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    Recent Entries

    This Must Have Been Kafka’s Bank; Old Acquaintance

    by LeaningKarst on Yesterday at 11:09 PM
    It seems I’ve gone to a bank to figure out why I can’t get my checking account hooked up with Paypal. They’ve given me a form to fill out—I’m sitting at a large table with a few other customers scattered around it while a female employee stands behind a desk at one end of the room.

    But the form is proving quite frustrating. All the questions are so unclear that I keep having to call the woman over to explain what information it’s asking me for. And it seems that a lot of what it’s asking for is other people’s information—relatives, friends, people who would be able to do a particular thing for me.

    I call the woman over to explain yet another question—it claims to be questions 4 through 10, although it seems to be a simple yes or no question. What’s this one asking me for? She tells me that one doesn’t actually count for anything, and I can write anything I want there. Well, fine then. I write: “yes?/no!” below it. The woman seems a little dubious. But if it doesn’t matter, then presumably it doesn’t have to make sense. Besides, I say, how often do you get the chance to answer a question like that? And she seems to accept that.

    I had hoped to have this matter settled today, but since I’m going to have to get in touch with so many people to get the information I need to fill the form out, it looks like it’s going to drag out for a while longer. But then it dawns on me: this thing is making me think about the ways I’m connected with other people. Could it be that that’s what this was really about?

    Later that night, in a different dream, I’m going to a place like a big department store with a group of people. A lot happened in this one, but in the only part I can remember well, we have all met up at a café that's part of some larger space. We sit at a couple small, round tables to one side of the counter. There are some nice-looking pastries on display, but I don’t recall anyone actually ordering food.

    I was hoping to sit next to Katya, but she ended up at the other table, and other people sat down there before I could move over. Instead, I seem to be sitting beside an old schoolmate, someone I haven’t seen or even thought about since we were both 10. We talk about life back then. She mentions a particular boy, saying she remembers I had a lot of classes in common with him. I can’t remember whether I did or not. It’s not something I would have taken note of. I say that I remember having a lot of classes in common with another boy, though. She doesn’t remember who he is at first. But then she says, “Oh, the one with the naked fairy dream?” This is referring to the dream records that are displayed here in this café. It seems they were collected by Judge what’s-his-face from some of the students back then as part of some project—maybe like a public display of kids’ artwork, like you see sometimes— and by some massive coincidence, they ended up here, where we are.

    I have my bouzouki in my lap, in its case. I’m thinking of taking it out and playing it. It would have nothing whatsoever to do with anything that happened in the past, and that would be nice.

    22.4.18
    Categories
    non-lucid

    Eight Ways of Dying

    by LeaningKarst on 04-15-2018 at 09:14 PM
    I am going on a trip with some other people—vague impressions of preparation, of using a computer in a lab to take care of some paperwork I need for it—some kind of registration, maybe.

    It seems to be a long trip. We are traveling by car, and after a while, we stop at a gas station. I go inside to find something to eat and am pleasantly surprised to discover they have marzipan here. I pick out a couple small bars of it, along with some other food for the road.

    A little while later, I’m in a room belonging to my friend Nina—it seems to be in the same building, with the gas station just on the other side of a door. I’m examining some small statues on the shelves. The statues illustrate the “eight ways of dying”—which actually seems to signify ways of living, the idea being that they’re lifestyles that don’t really deserve to be called living.

    There are two complete sets of the eight, and they both go about illustrating them in different ways. I looked at all of the statues, but the only one I remember vividly was the eighth one of the second set, which I was looking at as I woke up. The key symbol seems to be a snail, representing an unthinking, animal-like life. But while the sculptor of the first set has just portrayed the snail, the sculptor of the second—who seems to have a more fanciful take on things in general—has portrayed the snail crawling over a human corpse in a colorful stage of decomposition. Where’s Nina so I can ask her about these, I wonder.

    I can also vaguely remember a couple other statues, also from the second set. The second statue showed a woman lying on a massage table surrounded by jars and bottles and things, and the fourth didn’t seem to have any living figures at all, but looked like a mineralogist’s work table might—rocks of various kinds scattered over it and a jar of rocks in the center.

    15.4.18

    (Note: I think the Buddhist ideas here are pretty clear, but it may be less obvious that it’s also drawing pretty heavily from Plato.)
    Categories
    non-lucid

    The Gifts You've Been Given

    by LeaningKarst on 04-13-2018 at 12:55 AM
    I’m an observer watching a scene unfold on a boat—but really, it’s more that I’m looking at it and the people on deck while being aware of the situation playing out there in a more abstract way. There are some documents I need for traveling on this boat, and I’m not sure if I have them or if I need to go through some process to get them.

    The scene shifts—I’m now exiting a bus. But instead of winding up outside as I had expected, I’ve simply stepped onto another bus. I quickly take a seat behind the two women who entered ahead of me and wonder where this one is going to take me.

    The scene shifts again—this time, I’m waking up in the back of a car my parents are driving. It feels as if I’m younger in this one. We’ve just stopped by a building I recognize as the one where my father’s workshop is. That means we’re not far from home now. I fall back asleep.

    The scene shifts yet again—this time, I’m in a grocery store. And this time, I know it’s a dream, although I still seem to think the last bit with the car was waking reality. I think it would be best if I sleep for the remainder of the trip, and so that means making sure this dream lasts.

    I look around. There don’t seem to be anyone here but me. It's reminiscent of the specialty grocer’s down the street from my old flat on Svornosti. That means there should be a counter over in the corner where I can get some coffee.

