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    Thread: A Unifying Theory of Dream Control

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      A Unifying Theory of Dream Control

      Pretty pompous title for a thread, I know. But hear me out, the idea isn't as far-fetched as you might think.

      To start things off, I want you to have a decent foundation of knowledge concerning dream control so I can try to pull it all together for you. Below are some resources I'm expecting you to have read through before continuing. Yeah, it's a lot, but hopefully it'll help ground your understanding of the relevant topics. When reading, I particularly want you to focus on understanding how dreams are formed and maintained, as all dream control is obtained by manipulating that process.

      To be read in order:
      After going through all of those myself, I'm surprised I didn't come to the conclusion I'm about to share with you sooner. But one thing in particular was holding me back, a rather large oversight on my part that a friend pointed out during a lively discussion. See, for the longest time, I was convinced that control through archetype and schema manipulation operated separately from expectation. Silly, considering schema are, by definition, preconceived expectations that shape how we view our world, both real and imagined.

      Until that moment, I adamantly rejected the idea that all there is to dream control is expectation, to the point where I scoffed at those claims. For what was archetype control if not a form of attention manipulation? And indeed, it is, but here I was thinking that was all there was to that particular technique. My suddenly understanding of the underlying expectation behind it radically changed my viewpoint and helped me see the simple idea that has been staring us all in the face for so long.

      So, I think I've been beating around the bush long enough. The theory I'm going to share was developed by pulling ideas from numerous resources and years of personal experience spanning hundreds of lucids. Keep in mind, it's just a theory, a well-tested one, yes, but it could be proven incomplete or even incorrect as our scientific understanding of dreams progresses.

      I'm going to try to put it simply: Dream control is achieved through the manipulation of expectation via shifts in attention.

      Yes, expectation is key, but that expectation, no matter how absolute, is worthless without the proper focus.

      For instance, you can know, with all your being, that flight is a piece of cake, but if your focus is on the ground, on the constant pull of gravity, it becomes that much harder to fly. The same is true if you're focusing on all the right things, but can't help doubting your ability to lift off the ground, to shoot upwards, into the cosmos.

      However, if your expectation and focus are in sync, suddenly, everything becomes simple. The only trick is recognizing how to use the two in conjunction with one another. Basic archetype control is a great example of these two processes working together to achieve a powerful effect. After all, archetype control is nothing more than simple, calculated focus combined with automatic expectation.

      So. . . that's basically all I wanted to share with this thread. Please, don't think of this as full guide so much as a accompanying piece to all the resources I shared above. The main purpose of this thread was to call to light a few fundamental principles behind every aspect of dream control and offer a simple model for their interaction. Yes, even the effects of emotions, visualization, and willpower fit into this theory, so I feel it's rather complete in that regard. Still, feel free to try and contest/disprove it.

      Also, I understand this wasn't a very comprehensive introduction to the theory, but if you've read through all the threads I provided you'll see a lot of ground has already been covered, albeit in pieces. I'm willing to put together a more complete guide, but only if people care enough and still can't grasp the theory's implications after studying it properly.
      Last edited by Mzzkc; 07-02-2011 at 08:15 AM.

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      Soooo, are you guys understanding this, or are implications this theory has on all dream control not getting through?

      Or is it all just tl;dr and no one cares enough about the subject to actually learn something about it?

      Feedback would be appreciated so I can decide whether or not I want to put something more comprehensive together.

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      I not going to lie as I see no point in it, I kinda TL;DR it but I did read a bit here and there to get the basic thought that you were trying to give. I didn't even click the links honestly. =/ Feeling lazy today.

      I not sure if you just naturally that smart or just using long words to sound very smart. =P But it may help with the TL;DR issue if you dumb it down a little.

      I may just be an idiot but let see if I got this right, The very basic of it is simply expectation + focus (on the right things of course) = Dream control?

