I went through another round of shared dreaming attempts recently, with my high level lucid dreaming friend I mentioned in my previous article. While success eludes us for now, our attempts did produce some rather interesting results. Before I get into that though, here’s our “techniques” for sharing dreams:
Both picture the same environment and try to meet there.
Try to meet in the dream counterpart of our real world place of residence.
Stepping through a mirror with the intention of being where the other person is
Googling where the other person was to locate them.

That last one was my friend’s idea, I thought it was rather funny. While I failed to become lucid during the week or so of attempts we did, she was lucid every night, so we got to see potential issues and troubleshoot rather quickly. Here’s a brief synopsis of the interesting events:


In one of my non-lucid dreams, I was trying to board a train to get to my friend’s apartment. I was at a different location then where my house should be, and I was waiting for the train. However, whenever a train got close, something stopped me from boarding it. Lacking a ticket, a last minute change of destination, and the most blatant dream-fighting-my-intention block: The platform spinning around when I would get to the end where the train was.


My friend tried to google me. She said that it kept changing and she eventually lost me before she could leave to get me. I guess I was having a particularly turbulent dream that night. She also tried stepping through a mirror, but that she said that had the same result. She would lose me.


The closest we got to success was a dream in which I remembered getting up in my friends apartment. The physical place was unaltered, except there were two cots in the kitchen, one of which I was sleeping on, the other was also occupied. I remembered doing a few things in the apartment. My friend had a dream that night of me and another person waking in her apartment, and then walking to campus. It was a very interesting coincidence, the disappointing (or perhaps not, depending) problem was that our descriptions of the third person weren’t very similar.


I won’t go into the different conclusions you could draw about the person showing up differently to each of us. Your view on the source and reality of dreams will influence the various interpretations you draw. There are many, many, interpretations. The simplest, which is what I’m sticking with, is that we weren’t sharing a dream, and that it was coincidence. If I err on the side of failure, any success will stand out all the more.


The most interesting effect of these attempts was that my friend found that the more she tried to find me and to connect to my dream, the less and less control she had. This effect continued to increase over the week of our attempts, until she decided to quit after we both decided the experiment was having a negative impact on her own personal dreams as well as our shared attempts.


This result has big ramifications! It suggest that if you were to mix the dream consciousness of two people, you would get a kind of average of their awarenesses, instead of two separate consciousnesses in a shared environment. It also helps to outline what might be necessary for two people to share a dream: a like mind and a sort of connection (to avoid a jarringly different joined conscious) as well as relatively equal and high levels of lucidity.


I am looking forward to our next experiment.

-Hatter

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A little while ago I had a long conversation with one of my friends about lucid dreaming. She has what I termed “Transcendent Lucidity,” or complete awareness in every dream, as well as high levels of control. Enough lucidity to essentially life your life in dreams, and abandon waking reality. Upon my discussion with her however, I noticed a completely different point of view then the one I held and still somewhat hold. She thought it was selfish and sad to live your life in dreams. I argued that there’s nothing selfish nor sad about it, you can still live your normal life, as a normal person, or that even if you didn’t really function in daily life, who cares? It’s an intermission in between a lifetime of unlimited potential and another lifetime of the same.

How would being able to be completely lucid every night for as long as you want change the way you lived your life? Here’s a few that came up in that conversation:

Positives:

-It would give you anything you wanted every night
-it lasts as long as you want
-You wouldn’t have to worry about the normal waking life.
-You wouldn’t want expensive luxuries nearly as much, because you already have everything every night.

Negatives:

-Daily life becomes a drag after having achieved everything you ever wanted.
-You would be dysfunctional in waking life, as it would just be an interruption to dreams.
-It may feel like however long, but in reality it’s just like normal memory when you wake up. (The only thing is, there’s nobody to remind you of it, so it fades away until something does, or unless you write it down. I doubt anybody is going to write a lifetime down in a day)

Questions to ponder and discuss:

When you’re spending more conscious time in your dreams then your waking conscious, which one is your reality?
Is it selfish to spend your life dreaming?
Could you somehow spend that time in the dream with another person from waking reality? (effectively achieving a lifetime with another person)
(This sharing would allow you to discuss what happened with another person, improving your recall)

What’s your opinion on Transcendent Lucidity? I’d like to have a discussion with my readers on this topic, as more points of view will bring new avenues of thought and discussion. Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

-Hatter

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It seems like there has been quite a bit of coverage about an experiment in Switzerland that was supposed to recreate an OBE. As it turns out, the experiment provided an interesting state of consciousness but not one I would consider an OBE. Here’s the short version of the experiment:

A volunteer had goggles which showed the input of a camera that was behind their shoulders.
This camera showed a view from behind their back.
When the person was touched with a pen, it appeared to be happening to their “virtual body” and not to them.
People felt like they were looking at their own body.

