• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views




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    Thread: How does a dream FEEL for you?

    1. #1
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      How does a dream FEEL for you?

      I have been lucid dreaming on and off for around 20 years now, and I have rarely (only recently) used any techniques (such as Rc etc), rather I focused on dream recall to the point where my dreams were so vivid that I was aware I was in them.

      To aid both myself and others in this method, I have a question for you. I have read many posts on here where people say they can mistake being asleep for being awake (so, when they are dreaming they think they are awake), but never mistake being awake for being asleep (so, never think, whilst awake, ‘I’m dreaming, I might go flying now’). So, why? What feels different about the two states?

      The question is (and please think carefully about this), what is the difference in how you FEEL between dreaming and awake? How does a dream FEEL for you?

      Please answer, I'm really interested in this!

    2. #2
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      I can't answer that, I mean, when I'm dreaming I feel like that is the reality, but when I wake up and remember the dream it does not feel the same as before, it feels unreal. I don't know how to explain the feeling, both dream world and real world are real while you live inside of them.
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      I think once one is more experienced at lucid dreaming there is a dream feeling that is hard to describe where once you feel it you know you are dreaming. I am not sure, but I suspect it has to do with maybe subconsciously noticing the subtle differences in dream versus reality. But I think only experienced lucid dreamers can do that. I think I used to be good enough at LD 20 years ago that I kind of remember that, but now I am starting the hobby after a 20 year absence and at this point I am not good enough to tell the difference.

      I think the reason why we say that while we may mistake a dream for waking but not vice versa (unless one has a mental illness, is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or otherwise impaired), it's because in a dream logic is compromised and so while one will have the indications that it is a dream but one may not be logical enough or aware enough to correctly interpret them (oh cool I got six fingers, I must have grown an extra one over night.) In waking life unless we are mentally impaired in some way, we can add up all the perceptions and signs and deduce that it is most likely waking life. Also humans in general are more likely to decide that reality is waking than a dream by default, so one is very unlikely to make the false assumption that it is a dream because we are mostly conditioned to conclude that we are awake - and it takes a lot of effort to break the tendency to always reach that conclusion.

      However, I think there is something like a dream feeling that is different, as I said I used to experience it. Some LDers say that this is nonsense that dreams feel exactly like waking life, but I think there is some hard to describe feeling that once one is really good at LDing one can recognize.
      You may say I'm a dreamer.
      But I'm not the only one
      - John Lennon

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      I actually have noticed a difference. I never notice in the dream, obviously, but the atmosphere and general feeling is different. Like some sort of perpetual sound. I can't really explain it, but it's never quite silent in a dream. Y'know when you're in a crowd or just with a lot of people and you can hear the indistict clamor around you? It's like that throughout the entire dream.

      Also, space seems to distort quite often.
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      Thank you all for replying!
      I do feel there is some hard-to-define, hard-to-detect-whilst-dreaming, subtle 'feeling' that is present in dreams that is not present in waking life. Or maybe it is the other way around (that this alert-aware type feeling is absent from dreaming life)
      It's hard for me to pin down. At the moment, the best I can recall and describe is that it feels somewhat like 'autopilot' does in waking life - when I'm not really thinking, I'm just doing - for example at work when I'm doing repetitive actions that require minimal thought (but some thought). So maybe, it's a 'thinking' thing as well, like how JoannaB describes;
      oh cool I got six fingers, I must have grown an extra one over night
      It's like the thinking part of the brain distracted.
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      Whenever i become aware enough in dream i most of time have very distinct feeling that makes me lucid, which is difference between awake and dreaming for me even when dream copies my room and street fully 1:1 during false awakening. It's unique though so i can't really describe it sadly, but it is there.
      As for mistaking asleep for awake, when one is non-lucid (s)he"s is often unaware of possibility that it may be dream and tied to dream plot, that's why we practice reality checks and awareness, to set questioning mindset and become aware enough to get aware of dream, thus becoming lucid.
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      I've been lucid dreaming for around fifteen years or so. I guess over that time, I unknowingly trained myself to pick up on the subtle differences in how each state feels. Needless to say, this has meant I have dreams where I just know I'm dreaming without the need for reality checks. I'll try to describe the feeling as best I can…

      The most notable feeling I get in a dream, is a feeling like my eyes are “suspended” farther back than they should be, or I have no body where I can't see without a mirror (so the back of my head doesn't exist in a dream, UNLESS I can see it). There's also a slight numbness in my dream-body that I've started to notice. Dreams also have a tendency to seem too vivid or too muted (colours being too bright/dim, sounds being too clear/distorted).

