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    Non-Lucid Dreams

    1. A Direct Path

      by , Today at 06:29 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      Almost all of the details of this dream faded from memory when I woke up. All I can remember of the earlier parts was of a complicated plotline that seemed to involve three main character and ended with everybody getting onto buses.

      I was watching everything take place, and I knew that something was going to happen soon—some conflict, I think. I now had a sort of abstract representation in front of me, a rectangular box filled with a blue sand-like substance. It was arranged in little wavy lines, most of them going only a short distance before being interrupted by other little wavy lines going in different directions. I traced a wavy line going all the way from one corner of the rectangle to the opposite one, cutting across the other lines. This would allow the people in the dream to move into action quickly once it became necessary. Their reinforcements would be able to arrive in the same amount of time as it would have taken them to travel along only one of the hundreds of tiny lines.

      22.2.18
      Tags: blue, buses, lines, travel
      Categories
      non-lucid , dream fragment
    2. Conserve Merriment; Diversionary Tactics

      by , 02-17-2018 at 10:42 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      I am in what seems to be a dorm room set up for three people, although there are only two of us living there. Above the doorways, I can see red text continually scrolling by, which is then replaced by new text—records of conversations, it seems. On the walls, there are a few posters, different pictures, but all with the words “conserve merriment” at the bottom. This is a reference to something familiar to the person I am in the dream. I walk from the room where I am to the one where my flatmate is sitting.

      He/she—this person seems rather androgynous, and the dream itself offers no clues—wants to know if I’m interested in going to do something with him/her. I reflect that I do seem to have been learning more from the things I spend my free time doing than from my actual classes. But I still feel reluctant. It has to do with things I experienced before getting here, I tell my flatmate. In a way, it’s like I’m telling about everything that’s happened to me up until now, but all compressed into a sentence or two—a lifetime spent as a fugitive, never being able to stay in any one place for long, just one bad thing after another.

      And then he/she replies: “Is that all?” And actually, when you put like that, it really doesn’t seem so bad. Sure, I guess I’ll go to your thing.

      We then talk for a bit about the place we’re at, which is called Campa Piri, and another place I can’t remember the name of now. Then I find myself reading a transcript of the conversation rather than experiencing it. I glance a bit further on, where we’re talking about yet another nearby place called Stone Sway and joking about how it totally sounds like a double entendre. And at that point, I wake up.

      In the next dream of the night, I also seem to be a different person—a young boy staying at a large house with a group of other people, all adults, apparently. There was a lot that happened in the early parts of this dream that I can no longer remember, but it seemed to involve finding some kind of special thing in this house—I want to say it was a book, but I’m not entirely sure, and so from here on out it will be known as the MacGuffin.

      We are all preparing to leave, and it seems that my uncle—my actual uncle, the only familiar person in this dream—is going to be taking the MacGuffin back with him. I don’t like this: I think that it would be better off in the hands of literally anyone else in the world, and it really ought to stay in the house here. But he’s intent on it and, as usual, impervious to arguments.

      He’ll also be taking all the paintings that were in the dining room. It’s a wood-paneled room with a long, wooden table in the middle of it, and pretty much all the space on the walls was taken up with paintings, which illustrated various stories. But now he has them stacked in a closet there, ready to be taken out to the car. I’m not happy about this either. I tell him that he wouldn’t have the space to hang them up, and they’d probably just sit in his house, not even properly stored. He claims he’ll hang them up, but I don’t believe him. What strikes me as particularly unfair about this is that it was only by means of the paintings that we had managed to understand the MacGuffin’s true nature and gain possession of it—possibly from some dark sorcerer type, but that’s also escaped my memory. If the paintings aren’t available, the MacGuffin may never be able to make its way into the hands of someone more suitable in the future.

      But then it occurs to me—I can make sure the paintings never make it to his house. There are many people here who also feel this isn’t right, and with their cooperation, we can have the paintings mysteriously back on their walls. Maybe we can spook him into returning the MacGuffin. I pull someone aside to tell them my idea, and pretty soon, the plan is ready to be put into action. But we need a diversion so we can get our hands on the paintings.

      It’s announced that I’m going to be talking about a painting in a nearby room, and so everybody—minus a few co-conspirators—files in and sits down in rows of chairs. I have the painting there at the front of the room: a fairly small one of a winter scene with trees. I begin talking. I am a kid and don’t know a thing about painting, but I confidently B.S. my way through it.

      Just as I’m explaining how the branches of the trees in the painting are reminiscent of the branches of knowledge, continually reaching out and producing new shoots, an older man with short, white hair stands up and approaches me. He is a professor of art history, and he thinks that the branches are nothing of the sort. I tell him that that’s what one of my philosophy professors had said about them. I definitely have the impression that he, too, is in on it, and that this, too, is part of the diversion.

