tried all the usual tricks to get lucid dreams a few years ago but couldn't do it, I think I just wasn't persistent enough. Recently, however, I found out that Kava Kava can facilitate them, and tried it 20-30 times, and I had my first lucid dream, without any tricks! I had it for 5 to 10 seconds, I saw my old appartment in Russia, saw a dog my grand dad had when I was 6 or so, and I saw it as a cub even though I never knew it as a cub; I saw my mother 15 years younger than she is now.

Incidentally, smoking pot does the exact opposite - it stops you from lucid dreaming. Well, at least it makes it much harder to get lucid dreams.

To get results from Kava, you need to order it in powder form (pills don't work nearly as well). One good place is kavakauai. I ordered 2 times from them and the product was great both times. You have to take 2 Tspn of powder in 2 cups of water, blend it for 2 minutes in electrical blender, and optionally put a bit of granulated lecithin (I never tried it cause I haven't seen it anywhere, and didn't get around to ordering it online).

That's all. Lucid dreams are amazing. They may not sound really interesting, but once you have one, you'll feel like in heaven.
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

I have a lot of trouble with this. (none / 0) (#81)
by scanman on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 11:36:22 PM EST

I am aware that I am dreaming more often than not (I can just kind of feel it), the problem is, whenever I try to do something cool, like walking into the girls' locker room or flying, I become like Superman with kryptonite, I get dizzy and weak, then one by one my 5 senses switch back to the real world, until I'm awake. It's damned frustrating!

"[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
"scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
"I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

heavy eyelids (none / 0) (#130)
by TYPOpyt on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:17:01 AM EST

I've had a few dreams where I realized I was dreaming (I think) and then when I tried to go places my eyelids got really heavy and I could barely see. I think it was the higher I climed the flight of stairs the further my eyes were closed. When I went down the stairs I could see better. I'm not sure if I was actually trying to open my eyes in real life and that is why it was hard or not. I've never tried to lucid dream but after reading about it I'm sure going to try :-P -TYPOpyt

[ Parent ]
Another good book... (none / 0) (#83)
by plastic on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 01:04:43 AM EST

A year or two back, I somehow got really interested in the whole lucid dreaming thing, and I ended up ordering two books from amazon. One was the aforementioned 'Exploring The World of Lucid Dreaming'. The other was called Lucid Dreams in 30 Days : The Creative Sleep Program. Ok, I will grant you that the book has an ultra-cheesy title. However, while the first book is heavy on theory and dream examples with helpful tips and tricks sprinkled throughout, this one is a straight-up how-to guide.

I would like to say that I made it through the whole 30-day thing and can now lucidly dream, but about a week or so in an ex-girlfriend borrowed it and never returned it. I keep meaning to buy another copy, but I never seem to get around to doing it. I don't know why not, it's only $10.

At any rate, if you're the sort of person who is thinking "Ok, let's do this thing, what is step 1?" then this is the perfect book for you.

Nice article... (none / 0) (#86)
by cr0sh on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 01:58:50 AM EST

Great introduction to the reality of lucid dreaming. While I am no great "performer" of the art, I have had several different lucid dreams in my life. My last was the best - I tried a technique I had seen online to keep a grasp on the lucid dream state: Look at your feet. I remember when I looked back up, I was still in the dream state, but I felt a little "dizzy" - but I managed to prolong things for several more seconds - all in all, the entire lucid state was only maybe 30 seconds or so, but it was the longest I had ever had.

I really need to try to get in the habit of "checking reality". If you know of many of my comments, you know I enjoy VR - well, lucid dreaming is the ultimate form of VR (well, almost - it isn't networkable).

One thing I have wondered is whether it would be possible to have a computer provide "stimulus", either via a brainwave machine, or whatnot - to a lucid dreamer - and whether control in the opposite direction, from dreamer to computer - would be possible (ie, EKG, maybe?) - if so, things could get real interesting...

