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    Thread: Question about reality checks

    1. #1
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      Question Question about reality checks

      I had a dream where I felt certain it was a dream. And I controlled my actions. However, when I tried a few reality checks, I could jump properly, read and write. I also couldn't put my finger through my hand. What was happening?
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      IMO the nose pinch is the most reliable RC - I would skip the others. Except maybe finger-palm - that one is usually effective for me anyway, but I guess it's different for some people.

      When you say you could read and write, did you read some text, look away and then look back to see if it had changed? I never use that one because it's very common to find yourself in a situation where there is nothing to read, and I don't think I've ever been in a dream where I had writing materials available!

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      Many problems can plague reality tests. Here's a tip to help avoid them.
      When you reality check, make sure you are robustly imagining the dream result. This expectation does no harm in real life, and in the dream world is control. Be aware of your surroundings. What were you doing five minutes ago? What are you actually doing?
      Don't answer with a vague thought. Instead, be clear cut and to the point. Check for anything remotely illogical.

      Personally, I don't there is anything 'wrong' with any reality check and I believe in a significant variety. By the way, I've never used the nose pinch.
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      Quote Originally Posted by naturespirit View Post
      When you reality check, make sure you are robustly imagining the dream result. This expectation does no harm in real life, and in the dream world is control.
      To paraphrase, practice the act of "robustly imaging the dream result" in waking life, too.

      For example, if you're doing the thumb through palm reality check in waking life, visually imagine the thumb going through the palm.

      Another example, if you're jumping to fly for a reality check, visually imagine flying to the air and maybe see yourself going through the ceiling of the building you're in.

      Visualization and imagination help with lucidity in the long run.
      Last edited by NeoHenry; 02-04-2018 at 08:46 PM.
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      As the beginning of wisdom is to "to know that you know nothing," so too the beginning of awakening (for lucidity) is to know that you are not awake. - Stephen LaBerge

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      When I was younger, I regarded "reality checking" as a concrete methodology. I no longer do.

      In the dream state, we are able to accept that any fictional concept is true. Even self-identity is not certain. You can dream that you are an animal, or another person, without questioning it. It must then be true that you could dream about a reality check passing the test, as it would in "real life", or that your expectations of the test have become warped (perhaps you now believe you can no longer read text, or that you don't have a nose to breathe with anymore).

      I think that reality checking generally works because it promotes mindfulness. In my experience at least, I never performed a reality check in "real life" with any genuine doubt about my surroundings. However, in my dreams, reality checks worked as confirmation; I would, on some level, already be aware I was asleep when I performed them.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Conceptor View Post
      It must then be true that you could dream about a reality check passing the test...
      The real point of reality checks is that, if you remember to do them in dreams, then you've already cultivated a pretty good level of awareness. If you dream that you don't have a nose for instance you're nowhere near lucidity. And as you yourself just said, by the time you do a test you're generally already lucid or just about to become lucid.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      The real point of reality checks is that, if you remember to do them in dreams, then you've already cultivated a pretty good level of awareness. If you dream that you don't have a nose for instance you're nowhere near lucidity. And as you yourself just said, by the time you do a test you're generally already lucid or just about to become lucid.
      I think that is probably right, and what makes that interesting is that if it is true, newcomers are more likely to fail with reality checking because they are still working on building that mindfulness. I can only speak for myself, but when I was a newcomer to lucid dreaming, reality checks were sold to me as a highly reliable system for entry-level lucid dreaming. It seems to me that reality checking is more prone to failure than given credit for. Toilet's experience must seem very contradictory to his expectations of how reality checking works, but to a seasoned lucid dreamer like yourself, you must find it unremarkable that he, or anyone, has experienced a failure to respond to reality checks.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Conceptor View Post
      It seems to me that reality checking is more prone to failure than given credit for. Toilet's experience must seem very contradictory to his expectations of how reality checking works, but to a seasoned lucid dreamer like yourself, you must find it unremarkable that he, or anyone, has experienced a failure to respond to reality checks.
      Technically speaking, a reality check requires the person to visualize and expect the reality check to work. I suspect some beginners are not used to visualizing the impossible to occur, thus the reality checks fail on beginners.
      As the beginning of wisdom is to "to know that you know nothing," so too the beginning of awakening (for lucidity) is to know that you are not awake. - Stephen LaBerge

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      I only ever got an RC to actually spark lucidity once, and that was when I first started LDing. It was very definitely an automatic response to do a nose pinch (affirmation in WL), which failed (I could breathe), and THEN I became lucid, with no inkling of lucidity before. But that was the only time. Since then I have always become aware first, then done an RC to confirm.
      On several occasions I have found the nose pinch RC to fail (I could not breathe), but was convinced I was dreaming. On a few occasions I have perservered with the node pinch and it workked on the second or third attempt.
      I now usually look at my hands and count the fingers (if there are any!). Often my hands are all wavy, have more digits, or on one occasion it was see-through.

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      As others have said, RCs are far from infallible, and they require a proper mindset to work. Even so, there might be occasions in a dream where, for some reason, things just end up weird. It happens.

      RCs, I think, can be a good introduction toward exercising waking-life self awareness, and they're useful for confirming lucidity when you already suspect you're dreaming (at which point your expectation that they will work helps drive them to produce the proper “dreaming” signal you're looking for). It may take some practice and experience for this to work reliably, though.

      Personally, my most common difficulties with RCs in dreams currently come down to either the RCs occasionally being stubborn and not wanting to work even when I know they should, or my (somehow) having difficulty interpreting the result of an RC I perform and failing to remember that the RCs I use are designed to be pretty much 100% unambiguous in waking life, meaning that any ambiguity or confusion I experience in doing one is in itself a big clue that I'm definitely dreaming. I'm usually able to work around these problems, though, by trying other RCs or being persistent: I can almost always get one to work eventually after enough coaxing. Thus, I'm no longer so easily fooled by a misbehaving RC when I suspect I'm likely to be dreaming. The downside is that I can sometimes use up several precious moments of dream time in the process. I'm sure there's still room for improvement in the way I handle these situations.

      But all that is after I've had some years of LD practice. I can see beginners getting easily fooled at first when RCs go wrong, “missing” lucidity as a result. As frustrating as that can be, I think it's best not to worry about it too much but to just keep trying, learn from that mistake, and make a goal of remembering to avoid it next time.

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      A couple nights ago I had both a finger-palm and a nose-pinch fail, but I still became like half lucid - enough to understand that I wasn't in waking reality, though without full lucid awareness. Things were getting really weird - I was walking along a sidewalk and I kept getting on these weird ramp things that rapidly took me way up high on the walls of the buildings, to dangerous heights very quickly. I knew something was weird and did both RC's - but press as I might my finger wouldn't go through, and air somehow kept 'leaking' into my lungs. I failed to gain lucidity - my dreaming mind came up with excuses, like I must have a slight cold so the nose-pinch won't work (!?)

      But I did reach a level of semi-lucidity, where I understood that there is no real danger, and that this isn't exactly normal waking reality, so I just jumped down off the ridiculously high level and re-appeared instantly on the sidewalk again, walking as I was before. Need to get back to the day practice and constant state testing to bring awareness back up.

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