Author Topic: Re-Evaluation of "Lucid Dreaming"  (Read 3823 times)

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Re-Evaluation of "Lucid Dreaming"
« on: March 04, 2014, 03:39:11 am »
Had one of those blessings in disguise late Friday night. I thought I had totally f'd my computer when I was trying to be a cheapo and make a 990fx chip run on my old 890 board. So, I decided to go through my old drive and do some extra backups of the important stuff. Found an abandoned project I had started on Lucid Dreaming, although I was a bit resistant to the term "lucid."

But one entry I had noticed that really caught my attention. In it, I was trying to expand upon the notion of paradoxical sleep, and what the implications of bringing your waking consciousness into the sometimes chaotic realm of your automated consciousness.

Ok, initially I copied and pasted a friggin' wall of rambling text, but I think it's better if I just give you my conclusion: The paradoxical state, or dreaming, is simply the conscious mind pulling together hundreds of stimuli and memes from a magnitude of waking states you've experienced in your life, while attempting to file away the most recent stimuli in a manner of not just compiling for later retrieval... but for a reference point to analyze the "new" data. It's when your teacher uses a metaphor or a mnemonic device to teach you something complex and novel, but your brain is doing it at such a rate of speed, it forms a narrative (albeit, barely coherent). It's the only time when the mind's temporal analysis is no longer linear because it's analyzing newer and old data as the same. When people are "lucid" they aren't bringing waking consciousness back into the dreams with them, they are simply engaging in the only true form of metacognition, that being, the mind watching the mind reading itself.

One sentence summary: The idea of being awake in your dreams is an instance in which the mind truly recognizes itself as process, rather than a state.

I bring this to PD'ers attention because I finally got around to reading the Common Walls last week. I recalled, when I was active in dream work, analysis and building lucid experiences, that during my waking life (what the LD community refers to as CR, or Consensus Reality) in the days following a lengthy state of awareness while dreaming that I sometimes had a lot of trouble playing along. Like when you're doing a redundant task (Chopping olives, painting a wall, data entry, etc.) and occasionally come out of your day dream and ask yourself "Ok, what am I doing here?" and find yourself unable to perform a simple set of steps you had just been doing over and over again at a rapid pace, not two seconds prior. One of my journal articles noted arriving at lunch with a friend, being handed a menu, and suddenly I had no idea how to make a decision of what I wanted to eat. Was I even hungry? What do I feel like when I'm hungry, and how have I made this decision in the past? When I read these words, they signify what I will be served, but what happened to the impulse that usually ignites when I read one of these words and say "That is what I want to eat?"

Pulling away from the idea of dream awareness, where do you find yourselves in this almost paralytic level of analysis, realizing exactly how little you understand or know, but rather, initiate your responses and actions without too much conscious thought?
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Re: Re-Evaluation of "Lucid Dreaming"
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 05:05:36 am »
I might just be really tied but I could not pull a whole lot of meaning out of that.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Re-Evaluation of "Lucid Dreaming"
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 01:39:20 pm »
The last sentence doesn't make sense, the rest more or less did to me.  I'm no psych major, but what you describe in the 5th paragraph sort of sounded like disassociation to me.
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Re: Re-Evaluation of "Lucid Dreaming"
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 05:32:27 pm »
I like your description of lucidity as the mind becoming aware of itself.

Reminds of a line from Twin Peaks. Cooper is telling somebody about the strange experience he had --- (paraphrasing) "Not a dream, a mere sorting and cataloging of the day's events by the subconscious, but a vision--the mind revealing itself to itself."

That tends to be what I use the lucid state for, when I can get into it. When I realize I am dreaming, I generally do one of two things:

Visualize a door, and then open it
    or
Look directly into the sun, and then fly towards it. Just let myself be consumed by the light and the incomprehensible size until I am inside the sun, with God


in both cases, I'm not sure what I will experience, I'm always curious what my mind will project into those mysteries

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Re: Re-Evaluation of "Lucid Dreaming"
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 08:02:37 pm »
The last sentence doesn't make sense, the rest more or less did to me.  I'm no psych major, but what you describe in the 5th paragraph sort of sounded like disassociation to me.

Me too. And when you get there, IMO you should drop your exploration for a time and focus on getting well again. If you've reached a 'paralytic level of analysis', where you have 'a lot of trouble playing along' you should question whether retardation was your goal or whether perhaps you're going about things the wrong way.

I went there once and learned the utility of some of the mind's autopilot functions. I also learned that I don't want to go there again.

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Re: Re-Evaluation of "Lucid Dreaming"
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 08:05:46 pm »
Also, if you have the time and opportunity to mindfuck yourself into a stupor, doing so is about the most ridiculous expression of that privilege that I can think of.

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Re: Re-Evaluation of "Lucid Dreaming"
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 10:25:31 pm »
I like your description of lucidity as the mind becoming aware of itself.

Reminds of a line from Twin Peaks. Cooper is telling somebody about the strange experience he had --- (paraphrasing) "Not a dream, a mere sorting and cataloging of the day's events by the subconscious, but a vision--the mind revealing itself to itself."