Still, when I read the article title - I thought of something different than lucid dreaming - and maybe a good writer out there can explore this, and write an article on it in the future:

There are a few people out there - garage tinkerers, a few neuro researchers, etc - who do real wetware hacking. I am sure you have heard (or know about) the "god spot" region of the brain, which has been found to cause visions, or feelings of "other presences" to a person when stimulated - generally electrically or by magnetic fields. Some of the researchers do all kinds of weird things - from high intensity mag field stimulus (sometimes causing strange "hallucinations", both aural and visual), to brainwave modification through various means. Other areas of study include sensory deprivation and overload, as well as single sense stimulus, and "sense swapping" - ie, trying to "see" and "hear" with skin, for example. There was even a company that supposedly created a "vestibular stimulus" system for games, that would induce the feeling of motion to the user, to enhance games - you could literally make someone fall out of their seat! The system was based on (and improved upon) medical vestibular system stimulus machines, to the point where they could provide motion vectors to the system to act upon, and induce the user to feel movement in that direction. Sadly, the company never went anywhere with it - I think they dot-bombed.

Anyhow - I would love to see an article on that kind of stuff - true wetware hacking is possible - lucid dreaming merely scratches the surface (though it is the safest of all the methods).

networked dreams.. (none / 0) (#109)
by krkrbt on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 11:11:02 PM EST

lucid dreaming is the ultimate form of VR (well, almost - it isn't networkable).

Try searching for "shared dreaming" or "Shamanic Dreamwork". Maybe start with this page (scroll down to "The Enigma of Shared Dreams"). I have a friend who's into all sorts of stuff like this - she made a copy of "The Promise of Shared Dreaming" by Barbara Shor for me [Gnosis Magazine, winter 1992]. As I remember, it talks about people who agreed to search each other out every night, in their dreams (another application of Lucid Dreaming!), and upon awakening they wrote down the contents. Apparently the experiment was pretty successful. I've never had a shared dream (see my first post to this thread for more on my trouble with dreaming), but it does sound interesting...

[ Parent ]
BE VERY careful with this... (none / 0) (#91)
by Mike Hearn on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 05:42:20 AM EST

I once read something about lucid dreaming, sorry, I can't remember where (not online) and basically it contained a few warnings.

Basically it said that if you do this too much it can be potentially damaging psychologically, as your mind isn't getting the opportunity to sort through and work upon all the stuff upon your mind. By preventing the normal course of things happening, you harm yourself in the long run.

So - be careful. Having said that, am I going to try this? You bet :)

thanks -mike

there's no danger (none / 0) (#117)
by juju2112 on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 05:51:53 PM EST

Stephen Laberge and the Lucidity Institute have been researching Lucid Dreams since 1987 and haven't found any dangerous effects. See the FAQ.

[ Parent ]
Question about dreams... (none / 0) (#93)
by hvangalen on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 08:41:53 AM EST

I always found dreams and the human mind fascinating, and in my life I *have* experienced "lucid dreams". I got a question about something which I think is related to this topic, and I hope anyone can explain it: Sometimes, when I'm in bed, just on the edge of sleeping, when I hear a sound I see - in my mind - this -almost geometric- pattern which depends on the kind of sound. If the sound is, say, someone closing his car-door outside (a 'crash'), the pattern is 'triangles' or 'zig-zag'. It goes real fast so it's hard to identify. When it's a 'thud' (cat jumping on the bed) it's kind of 'square' what I see. It's really hard to explain what I mean so I *hope* someone recognizes this. The pictures are mostly black/white but if it's a really strange noise I hear there's colour too. After it happend I'm wide awake and have to try to fall asleep again. Then it can happen again. Has anyone else experienced such a thing and, most importantly, can someone tell me *why* this happens? Or am I going crazy? ;))

Patterns of sound (none / 0) (#94)
by Tsuraan on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 09:20:24 AM EST

I've had this too, and the best that I could describe it as is something like a winamp vis in my head. Maybe it's just because your mind likes associating (pseudo) visual patterns with sounds? I'm not sure why you would have trouble getting to sleep again, though.

