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    Thread: Layers of Lucidity - An Explanation

    1. #1
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      Layers of Lucidity - An Explanation

      Preface

      Before you read this, remember that everybody is different, and everybody has different experiences. You may or may not experience some of the things I write about here, and if you don't, don't worry, there's nothing wrong with you. No rules of Lucid Dreaming are set in stone, this is just a way that I like to classify and think about my dreams in a personal way. I also don't agree completely with everything said in the videos, or in this article. As I said, I am conveying his ideas, as lots of people agree with them.

      I first heard of the Layers of Lucidity theory from a Youtube channel called ReeceJones87. All credit goes to him for this, I'm just writing up his ideas. I think it's an interesting theory, and I decided to post this to try and help people understand it better, or get it more well known for people who haven't heard of it before. The Layers act as descriptions to the gray areas between lucid and non-lucid, taking control into account. As we all know, lucidity is not just a black and white scenario, there is no on/off switch within a dream. We can have dreams which are more lucid than others, and that's what this theory takes into account.

      Layer Zero Minor

      This is the lowest form of having any sort of lucid content in your dreams. This is simply when you have a dream about lucid dreaming. You may be talking to your friends about lucid dreaming, telling them what you're going to be doing. You could be on DreamViews, reading posts and getting psyched about lucid dreaming. In these dreams, you could have a full on conversation about lucid dreaming, or you could see something that relates to lucid dreaming, or you could even have some thoughts about lucid dreaming - thoughts such as, "I wonder what I'd do here right now if this were a dream..." without doing anything about it - without ever becoming lucid.

      Layer Zero Major

      In this layer, you may start to feel like something's not quite right when you're in a dream, but you never go so far as to actually question your reality. You may not even know what feels out of place, you just know something is odd. It could be something as simple as just knowing that your actions will bear no consequences. All of your actions affect only the experience you are having at the present moment in time within the dream. I, personally, would say this is the beginning stages of lucidity, and this is when you are more aware of what's going on. You are not quite lucid and aware of yourself, but you are aware that something is different from waking life. Another kind of feeling that you could have is that you instinctively know that you can stop whatever happens within the dream if something goes wrong. This is the kind of thing that people sometimes use to wake themselves up from nightmares, although within the nightmare they don't actually click that they are within a dream.

      Layer One Minor

      Layer One is seen as the most frustrating and demoralising layers. It can be the making or breaking of someone in their Oneironautical adventures, depending on whether or not they break through the layer and stay confident in themselves.
      Layer One Minor is when you become aware that you are dreaming, and then wake up almost instantly, after a few seconds. You may have experienced this, so you will know how frustrating it is. If not, you can imagine, and this is why it's so important to try and break through this stage of learning to lucid dream. One of the main reasons that this happens to beginners is excitement. Imagine the scenario where you realise you're dreaming, you might get butterflies at just the thought of it, the rush of infinite possibilities. You will get this within a dream, and it can wake you up. The way I trained myself to get over the excitement was to just imagine myself going through the motion of getting lucid, and composing myself and keeping myself calm and collected. This might help you as well.
      Another type of Layer One Minor is when you realise you're dreaming, and then decide to wake yourself up. This is similar to the Layer Zero Major, but it's not the same. Layer One is when you are much more aware, so you are actually making the decision to wake yourself up. In a Layer Zero, you only have a slight niggling thought at the back of your head that you have the capability, rather than actually being aware of yourself and where you actually are.

      Layer One Major

      This is when you become lucid within a dream, but then a couple of minutes later, you will "wake up" into a False Awakening. This makes you continue the dream in a non-lucid state as go you back into the less aware state you were in before. The best way to stop this from happening is to get into the habit of performing a reality check every time you wake up, to catch any of those pesky FAs that might get you!

