• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

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    1. Sold for no onions

      by , 10-22-2015 at 08:37 AM
      "So they sold me for no onions... man, I don't know."

      Trying to keep working after midnight, nodding off at my desk, shake myself awake and realize I just half-dreamed someone complaining in these words... time for bed!
      Tags: hypnagogic
      dream fragment
    2. Reflections / Zznvogayi (WILD + FA)

      by , 06-08-2015 at 08:24 PM
      Ritual: I haven't let myself get bothered by my dry spell of the last few weeks, since it was easily attributable to lack of motivation and practice. My work life has been much more relaxed, so I think dreaming has been less psychologically necessary. I'm starting to observe a consistent pattern where I get lucid more frequently and intensely at times when I am under the most stress in waking life. I always think I'll have more time to work on dreaming when that stress disappears, but usually I find my motivation disappears along with it. I think this is because when I have more free time, I indulge in other kinds of experiences that satisfy my mind in a way similar to dreaming: films, books, and especially computer games.

      Recently I started getting irritated with the bad dream recall and lack of lucidity, and decided to put more work into it. I did a few WILD attempts where my inability to count much higher than ten revealed my lack of mental focus and clarity, and they went nowhere. Today I found myself wide awake after sleeping four hours, a perfect WBTB, so I decided to try again. I didn't want to take any active supplements (alpha-gpc, galantamine, or piracetam), but I also didn't want to miss out on the placebo effect and reifying of intentions that might be gained from swallowing something, so I took a few tablets of bacopa and one of NAC. For good measure I also strapped on my MotivAider, set to 45 minutes, then lay down to do some counting. My focus was still crap.

      I was not fully asleep yet when I felt the first pulse of the MotivAider, however it roused me enough that I noticed I was seeing some really amazing hypnagogic patterns. This is the first time I've experienced such distinctly geometric and symmetrical patterns in the hypnagogic state. I got up to use the bathroom and was amazed at the way the patterns persisted every time I closed my eyes, moving and transforming. I was tempted to wake up more fully to sketch them, but realized I could make better use of this state, so I preserved it and kept watching the imagery as I lay back down in bed.

      I decided to skip the counting this time and work directly on tactile sensations. I concentrated on trying to move the dream body without activating my real one, and there was that inevitable ambiguity at first, but then I reached up to touch my face and I was pretty sure it was my dream arm that did it. I felt around my mouth with my tongue and was sure of it: the taste in my mouth felt too flat, too muted, to even be the normal background mouth-taste that we typically overlook. When I was confident that I had integrated into the dream body, I got up into my bedroom.

      WILD, "Reflections / Zznvogayi": It is my first time getting lucid this month, so I decide to try a TOTM. The mirror task is convenient, since there are large mirrored sliding closet doors only steps away from my bed. I walk over and stand in front of one. At first I think the reflection bears a close resemblance to me, only with fuller cheeks and smaller eyes. But rapidly these features grow more exaggerated until they no longer look like me at all: the face is horribly bloated and the eyes have all but vanished beneath the puffy surrounding tissue. I recognize this as DR: I've been reading Gyo, a horror manga by Junji Ito, and it's full of faces like this. I force myself to keep watching as the image becomes more and more hideous, as though it is deliberately trying to unnerve me, but I remain calm and at last it vanishes.

      It seems like the show is over, but the TOTM instructions were to keep looking as long as you can, so I continue watching the mirror. For a while it shows no reflection at all, just an empty dark space. Then a new reflection appears. This woman is beautiful, elegantly dressed in an archaic ballgown. I note that the bottom of her dress expands into almost a full half-sphere, and recall that this style was characteristic of the 1850s. I look up toward her face, but even though the expansive bottom of her dress is brightly illuminated, her entire upper body is in deep shadow and I can make out nothing but the silhouette of an appealingly slender torso. I keep staring until finally a tinge of light illuminates the lower curve of a shapely breast. I never do see the rest of her. As I continue watching, she is replaced by a male figure. I have the impression of a hairy man in rough clothing or primitive furs, but already the dream is deconstructing itself around me and when it stabilizes I am in another place entirely.