[ Parent ]
Patterns of sound (none / 0) (#96)
by hvangalen on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 09:36:15 AM EST

Good description! Exactly like that!

About the problem falling asleep again: I forgot to tell that actually I always have trouble falling asleep (minimum of 1 hour awake before I actually start to sleep, even when I *am* tired) And when I hear the sound, I kinda get startled (because I was almost asleep) and I think that causes the visual or something.

I've tried expaining it to friends but they started thinking I was mad or something ;) Anyway, I'm glad I'm not the only one...

[ Parent ]
Patterns of sound (none / 0) (#128)
by hvangalen on Mon Feb 11, 2002 at 04:56:38 AM EST

Well, this weekend I've been sleeping again ;) and I've had it again, but what I told first isn't right. I thought I was on 'the edge of sleeping' -- but I'm not. I'm actually still awake (only got my eyes closed).

Now I took more notice to this thing happening, and I even saw the sound of the water go through the pipes of my central heating system. And some load sounds in the pipes create patterns again (for
'bubbling water' it's a white / black squary -pattern).

It's still a wierd thing, but I'm starting to enjoy it ;)

[ Parent ]
Re: Patterns of Sound (none / 0) (#129)
by Insoc on Tue Feb 19, 2002 at 11:59:16 PM EST

Concerning the winamp vis thing, I've found that if I cover my eyes with the heels of my hands and apply a little pressure(just at the beginning), I can activate a sort of "vis like" place where I can control rushing through colors and lines and stuff. Its fun to do when school gets a bit boring.

[ Parent ]
According to a story on TV... (none / 0) (#98)
by anno1602 on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 09:52:05 AM EST

... this is not any sign of mental unhealthyness, but a genetic difference. People who see sounds as patterns have their hearing also "wired" to their visual center, thus they see sounds. It also comes in different intensities, depending on how sophisticated that wiring is: Some poeple only see sounds when their eyes are closed, so the input from the eyes normally drowns out the ear input. When the hearing and the visual center are more intertwined, you see sounds all the time.

Disclaimer: That's what they said, may be complete nonsense, but at least sounds convincing.

"Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit." - Murphy
[ Parent ]
Synesthesia (none / 0) (#101)
by Raven15 on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 11:39:11 AM EST

Try looking up info on "synesthesia". Your sensory cross-wiring comes in many forms. Some people associate tastes with colors, touch with sounds, etc. I knew a guy who learned to play guitar in a week by finding the chords by color. Maybe that'd help my poor playing :)

[ Parent ]
Re: Synesthesia (none / 0) (#103)
by hvangalen on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 01:34:45 PM EST

Great, man! I'm reading a lot of info right now and it *is* synesthesia I'm 'suffering' from.

Thanks a lot!

...and good luck with your guitar playing :-)

[ Parent ]
This is Hypnagogia. (none / 0) (#102)
by mecredis on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 12:03:50 PM EST

Some one already posted this link, but htere it is again.

And for those of you too lazy to click "open in new window" this is basically what hypnagogia is: Just random "waking dreams" that are no where near as intense or realistic as normal dreams, lucid or non lucid. You basically slip into hypnagogia right before you drift off. Check the link for more info.


[ Parent ]
Synaestesiea maybe.. this happens to me (none / 0) (#126)
by freija crescent on Sun Feb 10, 2002 at 01:57:29 PM EST

Usually with me, it's a dog barking. That is the one that sets me off.

I'll get a really intense bluish-white flash along with a weird, almost electrical sound at the same time. It literally scares the crap out of me and i jump in bed, sometimes clearing the mattress by a good 3 inches.

