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Entries tagged 'cat:Dreaming'

Lucid dream induction really is easy when it's not hard.

Becoming conscious of your dream state while dreaming is in a category in my mind that I call "like stopping smoking". It isn't like stopping smoking in many other ways. But in a way it is similar. There is no obvious requirement in order to achieve one of those goals. You just have to do it and it's done. As far as clearly formulatable instructions go, that's it. Just remember to notice the next time you're dreaming and you'll become aware. The first ever defined, written down and named lucid dream induction technique, based on the research of and published by Stephen LaBerge, is based a great deal on this assumption. MILD (Mnemonic Induction to Lucid Dreaming) is one of the most widely known lucid dream (LD) induction techniques. But it often is condensed so much that it loses most of its important instructions in the most popular online guides. For a complete picture with all the practical exercises the, as it were, original description from the book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming (book scan) is still the best introduction and guide to this induction technique and probably always will be.

I've used many different techniques to induce lucid dreams over in my time. Some with more success, some with less, some without. After a few years of regular practice, I've come to focus on a hand-full of techniques and personal adaptions of published techniques that seemed to help me best achieve my dream goals. Almost everybody who does intense and/or prolonged lucid dream practice seems to get to a point where they find "their" technique(s) or combination(s). That makes sense because people's life's are structured differently and different personalities and preferences presumably make different techniques more successful than others. But no LD induction technique is surefire. Apart from few counterexamples every dreamer wakes up with no new memory of dream lucidity more often than with a new success. It's an ubiquitous subject on every lucid dreaming forum and a inherent part of lucid dreaming practice. Becoming lucid every night is just not a realistic goal for most dreamers, no matter how hard they wish and try.

A lot could be said (and is said elsewhere) about the best approach and the right mind-set for lucid dream induction. I could write a huge review of different approaches, techniques and practices based on my own experiences. But I don't think that this would be much more helpful than the countless blog entries and forum posts about other dreamer's experiences. They are my experiences. Parts of them may overlap with useful tips that you can find in other posts and guides. But they are as likely to be helpful to you specifically as any other honest, optimistic step-by-step guide on the net, which is usually not at all. I could write a review of scientific studies and what practical instruction one could derive from them that have the highest likelihood of helping a large percentage of lucid dreamers looking for instructions. But such a review wouldn't be huge because the amount of comparable studies on the efficiency of LD induction techniques is tiny. The amount of research on the subject isn't large as it is, especially well-design studies, especially with more than a few participants. And the methodology used differs in almost every single study. That's why I so easily accept the fact that the lucid dreaming community still creates knew "knowledge" almost exclusively based on the sum of many individual anecdotes. The sum differs for everybody, based on what web sites they read and which posts they read and skip. Helpful practices emerge out of repetition of self experiment and the amateurish and biased publications in the form of short forum posts and incomplete and deformed retellings. As with mutations in other areas (with which I struggle to compare these memetic changes), prolific evolution is incredibly rare, which is why every dreamer with the wish to be able to become more lucid in their dreams or to have more lucid dreams is still stuck with blindly trying all sorts of practices without immediate feedback of progress or success.

I want to believe that there is some element in the variety of dreamers and LD induction attempts that plays such a large role in deciding the outcome of intentional attempts to obtain conscious experiences in dreams that managing this possibly yet unknown element would lead to a drastic rise in the success rate of such attempts. I'm far from being able to ascertain what this proposed element could be, if there was one. I'm just someone reading interesting sounding research papers and forum posts on lucid dreaming and experimenting with my own dreams. But to make my thought more intelligible, here is an idea how this could look like.

Because I'm in no way knowledgable in either neurology nor psychology I'll keep it short and broad, in the hopes of not saying too many too stupid things. Brain chemistry plays a big role in how we consciously experience the world. No lucid dreamer (at least not that I've heard about) knows what's going on chemically in their brain when they do their practice. They don't know how the repeated practice influences brain chemistry and they don't know what was chemically different in their brain during their successful induction attempts compared with their unsuccessful induction attempts. No lucid dreamer takes regular blood tests to learn something about the stuff that is pumped through their brains when they go to bed. Drug use is a common topic among some interested lucid dreamers and some medications have been proven to increase the LD frequency. But that's just a few medications that were tried because it seemed likely that they might have this affect based on what whas already known about them, mainly about their side effects when used with other intents. Remember: I don't know anything about neurology. But I can't help but think that intuitively it seems to me that there must be a large untapped potential for lucid dream research that could make dream consciousness easier to achieve.

