• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

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    1. The Suffocation Experiment

      by , 07-29-2023 at 03:02 PM
      Date: 24/07/2023
      Bedtime: 3.40am
      Awakening: 9.35am
      Return to bed: 10.30am
      Method: deferred direct
      Attempt: successful
      Final awakening: 12pm
      The Suffocation Experiment


      I'm out with my father Donald Trump, who wants to bond with me despite our political disagreements. We are sitting outside a café in broad daylight when people walking past recognise the former president and start mocking him for his mannerisms and indiscretions. Trump smiles nonchalantly as if he's not bothered by the negative feedback but I feel uncomfortable. The more I look at my father, the more I feel sorry for him and my emotional compassion wells up. I realise I still love him and want to reassure him that not everything about him is bad. 'Cheer up, dad!' I tell him. 'I am very proud of everything that you have achieved—I mean, you managed to become president of the United States of America!' His smile widens. Trump is happy.


      I wake up realising the glaring identity anomaly: Donald Trump is not my father. Maybe a part of me wants to empathise more with disagreeable people and wishes to truly understand them to the core; as I write down the dream I wonder if it was the result of having looked into metta or loving-kindness meditation a few days ago when I decided to study Theravāda Buddhism. I let the dog out to do his business and use the loo myself. Then, I read my dream journal before returning to bed with the intention to have a wake-initiated lucid dream. It seems to take me a while to relax and I wonder if I spent too much time awake. Have I blown my chances? I toss and turn before settling on my side.


      I hear a pulsatile hiss in my head and recognise there's a strong possibility here that I might succeed. I wait for this sound to peak to be sure that a good connection to the dream world is established, like I'm tuning into a different channel. Suddenly, I acquire a horizontal perspective of my bedside cabinet and I can see my mobile phone, on its stand, with a bright and colourful interface; crystal-clear vision switches on even though my eyelids were shut throughout induction. I reach for my phone, which feels solid to the touch, and bring it closer to my face to find that there is no text on it; gripping the object with both hands, I decide to try to bend it. The phone becomes malleable and I watch the multicoloured light on its supple screen stretch and bend. I am now quite sure I'm dreaming beyond a shadow of a doubt.

      I discard the phone and get up to scan the bedroom as I rub my hands. Recalling the suffocation experiment, I begin to hold my breath with the idea of maintaining breathlessness until I wake up. I notice an extremely tall man in black standing by the door, observing me; his bald crown and grey horseshoe hairline makes him appear to be an old man, albeit a strong one. At this point, the sensation of holding my breath feels absolutely real, like soon I will need to resume breathing because the situation becomes increasingly desperate with each passing second. The man turns to the door, indifferent to my experiment, and as soon as he swings it open, I chase after him, gripping his arm in the hallway. This doesn't stop him as his black-sleeved arm easily comes away from its socket and the one-armed figure disappears as he walks down the staircase. I am still holding my breath and can't do it for much longer; I desperately want to breathe.


      I am back in bed, relieved to be able to breathe again. It felt like I had been holding my breath in my sleep. It appears that the very nature of this experiment leads to a premature awakening as waking in this context is pretty much synonymous with being able to freely breathe. My dedication to this experiment made the wish to wake up win out over my usual desire to prolong lucid dreaming.