      I find myself at the top of stairs leading down through water and rockery, landscaping that reminds me of a Chinese garden, though the buildings on all sides look contemporary. I wander down the stairs wondering what to do next. In late May I finally started playing Dragon Age: Inquisition, and was delighted to discover that one of the core characters is a lucid dreamer. This gives me the idea to try to summon him. Summoning people, historical or fictional (I rarely attempt it with WL people because I feel like it would be rude to deal with their doppelgangers), has always been my weakest area of dream control, but I'm determined to make it work. At first I hope to recognize the character among random DCs passing by, but don't see any likely candidates. Then I notice that at the bottom of the stairs is a large cafe, with a number of tables clustered in a semi-interior space with no front wall. This gives me an idea.

      The cafe is organized enough to have a hostess desk, so I approach the two women working there and tell them, "There's someone waiting for me." When they ask his name, I say "Solas." One of the women acknowledges that he is here, and tells me to follow her. Oh my, is my trick actually working? I worry that I might get too excited over the prospect of success and destabilize the dream, and of course even that thought comes dangerously close to doing so, but I quell it and force myself to keep going along with the events I've set in motion, despite my impatience. So I follow the hostess, who leads me among the small circular tables toward one where a man is sitting by himself. I squint at him, trying to figure out if he really looks like Solas. Not so much: his face is thin enough but the features aren't right, and his skin has an odd greenish cast. I do my best to will his appearance into a better fit with my expectations, but this doesn't work. Oh well, appearances aren't everything. Maybe at least he'll identify as the character?

      I sit down at the table and say, "Are you Solas?" He confirms that he is not. I don't remember our conversation clearly, but I recall being impressed with this DC's confidence and sense of his own identity. He seemed to find my questions foolish or nonsensical whenever I attempted to steer him toward my own ideas of how the scene should play out. For instance, when I asked something like "Are you from Thedas?" he replied emphatically, "I am from here." Still trying to keep up with the DA:I theme, I asked, "Is this the Fade?" I seem to recall he had an interesting answer to that, but I've unfortunately forgotten it.

      At some point either I ask for his name or he volunteers it... and it is both odd and unfamiliar. I repeat what I think I've heard: "Vinyogi?" He shakes his head and says it again. This time I can make out that there are four syllables, with the emphasis on the second. "Zunvogayi?" I have to try several times before he's happy with my pronunciation, but it sounded something like that. I ask how to spell it, thinking this will help me remember it better, and he explains that the first syllable is spelled 'Zzn', but clarifies that the second 'z' functions as a 'u'. He gets up to leave and I follow, badgering him about how to spell the rest of it. He asks why I want to know, which I realize is a reasonable suspicion. I try to come up with an explanation that will sound bland and plausible without mentioning that I'm dreaming this, so I say something lame along the lines of, "I like to keep records of my activities."

      Outside the cafe we head left down a path and then turn to the right, where some DCs are gathered looking at a long thin object resembling a small oar that is attached to a wall with a number on the paddle end. From their conversation I gather that it is a house number, and possibly they are trying to figure out if they should proceed with some kind of heist. Zznvogayi pulls out some cards and lays down four of them as though doing a divination. There are words and pictures on the cards, but they don't make sense to me. From what I can tell, the cards suggest that "if you have guts you get ice cream." I tentatively interpret that to mean that bravery will yield rewards... a favorable oracle? The DCs discuss the matter among themselves. Meanwhile I'm still pestering Zznvogayi to tell me how to spell the rest of his name, which he finally does. Of course it was just as complicated as the first syllable, and all I remember now is him explaining: "The 'v' and the 'd' are the same." "That makes sense," I reply, thinking how easily the two letters could merge based on linguistic similarity, and the fact that in some languages, like Sanskrit, they commonly occur in the compound phoneme 'dv'.

