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    Thread: How well can you visualize and lucid dream? Possible connection between those two.

    1. #1
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      How well can you visualize and lucid dream? Possible connection between those two.

      Hello everyone, I am investigating a possible connection between lucid dreaming and the ability of a person to visualize images in their mind's eye, I haven't really seen anyone speak about this anywhere, so I'd like everyone who wants to to write on a scale of 1 to 10 how well they can visualize stuff and how often they get lucid. Bonus, you can write what the most effective technique is for you, especially if you're bad at visualizing.

      I am someone who is aphantasic, meaning that I can't use my mind's eye to visualize, technically I kinda can to some degree, but there are people who are completely aphantasic and can't do it whatsoever, though strangely enough even us with aphantasia can dream vividly and lucidly. Even people who can visualize normally have varying degrees of visualization and that is something that can be trained (by doing exercises like "Image streaming"), so since it varies from person to person, maybe it has an effect on lucid dreaming rate, especially since many techniques depend on visualization.

      During this entire year I tried to lucid dream (with doing wbtb and drream journals and even meditating for a few months) for almost the entire year, I tried many different techniques, giving each at least a few weeks, but my success rate is like 1%, so about 3 or 4 successful lucid dreams over around 300 nights, on some nights I did multiple attempts, so in total there were maybe even 4 or 5 hundred attemps. Out of those few dreams, only one was fully lucid, the others were vague and lasted for a few seconds.

      On this scale, choose how well you can visualize and then in the second scale choose how often you get lucid on average:

      -

      1 I can't use my mind's eye whatsoever/aphantasic
      2-3 I can sometimes see vague images in my mind, sometimes like flash impressions, but I can't really control them
      4-6 I can imagine most things or even anything I want and manipulate the image, but it is not always the most detailed image
      7-8 I can imagine anything and the quality is generally good and detailed
      9 I can imagine everything in great quality, including most or all other senses
      10 I can fully or almost fully immerse in my imagination when I daydream

      --

      I can lucid dream:
      - only a few times in a year
      - a few times in a month
      - at least once a week
      - 3 to 5 times a week
      - everyday at least once

      --


      In my case it is 2 for visualizing and a few times per year for lucid dreaming. I only got lucid via Mild.
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    2. #2
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      Welcome to Dream Views! Thanks for starting such a good topic.

      I am sure they are related. I have always assumed they used similar pathways in the brain. I would be a ten on the first scale and any of the last three frequencies depending on if I am paying attention and trying.
      Here is a link you may enjoy, https://www.dreamviews.com/dream-yog...-training.html
      Peace Be With You. Oh, and sure, The Force too, why not.



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    3. #3
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      My ability to visualize changes depending on the setting and situation I'm in. At any given time my ability is about a 2-4, but when meditating or listening to music with my eyes closed and relaxing and visualizing for fun, it becomes more like a 4-6. Personally I don't think I'm very good at visualizing, I'm never more better than just decent at it under optimal conditions.

      As far as lucid dreaming goes, I haven't actually put effort into having lucid dreams for well over 6 to 7 years now. On average, I have between 20 and 60 lucid dreams naturally over the course of the year without ever trying/intending to lucid dream. That average goes up when I make an effort to practice greater awareness and mindfulness in my life (in general), which I wind up doing on and off every few months.

      Considering some people (very rarely) aren't even capable of visualizing or otherwise seeing anything with their mind's eye at all, I'm not sure how strong the link between visualization ability and lucid dreaming is going to be. If anything, I'd guess that what has more of a causal effect is the fact that people that practice visualization in the first place are going to be more likely to practice lucid dreaming too, and they're going to put greater effort across the board into the things that actually have a stronger correlation with greater numbers of lucid dreams... like practicing greater awareness and mindfulness, getting more experiences of lucid dreams under one's belt and becoming more familiarized with the state of consciousness, recognizing dream signs and recurring themes and aspects of one's dreams, etc.
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      I think there are 2 crucial things that relate visualization (in)ability to lucidity:

      1. Remembering the visual parts of the dream, which aphantasic people either can't do at all or can't do good enough. This in turn lowers the dream recall. If you are able to remember how something in your dream looked like visually, then chances are higher that you will both remember the dream itself, it's story and so on, but also what made it unrealistic, which can in turn serve as a trigger the next time you see it. If you can't do this, then you will only remember the story of the dream like I do (I don't even remember how faces of people looked like or what clothes they had, I only remember who they were) and maybe a few visual details here and there. Let's say there was a door in your house in a dream that's not there in real life, if you could visually remember that when you wake up, then you could remember to watch out for it the next time, but if you can't, then you'll maybe be totally oblivious to the door even existing in the dreams, since you can't remember it from the last time.

