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    Thread: Method of Loci for Dream Recall

    1. #1
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      Method of Loci for Dream Recall

      Hi everyone! I'm fairly new to DV and I was wondering if anyone has used a memory palace/the method of loci for solidifying dream recall. Last night I tried this for the first time and the results were mostly good. I'm going to try it for the next 2 weeks and report in this thread periodically with my results and brief summaries or links to my DJ.

      The palace is based on a shoe store my girlfriend has dragged me to several times. Each night's dreams are represented by a vertical column of shoeboxes, with the aisles ordered by date. Inside each box, I put items that represent different elements of the dream which will trigger other memories when i revisit the box in WL. This is similar to writing keywords in your dj. For complex scenes or ideas, I'm thinking of having photographs, but this seems like it could be less effective in practice (photo rather than actual item).

      This method offers several advantages for me personally: no scratching with paper and pencil/typing on my brght phone, so I won't wake my gf, who's a light sleeper; no movement or opening my eyes, so I remain in a state close to sleep, and my dreams fade more slowly; built-in visualization practice; etc.
      Another thing I find when journalling in the morning is that I may have a loose idea or memory which I misrepresent, and by writing it down, I solidify that misrepresentation. This method, like using keywords, should hopefully help with that.

      A few working items I've been considering:
      * A fitting seat (with the slanted mirrors) where I can shake up the boxes to infuse the liquid dream details into slippers or shoes that I can put on to experience the dream scene or landscape again
      * A shoe store worker (based on person who works there irl for realism) who can assist me when I have trouble remembering (maybe she can go get a missing box from the back)

      I'm sure others here do this or someting similar, I'm just curious what specific methods/tips/tricks you have. Thanks in advance!
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    2. #2
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      That's an amazing method for memorizing things - though I'm not sure a shoe store is the best kind of location for it, unless it's a very unique kind of store. It seems to me it defeats the purpose to use stacks of identical boxes - they're essentially all the same. The whole idea is to use a place you know well like your own house, and each nook and cranny of it has personal meaning to you or is at least unique and completely different from every other part of the location. I also don't know about labelling the boxes or putting pictures on them - I think it works best if you use objects like statues or something like that - not words. But I don't know - maybe you're using completely individualized kinds of shoeboxes that all look and seem totally different or something.

      For me, if I want to try to set a dream in my memory until I get up to write it down, I find it works really well to recite the dream subvocally, as if I'm telling it to a friend. And actually use words - in fact subvocal means you essentially almost whisper it out loud, only not quite. You have to sort of form the words with your throat and mouth and breathe as if you're talking - I find I can still 'talk' on the inhale but I need to pause as I switch from exhale to inhale or vice versa. So you're actually using your vocal apparatus, but just not putting any voice into it. This activates the left hemisphere of the brain - the verbal part, and this is closely associated with waking thought, so it's a way of literally pushing the dream through your waking brain apparatus.

      Don't misunderstand me - I actually think the castle method could be excellent, but I just don't think a shoe store with stacks of identical boxes is a very good use of it.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 12-12-2017 at 10:15 PM.
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      Good points all around Darkmatters!

      I honestly haven't read into the topic in a few years and I didn't think about the potential failings of a shoestore. It worked pretty well for the first night though, since I differentiated the boxes by color (ROYGBIV in order of dreams), but over time I can definitely see those all blurring together. I'll also have to look into subvocal recitations too, that sounds pretty effective.

      I did find that the concept of storing major imagery (I can go into this more once I write up my DJ entry for this morning) as three-dimensional objects in some sort of container worked pretty well in this isolated instance though. I'll have to tweak the boxes day by day (perhaps make them out of different materials, different shapes, etc.), or choose different containers if I want to continue to use this botched version of the Method of Loci.

      The store is somewhere I've been several (too many) times and the floor plan isn't symmetrical or identical throughout, so I'm not too worried about that side of it. I was thinking of placing unique identifiers for each day (again, 3D objects, like a statue) on top of each day's dreams like a display shoe, or something like that to differentiate even more.

      If this method isn't helping consistently by the end of ~2 weeks, I'll either make some major modifications to make it more closely resemble the Method of Loci, or I'll just trash it and move on to something else.

      Thanks for your advice!

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