      The expectation part if true of course as I go all suicidal kickass in my dreams and if I know it will happen then of course it will happen. Only once this ever fail me during a dream but oddly enough this dream let me have dream control though I wasn't lucid. Ever watch a horror flim where you tell a woman to look behind her? I basically did that with a dream but on a higher scale...Transforming the main character into a badass assassin. He have the powers that I knew he should have but only once his power failed to work.
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      Noticed things in my lucid dreams: Not scare of death (kinda forgotten Freddy special power of killing in dreams, opps?) Huge ego which cause me to summon monsters, most DC are useless and don't even speak.

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      Yeah, same here, I couldn't really be bothered going through 5 other links just to understand one idea. Sorry.

      Is your basic idea that if you want to fly, don't think of what you can't do and why you can't do it, but to expect things that are impossible to work and the desired action to happen?
      As in don't think of gravity and how your body sucks at flight, but think of how it would feel to be flying?
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      ......

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      I understand what your getting at as this is how I control my dreams and this is how I've done it for a while, but thanks for putting this all together for people who didn't know this.
      "For a long time it gave me nightmares, having to witness an injustice like that. It was a constant reminder of how unfair this world can be, I can still hear them taunting him. 'Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!'... How come they just couldn't give him some cereal?"

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      This type of control really works wonders. Thanks for sharing.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Zelkova View Post
      I not going to lie as I see no point in it, I kinda TL;DR it but I did read a bit here and there to get the basic thought that you were trying to give. I didn't even click the links honestly. =/ Feeling lazy today.

      I not sure if you just naturally that smart or just using long words to sound very smart. =P But it may help with the TL;DR issue if you dumb it down a little.
      That's just how I write. XP

      Quote Originally Posted by Zelkova View Post
      I may just be an idiot but let see if I got this right, The very basic of it is simply expectation + focus (on the right things of course) = Dream control.
      Yes, that's the high level conclusion you'd come to if you read through all the links and fully understood how dreams are formed. Expectation alone doesn't account for everything. It's only when you add focus, in conjunction with expectation, that a complete solution for dream control emerges.

      Quote Originally Posted by Origami View Post
      Yeah, same here, I couldn't really be bothered going through 5 other links just to understand one idea. Sorry.
      No worries, it's your loss, not mine. The links are actually the best pieces written on dream control I've seen to date, but I can't make you want to learn.

      Quote Originally Posted by Origami View Post
      Is your basic idea that if you want to fly, don't think of what you can't do and why you can't do it, but to expect things that are impossible to work and the desired action to happen?
      As in don't think of gravity and how your body sucks at flight, but think of how it would feel to be flying?
      Yes and no. The idea I'm trying to convey is that by harnessing how dreams seem to be formed, you can consciously control that formation. All my observation, and the observation of others (including Stephen LaBerge), have pointed to dream formation through schematic focus and association. Abstractly, the way to take advantage of this effect is bolded in the OP: namely, as Zelkova put it, expectation + proper focus = dream control. This idea accounts for all instances of successful and unsuccessful dream control that I've ever experienced or read about, including those instances where people truly expected something to happen, but didn't get the results they wanted, a phenomena that has yet gone unexplained by proponents of expectation.

      Quote Originally Posted by ooflendoodle View Post
      I understand what your getting at as this is how I control my dreams and this is how I've done it for a while, but thanks for putting this all together for people who didn't know this.
      Well, if you want to get technical, theoretically, this is how everyone has been controlling their dreams, whether they know it consciously or not. XP

      The difference is in the level people are working with these tools, whether it be at the highest level (ritualistic archetype-esque control with no knowledge of the finer workings) or the the lowest (raw manipulation of focus and expectation).

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      I think I see. If you can focus on that feeling of confidence you get when you are experienced? Like say you are great at basketball. If someone gave you a b-ball and told you to shoot a hoop, you would call on your experience and would know just how to shoot it in, no worries, no real thinking about it.

      Are you saying if we can just jump and fly and be nonchalant about it enough, with the idea that we have flown hundreds of times before, this is no big deal, then it will come easier?

      And I didn't read the whole thing because it was too long and too complicated. If you want people to read it and learn, you dont write it like everyone already knows what you're talking about.

      ......

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      Quote Originally Posted by Origami View Post
      I think I see. If you can focus on that feeling of confidence you get when you are experienced? Like say you are great at basketball. If someone gave you a b-ball and told you to shoot a hoop, you would call on your experience and would know just how to shoot it in, no worries, no real thinking about it.

