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    Thread: categorizing levels of Lucid dream experience

    1. #1
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      categorizing levels of Lucid dream experience

      How would you categorise or define (concisely) beginner/intermediate/experienced lucid dreamers?

      For the purposes of my study and interviews I’ll be doing I’d like some way to qualify a persons relative levels experience with lucid dreaming. Robert Waggoner describes asking an audience to put up there hands if they’ve had a lucid dream, if they’ve had under 50 LD’s, under 100, under 200, and then over 200. That’s one way to gauge, however lots of people wont have counted, though they may be able to approximate. Also 5 short lucids may qualify as less experience than 1 longer or high quality lucid dream.

      I could also describe newbie, beginner, intermediate and advanced criteria, and let people self select. Any thoughts on what you would consider relevant in these criteria? These are possible categories but I’d really welcome feedback on how to make any category more accurate.

      Newbie-less than 15 LD’s, often poor dream recall and not yet established any regular LD’ing practices
      Beginner-over 15 LD’s but probably less than 80. Dream recall is good at times but still quite inconsistent. Stability inconsistent.
      Intermediate- Often able to Lucid dream. Able to carry out experiments well at times but still quite inconsistent either due to dreams being often of short duration or lacking control of reason and will.
      Advanced- Very regularly able to induce and sustain high quality lucid dreams. Able to sufficiently carry out most dream experiments.
      V Advanced- had over 500 LD’s or so. Has had a number of what could be called “super-Lucid dreams”, which the dreamer strongly realises the nature of the dream. Examples may include advanced flying/able to totally let go of fear because of absolute knowledge of dream state. May have taught Lucid dreaming or witnessed students of lucid dreaming.

      Tnks a mil

      P
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    2. #2
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      Measuring LD skill levels with a count system might indeed not be the best of ideas. It may sound counter-intuitive, but I've known more than a few markedly inexpert LD'ers who were aware that they were dreaming hundreds of times, but didn't really do much to tap the potentials of LD'ing in any of them (or even knew to do so). I would go more with a ranking of quality instead.

      Here is an off-the-cuff list of LD'er quality levels that you might consider (assume, of course, that each new level includes the qualities of the previous levels):

      1. Beginner: never had a LD, period.

      2. Newbie: Had at least a few "Ah-ha!" moments where they realized they were dreaming, but immediately lost lucidity or woke up.

      3. Novice: Was able more than once to realize they were dreaming, maintain some stability, and actually participate in their dream (i.e., influence content, independently explore the dream, attempt "dreamy" things like flying or walking through walls).

      4. Intermediate/active dreamer: Gains lucidity consistently (i.e., perhaps, with every one in five attempts), is able to remember and act upon goals, can successfully do "dreamy" things without great effort, and stabilization is not difficult. At this level, the dreamer is actually comfortable with LD'ing, and can maintain enough control to attempt goals and successfully alter dream schemata.

      5. Expert: Can gain lucidity with almost every try and maintain it without thinking about, much less needing, stability techniques. Is able to access waking-life memory and maintain self-awareness throughout the dream, and control is just another tool. Deeper introspection, self-healing, creative experiments, and advanced entertainment can be touched at this level.

      6. Advanced: Uses LD'ing as a tool for exploration. Dreams have become a place for a dreamer to, say, explore her inner self, build new worlds/persistent realms, seek transcendental experiences, meditate deeply, and take time to really explore her imaginative powers.

      7. Very advanced/master: probably doesn't matter because they'll likely feel no need to talk to you anyway!

      That's what I can think of off-hand, I hope it helps; good luck!
      Last edited by Sageous; 04-20-2015 at 12:39 AM.
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    3. #3
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      Yes, I would tend to agree more with sageous on his scale. Mainly because on yours I am V - Advanced, but on his I am in between Intermediate and Advanced.

      The problem with the ranking is that it is like ranking someone in basketball. Someone might be super good at offense, others at defense, others scoring, others rebounding, others passing, others at just helping their teammates stay on track. Someone might be super good at inducing, others at remembering goals, others at doing goals, others at dream control, others at just some dream control, other dream recall... etc. Some (like Sageous) are almost maxed out in all counts, but for most of the people that you will talk to about LDing, they will probably be closer to me than Sageous.

      Dream recall, induction, and some dream controls are my strong points. Remembering goals and other dream control is difficult for me.

      Putting people in boxes is hard.
      Last edited by Sensei; 04-20-2015 at 06:38 AM.
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      Thanks for your comments. Makes sense and very helpful.
      Generally I hate either putting people into boxes or being asked to fit in one, as they never fit, and I hate ticking boxes that dont represent me. None the less, something to quantify roughly where someone is coming from seems a useful start. Or as I think about it now, perhaps after doing my interviews I can find a more natural way to quantify their relative experience level, rather than starting with preformed boxes. It'll be obvious from what their sharing...mmm, will see...Thanks again

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sensei
      Putting people in boxes is hard.
      Putting anything relating to lucid dreaming into boxes is hard. Everyone has a unique experience, and develops the skill differently. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and everyone dreams in their own unique way.
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      With any sort of study where one is trying to qualify relative levels of anything I would suggest starting at the end and identifying what it is that you're trying to show. Is it enough to have qualitative descriptions (as above) between different levels or do you want something more quantitative (ie. open to less 'interpretation')?