I have two ideas on this. One is Synaestesia, which would make sense. The other is that your mind is shutting down to enter the sleep mode, and when you hear certain sounds, they immediately re-engage your sense of hearing, which causes you to regain consiousness and all your other senses fire up simultaneously.. sometimes with drastic consequences.

Honestly though, what intrigues me more is this weird blue arc phenomena. I thought it was just me, but other people I've shown this to get it also. Here is the deal. Find a dark room at night. Look for a point light source in the distance, like a red LED. Candles don't seem to work.. But find a red or green led. Look at it. You may very well see a pair of blue arcs to the side of the light. (round part of arc just touching the light source).

If you close one eye the opposite arc will disappear. I don't know if this is an optical issue with the eye, or a fault in how the brain analyzes the signal, but it is very prominent and is always blue, regardless of the color of the light.


[ Parent ]
The problem I have... (none / 0) (#95)
by Mulad on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 09:29:11 AM EST

The problem I have is that sometimes, dreams can be so much better than reality. I've gone through times when I'd rather just sleep all of the time, since the dream world gives be opportunities I just can't get in meatspace.. I'm even going through a situation right now where I'm trying very hard to get to know someone, but things just aren't working out. If I had significant control of my dreams, I don't know if I'd ever want to wake up.

I've had lucid dreams in the past, though they usually only last a fairly short time. I've never been able to keep a good structure, either. My mind just can't keep things consistent long enough for much of anything to happen.

For those people who can't remember their dreams at all, you need to get a life. I'm serious. I went for years stuck in a boring dorm room, and I barely remember dreaming at all. Occasionally, things would change in my life, and I'd actually have dreams.

These days, I've been remembering dreams more often, so hopefully I'm actually getting a life of some sort.

No shit? (4.00 / 1) (#113)
by quartz on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 04:48:51 PM EST

For those people who can't remember their dreams at all, you need to get a life [...] These days, I've been remembering dreams more often, so hopefully I'm actually getting a life of some sort

That's got to be the most idiotic attempt at proving the existence of a "life" I've ever seen. Other than what kind of pathetic loser would come up with such utter bullshit?, the only question that comes to mind with regard to your "highly scientific reasoning" is did it hurt when you pulled it it out of your ass?

As far as scientists know, everyone dreams but some people do not remember their dreams. Because they do not remember, they believe that they do not dream. Not remembering dreams is no cause for concern.
-- Pacific Sleep Medicine Services
(and if you ever manage to learn how to use a search engine, you can find lots more links to what people who know what they're talking about have to say about the subject)

Remembering your dreams does not mean you have a life. On the contrary, it makes you even more of a loser when your so-called "life" is so good that you're willing to sleep it away because "the dream world is so much better".

Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
Lucid? (none / 0) (#99)
by hvangalen on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 10:41:03 AM EST

I had some lucid dreams in my youth. Dreams of the night-mare kind in which I always tried to convince other people in my dream 'not to be affraid, because it's just a dream'. And not long after that I always woke up.

I remember at least two occasions in my youth in which I woke up from a dream [or at least it seemed that way] and I could continue 'watching' my dream on my wall. The images slowly faded away as I probably got more awake (that's the conclusion I draw from reading all the stuff here).

On a later occasion I was abbruptly awaken from a dream which I enjoyed a lot. Remembering the other time I thought 'let's try this again' and it worked. But again, the image slowly faded away.

Haven't tried this trick since my youth, but reading all this stuff has made me curious again.

Probably gonna combine it with trying to do some lucid dreaming.. ;)

fading effect here too (none / 0) (#122)
by chocolatetrumpet on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 10:34:23 PM EST

In the lucid dreams I can remember from my youth, I experienced the same kind of thing - I would start to awake, while I was still dreaming. I could see my ceiling, and then I realized I was dreaming, and in the last remaining moments of my dream I would try to do something crazy, usually kill myself, because I was also so curious about what happened after death (I have no death wish outside of my dreams :-).

