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    Thread: Memory and the fickle expectation

    1. #1
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      Memory and the fickle expectation

      Hey, just wanted to share what I'm focusing on this week.

      I decided to get back in a routine of practicing remembering. Remembering is important to remember dreams after waking up, but also to remember waking life during dreaming, and even more simply to orient yourself both in dreaming and waking life. I've been especially aware of the importance of memory in lucid dreaming practice since Sageous' Fundamentals post. Yet, I never really understood how to practice remembering to help with lucid dreaming (so I'm open to suggestions).

      The strategy I chose is, just like I spend time to remember the dreams as I wake up, I am also now spending time remembering the day before falling asleep. Because I do want to fall asleep, I don't try to judge or evaluate the day, just relive it, allow the details to rise into my consciousness through visualization (with minimum effort) and let myself be guided like going down a river on a tube.

      For some context, during lucid dreams, I always find it very difficult to remember anything. Last night, I had a lucid dream, walking in a mansion. The scene and details were stable and solid, yet, I was skeptical that the dream would remain stable. I was also focused on my state of mind. I knew I was dreaming but I was skeptical that this knowledge would remain. Wondering, "how lucid am I truly?", I tried to have a clearer mind and tried to remember. It was difficult for anything to come to mind. I was living in the moment, not knowing anything else about my life than that I was dreaming. But I did remember a specific domino tile. Back when I watched Inception and wanted a totem, I had chosen this domino tile to carry around in waking life and check along with my reality checks. I never thought about the tile in my dreams so I eventually left it on my desk as a decoration and a symbol of lucid dreaming. It's strange that so many years after, this is the one thing I remembered about waking life (it is also the tile's first appearance in dream). It felt like a success to remember this one thing and it materialized in my hand. I kept hold of it and set to remember more and collect these memories as I walked in the mansion, hoping to preserve the dream and my state. The dream ended.

      To reflect on this dream, I'm happy to see I am taking steps to remember. There's a lot of improvement needed for me in that sphere but it's encouraging. Besides this, I notice the dream was short despite the solid look of the dream. I also notice that while the dream appeared solid, I was skeptical of this stability. I believed it to be fickle. It might have had no impact on the ending of the dream, yet, I want to take a moment to reflect on that. When I started lucid dreaming, the lucid "aha moment" often led to the dream turning to black and breaking down. I think this is because the assumption with "this is a dream" is "this is not real" is "the dream is fickle". With this new in-dream belief/assumption, it makes sense for the dream to lose it's stability and break down. Since then, I have improved this (the dream no longer turns black) but I am still vigilant of this belief that the dream is fickle and the potential effects it can have as the belief becomes reality.

      So, I'm still trying to decide how to approach "I am dreaming" without leading to "this is not real" and "the dream is fickle". I think the way is to re-evaluate my assumption that because the dream is not real and because the dream is flexible (and I can change, destroy, create anything at any moment) that it should also be fickle. I think "I am dreaming" should be paired with "this is not material" (rather than not real) and "the dream can be very flexible or/and very stable" (rather than fickle). But I think I am not quite there. I think I need to put more emphasis on how dreams are likely to be solid. I think what I need to do this is to remember my dreams that were surprisingly solid and stable so I can intuitively understand this nature of dreams. To celebrate dreams' stability. Yes, compared to waking life, it is a glaring fact that dreams are not as solid. Yet, lots of things in our mind could be described as persistent: personality, memories, beliefs, knowledge. Our mind is definitely capable of being stable and I need to not let myself be blinded from these facts by the knowledge that dreams are not material and thus infinitely more flexible than waking experience. That said, our waking life experience is likewise flexible as far as it's created by our mind. The stability of the waking experience is not only dependent on the material world but also dependent on the ability of our mind to create cohesiveness and to be consistent.

      So I want to take this moment to celebrate our mind's ability to be "solid" and also the importance of memory.

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      I have also been focusing on Sageous' fundamentals of self awareness, memory, and expectation in order to develop a lucid mindset. Your post has got me thinking about how to practice improving memory. My memory practice currently has consisted of an "I am me" statement and consideration as a part of my self awareness reality checks. When I consider "I am me" it is like reminding myself that I have a real waking body, I have a past, I have a story, I have goals ect...

      Where self awareness and consciousness is so immediate and present focused, when I switch to focus on the memory fundamental and an "I am me" it seems to add a weightiness or solidity to my present focused self awareness, in a good kind of way, if that makes sense at all.

      These thoughts were sparked by your thoughts on the fickleness of dreams. There is something I want to say here about a non-dual perspective that I'm sure would be relevant but I don't have enough knowledge on the subject to do it justice, perhaps Sageous will jump in.