      Are you saying if we can just jump and fly and be nonchalant about it enough, with the idea that we have flown hundreds of times before, this is no big deal, then it will come easier?
      No, I don't think this is quite what I'm saying. Largely, what you are talking about here is simply one piece of the puzzle, expectation.

      To build from your example:

      That confidence is the basketball player's expectation at work, but without focusing on his actions, focusing on the hoop, on the coming swish of the net as the ball passes through, he could still mess up.

      For flight, it doesn't matter if you've flown hundreds of times before, all it could take is a brief bit of improper focus on something counterproductive to flight to keep you on the ground. Yes your confidence, your expectation, is helpful, but it isn't the deciding factor on whether or not you'll be able to lift off the ground.

      Quote Originally Posted by Origami View Post
      And I didn't read the whole thing because it was too long and too complicated. If you want people to read it and learn, you dont write it like everyone already knows what you're talking about.
      That's why I provided the links. Those links teach all the concepts I've been talking about throughout this thread. To reteach them all here would be, quite honestly, a waste of my time, as they've already been taught and explained in other places.
      Last edited by Mzzkc; 07-16-2011 at 09:34 PM.

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      I see now, it's much more complex than what I originally imagined.

      However, I don't want to read this. Any idea of the whole process of control being difficult is what hampers people most.

      If we could somehow get a control group of newbie who have never heard of lucid dreaming being hard at all, I would expect all of the to be incredibly successful in their efforts. I think that the odd problem discussed here or the little whisper of difficulty there (such as this thread) would plant a seed in their minds, like everyone here, which opens up thoughts to allow doubt to come in.

      If you could enter a dream and you "knew" that nothing could stop you from flying, you mostly likely would fly. But since everyone knows that if they don't focus like this or they don't concentrate, it can fail, and in dreams it usually does.

      ......

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      Quote Originally Posted by Origami View Post
      I see now, it's much more complex than what I originally imagined.

      However, I don't want to read this. Any idea of the whole process of control being difficult is what hampers people most.

      If we could somehow get a control group of newbie who have never heard of lucid dreaming being hard at all, I would expect all of the to be incredibly successful in their efforts. I think that the odd problem discussed here or the little whisper of difficulty there (such as this thread) would plant a seed in their minds, like everyone here, which opens up thoughts to allow doubt to come in.

      If you could enter a dream and you "knew" that nothing could stop you from flying, you mostly likely would fly. But since everyone knows that if they don't focus like this or they don't concentrate, it can fail, and in dreams it usually does.
      I see your point, and acknowledge the dangers of understanding the bigger picture, but I've always been of the opinion that knowing is better than not knowing. Sure, ignorance in this case could lead to bliss, but if you fully understand the concepts I've presented in this thread, understand your personal schematta, and have excellent control over your attention, it opens the door to infinite possibilities (even with the stray bit of doubt here and there). As odd as it may sound, since I figured this out, I've found that my control abilities have vastly improved from what they once were, and I was arguably very good to begin with.

      Also, even if you don't want to read this piece, I think you might be interested in browsing through BillyBob's http://www.dreamviews.com/f14/master...-dreams-48095/ as that guide touches on a lot of the topics you just mentioned. Honestly, I think if newbies were to read that guide first, before going through any other dream control tutorials, I think people would be better off in general. Mostly because right now there are a lot of misconceptions floating about, and not a lot is being done to address them.

      As it is, I can only hope that, one day, you'll want to delve deeper. =)

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      I am delving deeper than most of the newbies here, I can safely say.
      I already read that fine read by Billybob, very good stuff, it should be a sticky or some kind of mandatory read of some kind.
      Ignorance isn't usually bliss, but in the cases in which it does apply, it always is. It's a fine balance with lucid dreaming. Not knowing of some mistakes you can make can save you a lot of aggro. However knowing of these mistakes and enduring any time lost can ultimately be better for you, as you can learn and adapt to fully immunize yourself, rather than just hoping not to meet it.