      I want to make another attempt at summoning Solas, but this environment is too modern and urban to be suitable, so I decide to find somewhere better. Since there are a lot of DCs around I offer to make a show of it, announcing, "I'm going to make a portal!" Sure enough, this gets their attention and a small audience gathers behind me. I realize that with so many people watching I ought to give them a good visual spectacle. I begin by establishing, a few feet above the ground, a smudge of light colored deep cobalt blue. Then I wave my hand in a circle to rotate the light, spinning it into a flat vertical disk. I recall the beautiful hypnagogic patterns I was watching earlier as I fell asleep, and decorate the disk similarly. When I feel that the portal is well-established, I step through, trying to fix my thoughts on an environment appropriate to DA:I. However, at the spur of the moment I have trouble remembering any setting in particular, and for a while I find myself floating in unconstructed dream space. I focus on staying in the dream and finally a new environment forms around me. Across well-groomed lawns are large buildings whose style is unmistakably contemporary. There are no windows on the side wall of the building that I'm facing, just a four-digit number to identify it. This place looks like an expensive corporate campus: very far from what I was hoping for!

      FA: It was probably the disappointment that woke me, but I had so much to write that I immediately went into "preserve and recall" mode, grabbing the notebook next to my bed and jotting down as many notes as I could before the memories faded, starting with the name 'Zznvogayi'. At one point I noticed that the pen wasn't making any marks on the paper, and remembered that earlier I had covered part of that page with an oval of wax. I tried to remember why and thought it must have had something to do with portals. I flipped over to a new page and continued taking notes, until I woke up more fully and realized that I was not actually writing, it had been an FA, and I would need to pick up my notebook for real and do it properly.
    3. Balloon and Mantra (WILD + FAs)

      by , 04-22-2015 at 07:21 PM
      Ritual: WTB 2:30am, woke up to work from 5:30 to 6:30am, realized I'd drunk too much coffee before bedtime and have trouble going back to sleep. I figure as long as I'm insomniac, might as well try for LD and take some L-theanine and alpha-GPC. I try counting but have trouble focusing, realize I need more motivation so resolve on a task. I had been thinking earlier about the use of mantras for getting lucid, and I've had trouble deciding on one so I thought I should ask a DC.

      WILD, "Balloon and Mantra": Since it seemed to initiate directly from the waking state, I guess this was a WILD though there was no distinct experience of transition, at least in the way I usually experience it (shifting into dream while continuing to perceive that I am lying in bed). At the beginning it felt more like hypnagogic imagery that I was playing around with, but gradually acquired more solidity and focus. (Or maybe that's the "normal" way people do it, haha.)

      I'm on top of a building, playing catch with two other girls. We're throwing a ball around between us counter-clockwise. The girl to my left spikes the ball to make it hard for me to catch, so I retaliate by throwing it right back at her when she's not expecting it, instead of continuing to pass to the other girl. She says it's not fair because she wasn't paying attention. I retort that I did it because of the way she was playing.

      The game becomes more leisurely and the ball becomes a balloon. I sit down and I'm practicing moving it telekinetically. The balloon is making the kind of strange echoing sounds that you hear when handling real balloons, only strongly magnified. I'm impressed with the way my mind can conjure that unusual but distinctive sound which I probably haven't heard in years. Although the sound component of the dream is impressively vivid, the visuals are terrible. The whole scene is in grainy black and white, and the balloon is white too, which makes it very hard to see against the sky when I bounce it up into the air. At one point I launch it away from me and lose sight of it altogether. When I go to summon it back, instead of the balloon returning to my hand, my right hand is contorted with a strange sensation, like it's being squeezed.

      Around this time, everything switches over to bright color, brilliant blues and pinks. It happens as suddenly as turning on a light, and makes everything look much more vivid and cheerful. I figure this is REM switching on more fully, and comment to one of the DCs, "Hey, color just kicked in!" I notice that instead of the two girls, there are now at least a dozen of them, and they seem to be having a dance party. I hear a bouncy pop song playing in the background.

      I get up and wander through the group, then suddenly I remember the task I had designated as I went to sleep. I approach a girl at random. She's dressed very unusually and elaborately, probably day residue from a Chinese painting I was looking at in WBTB, and I'm doubtful about whether she will be able to help, but figure it can't hurt to ask.

      Exploding match?-tangyin_poem-red-leaf_sm.jpg

      "I'm looking for a lucid dream mantra," I begin, then think I should explain more clearly what I mean. "Something that—"

      "Who is your mantra?" she interrupts. It's such an odd question that I stop and look more closely at her. Her face is pretty but blank.