Why I think this is important:
It is a nice stepping stone for the scientific community to take so they can start tackling full on OBEs. Also, the relatively large publicity of this experiment on major news sites (relative to how much coverage this kind of stuff usually gets anyways) will hopefully raise the public awareness of OBEs and related subjects. Most people trust science as absolute fact too, (despite that it is a continuing explanation) so maybe this will also help people open their minds to OBEs. (and lucid dreaming!)

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I recently became aware of a very interesting blog, Reality Shifter. She has many good articles about the same type of subject matter I typically cover, and right now she’s doing some very interesting and exciting experiments with Gamma brainwaves and their effect on a person.

“Research by the Division of Neuroscience at the University of Birmingham indicates that Gamma activity is related to perception and consciousness, as well as higher mental activity. Another research study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrated that Tibetan monks with 15 to 40 years of daily meditation practice exhibited much higher levels of Gamma activity not only while actively involved in certain forms of meditation but also while not meditating.”

I am very interested to see where this goes, as it could prove to be one of the most effective consciousness enhancing tools yet. While many of the brainwave frequencies such as alpha, beta, delta, and theta have been tested because of their appearance during sleep, the higher frequencies that represent the Gamma frequency have been relatively un-researched. This is another step to seeing what the brain is capable of doing.

-Hatter

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I found another interview with Robert Monroe.This interview is with about OBEs and is very in depth, about an hour and a half. This interview took place about a year before he died. (October 30, 1915-March 17, 1995)

In this interview he explains his very first experiences with OBEs, including the Monroe Institute, out of body research, and related topics.
Here is the other interview with Robert Monroe.

-Hatter

icon for podpress  Standard Podcast [93:17m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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A few days ago, I was lying in bed before school, hitting snooze on my alarm as I always do. It just so happened that I was in the middle of a REM cycle as well. I was still pretty tired, and I figured that I might as well try to do a WILD. What happened next was a great realization for me and I hope that the power of it can help you as well.

I laid down, and started to do the typical relaxation exercises before WILD. I wasn’t getting very far because of how unfocused I was, so I decided to try another form of WILD. I told myself that I would get up in 5 minutes and do a reality check. I laid there, waited, then got up and looked at the clock. It said 7:26. Disappointed, I decided to get up. I went to laundry room, and there was a giant pile of socks, about three feet tall. I was happy because I had been running short of socks. I went over and picked a pair up, and then started getting ready for the rest of the day.

Then I woke up for real. I looked at the clock, and it said 7:28. I realized that I had just effortlessly performed a successful transfer of consciousness from my normal waking state to the dream state. The reason I hadn’t realized it was a dream was due to what I have now realized to be my main stumbling block:
I never truly realized that dreams are as real as reality while you’re dreaming them. I always figured that I would know a dream from reality in the back of my mind, even though I told myself that I knew that idea.

I now realize the true point of reality checks. Sure they filter into your dreams, and raise your level of awareness, but without the crucial component of not knowing whether or not this is truly reality, they fail. Without the awareness of reality’s subjective nature, the point of reality checks is completely wasted!

Another lesson that this experience taught me was that even if you tell yourself something, you might still have doubts. I thought that I had internalized the idea that dreams are your reality while dreaming, but this experience obviously says otherwise. Extending this to the rest of my dreaming practice has some interesting implications:
My subconscious still doesn’t believe what I do.

What then can you do to get your subconscious to agree with your beliefs?

Obtain personal experiences, and not just book knowledge. The subconscious is rather hard to convince unless you seriously brainwash it with lots of hypnosis and affirmations. The subconscious likes to use personal experiences for forming beliefs. In my case, I’ve read many books and other material about lucid dreaming and related topics, but I still need to personally experience something to really “know” it. As Monroe said, before you experience something, the best you have is faith. After you try it for yourself, you have knowledge.

I guess that experience is still the best teacher.

-Hatter

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Today I’m bringing you a conversation with Robert Monroe, a famous out of body researcher. Founder of the Monroe Institute, he furthered OBE research in America and brought a lot more attention to the subject. He began having spontaneous out of body experiences in the early part of his life. From that point on, he was fascinated and worked to find out what these experiences were and what they meant.