Anyway, while I relished the last few moments of my dream, I would wake up, and the dream would sort of fade away into my real vision. I can remember a few really good ones though, flying around and such :-) These all stopped when I was very young, maybe 10 or so, and I haven't experienced one since. Maybe I will try some techniques... I do enjoy remembering my dreams though, they are very interesting and always entertaining. The last one I had, a good friend came to visit me. I haven't seen him in a while - in my dream we spent some time talking and hanging out. I feel like I really had that experience, and it's great :-)

The truth is in the ice cream.
[ Parent ]

DXM (none / 0) (#104)
by matrix0f8h on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 01:49:20 PM EST

I've found that i have been able to control my thoughts to become dreams when on this stuff. If you're not stupid about it. It can be safe(depending on your definition of safe) Here's a link to the FAQ Anyone try this? What do you think?

salvia (none / 0) (#108)
by majik on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 06:28:00 PM EST

try salvia divinorum... it has no measured toxicity level, is US legal, and quite an experience. I would recommend a great deal of reading before you try it though
Funky fried chickens - they're what's for dinner
[ Parent ]
The chicken and the egg. (1.50 / 2) (#106)
by paddymick on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 04:27:20 PM EST

What is lucid dreaming? Dreaming while you are aware you are dreaming? If you are dreaming, how can you be aware? How do you know if your "awareness" of the dream isn't, in fact, just another aspect of the dream? Does it matter? Can the "aware" person talk to someone else in the room and tell them what they are dreaming? No. Well then, I would argue that their "awareness" is just part of the dream and that lucid dreaming is merely a suggested dream, much as someone would think about a supermodel in hopes of dreaming about one. You think about lucid dreaming and then you have a dream where you appear to be aware that you are dreaming... It is still just a dream, and you are still just asleep. As for the dream being a window into your subconscious, I find that hard to believe if the impetus for the dream was a conscious one. Something along that lines of "only Christians see angels." If you want to really delve into your subconscious, quit trying to control your dreams. Quit trying to interact with your dreams. Just dream... and then reflect on that.
Man is a stranger everywhere.
it is 2002 gentlemen (and ladies) (1.00 / 1) (#110)
by sypher on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 10:31:42 AM EST

Well, this is certainly not news, but it is interesting, and i relate only my side of this 'furthering the mind' debate.

For years i have practiced many 'talents' which would probably make people scared to be around me :)

I got started along this path with 'The memory palace of matteo rici' (a guide to controlling the innermost sanctum of your mind), and then moved on to more practical development of the inner power of the mind.

Hell, i can put light bulbs out, just by looking at them if i am mad, (H.Kilhans 'when the lights go out') and perform a great many other 'neat tricks' that you arent advised to perform in company.

The mind is a 'supremely' powerful tool, and is utilised only to maybe 2% of its capacity, humans are mostly electric and water.

Is this sort of shit any different to the sales techniques taught to many insurance or real estate agents? Manipulating your environment with the power of your mind and what it produces is the first step.

Mind games are very real, and understanding them can improve lots of areas of your life.

(if your morals let you ignore you are 'cheating' your fellow man)

Manipulation of your environment and those you share it with is something good to learn, but the non-understanding (or belief) of this kind of info is really a contraceptive on evolution, IMHO.

This piece? +4 for trying to make it more understandable, -5 for sharing it :)

Oh, sorry, its not april 1st yet. ;)

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
brain use (none / 0) (#111)
by juju2112 on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 03:04:09 PM EST

The mind is a 'supremely' powerful tool, and is utilised only to maybe 2% of its capacity

I hate to be contrary, because I like to be liked. But this statistic is not true. There is lots of evidence that shows we use 100% of our brain. I did agree with everything else you said though. :]



[ Parent ]
Speculation/barriers (none / 0) (#112)
by sypher on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 04:43:54 PM EST

How do you know? ;)

The point the comment i made was trying to get across was simply that many of our thoughts (and our natural reactions to them) are stifled or exploited by others, and that 98% of statistics made up on the spot are usually crap, or are used to reinforce a point, research spend or opinion.

