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    The guitar experiment

    by , 05-22-2022 at 10:04 PM (283 Views)
    Date: 22/05/2022
    Bedtime: 2am
    Awakening: 5.53am
    Return to bed: 6.10am
    Method of entry: dream consciousness
    Attempt: successful
    Awakening: 8.15am
    Phase experience: The Guitar Experiment


    I'm walking towards a nighttime wilderness in England with my former schoolmate Javed and a Sri Lankan punter from my former days as a bookie; both men are willing to have a friendly fight and I'm the umpire reminding them to play by the rules and that they are not to get seriously injured as both are family men. We jump over a brick wall and the fight is about to commence when I spot what look like a couple of Kodiak bears approaching from a distance and hurtling towards the men. Eventually, the ferocious beasts catch up to them and both faint; I hide behind a tree as I believe the would-be fighters are about to be devoured. The animals are not bears at all seen as they possess a larger and quite uncanny presence—they remind me of a cross between a lion and a rhinoceros but overall redolent of the demonic hounds in Ghostbusters. I am petrified and in awe of such creatures which are not officially known to exist. I hear fingers clicking and the beasts freeze next to the unconscious men. Not far, I see Judi Dench (the actress who plays 'M' in 007 films) standing in front of a building that wasn't there before which I take to be a top secret facility. I immediately get the impression that she controls the hellish hounds and, approaching, she snaps her fingers again. Huge mandibles grip the men's limbs and a jerk accompanied by a crunch rouses them back to consciousness. I am taken aback by this nifty trick as the men scram in a panic. It isn't Javed running alongside the Sri Lankan punter; it is now Bob Hoskins. I furtively get away and encounter my friend Lizzie Bowman in the wilderness who also witnessed Judi Dench's hounds. We run together and there is an impression that we must know where to tread because England is now swarming with lions and there is the added challenge that they move around. It feels like a precarious memory game.


    I record what I can remember and note potential dream cues such as the social contradiction of Javed and my former customer, stark elements from my past, the unlikely situation of being the referee of an agreed upon fight in the wilderness, seeing celebrities, shapeshifting, impossible monstrous animals and the threat of lions. I also identify schematic associations by my dreaming mind, e.g., the night before I dreamt of a giant Venus flytrap similar to the one in the film Little Shop of Horrors which happens to star Rick Moranis who is also in Ghostbusters. I return to bed with the intention to induce a lucid dream and fall asleep.


    Me and a group of people are sat around a table. It is my understanding that this is a therapy group session and it is peculiar that every male—myself included—is topless and we have to present the females with instances of child abuse and domestic violence. A male psychotherapist interrupts the session to announce that there's been a mix-up and some of us are in the wrong group—I happen to be one of the misplaced ones. I am invited to leave the room for a break before embarking upon finding the right room. One side of the room is missing a wall and I use this wide gap to jump down to a dark underground sewage system resembling what I encountered under a bridge in a recent lucid dream. This is somewhat familiar! What am I doing here? I'm dreaming!


    I tell myself I no longer need to re-enter the building behind me in order to look for the new therapy room. Everything is a very elaborate illusion. (Realism: 90% gradually making progress towards 100% as I rub my hands.) It feels like a nighttime environment but I am now in a tunnel and see light at the end. I glide towards the arched opening revealing a daytime, urban environment where I come upon a river—beyond it, near the horizon, I see a pillar-shaped mountain that reaches all the way to the clouds, making for an odd panorama. I struggle to recall the experiment I'm supposed to execute and believe I'm waking when the surroundings fail even though I strenuously rub my hands in order to heighten tactility. I'm in bed, apparently having woken up, and tell my wife I just had a brief lucid dream but failed to remember the experiment. 'Next time!' she says. I look at my hands and they look normal but decide to do a reality test nonetheless by pushing my right index finger through my left palm; the digit goes through my hand at a push! I'm shocked to discover I just had a false awakening and start deepening the phase by rubbing my hands as the realism is now only 35% that of the real world and the bedroom replica got darker since I falsely awoke. I reach for my electric guitar in the corner of the room and realise it is a lot smaller than it's supposed to be when I pick it up. The instrument is still in its case, which I struggle to unzip, so I decide to play it by pressing the strings over the nylon fabric. As I feel the strings through the gigbag, I hear the electric wailing sound of the guitar even though it's unplugged. I start randomly shredding on the fretboard (which is something I struggle with in real life) to produce a surprising classical rock sound in the style of a musical prodigy like Yngwie Malmsteen. My experience is more tactile and auditory than visual at this point. (Realism: 70%) I revel in the elaborate solo I'm producing until the environment fades and the sound peters out.

    I believe I have woken up. I get out of bed and walk towards the balcony door to part the curtains and check what the weather is like. It looks dismal outside: the sky is grey and overcast. Beyond the neighborhood, I make out a strange cloud formation. The more I peer at it, the more the sky turns pink and the more a fiery cloud manifests in the shape of a wide column with a cauliflower-like top. That is weird! This mushroom-shaped phenomenon looks like an atomic bomb has gone off! Could it be that I just had another false awakening? My index goes through my palm again, confirming I'm still dreaming and I open the balcony door. (Realism: 100%) I want to play guitar again but the corner of the room where the instrument is supposed to be, to my left, is out of reach. I don't want to waste time so I reach behind the curtain, to my right, expecting to find a guitar there. To my surprise, I find my old V-shaped guitar, which I sold years ago, leaning against the wall. I start playing a melody similar to the first solo in the song 'Master of Puppets' by Metallica. Curiously, each note I play simultaneously causes the now fiery sky to reverberate. I'm awed by the beauty of the sounds and the colours before me and subsequently all my senses fade, leading to wakefulness.


    It is worth mentioning that I have some experience with music as an amateur piano and guitar but I must say that in the phase I played more confidently and easily reached the level of a virtuoso. This experience won't turn me into a great guitarist overnight, but it has, at least, inspired me greatly.

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