      ......

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      Quote Originally Posted by Mzzkc View Post
      The idea I'm trying to convey is that by harnessing how dreams seem to be formed, you can consciously control that formation. All my observation, and the observation of others (including Stephen LaBerge), have pointed to dream formation through schematic focus and association.
      Yerp.

      2 or 3 of those links I haven't read, so I guess I'll go take a look when I have the time. I think you're really zeroing in on the bullseye, though.
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      Mzzkc:

      Great theory, but can I attempt to add a corollary to it?

      You left out two key factors to dream control: self-awareness and memory.

      Personally I believe self-awareness is vastly more important to dream control than, well, anything. During a dream, to be aware of who you really are, that this is a dream of your creation, and that this body you are occupying is simply another dream character created by you is all you need to have complete control over the dream. I don’t just mean small DC manipulations like flying, I mean the big stuff like changing the dream environment completely, exploring new worlds that might counter anything you thought about in the waking world, and actually contradicting any expectations you might have had coming in to the dream. There, I feel, is where dream control really lies. Attention is a critical tool, of course, but it is only a facet of self-awareness.

      And memory? Memory is another very important tool often overlooked -- mostly because it is often “shut off” during the dream. If you can remember in a dream that this body you are in is just an avatar, and your real body is sleeping in its bed somewhere, you already halfway to self-awareness.

      I personally have never put much credence in expectation during my LD’s; and yet I’ve had more than a few LD’s packed with enormous control. Indeed, expectation can lead a dreamer down a very bad path: If you set your expectation too well, your dreaming mind might just comply and supply you with a dream that seems to be a lucid dream, but you are merely dreaming that you are lucid. More on that later, if I can find the time (or the audience -- I doubt false lucids would be a hot topic on this site).

      Don’t know if any of this made sense, as, believe it or not, I was trying to be brief, but I hope I said enough to fuel some thought…
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      I personally don't think there is much difference between things you can do in lucids. Like how you said changing the dream environment is more challenging than simply flying. I don't think that's the case. I think the line that separates easy and difficult is the line that separates normal from impossible.

      We cannot fly, and we cannot change the landscape. We can move and walk and speak to people. Now in dreams, we can fly, etc, and we can still talk to people and walk. So surely flying and landscape changing (amoung other things that are impossible) would be harder to do and imagine then just walking and talking?

      I think doing the impossible stuff, all of it, is in it's own section of toughness. Flying has so many senstations, and landscape changing is little more than visual and some tactile. Impossible things are all unique, but all difficult. It's the simple things like walking through the dreamscape which are the simpler things.

      TL;DR All impossible things are hard to pull off, there are no easy to do impossible things, from making an apple appear to accidentally-ing the moon.

      ......

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      Nicely said, Origami; and I agree with you on many levels!

      But maybe the real question is: does LD'ing allow us to stretch the "impossible" to the point where we step beyond it? Meaning that the impossible in waking life is much different than the impossible in dreaming. If that's the case, then there is where self-awareness truly comes into play.

      Make sense? Not sure myself...

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      Finally have a chance to reply.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Mzzkc:

      Great theory, but can I attempt to add a corollary to it?

      You left out two key factors to dream control: self-awareness and memory.
      Hmm, I'm not sure that I did (as I'll explain to you shortly), for self-awareness and memory seem to me ways to do the manipulation and shifts that I mentioned.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Personally I believe self-awareness is vastly more important to dream control than, well, anything. During a dream, to be aware of who you really are, that this is a dream of your creation, and that this body you are occupying is simply another dream character created by you is all you need to have complete control over the dream.
      I agree to a point. You cannot deny that the self-awareness you're talking about comes with its own set of schematic associations, namely "anything is possible and everything is simple." These underlying, realized expectations put you in a very high seat of power and control over your lucids due to their inherent nature.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      I don’t just mean small DC manipulations like flying, I mean the big stuff like changing the dream environment completely, exploring new worlds that might counter anything you thought about in the waking world, and actually contradicting any expectations you might have had coming in to the dream.
      That's right. Due to the strength and absoluteness of the expectations that come with your self-awareness, things tend to be a lot simpler, as all you need to do is apply focus to achieve your goals.

