• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

    Dream Control

    One of the best things about dream control is that it doesn't end once you get lucid. That is only the start of the adventure. Dream control refers to the act of manipulating the dream in its most varied aspects. From creating objects, to experiencing flight, summoning creatures or even teleporting to the top of the Empire State building, the options are limitless. Dream control can dictate your lucid dreaming experiences, thus being a tool that every lucid dreamer uses and hones.

    What's worth mentioning is that dream control while lucid is quite different from how we perceive it in non-lucid dreams. If you don't know you are dreaming and are completely submersed in the plot thinking it is reality, it's not surprising to see you doing things like winning battles against 10 guys, or flying, or exhibiting super powers. On the other hand, knowing that you are inside a dream gives you an automatic degree of control. Control is the product of lucidity. Let's view this principle in an example:

    "I'm walking down a street, and I pass through several shops and people while talking to a friend of mine dressed in a bear suit. Suddenly, I become suspicious about his weird figure, and this results in me achieving lucidity. I look around trying to figure out where I am. Since I'm lucid, I can do whatever I want, so I decide to ignore my friend and just enter in a shop that sells ice cream. The man offers me a chocolate one, but I'm curious to see what will happen if I ask him for an exotic flavor, so I tell him I want lizard flavor."

    As seen above, the sole act of being lucid provides the dreamer a minimal degree of control. He is no longer constrained by the plot and dream content, and he expresses this by ignoring his friend. The dreamer also realizes that since he's in a lucid dream, he can do whatever he wants, so he can choose to deviate from the previous situation of walking around through the city, and instead enter in a shop, changing both the scenario and the context.

    How does Dream Control work?

    Most dreamers gather some insight regarding Dream Control even before achieving lucidity. The famous example is when you spot a person in the distance while you're walking through the city at night. Your first thought may be "it's a thief!",though many people tend to expect meeting someone familiar. Then, that person turns out to be exactly who you were expecting it to be. Why is this?

    The answer is simple: expectation. When you expect something to happen in a dream,there's a big chance that it will happen. This is particularly evident when beginners become lucid for the first few times, and can't do certain things like flying, or making something appear. Expecting something to happen will conduct your emotions towards the event, which makes the dream content much more likely to transform into what you're expecting to see. Fear to get get caught stealing from a shop, and maybe you'll find the seller running after you. Hope to spot a friend, and someone around you will show up and reveal himself as such.

    Expectations can be the product of several things:
    • Emotions - A good example of how emotions can dictate your expectations is fear: it's a very common emotion experienced when you're not quite used to lucidity. If you fear that you will fall if you start flying, it's probable that it will happen. On the other hand, being calm tends to result in better dream control, since your emotional state is less likely to interfere with your intention.
    • Memory - Even in a lucid dream, memory might not be perfect. Some people actually cannot recall recent events prior to going to bed, which makes them wonder if they are really asleep. This is a natural barrier to Dream Control, since if you can't successfully understand that you are indeed dreaming, you are less likely to try out radical things like jumping off of buildings in order to fly, invocation, etc. Exercises that help you recall your lucid goals are good for Dream Control, because as you remember to perform them, you will be more focused on the task at hand.
    • Mental Schemas - We all work under patterns. We are used to see the police with guns, but not priests. We know that our friends are friendly, but a criminal that escaped from jail should be dealt with caution. The point is, as we live, we get used to certain patterns and perspectives that allow us to interact with the world without much problem, thanks to our Mental Schemas. In one hand, they can limit your Dream Control if you cannot get rid of the thought that a celebrity has no interest in talking to you, but they can also help you realize that if you're near your school, it should be easy to find some friend of yours. Thinking about how the world usually works can be a powerful tool when it comes to influencing your expectations.

    Performing Dream Control

    It is often said that every dreamer has his/her own way of manipulating their dreams. This is quite true – your own personal identity influences the way you choose to achieve a certain goal, whether it's reaching the top of a mountain, or finding a necklace made of gold. Throughout the years, members of the ever-growing lucid dreaming community have the shared and developed popular ways of manipulating dream content. Let's review some of them:

    Making use of Justification

    Basically, the way justification works is that there's always a reason. If there isn't, then make up an excuse. If you're trying to invoke an object like the keys for the Ferrari standing right in front of you, convince yourself instead that the owner probably didn't lock the car. If he did, he must have dropped the keys nearby so look around! If you still can't find them, then check your pockets: maybe the car was lent to you and they're right there. This also works for finding someone. If you're in the city trying to find a celebrity you love, then enter somewhere and expect it to be there...after all, that celebrity is just visiting town today, big coincidence huh? What about that dragon you want to fight so badly? Well, maybe you are in some kind of video game reality so it makes total sense for one to show up.

    The power of technology

    Modern society has become so used to technology that we are no longer surprised when new innovations are produced. From telephones to televisions, fridges, cars, guns...inventions keep coming. Things once thought were impossible now show up at any moment. This is a great tool for Dream Control, especially since technology doesn't need to exist in waking life to exist in dreams. You know those machines present in the matrix movie? Or the sci-fi gadgets? This means you can fly with your own iron man suit, or use a teleportation machine to travel to another time or universe, something which many lucid dreamers already do.
    Another option is to make use of dream characters. You could get some scientist to give you a potion that gives you superhuman strength, or calling the Hulk to help you reach your destination with style and speed. Learning tricks and powers from dream characters is another popular practice, because it adds realism and increases your expectations of achieving those skills.

