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    Thread: Memm's Science Lab

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      Memm's Science Lab

      Greetings and salutations fellow lucid dreamers.

      I got into lucid dreaming over 15 years ago, and it came very naturally and easily. But life giveth and life taketh away, now lucid dreaming is harder than a diamond stuck up Arnold Schwarzenegger's ass.

      The last technique I tried with both vigour and determination was SSILD, for a couple of months, I even documented it all in a spreadsheet. But WILD, DILD, MILD, prospective memory, WBTB, all-day awareness, dream signs, dream journaling, RCs... let me tell you, over 10 years of playing around with all of these has left me less than satisfied.

      You might say, "but Memm, did you really try? Did you strain yourself to the point of haemorrhoids and frothing at the mouth?"

      And to that I say, yes, my haemorrhoids are as big and bloody as of any lucid dreamer.

      But I digress—

      This thread is my experimentation lab as I search for the philosopher's stone of lucid dreaming. I will be using everything I know about psychology, mathematics, alignment of the stars and planets, and the amount of polar bears left in the world (from 5,000 in the 1950s to an estimated population of over 30,000 now) to get lucid dreaming again.

      I will be posting theories and then testing them out, you can help by testing them with me.

      Without further ado let's begin with experiment #1


      Truism: any good story requires a "hook" to keep the reader's interest, one of the best is a mystery or answered question. Unresolved information sticks around in the mind far longer.

      Experiment: When you go throughout the day asking "am I dreaming?" that question must not be answered.

      Hypothesis: Often in LD tutorials we are told to check if we are lucid dreaming. But if you actually complete the check the idea that we might be dreaming is quickly forgotten. Hypothetically NOT answering the question should work much better than answering it, because the idea we might be dreaming will be kept around in the mind for far longer unconsciously.
      Last edited by Memm; 11-07-2021 at 03:44 PM.
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      Hey Memm, I like your enthusiasm and wish you luck. Can't wait to see your progress and other experiments.

      I also like this no-answers approach to Reality Checks. The first times I've played with this approach, I found the mystery... dull? "Am I dreaming?" Even without the explicit answer, I can half-hear the echo of knowing "no, I am awake" hidden behind the curtain of my willed ignorance. Isn't the refusal to answer such a simple question a game in self-deception? (I might be presuming too much here, though).

      Since then, I have moved to including an in-out check, that is, I label things as coming from my my mind or from my environment (Daydreaming, anticipating, remembering: in. Things happening around me, things I am interacting with: out). This allows me to have different answers. It's not always "no, I am dreaming," sometimes it is "in, this scenario comes from my mind" (much like a dream, you see). I think this helps me engage more with the reality check.

      But even the in-out check has an answer. No unresolved mystery. So my next thought on how to include such a thing in a reality check is of a more philosophical nature. What about using one of those questions that are intrinsically unanswerable. Questions of life and spirit. The hard question of consciousness. "How is my consciousness bound to this material world?" We have reflected on this forever and there is no satisfying answer yet. Objectively, consciousness can only be an inconsequential symptom of the material world. Yet, subjectively, we are inspired otherwise. And I think there is power in that feeling. In dreams and sleep, our conscious experience is decoupled from our body, from the material world and from society. We only remain tethered to our psychology. We are more naked than ever, and from there, waking life may seem like a dream: not so necessary/permanent to support the most intimate part of us. We still are us without it all.

      Now, I'm writing ideas as they come to me, but the general point I want to make is to direct your attention to something like dream yoga, where the practitioner learns to perceive reality as a dream. I only have a vague everchanging perspective of this practice. I have criticized this approach a few times here in the past, but I can glean some value here, especially in the context of that truism you want to explore. I wonder if "is waking life a dream?" wouldn't be the more appropriate question for an engaging unanswerable mystery.

      The way I mean it, "Is waking life a dream" is equivalent to "How is my consciousness bound to the material world." Both questions shift perspective from the material self to the immaterial consciousness, while being unanswerable and engaging questions. What I mean is that the question "Is waking life a dream?" does not seek to deny the reality of our lives or ridicule our engagement in waking life. It's about entering a state of non-duality, where the "I" becomes naked of its body and circumstances. The self becomes third person.

