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    Thread: Intent in Lucid Dreaming; Break that Dry-Spell, Escape the Technique Rut

    1. #1
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      Intent in Lucid Dreaming; Break that Dry-Spell, Escape the Technique Rut

      Introduction

      A warning: this is going to be long. most importantly this is not supposed to be any attack or negative criticism of the hard work that goes into the invention and writing of lucid dreaming techniques and guides

      This forum is full of threads started by beginners stating that whatever technique they are using just isn’t working for them. To answer the question of exactly why lucid dreaming is difficult we have to consider that to become lucid you are rebelling against a lifetime of conditioning, and a vast amount of mental information, that has programmed you to be unaware and non-lucid in your dreams. While on a conscious level you may be enthused, excited, and fired up for lucid dreaming on your first night, as far as your unconscious is concerned lucidity is a completely foreign concept. You simply haven’t built the bridges and forged the neural connections in your unconscious that say that you are a lucid dreamer.

      While this process can be bypassed to some degree through phenomena of auto and hypnotic suggestion (which are designed to feed information directly into the unconscious mind), for the majority of techniques, and the majority of people, becoming a ‘natural’ lucid dreamer is a matter of time and hard work. Time and work is necessary to replace the neural circuitry of a non-lucid dreamer, some succeed, most fail.


      Any technique can yield lucidity on a regular basis, all that matters is mindset

      Through experimentation with a wide range of DILD techniques, as well as looking at the effects of beliefs, confidence and intention on lucid dreaming, I have come to the conclusion that:

      either

      Any technique has the potential to yield lucid dreaming on a nightly basis over time, all that is important is the dreamer’s mindset and, above all, self-belief

      or

      Technique is entirely irrelevant and unnecessary when compared to the importance of the dreamer’s intent and lucid dreaming mindset

      To explain why I believe this I’m going to explore the idea of ‘method’. For any lucid dreaming technique to be truly a method it has to be a) valid and b) reliable. No lucid dreaming technique is either of these things. Validity is the degree to which an output is caused by an input, in this case the output is lucidity and the input is any technique (say, ADA). I you practice ADA and you have a lucid dream, was it caused by that technique? You may think so, but the next day you practice ADA and hey wait a second, no lucid dream, what’s going on? You’ve replicated the same input (ADA) and yet the output (lucidity) is different, in other words the technique is not reliable. In a lab if you react oxygen and hydrogen you will always get hydrogen oxide, water. But as we all know from bitter experience, lucid dreaming is nowhere near as clear cut.


      Intention

      There must be some other cause, some other variable, outside of the technique that caused lucidity the first time and was absent the second time. Intent. The word intent comes from the Latin root ‘intendere’ which means to ‘stretch toward’ or ‘aim at’. As dreamers we intend, we stretch our will toward the goal of lucidity, a technique is a vehicle for this intent.

      Silverbullet has written an excellent (if vague) guide to directing intent towards the goal of lucid dreaming: http://www.dreamviews.com/f12/silver...eaming-117015/, but because he kinda didn’t explain intent too well there was a hostile reaction from some towards what was seen as an attempt to attack the hard work of lucid dreamers out there who had worked to write the various tutorials on the site and so it has slipped into relative obscurity. The message behind it was important, lucid dreaming isn’t about any technique, it’s about you, as an individual.

      In the ‘Art of Dreaming’ by Carlos Casteneda Don Juan explains that intent is how ‘sorcerers’ ‘do without doing’. That’s one way of putting it, but I believe intent is the active process by which we form the unconscious mindset, the neural connections, (that I mentioned earlier) of being a lucid dreamer.

      Techniques are vehicles for intent, our conscious mind needs to attach our attempts at lucid dreaming to some concrete process in order for our unconscious mind to get on with the important work of intending.

      That is why I am not saying to abandon technique or that technique is bad, some people can intend without a technique but the vast majority of us need some vector through which to channel our intent.

      What’s important though is that you realise that any technique at all can be this vehicle, all the you need is to realise that it is you doing the lucid dreaming, not the technique. The reason we get stuck in ruts, dry spells, there are a number of reasons that we may not lucid dream on any given night (alcohol, fatigue, stress), but what causes you to become lucid? It’s certainly not 10 RCs each day, it’s how those RCs direct your intention.


      Making lucid dreaming about YOU again

      Review your early goals, we all make the most ambitious and exciting goals when we first learn of the possibilities of lucid dreaming, recapture that excitement.
      Repeat to yourself a simple affirmation, make it present tense and positive, ‘I am a natural lucid dreamer’, really feel the meaning behind the words, so that get that excited feeling in your stomach.
      Meditate, meditation is a great tool to connect with your inner mental strength and renewing self-confidence. It can also give you access to states at which your unconscious mind is open to suggestion.