      "That was my question," I reply, then wait to see if she'll have anything more helpful to offer.

      "Who is your mantra?" she repeats, in exactly the same tone and words, like a broken record.

      "That's what I'm trying to figure out," I insist. This is going nowhere. Reaching back with two hands I grasp the edges of a cloth, as though it were a scarf I were wearing around my neck, and draw it over both our heads. Now the two of us are alone in the dark, face to face, with just a bit of the background peeping through under the edges of the cloth behind her. Although I had performed the gesture instinctively, my intention was to blot out the distractions so I could try to communicate with the girl more effectively. A more rational course would have been to find someone else to ask, or ask the dream directly, but I got too caught up in my determination to try to make her understand. My approach was not helpful, however, as this deconstruction of most of the dream environment makes me lose traction and wake up.

      FAs: I had gotten up and was nearly ready for work. I went to use the bathroom before leaving and stood there dumbfounded: everything else looked normal, but the toilet was gone! I recognized immediately what this must mean. "You've got to be freakin' kidding me," I said aloud. Usually I would be delighted to realize I was still dreaming, but this time I already felt like I'd invested a lot of time in getting ready for my day, and now I would have to do it all over again, so I was actually annoyed.

      My lucid awareness must have been pathetically low, because instead of doing something cool with the dream or thinking of one of my many fallback tasks, I stood there until I had successfully conjured the toilet back into place, because I still wanted to use it! Then I noticed that the clarity of the dream was waning and in an attempt to restore focus, told myself: "Open your eyes." But I accidentally opened my real eyes, waking up! It was a fail on so many levels.

      I wanted to get back to the dream state so again I tried to play along with hypnagogic visuals. I had an image of a three medieval-looking riders in a wooded hillside. There was a male, a female, and one other. I was loping after them in the form of a wolf. The scene felt stronger and more stable than the usual hypnagogic imagery, but less tangible than a fully manifested dream. I realized that I instinctively knew the names of the man and the woman. (I suspect the indistinct third was their servant or page.)

      After I had nearly caught up with the riders, I worried that if they noticed me in wolf form they might shoot me with an arrow, so I transformed into a woman (nude, I noticed) and caught their attention. They turned around one exclaimed, "A forest sprite!"

      I "woke up" (I might have even had a vague sense at the time that it was not a real waking, since it still felt too "thin" for a proper dream) and tried to write down their names on my computer. The man's came so easily that it left no trace in memory, but the woman's name took me a lot of effort to type correctly, and I kept making mistakes and having to fix them. On the bright side, this meant that I still remembered it clearly when I woke up for real later. Her name was "Gwynrse," which I took to be Welsh.
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Exploding match?-tangyin_poem-red-leaf_sm.jpg  
    4. Hypnagogic fragment: Fry and Leela

      by , 10-20-2014 at 06:31 AM
      Hypnagogic imagery and phrases fascinate me. They are even less structured and substantial than dreams. Even when paying close attention, I find almost impossible to preserve them in memory unless I rouse myself to write them down immediately on my notepad. One recent example resembled a conversation between Fry and Leela from the cartoon Futurama (this was WLR as I had seen an episode earlier that day on TV).

      Fry, in response to something Leela has just said: "I'll get some more jellybeans, then." He sinks out of sight, as though vanishing into the ground. A moment later he reappears in a space that resembles a dark cavern, and cries out: "You! The stomach god!"
    5. Butterfly Transformations

      by , 07-22-2014 at 09:30 PM
      Ritual: wtb 3:15am, last wbtb 9:15am, woke 10:38am, SSILD: WILD

      Last sleep, last chance. It was already 9:15am, but since I'd gone to bed so late, and all my previous attempts that night had been without real motivation and had resulted in falling asleep before completing a single cycle, figured I could try once more. SSILD: tempted to mix it with other techniques, but if I was going test this properly, ought to do it straight up. My timing was messy and uneven, but remembered that was okay. Did maybe three cycles on my back, uneven length, afraid of waking myself up too much, given that it was already mid-morning, so turned on my side and prepared to let myself sleep. A few times I ran through the cycles very lightly and quickly, just to get back in touch with my senses. At some point in this process the cat jumped on the bed. I was getting closer to sleep but figured I could work with this if he settled down and didn't just start yelling. Fortunately he decided to sleep on me, and I was able to work that sensation into my rotation. I wasn't cycling regularly, just randomly once in a while when I felt I might be losing touch.