We live in a world that tries to condition our thinking and responses, and ultimately our opinion on issues, it would be a great shame (and i dare say the end of the world) if we as individuals cannot make our own thoughts 'real'.

The thread (i know, i know i was a little o/topic) was about lucid dreaming, this IMHO is just playtime for the subconcious, something for the greatest machine in the world to chew on whilst you cant be bothered to interact with it (i.e sleep) so it replays the events of the day your concious tagged as important.

Manipulation of our thinking is a great tool, its just a shame that many do not seem to be able to access it.Self development of this area is the only way, its a learning process.

But wait you say! if that happened no one would ever make any money! go read 1984 again ;)and maybe dr susan blackmores the 'meme machine'

Peace, Sy

(in posting this, i dont mean to start a fire, just a little discussion on something i am very interested in learning more about.

As someone once said 'theres nothing new under the sun' but i know there is a lot of stuff no sunlight is ever cast upon :))

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
[ Parent ]
brain use (none / 0) (#115)
by juju2112 on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 05:24:48 PM EST

Manipulation of our thinking is a great tool, its just a shame that many do not seem to be able to access it.Self development of this area is the only way, its a learning process.

Yeah, I agree completely. The mind is the most useful resource we have. People lift weights, exercise, and go on diets, all to improve their body's efficiency. And yet many people in this thread feel that lucid dreaming is not good for anything but entertainment.

But anyway, my point was only a minor nitpick. We in fact use 100% of our brain. There's overwhelming evidence to support this. I think it's summarized nicely in the first link I gave. The best argument I think is the evolutionary one. Here's an exerpt:
From an evolutionary point of view, the concept also poses severe conceptual problems. Why, for example, would a species evolve a large, hungry organ and then only use 10% of its capacity. The large human brain also comes at a high cost, primarily increased difficulty in delivery. This problem led to shorter gestations, meaning that humans are born earlier and more helpless then would otherwise be necessary. It also led to changes in the female pelvis with a consequent decrease in the efficiency of female bipedalism. A large brain could not be selected for by evolutionary forces, unless these disadvantages were more than outweighed by specific survival benefits. Certainly, evolution would not select for only a 10% efficiency in such an expensive and vital organ.

The way I see it, unused organs tend to be selected against in evolution, expecially if they cause the problems detailed above. On a more specific note, though, neurologists have mapped out specific functions for every part of the brain. We've also discovered, through many case studies, that a very tiny lesion at any given location on the brain invariable causes huge behavioral/mental problems.

Anyway, I really like this subject -- I just like to look at it from a more scienfic viewpoint is all.

[ Parent ]
ho ho (none / 0) (#120)
by sypher on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 08:29:36 PM EST

ho ho, i agree totally, we all utilise our brain (not necesseraly minds) 100%, based on what is required.

until we all realise that the tasks we are set to accomplish all require 100% and anything greater is evolution, life goes on.

Concentration, memory, spatial awareness, adaptability and intellect are 5 very differently affected qualities of the brain (and by no means them all), the mind IMHO is the personal attribute you produce and exercise yourself, mostly it seems by rote, unless you break it and develop it for yourself.

Why are some individuals seemingly more adept at solving problems, why are some able to more effectively sell goods? Evolution it seems is becoming stymied once these secrets are becoming revealed and are being exploited for profit.

Where did it start, where will it end? your thoughts please.


I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
[ Parent ]
Psychic powers (none / 0) (#123)
by fluffy grue on Sun Feb 10, 2002 at 04:06:30 AM EST

I can make traffic lights change just by staring at them.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

If you can put out light bulbs.. (none / 0) (#124)
by driph on Sun Feb 10, 2002 at 08:46:24 AM EST

.. then ya might want to give James Randi a call, show him proof, and walk away with a million bucks. :]

Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
I wonder, though... (none / 0) (#114)
by traphicone on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 04:59:16 PM EST

I read this article, and most of the comments yesterday and became thoroughly intrigued.