      But my thoughts (total novice here) on increasing the stability, or reducing the fickle fleeting feeling, are more like rather than thinking of dreams as real or not real, or material or not, or controlled, to think of it as bringing that sense of self-awareness, and depth of self from activated memory, to the present experience of the dream. Almost just like taking a moment to pause like you would in waking life when practicing your reality check to gather yourself and focus. But, this pause is not a separation from the dream but instead a focus on your presence here, how your affecting it and it is affecting you. It's not a disengagement but a deep intentional engagement with the full self. Wow sorry for the punctuation, not sure how to fix that run on sentence or make that more clear lol. "Insert deep quote about the non-dual nature of dreams."

      God, I promise I didn't come here to try and sound smart or anything lol, these are just the thoughts your post provoked, and I was encouraged to see another dreamer following Sageous' fundamentals.
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      I see memory, in the context of dreams, fulfilling one simple role: To make it accessible to the dreamer.

      If I understood Sageous' memory thread correctly, then this is the way to go when incorporating memory as a fundamental to lucid dreaming. It is from this access to memory that we bring ourselves fully into the dream, to become fully conscious of what's happening. After that connection is reestablished then everything else follows naturally and remembering is no different than how you would during waking. And from what I've learned in my lucid dreams, it appears to be working.

      Now, by how things usually unfold during a lucid dream, I think accessing memory should be the first thing one does the moment of awareness. Otherwise, we fall into a potential pitfall of falling back to a non-lucid state or the dream results in an inferior experience due to a lower state of mind. Taking all this into account, the way I practice things throughout the day is by recognizing the moments of distraction then, immediately upon awareness, accessing memory. So, if I suddenly find myself daydreaming about something, I become aware of the distraction, then ask myself, where is my physical body? Then, I answer the question.

      How you go about accessing memory is beside the point. Honestly, it doesn't take much repeating the exercise, only enough that it becomes a habit or natural for you to do the same once you get lucid. I feel the only thing I don't know is whether this link with memory lasts throughout the whole dream. I can see one turning back to a non-lucid state being a thing if you've never established the link with memory in the first place, but after it? Unfortunately, I've yet to run a lucid dream past a few seconds so I don't have an answer for this yet. What do you think?

      About the whole dream being fickle, I reason it has something to do with how present or aware we are in the dream, more than an issue of what you think about the dream itself. Seeing how I'm going through that initial phase in lucid dreaming, Occipitalred (about dreams fading out, breaking down), I can only offer my, at this moment, incomplete opinion on it:

      Every time I've become lucid in a dream, it almost feels as if I'm in the border between two worlds, two realities. On one side there is reality itself, and at the other extreme, the dream world. This transitional space I find myself in, I believe, is the reason for the dreams breaking down. It's as if I can't decide whether I want to be in one or the other, and I think lucidity itself has opened the possibility of both the moment it is realized. I can even feel my sleeping body in bed while I stand in the dream world. There's a struggle that happens next, a tug of war between the two spaces, and depending on which I give it focus, is the one I ultimately end up in. I've been testing things in each one of my lucid dreams; I've noticed the more attention I give to the dream, the more "stable" it is and the more present I am in it. I'm not entirely sure if this frame of thought correlates with what you think makes your dream fickle or not, but it's what I got.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sangfoot View Post
      My memory practice currently has consisted of an "I am me" statement and consideration as a part of my self awareness reality checks. When I consider "I am me" it is like reminding myself that I have a real waking body, I have a past, I have a story, I have goals ect...

      Where self awareness and consciousness is so immediate and present focused, when I switch to focus on the memory fundamental and an "I am me" it seems to add a weightiness or solidity to my present focused self awareness, in a good kind of way, if that makes sense at all.
      Quote Originally Posted by Silence11 View Post
      The way I practice things throughout the day is by recognizing the moments of distraction then, immediately upon awareness, accessing memory. So, if I suddenly find myself daydreaming about something, I become aware of the distraction, then ask myself, where is my physical body? Then, I answer the question.
      It's interesting that for both of you, your memory practice includes locating your body. If I remember well, it must be because Sageous focused on the importance of remembering that your body is in bed ("thus, I am dreaming"). In the dream from my original post, I could recognize that I was dreaming (naturally) and thinking about it, I had no idea what my physical bedroom might look like. I even suspected the mansion I was exploring was my actual house, perhaps, although I was skeptical of my feeling of familiarity, and my feeling of remembering. If, while dreaming, I remember that my body is in a certain bed, I would wonder if I just created that memory because it's the logical follow-up to the knowledge that I am dreaming. And from my experience, each time, remembering I went to bed will follow the realization that I am dreaming rather than the opposite. I go to bed every day and it's not a very memorable event. For these reasons, I have been hesitant to spend much effort remembering if I went to bed and when I did, did I get out afterward.

