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

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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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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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So I started communicating with my subconscious today, fairly interesting. I figure its a more direct avenue towards things like lucid dreaming when you can just tell your subconscious what to do (although you can’t directly just tell it, but eh) I also started practicing on the Psi-Wheel again, tried a different technique this time. I like this one better because I’m a fan of using energy to do things, it lets me know something is happening, takes away some of the “am I really doing it?” aspect. The person who wrote that article happens to be a rather talented psion, capable of moving rather large objects, and he has some videos on Psipog if you’re interested:
(Note: These videos aren’t meant to convince skeptics, and the quality certainly doesn’t help any arguments, but they are meant more to give an idea of what Apollo is capable of)
Sliding a Pencil
Moving a 3 hole-puncher
Moving a ball of paper

I got the best results so far with his technique, and I recommend it. All credit for writing the article and for the videos goes to, obviously, Apollo. Here is his blog, if you didn’t catch the first link.

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