      There, I feel, is where dream control really lies. Attention is a critical tool, of course, but it is only a facet of self-awareness.
      I wouldn't be so bold to say that attention is a facet of anything. Really, it's a beast all its own, as attention can shift, flow, or change with a thought.

      Speaking of thoughts. . .

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      And memory? Memory is another very important tool often overlooked -- mostly because it is often “shut off” during the dream. If you can remember in a dream that this body you are in is just an avatar, and your real body is sleeping in its bed somewhere, you already halfway to self-awareness.
      Memory, simple recall, is a longstanding tool used to direct attention and focus. It's an important tool, yes; one that's key to performing those shifts in attention I referred to in the OP. Archetype control, for instance, provides an excellent example of how to use memory to direct focus. But what might hit closer to home is your own statement: "If you can remember in a dream that this body you are in is just an avatar, and your real body is sleeping in its bed somewhere, you already halfway to self-awareness." What you're doing here, at a base level, is using memory to activate a certain set of expectations, the ones that come with self-awareness.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      I personally have never put much credence in expectation during my LD’s; and yet I’ve had more than a few LD’s packed with enormous control.
      Ah, but you have. When you're self-aware, you expect and believe that anything is possible, and so all things are possible when you simply focus on what you want to do.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Indeed, expectation can lead a dreamer down a very bad path: If you set your expectation too well, your dreaming mind might just comply and supply you with a dream that seems to be a lucid dream, but you are merely dreaming that you are lucid. More on that later, if I can find the time (or the audience -- I doubt false lucids would be a hot topic on this site).
      I find what you're saying here interesting. I can't say I necessarily agree with the premise, as of yet, but I'm more than open to hearing more of your thoughts on it.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Don’t know if any of this made sense, as, believe it or not, I was trying to be brief, but I hope I said enough to fuel some thought…
      You did, but most of it isn't anything I didn't consider when I put together the theory. As I've been saying, expectation and attention are the key components in determining dream formation. Understanding how dreams are formed let's you understand how to consciously form them, i.e. what all dream control is.

      I can't stress enough how important that concept is to this whole theory. Really, more than anything, this is a applicable theory on how dreams are formed. It's not a form of dream control, it is dream control at its atomic level.

      Of course, you'd be right if you said memory played a part in that process, but it does so at a higher level than attention and expectation, as it's a nothing more than a tool used to manipulate the two and typically manifests itself through schematic associations. As such I didn't mention it explicitly, but lumped it in with ways to manipulate expectation and shift attention.

      Self-awareness, on the other hand, doesn't fit into the dream formation criteria in any way that I can see. After all, I'm sure we can both agree that self-awareness isn't required for one to dream.

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      This is quite an interesting concept, I haven't read the links but I did read BillyBob's tutorial - I've read it before and it's possibly my favourite control tutorial on here.

      So basically everything that creates an archetype, creates an expectation, which directs your focus? I'm struggling a little to wrap my head around it all
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      Well little kids have wild imaginations. The monster is still in the closet, if you try hard enough you can make things move with your mind, and you can create fantastic drawings all day.

      When we grow up, we gain experience, and learn that certain things don't work, can't happen, aren't possible. That's what hinders us I think. Though we learn in LDs that we can do that stuff, so it does get easier.

      ......

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      Quote Originally Posted by Mzzkc View Post
      You cannot deny that the self-awareness you're talking about comes with its own set of schematic associations, namely "anything is possible and everything is simple." These underlying, realized expectations put you in a very high seat of power and control over your lucids due to their inherent nature.
      Yes I can, and will.

      Mzzkc, I think you may have completely missed what I was saying about self-awareness, so I’ll try one more time, and then I will give up:

      Self-awareness has nothing to do with expectation. Let me repeat that: self-awareness has nothing to do with expectation. You may wish it to do so, to keep your unifying theory to one line, but you cannot. You may try to belittle it by calling it a simple result of your schematic associations, but it is not. By any measure.