      I must have been already dreaming without knowing it, because I thought I was only thinking, and it never occurred to me that the presence of sustained visuals suggested otherwise. I was replying to posts on some online forum made my a friend—nothing to do with DV, no one even connected with dreaming, just an old friend I haven't talked to in a while (AS). He was posting something about falling asleep a certain way and used an acronym like "TILD," and I wanted to reply snarkily with something like, "Does TILD stand for 'talking to yourself in bed'?" At the time, I was convinced this phrase perfectly fit the acronym, so I was apparently already touched by dream logic. So I was trying to type out my reply, and I simply could not type "TILD" properly. I tried over and over, and my fingers kept slipping and hitting everything else on the keyboard. Technical difficulties like this are one of my dream signs, but since I was convinced I was still awake, it didn't occur to me to RC. On the contrary, I thought I was having this trouble typing because I was getting too sleepy! This was precisely the opposite of a false awakening: instead of losing dream awareness by believing I had woken up, on the contrary, I failed to realize I was dreaming because I thought I hadn't fallen asleep yet! (If there's no acronym for this yet, I propose FFA for "false falling asleep," as it pairs well with the more familiar term FA.)

      Around then the music started. I could hear a Pixies song. At the time I was sure that it was a song I knew, and it was playing perfectly down to the last note, even though I hadn't heard it in years. (I can't remember now what song it was, if it was indeed a real one.) I knew the music wasn't coming from outside me, and figured it must just be hypnagogic activity. The whole time until now I had been aware of lying in my bed, which was part of the reason I thought that I hadn't quite fallen asleep yet. After the Pixies song played in its entirety and then concluded, a new song started. This one intrigued me even more, because I was sure it was a song I had never heard before. It was lively enough to make a good follow-up to the Pixies, but the singer had an accent that sounded African. It reminded me of the song "Rise" by Seun Kuti, one that I downloaded free from Amazon and put on my running mix—but I'm not familiar with his other work. This song, like one before it, was crystal clear... like so often before I regretted that I am not more musical in waking life, because I felt sure if I were musically literate I could wake up and recreate it. But I didn't feel like rousing myself and trying to hum the melody into my iPhone when I hadn't even gotten to sleep yet.

      WILD: At some point around here the transition finalized, and I realized, hang on, I think I am asleep now! I'm in my dream body! I could probably just 'get up' without disrupting anything... so I got out of bed, and even though everything felt extremely lifelike, there was a lightness to my body that I was sure meant I was dreaming. I was impressed how bright and clear everything was, and how mobile I felt, unlike a lot of WILDs where it's dark at first and I'm crawling over the carpet trying to get traction. But perhaps integration wasn't perfect yet, because hardly had I gotten out of bed when I was disturbed by a loud rhythmic noise that threatened to disrupt the dream state and wake me. At first I thought it must be the mailman knocking on the door, because I'm expecting a package. But as it continued without abating, I realized it must actually be construction on the house up the hill. How foolish it was, I chided myself, to do my dream practice so late in the morning! The world wakes up and starts making loud noises; at least during the night it is quieter. (RL: It turns out there's nothing at the door and no construction going on outside, so despite these very reasonable hypotheses about bleedthrough stimuli, the sound appears to have been largely or entirely internal.)

      The sound was extremely disruptive and I felt alarmingly close to being woken by it. But I had just gotten into a perfectly good dream and had no wish to lose it so soon (like that time recently when I was woken from an otherwise fantastic WILD by my own snoring—come to think of it, this is another possible culprit for the sound!) How can I deal with this and remain in the dream? The answer occurred instinctively: dance! So I started dancing to the noise. It was a bit like dancing to the sound of hammers, and my dance was correspondingly jerky and spasmodic, but it did the trick! After a while I felt that the dreamstate was no longer threatened, so I paused and looked at myself in the bedroom mirror. Once again, as in the last SSILD, I was impressed how much like my waking self I looked: the hair was different, shorter, but the same face, same eyes. I smiled at myself and could see the smile in the reflection. Interestingly, even though it was a full-length mirror, I have no conception of what I might have been wearing. I wasn't curious about it at the time I was looking, so I have no impression of it now. If I had to guess, I would suppose it was a loose white summer dress of the sort I've been wearing around the house lately (I don't wear these to bed though).