      See Also:
      This should be required viewing: Advanced lucid dreaming: part 6 - YouTube although it’s nominally about meditation, the real message behind is to put faith in yourself, not techniques
      http://www.dreamviews.com/f11/how-ta...eaming-120910/
      My Lucid Dreaming Articles/Tutorials:
      Mindfulness - An Alternative Approach to ADA
      Intent in Lucid Dreaming; Break that Dry-Spell, Escape the Technique Rut

      Always, no sometimes think it's me,
      But you know I know when it's a dream
      I think I know I mean a yes
      But it's all wrong
      That is I think I disagree

      -John Lennon


    2. #2
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      I agree that intent is the key ingredient for lucidity. I also think that a dreamer needs to learn some key skills. Off the top of my head, I would list:
      The ability to calm your thoughts.
      The ability to relax your body.
      The ability to willfully direct your awareness.
      These things need to be learned and practiced. Of course, behind any sort of learning is your intention and willpower. You need to want to learn. You need to have the willpower to practice and change your habits. Thanks for the inspiring words

    3. #3
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      Ctharlhie:

      You are a god.

      Thanks for posting this, and I deeply hope that everyone pays attention to, and cares to discuss at length, your words. Intention, exactly as you describe it, is critical to LD'ing, and is too often ignored, or lost in the glow of all those "promising" techniques.

      Nice work!

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      Excellent post! I agree, that intent, believing in yourself and positive mindset is huge part of success. That's the 'dark matter' that's invisible, but makes everything work. This should be a sticky, or a tutorial. Happy dreams

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      It's not the technique n00bf0rlyf3's Avatar
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      Looks pretty good , does saying 'tonight I will have many lucid dreams' work If I haven't had a lucid in awhile, my uncon. mind probably doesn't even know what lucid dreaming is anymore lmao
      BlueKat likes this.
      Spoiler for Secret to LDing:

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      I agree that intent is the key ingredient for lucidity. I also think that a dreamer needs to learn some key skills. Off the top of my head, I would list:
      The ability to calm your thoughts.
      The ability to relax your body.
      The ability to willfully direct your awareness.
      These things need to be learned and practiced. Of course, behind any sort of learning is your intention and willpower. You need to want to learn. You need to have the willpower to practice and change your habits. Thanks for the inspiring words
      Yes those are excellent skills that an aspiring oneironaut should learn, but they aren't essential. When I had my first lucid dream I didn't know how to calm my thoughts, relax my body, direct my awareness, and my lucid dreams after that weren't caused by those skills. What I'm trying to address is what newbies lack when they can't achieve a first lucid dream, what more experienced lucid dreamers have lost when they have a prolonged dry spell.

      Intent isn't motivation, intent can be perfectly present without motivation. Look at natural lucid dreamers, many of whom find it mildly comical when they learn about the extraordinary lengths some of us oneironauts go to in order to attain what they take for granted. In other words, their unconscious has been so strongly hardwired for lucidity over they years that they don't even need to try. They are 'doing without doing'.
      I define intent as 'I want and know I can', when you start out your want may be very high while your know I can may be very low, that's how newbies get stuck in a cycle of going from technique to technique without success, they mistakenly put all their belief in other's work rather than their own ability. In cognitive psychology this is called 'loci of control', how far you think your life is subject to your internal abilities, or external influences. A related concept is 'self-efficacy', how much you believe you are capable of imitating an observed behaviour, in this case successful lucid dreaming.

      Looks pretty good , does saying 'tonight I will have many lucid dreams' work If I haven't had a lucid in awhile, my uncon. mind probably doesn't even know what lucid dreaming is anymore lmao
      If you are able to intend easily without needing to channel it through a technique then simple auto-suggestion like that will be very successful. Otherwise find a technique you like and are comfortable with and use that. Like I said, any technique will do, the most important thing is to believe in YOU.

      @Sageous and Gab, thanks for the positive feedback
      My Lucid Dreaming Articles/Tutorials:
      Mindfulness - An Alternative Approach to ADA
      Intent in Lucid Dreaming; Break that Dry-Spell, Escape the Technique Rut

      Always, no sometimes think it's me,
      But you know I know when it's a dream
      I think I know I mean a yes
      But it's all wrong
      That is I think I disagree

      -John Lennon


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      Intent increases with success and declines with failure, I went through a dry spell recently when I had a phase of unsuccessfully trying to WILD, I literally lost my 'I know I can'. This is why the more lucids you have and the more frequently you have them builds exponentially, you learn to access the neural pathways of 'I am a natural lucid dreamer' more easily each time and the pathways get stronger. I think that's what Silverbullet was trying to get across in his thread. He had 200 lucids in one year or something crazy, simply because he knew he could.
      LucidRaider and 4thDimension like this.
      My Lucid Dreaming Articles/Tutorials:
      Mindfulness - An Alternative Approach to ADA
      Intent in Lucid Dreaming; Break that Dry-Spell, Escape the Technique Rut

