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    Book Titles and a Headstone (WILD)

    by , 01-20-2016 at 08:58 PM (265 Views)
    Ritual: Last night's moment of lucidity made me crave good dreaming again, but I woke up after six hours with nothing but a few shreds of bland and wan memory. Determined to do better, I dug out the silent vibrating alarm I was using last year for my DEILD experiments and strapped it to my wrist. I set the timer for 33 minutes at first, so I would likely be asleep by the time it went off, but after lying awake for about half that time reset it for 17 minutes. I reminded myself that it would be fine if I was still awake when it went off, a good opportunity to re-familiarize myself with the sensation I was anticipating and to RC. I did feel the pulse once before I fell asleep; afterwards, given that another 45 minutes went by before I woke up, it must have gone off a couple times that I didn't notice. However, I did get lucid, even though the timing suggests that the onset was not triggered by the vibration, because when I finally woke up the alarm was 30 seconds from going off again, and I don't think the dream lasted that long (though I could be wrong about that). This would be consistent with my other experiments with this technique: it works, but not in the way one might expect. Rather than directly inducing an awareness of the dream state with its signal, it seems to be rather that the anticipation of the alarm serves as an anchor for the attention that makes it easier to transition directly into dream. Consequently, rather than a DILD I had a WILD.

    I knew I must have transitioned when I realized I was holding a piece of paper in my hands. I used the paper to better integrate by running it between my fingers and being attentive to the lifelike sensations. They were vivid enough that I figured I should just get up out of bed, even though my vision hadn't kicked in fully yet and everything was dim and blurry. Since there are bookcases right next to my bed in WL and my intention was to do this month's Basic Task i, the moment I was on my feet I started examining the books. My vision was no better overall, but I could see well enough in the area of my primary focus. Reading was surprisingly easy as well, although the words themselves did not always remain stable, sometimes changing into new ones right before my eyes.

    I read a half dozen book titles right away, some better than others, but none so striking that I felt like putting special effort into memorizing them. I hoped a few might stick with me naturally, but unfortunately I didn't remember any of them on waking. After browsing the books in the bedroom for a while, I moved out to the kitchen, where I have more bookshelves (there are books almost everywhere in my house). I continued reading titles, trying to find a really good one for the task. Finally after moving on to a second shelf in the kitchen I found what I was looking for. The book was a slim hardcover, about 9"x11" and 3/4 inch thick. The cover had a glossy sheen and was white in the upper half and a darker color, grey perhaps, in the lower half. In the very center, where the colors met, was the word: "REVOLIOTUN" in red and black stylized capital letters. I took note of how it appeared to be the word "revolution" with some of the letters transposed. I wasn't sure if this was part of the title or designated something else, like the series, publisher, or maybe just a cover design, since the actual title seemed to be printed below this in the lower half of the cover. The title was David Bowie's Dreams: Naked in Flight. This tickled me, especially given his recent passing, and I knew it was the one I wanted to bring back for the task.

    I set my mind on remembering that book, but glanced at a few more for good measure. There was one small paperback titled Blue Skulls Book that struck me, but that's the only other title I can remember.

    Now that I had completed the task, I wondered if I should wake and write immediately, but it seemed a waste of good dream state. Was it really that good, though? My vision was still terrible. "Then maybe I should work on that," I told myself reprovingly. So I looked out the kitchen window and tried to clean up my vision. "Just open your eyes," I instructed myself. "But be careful not to open your real eyes!" I actually did have a sensation like my eyes were opening, and suddenly my vision cleared up beautifully! I looked out the window and was startled by the amazing color and clarity of the landscape, a wide grassy expanse bordered by distant hills, so unlike my actual concrete pool patio. The vision from my left eye was perfect, but my right eye faded in and out: it kept feeling like something was covering it, which I tried to brush away with my fingers as though it were an errant lock of hair. I realized that it was probably the bleedthrough sensation from the way my face was pressed into my pillow (I was able to confirm this on waking) and decided I'd better do my best to ignore it.

    The beauty of the outdoors lured me, so I stepped through the sliding screen door into this marvelous dreamscape, and immediately felt my heart fill with joy. I wondered if I should plan to do anything in particular, but decided no, it was enough just to look around and drink in the sights, now that I could see so clearly. As I moved over the ground, I was more dancing than walking for the sheer pleasure of it. Momentarily I wondered if I should be careful not to accidently blunder into any WL obstacles I couldn't see, but then had to remind myself, this isn't like google cardboard: I'm not just surrounded by an illusory overlay on the real world, this is a whole world in its own right.

    "This is my favorite world!" I murmured in fervent appreciation, then caught myself. That seemed like a radical statement. Was it really true? I reflected for a moment and had to admit that it was. I felt a bit sorry for the real world—how could it compare to this? As I looked around, marveling at the beauty of my surroundings, my eye was caught by a brighter spot in the dream sky, a white disk surrounded by intensified illumination, like the sun filtering through a haze. For some reason this struck me as remarkable, and I thought back and couldn't remember ever seeing a sun in my dream sky before. Unlike the unpleasant brightness of the real sun, this one I could gaze at directly.

    I wandered across the lawn until I discovered a large headstone. It had the traditional rounded shape but was very wide, maybe three or four feet tall and five or six in width. I was pleased to discover that I could read the chiseled inscription very clearly: "THE EARLY DEATHS OF BLAKE GRACE." The name meant nothing to me, but what particularly caught my attention was the plural, "deaths." How could he or she have died more than once? Oh well, in the dream world, I suppose anything is possible.

    Encountering the tombstone hadn't diminished my joy in the slightest. I still felt radiantly happy, even when I glanced down and noticed that I was standing on a carved piece of stone that covered the grave itself, like the lid of a sarcophagus. "I hope I'm not disturbing the inhabitant!" I thought amiably, and stepped off the stone, watching closely to see if it would move, on the off-chance that the corpse might decide to rise from the grave in indignation. Even this possibility did not dampen my mood; I felt fully capable of dealing with such an eventuality, should it occur. But the dead slept. I felt compassion for the person buried here and thought I should make up for my accidental insult by doing something to honor the grave. In the hollow of one of the carvings toward the foot of the stone was an accumulation of gravel on which an uprooted mushroom was lying. I picked up the mushroom and tried to set it upright, pushing the stem into the gravel to help it stand up. The surface of the mushroom was starting to rot, but the sight filled me with a sense of tender compassion, much like the grave itself.

    After this I decided that it was probably time to wake up, since I didn't want to risk wandering off and forgetting the book title and the engraving on the headstone. Since I was waking myself up deliberately, I was able to get ready and do it in a very controlled way. As the dream began to fade into void, I grabbed a pen and got ready to start writing in the notebook next to my bed the moment I transitioned, until I realized how ridiculous this was. There was no point in picking up a dream pen—it wouldn't save me any time—I would still have to move my physical arm and grab the physical pen once I actually woke up! What a hassle!

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    Updated 01-20-2016 at 09:04 PM by 34973

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    lucid , task of the month

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