      Once I’m done, we head out towards the door. This requires us to pass through the dining room, which I had forgotten about, but I see that the walls there are still bare. That’s good—right now, it’s still too early. But I’m sure the paintings will be back up once everyone’s gone through.

      16.2.18
    3. Line out of Time

      by , 02-16-2018 at 10:49 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      The dream begins with a line floating in midair, semitransparent with a pinkish fringe to it—a little like an ostrich feather. I compress it down to a point and store it away somehow. This thing has a long history behind it: back in the 14th century—there was a precise date, but I can no longer remember it—any number of these things were deliberately left out of an important document, like a charter, maybe. This was a political maneuver against the aristocracy: they were traditionally associated with it, and leaving them out rendered them invisible.

      That was 400 years ago—as my dream self reckons it—and nobody cares about any of that stuff anymore, but all those things have been floating around invisibly ever since. But I’ve just found this one. It’s nothing important—maybe some quirk or mannerism is all—but the workmen seem happy that it’s been brought to light again.

      They’re working on the garage door: that’s where we are, a garage—one that could pass for the garage in my current house, other than not having any junk in it. It’s time to see if the door is fixed: I press the button. The door comes down—a surprisingly complicated process—but in the end, some parts of it have come out of alignment. It looks like it still needs some work.

      15.2.18
      Categories
      non-lucid
    4. A Doomed Encounter; Your Turn

      by , 02-12-2018 at 10:48 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      A meeting is taking place beside a river between a knight and a woman. His name is Gawain. Her name is Lotus. It seems like the beginning of a relationship between them. But she can see into the future, and she knows that one day, he will kill her. And yet, she doesn't attempt to break things off.

      I am seeing things from his perspective and from hers, and also from somewhere outside of it, where I don’t like the way things are going. And so I pull the scene apart, untangling all the little mental streams that are contributing to it and recombining them into three separate bundles. It will be easier to work with this way, I figure. Now I am in the kitchen of my old house in M--- with my mother, preparing a meal. I’m making the salads. But as I tear the lettuce into smaller pieces, I can still see the river there, and a little point of red light shining in the grass beside it. It’s easy to see and easy to avoid, but it still makes me uneasy.

      In a different dream, I’m in a grocery store, although the building seems to be serving multiple functions. I’m there shopping with Saimi’s little sister, who seems to be around seven years old. After a while, I figure I’ll let her take care of a few things. She gets to do something all on her own, I get to read for a little bit—it seems like a pretty good arrangement. I tell her to pick out some plums—maybe three, whatever kind looks nice—and I sit down at a table there with my book of Rilke’s poetry, which I apparently have with me. She goes off and comes back a few minutes later with a single plum in a plastic bag. She places it on the table and then leaves again. A few minutes later, she’s back with another plum in a bag. Kids. You know there’s got to be some sort of weird logic behind this.

      But now something else seems to be happening: there’s going to be a horse race here, inside the building, and Saimi’s little sister is participating, along with three other people. But the horse she’s on is a rather strange one: it seems to be made of some embroidered red material with yellow patterns in it, while still behaving like a living horse. But the race doesn’t begin immediately, and I awaken before it actually takes place.
    5. Up & Down the Street; Whose Dogs?

      by , 02-08-2018 at 07:00 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      I can’t remember how the dream began, which means that I can’t be sure whether I had realized I was dreaming and decided to fly around for a while or whether I had somehow realized that I could fly and stabilize my surroundings but not the full implications of it. But either way, that’s what I ended up doing.

      It seems to be early evening, and I’m on a street where all the buildings are lit up with small, multicolored lights. The street is steep and winding—a little reminiscent of Nerudova Street in its topography and architecture—and it has a vibrant and exciting atmosphere, as if it’s a Saturday night and this is the place to go on a Saturday night.

      the adverse effects of B6-nerudova-ulice-prague-1909.jpg
      (Click to enlarge (because I can't figure out how to make it bigger here))

      I fly all the way up the street and then turn around and fly back down again. But it doesn’t feel quite as real as I know it could be. I focus harder, and I imagine hearing music as I fly along, and that seems to help—this time, it feels as if I’m actually there. I fly back again, and this time I try it while spinning around—something I’ve never done before. It turns out to be a lot of fun, seeing the ground change places with the sky.

      Sometime later—in another dream, probably—I'm on a bus on some kind of a trip. I’m with a large group—many young children, some teenagers and a couple adults. There are also some children and teens there who are exchange students from another country. I have the impression this is a trip for the kids, and the teens and I—not sure of my age in the dream—are there to help out with it.