      Layer Two Minor

      In this stage, you will be aware that you are dreaming, but you may not be totally aware of the consequences of your actions or what it really means to be in a dream. To know and to understand that you are still lying in bed at home, and that your dream is all yours, you have total control over it all. This won't all seem obvious in a Layer Two Minor dream, and you will not fully understand the concept of the dream, because you are not quite fully aware, as you would be in the later layers. Another variation of this is when you become aware that you are dreaming, but you don't feel the need to take control and do what you want, so you don't care. This shows, again, that you aren't really clicking with what a dream really is, because in any other time, you'd be thrilled to become aware, and you would not allow yourself to let go of the control.

      Layer Two Major

      When you're in this layer, you'll know you're dreaming, but you'll continue to treat your dream like waking life. You will continue to treat your Dream Characters as actual people. The difference between this and the last, is that the Dream Characters themselves know that they are part of a dream, and sometimes they will even try to convince and tell you so. This is a strange layer, and is generally quite rare. The DCs will seem more aware to what is going on, than you do. A variation of this is that the Dream Characters themselves will tell you that you were dreaming earlier on in the dream, but you will still not think to question the statement, and you will not think to Reality Check to see if you are still dreaming. Again, you are aware that you are dreaming, but you're not fully aware of what that means, and what you can do with yourself, you just go along with what was already happening.

      Layer Three Minor

      In this layer, your everyday consciousness will start to seep into the dream itself. This layer will be a lot more vivid, and you will be much more aware of what it means to be within the dream, and you will no longer think that Dream Characters are real people. You are a lot more aware in this layer, as you have more clarity of mind. In this state, you might not have full control over your actions, and over the story of the dream, and the Dream Characters will not know what they are. Your dream will run its course on its own, and you will follow the storyline that you are given. You are not in complete control yet. These dreams can be some of the best, because you will be surprised by what your mind throws at you. In this layer, you may slip out of lucidity, and then something might trigger your lucidity again. This can happen because the story may engulf your mind and awareness and so you lose focus of yourself.

      Layer Three Major

      The difference between Layer Three Minor and Major is that the Dream Characters in Layer Three Major know what they are. This can help you to stay lucid for longer because they may remind you, or they may react as you will want them to. You may have more control over them, since they know they are a part of your imagination.

      Layer Four Minor/Major

      This is when you have total control of every single aspect of your dream, you know the consequences of being in a dream, and your dream is still vivid and clear. I'd say not to try and get yourself into this Layer before you go through the others, because they will help you to train yourself to manifest your own dream and have an idea of what you're doing. This can be the most personally insightful and deep layer, because you are totally aware, it is a lot easier for you to communicate with your subconscious self. The only difference, again, between Minor and Major here is that the Dream Characters do not know what they are in the Minor stage, but they do in the Major.

      Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you learned something!

    2. #2
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      Great guide! I think I understand the layers easier now.
      I summarized them for myself:
      Layer zero: You dream about lucid dreaming, but never question reality. Something seems odd.
      Layer one: Quick wakeup or false awakening after realizing it is a dream.
      Layer two: You know it is a dream, but go along with the story.
      Layer three: You know it is a dream, and you have good clarity, but not complete control.
      Layer four: You know it is a dream, and you have full control.

      I wish to use the layers of lucidity to easily identify my dreams when explaining them to people, and understand their dreams better as well.
      I have become quite interested on the layers of lucidity, and I use them to measure how lucid a dream is. For more information on these layers, click here.

    3. #3
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      A good resource, props for having the patience to compile all the layers into a text guide, the videos can be a bit much to take in all at once. (Though I'd advise anyone interested in the concept to watch the videos if they haven't done so already).

      While informative I do take issue with the categorisation of lucidity in such a way that it might colour expectations. For instance, I spent months of my development having layer one majors in which I had paralytic FAs, and then I only had layer twos. I frustratedly sought the elusive layers 3 and 4 not realising I needed to get 'lucid about lucidity'. Just a warning
      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


    4. #4
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      Nicely and clearly explained guide! Thanks! I never knew I was as high as Three Minor.

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      To me that difference about minor / major level, where the characters know they are in a dream is extremely odd.
      In my dreams it is very common that some characters know they are in a dream, while most of them don't, and will even say it's impossible, they know what reality looks like. So, is that a minor / major level of lucidity, considering I am still fully aware, independently on what some of the characters think?

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