• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views




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    Thread: "Technology Doesn't Work in Dreams!" Bah.

    1. #1
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      "Technology Doesn't Work in Dreams!" Bah.

      Reality checks. Essential stuff, right?

      I've been reading around... there's a lot of content regarding what types of reality checks you should do. Some that have stood out to be have been to



      - use technology
      - use light-switches
      - read text
      - look in a mirror

      The problem with these are... it's not always true that these things don't work! Especially technology. I've had dreams in which I sit at my computer and create whole graphics... sequence whole song sections... browse the internet! It's not jarringly "unreal" at all.

      Lightswitches. Why shouldn't they work?

      Text... I've read text... and looked away... and looked back. Often times, it stays the same. No hieroglyphics.

      Mirrors... I look just like me.


      Is it really a disadvantage to me that these reality checks don't work? I never use them as RCs anyway. I just think about it for a while, and realize I'm dreaming. If I'm really unsure, I just try to fly, and that's usually a good enough indicator.

      But I think it's a bad idea to tell beginners that "technology doesn't work correctly!" or "lightswitches won't work!" because that will make them EXPECT it not to work, which... makes it not work. Which is really inconvenient when you need to use technology in a dream or something. Technology, mirrors, text, and lightswitches have always worked for me, because I've been lucid dreaming before I even knew there was a "researchable term" for it. Which means I was never exposed to this kind of advice. But we might be doing a disservice to beginners by telling them these things -- because maybe it's just YOU that technology or text refuses to work for.

      Which leads to... is it just me? Or are there others out there who have had similar experiences with technology, mirrors, lightswitches, and/or text, in which it works well enough?

      I don't know, what do you think?

    2. #2
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      This is a good point, DreamForecast.

      I've actually thought of this before, like with how everyone talks about their dream characters being dumb or acting weird. Maybe this is just a schema for some?

      For me, digital clocks are usually weird acting, it's actually one of my favorite RCs/dream sighs. Digital cameras sometimes act glitchy too. Video games usually don't act up though, except one time I was playing animal crossing: new leaf and the text was all jumbled. At the moment I can't remember a time when light switches haven't worked and from what I recall, computers are fine most of the time.
      Last edited by Mismagius; 02-28-2014 at 10:16 AM.


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      These are just common dream signs. If one stops working, you just stop using it. I had the electronics malfunctioning before I heard of it, but the mirrors were something I went looking for. The lightswitches recently stopped malfunctioning for me. I attribute that to increased dream control.

      TBH, I have very rarely needed a RC. Most of the time, once I begin to wonder if I'm dreaming, I already know that I am. I can only recall one instance when a RC really surprised me. I noticed an LCD sign malfunctioning in a non-lucid dream. I thought, well... I guess they're just having trouble with the system, but I'll RC just for good measure. I looked at my hands, and they were blurry, which I hadn't expected at all.

      Other than that... if you can get your head around the idea that if you are wondering whether you're in a dream, you are in a dream, that's all you really need.

      I had the opportunity to test this the other day. I was driving, and up ahead I saw a tree falling. I immediately thought of RCing, but it was a difficult stretch of road, so I just began to try to feel my body and the environment around me, and that's a good habit, IMHO. If you really pay attention, that will never fail. BTW, I got up to where the tree had fallen and saw some people cutting down a whole row of trees, probably to make room for a new house. But it is really good to notice things that are out of the ordinary.

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      I actually had the same "problem" of OP: 2 nights ago, in a nLD I was at my computer and it worked perfectly fine. 3 nights ago, due to a false awakening, I tried to fly and didn't succeed (it's always worked for me). So it really depends on the situation, there is no such a thing as a RC that always works.

      The point is though, and I agree with Sibyline, that the only purpouse of a RC is to confirm that you are dreaming because you already know that you are but you just want to be 100% sure. One should work on developing their awareness and only use RC's to confirm suspicions. For example, in my last lucid I became lucid by simply questioning whether I was dreaming or not and I did a RC only to confirm it.
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      I'm the same, Sibyline, most all of my lucid dreams are just from observing the environment and noticing that something is off.

      This thread reminds me, someone recently mentioned that they woke up from a lucid dream because they thought of their sleeping body, which they said wouldn't have occurred to them if they hadn't read not to think of it

      I think you can get both negative and positive schemas from reading stuff on DreamViews. You just have to remember that if you believe it's possible, it will be possible.
      Last edited by Mismagius; 02-28-2014 at 10:15 AM.


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      Reading text can be an extremely realiable reality check because it's very unlikely that your brain will manage to re-create the exactly same text several times in a row.
      Sooner or later you are bound to visualize the text in a slightly different way, or your mind will wander so that the letters will behave in strange ways.

