Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Lucid dreams

Last night I experienced a series of dreams in which I became aware each time that I was dreaming.

In the first dream, I noticed that the detail in a patterned surface was elusive. It was not that the detail was hard to discern; rather, when I looked at it closely, it kept changing.

Thereafter, I had a succession of mini-dreams: in each one, I would find myself in a given environment, realise it was a dream, then I would try to do something specific - that is, influence my surroundings rather than simply experience them. The dream would then ebb away as I was trying to achieve my goal, and I would wake.

In successive dreams I was able to get further towards a given goal - that is, explore in a given direction. In one dream, my home was in the top floor of a small building. I realised I was dreaming and tried to get outside. I left the room, went downstairs and out onto the street; but it faded (I awoke) before I could try interacting with anyone. I was back in the same room in the following dream. This time, when I left to go downstairs, I noticed the bannister railing was missing. I got outside again, and was able to briefly interact with someone before I felt it all slip away from me.

Despite the frustration of having the experience melt away when I try to do something, I enjoy lucid dreams. I find them special, as are dreams in which I am flying. Only, in this case it's the extra sense of wonder that comes with the awareness that I am in a world that is not real, where normal rules don't apply.Such dreams don't happen often, and maybe only under special conditions, such as when I test the dream detail.

It has been said that lucid dreams can be invoked in that way. An example given is to practice counting people's fingers during the day, then see if you can do that in the dream to induce awareness.

As I found, prolonging a lucid dream can be quite a challenge. A couple of odd methods have been found to be rather effective: one is to spin around (in the dream), and the other is to rub one's hands together. My experience was that to exert conscious will in the dream was to shorten it, but if one could slip back into that state quickly enough, the dreams could be extended. Certainly, I've never before experienced such an extended sequence of lucid dreams.

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