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    Thread: Scientific Reasoning and Expectation

    1. #1
      Member Courga's Avatar
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      Question Scientific Reasoning and Expectation

      I have been lucid dreaming on and off for the last year or so (averaging once or twice a week when I practice actively), and yet I am still having trouble with dream control. Recently I have been doing a lot of reading about expectation and its influence on the outcome of dreams as well as the amount of control we have while lucid, and I have had a disturbing thought that I'd like some feedback on.

      I am a scientist by trade, recently out of college and moving into a grad position. I have been trained over the last 5+ years to think logically and base hypotheses about the world on evidence. I am wondering if this has hindered my ability to truly expect some of the impossible I should be able to do in dreams. Even if I am fully aware of the fact that I am lucid and that should give me all the power I want, my senses tell me things should be ordered in a reasonable way; that I should not be able to teleport, fly, etc. because that isn't scientifically possible. Many times I have practiced telling myself while lucid, "This is a dream, I can do anything I want," but I always feel deep down that I am never able to fully convince myself. I am not a religious person and struggle with faith-based outlooks, which certainly seems to be what the expectation game in lucid dreams is all about.

      Has anyone else struggled with rationality/reasoning/scientific thinking getting in the way of dream control? Any suggestions to help remedy this?

    2. #2
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      Both playing pretend and dreaming both utilize the same ability to form new ideas, images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. So, playing pretend during the dream can influence the dream itself. I have used this idea to gain a number of new dream abilities I previously did not have, like summoning, transforming, and phasing.

      Try playing pretend inside the dream without any concern for the outcome. Pretend doing something simple to imagine at first, like pulling a marble out of your pocket. Playing pretend without concern for the outcome will help keep rationality/reasoning/scientific thinking from getting in the way. As you gain confidence, pretend doing things that might be more difficult to imagine, like flying or teleporting.

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      Member Courga's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
      Both playing pretend and dreaming both utilize the same ability to form new ideas, images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. So, playing pretend during the dream can influence the dream itself. I have used this idea to gain a number of new dream abilities I previously did not have, like summoning, transforming, and phasing.

      Try playing pretend inside the dream without any concern for the outcome. Pretend doing something simple to imagine at first, like pulling a marble out of your pocket. Playing pretend without concern for the outcome will help keep rationality/reasoning/scientific thinking from getting in the way. As you gain confidence, pretend doing things that might be more difficult to imagine, like flying or teleporting.
      Thank you for the advice! I will dedicate my next lucid dream to playing pretend for simple tasks that I don't care so much about.
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      With a little practice, you should be able to harness the convictions of your scientific reasoning to overcome the erroneous reports of your dream senses. Certainly in waking life, we are limited by the laws of physics and the structure of the material world, but we are also well aware that those laws need not apply in the mental projection of dreamed experiences. While dreaming, keep reminding yourself that this is NOT the physical world but a mental projection, and thus logic dictates you should be capable of doing anything that you can imagine. Your rational mind is well aware of this; if anything, it is the force of habit (irrational when misapplied) rather than scientific reasoning that is holding you back.
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      "You have to play the game to find out why you're playing the game." —eXistenZ (1999)

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      ^^ That.

      Also, here is another thought you might consider, Courga: When you are dreaming, you are not going to a new place but are being fully enfolded in a world that is "You". I know, I know, you're saying "duh" right now, but the non-dual nature of a dream is often a difficult thing to remember during a dream, because your unconscious does such a good job providing you with a body and outlook that facilitate belief that you are a unique body exploring a new world.

      You might try remembering that your true physical body is right where you left it, asleep in your bed. Doing so might help you to realize/remember that the body you are in isn't you at all, but just another image created by your dreaming mind, and that everything here is "You," period. Once you have a solid awareness that the entire dreamworld is you, you might be able to release the incorrect assumption that your dream body (and the world around it) is real and subject to the laws of physics... once you have that sense of non-duality in place, control is much, much easier.

