I haven’t been able to get enough sleep to test the timer for a while. I did get to test it one night, and I do believe I can claim some sort of success. I was woken up by my alarm. It was quite startling to say the least, and I’ve reprogrammed it to be less intense. I managed to fall back asleep before it went back off, and had some very confusing short dream episodes. It’s quite foggy now, but I distinctly remember having a false awakening caused by the alarm. I was becoming suspicious in the dream when I woke up for real, or at least as far as I can tell. So those are some fairly promising results so far, and I’m going to test it again tonight.

Here’s to another attempt!

-Hatter

Popularity: 29% [?]

Last night was a bust. I didn’t have any out of the ordinary experiences at all. I did some tests later in the day to discover that one small error had made the actual part of the device that was important (the alarm part) broken. I fixed it, and am now reasonably confident it will go off at the prescribed time.Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have something interesting to tell you about.

-Hatter

Popularity: 28% [?]

I’m taking another stab at the dream mask idea, except this time from another angle. Instead of using a face mounted mask, which had issues with staying attached as well as staying comfortable, I cobbled together a small little digital timer with a cell phone vibrator. I shouldn’t take credit for the idea, if you’re a long time reader, you might remember the few posts I did about VWILD, or vibrating watch induced lucid dream. I’m just implementing the concept. As a note, you could probably do about the same thing with a cell phone set to vibrate with an alarm. The advantage of creating it myself is control over the time, duration, and intensity of the vibration. It also leaves room for improvements, such as sleep state sensing (I’m working on it). For tonight though, it’s pretty simple. If you’re new to the concept of alerting yourself in a dream, here it is:

By setting some sort of alarm to go off at a set period during the sleep cycle, one that will be during REM, you can give yourself a signal in your dreams that you are dreaming. This is because external stimuli seeps into dreams. So in my case, I’ll try and drill it into my head that a buzz on my left arm means I’m dreaming. That is a fairly unique dream-sign that I shouldn’t experience in everyday life, so I should pay more attention to it in my dreams.

Hopefully this simple concept will yield some results. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

-Hatter

Popularity: 30% [?]

I was reading a post by Ben over at Dreaming Life about Robert Waggoner’s new book: “Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self,” and I was particularly struck by the idea about the true nature of control in a lucid dream. To quote:

No sailor controls the sea. Only a foolish sailor would say such a thing. Similarly, no lucid dreamer controls the dream. Like a sailor on the sea, we lucid dreamers direct our perceptual awareness within the larger state of dreaming.

Waggoner elaborates on his view in the interview, so I won’t go too much detail here. Instead, I’d like to go into depth on the idea of control based on my experiences. In order to help define control in general terms, let’s look at control in normal and lucid dreams.

Normal Dream Control
In a “normal” dream, one is unaware of the dream. Something in the dream happens, and you react. Sometimes you appear to have an agenda with things to do. This sort of dreaming is very reactionary, at least in my experience. It seems that I’ll have some goal at one point, and the changing surroundings in the dream distract me along my path to that goal. There is no direct “I’d like this to happen because I can make it happen,” it’s more along the lines of trying to effect the change through action. I’ve had many dreams when this has failed often to rather humorous consequences upon waking. For instance, I often experience weakness when trying to fight or punch things/people. I trained in martial arts for a few years, so this is particularly frustrating to me in dreams. I continue to attempt the same attack over and over again. This is a perfect example of how little control one can have in a normal dream. If one’s normal waking day method of doing things (physically altering them) fails, one is rather powerless. I would characterize “normal” dream control as direct and physical .

In between nights of writing this post, I had a dream in which I didn’t exist. I was simply watching some plot play out. This made me think more about how I was defining control. I would define no control as when you lack any sort of power to interact, as an observer. It was a very interesting idea to me, even though I’ve had similar dreams in the past, it came at a very opportune time to give me perspective.