      And so what? I'm not sure. It's just an interesting unanswerable question that results in a powerful state fertile for lucidity.

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      Well. If you go around not answering your question, I see a possible scenario:

      You never complete the RC in a dream. So, basically, you ask yourself when in a dream "Am I dreaming?" and then go on to get distracted, because you never decided that yes, you are dreaming.

      Main point is that, whatever you do in waking life, RC-wise, is exactly what you will do in a dream. If you do not answer your question in waking life, then you will not answer it in a dream, and your state will not change.

      Consider that a counter hypothesis.

      Good luck though.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      Hey Memm, I like your enthusiasm and wish you luck. Can't wait to see your progress and other experiments.

      I also like this no-answers approach to Reality Checks. The first times I've played with this approach, I found the mystery... dull? "Am I dreaming?" Even without the explicit answer, I can half-hear the echo of knowing "no, I am awake" hidden behind the curtain of my willed ignorance. Isn't the refusal to answer such a simple question a game in self-deception? (I might be presuming too much here, though).
      Thanks for the support. If "Am I dreaming?" makes you automatically answer the question, then try posing a different question such as "Could I be dreaming?", which to me sounds a bit more open-ended. But use whatever works for you.

      Our brain contains a conscious and unconscious model of the world, and language is how we express it. On the reverse side, what language we hear or use is also input for the brain. That's how hypnosis works, for example. So getting the input right is important, even if you're the one making that input.

      Quote Originally Posted by MoonageDaydream View Post
      Well. If you go around not answering your question, I see a possible scenario:

      You never complete the RC in a dream.
      I've heard this from many people on here, but also from my own experience, but RCs have never made me lucid. Not once. I use RCs to check if I'm really dreaming (though after 10+ years of this I don't even need to, it's obvious when I'm dreaming), but they never MADE me lucid. What has made me lucid has always simply realising I might be in a dream, just that idea alone. RCs are just to make sure I don't jump off a roof in real life or something...


      -----------------------------------------


      More experiments.

      Truism: There's an interesting tool for self-programming that I read recently from Robert Cialdini called the "if, when, then" approach. I quote from his book:

      There’s a study of epilepsy sufferers who were having trouble being regular with their medication regimen. They were given an “if, when, then” statement to make, such as, “If it’s eight o’clock in the morning and I’ve finished brushing my teeth, then I will take my prescribed medication.” That statement increased compliance with the regimen from 55 percent to 79 percent. The key is to be specific about the place and time that serves as a cue for you to take the step that you want to take.
      I've tried it out a few times in real life and it works wonders, from my experience it's a more powerful form of prospective memory.

      The way it works is like this: you say to yourself "IF such and such happens, at point in time, and I am in such and such condition THEN I will do such and such".
      For example: "If I see some cake during lunch, and I'm in the kitchen, then I'll get a salad instead."

      It works like programming for your brain! And it works much better than simply telling yourself to do something, you're actually setting multiple associations and conditions. I won't go into all the gritty details but it's pretty cool. There are probably many ways you can use this, but for my part I came up with the following.

      Experiment: For DEILD, what you want is to wake up from a dream without moving or opening your eyes. This isn't exactly easy to do, but that's where IF, WHEN, THEN comes in. Before falling asleep, you program yourself: "IF I'm waking up from a dream in the morning, and I'm feeling comfortable, THEN I will stay still and go back into the dream."

      Hypothesis: IF, WHEN, THEN should theoretically work better than a standard mantra because it uses association and time instead of simple rote repetition. Actually repetition is not something to rely greatly on, without association the brain will simply ignore your mantra even if you repeat it 100 times. Whereas with associations even once can be enough.