This interview talks about his work with “Hemi-Sync,” a program he developed using binaural beats to synchronize the two hemispheres of the brain. It’s very long (over two hours), so you might want to download it for later.

Here is the other interview with Monroe.

-Hatter

icon for podpress  Interview with Monroe [146:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Ben posted a link to an article in his comment which I have seen before, but I had forgotten about until recently. The article is about a study relating to the brain’s activity during tasks. The whole point of the article can be summed up with this quote:

there are telltale signs in the brain of [their] action 1/2 second before the person realizes they’ve even made a decision.

I remember seeing this article a while ago, and the implications are still very profound. If the brain reacts before somebody actually acts, does this mean that you really don’t have free will over your actions? Does it mean that there is some form of time dilation in our perception of our thoughts and our actions? Or perhaps there there is more to the mind then the brain. All of these explanations are quite intriguing.

Some other interesting points from the article:

“There is a short window of around 1/10 of a second after an idea becomes conscious in which a person can squelch it. Otherwise, it procedes.”

“Also, when we speak, we generally are not aware of the words we are about to say, but rather have the gist in mind, and allow our unconscious to come up with the words.”

“Libet has shown that, in general, it takes about 1/2 second for information in our environment to become conscious.”

Do you have any other ideas about how this could be explained?

-Hatter

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I saw a post over on A Little Weird about randomness. Sean’s view is that it doesn’t exist, and that people winning the lottery twice proves it. “we’re told the odds are 419 million to one. That would mean the winner would have to play the lottery every minute – for 796 years” Now this seems like fairly damning proof that the current model of probability is a bit off, but I’d say that there’s always room otherwise. Nobody said that the person who won the lottery did it fairly, for instance.

The idea that nothing is random also brings up an interesting argument I’ve come up with. It involves belief, specifically about anything beyond the body. If you don’t believe in anything beyond the mind and body, then I would say you’d have an easier time swallowing the “nothing is random” idea. Why? Because that means you get to have a free will.

If randomness doesn’t exist, and you have nothing outside of your body, and your brain is the only thing controlling your decisions and actions in life, then you are nothing more then what has happened to you. To elaborate, when you go through life, stuff happens, you are influenced by other people, actions, words, the weather, etc. This leads you to your next thought, or your memory of it makes you react to a similar situation a certain way next time because of how last time turned out. Your brain has action done unto it, it makes physical changes, and then the next time something comes up to it, like a decision, the physical and chemical build of the brain determine your reaction.

But aren’t my thoughts still unique?

No, if there is nothing truly random, and there is nothing beyond the physical, then even your precious thoughts aren’t actually yours. They are the result of what has happened to you, and the situations your environment has put you into. They are traces of all the things that have been put into you, as a person. As I said earlier, without anything beyond the body, and without randomness, you are nothing more then a collection of all the influences that have ever occurred to you.

Having said all of that, I am very happy to say that I think there’s something outside of the body, and the brain. Wouldn’t it at least be nice to believe you have a free will?

-Hatter

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I have read many books by Carlos Castaneda, and have always been holding out that they may have actually been mostly truthful, or at the very least, had truth interspersed with many fictional sequences or exaggerations. This article, however, does a fairly good job of shattering any faith I had that his books weren’t fiction. There are some caveats I’d like to point out about his books though, which the article points out and which I will summarize:

Many ideas in his books aren’t completely his:
I’ve known this for a while as I’ve discovered many of the things from his books are actually borrowed from older religions. The model for the human energy body as an egg of fibers all connection at a certain point exists in Hinduism and Buddhism as well. It also has been recorded by people sighting others during out of body experiences.

His books lack important details:
One very interesting detail the article pointed out was that Castaneda doesn’t mention anything about pests in the deserts of Mexico. He and Don Juan apparently lived charmed lives in the desert.

He later founded what was a very strange organization resembling a cult:
After he disappeared from the mainstream public eye in the 70′s, he founded a very odd organization which was supposed to be based on the teachings of Don Juan. It was, however, apparently was used to manipulate people’s lives. After he died, his main ring of “witches” all disappeared. One of their bodies was found in a desert, proved by DNA testing. The others are suspected of having committed suicide.

While I find this news somewhat disappointing, it doesn’t really change my views on the books. They are excellent reading, and were a great motivator for me for getting into stuff like lucid dreaming and astral projection. They stretch your perception of the world and make you think in a broader sense of the world. I highly recommend the Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way Of Knowledge, A Separate Reality, Journey to Ixtlan, and The Art of Dreaming.

-Hatter

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