      Sangfoot, it's interesting that your mantra "I am me" focuses on memory. If you didn't explain, I would think it was a self-awareness mantra. Or maybe it is that memory and self-awareness are so tightly connected... If you didn't have memory or expectation, you would only be aware of the present moment, perhaps able to be self-aware but be blind (unaware) of your self in the past or future. Memory allows you to be aware of yourself in the past and expectation projects your awareness of self into the future...?

      Quote Originally Posted by Sangfoot View Post
      There is something I want to say here about a non-dual perspective that I'm sure would be relevant but I don't have enough knowledge on the subject to do it justice, perhaps Sageous will jump in.
      Do say it. I've only understood what non-dual perspective meant to me one month ago and I'm pretty invested in the topic now.

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence11 View Post
      About the whole dream being fickle, I reason it has something to do with how present or aware we are in the dream, more than an issue of what you think about the dream itself.
      Quote Originally Posted by Sangfoot View Post
      But my thoughts (total novice here) on increasing the stability, or reducing the fickle fleeting feeling, are more like rather than thinking of dreams as real or not real, or material or not, or controlled, to think of it as bringing that sense of self-awareness, and depth of self from activated memory, to the present experience of the dream. Almost just like taking a moment to pause like you would in waking life when practicing your reality check to gather yourself and focus. But, this pause is not a separation from the dream but instead a focus on your presence here, how your affecting it and it is affecting you. It's not a disengagement but a deep intentional engagement with the full self.
      Oh right, this the non-dual perspective bit! I missed it through my first read. First, when I talk about "thinking of dreams as real or [insert all other descriptors], I'm making a statement about expectation. Expectations are subtle. It is not enough to say out loud "I expect this." Our covert assumptions and our established beliefs among other things have great effects on expectation. And I think the hidden assumption that I have with the "this is a dream" statement antagonizes dream stability. Ok, now back to you. You focus on the self-awareness/memory portion, here. Hmm yes, you got me thinking. I do love that non-dual bit I'm still thinking about and not ready to comment on yet. But, my hang up is, there is never any need to stabilize the dream until we become lucid. My dreams can be plenty solid/stable/vivid when non-lucid. So, I'm thinking the main change when becoming lucid is the perspective has changed. The expectations have changed.

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence11 View Post
      I see memory, in the context of dreams, fulfilling one simple role: To make it accessible to the dreamer.
      Yes, I like that!
      What's the difference between making memory accessible and making a memory accessible? Is the effort of remembering one/a few memories the way to activate memory and make it accessible?

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence11 View Post
      It is from this access to memory that we bring ourselves fully into the dream, to become fully conscious of what's happening. After that connection is reestablished then everything else follows naturally and remembering is no different than how you would during waking. And from what I've learned in my lucid dreams, it appears to be working.

      Now, by how things usually unfold during a lucid dream, I think accessing memory should be the first thing one does the moment of awareness. Otherwise, we fall into a potential pitfall of falling back to a non-lucid state or the dream results in an inferior experience due to a lower state of mind.
      Hmm, I really got to get on that.

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence11 View Post
      How you go about accessing memory is beside the point. Honestly, it doesn't take much repeating the exercise, only enough that it becomes a habit or natural for you to do the same once you get lucid. I feel the only thing I don't know is whether this link with memory lasts throughout the whole dream. I can see one turning back to a non-lucid state being a thing if you've never established the link with memory in the first place, but after it? Unfortunately, I've yet to run a lucid dream past a few seconds so I don't have an answer for this yet. What do you think?
      Well, I'm sure it helps (but not like turning on a car engine).

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence11 View Post
      Every time I've become lucid in a dream, it almost feels as if I'm in the border between two worlds, two realities. On one side there is reality itself, and at the other extreme, the dream world. This transitional space I find myself in, I believe, is the reason for the dreams breaking down. It's as if I can't decide whether I want to be in one or the other, and I think lucidity itself has opened the possibility of both the moment it is realized. I can even feel my sleeping body in bed while I stand in the dream world. There's a struggle that happens next, a tug of war between the two spaces, and depending on which I give it focus, is the one I ultimately end up in. I've been testing things in each one of my lucid dreams; I've noticed the more attention I give to the dream, the more "stable" it is and the more present I am in it. I'm not entirely sure if this frame of thought correlates with what you think makes your dream fickle or not, but it's what I got.
      Well, I don't notice my physical body for most parts in my dreams so I don't have that tug of war, but those are some nice thoughts
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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      Yes, I like that!
      What's the difference between making memory accessible and making a memory accessible? Is the effort of remembering one/a few memories the way to activate memory and make it accessible?
      Well, in making a memory accessible you are, by definition, making memory accessible, don't you think? This is why I emphasize that the thing you choose to remember is irrelevant. Any memory you decide to recover is enough to bridge that gap between your consciousness within the dream and your storehouse of memories. It's not that my decision to remember the location of my physical body is of particular significance, it was only the easiest way for me to work back in my mind to retrieve a single memory. By that token, I could've attempted to remember the location of my car keys, or the name, breed and color of my dog, or the last known appearance of one of my relatives, etc. The content of the memory isn't the focus as much as the path to recovery of that memory, the process of remembering. In that sense, the only requisite to retrieval is that the process should be successful. With that:

      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      If, while dreaming, I remember that my body is in a certain bed, I would wonder if I just created that memory because it's the logical follow-up to the knowledge that I am dreaming. And from my experience, each time, remembering I went to bed will follow the realization that I am dreaming rather than the opposite. I go to bed every day and it's not a very memorable event. For these reasons, I have been hesitant to spend much effort remembering if I went to bed and when I did, did I get out afterward.
      Doubt shouldn't be an issue, if the process of retrieval resulted in success. The idea is to work backwards from your mind to your specific memory, any memory, but a true memory. Creating a false memory is proof that the link hasn't been established. You must be sure that the memory you've retrieved is a real memory you have, and only you can know that. When I work to remember the location of my physical body in a dream, the answer I come up with must be one obtained with careful thought. The process doesn't stop at the words spoken, but in the meaning behind them. In remembering, I use known images or the feeling of my body to give a validity and ensure the memory retrieved is real. I even trace my steps further back, not only stopping at a superficial location of my body, but about the place as well, whether it is my bedroom or not, in my house or someplace else, in what state (I'd been traveling lately, which is why I went that far back).

      It's funny that when I first tried remembering in a lucid dream, I couldn't create any false memory due to my intention of retrieving something real. I failed that night only because I couldn't for the life of me remember where I had left my real body. I think that the more personal a memory is, and the more lengthier it is, the harder it is for one to misremember or misconstrue it.

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      I think being doubtful about your memories while lucid may be a bit counter-productive if you are applying that logic to everything. If you are becoming lucid at a low-level for example, you may simply apply this logic without second thought on the logic itself, and doubt everything about your memories and never come to accept that some of them are indeed real/correct.

      Without going too much into this, for me personally, even the thought of doubting that anything is real feels like it's not appropriate, in good part because I do consider dreams to be real; they are real experiences to me. For me it's more about, does reality conform to what it should during waking life? That's what I assess usually, the "consistency" of these fundamental laws. If I remember to notice that they don't seem to be functioning or have been altered within a given situation, then it's cause for me to question what's going on.

      But this also has a flaw for me because I do have false memories, probably a fair bit more often than others do, and I often rely on my partner to correct these false memories, which has its own issues within the dreaming context. And for me, these are usually mid or long-term memories that have been distorted without my conscious realisation.



      By the way, I wanted to mention that what you said here:

      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred
      First, when I talk about "thinking of dreams as real or [insert all other descriptors], I'm making a statement about expectation. Expectations are subtle. It is not enough to say out loud "I expect this." Our covert assumptions and our established beliefs among other things have great effects on expectation.
      This was quite a good summary of something I already knew but didn't know how to verbalise for myself when I'm discussing these concepts with others.

      Ironically I think this is part of the issue you have with dream reality being fickle. I have tried writing a reply to your original topic over three times since I first saw it, always finding that I either ramble or don't go into enough detail, but I was also unsure about whether you did want advice or not, since it seemed to me like you might be happy to simply celebrate your successes more than focusing on any specific issues.



      This gets pretty long, so I'm sorry about that, especially if I missed a/the point entirely (all too likely).

      What I wanted to go over on my scrapped replies, at least about the dream being "fickle"... This is all purely my opinion at this time; anyone is free to simply disregard/disagree with it of course.

      I think you rightly know that association and therefore schemas are just as important as other aspects such as expectations. Personally, while many dreams may seem "random" to me initially at times, I can often break them down into association memory chains and I generally know how the dream content formed the way it did, because I know what my life experience is and I know what links to what, generally speaking.

      Sure, I can't say I understand why but that's because I can't presume to know how the associative construction functions on a much more basic level, that part is well beyond me, I think.

      And I personally think that, within dreams, we are often already in the middle of this type of associative chain, so in a way we also become deprived of the context that exists outside of that chain, i.e. outside of the dream's reality. But then when we get very clear dream signs this chain breaks up a bit and goes off into something else that may or may not lead to lucidity. Maybe I should refocus my own efforts on reshaping my associative memory, now that I'm thinking about it.

      Dreaming to me seems to often construct its realities based on a similar principle, where things get tacked on by association, sometimes it's a weak one to be sure, but there usually seems to be a link; this relates to memory in general of course and also relates to how we tend to dream about recent events too, I think. But consider the following, also relating to the point I made at the very top:

      I think we could consider that dream reality isn't necessarily inconsistent, fickle or indecisive. Specific dream signs work because of association and therefore because of a less-conscious inner working of memory, I'd say.