      One way that you could do this would be to define the quality of a lucid dreamer in terms of some amount of metrics that you feel encompass everything that there is to do with lucid dreaming. For example you could say frequency, duration, recall, control, stability, level of self-awareness, etc. Whatever you feel captures everything.

      Have people rate themselves (0-10, 1-5, whatever works) and combined the scores (sum or product) to determine an overall blended level. You can then divide these into equal/relevant bins to categorize each person by their qualitative skill level.

      Example (5 metrics, 0-10 system):
      Beginner (0-9)
      Novice (10-19)
      Intermediate (20-29)
      Advanced (30-39)
      Expert (40-50)

      The power of a system like this is that you could, in the future, change the scope of your study and have all the stats to back it up. For example you could say, "I wonder if recall and stability are correlated," graph them and see if there is a correlation. Or if you notice an interesting trend in your interviews that doesn't correlate with overall skill level you could see if it lines up with one/some of your metrics instead.

      Just my $0.02! If you're looking for actual metrics that define 'everything' about dreaming I'm sure that others with more skill than myself can more accurately speak to that.
      Last edited by BrotherGoose; 04-23-2015 at 11:27 PM. Reason: Bad math...
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    7. #7
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      There are a few issues with the categorization you mentioned:

      Newbie-less than 15 LD’s, often poor dream recall and not yet established any regular LD’ing practices
      This is bad design:

      a) In order to include dream recall, you have to show causal relation between it and lucid dreaming. Some studies do show positive correlations between dream recall and lucid dreaming, but we don't have evidence that you need higher levels of dream recall to have higher LDing frequency.

      b) The amount of lucid dreams is a bad parameter: since we have reasons to believe that many people experiences several lucid dreams throughout their lives, without any kind of intentional practice, you would end up ruining your data by including people that had 16 (for example) lucid dreams throughout a span of 40 years.

      c) By the same logic, you're biasing your sample by eliminating "natural" lucid dreamers, that although are rare, do exist (they will be the outliers).

      Often able to Lucid dream. Able to carry out experiments well at times but still quite inconsistent either due to dreams being often of short duration or lacking control of reason and will.
      More of the same issues: control is not a requisite for lucid dreaming. We just assume it here in the forum because after some time it can feel pretty useless to experience a lucid dream if you can't direct the experience towards something you want, but in a proper study, this is clear bias.

      Has had a number of what could be called “super-Lucid dreams”, which the dreamer strongly realises the nature of the dream.
      How can you even measure this ?

      I also disagree with Sageous system in the sense that while it seems to relate to the characteristics of lucid dreamers, it would be very impractical to use since it assumes more than lucid dreaming induction, which in a proper study you wouldn't be able to, regarding things like, but not limited to: dream control, length of lucidity, degree of memory impairment, intention required for induction, motivation for the event.

      I guess my post is more in the lines of what BrotherGoose is saying: you need a system that allows you to measure exactly what you want to study, and not assume anything before-hand, even if you have correlations between 2 variables related to the subject. If you don't make proper statistical analysis your study is going to be meaningless.

      PS: a much better parameter is lucidity frequency: how frequently in a space of X days do people become lucid. Ask also for information regarding dream recall, sleep habits, and any other parameter used in the past studies, but only use that information to draw/notice correlations. Be careful when using Voss's lucidity scale either to make sure you're not making erroneous assumptions regarding the "skill level" of a lucid dreamer because of his position on the curve of the graph.
      Last edited by Zoth; 04-25-2015 at 06:48 PM.
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    8. #8
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      I agree the way of categorizing I had started with is very flawed. It may not even be necessary for me to quantify a "level" of the persons experience. There are a couple of people who teach lucid dreaming, and I wanted someway of qualifying their experience, to distinguish why I ask them some more general questions about trends observed in lucid dreamers in general. Its probably fine to just ask do you teach lucid dreaming, and if so then thats a particular marker.
      None the less the qualities listed by the responses in this thread will be useful to consider. It could provide some interesting data to play with in a qualitative way. Working backwards from whats interviewees describe, rather than trying to create preformed criteria.
      Thanks alot for thoughts and feedback. May ye be rewarded by stunning lucid dreams occurring by surprise :-)

    9. #9
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      This is an interesting question, but lucid dreaming is very hard to quantify. As an example, I have always had very good dream control from probably my 3rd or 4th lucid dream, I can change the environment right in front of my eyes, teleport to a different scene, slow down or speed up time, shrink myself to the size of a sub-atomic level, or fly through the universe faster than light, in that sense I think I'm fairly advanced. But when it comes to LD induction, I would class myself as a beginner, DILD's are extremely infrequent, and WILD's are successful around 20% of the time. So it may be necessary for separate categories such as, but not limited to, Induction, Dream Control, Dream Stability/Dream Length etc.

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