      I did not once, ever, say that self-awareness “comes with its own set of schematic associations, namely ‘anything is possible and everything is simple,’" I’m not sure where you got that from my post. Self-awareness certainly opens the door for you to intellectually, during the dream, remember that anything is possible, because you know through self-awareness that what you are in it is all a dream of your creation, but that is not due to a set of schematic associations or pre-programmed expectations or any other important-sounding terms. We are not pocket calculators, Mzzkc, we are sentient beings, and it is self-awareness, not expectations or schema, that make us that way. Don’t confuse the tools we use to understand our big picture with the big picture itself.

      Self-awareness is, simply, awareness that you exist in your world and, because of that existence, have an influence on your world. No more, no less. It is not a product of anything, and it in no shape or form is a result or cause of expectation. It is simply awareness that You, with an upper-case “Y,” exist -- there is an “I” in the room, and, even in waking reality, that “I” has something to do with the room. And that “I” is not the solution to a group of equations, functions, or whatever; it simply is. No more. Now, if you are willing to work with that, try rereading my post with that in mind and see if you can understand what I meant by self-awareness. If you can’t, then I give up. If you assure me you can, and then you come back with the same attempt to install it into, or dismiss as not a part of, your formula, then I promise I will also give up.

      As I've been saying, expectation and attention are the key components in determining dream formation. Understanding how dreams are formed let's you understand how to consciously form them, i.e. what all dream control is.
      Maybe here is where our misunderstanding lies: In all honesty, I don’t give a crap about dream formation. Never did. For me LD’ing is a state of consciousness, and the dream itself is secondary -- the dream is sort of the runway from which the LD flight takes off. Dream formation is a thing that my dreaming mind takes care of for me, and is often the thing I rebel hardest against. On that note, you may have misunderstood my statements about memory as well, though everything you wrote about it is completely true on its own. I am am not talking about using memory to manipulate archetypes or what have you. I am talking about maintaining your conscious memory in a dream to remember who you are and what it is you want to do in this current conscious state. Period. Please don’t attach another explanation to that statement -- trust me when I assure you I have read all about archetypes, expectation, schema etc, too, and yes, they are very important to normal dreaming. They are not, however, fundamental to advanced lucid dreaming. They are important, sure, because they comprised the initial dream environment, but to me they represent not laws but hurdles to the higher consciousness that LD’ing promises. To make them, and nothing else, the law is to reduce LD’ing to a biological function that cannot be improved upon. For me, that is not true, and certainly not very appealing.

      Notice I've said nothing about attention. That's because you got that right on the money. Attention is indeed fundamental to LD'ing, in every way you said, and shifts in attention are indeed the way to change your dream. I tend to wander from your theory a bit when I consider attention more a quality than a function; in other words, you need to maintain attention to your state of consciousness and to, yes, your self-awareness, in order to have any ability to manipulate (or completely step away from) your dream. But that could just be semantics.

      So that's my defense of my corollary. I doubt you'll like it, but I hope that you'll give it some thought before you set about trying to fit everything I said into your existing theory. After all, isn't it more important to revise things like this than it is to stand by them, no matter what?

      Enough words. Time for a nap...
      Last edited by Sageous; 07-17-2011 at 06:17 PM.

    21. #21
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      *sigh* You seem to have misunderstood me and appear to be doing exactly what you've accused me of doing. I'm going to try to explain myself in as plain a way possible, so that my position may be better understood.

      I never claimed self-awareness was anything except self-awareness. I claimed self-awareness brought about its own set of expectations. It would not be the result of these expectations; it would be the cause of them.

      But you claim:
      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      [Self-awareness] is not a product of anything, and it in no shape or form is a result or cause of expectation. It is simply awareness that You, with an upper-case “Y,” exist -- there is an “I” in the room, and, even in waking reality, that “I” has something to do with the room. And that “I” is not the solution to a group of equations, functions, or whatever; it simply is.
      Right after you say:
      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Self-awareness is, simply, awareness that you exist in your world and, because of that existence, have an influence on your world.
      This an expectation you have about self-awareness. It's there, whether you consciously admit it or not. You can't help it, no person can help it, as that's just the way the brain deals with information. Schema, expectation, is a constant throughout life, and it exists within all thoughts and ideas. In essence, it defines our subjective reality.