      We may associate a dream sign with, well, dreaming. So we have the association even while dreaming(!) that we may be dreaming if we see this sign... After some time this works just like reactive memory or muscle memory and we need to think less consciously about it, but it still leads to conscious thoughts! As a brief example, yesterday I had a few very specific RC moments to which I automatically knew to start doing my RC, and this lead me to consciously analyse what was going on and how "real" things were then.

      Because of this "auto" or muscle-memory-like thing, when I've had lucid dreams my actions have often been pretty "random" in the sense that they weren't what I'd really want to do if I could stop and think about it and had I actually been awake and imbued with all the facilities of dream-reality anyway. What happened in most of those lucids for me was that I went along with a context that was semi-relevant to the dream or that was entirely relevant to the context of reality checking in itself; what I mean by this is that once I realised I was dreaming, my mind often still wanted to continue checking reality, which ends up leading down a path of actions that are in a sense, irrelevant, at least for the purpose of fulfilling waking desires related to lucid-dreaming.

      My last lucid was a bit different in this regard, but it still did this to a degree, mostly at first where I really wanted to be sure I was lucid, and I attribute this to the fact that I had not expected to have a lucid dream at all, so in all honesty, I had been lax for many many months about what I actually wanted to do, in the end only serving some more basic desires that I could accomplish during the dream, which I keep in my mind less consciously anyway, as you so eloquently summed up in my quoting of your reply.

      In the end I had the same issue of not remembering "outside" of the dream, i.e. my long-term waking intents, but to less so than in the past and most of my lucid actions ended up being the result of thinking "well, I can't remember what I wanted to do, so I'll try some stuff", which in itself was a good step forward for me.

      I hope that was of some insight; I really wanted to make a much shorter point, but I unfortunately don't know how to make points short, usually.
      Last edited by DarkestDarkness; 08-15-2020 at 10:00 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Silence11 View Post
      Well, in making a memory accessible you are, by definition, making memory accessible, don't you think? This is why I emphasize that the thing you choose to remember is irrelevant. Any memory you decide to recover is enough to bridge that gap between your consciousness within the dream and your storehouse of memories. It's not that my decision to remember the location of my physical body is of particular significance, it was only the easiest way for me to work back in my mind to retrieve a single memory. By that token, I could've attempted to remember the location of my car keys, or the name, breed and color of my dog, or the last known appearance of one of my relatives, etc. The content of the memory isn't the focus as much as the path to recovery of that memory, the process of remembering. In that sense, the only requisite to retrieval is that the process should be successful.
      That makes total sense!

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence11 View Post
      Doubt shouldn't be an issue, if the process of retrieval resulted in success. The idea is to work backwards from your mind to your specific memory, any memory, but a true memory. Creating a false memory is proof that the link hasn't been established. You must be sure that the memory you've retrieved is a real memory you have, and only you can know that. When I work to remember the location of my physical body in a dream, the answer I come up with must be one obtained with careful thought. The process doesn't stop at the words spoken, but in the meaning behind them. In remembering, I use known images or the feeling of my body to give a validity and ensure the memory retrieved is real. I even trace my steps further back, not only stopping at a superficial location of my body, but about the place as well, whether it is my bedroom or not, in my house or someplace else, in what state (I'd been traveling lately, which is why I went that far back).
      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      I think being doubtful about your memories while lucid may be a bit counter-productive if you are applying that logic to everything. If you are becoming lucid at a low-level for example, you may simply apply this logic without second thought on the logic itself, and doubt everything about your memories and never come to accept that some of them are indeed real/correct.
      Yes, given the length of (my) dreams, it's true I don't want to spend much time focusing on doubt... and probably prioritize an "yes, and" attitude instead. Yet, lucid dreaming seems to depend greatly on skepticism... on the ability to be critical of our experience, especially our feeling that we are engaged with the physical world. From that dream, I did interpret my skepticism as an indicator of lucidity in the mist of sleep. To compare, I would find it lucid to be skeptical and critical of my attitudes and behaviours were I drunk (ex. This feels fun, but am I missing cues that others are finding my behavior inappropriate?"). Concretely, when I am drunk, I do check in with myself to make sure I am being polite and agreeable, because I realize I might be under false impressions. But, I agree that I don't want to be stuck on the "I can know nothing" infinity loop. But honestly, Silence, I'm not sure I believe I could ever be sure a memory is true or false within a dream. The thing is both true and false memories are constructed by our brain and the feeling that they are authentic is equally constructed by our mind. It generally works in our favor but in dreams, I experience a lot of false memories and beliefs within the dream and I barely have enough time to consider every factor that could help me disprove or support a memory. When, in waking life, I was the primary witness for a fight, when the other witnesses' reports created a false memory in my mind, it was incredibly difficult (and disturbing) to know the truth of what I had truly witnessed (to this day, my memory is messed up, and I have to rely on the surrounding facts to believe my original side of the story).

