• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views




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    1. The Reluctant Dragon (DILD)

      by , 02-25-2016 at 09:43 PM
      Ritual: Set vibrating alarm for 40m at 6:20am. I don't remember it going off, but I began dreaming that I was trying to fall asleep, until it gradually dawned on me that I was already dreaming. It was 7:19 when I awoke, so given that the dream must have manifested at some point after the signal went off at 7am (since it was not interrupted by it), it could have lasted up to 19m. I'm classifying this as DILD and not EILD since lucidity was not initiated by recognition of the device signal.

      DILD: Initially I am on a beach, lying on a sort of cot, trying to fall asleep. There are other people all around me, and their activity and noise is keeping me awake. I mention aloud to someone nearby that I seem to be entering REM state even while awake, as I notice crisp and colorful visuals superimposing themselves over my visual field. Even though the new scene is layered over the old one, it is distinct enough that I can make out details: I am at the edge of a river running through a futuristic city. Some sort of V-shaped flying craft is flying in tripartite geometrical formations up above, the crafts each giving off light colored red, white, or blue, each grouped into a separate section. Is this meant to be a patriotic display?

      I do not change position, but the cot I'm lying on becomes a sort of couch as the environment around me resolves into a room full of kids. Someone plays a video on a TV monitor, which annoys me because I am trying to fall asleep and the music is distracting. But then they mention that the video features Jonathan Tweet, and the name sounds familiar. When I remember it is one of my favorite game developers, I take more interest in the video and sit up.

      Something makes me think this is a kind of school where the kids are learning lucid dream abilities. One boy, bald, sits to the left of me on my couch and he's trying to test his powers against me. He takes my hand in his, which begins to glow blue, and I realize that he's trying to "crystal" me, that is, harm me with the pale blue light he is creating. I counter it easily, however. This frustrates him and he begins trying to bite me. He opens a disturbingly wide mouth and tries to chomp down on my hand, but I counter him by softening both his flesh and his resolve, so that mouth sags toothlessly and he never completes the bite. We go through this cycle three or four times before I tire of the game and get up.

      By now I'm aware that I am already dreaming, and I walk into the next room, recalling my personal goals. [I accomplish a personal task, finding a certain fictional character, then suggest that we become dragons to fulfill one of the TOTYs.]

      I lead the way to a window and lift it open. We're about four storeys up, but I jump out without hesitation and spread my arms, letting the air catch me. As I fly off to the left, I focus on trying to develop the "feel" of a dragon body: four legs, wings, tail, scaly skin. I haven't tried this before and the results are so-so, a fluctuating hybrid between the new bodymap and my usual one. I am flying over what strikes me as a mid-twentieth-century city. There are no skyscrapers, just a mixture of low commercial and residential buildings that cover a wide expanse. I recall that the task requires me to destroy a village, but the city below seems too urban to qualify. Would a neighborhood count as a "village"? But my moral qualms kick in, and I hesitate to bring wrath upon an innocent residential neighborhood.

      I fly further on, toward the edge of the city, looking for a more remote target, preferably one with few occupants. After exploring the land for a while, I find a spot that, while a stretch to call it a "village," at least satisfies my ethical preoccupations: it is a cluster of buildings around a large industrial apparatus, evidently a manufacturing concern of some kind. I don't notice any people wandering around, so hopefully there are not many on site to be harmed. I can't imagine I'll find a better target (at least in relation to my own concerns, rather than the specifications of the task), so I begin circling over the site, breaking the buildings and bashing them down. Meanwhile I focus on maintaining my dragon form; this takes constant vigilence because it is so unfamiliar, and too easily slips into sensations more congruent with human limbs.

      What color dragon am I? I recall that D&D dragons can take many different colors, with corresponding breath weapons. On the ruins of the factory, I test acid and frost breath in turn, trying to decide which feels more natural. I like the effects of frost—after freezing metal walls solid they shatter in a satisfying way—but then I remember that the task specifies leaving flaming ruins in my wake, so I switch to fire. There isn't much in the way of visuals; rather than great gouts of flame, my fire breath is more of an intense heat that makes metal glow red. But I dutifully knock down and burn the factory into rubble.

      Afterwards, I hover anxiously over the destroyed site to see if anyone was harmed by my stunt. (I know, I know, I make a terrible dragon.) I do spot someone—something?—running around frantically, but as I peer closer, it does not look human at all. Curiously, it appears to be a small white gem that I take to be a cubic zirconia, attached to a tiny wire loop that looks like it must have once been the pendant of an earring. The sense of scale has been skewing dramatically as I have been peering closer, and now I feel back to my normal human size and form, kneeling over ruined buildings the size of an architectural model. I look carefully and spot two more little gems running around. Unless there are more I don't see, three victims isn't too bad, and at least they're still alive, even if they're looking understandably anxious. (How do gems even look anxious? It was something in the way they moved.)

      [I've been concentrating on my task and realize I have lost track of my friend. I look for him and we are briefly re-united before I wake up.]
    2. Photographs that Won't Last (DILD)

      by , 01-20-2016 at 08:53 AM
      Train—open—more and more crowded—trying to stay secure.

      Earlier, plane—everyone had kissed the screen, identical lip print.

      Bangkok—know the route from having taken many times.


      Scenery from the train amazing, began photographing—tall earthy brown cliffs on the right; later on the left forest, enormous trees, figures of other beings like bas-relief in bark, then we were zooming through a city on the water, buildings alternating from Renaissance to modern faux-vernacular shopping plaza style.

      Reminded myself to actually look at the photos after I took them, because when I woke up, they would be unlikely to still be on the camera. Some were amazing, and I was sorry they wouldn't last. Others not so great—we were moving fast, and I couldn't always capture the best angle.

      "This is the clearest dream I've had in a long time." Happy because for a while dreams have been distant and dim, frustrating. How did I accomplish this? All I could think was that I had finally wanted it enough. But how did I get lucid? Thought back and tried to remember the moment—this actually destabilized the dream and began waking process, but it was gradual enough that I could think back a bit first—realized there was no "aha!" moment, the lucidity had dawned gradually, probably because it was right before I'd been planning to get up anyway—only genuinely lucid for those last few moments when I started thinking critically about the pictures and the dream itself. At the time, though, I felt not an alteration of circumstance, but a sense of continuity with what had gone before. To be aware that you are dreaming is not unusual; to be aware that you are aware that you are dreaming is to be lucid.

      Was the lucidity that which allowed me to appreciate and experience the clarity of the dream? But an appreciation must have preceded lucidity because that's what prompted me to start taking the pictures, before I realized they wouldn't last. And even after I knew they would not persist—I couldn't help hoping that this time would be different from all the others, this time they might cross over, through some miracle.