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    Thread: An Unpopular Opinion on the Lucid Dreaming Competition.

    1. #1
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      An Unpopular Opinion on the Lucid Dreaming Competition.

      Well it's that time of year again... that lucid dreaming contest. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to personally attack anyone who takes part in this competition with this thread. Though every year when this contest starts up, that little part of me always just wants always to scream "We are just lucid dreaming! This isn't a competitive team sport!"

      Now It's not like I've been forced to participate or anything, but I still see the posts all over the DJ section, so it's hard to get away from without signing off of Dreamviews.

      I don't understand why people always have to find a way to make everything into a contest. Everything always has to be about winning. Now I'm sure that the first counter-argument to this is going to be "Oh, well it's just for fun." Well if that is your argument, then why don't you just lucid dream for the fun of being a lucid dreamer? If people want to compete, then why not sign up for a proper,fair competition; like a sports team or chess club? Not something unique to every person, like dreaming.

      What do people gain by competing and proving that you are better than someone else based on a scoring system? What does that really prove about you in the long run? Can't people simply do something just for the sake of enjoying themselves or personal motivation instead of having to make everything into a competition?

      Now maybe some people get that thrill of winning and success. (I know I don't.) You could argue that maybe this is what helps to motivate people who normally have trouble getting/staying motivated to practice lucid dreaming. But there is the inevitability that the contest will be over eventually and the winner will be decided. Now maybe the winner will feel better, but what becomes of the losers? They are probably going to come out of it even more demoralized than before. So in the long term, it won't make much difference.

      Part of my opinion against this contest is built on the foundation that lucid dreaming shouldn't be competitive. Everyone dreams in such a different way, that pitting dreamers against one another like this is like asking an ant, an elephant and a goldfish to screw in a lightbulb. I also sort of feel like lucid dreaming's "sacredness" has been violated by this. This was a big part of what got me into this hobby in the first place, since I am not a competitive person, and I'm happy to do things simply on personal motivation. That made LDing look very appealing.

      I guess if you cut the fat out of this post you might just say I'm just not a competitive person and therefore I'm not excited for it unlike most everyone else. I don't think that the lucid dreaming competition is terrible or anything. I just think it's pointless.

      Like I said at the start of this, I'm not trying to put down anyone who enjoys this competition, and I don't think any less of anybody who does. If you enjoy it, all the more power to you. (In fact, if you enjoy the lucid dream contest, I want you to tell me what makes it meaningful to you below.)
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      Not a contest but I responded first.


      I think it's nice, it builds bonds. Why humans compete in general is to build ego and respect (individually or as a team) To say we are the best! And celebrate or fight trying.

      Ur view is good too, it cultivates a more relaxed pace and in depth understanding. Taking ur time gives u the opportunity to learn and take in what ur learning

      I didn't join because my idea of what counts as a lucid dream is very broad.

      Anyway over all I endorse it as a way to build the community and reinvigorate people to practice their dream work
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    3. #3
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      Honestly for me, it's not about the competition. I kinda hate competition as well, most of the time it's not really worth putting the energy into trash talk and stuff like that, plus I honestly couldn't care less about actually beating anyone.

      But really, the sense of competition is the best motivator for people to get serious about lucid dreaming again, especially if they've just kinda been really lax on putting effort into their techniques. I know I put a ton of effort into the last competition, not because I wanted to beat everyone else, but because I wanted to post a decent score so I could show myself that I could. And it totally paid off, I had some of my best and most productive lucid dreams ever during those two weeks. And the motivation I gained during those two weeks continued for several months after the competition was over.

      So I feel the competition fits for both the super-competitive and the ones that are in it for self-improvement. And I'm almost certain that most (if not all) of the members in the competition fall into the latter group.
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      I don't enter the competition because i know i'll kick everyone's a$$ too easily.:tropicalboxer: And i don't want to make everyone look that bad. What's the point in entering a competition if there is no competition.


      That's right homies i'm a black belt at lucid dreaming.
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      Well, I think the motivation part is true but also some people dont know what they wanna do in their dream so they do the goals they need to do to win. Also, for others hardly people pay attention to their entrys so doing it could get them some attention. - w - But thats why there was a buddy program made, only some people dont follow through with the buddy program I think.
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      Quote Originally Posted by spellbee2 View Post
      But really, the sense of competition is the best motivator for people to get serious about lucid dreaming again, especially if they've just kinda been really lax on putting effort into their techniques.
      That

      Also I'd like to add that like most things in life, lucid dreaming is much more fun when you share the experience with other people. And let us be honest, there are few other places than the competiton/TotM where people actually respond continually to each other's experiences.

