Originally published at: My friend wrote about her lucid dream and shared it with me | Boing Boing
Originally published at: My friend wrote about her lucid dream and shared it with me | Boing Boing
It was a dream, a dream like no other.
I tend to have rather tedious recurring dreams (probably reflects poorly on the dreamer). So anytime i’m “stuck in a complex tumble-down building/shopping mall with no apparent exit” sometimes i’m able to announce to myself in the dream: “oh, it’s just another one of these stupid dreams”.
- didn’t feed the pet i’ve never had
- haven’t studied for a class exam that i’m assigned to but never attended
- in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike
Sometimes I dream of something like having my old flip phone stolen. I woke up and couldn’t stop thinking about it. So went downstairs and opened my junk drawer and sure enough it was still there. A few days later I gathered up my old electronics and took them to the recycler. So maybe dreams mean something.
I have a sleep disorder so I wake directly from deep sleep into a waking state while bringing all the elements of the dream with me. Fun stuff sometimes.
Common theme was “someone” had just broken into my apartment, raced around at super-fast speed and took something. I would look quite awhile trying to find “evidence” of their presence, so I could tell myself I was not crazy. Then I would give up and go back to sleep.
One night it happened again and I did all my usual efforts to find evidence. As I gave up again and went back to my bedroom, I ran my hand across the wall. The normally smooth wall felt rippled. Wavy, like drapes that fluttered in the wind and then froze in place. The “super-fast” thief had run so fast he caused the wall to ripple in his wake.
I finally had my evidence. I went back to sleep and slept soundly for the rest of the night.
This dream, and the analysis of it afterwards (about who and what is real), is very similar to a recent dream experience of mine. Here’s what I wrote:
I’ve been listening to the Judge John Hodgman podcast on the road trip. There are a couple segments about free will, if we’re in a simulation, etc., so this dream was kind of interesting. Hearing about people’s dreams is horrendous, so this will be concise.
I was at a fancy event. At one point I was handed a piece of paper with moving video on it. I was just as amazed and confused in the dream as if I, or you, or anyone, was handed a piece of paper with moving video on it.
I was like, what is this, how can this be? I tried to show it around but no one seemed interested. After a bit it started to get smudgy and chemicals where coming off on my hands. I was kind of mad, thinking these could be dangerous chemicals. How could someone give me something this dangerous, and how is this thing even working?
As I was washing my hands, thinking about how I was going to google “video on paper,” I had a thought.
And now this is where things start to get interesting.
I thought, wait a minute. Maybe at a certain point during the event I slipped into a dream, and dreamed that piece of paper with video on it. I couldn’t figure out when during the event that could have been. Maybe I took a nap and woke up?
But then, I had another thought. This whole thing could be a dream. The event, everything. At that moment I felt as awake and alert and in the real world as I, or you, or anyone else would right at this moment.
I’ve had this realization before, and have tested if it’s a dream by trying to wake up. When I do wake up I think, what a waste, I should have figured it out another way and stuck around the dream, knowing it was a dream, longer. So, instead of doing that trick, I jumped up to see if I could fly. I was amazed when I could. I really was dreaming.
Now, this is where things get even more interesting.
I flew into a room at this fancy event and said to a couple women I knew (and these were people I really do know in the awake world) “Hey! guess what? I’m dreaming! You’re in my dream! You don’t really exist!”
These two women had the same reaction I, or you, or anyone else would have if they were told they didn’t exist. I continued trying to explain they had no will of their own, they were in my mind, and they continued to deny it. I finally made one of the woman start speaking in tongues, saying weird stuff. Then I woke up.
Now, was I correct that all these people at the event didn’t exist outside my mind? Maybe. Maybe not.
I rarely remember dreams, but many times of the years I’ve had dreams where either (a) I am pursuing something or someone and making NO progress whatsoever, or (b) trying to get away from something/someone, again with no progress.
There have been times where the dream got so frustrating that I realized it was only a dream and forced myself to wake up and out of it.
Again, says something about the dreamer, probably.
A few of us were talking about this relatively recently:
Thread is closed now, but there were some really interesting experiences, books and ideas shared.