      These kinds of reality checks are considered "reliable" because they will most likely work, and therefore they are worth trying.
      In fact, Stephen LaBerge once tested the reading check among a group of volunteers, and he saw that on the second re-reading your chances to see a different text were 95%, so mathematically this would mean that the second re-reading would succeed in something like 99.75% of the cases.
      Last edited by Laurelindo; 02-28-2014 at 03:46 PM.
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      I think the place RC's work best is not in dreams, but in waking life. Properly practicing RC's during the day is instrumental in preparing your mind for LD'ing. And, if your mind is properly prepared, a RC after becoming lucid is little more than a wearisome redundancy.

      On top of that, doing a RC before you are lucid is pretty much useless. A non-lucid RC will likely result in more non-lucidity, because the RC will either come up negative (that light switch will work) and you will continue thinking the dreamscape is real, or, worse, you'll dream the RC was positive, and then start dreaming that you are lucid, even though there is no actual self-awareness present. In other words, you can't do a RC during a NLD because you'll only be dreaming that you're doing one, and then dreaming its results, and there's no real point in doing a RC after you know you're dreaming because, well, you already know you're dreaming.

      So, DreamForecast, I think you make a good point in your OP, even if perhaps it wasn't the point you meant to make: RC's during the dream tend to be a very ineffective tool, because when they are needed (during NLD's), expectations can cause them to fail, and when they might actually work (during LD's), they are not necessary because you are already lucid -- and even when lucid they might fail because your dreaming mind is adept at fulfilling expectation (negative or positive) and making that light switch work, that clock correct.

      This may all sound like some sort of Ld'ing heresy, given the status RC'ing enjoys, but I don't think so: RC's are still a vital part of daytime work, and should be done regularly. I still do them myself to this day, even though I have never used an RC to become lucid during a dream.

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      Sageous, your post is simply perfect.

      I noticed the exact same thing: when I gave too much attention on RC's and to little to the actual awareness behind them, I'd often find myself in nLD doing RC's and dreaming of becoming lucid when in actuality I was not and it came to the point where I'd even stabilize them and walk around yelling I was lucid when in actuality I was not lol
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      As always, great post Sageous ^^

      I have a question though, aren't these more like dream signs than reality checks? Although they could be used for both, I guess. For example, when I notice the digital clock is displaying impossible times or nonsense and start questioning if I might be in a dream. Isn't that more like the results of becoming more aware in dreams and waking life, rather than something like a random RC during a non-lucid dream?
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    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by DreamForecast View Post
      Reality checks. Essential stuff, right?

      I've been reading around... there's a lot of content regarding what types of reality checks you should do. Some that have stood out to be have been to



      - use technology
      - use light-switches
      - read text
      - look in a mirror

      The problem with these are... it's not always true that these things don't work! Especially technology. I've had dreams in which I sit at my computer and create whole graphics... sequence whole song sections... browse the internet! It's not jarringly "unreal" at all.

      Lightswitches. Why shouldn't they work?

      Text... I've read text... and looked away... and looked back. Often times, it stays the same. No hieroglyphics.

      Mirrors... I look just like me.


      Is it really a disadvantage to me that these reality checks don't work? I never use them as RCs anyway. I just think about it for a while, and realize I'm dreaming. If I'm really unsure, I just try to fly, and that's usually a good enough indicator.

      But I think it's a bad idea to tell beginners that "technology doesn't work correctly!" or "lightswitches won't work!" because that will make them EXPECT it not to work, which... makes it not work. Which is really inconvenient when you need to use technology in a dream or something. Technology, mirrors, text, and lightswitches have always worked for me, because I've been lucid dreaming before I even knew there was a "researchable term" for it. Which means I was never exposed to this kind of advice. But we might be doing a disservice to beginners by telling them these things -- because maybe it's just YOU that technology or text refuses to work for.

      Which leads to... is it just me? Or are there others out there who have had similar experiences with technology, mirrors, lightswitches, and/or text, in which it works well enough?

      I don't know, what do you think?
      I agree with you in many points about expectations - that may well be a reason for technology to fail in lucid dreams

      But in my non-LDs lights do fail !!!

      i donīt know why !! Do i expect it to not work in a n-LD ? Idk, maybe our brains canīt generate that representation without external input ? That would make sense because we didnīt evolve with technology and our dreaming minds are very old i suppose.

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mismagius View Post
      ...aren't these more like dream signs than reality checks? Although they could be used for both, I guess. For example, when I notice the digital clock is displaying impossible times or nonsense and start questioning if I might be in a dream. Isn't that more like the results of becoming more aware in dreams and waking life, rather than something like a random RC during a non-lucid dream?
      Yes.

      "Yes," all by itself, is really the entire answer to your questions, but I have this thing about words, so let me agree that things like changing clocks and lights not flipping on can be used as dreamsigns, and then add that this is true especially (perhaps only?) if you are doing RC's that include these things during the day. I have a suspicion (or perhaps a partially submerged memory) that LaBerge had every intention of using RC's as dreamsigns when he first elevated their importance years ago. After all, if you've conditioned your mind to study that light switch, and to honestly question whether this is a dream or not when you do, then that conditioning might just find its way into your dream schemata.