      At some point, we make a stop at a large grocery store—the sort that’s often still open in the middle of the night, which it seems to be now. A group of us, including me, goes in. But a woman—maybe the person in charge—asks me if I could take the dog outside for a bit so she can have a chance to burn off some energy before we’re back on the bus. She has the dog there—a big, black dog, female, I think. I agree to it.

      Once in front of the store, the dog goes sprinting off in a big loop, eventually coming back around to me. She immediately runs off again, and this time she returns carrying a stick in her mouth. Looks like we’re going to be playing fetch. But just then, I hear barking coming off from to my left. Two smaller dogs are there—neither one on a leash, I note—and the one that looks like a half-size pit bull is barking up a storm. I am instantly on alert: I have seen scenarios like this one end with furniture being toppled. But the black dog is not acting threatened or aggressive, and so it seems unlikely that a fight’s going to break out. I have a vague impression of the dogs’ owner nearby—but just then, my alarm wakes me.

      8.2.18
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails the adverse effects of B6-nerudova.jpg  
    6. I Guess You Can borrow That; Return With Lucidity

      by , 01-31-2018 at 05:06 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      I am traveling in a foreign country, driving a car down a dirt road—although there’s a bit of a traffic jam at the moment, and nobody is actually moving except the pedestrians, who walk between the cars and on the side of the road. Two women wearing some kind of sari-like traditional dress walk past. I think about giving them a lift—something I wouldn’t ordinarily consider doing, but they seem particularly trustworthy somehow.

      At some point, I suddenly find that the car is full of people, and I’m in the backseat. The two people in the front seats are wearing police uniforms, and two or three other people are standing between the rows of seats. I ask a man in a white business-type shirt standing to my left if this is a police chase, and he confirms that it is. I have heard about this—of officers requisitioning vehicles so they can go after somebody who would otherwise escape them. I suppose that’s OK—not that I get any choice in the matter.

      The next thing I remember is walking through a public building, talking with the same man. He’s asking me questions. One is, essentially, whether I can take any time off work. I reply that I can’t. I’m working remotely even now, on this trip. He is concerned that I’m not recovering from something, which he seems to feel is my fault, and wants me to undergo a scan of some kind—he’s holding the equipment now, beside a machine there. This is a little exasperating, as I’m already pretty sure this has to do with some kind of control issue, which isn't exactly news. But what’s more troubling is the fact that he’s mentioning things that happened since the car chase, and I don’t remember anything between now and then. I try to determine how big of a memory gap I’m dealing with. Very shortly afterwards, I conclude that this is not something it’s possible to do without knowing what happened during that time. And at that point, I wake up.

      It’s an hour or so after that—after recording the dream and after listening to people being typically noisy atypically early downstairs—that my cell phone rings. Or vibrates, rather, since that’s the setting I keep it on. I’m annoyed since I was almost asleep, and this is such a good opportunity for having a lucid dream. If I ignore it and don’t move, it’ll stop soon enough. But it doesn’t stop after the normal number of rings, and so I finally give up on the dream and get up to shut it off. And that’s when I realize—this is a dream.

      This is the part where I figure out what to do, now that I have this opportunity. And right now, what I want to do is go back to the setting of the last dream and figure out what was going on there. I head over to the window and step onto the windowsill, disregarding the glass pane, which obligingly acts as though it didn’t exist.

      It is dark out, but the setting I see before me has nothing else in common with what I’d ordinarily see out my window. For one thing, it’s a long way down—the ledge where I’m perched isn’t as high as an airplane would fly, perhaps, but it can’t be that much closer to the earth. The landscape spread out before me is also unfamiliar, and remarkably strange. The ground is uniformly flat, with nothing but houses and trees as far as the eye can see. But every so often, there are tall, thin spires, each set of them closely grouped, apparently made of rock— like giant needles stuck into the earth. Their tips are about level with where I am—in other words, incredibly high—and they’re so disproportionate to the rest of the landscape that they look unnatural.

      Looks like I’ll be flying, then. But first—I will it to become daytime and wait for a little while. Nothing happens. Well, that was probably a little unrealistic, but it was worth a try. Anyway, I can see just fine, even with no discernible source of light: everything below me and in the distance is clear and crisply outlined. But seen with night-vision, it’s all dark blue, which will make it less interesting to fly over. (Later on, after waking up, I’ll recall that I intentionally enabled myself to see in the dark in a lucid dream a couple months ago—could it be that it was a lasting modification? That would be interesting.)