I’ve noticed that my lucid dreaming seemed to escalate right after each vaccine shot (Moderna). They should really add that to the “benefits” list. Lucid dreaming is cool AF.
I’m disappointed if I don’t have a lucid dream each night. I often make repeat visits to the same dreamscapes. A couple of nights ago I dreamt that I gave a friend of mine a tour of one.
Right now, 3 different movie studios are scrambling to put together six-figure plus deals based on that piece of paper.
I used to have so many lucid dreams but I thought about them too much, until I often thought I was lucid even when I wasn’t (I would dream that I was having a lucid dream)
One time my dream was so vivid and real as I walked around my house that I became concerned that I might be sleepwalking and my dream environment might not correspond to reality and I might hurt myself, like misjudging where the stairs really were. So I forced myself to wake up and sure enough, I was still in bed. But the vividness was so astounding I couldn’t take any chances.
When I was in my early 20s, my girlfriend and I were into lucid dreaming. They can be induced with a little practice and forethought. One of the easiest methods is to wear an elastic around your wrist and snap it against your skin a couple of time per hour or write the letter “C” (for conciousness) on your palm with marker and look at it periodically throughout the day. After a few days of doing this your mind is conditioned to snap the elastic or look at the letter on your hand. When you are dreaming, your conditioned mind will lead you to snap the elastic or look at the “C”. In your dream the prompt will not be there and you immediately realize you are dreaming. The first couple of times you may tend to wake up immediately, but then it becomes less of a shock and you can begin to act willfully within your dreams. It is really quite incredible. You have to be careful though, because you may find yourself eschewing worldly responsibilities to lay in bed trying to induce lucid dreaming (a bit like the movie “Inception”). It helps to keep a dream journal for a while before you start. Recording your dreams seems to prime the pump for future dreaming. I highly recommend trying it. Lucid dreaming can open up a whole world of creativity.
Your friend’s dream reminds me so much of Solaris.
I fell asleep one night after telling my laptop to play my entire Hauntology music folder. There are a lot of weird songs in there, and I kept waking up when things got esp strange or a song was too loudly mixed. I’d fall asleep again fairly quickly each time.
I had fallen back to sleep during an extra-strange song, probably by English Heretic, and found myself thinking, “Okay, am I awake, or dreaming?” I looked around and saw I was in a well-lit, completely unfamiliar white room. “Yup, this is a dream, allright!” my dreaming self said and laughed.
Dreams in which you “awaken” are weird and wonderful, as long as they don’t involve getting ready for work/school, but dreaming within a dream is the best.
I once “woke up” in a dream, and found I was sleeping on someone’s couch. There was a dim blue light on in the kitchen, bright enough that I could easily see the 50 or so people who were sleeping on the floor. I pulled away the blanket, stood up, and V carefully stepped over the multitude of sleepers as I made my way to the kitchen and got a glass of water. I washed the glass, got safely back to the couch, and lay down again.
I immediately “fell asleep” again, and began dreaming! They were really strange dreams, too! I wish I could remember them as vividly as the first part of the dream.
I’d broken my leg a few winters ago, and had what I called a 500 Pound Leg - a giant cast. Getting around was V hard, and because the break was so weird, I never got a walking cast. I’d finally fallen asleep one night (never easy w/a 500 Pound Leg!) and found myself dreaming. I was doing all kinds of things: cooking, running around, going shopping. Shit suddenly became lucid. I said aloud in the dream, “Wait a minute! I’ve got a %^$*# cast!”
The dream immediately ended. I did not awaken, it was as if a giant tv screen before me had gone blank. I just looked at darkness for a little while, and remember no other dreams happening that night.
Every so often I will notice a recurring dream as it’s happening, or become aware that my inability to make progress on an in-dream task or noticing printed text changing upon reinspection indicates I’m in a dream.
At that point my first impulse is to make myself fly in the dream world, partly for fun and partly to prove I’m dreaming. But once I know I’m dreaming, my brain starts dragging me back to consciousness. The best I’ve managed is some floaty, low-gravity long-jumps before I wake feeling disappointed that flight eluded me once again.