      2. Inability to use techniques that depend on visualizing. This is an even bigger issue. MILD, being one of the most popular and easiest techniques is a great example, for it to be effective you have to not just say the mantra, but also to imagine yourself in a dream setting realizing that you are dreaming, which is maybe even more important than the mantra itself. If you can't visualize, you can't imagine the dream scene itself, let alone this whole process of finding out you're dreaming. Then there's VILD and there is an equally easy and popular technique DEILD, which depends on you remembering visually the last dream you were in and finding out you are dreaming inside that last dream, but again, if you can't even remember it visually, but only as pure information (for example "I remember I was in some sort of a house, but I have no idea how it looked like"), then it's impossible to do DEILD.

      Not sure if this is VILD or not, but there are techniques where you imagine numbers are you count them, while falling asleep or imagine going up stairs and things like that, which again, aphantasics can't do. I can count even without using visuals, but since I only see blackness, it's probably way harder for me to retain my focus, than for someone who can fully immerse themselves in the counting process by viewing it.

      My personal reason for aphantasia is probably the fact that I have strabismus, which in some cases (but not all) leads to inability to hold the image in your mind's eye. There is the "Image streaming exercise" that helps grow your mind's eye, but it didn't work for me even after months of doing it. Fortunately I have discovered vision therapy which fully solves strabismus (both image streaming and vision therapy work by strengthening your neural pathways), I already have some progress with fixing my strabismus, so I can't wait to try out image streaming once I get rid of strabismus.

    5. #5
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      Okay, I'll add my 2 cents worth:

      I am probably an 8 on your visualization scale (particularly my visual and auditive and tactile imagination ability is well developed, but I can't imagine smells at all), and I have at least one LD per week.

      I have actually experimented with visualization during lucid dreaming, and my experiece is that imagination works exactly the same in dreaming as it does during waking reality. In other words, the visualized image appears on a separate "plane of existence" from the lucid dream, the same as it appears separate from waking reality. Consequently, I do not believe that imagination (or visualization ability) and lucid dreaming are closely related.
      sivason likes this.
      So ... is this the real universe, or is it just a preliminary study?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Voldmer View Post
      Okay, I'll add my 2 cents worth:

      I am probably an 8 on your visualization scale (particularly my visual and auditive and tactile imagination ability is well developed, but I can't imagine smells at all), and I have at least one LD per week.
      .
      I was going to mention that about the scale. While I am a 10 for the ability to fully immerse in imagery and daydream, I can not actually recreate any form of smell and only vaguely the sense of taste. Sageous once purposed this is due to the sense of smell being wired to stay active in the real world while the other senses can be free to dream. Basically animals need to wake up when they smell something wrong, so perhaps the wiring is very different. Taste on the other hand is more than 50% composed of smell. Taste is both smell and input from taste buds. I am not sure anyone can max out visualization that involves smell. In dreams I have worked very hard to actually smell things and at best it is like having a bad cold.
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      Perhaps it is different, but at the same time it has a very large effect on dream recall and induction techniques, both by the simple fact that I and other aphantasics can't even do techniques like DEILD, VILD and the visual part of MILD, and as I said possibly due to helping a person focus more, especially during that half awake state when focus is required the most for an induction. I don't have that, I can only count without seeing/visualizing anything and I have to rely on that if I want to do a WILD type induction, FILD also, though it never worked for me.

    8. #8
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      My place on your scale is probably around a two, I think, and my dreams are always vivid.

      The vast majority of my transitions, though, have been with DEILD. In my experience, and opinion, visualization is not necessary with DEILD; in fact, given that the transition happens so quickly (often in as little as a few seconds), there really is not time to do any visualization: the dream from which you are waking should have provided enough imagery for you to hold onto as your body goes back to sleep. On top of that, visualization might actually inhibit your DEILD attempt, since doing so might damage your link with the dream from which you're waking. I may be running counter to the internet manuals (which happens a lot with me), but I see no reason to do visualization during a DEILD... so DEILD might be just the thing for aphantasics.