      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      But this also has a flaw for me because I do have false memories, probably a fair bit more often than others do, and I often rely on my partner to correct these false memories, which has its own issues within the dreaming context. And for me, these are usually mid or long-term memories that have been distorted without my conscious realisation.
      Exactly! In waking life, we have time to get to the bottom of things but I guess in dreams, we have to choose our battles. Anyway, there's no need to remember everything, or to remember everything factually in a dream. Only just improving our access to our memory should be beneficial. Anyway, I find that what I learn in previous dreams is more easily accessible in future dreams. Concretely, in dreams, I find it easier to remember dream memories than waking life memories, lucid or not. As it turns out, in non-lucid dreams, I am even likely to remember strategies I used in lucid dreams.

      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      Without going too much into this, for me personally, even the thought of doubting that anything is real feels like it's not appropriate, in good part because I do consider dreams to be real; they are real experiences to me. For me it's more about, does reality conform to what it should during waking life? That's what I assess usually, the "consistency" of these fundamental laws. If I remember to notice that they don't seem to be functioning or have been altered within a given situation, then it's cause for me to question what's going on.
      Sure, it's real like the experience of reading a book is real. It's real like my thoughts are real. But if there's a cat in a dream, in a book or in my thoughts, there's not a physical cat. With a physical cat, there are implications:
      - The cat has "real" needs (it must be fed, must have water, shelter, a place to pee, environmental enrichment).
      - The cat is permanent (not only persistent) and bound to space and time: it will be there even when I don't think about it and it won't appear when I do think about it if it is elsewhere. It will be there from it's birth until it's death and disintegration. And that's it.
      - There are consequences and considerations. If I hit the cat, I have to accept that I am going to hurt it and it will possibly experience that hurt.

      In a dream, in a book, in my thoughts, it's real and true that I can experience a cat, but that cat doesn't need me to do anything, it won't be affected by what I do, and it simply won't exist when I stop thinking about it. In those scenarios, what is affected is me. My experience is real so I am affected by it.

      Real kind of has those implications. But I agree that I prefer using the word "material" or "physical" to denote the difference (though in dreams, there is an illusion of interacting with physical and material objects) so it does get confusing to try to maintain that illusion whilst being aware that it is an illusion (without the illusion breaking down).

      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      ...always finding that I either ramble or don't go into enough detail
      Same

      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      but I was also unsure about whether you did want advice or not, since it seemed to me like you might be happy to simply celebrate your successes more than focusing on any specific issues.
      Advice are for sure welcome. I just like discussing these things. I think my writing style gives a "definitive" impression, like my mind is made up and I am just stating facts that are not to be questioned (haha, well, that's what I fear I come across as). My intention rather is to express where my thoughts are at at the moment. Writing helps me make sense of my thoughts and these discussion help me develop my understanding. So, here, I wasn't just celebrating but really just saying how I feel, see what others have to say, see what I have to say after and so on, haha

      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      What I wanted to go over on my scrapped replies, at least about the dream being "fickle"... This is all purely my opinion at this time; anyone is free to simply disregard/disagree with it of course.
      There's no reason for us (me) to disregard your opinions. Don't apologize for participating

      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      And I personally think that, within dreams, we are often already in the middle of this type of associative chain, so in a way we also become deprived of the context that exists outside of that chain, i.e. outside of the dream's reality. But then when we get very clear dream signs this chain breaks up a bit and goes off into something else that may or may not lead to lucidity. Maybe I should refocus my own efforts on reshaping my associative memory, now that I'm thinking about it.
      I agree with the associative chain. I agree that in the context of this associative chain, it might be more difficult to "associate" or "link" to waking life memory: If you are in your house, it's easy to make the connections to other memories: oh, yes, earlier I was right there in the kitchen making chicken tikka masala and earlier still I went to the garage, took, the car, and went to the nearby grocery store to buy the ingredients for said chicken tikka masala. If I am now fighting a diplomatic war with dolphins in a space desert, it might be more difficult to remember the tikka masala (via the associative chain). So, completely agreeing with you here.

      About the dream sign, I wouldn't say it breaks anything off... because I would say the chain was already a complex tree with many branching chains (multiple different chains relevant at many moment: in one scene, there might be a family member, an dinosaur, a birthday cake and a baby. So it's really a mosaic. A dream sign will simply be such a piece of the mosaic. I wonder what you mean by reshaping your associative memory? I guess for me, I want my association with the lucid "aha" moment to not lead to a fickle dream. So, I'm adjusting this association by having this discussion and strengthening a different association: that the dream is persistent (because ideas can be persistent, because my mind is expert at creating continuous experience, because the associative chain can give structure to the dream). Is that the sort of thing you mean?