    Magic and other languages of command

    Words are power, especially in a lucid dream. Sometimes yelling "increase vividness" to the dream can provide amazing results. This communication with a non-specific entity works because you're associating a certain characteristic or rule with the dream reality. Justification also helps here: imagine you are in a sandbox game whose commands are given by shouting specific sentences, like "Dream, create object RED CAR" or "Dream, change scenario to "Alien planet".
    Magic is quite a famous language of command, perhaps because we are so used to hear about exotic words providing exotic results. Inspiration in here can come from the simplest places, like books (Harry Potter, Eragon to mention two examples), movies, or once again, can be created by you. For example, if you learn to associate the word Omega to the creation of a blue shield that makes you immune to any form of aggression, chances are that you will create a powerful expectation that it will work in a dream. The more powerful and unique the association is, the better chances of it working all the time.

    Travelling through the Wormhole

    In a lucid dream, anywhere is just one step away...

    Even when lucid, many dreamers tend to use material means to reach a destination, even when there is no material concept to make use of! There isn't a concept of space (or time for that matter) in a dream, since it's all a mental projection with no boundaries, rules, elements or any type of characteristic set in stone. Places you visit may show up again later in a completely different context, with different details, or in a different timeline. Although moving to another place might require some steps, remember that you're always in the same place all the time. In order to build expectations though, some of these mechanisms tend to facilitate the process of travelling around the world:
    • Doors - behind a door is anything you can imagine. The fact that we expect to reach another place when opening a door makes this a very useful tool to arrive at a new destination. Sometimes it may not be exactly where you want, but you can always close it and re-open it until the desired scenario shows up.
    • Elevators - elevators have the advantage of having buttons, and hopefully, loads of them. This is not only useful to quickly reach many destinations, but also for revisiting a certain place. If you decide to connect the "Dragon Planet" to the "floor" 6, then chances are that you will create a strong association that will serve you well in the future when you want to go there again.
    • Mirrors - mirrors can work like doors in terms of transportation, but they possess a more special utility: transformation! That's right, you can use a mirror to act like you're redesigning yourself. You can change clothes, gender, grow limbs, or even do a full transformation.
    • Turning around and spinning - turning around while expecting something to show up behind you (like the dream character you want to meet, or a big object), is a great way to make use of the ephemeral nature of the dream world. Spinning on the other hand, is not only useful for making the dream more stable, but also for teleportation: simply spin around and by the time you stop, chances are, a new dreamscape will appear in front of your eyes.

    It all comes down to Expectation

    Regardless of any of these techniques (or any other you might encounter or develop), Dream Control always comes down to the importance of expectations. That's why some people can simply make big objects show up in a blink of an eye, while others manage to perform great feats like visiting outer space right in their first lucid dream. There are no specifics when it comes to a certain action: what might work for one dreamer might not work for another. A person whose flight experience may be from watching Superman might result in a completely different Dream Control from a person who is a professional pilot instead. Working with your experiences is a great way of succeeding at control.

    Failing at Dream Control

    Every once in a while, Dream Control may fail or produce results that don't quite match your interest. This is not necessarily the result of a lack of skill. It is important to understand that even while lucid, the subconscious mind that is creating the dream can influence the outcome as well. Dream Control can certainly be improved with a continuous practice. This means that a dreamer who is accustomed to flying will start to do so without without much effort, even if once in a while he may find him/herself striking through the air at a different speed than intended. Still, why does Dream Control fail sometimes?

    One reason might be because you are not lucid enough. Picture this situation: if you know you are dreaming but still move out of the road to not get hit by a car, perhaps it's not odd at all that you fail when you try to go through a wall or a solid object. In another example, if the dream is dark and you react by trying to go outside searching for sun light, then it's no surprise that have trouble changing the weather or even conjuring a fire ball. That's why increasing lucidity is such an important step when it comes to interacting with the dream world: you must work to continuously shatter the notion that the dreaming reality obeys the same set of rules as the waking one. This is not an easy task, which is why Dream Control is not static, but instead tends to improve over time. However, you must also have experiences that allow you to make this realization.

    Do not over think it

    If you happen to fail at something such as lifting an object with telekinesis, the best approach is not worrying about it. Associating negative responses with a dream action only leads to stress whenever you try it again. So the door doesn't open? Use the window. The dream character doesn't show up? Grab a telephone and call her asking where she is. There's always a way around it. Some dreamers even prefer to leave it alone and try again in another lucid, which is a wise way of not wasting your entire dream on a single purpose.
    Another thing you want to be careful with is excuses—internal excuses like "maybe I just can't do this" or "I'm still a beginner"—making you feel bad that the problem lies in you. So whenever you fail at something, try to think along the lines of "It's okay, I'm just not focused enough this time" or "I'll just try again, otherwise I'll do something else". Basically, convince yourself that the failure has nothing to do with your skill, but some other factor that can be easily solved. Dream Control is an affirmation in all the uncertainty of an ever-changing reality. Don't wait for it to come to you, go ahead and grab it.

    Other Useful Links.

    Task of the Month - practice your Dream Control
    Mancon's Guide to Lucid Flying + Techniques by Mancon
    The Nature of Dream Control - The Cusp
    1000 things to do in a lucid dream!!! - moongrass


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