      There's more to the feeling but that's the best I can describe it.
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      Like JoannaB mentioned it takes experience to be able to feel the difference. I think this is due to an actual adaptation in neurons. That is after hundreds of LDs focused on bringing higher and higher levels of awareness into the dream, your brain actually develops new neural pathways to handle it.

      A few examples of how dreams feel to me after a lifetime of serious development. The most profound thing is that after perhaps 15 years I was able to simultaneously feel a vague sense of my waking body at the same time as I am experiencing the various aspects of the dream. This sense can be lessened or intensified simply by intent. So in a dream I actually feel two bodies simultaneously and neither feel the same as waking. My real body is preceived as an intense imagining. I mean it is only about as real as a memory is real while you are experiencing it. My dream body does not feel like waking either. In waking life we are receiving signals from every part of our body but pay little attention to much of it (sensory filtering) in a dream only the portions of the body focused on register. I can expand my awareness to be able to feel myself sitting while doing tasks with my hands and felling that, however my scalp does not itch, my ears do not feel air movement and so on.

      Another thing is the awareness of the chemistry of sleep. Just like in HH people can feel vibrations or waves the same feelings exist in the background of a dream. This is due to the chemical effect of REM atonia or other dopamine and GABA type chemical cascades taking place in the sleeping body.

      The visual field can be a dead give away too. If you calmly look at something in a dream there is a slight sparkle effect and a slight readjustment of distortion taking place. It look a bit like CG animation. Another thing visually is that while the center of the visual field can be rendered in HD the edges are far lower resolution than in waking life.

      Now take sound. Often there is no sound at all in a dream unless it is part of the plot. When there is sound it is limited. For instance you may here a perfectly rendered song, but you are not hearing cars go by or the fan on the refrigerator. In waking life the layers of sound are rarely less than four items deep, such as song, traffic, clock, breathing.

      Hope that helps
      Last edited by Sivason; 10-19-2013 at 08:58 PM.
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      I just feel no connection with anything in dream world thats how i know the difference. In reality i feel for people and care what i say but in dream i just ignore them. There more to reality than our 5 senses unlike dreams.

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      Ahh, that was wonderful sivason! Thank you! Sometimes I don't notice things until they are pointed out to me, but I remember now that localization regarding the senses. I notice it more with touch, for example I can feel the solidness of an object under my fingers, but will not feel any breeze or clothes on my skin, or ever any itchiness. I have not payed attention much to sound in my dreams (i usually focus on vision and touch), but I will now. I have never noticed any gradations in visual resolution toward the outer edges of my visual field though. My dreams always seem highly rendered in all aspects, with many details (with the exception of my very first lucid dream - that was reasonably well rendered but extremely minimalist, unlike my other dreams).

      I tried to enter a 'world' from one of my favourite animes the other night (for the first time, as I had read on here how some people dream in animation) in a lucid, but my brain would not see things in animation.. everything was too real. I will persist, however.
      I find localization with thoughts, as well. I tend to only be able to think about those things in my immediate environment. My thought processes become somewhat 'retarded' (for lack of a better word), unless I am lucid. Usually lucidity is spontaneous for me (as in I immediately realise I am dreaming), however for the first time (in over 20 years of lucids) I had to perform a reality check, as I wasn't sure if I was awake or dreaming... I felt awake.
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      Similarly to a lot of the previous posts, I also have that feeling where I immediately know it's a dream for no apparent reason, possibly due to subtle differences as mentioned above. However, I feel that I can somewhat replicate the feeling of becoming lucid in waking life, to do this I try to see the world from a different perspective, that of a dream. I imagine I just appeared wherever I am and am in the dream world exploring whatever is out there. Now for some reason this reminds me of how I am in dreams at least. It's like everything I see is completely new to me and I am astonished by this. Like in a dream when you look at certain things and you are just so amazed. Or maybe it's just the feeling of becoming aware, as in waking life we can often filter out certain stimuli, but when we suddenly realise it, it feels very different. Feels like emptying the mind and just being present.
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      Yes! I do that also Rodrodrod, where I just stop what I am doing and 'pretend' that I have just become lucid, but it is more than pretending as I can recreate the 'feeling' of being lucid (minus the supercool abilities such as flying and leaping out of walls to scare DC's). It sort of feels like everything is new and fresh, but what I like most is the feeling of there being infinite possibilities available to me. Thanks!
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      Quote Originally Posted by BarefootDreamer View Post
      the feeling of there being infinite possibilities available to me.
      So awesome how you said that =D, as that's precisely what I was thinking after I sent my reply!

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