I thought about the implications of lucid dreaming throughout the day and tried to concentrate on remembering to realize I was in a dream while I went to sleep. I woke early to the phone ringing, and while I had had an interesting dream, I wasn't aware I was dreaming it at the time.

When I dozed back off however, I found myself in a dream in which I was walking around on a large ferry. More importantly, I was aware that I was dreaming! When I woke up I was thrilled that I did in a night what many have claimed can take months or years.

After being awake for a few hours, though, I'm not so sure. And suddenly I wonder, "Did I actually have a lucid dream, or did I just dream that I was lucid?"

"Generally it's a bad idea to try to correct someone's worldview if you want to remain on good terms with them, no matter how skewed it may be." --Delirium

re: I wonder, though... (none / 0) (#116)
by juju2112 on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 05:37:54 PM EST

If you realized you were dreaming, then it really was a lucid dream. I don't think it's possible to "just dream that you were lucid dreaming". It's always you that's dreaming, and every thought you have is your own. You either have the realization or you don't.

The greatest difference I have noticed is that when I realize that i'm dreaming, I can suddenly remember what happened to me the day before. It's like, when you're dreaming normally you don't generally remember anything about your real life. And then when you become lucid you suddenly do.

[ Parent ]
Hmm, What If... (none / 0) (#118)
by aitrus on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 07:14:20 PM EST

How do lucid dreams affect your physical reactions to the content of the dreams? There are times I've woken up, thrashing as a result of some unwanted event in my dream. Conversly, if you generate the content of the dream, how would you body react? Such as realizing you're in a lucid state; generating the content of a dream; then getting the feeling as if you have to urinate, and thinking about the bathroom? I've sleep walked to urinate, and also have done so to get a drink.

Also, what if a person who can have lucid dreams also becomes agravated or suicidal? How much control is present with the person during the lucid dream? How do you know it's a lucid dream and not a fantasy of what you believe a lucid dream would feel like? Just my curiosity.

Safe (none / 0) (#121)
by effer on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 08:31:30 PM EST

You can wake from any dream with impulses still in your brain. Pretty much everyone tosses and turns during sleep.
In a lucid state, you're not moving as you will be in REM sleep. At that point, your body is immobile. When you wake, and find yourself speaking, or moving, your brain's regained control to the degree that it is now focussing on direct nerve response rather than the simulated responses of your dream. If your wife shakes you, your dog barks, or the phone rings, your brain brings you to the state of consciounsness that allow your survival reponses to kick in.

[ Parent ]
New research can appear as old news... (5.00 / 1) (#119)
by effer on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 07:25:55 PM EST

I first read about this in '89 or so. One focus of the articles involved the frequency at which stimuli affected the brain. Flash a stimuli at 13 or 14 times per second, and you'd induce the "flight or flight" response and any manner of anxiousness would ensue. Bump the frequency down to 4 and you introduced a sleeping/dream level.
I grabbed some components and set up a quick program to use my C64's clock to pulse two LED's that I attached to a pair of goggles.
It worked, but I never pursued it much as I was a bit of a head at the time.

After reading this, I started into it again and tried it last night, sans goggles, and was easily able to gain awareness in two dreams. I was able to affect the dreams to allow flying in the second which woke me up. Still, I was able to immediately drop back into the background focus of the dream. I'm not that practiced, but I could bring friends into the scenario (a wedding) and interact.

I think most people have encountered this. I do in a limited way on the bus everyday. "Bus Sleep" tends to be a semi-sleep state that keeps you aware of triggers that wake you up once you arrive. For me, it's the Bus door opening while the bus turns in to cross RR tracks in front of my building.

Read the FAQ at the site, but ignore some of the merchandising (I don't see it as bad, they were building these back when I first tried it).


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