      Also, you say that he competition throws people against each other. I feel like we're simply competing with each other. It's more about comparing than competing if you will.

      Off course, with that said, I respect your opinion which is obviously founded.

      ...took me a long time to write just those few words lol... Dunno how you guys can write such huge posts like that XD
      Last edited by Higat; 08-19-2015 at 03:53 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Spellbee2
      I wanted to beat everyone else, but because I wanted to post a decent score so I could show myself that I could.
      I guess that's one way of looking at it...

      Quote Originally Posted by TropicalBreeze
      That's right homies i'm a black belt at lucid dreaming.
      Aren't there different leagues for different levels of LD? If you wanted a challenge enter the highest league?

      Quote Originally Posted by Higat
      Also I'd like to add that like most things in life, lucid dreaming is much more fun when you share the experience with other people. And let us be honest, there are few other places than the competiton/TotM where people actually respond continually to each other's experiences.

      Also, you say that he competition throws people against each other. I feel like we're simply competing with each other. It's more about comparing than competing if you will.
      I suppose that could be a positive; it getting people that normally don't have much contact with others to come out of their shells a little bit more.

      Quote Originally Posted by Higat
      ...took me a long time to write just those few words lol... Dunno how you guys can write such huge posts like that XD
      You should see my DJ entries...
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    8. #8
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      OH SNAP... I am here.

      If LDing is sacred and personal and you want to do it completely alone, then why are you here on DV?

      I think that some of the best motivation comes from seeing others dreams. I honestly love competition and am not the type to get angry about it, but to push myself harder and farther every time because I love competing. Not winning, competing. There is also a bunch of things like this:
      Cool lucid! I like the shooting fire out of your eyes haha I wouldn't have thought to do that.
      Something like this isn't just awesome for them to read, but awesome to hear because it gives them a fun idea for LDing and me a bunch of energy to keep LDing with the encouragement.

      and this amazing dream:
      Cloudy with a chance of Pillows!!! Stealing the Arkenstone from the pirates booty!! - Dream Journals - Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views
      AMAZING DREAM!!!

      Also... I shall have to say that I am a product of the competition. I have put in a lot of effort into them and I believe it has paid off. I am just at my 3 year mark (and a couple months) and I am able to compete with people like PercyLucid, Anotherdreamer, and ~Dreamer~, all of which have at least twice as much experience as me (in years and possibly in LDs)

      I guess I don't have much else to say about it, but why do people hate on competitions so much? People act like the people that lose are going to be scarred for life and the people that win are going to be complete tools for the rest of their life. I won a lot and lost a lot of competitions when I was younger and I learned how to win and lose gracefully without thinking less of myself just because I lost, or more of myself because I won.

      On the flip end, I see people with LD counts like yours that don't have a number, instead you will have a snarky comment putting down people that do put their count on it. "not a contest", "who's counting?", "Who cares", and a lot of others like this. I always think it is usually them being self conscious of their LD count and afraid of others judging, so they 'pre-judge' the other way, but that is my own problem and misconception about people. So I need to work on not judging people who are different.

      So why do I compete, count my LDs, and run competitions?
      Compete?
      Honestly seeing others that do worse than me, as well as me, and better than me gives me a great sense on how far I have come, how I am not all that awesome, and where I want to be, all at the same time. Seeing all this allows me to analyze my strengths and weaknesses and work on them to get better and better and better, faster than all, because I need to have as many LDs as possible as soon as possible because I want to be having lucids all night every night as soon as possible. The faster I get better at LDing, the more I will be able to enjoy it my whole life.
      Count my LDs and keep track of frequency?
      Because if I don't know how good I was doing in the past, I won't know if I am doing better now, and I can't afford to take steps backwards and retake the same steps over and over. I have things I want to accomplish with my LDing and a tremendous amount of fun I want to accomplish as well. I am not stepping backwards.
      Run competitions?
      Because someone has to, and if I am running it, I can put it in a way that I believe will show results for all so that everyone involved will have chances to feel included and have a great time, notice this rule:
      • 1 point will be awarded for every 3 DJ comments.
      I love this rule, because as you look through the DJs in "this time of year" (there is usually 2-4 competitions a year depending on who is running it) these are the DJs commented on the most and the people are having an amazing time talking to each other about their dreams.