      -----------------------------------------


      Truism: I think we're all already aware that mindfulness / awareness is important for lucidity (in real life too, not just in dreams). Buddhist breath meditation is an easy and direct way of improving mindfulness, you can find the instructions in the short book Mindfulness in Plain English.

      ahandfulofleaves.org/documents/Mindfulness%20in%20Plain%20English_Gunaratana.pdf

      Experiment: Do the meditation first thing in the morning and before bed for 10-20 minutes. Practise noticing when you're stuck inside your thoughts, or daydreams, during the day.

      Hypothesis: Reach enlightenment. Oh and also more lucid dreams, probably. If you can notice when you're daydreaming then you're already half-way there to noticing when you're nightdreaming.
      Last edited by HumbleDreamer; 11-12-2021 at 02:54 AM. Reason: MERGED POST.. Please use the edit button- Humbledreamer DV MOD.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Memm View Post
      Thanks for the support. If "Am I dreaming?" makes you automatically answer the question, then try posing a different question such as "Could I be dreaming?", which to me sounds a bit more open-ended. But use whatever works for you.

      Our brain contains a conscious and unconscious model of the world, and language is how we express it. On the reverse side, what language we hear or use is also input for the brain. That's how hypnosis works, for example. So getting the input right is important, even if you're the one making that input.

      I've heard this from many people on here, but also from my own experience, but RCs have never made me lucid. Not once. I use RCs to check if I'm really dreaming (though after 10+ years of this I don't even need to, it's obvious when I'm dreaming), but they never MADE me lucid. What has made me lucid has always simply realising I might be in a dream, just that idea alone. RCs are just to make sure I don't jump off a roof in real life or something...
      You said it yourself, as soon as the idea "I could be dreaming" crosses your mind in a dream, you know you're dreaming. And it's the same way when waking, you know you are not dreaming. Unless you purposefully force ignorance. But I understand I misunderstood you in the first place. It's not that you prolong the "unknowing" before the answer, but it's that you continue the inquiry.

      When, I do an RC, I'll say "Am I dreaming?" and I'll scan my short term memory for non-sense and discontinuity. The longer and more frequently I keep this up without closure, the better, right? So, I see what you mean now.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Memm View Post
      I've heard this from many people on here, but also from my own experience, but RCs have never made me lucid. Not once. I use RCs to check if I'm really dreaming (though after 10+ years of this I don't even need to, it's obvious when I'm dreaming), but they never MADE me lucid. What has made me lucid has always simply realising I might be in a dream, just that idea alone. RCs are just to make sure I don't jump off a roof in real life or something...
      In my experience, which may be different from your own, RCs have often served to make me lucid. I question reality, but am not always sure until I look at my hands. Many times I've been surprised by the results ("I'm dreaming??"). And yes, many dreams I have not needed to RC as well.

      It's a good strategy for most people, as I believe RCs can help most people become lucid. However, perhaps they are not for you. One thing I will say, be careful with your tone. "...I don't even need to, it's obvious when I'm dreaming". That sort of mindset is exactly what causes us to assume we know that we are not dreaming, when in fact we are.
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      Truism: Sometimes we have an event coming up tomorrow, we have it set in our calendars, our alarm is ready to go. Then when tomorrow comes you wake up, the alarm hasn't rung, you wonder if you missed it? Oh no! But it turns out you woke up before the alarm, maybe 5 minutes before, maybe half an hour before. Let's call this the Scheduling effect, and use it for LDing.


      Experiment: In the evening some time before bed, write down on the computer or on paper what you're going to do tomorrow, be as detailed as possible. For example:
      6:00am - wake up from a dream, but don't open my eyes, and try not to move
      6:05am - return to the dream and become lucid
      7:30am - get up and exercise
      8:00am - get some food

      I'm going to call this SLD (Scheduled Lucid Dream).

      Hypothesis: One difficult think about WBTB, DEILD etc... is having to 1) wake up without an alarm and 2) remember what you need to do while you're still half-asleep. This solves both problems, and can even be an incredibly strong intention setting technique. It has a wide variety of applications so play around with what you're scheduling. The most important thing is to plan out your next morning as detailed as possible before you sleep.
      Last edited by Memm; 11-10-2021 at 03:32 PM.

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