      Even though I had come to terms with the noise, it was still loud and annoying, so I decided to leave the bedroom and move deeper into the house, hopefully away from it. It might have diminished slightly by the time I got to the kitchen, but only a little, so I keep walking through to the living room. I notice my fluffiest down comforter is heaped up on the couch for some reason. I pull it off, and as the folds of cloth open I see the dark silhouette of a butterfly within them. I am momentarily confused: is butterfly a dream figment, or is it real? That is, just as I thought the sound might have a source in waking life, it didn't seem improbable at that moment that a butterfly might have accidentally made it into the house. Dream logic prevented me from realizing that, even were that so, how would I realize it when I was asleep in my bed? The butterfly flutters up and flies into the kitchen, so I follow it. Around this time I am too distracted to notice the noise anymore, being completely engrossed in the butterfly. When I enter the kitchen, I notice that in place of the little black one I followed, about the size of an ordinary monarch, there are now two very large butterflies, their wingspans about 16 to 18 inches across. One is slightly larger than the other, a very pale greenish yellow. The other one has the same base color, but its wings have black borders.

      I am reminded of the task I had been intending to work on next, "creo animál." However, it seems that the dream has jumped the gun and already created the animal for me, so I roll with it and decide to experiment with "rego animál" instead—apparently forgetting I've already done this one numerous times. I know I should try "intellego animál," as I've never tried anything with that technique, but I'm not sure how to go about it, so I decide to put it off until later. I hold out my hand and command "Rego animál," focusing on the larger, lighter-colored butterfly and intending for it to land on my hand. The butterflies flit around and ignore me. I try again. Doesn't work. What's the problem? They are "animals," aren't they? I mean, in the broad sense of the term, I'm pretty sure insects count. Do I need the "auram" sphere for this, as they are creatures of the air? But I've worked with wind before—I've found it quite straightforward to conjure all the elements directly—yet somehow this is harder. I'm forgetting all the times I have commanded animals very easily in other dreams, and am probably just making it harder for myself by all the Ars Magica rigamarole, but truth be told I like rigamarole... it's more stylish and satisfying than just making things happen in a perfunctory way. I conclude that the main problem is that I'm just not putting enough focus into my intent, and so the third time I sing the command. For some reason, I always get the best results in dreams when I sing to shape them, and sure enough, now the butterfly comes over and lands on my proffered hand.

      What next? I walk the few steps back into the living room, and command the butterfly to fly up again and go land on the small table by the window on the other side of the couch. Again, it takes me a couple tries, but the butterfly finally obeys. As it lands there, it turns into a young light-haired woman. I am distracted from this transformation by a young blonde man who is now at my side. He is not the second butterfly, the one with black-bordered wings: around this time she transforms into a dark-haired woman who is standing near the closet. With all this transformation going on, I am inspired to try "Muto animál," so I direct this command to the young man, intending for him to turn into a butterfly. He stands there looking a bit obstinate or confused, so I sing the command in what I intend to be a very persuasive manner, and he finally complies—sort of. He lies down on his right side in a fetal position. He is not lying on the floor, but on some platform a few feet high that doesn't exist in RL (there would just be a wall there). He produces a bundle of red yarn that he stretches along the length of his spine. I watch, waiting for the transformation, but nothing happens. I command him again, and he respond that he is doing his best, but that it will take a very long time—maybe up to a year!—because the timing isn't right.