Lucid Dream Control
A lucid dream is a different game entirely. Gone are the limitations of only physical control, and opened are the mental, desire based, and supernatural controls. When one wants something accomplished, one can physically try to do it, or more likely, simply make it happen with some supernatural power or simply by wishing it into existence. This is the more typical type of control I would imagine when I think of lucid dreaming and interacting with the dream. This control is less based in physical action and more in terms of simply “making it happen.”

I wonder if having a lucid dream would make the observer style of dream any different. Perhaps your “thoughts” would be clearer, but then again I don’t remember thinking either.

Dream Control as an Administrator

All of these Ideas I’ve presented so far agree with Waggoner’s assertion about control in dreams. The dreamer controls certain parts about the dream, but never the entirety of the dream. If the sheer amount of things going into the dream are considered, this must be accepted. Even when you create the landscape and the very surroundings and people in the dream, you’re only creating a higher level of the dream. You might create a tree, but did you decide how many leaves it has, how tall it is, how thick the trunk is? Perhaps if you make a rolling meadow. Did you decide how the grass looks on an individual level? Obviously you didn’t go through thousands of blades of grass. The brain seems to take general commands and fill in the details. I can also think of a few times when I meant to create one thing and got another, so perhaps the detail control is imprecise, or just likes toying with the dreamer . It’s almost as though you’re a boss handing instructions to an employee, who does what you ask, as they understand it. This might explain how you get a tree with all of the details without having to ask for them. The big question then, is who is carrying out these instructions?

So I pose a question to my readers: Who do you think carries out these instructions, or more generally, how do you think control in a dream is accomplished and how should it be defined?

-Hatter

Popularity: 28% [?]

There was a big splash last month in the dreaming community, the source was a research breakthrough made by Japanese scientists. The breakthrough? Successfully reconstructing images being viewed from the eyes, using only brain activity. This has enormous implications, which have been fairly well speculated on since the breakthrough. The main conclusion from the discovery was that one day, it might be possible to actually record dreams. From Pink Tentacle:

According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people’s dreams while they sleep.

Well alright then, throw out the dream journal and the melatonin! Excepting of course, that the development time is an estimated 10 years.The current state is a rather crude, black and white low resolution image. Another rather inhibiting factor that everybody forgets when speculating about the amazing applications of this process is that you need a MRI scanning machine to do it.

Another assumption being made about recording dreams is that they result in the same brain activity that alert, awake people experience. Whether this is true or not I am unsure, as certain parts of the brain are definitely less active during dream states then they are during awake states. Without knowing exactly which parts of the brain the scientists were using for data, it’s difficult to call this assumption true or false. It is however, important to state in the first place.

This article isn’t supposed to lower everybody’s excitement about this breakthrough. It could be the most revolutionary dreaming discoveries in the modern era, leading to all sorts of new applications to old ideas like dream analysis, learning, etc. However, sometimes it’s good to remember the “catches” involved in all this. Excitement has its place, but the likelihood of actually seeing this technology in the applications everybody is hoping for is slim., at least for a while. So flip to the next page on your dream journal, it isn’t going anywhere for a while.

-Hatter

Popularity: 30% [?]

Just a short update post about Project Green Room, the shared dreaming experiment. Registration is now open for the project. It looks like it’s going to be a lot easier then the previous shared dreaming party. Right now the goal is simply to get to the green room, and try and see your partner. No lucidity, no password required. Those are goals for the next step, which comes once we attain the current goals.

-Hatter

Popularity: 31% [?]

Dreamport is hosting another shared dreaming project, called the “Green Room”. I am helping run it, and I think this one has a fair shot at getting some half decent results. This time we’re shooting for easier to achieve results, instead of the long term goal. For instance instead of trying to incubate a massive dreamscape, this whole project is based around a basic room, hence the name.We’re still in basic planning stages right now, so stop by to the Green Room and join up.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

-Hatter

Popularity: 31% [?]