      Yes, I'm 'reducing' everything to a biological function, because really, that's all I can accurately work with. This theory was never meant to include any spiritual phenomena, it is simply what it is: a theory on how to control dreams based on observed scientific information and personal experiences and testing. You can feel free to disregard it if it doesn't fit in with your belief system, but the scientific research backing it up is real enough.

      And memory? That too I can 'reduce' to a biological function that aids in lucid dreaming. As it so happens, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, responsible for working memory (the stuff that makes remembering goals and consciously directing attention possible), and one of the few areas of the brain observed to be deactivated during REM, is thought to become active during lucid dreaming. This seems to imply that conscious control of lucid dreams is, indeed, a biological function. Hence, my theory builds from a biological premise.

      I understand if you don't like this, but it's not supposed to be limiting, as the intent was to enable everything conceivable as a possibility. If that's not enough for someone, then I'm sorry, but that's all I can empirically offer.

      But if it's worth anything to you, I do try to push beyond biological limits. Unfortunately, everything I've experienced so far can still be explained by something biological. Still, I try not to have beliefs of any kind, as something I've learned over time is that nothing, nothing, can be known. The best anyone can do is guess and suppose. That's what I've presented here: a guess. Don't believe it, but don't discount it either.
      Last edited by Mzzkc; 07-17-2011 at 11:28 PM.

    22. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mzzkc View Post
      *sigh* You seem to have misunderstood me and appear to be doing exactly what you've accused me of doing. I'm going to try to explain myself in as plain a way possible, so that my position may be better understood.
      Okay Mzzkc, as promised, I give up.

      I will. though, say one more time that self-awareness is a condition of consciousness, and sentient life itself; I have never considered it a belief. Nobody should. That you’ve decided that I consider self-awareness a belief tells me quite a bit, and tells me there’s no point right now in even trying. That you are depending on science for your theory, given how unbelievably little science has done with dreams, only compounds things. So I seriously give.

      Just one more quick nit to pick, in the name of furthering this actually very interesting thread:

      This an expectation you have about self-awareness. It's there, whether you consciously admit it or not. You can't help it, no person can help it, as that's just the way the brain deals with information. Schema, expectation, is a constant throughout life, and it exists within all thoughts and ideas. In essence, it defines our subjective reality.
      Doesn’t that define metaphor? I would think that we need metaphor to define realty -- in other words, schema is what we plan, our expectations, but metaphor is what we draw from to describe what we saw (and indeed what we planned in those schema in the first place). Don’t know if that matters, but it was niggling at me while I was dropping all those words on self-awareness, so I figured I would mention it. Metaphor is what we use to understand our dreaming experience, so shouldn't it be included in the whole dream control scenario?

      Can I leave you with one caveat? As I said it before, if your expectations are the things that drive your dreaming, then you create for yourself a very good chance that your dreaming mind will supply you with non-lucid dreams about being lucid in dreams. Stick too heavily to this mechanical and remarkably vague science, and you will end up with mechanical dreams that, after you wake up, you’ll consider lucid. And you’ll have missed the whole show.

      So good luck with your unified theory. At its core it is most excellent. I have a feeling that, should it bring you to advanced LD’ing, you’ll learn on your own the importance of self-awareness -- whether the scientists have a gauge for it or not. Also, if you master LD’ing, you’ll eventually get it, whether you like it now or not. I have a feeling you will…

      p.s. Plenty can be known. When you learn to open yourself to that fact, your world will change. I promise.

    23. #23
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      =/

      Please read what I write, not what you think I wrote.

      Never did I call self-awareness a belief. I do understand what it is at a conceptual level, even if you don't think I do.

      What I said was:
      Quote Originally Posted by Mzzkc View Post
      You can feel free to disregard it if it doesn't fit in with your belief system, but the scientific research backing it up is real enough.
      Belief system, defined simply: "A set of beliefs about how the world works, and/or how it ought to work."