      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      I think we could consider that dream reality isn't necessarily inconsistent, fickle or indecisive. Specific dream signs work because of association and therefore because of a less-conscious inner working of memory, I'd say.
      Agreed!

      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      We may associate a dream sign with, well, dreaming. So we have the association even while dreaming(!) that we may be dreaming if we see this sign... After some time this works just like reactive memory or muscle memory and we need to think less consciously about it, but it still leads to conscious thoughts! As a brief example, yesterday I had a few very specific RC moments to which I automatically knew to start doing my RC, and this lead me to consciously analyse what was going on and how "real" things were then.

      Because of this "auto" or muscle-memory-like thing, when I've had lucid dreams my actions have often been pretty "random" in the sense that they weren't what I'd really want to do if I could stop and think about it and had I actually been awake and imbued with all the facilities of dream-reality anyway. What happened in most of those lucids for me was that I went along with a context that was semi-relevant to the dream or that was entirely relevant to the context of reality checking in itself; what I mean by this is that once I realised I was dreaming, my mind often still wanted to continue checking reality, which ends up leading down a path of actions that are in a sense, irrelevant, at least for the purpose of fulfilling waking desires related to lucid-dreaming.
      There's something interesting here... Hmmm. Why did I drink before tackling this discussion haha, I was only supposed to watch Terrace House (a japanese reality TV show) but it's definitely made a challenge for me to respond haha. Hmm, if I understand, you're saying your associations to "lucid dreaming" lead to "dream stabilization" and "reality checking" and lead you away from other endeavours? Interesting.

      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      In the end I had the same issue of not remembering "outside" of the dream, i.e. my long-term waking intents, but to less so than in the past and most of my lucid actions ended up being the result of thinking "well, I can't remember what I wanted to do, so I'll try some stuff", which in itself was a good step forward for me.
      Right here with you on this!
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      Awesome discussion on memory! It's given me a lot to think about for sure.

      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      But, my hang up is, there is never any need to stabilize the dream until we become lucid. My dreams can be plenty solid/stable/vivid when non-lucid. So, I'm thinking the main change when becoming lucid is the perspective has changed. The expectations have changed.
      I thought I was focusing pretty good on all three aspects a lucid mindset Sageous describes but I see I have a lot to learn about memory still, and now you bring up expectation also which is for sure affecting me. This is a really interesting observation you bring up about non lucid dreams being stable and vivid. One of my longest running lucid dreaming goals is to have a really long lucid dream, the longest lucid I have had since joining dream views is around ten minutes of actual dream time. This has really frustrated me because I have had many non lucid dreams that seem to go on for hours!

      What kind of training do you guys do around the area of expectation? Right now I have really just been focusing on prospective memory and affirmations, "I will be lucid tonight" and such.

      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      Well, I don't notice my physical body for most parts in my dreams so I don't have that tug of war, but those are some nice thoughts
      I just commented on this in my dream journal from last night. I had a sequence of dreams that where all first person, with me being directly involved in the plot, that where especially vivid and semi lucid. In many of my non lucid dreams I am like an observer, or if I am participating don't ever notice having a body or anything like that. I found it much easier to be semi lucid in a first person, with body, involved in dream plot type of dream that I think could turn into a DILD easily.

      As I have been trying to ponder and practice a non dual perspective in my dreams I have been trying to imagine ways to be more involved with the plots of my dreams. To be more curious about the effect they are having on me, and I on them. I have yet to try and practice this in a lucid dream, but I am imagining feeling more connected and involved, both more lucid AND more involved in the dream.

      I am mentioning these things here both because this discussion on memory prompted these thoughts, and I think I need to give more focus to develop memory practice and especially dream expectation to help develop a lucid mindset.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sangfoot View Post
      What kind of training do you guys do around the area of expectation? Right now I have really just been focusing on prospective memory and affirmations, "I will be lucid tonight" and such.
      For me, I think my expectation training includes two parts:
      1. Reflecting on my "beliefs" (Ex1. Do I believe DCs are real? Informing a DC they are not real, for example, is a sign you are treating them as a real person, otherwise you would feel no need to inform them of anything. This might result in the DC disagreeing with you and trying to convince you they are real. Ex2. Do I believe the dream is fickle (as discussed above). Etc.)
      2. Visualisaton (I'll replay a lucid dream in my mind, correct some moves or think of new moves so that I'm more likely to think to act that way. Ex1. Visualize myself in a LD interacting with a DC, treating them not as a person but as an archetype, or a manifestation from my unconscious mind (where my unconscious mind is not a person) and really feeling it. Ex2. Reliving a dream that's breaking up and really feeling that I believe the dream is stable and seeing how I can even maintain the stability of my visualisation. Etc.)