      It's possible that the guy is just dicking me around, but he seems sincere, and he does offer that he could transform more easily into a goat. (OMG! I hadn't even realized until I wrote this that my first SSILD also involved a goat... odd coincidence, as I don't remember dreaming of goats under any other circumstances.) I say that this would be fine, so he gets back up, discards the red yarn, and transforms at once into a brown goat of ordinary size. He warns me that when he is a goat, he speaks in a strange high voice—which seems contradictory at first, because he has already turned into a goat and is still speaking in the same voice as before. However, after delivering the warning, his voice does change. From his description of a "high voice," I was expecting him to start speaking in falsetto, but instead he sounds more cartoonish, like his voice has been sped up. With his new voice he introduces himself to me, telling me his name is "Hemm." I find myself wondering how this is spelled. I imagine it with two 'mm's, but having only heard it spoken, I can't be sure. Should I ask? Well it can't hurt, and might help me remember the name better. "Is that spelled H-E-M or H-E-M-M?" I inquire. He replies that there's no way to know: he was just a blacksmith's son and never saw it written down.

      I realize that I should get the names of everyone in the room, because then I'll be able to write a more detailed report when I wake up. So I turn and ask the girl sitting on the small table, formerly the pale butterfly. She tells me her name is "Anna." She is now holding a painting, a vertical rectangle about 24x36 inches, and turns it around to show me the back. "And his name was 'Jakachibe', he was a Japanese thief." I gather that the guy she mentions is represented on the front of the painting, but I barely had time to glimpse the image before she turned it around, and now she is just showing me the back of the canvas, where something like 'Jakachibe' is written in large sloppy pencil letters on a wooden crossbar. I say "something like" because the transliteration of the name is even worse than what I've rendered here—there was another 'h' in it somewhere, maybe even a 'q', something more like "Jaqhachibe," but I can't remember precisely—and I have to bite my tongue to refrain from telling her that "Jaqhachibe" doesn't sound like a proper Japanese name and even if it were, it certainly wouldn't be spelled that way in English. I just smile and nod, then turn to the dark-haired woman who has continued to stand by quietly. She tells me her name is "Caroline." After I hear each name, I am repeating it aloud, to better impress it on my memory.

      After talking to each of the women in turn, I notice that the young man who had transformed into a goat has returned to his former human appearance. He is of average height, with wavy blonde hair, short but not too short, a bit tousled, and he has a pleasant, open face. He volunteers that his name—in this form—is "Viryec." Or at least, he says something that sounds like that phonetically, but is probably spelled very differently—"Virjece" occurs to me as the most likely possibility—so I start inquiring more about it. He tells me that his name means something like "sincere effort." This rings a bell—both in sound and meaning, it reminds me a lot of the Pali word viriya, which has been on my mind lately, so I ask him if that term has any relationship to his name. Although he and his name both strike me as coming from northern European stock, perhaps there is some ancient Indo-European etymological relationship with the Pali... but before he can reply, I wake up. I don't know why my dreams so often seem to end just before what promises to be some interesting revelation, but here we are again. Still, I'm not that disappointed because I have so much to write down!

      Updated 08-02-2014 at 10:49 PM by 34973

      lucid , memorable
    6. Hypnagogic phrases

      by , 07-18-2014 at 10:24 PM
      Woke after five hours vaguely remembering a dream about being on a space ship. Some kids were catching a ride by hanging on to our landing gear as we went between stations, and I wondered how they didn't freeze and suffocate in the airless void.

      I wasn't planning on doing any real practice since I didn't sleep much last night after my excellent LD got me out of bed early and writing furiously, but since I'd woken up from REM I thought I'd run through some SSILD cycles just for fun... and this provoked a sleeplessness that eventually got me out of bed an hour and a half later without having fallen back asleep at all. So no dreams, but I did manage to record fragments of the hypnagogic phrases that manifested at certain points:

      "...the beautiful eye, and the faithful smiling hand..."

      "...the stress of a healthy city farm too..."

      "...semantic, and by the way kill the emperors..."

      Mostly these were just words running through my head without any corresponding imagery, but at one point I had a hypnogogic image like I was looking at a forum post (unsurprising given that I waded through almost the whole SSILD thread yesterday, a tedious enterprise at 36 pages). So this one I "read" visually rather than thought directly. My recall of first few words flickered out almost immediately, but the sentence concluded "...and the king's building in apotheosis."