I consume far too much cannabis to be able to lucid dream. It’s one of the few real drawbacks to consumption.
My dreams are all about exploring cities and buildings. All of them. I used to dream about a particular dream city that was kind of an amalgam of Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, with some Long Island and Newburyport, MA thrown in. I would have dreams that would recur in that same city. Everything happened there. After a few years I could map it in my head. Even tried to build it in Cities: Skylines but that made my brain hurt. Now though, I’ve lived back in the Northeast so long, and have not left in two years, all my dreams are of old brick mill cities and everything seems reddish.
I’m a lucid dreamer, I’ve had my fare share of sleep paralysis experiences, and False Awake dreams as well.
One of my favorite recent lucid dreams would be one where I walked into a hotel building as a commercial HVAC tech. (A previous profession I once held). Right away I feel like something is off. Although everything displayed before me appears to be obviously real, how I felt for a fraction of a moment made me question the reality I was in. I then stop in my tracks to contemplate if I was in a dream or not.
To prove if I was indeed dreaming, I decide to just drop my bag of tools and bolt down the corridor to my right.
[Edit] Now the reason why I made this decision is because my dreams seem to follow a narrative path where I’m being pushed or pulled down in some way. So, by stopping in my tracks, and bolting down a different direction from where I was originally going proceed, I’m attempting to pressure test the constructs of a dream. Think of it as breaking outside of the boundary in a video game, in that the game won’t render or operate as expected when one does this. Anyways, back to my dream description…
As I’m running, I start passing an endless amount of hotel room doors and I never reach the end of the corridor. I come to a stop satisfied in proving that I am indeed in a dream. Just as soon as I reached this conclusion though, I feel that all too familiar, ancient sense of fear. It was the same fear and dread that would overwhelm me in my youth during my sleep paralysis experiences.
Feeling it’s presence behind me, I turned to see a large Shadow Figure standing by my tool bag staring intensely at me. The Shadow Figure was humanoid in form, stood somewhere between 8 ft - 9 ft tall, and had the bulk as if a shadow from a Strongman competitor was given a three dimensional form. Even though I’m being confronted with that same ancient feeling of fear and dread, I think to myself, “I’m going to fight this thing.”
[Edit] So the reason why I decided to do this was that I understood the sandbox I was now playing in. I’ve ran into Shadow Figures in past dreams, and I know the history regarding peoples accounts with them, going back centuries. In the accounts I read though, no one ever tried to fight one. I personally wanted the XP and the personal bragging right that I had done such a thing. Anyways, returning back to my dream description…
With my mind focused solely on this goal, I bolt down the corridor once more, this time towards the Shadow Figure (SF). The SF, seeing my actions, roars out and starts running towards me. As it gets closer I can both hear and feel each of its footsteps make impact on the floor, which increase in magnitude as we get closer. I think to myself, “This thing has some weight to it. This is going to be a great fight!”. Then the moment arrived for the bout to begin.
As we are about to ram into each other the SF gives out one more guttural roar as I clench and wind back my right fist. We both leap at each other and I throw my puch as hard as I can at the SF. As my knuckles make contact, the SF starts to dematerialize into smoke, diffusing away into nothing. This leaves me feeling very angry. I was denied the fight I wanted, and just as frustrating the SF didn’t even feel like anything when my fist, followed by my entire body, crashed through it. Reaching my peak level of frustration about being denied a fight with a SF, I force myself awake to return back to this plane of existence.
After contemplating on this dream, the best I could come up with is that I experienced an allegory to what fear actually is. The type of fear that keeps one from speaking up, not visiting that place they always wanted to go, not taking the time to invest in oneself to make a career change, . . . etc. Those fears can fill one with a sense of dread and make you feel like personal harm can result if you don’t respect its presence. However, fear is exactly like the Shadow Figure in my dream, which will evaporate away like a puff of smoke once confronted.
So, lucid dreams can be pretty neat.
What the heck did I just see? I may never dream again.
It is not some deep fake retro. That there… that really happened.