      Quote Originally Posted by Sangfoot View Post
      I just commented on this in my dream journal from last night. I had a sequence of dreams that where all first person, with me being directly involved in the plot, that where especially vivid and semi lucid. In many of my non lucid dreams I am like an observer, or if I am participating don't ever notice having a body or anything like that. I found it much easier to be semi lucid in a first person, with body, involved in dream plot type of dream that I think could turn into a DILD easily.
      I think it's because in a 3rd person perspective, we are more likely to be in an observatory mode than self-reflective (which we are more likely to be in a 1st person perspective). I'm not sure there is much to do here but practice moving back to yourself and back when watching TV or listening to other people or watching any kind of scene.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sangfoot
      In many of my non lucid dreams I am like an observer, or if I am participating don't ever notice having a body or anything like that. I found it much easier to be semi lucid in a first person, with body, involved in dream plot type of dream that I think could turn into a DILD easily.
      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred
      I think it's because in a 3rd person perspective, we are more likely to be in an observatory mode than self-reflective (which we are more likely to be in a 1st person perspective). I'm not sure there is much to do here but practice moving back to yourself and back when watching TV or listening to other people or watching any kind of scene.
      On this subject, I think key words to note as Occipitalred put it are "more likely", this is especially important to make note of under the context of expectations, since you may simply be expecting to be more observant and less active in these scenarios and therefore it becomes self-fulfilling. Maybe there are other things that you can do about it too though; a lot of games are played in third-person perspectives and some that are first-person have third-person modes or photo modes. If you play any of such games, you can always use those experiences and make note of how it feels to be controlling something in the third-person. Photo modes are great in a way since you can basically "leave" your character but still see it in most cases.

      I often get a good second-sense of sorts when playing games that have first-person or close-distance third-person modes; with enough experience in a game I start to be able to have an intuitive "feel" of where "I" am and what I'm touching even if it's not in the field of view but I know the room/area or if I'm getting feedback somehow, such as being un/able to move. I imagine it's the same for most people who play games or do things involving extensions of feel that can't be directly "felt" and so also imagine that it's similar for experienced/good drivers, especially with larger vehicles.



      Quote Originally Posted by Sangfoot
      As I have been trying to ponder and practice a non dual perspective in my dreams I have been trying to imagine ways to be more involved with the plots of my dreams. To be more curious about the effect they are having on me, and I on them. I have yet to try and practice this in a lucid dream, but I am imagining feeling more connected and involved, both more lucid AND more involved in the dream.

      I am mentioning these things here both because this discussion on memory prompted these thoughts, and I think I need to give more focus to develop memory practice and especially dream expectation to help develop a lucid mindset.
      On expectation, I have found that the best thing for me to do is to be true to myself and to minimise doubts. By being true to myself I mean that I should consider what others offer in terms of their biases or opinions on particular themes but I don't necessarily have to accept what others expect in situations that I might encounter. I apply this belief to life in general, but of course there are matters of health and safety where it's reasonable to directly accept the opinions others have, particularly if they have more experience in something.

      But this mindset allows me to both put things into question and to set firm beliefs at the same time. If my expectations were constantly shifting with external sources then this would just end up creating too much doubt in me, too little confidence. I should add that I personally believe we should always have some amount of self-doubt and under-confidence, both so we don't jump into other lethal hazards and so we don't trip upon our own sword.

      Most of my expectation training is purely intuitive and tacit though, so I'm afraid I don't have much advice of use there other than through discussing experiences and so on.



      As for memory, it seems to be something of a weak point for me and often somewhat outside my control. I find that memory techniques in general are excellent and I did learn a lot from them over the years, being due a refresher about now actually, but I am plagued with issues where I forget mid-term memory events or knowledge without even realising that it's happened, usually only realising because of someone else making it obvious. In any case, as far as "memory training" goes for me, at least in the context of dreaming, it mostly comes down to setting intents and resolving to change the way I'm doing or approaching something. Eventually my intents become the foundation of remembering certain things and memory comes "naturally".

      For dream recall I find that the good old "don't force it" works well, but more importantly I find that some days it's best to just accept I couldn't retain my recall. I can usually pinpoint why I was unable to retain recall and that's helpful because it helps me to stay mindful of those issues in future.

      Honestly though, I would personally say that just we are "whole" as a person, these things are all connected and can't truly be separated down to their basic forms in some ultimate way. I think when you are working on any one of these aspects, you are invariably going to be doing some work with other aspects too, I suppose how much may possibly vary depending on the kind of person you are and how you learn and deal with information, too.

      (and boy, this got long fast, I thought I was going to post one paragraph...)
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