Lying lucid, Part II: Cloaked Genius and Shifty Consciousness
The lucid dream state, defined psychologically as an experience with the dreamer feeling awake, aware of dreaming and able to control events consciously, is well studied and often experienced, but nevertheless fascinating. Let’s explore a couple particularly interesting dream related instances and later we’ll find tips on how to prolong lucidity.
Recently, in a half-aware, half-awake state–a cherished time, premier for insightful thought–it occurred that during a dream I had read something profound.
The experience in general wasn’t new; in fact, it’s crossed me, and likely you, numerous times, but never before had it transfixed me with such clarity–lingering in consciousness.
While dreaming, you often read, see or hear something, which, in the dream is external, as though you had read words from a book or heard a wise man speak. At times instances are first person as well, speaking another language, forming wild thoughts or understanding perplexing concepts. Interestingly, however, all dreams derive from your own mind. Here the revelation rises: it is not external from you whatsoever, but in fact rooted in your own thoughts. You may have recognized this phenomenon to a degree, but let’s dig a little deeper.
Two instances merit highlighting:
- You often experience profound or interesting things in dreams: read something, meet people, see places, etc. that seem both foreign and familiar. The mind harnesses ability to stem seemingly superior thoughts to everyday thinking from your subconscious, beyond anything you thought you knew–little do we know, we know a lot. This illuminates imagination’s abilities–not to be ignored, but respected and worthy of attempts to connect with subconscious genius. Just imagine if we could access the part of our brain responsible for concocting dreams.
- Reading through my own eyes, as a first person experience in a forgotten setting, only remembering masterful writing and insight beyond anything I was aware that I was aware. As I read, delightfully enlightened, I stopped mid dream recognizing the words and paper they were on were all creations of my unconscious mind–the conscious mind coincided with the unconscious. When this happens, the elusive, shifty subconscious usually realizes it’s being observed by the outside world and retreats as you chase a clueless trail, full consciousness presiding, forgetting significant memory of the instance in the excitement of pursuit.
The second instance above deals with the latter part of lucidity defined–controlling your dream from the outside. It’s striking that such ability allows conscious insight into formations of the unconscious. Particularly striking, is when the first instance above manifests itself and we realize genius unknown to waking life–this is when it gets interesting.
The unconscious is shifty in that it slips out with its hidden genius, as we often awake from brief lucid states. Studies have been conducted concerning how to prolong lucid dreams, providing techniques covered below, but first I’ll share my take on it.
On the rare occasion I catch my unconscious mind in action, I attempt to act as though my conscious mind has not in fact caught on, wallowing in interest, lingering hidden to not disturb the dream underway. Consciousness dances a fine line observing an unconscious dream unraveling, where slightly the wrong move reveals its presence and the whole operation is compromised.
The conscious mind creeps in on the scene, but quickly realizing its not supposed to be aware of the proceedings, starts acting casual, ducking, pretending to be preoccupied hoping the unconscious mind won’t notice its there and spook, spoil its fun, and put an end to the magic unfolding. Once you become lucid, begin comprehending the situation, consciousness reliably slips, triggers an alarm and the conscious mind evades through the commotion.
Dancing that fine line, prolonging lucid dreams, increasing vividness, manipulating events and remembering details are a feat requiring practice.
Below are tips from longtime lucid dreaming expert Rebecca Turner’s website. At first these pointers seemed odd an unlikely applicable, but one could try and remember a few so that when the conscious mind falls into a dream it can apply one of the techniques. Of course prolonging dreams is interesting, but simply engaging in what presents, when it presents, and reveling in occasional muse, mulling over standout experiences suits me–to each their own, keep dreaming!
All comments and nifty dream experiences are welcomed in comments.
How To Prolong Lucid Dreams
1. Stay calm – Don’t run around or shout “I’m dreaming!” if you can help it. It’s better to get a grip and relax back into the dream.
2. Rubs your hands together – Movement appears to engage the conscious brain and prevent it from changing to a waking state.
3. Look at your hands – Focus on your hands close-up to help you notice the finer details which aren’t normally present in a dream.
4. Demand “clarity now” – Say it out loud and your dream scene will instantly snap into focus, as per your conscious instruction.
5. Do some mathematics – Do a simple arithmetic sum in your head, such as 4 + 4, which engages the logical part of your brain.
If you notice the dream is slipping away (losing color and detail):
6. Spin around – Spinning can help stabilize your awareness of the dream, although it can also make the dream scene go black. Save this for when you have more experience and control of the dream state.
7. Fall backwards – Again, this relies on the principle that movement helps increase self-awareness within the dream.