      Even so, though, you had best be mentally prepared, because should those dreamsigns occur and you are not ready to recognize them as such by becoming lucid, you run an excellent chance of following that same NLD path of dreaming that you saw a dreamsign , and then dreaming that you are lucid, all without a hint of self-awareness present... so even if you are sure you'll never do a RC in a dream, practice them regularly and sincerely anyway, because they might be the route to lucidity, especially when they do not work as advertised!

      tl;dr: Yes.
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    12. #12
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      I guess this is a good reason why all RCs have their short comings.

      Also, I can't remember the last time I used an RC to become lucid. It's always "spontaneous".
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      RCs in dreams used to be pretty effective for me, resulting in lucidity, early on. So I wouldn't discount them for beginners. But with experience it is now dream signs and spontaneous awareness...RCs no longer required.

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      A few RC and dream text stories from my dreams:

      20 years ago one of my most memorable lucids ever started out with me in the kitchen completely clueless that I was dreaming, but I was in a habit of RCing, so I did without expecting it to work: I looked at a post-it note attached to the fridge and it transformed into a calendar once I looked back at it.

      Last year one of my non-lucids. I was on DV, and the entire dream was text, and there was a thread about how this was just weird enough that it could be a dream, and yet I did not become lucid!

      Another time in a WILD I saw I had a message in DV, so I clicked on it. It was the exact copy of a PM I had already seen in waking life. Unfortunately, I was not expecting it to be the same message, and I hesitated, and didn't know what to do, and then I woke up.

      A lucid last year: I was in an elevator and noticed the button number was out of order. I looked away and looked back and the numbers had not changed. So I thought: "skrew it! I know this is a dream." And that's when the numbers rearranged themselves into a different wrong order right in front of my eyes.

      So I think text does work in dreams sometimes, and sometimes it does not. There is no hard rule that always applies.
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      Totally agree, I've had dreams in which I looked in the mirror and could see myself crystal clear. Many reality checks can fail, unfortunately.
      In my opinion and experience, the most effective one is trying to change something. Changing the size/shape/color of an object or trying to summon something, always worked for me, except 1 time when I wasn't focused and was losing awareness.
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      I wonder whether this thread caused my dream this morning. Unintentional RC missed - Dream Journals - Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mismagius View Post

      I think you can get both negative and positive schemas from reading stuff on DreamViews. You just have to remember that if you believe it's possible, it will be possible.
      There it is. Yup, yup, yup.
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      A lot of my dreams involve technology. I was texting my mum in one of them and my phone looked exactly the same as it does now. I could read the texts and text back. Words almost never change in dreams. Same with the time. And light switches almost always actually turn on.

      Dreams are tricky...

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      Quote Originally Posted by Mismagius View Post
      This thread reminds me, someone recently mentioned that they woke up from a lucid dream because they thought of their sleeping body, which they said wouldn't have occurred to them if they hadn't read not to think of it
      NB: Don't read the following if easily influenced by paranoia :p (only half joking)

      I remember a while ago (I havnt used dreamviews in years) there was a thread in which a member stated their fear of becoming lucid because they immediately became conscious of their 'unprotected' sleeping body. Which is interesting because even the act of falling asleep should leave us with this fear (if it is justified). I recently woke up from a lucid dream for the same reason and was wondering if anyone has any advice for this kind of situation? It has only really been an issue once I started thinking about it more. I guess we just have to put faith in ourselves that if anything truely untoward happens, our defense mechanisms will wake us up. the fact that we are dreaming should itself be a confirmation that we are 'safe'. Or maybe I'm just thinking too much about it.

      On topic:

      When learning to use Reality checks (during the day, as sageous mentions), I found it useful to rename them 'suspicion aids'. basically, use them whenever you are suspicious that you might be dreaming and they usually re-enforce your suspicion, even if they do fail. A failed R/C can be as useful as a positive check insofar as it brings more attention to your mind and lets you focus on more important questions such as "where was I five minutes ago?" and "does it make sense that these people are in this particular setting?"

      /end rant
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      Quote Originally Posted by Duncan View Post
      NB: Don't read the following if easily influenced by paranoia :p (only half joking)

      I remember a while ago (I havnt used dreamviews in years) there was a thread in which a member stated their fear of becoming lucid because they immediately became conscious of their 'unprotected' sleeping body. Which is interesting because even the act of falling asleep should leave us with this fear (if it is justified). I recently woke up from a lucid dream for the same reason and was wondering if anyone has any advice for this kind of situation? It has only really been an issue once I started thinking about it more. I guess we just have to put faith in ourselves that if anything truely untoward happens, our defense mechanisms will wake us up. the fact that we are dreaming should itself be a confirmation that we are 'safe'. Or maybe I'm just thinking too much about it.
      Even though you can be attacked while sleeping, you go to sleep every night and you are in a totally unconscious state. Lucid dreaming increases your awareness so you are actually safer

      Nice point concerning the RC's
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