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    Thread: How to figure out your dream signs scientifically

    1. #1
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      How to figure out your dream signs scientifically

      Recently I have been taking a scientific approach to achieving various goals in life and have experienced great success. Lucid dreaming is no different. I had previously thought I knew what my dream signs were but they did not help me get lucid, until I used the following approach.

      If you are having trouble figuring out your dream signs, this will probably help you out. If you think you already know your dreamsigns but they don't seem to help, try this approach and you might be surprised to find out you were focusing on the wrong signs!

      Cognitive Bias
      Generally, the approach to figuring out dream signs is to keep a dream journal for a while, then to read through your dreams to see what stands out as a dream sign (or signs). I believe this will only get you half-way, however, because there are several cognitive biases that may cause us to focus on the wrong signs. For example, we may decide that the signs that are most memorable are the dream sign, but this is just confirmation bias. Or, we may think a sign occurs more frequently than it does (a sampling bias).

      The only way to figure out your real dream signs is to take a more methodical approach...

      Categories of Dream Signs
      I was inspired to do this method after reading Laberge's second book about lucid dreaming. He lists four categories of dream sign. These categories are useful because by forcing you to examine your experiences from these different angles, you will notice things you ordinarily would not have considered to be a dream sign!

      Inner Awareness: Thoughts, sensations, or emotional states you experience in a dream. For example, you might notice that in your dreams you are often angry at something.
      Action: Things you do or actions you participate in. For example, in your dreams you might be running a lot, or you might be having a physical fight.
      Form: Physical objects that appear in your dream. Examples might be celebrities, aliens, magical objects, exotic cars, etc.
      Context: This one is a little more abstract. Things in this category might be normal, everyday events or objects but with a uniquely dream-like context. For example, you might be at work but wearing casual clothes instead of formal, or you might be at your old house which was previously demolished, etc.

      The Method
      First you should have a dream journal already. It should be as detailed as possible. You want at least 20-30 dreams that have occurred in the last 3 months or so. They have to be recent because your mind changes as you live your life, and what was a dream sign last year may not be one this year.

      Create a spreadsheet either in Excel or Google Docs with the four categories, each in one column, and a blank column for numbers to tally your dream signs.

      Inner Awareness#Action#Context#Form#





      Go through each of your 20-30 dreams and do the following process. It seems like a lot of work, and it is (it represents at least an hour's effort) but the rewards will be great!

      1) For each dream entry, at the bottom add four headings for "Inner Awareness," "Action," "Form," and "Context."
      2) Then read through the dream from beginning to end and every time you notice a potential dream sign, create a general category for it and file it under one of the four headings.
      3) Once you are done with the dream, enter your categories into your spreadsheet and note how many times each one appeared.

      For example, here's one of my dreams and the relevant categories at the bottom. The content of the dream is just there so you can see how the categories were created:

      May 21st

      I am in some kind of tropical island vacation spot during spring break. It is full of college age kids going to the beach. It’s also around mid afternoon and quite nice out. I am going to the beach with swim shorts and a towel and the beach is packed.

      For some reason I haven’t changed before arriving at the beach so I’m walking around fully clothed like a dumbass with my towel and shorts in my hand, wandering around the crowded shoreline looking for a place to change.

      At one point I walk to the edge of the water where there’s a large dune that slopes sharply down to the surf. At the top of the dune a guy is making a sand sculpture of this girl lying nearby. I step over them and crouch down looking at the water and realize I’ve stepped on the head of this great sculpture and completely ruined it. I’m like, “Ah, shit, sorry,” and the guy is understandably upset. I slide down the dune to the water.

      There’s a large crowd in this small (very small, like 30 feet) bay staying out of the water. I ask the guy next to me why nobody’s in the water and notice at the same time there’s a small fish just visible under the surface. He points to it.