      Always, no sometimes think it's me,
      But you know I know when it's a dream
      I think I know I mean a yes
      But it's all wrong
      That is I think I disagree

      -John Lennon


    8. #8
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      Very excellent tutorial
      When I was in dryspell, I thought maybe the dryspell comes when intention lacks because IT IS the BASIC key to all things you wanna achieve. But I wasn't really motivated enough to have LD so I kinda forced myself to set strong intent to do WILD during night, and guess what... I did WILD that night
      Sometimes it's hard 'not' to think simple, but the answers are always simple! just set your intent with positive emotion and confidence. that's really it. all these -ILD misc lucid dreaming techniques are just there to help you to succeed for one night only... why not have LD everyday just by having the right mindset?
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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

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      I love you and silverbullet now.
      But I feel for some (like me) this knowledge can be harmful to your strife.
      'Knowing' that I will lucid dream tonight is tough. The doubts only come to me because I don't want them to.
      When school ends I will dump a ton more of effort into this though.
      Beginner Goals: | Attain Lucidity | Observe Surroundings | Talk to a DC | Fly | Swim |

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      Quote Originally Posted by Aeolus View Post
      I love you and silverbullet now.
      But I feel for some (like me) this knowledge can be harmful to your strife.
      'Knowing' that I will lucid dream tonight is tough. The doubts only come to me because I don't want them to.
      When school ends I will dump a ton more of effort into this though.
      I can't see how knowledge can be harmful. In many situations in life it's useful to be able to 'step outside' of your circumstances and see things from a more objective viewpoint, such as when you're in a job or relationship that isn't working out. Recognition of a problem allows you to take active steps to change things.

      It's ok to doubt, we rationalise things to make sense of the world, part of that is to take alternate viewpoints and questions things. You can doubt, acknowledge that doubt, and then return to (what should be your default) stance of relaxed and utmost confidence. When I'm on a roll (more than 3 nights of consecutive lucidity) I can doubt and still believe and still achieve a lucid dream that night. It doesn't really take any effort, it should be the kind of knowledge and confidence that you have in the self-evident truths of the world; the earth is round, the sky is blue, etc. Lucidity can be something you don't even need to think about.

      I'll stress again that the key is to find a technique you enjoy and are comfortable with, and that means not too mentally taxing, you can't expect to lucid dream (or achieve much else in your life) if you're mentally exhausted from reality checking every five minutes, and then direct confidence on yourself not the technique.

      The simplest advice I can give you is find your own technique and then follow the steps outlined in Silverbullet's thread.
      SilverBullet and Sageous like this.
      My Lucid Dreaming Articles/Tutorials:
      Mindfulness - An Alternative Approach to ADA
      Intent in Lucid Dreaming; Break that Dry-Spell, Escape the Technique Rut

      Always, no sometimes think it's me,
      But you know I know when it's a dream
      I think I know I mean a yes
      But it's all wrong
      That is I think I disagree

      -John Lennon


    11. #11
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      So, in a basic sentance: Believe in YOU, go with a technique you are comfortable with, and go for it?.
      ~ wonk uoy naht noitceffa erom deen I ~

    12. #12
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      Yes
      Sageous likes this.
      My Lucid Dreaming Articles/Tutorials:
      Mindfulness - An Alternative Approach to ADA
      Intent in Lucid Dreaming; Break that Dry-Spell, Escape the Technique Rut

      Always, no sometimes think it's me,
      But you know I know when it's a dream
      I think I know I mean a yes
      But it's all wrong
      That is I think I disagree

      -John Lennon


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      Ok,... Ok... Thank you. I believe you helped me alot, I ... hope.
      ~ wonk uoy naht noitceffa erom deen I ~

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      Thank you Ctharlhie, you did a great job at helping people understand this concept! I can not fully express my gratitude.
      You are an intellectual god.
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      Why does this thread get so little attention? I had no lucid dream for a week and just read SilverBullets whole thread yesterday and set my intent. I had a LD again. Before going to bed I really knew I would have a LD.
      I found listening to a song that gave me a great feeling while imagining that awesome feeling of becoming lucid helped a lot. This is like Inception Plant an idea into your subconscious.
      In the dream I just realised that I am dreaming. Didn't even had to do a reality check, the dream was crystal clear and that chocolate ice-cream I had was just amazing! Thank you!
      I am definitely going to continue to do this and will report my success.

      Is this basically just a strong version of MILD?
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      Omg omg omg! I've read your thread yesterday and last night I had a LD after 6 months of dry spell!