      Also, classic WILD's can work just fine without visualization... since WILD is essentially about maintaining waking-life self-awareness as your body falls asleep, and there is no visualization involved in that, doing a WILD without visualization is certainly possible, and not even more difficult. Though visualization is a handy tool for forming dreams, it is not vital to successful WILD's, or even necessary, really.

      Given that MILD does have a visualization component, I can see that aphantasics might have some trouble there. I have found though, that intellectual visualization (focusing on the idea of an image rather than conjuring an actual image) can inspire the prospective memory necessary to recognize and act on dream signs.

      Finally, my dream recall has always been pretty good. That might be because, rather than attempting to retain images, I tend to remember the dream as a story, and not as a series of images.... this could be because my waking-life trade is writing, I suppose. So, again, intellectual visualization seems to work for recall as well.

      As usual, I'm running a bit contrary to the general consensus but, since I'm a lousy visualizer who has had some success with LD transitions, I figured my thoughts worth sharing.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      ...

      Finally, my dream recall has always been pretty good. That might be because, rather than attempting to retain images, I tend to remember the dream as a story, and not as a series of images.... this could be because my waking-life trade is writing, I suppose. So, again, intellectual visualization seems to work for recall as well.
      This is thought provoking, and my current thought is this: words and sentences are properties of the physical universe; they were designed to categorize experiences, and when applied to experiences from dream universes they help "bring the dream into the physical universe", so to speak. If no words are applied to whatever is experienced, the experience may not make it into waking awareness, and thus no dream recall. At times I dream in a kind of silent awareness of whatever is going on, during which time I never mentally verbalize or categorize anything (personally, I consider this astral projections, but YMMV). These trips can go on for a long time, with lots happening, but generally I have relatively little recall of the kinds of things that took place. I have only a meager story to tell myself afterwards, and I generally don't even have names for many of the things witnessed.
      sivason likes this.
      So ... is this the real universe, or is it just a preliminary study?

    10. #10
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      I'm probably around a 4 on your scale. I would not say that I visualize well....but I don't really try to often. I do get strong imagery during hypnagogic meditation but those come on their own.

      I get strongly lucid every ten days or so now but I have a lot of work to do on stability and control. These days all of my dreams are extremely clear with some degree of blossoming lucidity in many of them.

      I attribute much of my success to the work i do constantly to achieve and maintain lucidity during the day by concentrating on details and maintaining focused meditative awareness. That attention to detail during the waking state spills over into the dream state. I spend a lot of time examining my surroundings in the dream.
      The more I gaze....the more I crave to see

      With this sleep that is conscious....the sun rises in the night.

    11. #11
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      I think my visualization is around 4-6. It's weird, bc i visualize with very good detail when i think about people, animals, etc; but struggle when visualizing landscapes and nature. My lucid dream rate is a few per year (right now)
      I don't think there's a clear correlation between these two factors, but might have something to do.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Voldmer View Post
      This is thought provoking, and my current thought is this: words and sentences are properties of the physical universe; they were designed to categorize experiences, and when applied to experiences from dream universes they help "bring the dream into the physical universe", so to speak. If no words are applied to whatever is experienced, the experience may not make it into waking awareness, and thus no dream recall. At times I dream in a kind of silent awareness of whatever is going on, during which time I never mentally verbalize or categorize anything (personally, I consider this astral projections, but YMMV). These trips can go on for a long time, with lots happening, but generally I have relatively little recall of the kinds of things that took place. I have only a meager story to tell myself afterwards, and I generally don't even have names for many of the things witnessed.
      Boy, I can relate! Someone said they thought everyone remembered all their lucids. Not the case with me at all. I can work up to having great vivid recall for some types of dreams, but you mention the whole astral travel thing. I would describe it the same. Some adventures take place that must have been a long story, but often the things witnessed make sense, at the time, in a confusing way you do not think about, and then when awake the ideas are so removed from this existence very few words will come to describe what was experienced.
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    13. #13
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      I LD between 1-3 times a week, and I can visualize things pretty well, especially after a party lol. You may be onto something. -shrug-
      Lang likes this.
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