Please don't hold back if you want to tell me how wrong I am. Especially if you want to tell me why I'm wrong. :)

Useless Memories (Part 2)

Once I woke up from a chaotic dream that wasn't a story but rather a mingling of unrelated and overlapping thoughts. The sort of dream that is often called NREM dream by hobbyists without having measured anything that could give indication of the sleep stage one was in at the time. I woke up very tired, with the realisation that what I had just thought of could be an ingenius idea for a story that, would I choose to invest the necessary effort and time that is required to become an author, could be made into a fabulous novel or movie. It was such a genius idea for a story that I would have been surprised if such a constallation of relationships and events had ever been made into a book or movie script without me having ever heard about it. A really good, new idea. I knew about the phenomenon of waking up with such a feeling with its source in a staggeringly trivial or even completely incoherent idea. People who record their dreams after waking up sometimes take such notes and realise later, when their brain is more awake, that it seems almost impossible that they ever thought this idea could be considered anything more than low effort at constructing a sensible sentence or a statement that at best could be seen as a true statement. So I thought it through before I started to write my idea down. I thought about the story and the key events that I felt were so genius. It really made a lot of sense. I stood up to grab my notebook and a pen. And the idea was gone. I couldn't remember a single thing about it beyond what I have written here so far and the fact that it was somehow based on or inspired by the story of "The Lives of Others" ("Das Leben Der Anderen"). I think I even had great pun as a title. (I like puns.) Sometimes I remember this feeling of disappoinment that I experiences maybe 8 years ago. But I long gave up remembering anything from my story idea or even the title that I had thought of.

The Thing About Lucid Dream Induction Techniques

There are so many different induction techniques for lucid dreams. Especially in the large American community people seem to like to give them names (mostly acronyms) and share them like some kind of genius invention. But most of them rely on the same underlying principles of which not many need to be learned if you want to gather enough experience to increase your chances of having a lucid dream. Im no kind of expert in this matter. But I was involved in the lucid dreaming community for some years, read many books on the topic and tried many of the incuction techniques successfully myself. So I feel like I do know more about the subject than the average person. I just thought I'd share what I believe to be the basics that can be easily overlooked by somebody who dives into the subject and learns too much too quickly.

It would be good if we could rely on scientific research to determin which techniques and practices are most successful in bringing which type of practitioner closer to their goal. But I don't think enough studies have been done to even know which practices play the most important role for the average practitioner. And those studies that have been performed used different aproaches, different methodology, selected participants differently and collected different data so they can not be meaningfully compared.

That's why my entries on this topic will mainly be about the basics; in particular about those practices that either have been studied among a group of people under controlled conditions and those that appear to be so successful in the community that I'm not hesitant to recommend investing time into them if you want to have (more) lucid dreams. I will post about this under the tag top:Dreaming:Lucid Dreaming:Induction.


Dlog war eine Traumtagebuch-Webseite, die ich gebaut hatte, weil unter den existierenden Traumtagebuch-Apps, ob für den Browser, Desktop oder Mobilgeräte, fern oder lokal gehostet, keine war, die meinen Anforderungen entsprochen oder wenigstens mein gewünschtes Feature-Set hatte.

Weil ich mich beim Feature-Implementieren überhaupt nicht zurückgehalten hatte und relativ früh zu meinem Ziel erklärte, alle Features aller existierender Apps für den Zweck des Traum-Aufzeichnens in einer unterzubringen verlor Dlog eine meiner initialen Anforderungen: Einfachheit und Übersichtlichkeit. Aber ich kannte mich ja sehr gut mit allen Funktionen aus. Also hat mich das nicht gestört.

Weil ich die Webseite mit Drupal gebaut hatte, was nicht nur das einzige CMS war, das ich damals für irgendwelche Projekte in Erwägung gezogen habe, sondern auch eine exzellente Wahl, war es kein Aufwand, Benutzerkonten und -anmeldung zu implementieren. Es entstand also eine Traumtagebuch-Aufzeichnungs-und-Archivierungs-Plattform, die vom Funktionsumfang her jeder anderen vergleichbaren Anwendung überlegen war. Leider verlor ich die Motivation, an der Seite weiter zu arbeiten, als ich realisierte, dass sich niemand aus der deutschsprachigen Klarträumer-Community für so eine Plattform interessierte. Und da ich ja selbst nie vor hatte, meine Traumaufzeichnungen zu veröffentlichen und ohnehin die meiste Zeit keine brauchbaren Aufzeichnungen anfertige, war es mir dann doch zu viel, die Seite selbst zu benutzen. Jede Text-Datei und jeder halbe Papierzettel war mir genug für meine Traum-Aufzeichnungen.

So nahm ich die Seite also wieder offline noch bevor ich einen Domainname für sie gekauft hatte und kann nicht mal behelligt werden, sie wieder aufzusetzen, um für diesen Eintrag einen Screenshot von ihr zu machen.


Lucid Dreaming Links

  • Klartraum-Wiki
  • More links
  • BLucid - Der Klartraum-Podcast
  • Klartraumforum
  • LucidSage - Podcast
  • Schlafhacking-Blog (techniklastig)