      I think that I must put a quote:
      “In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them.... I destroy them.”
      Haha. Hope I didn't take this too seriously. Honestly, I guess I just very much don't agree. I would also like a more precise idea of what you mean by "sacredness" I know that sacred means 'set apart', but set apart for what purpose? If it is just set apart for no reason, then that is dumb. If it is set apart for a personal reason, then that is personal, if it is set apart for a specific reason we should all know about, then you should share.

    9. #9
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      Haha. Hope I didn't take this too seriously. Honestly, I guess I just very much don't agree. I would also like a more precise idea of what you mean by "sacredness" I know that sacred means 'set apart', but set apart for what purpose? If it is just set apart for no reason, then that is dumb. If it is set apart for a personal reason, then that is personal, if it is set apart for a specific reason we should all know about, then you should share.
      I don't. After hearing what people have told me, particularly you, I have a better picture of why this kind of thing is going down. Heck, you've even persuaded me into thinking that I might sign up for the next one just to see what it is like.

      And I guess that was kind of a dumb argument for me to make, given how seriously I generally take my lucid dreaming. Just read my DJ, about 25% of it is either something hilarious in the dream or me making commentary on something hilarious in the dream.
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      Quote Originally Posted by JadeGreen View Post
      I don't. After hearing what people have told me, particularly you, I have a better picture of why this kind of thing is going down. Heck, you've even persuaded me into thinking that I might sign up for the next one just to see what it is like.

      And I guess that was kind of a dumb argument for me to make, given how seriously I generally take my lucid dreaming. Just read my DJ, about 25% of it is either something hilarious in the dream or me making commentary on something hilarious in the dream.
      Well I hope to see you there at the next one! I am going to be running another one in a few months.

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      Also I'd like to add that like most things in life, lucid dreaming is much more fun when you share the experience with other people. And let us be honest, there are few other places than the competiton/TotM where people actually respond continually to each other's experiences.
      I love this rule, because as you look through the DJs in "this time of year" (there is usually 2-4 competitions a year depending on who is running it) these are the DJs commented on the most and the people are having an amazing time talking to each other about their dreams.
      This is exactly why i mentioned the attention thing. There are other places to talk about dreams like in the forums or talk about it in chat or somewhere else but for some talking about it with someone who is actually a dream buddy doesn't happen as easily as it did for others so they lose interest.
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      First, my view on competition in general. In casual things I really really love competition. In video games I love playing against my friends, co-op I find incredibly boring xD I love board games too. I don't like real confrontation or ill feelings toward others, but I really love playfighting and sparring.

      I feel sentimental toward LD competitions because in my beginning years I made nice jumps in progress in these competitions. It was fun to do something cool in a lucid dream and then show people what I've done. Also, as has been said, people almost only engage with each others' dreams during these competitions. I also got a great motivation boost from them. But now I just LD for the sake of having fun, though I still like to tell people aboub it, if I would join a competition now I would just feel like I had to put effort into it, and I don't like that. But I love that there are competitions.

      Btw, with more serious things I really don't like competition. Like, "who is a better person?", "who is more intelligent?", "who is leading a better life?", those kinds of things I just find unnecessary and ugly. The reason I compare myself to others is to find out about where I might be lacking things and/or how I might change something about myself.
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      I thought I should chime in because I agree with the OP to an extent and can see where he is coming from.

      I think the reason these competitions do so well is because it makes you push yourself. Dreamers like myself, who don't even have a year under their belt, get a little insight into a night in the eyes of an experienced dreamer and to me this is very motivating. Reading that people in this competition have emembered 6 fragments, 10 NLDs and 4 LDs in a night is to me pretty crazy! It is really inspriring I think to take part in this competition, the whole number and point system aside I don't refer back to that thread at any point in my lucid dream, I usually let the dream take me in and from there explore my options for action in the lucid state.
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      The main problem I see with competition is that it tends to bring out unwholesome mind states. Ill will, greed, selfishness, jealousy, etc. It can turn a beneficial activity into an ego-driven endeavor done for all the wrong reasons. If you are pushing yourself to be better because you want to be superior to others, then you are in it for the wrong reason.
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      Vince, what do you think about a competitiveness without ill-feelings and ego? Is that even possible? For example when playing video games, board games or when playfighting, sparring, I'm in a playful mood and I think it's not ego-driven, but just play for the sake of play.
      Last edited by Ginsan; 08-19-2015 at 11:30 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by VinceField View Post
      The main problem I see with competition is that it tends to bring out unwholesome mind states. Ill will, greed, selfishness, jealousy, etc. It can turn a beneficial activity into an ego-driven endeavor done for all the wrong reasons. If you are pushing yourself to be better because you want to be superior to others, then you are in it for the wrong reason.
      This can be said about any competition. Do you not like any organized sports, most board games, and most video games? I think that doesnt bring out this characteristic, but reveals these characteristics