      I've also read ‘The Art of Dreaming’ by Carlos Casteneda and it's very interesting, but after the second gate of dreaming it becomes a little wild. I'd like to read someday a review and thoughts about the book by a more experienced member of the forum, from our point of view.

      Thanks again Ctharlhie, you're the Boss!

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      ^^ Want a brief review from an arguably very experienced LD'er? I'll bite:

      I've read thousands of books in my life, and have a rule of reading them to the end, no matter what I thought. Castaneda's book, The Art of Dreaming, is not only one of the very few that I stopped reading before finishing, it is the only one that I ever threw against a wall in disgust.

      It was as if Castaneda was sitting in a bar one day and, after a few drinks, was told by a friend about lucid dreaming. Then, after jotting a quick definition of "the art" on a cocktail napkin, he went home that night and wrote his book about it, making up pretty much everything that wasn't on the napkin. Then he brought it to his publisher the next day who, after writing a fat check to Castaneda, sent it straight to the presses without even a thought to double-checking the content. Why bother? Anything Castaneda wrote at the time sold; he didn't care if it was all made up.

      The man knows nothing about LD'ing, period, and used his reputation as an ersatz pop-mystic to sell lots of copies of this very misleading, disingenuous book. That was wrong. From this we got a legion of fans whose personal LD growth may have been hampered from buying into the crap Castaneda invented (like those gates). That is very wrong. He should have left the bar without the napkin... come to think of it, maybe he did, and that book was based on what he remembered hearing...

      I doubt you'll see much agreement with me on this forum, but you asked.
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      Say what you may, I have learned many things from the carlos castaneda books.
      One thing I'll say is that Carlos can be as much of a dumbass as any average man.
      But the quotes he writes down from Don Juan are very helpful.
      For example:
      Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary.

      This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.


      Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The trouble is nobody asks the question; and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point very few men can stop to deliberate, and leave the path. A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.
      I think it's funny that you would throw it at a wall in disgust. IMO Shows that you have some worldviews that need breaking.
      I have noticed that if something VERY true comes up to me in my life I won't want to accept it more than anything else.
      It will nag at me in the back of my head, while I go, "nah that's totally wrong"
      Only to later realize, its oh so true.
      But whatever man, believe what you want, why should I give a shit.
      Last edited by SilverBullet; 12-23-2012 at 08:16 PM.
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      ^^ Hey, the guy asked for a review, and I gave it. No need to insult, I think, or to assume you can understand or judge my (or anyone's) world view from a single post on a website.

      You really believe Don Juan was real?

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      It does not matter even a little, if don juan is real. Not to me.
      The information I have learned matters.

      I know he asked for a review, and truly, there is no need for anything.
      You say what you think and I say what I think. What we think is just what we think.
      I haven't experienced what your life was like, so I can't see from your point of view so easily.
      I have had my own life experiences, that have lead me to believe certain things.
      Last edited by SilverBullet; 12-23-2012 at 08:27 PM.

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      ^^ Fair enough, and very true.

      Also, and for what it's worth: I was reviewing a single book by Castaneda, and not his entire body of work. Some of his stuff, as you noted, is truly insightful, whether Don Juan is real or not. I just think Castaneda may have overstepped his own bounds in his attempt to discuss lucid dreaming in that one book.


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      CTHULHU RISING!

      Yeah, once I lost my motive, I stopped having LDs because of many different factors

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      I love "The Art of Dreaming". Sageous, what was that to upset you so much in the book? Most experienced lucid dreamers i know dont use any techniques at ll. They simply lucid dream.
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      What upset me was global, I think, not specific. If you really read what Castaneda has to say about lucid dreaming, it appears he understands very little about its experience and, rather than investigate in order to offer his many followers some legitimate knowledge, he simply made up a bunch of mystical-sounding things and presented them as The Truth. That struck me as extremely disingenuous, especially by a guy who whose readers tend to accept as true anything he says.

      Though this may be a bit of a dodge, I read the book many years ago, and memory and general laziness prevent me from going into specifics. If you'd like to present reasons why The Art of Dreaming is a valid take on dreaming and lucid dreaming, go for it -- I'm interested, could certainly be wrong, and others might appreciate the defense.

      Also: Yes, I personally don't stand too firmly behind any of these techniques (I was LD'ing long before most of them were invented in their modern forms), have a real problem with the elevation of technique over experience on these forums, and always thought I simply lucid dreamed. So I agree; but what does that have to do with Castaneda's book?
      opalwolf likes this.

    25. #25
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      That video has really boosted my self confidence. I also watched part 7 which was equally about not relying on a technique as a "gateway" to lucidity, but more the affirmation that YOU know you can do it. Thanks!

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