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    Nicotine Dreams (DILD + FA)

    by , 09-14-2014 at 08:34 PM (408 Views)
    Ritual: I got fed up with the dry spell I've been having for the past couple weeks and took drastic measures. Back in 2010 I experimented a couple times with nicotine (in patch form) as a lucidity trigger, but quickly gave it up because I found it impossible to fall asleep with even a very low dose (half a 7mg patch, so 3.5mg). These days my problem—and the main thing hampering my lucid attempts—is that I've been falling asleep way too easily, so I thought there would be a good chance I'd be able to fall sleep wearing the patch and see if it had any effects on dreaming after all.

    Went to bed at midnight, woke naturally at 3:30am and stayed awake until 5am, mostly reading, but finishing the WBTB with a brief seated meditation. I googled to make sure using nicotine patches well past their expiration date was advisable, but was reassured by what I found. So I took 200mg L-Theanine to make it easier to fall asleep, and applied a 7mg patch with half its surface covered, so 3.5mg total (though the dose might have weakened with age). I also worked on my mental motivation, not just intending but vowing to get lucid tonight.

    When I returned to bed I felt my heart beating faster than normal, though I wasn't sure if it was the nicotine (if so the patches must be exceptionally fast acting, because this was only minutes later) or just a consequence of the excitement and anxiety of trying something new. The feeling reminded me trying to fall asleep on galantamine, which also has a very powerful stimulant effect. However, I started counting and was reassured (and somewhat surprised) when I began to lose my place already by the time I hit "ten." I reset and kept counting, rarely making it as far as "ten," and often not past "one," until I felt my mind had reached a place where I could easily fall asleep, then turned on my side to do so.

    I fell asleep very quickly, although my intention to remain aware of the transition went nowhere—I just zonked out. I woke up almost two hours later with the memory of a DILD and least one FA. The dreams were definitely atypical in tone: the plot was epic and confrontational, which I attribute to the nicotine. The dream awareness was spontaneous rather than triggered, but the lucidity was at very low level. Worse, my dream recall was unusually vague and fragmentary.


    DILD: The dream had a complex narrative that I can't satisfactorily recall. The most notable aspect was that my husband was in it and my dream logic concluded that it was a shared dream and that he was actually there and trying to learn the ropes of lucidity from me. We were trying to summon spirit allies, and he wanted a gryphon. The first version looked cartoonish, reminiscent of the monsters from Where the Wild Things Are, but it wasn't a proper gryphon. Neither were the next two, though they were massive, monstrous creatures that reminded me of the kinds of avatars you would summon in the later Final Fantasy games. When I summoned my own spirit ally, I was surprised to find that it was just a somewhat transparent virtual version of me.

    (Source: I think this was day residue, as last night in ME3 my Shepard came across the holograph AI of herself on the Citadel. The notion of iconographically incorrect gryphons might have been inspired by the poor versions I saw in the astonishingly bad—so bad it was almost good, I couldn't stop laughing—film version of Hercules I caught the last fifteen minutes of on cable yesterday evening.)

    I wish I remembered the plot of the dream more clearly. There was a group of entities that we were in conflict with, and they were insisting that I was breaking the rules of dream in some way. I disagreed, as I felt justified to do as I liked in my own dream, so I countered by exerting a massive field of control over the environment that made the ground shudder and shattered buildings. It wasn't quite an earthquake, more a gravity-reversing vibration: I have a mental image of dust and dirt rising and hovering in the air accompanied by an almost subsonic drone. It felt good to do this, powerful, though something of a guilty pleasure.

    (Source: I was sure there was a waking life source for this image of dust rising from the earth in the wrong direction but couldn't remember; now it occurs to me that it might have been from the movie Transcendence, which I saw last month.)

    At one point I had the presence of mind to wonder, or maybe someone asked me: was I actually hurting anyone by doing this? But I pointed out that you can't hurt DCs merely by disrupting their physical bodies, because the dream state does not have that kind of continuity. I demonstrated this by plucking my own spirit ally from deep in the rubble where she had been buried and reviving her.

    I might actually have remembered somewhere in all of this to try the Patronus TOTM, which had been my intention before falling asleep, but if so I don't recall the outcome, unless that was somehow connected with the idea of spirit allies. Too vague to be sure, unfortunately.

    FA: I woke up next to my husband and wondered if it had really been a shared dream, so I watched his reaction carefully. He gave me a look which led me to conclude that it had been. But before long it began to dawn on me that this might be a false awakening, and soon I was sure of it. I decided to review the events of the previous dream in my mind before I forgot, but as I was doing so, I became aware that my mind was interpolating new ideas, and whole new scenes were even taking place, spinning off from my memories of the previous plotline—this is the risk of reviewing dream memories while you're still dreaming!

    For instance, when I thought about our spirit allies, a girl showed up at the foot of the bed who I took to be a transformation of the gryphon in the previous dream, only now she looked human and very familiar. I tried to place her face and decided she resembled the character "Marnie" from Girls. Not sure where that came from, as I haven't watched an episode of that since the last season ended.

    Then when I was trying to remember the main plot, it became confused with a new plotline in which I was worried that war was imminent and that if it took place, the spirits of mythological creatures would fuse with nuclear bombs to create a weapon that was as devastating to dream as to the waking world.

    I was out trying to investigate and prevent this outcome, and found myself in the house of people who had melee weapons shaped like real or imaginary animals. One was a rod with a sculpted head shaped like the head of an animal that mingled the qualities of a lizard and a single-horned rhinocerous. Another was a club shaped like a narrow stylized boar, and while my husband was handling it, I noticed that it could also be fired like a crossbow. Again, very random imagery.

    Conclusion: I would call this a partial success at best, as the low-level awareness and limited recall made the overall experience less than satisfactory, and I didn't actually succeed in doing the TOTM that was my original goal. Still, breaking my dry spell by any means is reassuring. It definitely felt like nicotine had an effect on dream content, and I attribute the unusually "epic and confrontational" quality to its influence. However, after waking up I felt almost as uncomfortable and unrested as I do after using galantamine, so while I might experiment a little more along these lines, I will not be making this a frequent induction method—which is probably for the best, nicotine bad and all that.

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    Updated 09-14-2014 at 08:37 PM by 34973

    Categories
    lucid , false awakening , side notes

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