      :What’s that?” I ask. He says it’s a piranha. I duck my head under the water to see more clearly and catch a vague glimpse of something small and piranha shaped, so I agree. Then I decide I don’t care since it’s a tiny piranha and get in the water.

      Then to my shock I see a bunch of alligators hanging out by the entrance to the bay. They start swimming at me but at the last minute resolve into plastic toy alligators. Weird.

      Alton Brown shows up with a few small turtles. He hands me and this girl next to me the largest turtle, about the size of a basketball, and gives us a small rubber tire. To put it in. I think the idea is to put it around the turtle so it can’t swim away and just crawls around a bit so people can observe it, but we can’t find a comfortable way to put the tire around the turtle without hurting it so we give up. I take the turtle to the edge of the bay to release it and turn back to make sure no one’s watching.

      Alton comes up and we explain the situation to him. He takes a paper plate and puts it around the turtle’s shell. It wouldn’t work in reality because turtles aren’t shaped that way but in the dream it works for some reason.

      Inner Awareness
      Awkward situation (inappropriate clothing, stepped on sand scultpure)
      Form
      Celebrity (Alton Brown), Rare Animals (turtles, alligators, piranhas)
      Action
      Doing things in bodies of water
      Context
      Nonsense mechanics (putting a tire on a turtle!)


      Since you want to be able to add up "types" of dream sign, try to be purposefully general when categorizing your signs, by finding out their shared traits. Instead of saying "the ocean" I said "doing things in bodies of water" since that more applicable to various dreams.

      Also, dream signs should be uniquely dream-like, so that they will rarely occur in your waking life. If you work as a life guard, you would not put the ocean or bodies of water as a dream sign!

      4) Finally, add counters for each sign to your spreadsheet. Things that appear twice in the same dream count as two occurences (my example dream above has two awkward situations). Here's mine after a bunch of dreams:

      Inner Awareness#Action#Context#Form#
      Embarassment3Action in bodies of water2Nonsense Mechanics10Celebrity4
      Conflict19Sex1Lost Object4Rare Animals8
      Transforming Characters1Loops2Unusual Location13
      Physical Battle6Upstate/Family7Monsters2
      Eating delicious food3
      Feats of Agility1















      Analysis
      Once you are done, you should immediately notice some patterns. You may be surprised that your most frequently encountered dream sign is a category you had not even previously considered! You can see that in my table, "Conflict" is the main winner, which was unexpected since I am quite easy going in life and rarely get into an argument or tense situation. Following up are Unusual Locations and Rare Animals, both of which recently caused me to have lucid dreams this week. Find your most frequent signs and focus on them occasionally during the day (or if you ever experience them), and before sleeping.

      You might also notice that what might have seemed like a great dream sign was actually not a good one at all. Before this exercise I thought "Sex" would be an easy sign, but after analyzing my dreams it actually cropped up very rarely. Physical Battles is another one that confounded my expectations.

      Another benefit to this method is that the intense scrutiny of your dreams and signs will cause you to be familiar with virtually all of them. Signs that are less likely to occur will still be in your subconscious and may cause you to have a lucid dream, as happened to me recently with "Upstate/Family" in my spreadsheet.

      Good luck with this, if anyone tries it please post your results!
      Last edited by bluremi; 09-01-2013 at 07:42 PM.

    2. #2
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      Seems a bit too complicated to me. I mean, it's a good method and all, but I prefer taking the simple route and picking out the big things that I'll notice

    3. #3
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      That approach certainly works for a lot of people. I had more success with this approach than with the "easy" way, for the reasons explained in the OP.