      I ready myself and launch outwards, extending a set of muscles I only have in dreams, when I choose to: wings. It’s a smooth glide for the most part. There isn’t much in the way of wind up here—as empty and still and silent as it is on the ground far below. Trees, houses, more trees, more houses, and the nearest set of spires, coming ever closer. It’s an odd feeling, being up here in this lonely place, poised and sharply aware and secure somehow.

      The next part is difficult to remember—I’m not exactly sure how I managed to find my way back to the building from the first dream, but it seemed to involve flying in a pattern around the spires—a little like dialing the combination of a lock, a little like grabbing the fabric of dream-space and twisting it in exactly the right way. But one way or another, I'm there. The building was full of people before, but now it is dark and empty. And a woman with brown skin and dark hair is standing beside me there—she will take me to the man I want to speak to.

      And that’s the point where it would be best to end this account, I think….

      (29.1.18)

      Updated 01-31-2018 at 05:24 AM by 75857

      Categories
      lucid , non-lucid , memorable
    7. Snakes in a Drainpipe

      by , 01-26-2018 at 11:02 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      I’m in the house where my friend Saimi and her family live, near the kitchen, where Saimi and a couple others are. It’s an old-fashioned sort of kitchen with a fireplace and a pipe through which water is supposed to come—but right now, water isn’t coming in, even though it’s raining right now. It seems that something has clogged it. Nearby, in a living room area, my uncle is lying on a couch.

      As I stand there watching, a small bird is fluttering around my face, very close. It’s annoying, and I want to wave it away, but that doesn’t seem right somehow. There must be a reason for this. I stand still and let my mind go blank. I can feel vague memories begin to stir—very old memories, stories concerning this kind of bird. And suddenly, it occurs to me that this is how birds behave when there’s a predator nearby. Am I being warned? And where could the danger be?

      My attention is drawn to the clogged pipe. Slowly, two green heads are emerging from it—snakes. I tell the others what’s going on and run to the foyer, where I see what I’m looking for—an umbrella rack.

      It is a sort of rectangular cage made of a brassy metal, very much like the one my family used to have. If it had been my family’s umbrella rack, it would have contained an assortment of swords, bamboo rods and a pair of snake sticks, the best possible tool for the task at hand. Disappointingly, this one is mostly full of umbrellas. But my sword cane is here, at least, and I can work with that. I grab it by the cobra head-shaped knob, which seems oddly apropos. I grab another long rod which seems like it could be useful and hurry back to the kitchen. Once there, I hand the sword cane to my uncle and we wait for the snakes to emerge.

      Two of them do at once, and we go for them—the goal being to transport them outside again. My uncle doesn’t seem to have much trouble with his, but the one I’m wrangling—it’s green with white bands—is proving more difficult because it’s so small and fast. Before I can do anything, it’s crawled up the rod and onto my arm. I tell my uncle, and he pulls it off with the cane—but not before it bites me. It just feels like little pinpricks. Nothing serious—it probably didn’t even inject any venom. I say as much to the others as we wait for the next one.

      This one is all green, and much larger than the others. I try to pick it up with the rod, but the thing seems much flimsier than before, and is constantly telescoping into itself. My uncle and the sword cane, which I could really use right now, seem to have disappeared. Under the circumstances, my chances of getting the snake safely outside aren’t good. I’ll have to kill it. Through a combination of the rod and my feet, I manage without getting hurt myself—and then wake up.

      26.1.18
    8. I'll Put It Back Together When I'm Done

      by , 01-25-2018 at 02:29 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      I find myself in a room that’s like my bedroom in my old house in K---, more or less. I notice a stranger is there—a dark-haired boy, maybe between eight and 10. I immediately go over and interrogate him—who is he, and what is he doing here in my house? But then I ‘remember’—he’s the neighbor’s kid, and we’ve arranged it so that he comes over here when he arrives home before his parents do so he doesn’t have to be in the house alone. Oops.

      After that, I want to make sure he feels welcome here, so I invite him over to my desk to see what I’m working on. I’m reverse engineering a notebook, I explain. I have it there: the powder blue leather-covered notebook I bought yesterday. I’m going to take it apart, and then I’m going to use what I learned to make a notebook of my own that’s similar in design. As I speak, I’m actually disassembling it. He doesn’t say anything—not once in the entire dream, I think—but he seems to be listening.

      And when I’m all done, I tell him, I’m going to put the original one back together. It won’t be exactly as it was before, since part of it was damaged in the process—something I easily could have avoided, but it doesn’t actually matter that much. I’m going to sew together some colorful scraps of leather to replace that part, and it’ll end up looking nicer that way anyway.