      Also:

      Quote Originally Posted by Courga View Post
      I am not a religious person and struggle with faith-based outlooks, which certainly seems to be what the expectation game in lucid dreams is all about.
      You might have the wrong idea about expectation, I think. It really isn't about faith at all, but confidence. Scientifically speaking (or as scientifically speaking as I can manage), if you successfully build up expectation during waking-life, that expectation will be wired into your brain, and, come dreamtime, your brain will incorporate it into your dream. That incorparation doesn't happen because you believed it would, but becaause you knew it would... and this knowledge can be had with confidence because, unlike faith-based goals, your expectaion will be manifest in a real way during your dream; no need to believe in anything!
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      Rebellious scientist Voldmer's Avatar
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      It is of course strictly illogical to believe that the laws of physics apply in the dream world, and as a scientist you should take this seriously-especially when you are in that world. If there is within you a deep-seated resentment towards "breaking" the laws of physics in dreams, then you should work with that issue and overcome it. Maybe a feasible way to get around it is to throw yourself into a terrifying situation, from which only breaking the laws of physics could save you. For example, throw yourself from the top a a tall building; only flying will prevent you from making a splash on the pavement. Maybe fear will aid the process. It does for birds; they learn it this way. Incidentally, I am talking about jumping from tall dream-buildings - not physical world ones .

      Another approach (well, it's essentially what dolphin just said earlier) might be to simply imagine impossible things. For example, if you when awake can imagine a ball flying up from the floor into the air, then you should also be able to do so within a dream. Doing so in a dream to something lying on the floor or ground, and seeing it happen before your dream eyes, should aid in getting your expectations aligned with the massive flexibility of the dream world. And you could of course always imagine an army of hungry zombies standing right behind you. Turning around should help you realize on a deep level that you're not in Kansas anymore.
      Last edited by Voldmer; 11-07-2017 at 10:28 PM.
      So ... is this the real universe, or is it just a preliminary study?

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      ^^ That.

      Also, here is another thought you might consider, Courga: When you are dreaming, you are not going to a new place but are being fully enfolded in a world that is "You". I know, I know, you're saying "duh" right now, but the non-dual nature of a dream is often a difficult thing to remember during a dream, because your unconscious does such a good job providing you with a body and outlook that facilitate belief that you are a unique body exploring a new world.

      You might try remembering that your true physical body is right where you left it, asleep in your bed. Doing so might help you to realize/remember that the body you are in isn't you at all, but just another image created by your dreaming mind, and that everything here is "You," period. Once you have a solid awareness that the entire dreamworld is you, you might be able to release the incorrect assumption that your dream body (and the world around it) is real and subject to the laws of physics... once you have that sense of non-duality in place, control is much, much easier.
      You know, this is something I have thought about briefly in lucid dream but have never fully invested in. I think you are right, and it would be beneficial to take a moment (or more) to really attempt to understand and accept this while in dream. I will make it a goal of mine to do so immediately upon becoming lucid next.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      You might have the wrong idea about expectation, I think. It really isn't about faith at all, but confidence. Scientifically speaking (or as scientifically speaking as I can manage), if you successfully build up expectation during waking-life, that expectation will be wired into your brain, and, come dreamtime, your brain will incorporate it into your dream. That incorparation doesn't happen because you believed it would, but becaause you knew it would... and this knowledge can be had with confidence because, unlike faith-based goals, your expectaion will be manifest in a real way during your dream; no need to believe in anything!
      This is an excellent explanation, thank you! At some times I think that I am caught in a vicious cycle of actually expecting to fail since it has happened in the past. Perhaps, in waking life, I should focus on disconnecting myself from my past failures and thinking only of what I am going to do next; or try only remembering those times my efforts did work so as to build confidence.
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    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by Voldmer View Post
      It is of course strictly illogical to believe that the laws of physics apply in the dream world, and as a scientist you should take this seriously-especially when you are in that world. If there is within you a deep-seated resentment towards "breaking" the laws of physics in dreams, then you should work with that issue and overcome it.
      You are right, of course! The problem is that even if I understand the illogicality of physical laws in a metaphysical world, I continue to fail at dream control! This may be an issue of confidence, as Sageous pointed out above, but you may be onto something with this resentment toward breaking the laws of physics thing. That struck a cord with me, though I am not entirely sure why... I'll have to think on it.

      Thanks for the reply!
      Voldmer likes this.

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