      That being said, I don't see anyone in the competition thread actually being like that. Most people feel inspired, excited, and overall happy to join in a competition. I actually see more people that think themselves superior not sign up. If you look at it or the previous competitions (of which I have read all the competition threads on here) I don't see anyone like that. Most pompous people don't sign up because they think that their feeling of superiority will be knocked down if they lose, so they think they are above the competition. I have heard it time and again from naturals especially. Two of the naturals that I haven't seen this from are actually in the competition and are helping to push the comp to the next level and making it so that achieving goals and helping friends are going to help with points as much as just becoming lucid and doing whatever the dream wants you to (what most naturals do, which I consider one step of awareness above non lucid dream).

      not trying to sound mean. Let me know if it hits a chord with you, because I am really trying to have a good convo.

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      I was speaking in a general sense. It is absolutely possible to engage in competition without giving rise to harmful mind states and egoic tendencies. I play competitive volleyball and this is something I am constantly working on. I try to focus on improving my own skills and delight in others doing well also, regardless of what side they are on. I am conditioned to be extremely competitive in a way which gives rise to unskillful states, so this practice of being mindful during competitions is very beneficial in my case. Others seem to be less competitive by nature, although it seems that a lot of the time these are the ones who do not strive to meet their potential or are really that interested in improving their skills.
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      Vince, I am curious about your definition of competitive. When you say you are competitive, do you mean you always want to be better than other people, or are you just striving to be better than you are? The first gives rise to the unwholesome states you mentioned, but the latter will not, I think. I think I like competition because it's a fun challenge, not to be better than someone else

      If I were much better than everybody in the world at every single thing, I hope that my arrogance would not affect me too much and that I will remain curious about my weaknesses and still feel the challenge to get better. This seems like a crazy hypothesis, but once you get a high education, you try to keep a peace of mind, you try to remain warm-hearted, you give a lot of thought to altruism (including donating a significant portion of your income), you care about not becoming arrogant and too self-interested, you are a pretty rare and admirable person. And arrogance is very likely to corrupt the better part of your personality if you are not careful.

      So what's my point? Nothing. Except for that question, I was just rambling xD
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      My competitiveness is mainly derived from the desire to continuously improve and be the absolute best that I can be, rather than a need to be better than others. Those who I play with have an important role in this. Observing where others are at in terms of the development of particular skills can be used as a gauge to compare oneself, and witnessing their failures and successes can be a great opportunity to learn without necessarily having to make the same mistakes oneself.

      About once a week I play volleyball with a group who are a level or two below me, just for the practice. I do not revel in being the best player there, but rather I feel the same as when I play with players who are better than me in certain aspects- continuously trying to learn and improve, regardless of who is winning. The score is actually the last thing on my mind when I play.

      Of course, unwholesome mind states can arise rather easily on the path to self improvement, even if being better than others is not the focus. I can't tell you how many times I've unnecessarily beaten myself up over my own mistakes. Learning can take place without feeling upset or disappointed in oneself- this is something I am currently working on.

      I actually feel bad when I do better than others when I sense that it has caused the other person to feel upset or disappointed about it.
      Last edited by VinceField; 08-20-2015 at 04:30 AM.
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      Hey JadeGreen, I think this is a great question, in part because the competition is a lot more fun when we're all going into it with a sense of fun and camaraderie. The reason I'm participating is mostly down to these two things:

      Quote Originally Posted by spellbee2 View Post
      But really, the sense of competition is the best motivator for people to get serious about lucid dreaming again, especially if they've just kinda been really lax on putting effort into their techniques.
      Quote Originally Posted by Higat View Post
      Also I'd like to add that like most things in life, lucid dreaming is much more fun when you share the experience with other people. And let us be honest, there are few other places than the competiton/TotM where people actually respond continually to each other's experiences.
      I've taken a... what, four year hiatus from dream journalling? I used to spend a lot of time here, and there was a group of us who commented on each others' dream journals regularly, showed up in each others' dreams, and generally inspired each other to be the most awesome lucid dreamers we could be. Most (but not all!) of the group has dropped off of DV the same way I did.