      At one point, he takes an envelope that’s stuffed into my desk organizer—it’s made from a greyish recycled paper, like the kind used for official correspondence in Germany—and sets it on top of a pile of unopened envelopes. Probably trying to help, I figure. I take the envelope and put it back where it was. The pile is unopened mail, I explain. In between finals, visiting family, everyone getting the flu and all the work being done on the house, there’s a lot I haven’t had the chance to look at yet.
    9. It Couldn't Happen to Me

      by , 01-22-2018 at 08:02 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      My old friend Saimi and I are sitting at a table by the city’s inner wall, having coffee. They are thick walls, built with greyish stone, and through a window in the wall—a rough hole with a metal grid across it—we can see something a little troubling taking place: a small group of oni is building a campfire there, in the courtyard area between this wall and the outer one. They’re larger than humans, with colorful skin and wearing rough clothing, some of it made from animal skins. It’s odd, I think to myself. It’s been ages since I’ve read, watched or played anything with oni in it. The ones I can recall looked different. And yet, these guys strike me as familiar—familiar as individuals, even. I can’t account for it.

      Anyway, Saimi and I have business to take care of. I have been investigating a series of mysterious events that Saimi has been involved with in some way—something from a dream from earlier in the night that I can no longer remember— and since our last meeting, my research has turned up something quite interesting. We have two small pages of text with us that appeared when the events took place and that we suspect may be connected to them somehow—both the same text, but one copy in English and one in Korean. They seem to concern some kind of game.

      The oni—whom we’ve been keeping a watchful eye on this whole time—are now entering through the gate, which isn't far from where we're sitting, and roaming the city square. Presumably, they're looking for someone to eat. Should we move? We decide not to. They'll probably be satisfied with only one person, and there’s only a small chance it’ll be one of us. We continue talking. But suddenly, I feel myself grabbed from behind and carried backwards. My espresso cup falls to the ground and rolls away. I call out something to Saimi as I struggle to get free—but then the dream shifts around us. I’m not sure now whether it was something I did intentionally or something that just happened, but at any rate, I seem to be better prepared for it than the oni are. While they’re trying to figure out what just happened, I break loose and run for it.

      Or rather, my character on the screen does, since I’m now experiencing this as a video game. I get a few screens away, at which point I know I’m safe. From there, I explore the town where I now am for a little while, going into houses and talking to the people there—and then I seem to be on my computer, checking my email. As I watch, new emails are arriving in my inbox every few seconds, which is unusual. Something big must be happening.

      And then I wake up.

      (22.1.17)
    10. You Could Sleep in the Park

      by , 01-14-2018 at 04:46 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      In the dream, I seem to have traveled to some sort of large family gathering at an unfamiliar location. It is the last day before we go our separate ways, and so I speak with my aunt and uncle, arranging a time to meet up tomorrow morning, since we’ll be returning together. It’s better to get the planning out of the way now rather than try to do it at the party tonight, I explain.

      Later on, I’ve gone somewhere nearby but higher up, by a park on a hill. In the middle of a well-kept green area is a large statue of the Brothers Grimm. There is another green hill off to one side with a row of tiny houses around the base, and stuck into the hillside is a large stone plaque, round with a wavy outline. Across the top, a few names are engraved, and below, a body of text in a smaller size.

      There’s a police officer nearby, and I get into a conversation with him. The part of it I can still recall went like this:

      “You could live in that house.”

      It is the house nearest to us that he’s talking about, a sort of cabin-like structure. The door is wide open, so I can see that it is vacant. I can also see that it is ridiculously tiny, which would probably explain why. I tell him I can’t live possibly there: there isn’t even enough room to lie down inside.

      “You could sleep in the park,” he says, undeterred. “And keep food in the house.”

      This is a bit odd coming from someone whose job, as I understand it, involves keeping people from sleeping in parks. I must have said something expressing my doubt as to whether that was allowed because he then—in the manner of someone who’s lived in a town all his life and apparently knows everything significant that’s happened there since the dawn of civilization—asks me if I’ve heard of a certain person—a Greek name, but I can’t recall it any longer. I thought I did—a young man, a Greek general from the early 20th century—but he replied that it was actually someone else who was associated with him somehow.

      This man, explained the officer, had spent a night sleeping on the statue itself. I look over and see that Wilhelm, on the right, is holding a scroll that looks like it would make a natural perch for the venturesome and bored. And not only did this man not get in trouble for it—the policeman is very emphatic about this—they put his name on the plaque along with the other famous people who had been there to visit the site. The point being, I guess, that nobody would hold it against me, either.

      And after that, I was down in the area with my family again until I woke up around four in the morning.

      (13.1.18)
      Categories
      non-lucid