      In context, my statement was most closely a reference to this:
      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Personally I believe self-awareness is vastly more important to dream control than, well, anything. During a dream, to be aware of who you really are, that this is a dream of your creation, and that this body you are occupying is simply another dream character created by you is all you need to have complete control over the dream.

      As for this:
      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      That you are depending on science for your theory, given how unbelievably little science has done with dreams, only compounds things.
      I'm not relying on "science" so much as I am on competent, verifiable, and oftentimes peer-reviewed observations. Pooling together information from reliable sources of information is a much better option than simply stabbing at the dark with my own resources and taking everything I perceive as fact. I'm not saying this is what you suggest I do; I'm simply making the point that to limit yourself to your own observation is a less than ideal approach to seeking understanding.


      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Can I leave you with one caveat? As I said it before, if your expectations are the things that drive your dreaming, then you create for yourself a very good chance that your dreaming mind will supply you with non-lucid dreams about being lucid in dreams. Stick too heavily to this mechanical and remarkably vague science, and you will end up with mechanical dreams that, after you wake up, you’ll consider lucid. And you’ll have missed the whole show.
      Hmm, I think I understand your point here. And I'll work immediately to address the issue, but probably not in a way you'd approve of. XP


      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      p.s. Plenty can be known. When you learn to open yourself to that fact, your world will change. I promise.
      Ah, I see it now.

      Subjectively, yes. Objectively, no.

      But since all reality is perceived subjectively. . . well, you get the rest.


      I'm going to go ahead and thank you for this discussion, even with the misunderstandings. Believe it or not, I am considering everything you said and will be working with the ideas you've presented in my own way. More than that, I've taken more from this talk than I do most.

      However, I do have some questions for you that I'd like answered before I move forward:

      After you achieve self-awareness in your dream-state, do you, or do you not, believe/know that all things are possible?

      Or is it more basic than that? Meaning, that you simply believe/know that you are capable of influencing the state you are in according to your will?

      I would very much like a 'yes' or 'no' response to each of those. Please feel free to explain in more detail, however.
      Last edited by Mzzkc; 07-18-2011 at 03:04 AM.

    24. #24
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      Mzzck:

      This conversation has been most enjoyable, and worthwhile -- thanks for your patience!

      Now for some quick answers to your two questions…

      Quote Originally Posted by Mzzkc View Post
      =/
      After you achieve self-awareness in your dream-state, do you, or do you not, believe/know that all things are possible?
      Once fully self-aware in a dream I believe that all things are possible within the realm of my dreaming mind. In other words, I am confident that whatever my dreaming mind can produce is certainly within my creative grasp; and, like most people’s, a dreaming mind can produce a lot. So sure, if I want to take a quick trip to one of Saturn’s moons (very cool, BTW), I know without a doubt that my dreaming mind will oblige. However, I know of course that I am not actually taking a trip anywhere, save through my own imagination. Also, to take it one step further, very strong self-awareness (and memory, and attention) in a dream allows me to “know” that I can attempt, as is my current wont, to try to peek beyond the edges of my dreaming mind’s capabilities, to look for things that defy metaphor (and expectation, and schema), and, who knows, maybe defy reality itself (aka: transcendence; but that is a topic for some other time & thread). To date that’s been an incredibly hard task, but I’m still trying. So I suppose the answer is “yes,” I know that all things relative to my dreaming mind are possible.

      Or is it more basic than that? Meaning, that you simply believe/know that you are capable of influencing the state you are in according to your will?
      Not sure I understand the question, and I have a feeling I may have already answered it above, but I guess I would have to say that no, it’s not more basic than that, but yes, with strong awareness comes the knowledge, or at least confidence, that I (aka the self-aware “I”) have the capability to influence my current state of consciousness. Keep in mind that holding this kind of "belief" too tightly during waking life runs the risk of my dreaming mind obliging me with an utterly non-lucid dream filled with my dream character "me" influencing my "state" (this actually has happened to me a few times). Again, as in the waking world, confidence in and actual ability to do something can be two separate things altogether.

      I hope those two answers helped, or at least made some sense. Good luck in your explorations.

      Sageous

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      Thanks.

      That's all I needed to know. =)

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