I was checking the ld4all forums as I occasionally do, and I came across this exciting new technique created by Jayster. The idea is an old one, (alert yourself that you’re in a dream with outside stimulus) but the execution is a new take on things.

The exact method is still being refined and retested, but overall it shows promise. The idea is to wear a vibrating watch throughout the day and perform a reality check every time it goes off. Once you have a reflex established, it should filter into your dreams. So as you sleep, your watch goes off, and your reflex causes you to reality check in the dream. Presto chango, you’ve got a lucid dream.

Another forum member, Rarebreed, is working on creating a device specifically for this technique. It seems unclear if this will be available for purchase, but it is possible. More likely Rarebreed will post the steps he went through for anybody who wants to build one for themselves. There is also another watch on the market that already fits the description of the “lucid watch” fairly well, but it is priced at around 70 USD.

If you’re thinking that this sounds very familiar to the lucid mask project I did a while back, you’re right, it’s very similar. Here’s why I believe this has more potential for success:

This is a way to automatically associate reality checking with the stimulus. The flashing lights for the mask was something you had to ingrain separately.

An isolated vibration is a sign that you encounter rarely. I know, cell phones are a big exception, but if you wear the watch around your ankle or your wrist, you’ll come to associate it with only the sensation in that area, and how often does your left ankle vibrate? I thought so.

It’s fairly easy to fall asleep wearing. The lucid mask was abominable in this regard. Falling asleep as per the timer’s requirements, let alone staying asleep was a huge challenge. Sleeping through the night with the thing staying on your my was something I’ve only accomplished about twice out of my 30+ trials.

It’s highly customizable. You can decide how often you want it to go off, and for how long. This is important because it seems everybody has their quirks when it comes to sleep.

I’m looking forward to seeing how some other people do with this method, as well as Rarebreed’s progress in building a device. Perhaps this is a breakthrough technique, although I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to those at this point. This isn’t to say there aren’t great systems for achieving lucid dreams, (MILD and Infinity come to mind) but to say that are no simple, reliable, and easy methods for inducing lucid dreams, at least that I am aware of.

Let’s hope this is the first!

-Hatter

Popularity: 40% [?]

As the year of 2007 is coming to a close, I thought I’d jump on the blogging bandwagon and do a post about what I consider my best content in the past year. Here’s what I deem the “Best of Dreaming to Infinity” for 2007:

A Beginner’s Introduction to Lucid Dreaming
Why You Need to Learn Lucid Dreaming
Supplement Aided Lucid Dream: SALD
How to Cure Insomnia
REM Graph with Explanation
Boxed Nirvana + Spiral Sweep
Schumann Resonance + Omniversal

So if you missed any of those, I’d recommend reading those particular posts out of any on the blog. In conclusion for the year of 2007:
I would like to thank everybody who’s visited the blog in the past year, especially those who have commented and shared their unique take on dreaming, the people who have tipped me off to new cool stuff, and all the people who continue to make dreaming as interesting as it is.

Here’s to a great upcoming year.

-Hatter

Popularity: 11% [?]

A few days ago I was up late, and without any real clear idea of where it would lead, I took a picture of my hand with my cell phone. I set it as the background, and now whenever I open my phone, I remember to look at my hand to make sure they match. Over the past two nights (about 5 days after I first set it) this simple action has given me two low level lucid dreams. (Not by looking at my hands, simply by realizing it’s a dream) I have tried reality checks before, but never with this quick of success or even of effects. Given this could be coincidence, but it seems like a big one.

I believe the reason this worked is because I hit the sweet spot between strength of intention and attention to intention. I’ve done reality checks for months on end, with better and more thorough checks, more checks, as well as more frequently. I got results, but not nearly as quickly as this. I was too focused on the goal in the first instance, and in this one, it was just enough willpower to set it, but little enough to let it sit in my subconscious and grow.

This is all assuming it’s no coincidence of course. Either way, I think that using your cell phone’s background as a reminder for a reality check is a fairly good reminder.

-Hatter

Popularity: 14% [?]