      It's a great thing to be a part of a group like that. And the competition is an easy way to start to feel like part of a team again and get to know people on the forum.

      Not the only way, of course—you and I have already commented on each others' journals and chatted on the forum. But I'm glad for Sensei's competition because of the opportunity it brings.

      Well.

      And I'm maybe just a liiiiiiittle bit competitive by nature.

      Quote Originally Posted by VinceField View Post
      The main problem I see with competition is that it tends to bring out unwholesome mind states. Ill will, greed, selfishness, jealousy, etc.
      Ambition, violence, adventure... oh, wait. That's my dream journal.

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      I pick up a half-eaten copy of a book by Neil Gaiman, and decide this is all his fault.

    21. #21
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      Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with the competitions (idk except maybe that all the standard dream control tasks are super-basic/uninteresting I guess?). Hell, I only progressed as far as I did because of my interactions with Naiya, Walms (and then Hukif), and other ridiculously adept folks that hung out in that circle. Day after day, I pushed myself to improve, to bring myself to their level, and maybe--one day--surpass them. There was no hubris, jealousy, or ill-will. I was simply inspired by my friends to push beyond my limits and achieve my own sort of success.

      After awhile, I was content with where I had ended up, but I still kept improving through theory-craft and other innovations. Eventually, friends started drifting apart and disappearing, as they're oft to do. Without that motivation, I let myself stagnate.

      But now, mere days after an old friend (rival?) returns, I've posted my first entry in years. I've begun theorycrafting again, and waking life LDing stuff is seriously starting to cut into my time for other projects. x.x

      As it stand, competition and fellowships are proven drivers for improving your LDing.

      Personally, I'd totes sign up for one of these competitions if it weren't such a commitment. I know I'm flaky when it comes to these things, and I'd just end up letting my team down by not writing stuff up (adulting is hard x.x;). Better for folks like me to watch from the sidelines than bring down a team with laziness, methinks. Well...unless Sensei would let me join a Beginner tier team or something. XP
      Last edited by Mzzkc; 08-21-2015 at 06:56 AM.
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    22. #22
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      There's a venn diagram involving friends and rivals, and the really good friends tend to also be rivals. (At least as far as pushing each other to improve goes.)
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      I pick up a half-eaten copy of a book by Neil Gaiman, and decide this is all his fault.

    23. #23
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      The competition does give a surge of motivation for lucid dreaming and if I joined the competition and ended up "loosing" at the end, I wouldn't feel demoralised in any way. Infact I'd probably be more motivated to try and better myself. Just like if you were doing an exam in class and after the results you find everyone actually did much better than you and you ranked pretty low, I'd feel bad but that would give me motivation to study harder for the next exam

      Plus the competition gives you ideas for what you can do in your next lucid dream. I often find myself bored not knowing what I should do next in my dreams, the competition can give you ideas !

    24. #24
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      Intentions are probably the most important aspect to any action. They guide our thoughts and actions in line with our desires. There is a such thing as doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Although competitions may give the ego a kick in the ass to become motivated to achieve something, if the person is motivated solely for egoistic purposes, one will unlikely remain motivated for much longer than the ego is able to feed off the activity. Then again, putting the ego aside and seeing the activity (in this case, lucid dreaming) for its true value and cultivating the desire to better oneself through this means, the person will have all the motivation they need to engage in a successful LD practice without having the need to feed their ego. Of course, many may be into lucid dreaming for misguided purposes to begin with.
      Last edited by VinceField; 08-23-2015 at 04:50 PM.
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    25. #25
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      "Of course, many may be into lucid dreaming for misguided purposes to begin with."

      I interpreted "many" as something in between "majority" and "significant minority", is that correct? If so, what do you mean? Let's assume your motivation doesn't change, if you practice LD to have sex with beings (anything's possible..) you won't have sex with in real life, is that something that you would advise against? How about recreating epic fight scenes from cartoons or wanting to wield all kinds of crazy inhuman or superhuman powers?

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