I got so distracted by mentioning the perceived disassociation that I failed to mention that I, too, liked that description of lucidity.
“Soon all of us will have special names” — Professor Brian O’Blivion

"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." — Bob Dylan?

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes" — Walt Whitman

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“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Re-Evaluation of "Lucid Dreaming"
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2014, 03:15:22 am »
Ok, initially I copied and pasted a friggin' wall of rambling text, but I think it's better if I just give you my conclusion: The paradoxical state, or dreaming, is simply the conscious mind pulling together hundreds of stimuli and memes from a magnitude of waking states you've experienced in your life, while attempting to file away the most recent stimuli in a manner of not just compiling for later retrieval... but for a reference point to analyze the "new" data. It's when your teacher uses a metaphor or a mnemonic device to teach you something complex and novel, but your brain is doing it at such a rate of speed, it forms a narrative (albeit, barely coherent). It's the only time when the mind's temporal analysis is no longer linear because it's analyzing newer and old data as the same. When people are "lucid" they aren't bringing waking consciousness back into the dreams with them, they are simply engaging in the only true form of metacognition, that being, the mind watching the mind reading itself.

One sentence summary: The idea of being awake in your dreams is an instance in which the mind truly recognizes itself as process, rather than a state.

Why would lucid dreaming prevent "bringing waking consciousness back into the dreams"? I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Also, what makes you think that non-linear processing only happens during sleep?

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Re: Re-Evaluation of "Lucid Dreaming"
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2014, 06:04:50 pm »
The last sentence doesn't make sense, the rest more or less did to me.  I'm no psych major, but what you describe in the 5th paragraph sort of sounded like disassociation to me.

Me too. And when you get there, IMO you should drop your exploration for a time and focus on getting well again. If you've reached a 'paralytic level of analysis', where you have 'a lot of trouble playing along' you should question whether retardation was your goal or whether perhaps you're going about things the wrong way.

I went there once and learned the utility of some of the mind's autopilot functions. I also learned that I don't want to go there again.

Thirded.

I have a vague memory of there being something alluring at the time about being able to "see" the complicated workings of otherwise mundane functions.

I have a vivid memory of there being something terrifying at the time about the look on the waitress' face at Denny's while I stared at her for who knows how long, frozen, unable to make sense of "And what can I get for you?" beyond a really strong impulse having something to do with the crispness of an apple.

The allure is well and truly gone.
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Re: Re-Evaluation of "Lucid Dreaming"
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2014, 04:24:30 pm »
The last sentence doesn't make sense, the rest more or less did to me.  I'm no psych major, but what you describe in the 5th paragraph sort of sounded like disassociation to me.

Me too. And when you get there, IMO you should drop your exploration for a time and focus on getting well again. If you've reached a 'paralytic level of analysis', where you have 'a lot of trouble playing along' you should question whether retardation was your goal or whether perhaps you're going about things the wrong way.

I went there once and learned the utility of some of the mind's autopilot functions. I also learned that I don't want to go there again.

Thirded.

I have a vague memory of there being something alluring at the time about being able to "see" the complicated workings of otherwise mundane functions.

I have a vivid memory of there being something terrifying at the time about the look on the waitress' face at Denny's while I stared at her for who knows how long, frozen, unable to make sense of "And what can I get for you?" beyond a really strong impulse having something to do with the crispness of an apple.

The allure is well and truly gone.

I would have collapsed in the street if I hadn't managed to snap out of a micro-examination of the function of walking. As it was, I just kinda stumbled a bit and then had to concentrate really hard on regaining steadiness. Turns out there is a hell of a lot of circuitry involved in bipedal perambulation and it really doesn't respond well to conscious observation.
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Re: Re-Evaluation of "Lucid Dreaming"
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2014, 12:45:57 am »
The last sentence doesn't make sense, the rest more or less did to me.  I'm no psych major, but what you describe in the 5th paragraph sort of sounded like disassociation to me.

Me too. And when you get there, IMO you should drop your exploration for a time and focus on getting well again. If you've reached a 'paralytic level of analysis', where you have 'a lot of trouble playing along' you should question whether retardation was your goal or whether perhaps you're going about things the wrong way.

I went there once and learned the utility of some of the mind's autopilot functions. I also learned that I don't want to go there again.

Thirded.

I have a vague memory of there being something alluring at the time about being able to "see" the complicated workings of otherwise mundane functions.

I have a vivid memory of there being something terrifying at the time about the look on the waitress' face at Denny's while I stared at her for who knows how long, frozen, unable to make sense of "And what can I get for you?" beyond a really strong impulse having something to do with the crispness of an apple.

The allure is well and truly gone.

I would have collapsed in the street if I hadn't managed to snap out of a micro-examination of the function of walking. As it was, I just kinda stumbled a bit and then had to concentrate really hard on regaining steadiness. Turns out there is a hell of a lot of circuitry involved in bipedal perambulation and it really doesn't respond well to conscious observation.

It's the bashful bladder syndrome OF THE MIND!!!
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