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    Accessing Memory (EILD)

    by , 02-13-2015 at 08:59 PM (420 Views)
    Ritual: WTB 3am, woke several times before and after dawn but didn't WBTB, woke around 9:30am and put vibrating alarm on wrist, set for 24 minutes. Woke up too soon, before it went off, reset it. Next cycle effective.

    EILD: I feel the pulse of the alarm on my left wrist, waking me, but remember to lay very still and see if I can maintain dream state. I experimentally move my hands and arms and from the sinuous and unimpeded sense of motion I'm convinced this is working, that I'm moving the dream body and not the physical one. I know I have to be careful not to overdo it and actually engage real motor functions, so I spend some time almost "dancing" in place with my arms, writhing them bonelessly like a snake dance, until I have enough sense of engagement with the dream body that I risk rolling out of bed. I can't walk yet: I can barely crawl over the rug. I know I need to engage the environment, so I stare at the carpet, noticing the texture of the pile. I'm pleased when I spot a piece of random detritus under my dresser, because something unexpected means the dreamstate is gaining momentum. To gain traction I focus on physical sensations, running my hands over the carpet and even bending lower to rub my cheek against it. Even though I've done this many times before I'm still impressed with the vividness of the sensation, it feels so scratchy and real.

    When I feel sufficiently engaged with my dream body, I manage to stand upright and walk. I easily recall my plan to work on memory—carefully though! I don't want to actually wake myself up. Trying to remember where I went to sleep seems unnecessary, as I still haven't left the bedroom. What about the date? I'm pretty sure it's February... I don't want to think harder to get the precise date lest that efffort wake me. (It's worth nothing that I usually have to think just as hard to remember the calendar date in WL. Usually I just look at my phone because it's easier.)

    I start walking through the hall toward the kitchen. What other memory should I try to access? I know, what have I been reading lately? I'm pretty sure I came up with the correct general impression, but even as I write this, details of my waking life knowledge of this topic are corrupting and crowding out the dream recollections to the point where it is hard to be sure how specific my answer was. At any rate, in the dream I felt satisfied with my level of memory access and moved on.

    As I entered the kitchen I noticed something peculiar: even though I was in a very accurate mental model of my house and had a strong access to waking recollection, and had even managed to access WL memory without disrupting the dream state, it had not in the least improved it either. I had a good sense of tactility (I find that the easiest sense to maintain), but as so often in early WILDs (which this effectively was though induced by EILD technique), my vision was still extremely poor. The haziness was mitigated by the fact that I was in a dream version of my house, as I almost am at the start of dreams of this type, so I "knew" what was around me and that knowledge could help make up for the lack of visual clarity. Perhaps that is partly why my mind instinctively frames such dreams in this way, in addition to the straightforward logical continuity of entering the dream from a mental model of the same place I went to sleep. It moreover suggests that from the start of WILDs I always instinctively remember where my WL body is sleeping, even if I am not paying deliberate attention to the fact.

    I wondered if concentrating would clean up my vision but there was no improvement— it's too bad I didn't think of Fryingman's awesome technique, which I only read about last night, of "taking off the blurry glasses." I figured I should try to clean it up in the usual way, interacting with the dreamstate until it naturally clarified and brightened. Meanwhile, I thought about the other tasks I had been planning. Most important was the elusive forest. After many tries fruitlessly trying to reach it on foot, I decided that I need to stop chasing it, since I seem to be encountering a mental block, and instead will it to manifest around me. I also remembered another task that I've been wanting to try for ages but never managed to think of when dreaming (so maybe this memory trick is working after all?) My idea was to see if I could "play" my WoW character, a Forsaken, and explore the Undercity. I murmur her name aloud, but decide to save that for another time—right now my main goal is to work on the forest.

    I stand squarely in my kitchen and start to visualize myself surrounded by trees. There is a tall houseplant to my right with feathery foliage: it must be the little potted tree I used for Christmas, a Norfolk pine. I reach out and grasp its soft needles with my right hand, thinking this will help focus my thoughts on the forest I am attempting to conjure. Intriguingly, I fail to notice the spatial discrepancy: although the real tree is only a few feet from where I dreamed it, in WL it is now outside on the patio rather than inside the house.

    Unfortunately, this is as close as I get to manifesting anything like a forest before my husband comes into the room. I figure he'll just ignore me because I am dreaming—and oddly I make the assumption, as I seem so often to do in the dreamstate, that I am encountering the real-life version of him even though I know I am dreaming. Maybe it is this tendency that makes some people interpret dreams so closely modeled on RL spaces as "OBEs". But I am thrown into confusion when my husband looks right at me and starts talking. What does it mean? How can he possibly see me? Could I have been wrong in my conviction that so-called "OBEs" are a naive misinterpretation of certain kinds of LDs; might I really be "projecting" an image of myself into the waking world? This still doesn't seem plausible, but the only alternative I can think of is that I am actually awake. (Note the dream logic: despite the generally high level of memory access and mental function in this dream, I completely fail to consider the most likely— and as it turns out correct—alternative, that the encounter with my husband is nothing more than a projection of my dreaming imagination.)

    So am I awake or dreaming? I'm not sure anymore. It feels like a dream, and I'm still not seeing my environment very clearly, but maybe I'm still groggy and bleary from having just gotten up. How could I be confused about this, though? Although there are plenty of times that I'm fully convinced I'm awake and turn out to have been dreaming, not once have I ever been fully convinced I was dreaming and turned to be awake. It doesn't occur to me to try any of the typical RCs, but I focus my attention inward, on my sense of bodily awareness, to try to figure this out. I've often noticed that my dream body is characterized by a peculiar kind of inward vibration radiating from the area of my solar plexus—this impression used to be very strong and distinct, especially when flying, but it has become much less noticeable as I've grown more experienced. I think I can sense it now but it is very faint.

    My husband is still talking, and although I am too perplexed to follow what he is saying, he seems to be complaining about some bad habit of mine. "...twenty-one times a day," he concludes. Apparently that's how often I do the thing that has been annoying him. Does it have something to do with my dream practice?

    The encounter has now totally disrupted my concentration on the forest task, so I turn around and approach the patio door, thinking I'll just go outside. The weather looks lovely, cloudy and wet. "Hey, it's raining," I comment aloud, and anticipate how nice it will be to feel the cool water on my skin. I start to take off my sweater so I'll have something dry to put on when I come back in (it doesn't occur to me how odd it is that I'm wearing a sweater if I supposedly just got out of bed) and pull open the door.

    "Don't, we have to leave," warns my husband. I recall (correctly) that he wanted us to go out on an errand today, but even if I am somehow actually awake, it must still be mid-morning. I assumed we were going in the afternoon, why would he want to leave so early? With these thoughts the dream is finally disrupted and I wake up.

    Note: On the way to my laptop to write things down, I remember the silent alarm still on my wrist and look at the time. It reads 20:42, and it was set for intervals of 24 minutes, which means the whole dream played out in just under three and a half minutes. Of course, then it took an hour and a half to fully record, which is maybe why it's a good thing I don't LD every night, lol.

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    Updated 02-13-2015 at 09:10 PM by 34973

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