    I go over and find the counter is there, and that there’s somebody behind it. There’s nothing displaying prices, so I just put down three bills, possibly dollars, which seems like a more than fair price. But the woman tells me I have to make the coffee myself using the machine there. It’s an odd contraption, like no coffee maker I’ve ever used, but after messing around for it a bit, I get it to pour some coffee out - Turkish style, with the grounds at the bottom. I drink it. This isn’t a conscious attempt at stabilization, I don’t think—just something that struck me as a pretty good idea—but it may have had that effect, as it’s normally hard for me to stay asleep so late in the morning.

    I consider where to go from here. Perhaps home, where the car was headed—only I have no idea where I am right now. But if I fly, perhaps I’ll see some familiar landmark from the air and be able to find my way from there. And to fly, I’ll need a high place to launch from—so it looks like I’m headed to the roof.

    In the meantime, I’ve noticed six or seven wolves between two shelves on the upper story, which is a sort of balcony over one half of the store. They all trot off in a single direction as I watch. Are they coming after me? But I wasn’t planning on sticking around here in any case. I climb a shelf and phase through the ceiling.

    I now find myself in a room lit by a warm light. A long mahogany table laid with bright red dishes is some distance off—set for an elaborate meal, it looks like. It's quite pretty. I continue on my way, climbing another shelf and jumping through the ceiling.

    This time I’m in an attic-like room near a big calico cat that, in typical feline fashion, seems entirely unimpressed by my unusual method of transportation. But it’s about then that I wake up.

    I also wake up remembering something else—not something I heard, but words that seemed to be impressed on my mind. It went something like: “Use the gifts you’ve been given, human.” I don’t know who said it—perhaps it was the cat?—but it seemed somehow independent from the rest of the dream, like it was taking place on a different level. Good advice, in any case.

    12.4.18 - (Happy Lucid Dreaming Day, everyone!)
    Categories
    lucid , non-lucid , dream fragment

    Been Here A Lot Lately

    by LeaningKarst on 04-12-2018 at 02:42 AM
    I find myself walking down the staircase to the basement of my M--- house. It occurs to me that this is a place I only visit in dreams—and so I must be dreaming right now.

    The room is dark, so I try to brighten it up a little bit by clapping as if the lighting there was the kind that responded to that. But that doesn’t seem to help, and the visuals, though still vivid, have an indefinite quality to them that tells me the dream isn’t very stable. I decide I’ll cut the visuals off altogether to stabilize it through other senses, but wake up first—right around the time I ordinarily wake up, which explains the instability. I seem to have completely lost the ability to sleep in nowadays.

    10.4.18
    Categories
    lucid , dream fragment

    Carved in Stone

    by LeaningKarst on 04-08-2018 at 06:04 PM
    This dream took place in a city than my brain identified as Dubrovnik. And it wasn’t entirely unlike Dubrovnik—it was by the sea, and in the right sort of general landscape, only hillier, and it did have a similar aesthetic. This wasn’t the first time I had a dream set there, although I don’t think I identified it as anywhere familiar that time.

    In this dream, the city seems to be gearing up for a festival, with some tents and stalls already up, some still being set up. The city is full of people, which strikes me as an unusual circumstance, as if I’ve been living here rather than a visitor like them. As I hear people talking among the crowd about the best route to a certain location, I know the answer. But right now, they’re heading in the right direction anyway—at least, if they want to see the preparations along the way, which is what I want to do.

    Across a canal or some kind of long, rectangular pond, there are yet more people near a fountain, including someone I know—an old classmate of mine, an Italian exchange student. She and an unfamiliar man are embracing there. In front of me, some other people I recognize as classmates have also noticed, and they don’t like what they see. One young woman in red makes a disparaging comment rather loudly, clearly intending to be heard by them. I don’t know what the story is here, but I find it hard to believe that it could possibly be any of their business.

    I run into her again later on, as part of a group of performers, doing some kind of open-air act—oddly, it’s as if they’re all hovering above the water of a canal like the other one, only wider. I wave to them as I pass, and they wave back, but nobody else is even acknowledging them. I have the impression that they’re afraid to for some reason.

    At some point, I’m further up, out of the city proper. I pause to look down a broad stone staircase—really, more of a terraced sidewalk—that winds its way down to the sea. The sea is shining and calm, pale blue and pink, as if the sun only rose a short time ago.

    And further still, there's some kind of special site. I climb on a big rock to get a better look at it. The whole area is blocked off with a sheet of glass and has a rather stage-y appearance, as if it were intended to be seen from this angle. To the right is the entrance of a cave, where cacti and other scrubby plants are growing. To the left are four reclining chairs in a row—I assume that means this place will be open to the public at some point, since I can’t imagine why they would be there otherwise.

    The ground they’re located on breaks off with a sheer cliff face which I’m directly facing, and I can see something interesting there: some kind of symbol carved in the pale stone. It's a small circle with two lines inside it, which are arranged like the hands of a clock when it’s 10 o’clock, and coming off the bottom is a long, wavy line ending with a wedge, like an arrow. It strikes me as vaguely alchemical. I wonder what it signifies—it definitely seems to suggest some kind of downward motion.

    Some other people have gathered here while I’ve been looking—I recognize someone else I know. The last time I spoke to him was very awkward, but he doesn’t mention that, which I’m glad of. He’s telling me about the cave. But unfortunately, I can’t remember much of what he says—only that something important took place here a couple millennia ago.

    8.4.18
    Categories
    non-lucid