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      I may give it a try since you put so much thought into this. = )

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      Very nice analysis method on dream signs! I already created my spreadsheet in G drive, I will definitely try this and report my result soon
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      "Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure it was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world... and the real world?" - The Matrix

      "From the perspective of others I am part of the world, but when I observe the world from my perspective I am nowhere to be found. To observe is to create perspective. I can never cease to be the point of origin from my perspective. I observe that which is not myself. This is the first principle to find." - Ergo Proxy

      "It's not about believing, it's about knowing. There's no escape from what you know. To know, you have to seek and find the answer by yourself." - Keara Crevan

      "Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we're bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, rebirth our future." - Cloud Atlas

    6. #6
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      So it's been 2 days, and something definitely changed my awareness. In my dream signs I noticed that I go to unknown places a lot, and second I go to places where I'm not supposed to be in reality (like old hometowns, school while I'm withdrawn). Then the next nights I kept looking at the background trying to figure out where it was and tested if it's dream by using super powers(but it didn't work so I couldn't get lucid lol)

      I know this excel doc method is not the only one that's aiding my awareness. I'm also meditating and writing DJs down everyday, with right mindset.
      But I think after analyzing my dream signs thru excel doc gave me huge doubt in dream more to surrounding environment
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      International Oneironaut Shared Dreaming Project

      "Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure it was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world... and the real world?" - The Matrix

      "From the perspective of others I am part of the world, but when I observe the world from my perspective I am nowhere to be found. To observe is to create perspective. I can never cease to be the point of origin from my perspective. I observe that which is not myself. This is the first principle to find." - Ergo Proxy

      "It's not about believing, it's about knowing. There's no escape from what you know. To know, you have to seek and find the answer by yourself." - Keara Crevan

      "Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we're bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, rebirth our future." - Cloud Atlas

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      I have noticed that the initial boost in "doubting your reality" and being aware of dreamsigns tends to fade unless you keep up the focus, i.e. analyze each dream and continue to add to the spreadsheet.

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      Noting your dreamsigns and just paying more attention shoots your awareness up. I would recommend to come up with a way for everything on your own like this. Continue to do things that increase awareness and drop the things that you don't enjoy doing. If you don't enjoy doing the things to LD, than it doesn't matter if they help you, it will just make you more and more stressed out about LDing. If you enjoy it, then do it!

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      Ok, I gotta admit. It's been a week now and this method has definitely proven that it works, at least for me.

      Yesterday and this morning I got lucid by just doubting the dream scene in the very first moment. I went to bed late, didn't do any technique for WBTB, I was tired as hell.
      I basically didn't have any effort or will to get lucid, but thanks to dream sign list I could just naturally doubted the dream right away. At first I thought 'why am I here?' -> did RRC -> got lucid. Then this awareness led to instant lucid when I entered dream as if those 3 steps have combined altogether. Being lucid without a thought, without a second, no effort at all.

      All I did was keeping my DJ and this dream sign list, and practicing visualization for recognizing dream signs. (I also did RRC occasionally, and ADA + meditation if needed)
      So thank you so much for introducing this tutorial, Buremi! All this time I only stuck to advanced stuff which made me frustrated with numerous dry spells, but now that I stick to only basic things I don't put the effort more than it's needed, and it's so easy.
      Come to my DeviantArt gallery!
      International Oneironaut Shared Dreaming Project

      "Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure it was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world... and the real world?" - The Matrix

      "From the perspective of others I am part of the world, but when I observe the world from my perspective I am nowhere to be found. To observe is to create perspective. I can never cease to be the point of origin from my perspective. I observe that which is not myself. This is the first principle to find." - Ergo Proxy

      "It's not about believing, it's about knowing. There's no escape from what you know. To know, you have to seek and find the answer by yourself." - Keara Crevan

      "Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we're bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, rebirth our future." - Cloud Atlas

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      bluremi;
      Not having previously read your post, yesterday I came up with a similar, albeit more simplified method. I went through my dream journals, putting the frequency of certain occurrences in Excel, however, I only used 2 categories; action and form. Using this method I discovered that I have 5 DS's when previously I was only aware of 2. I had no idea that the other signs were occurring regularly in my dreams.

      It is certainly a very useful method.

    11. #11
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      this looks like a pretty good method. you are right about the biases, this may help with that.

      thank you

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