Lucid Dreaming and The Scientific Method

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chuck.drake

#21
Can lucid dreamers see through multiple bodies?

And can you fall asleep and dream yourself into a new dream, then wake up again the old dream before waking up into real life*?

*Assuming, of course, that this life isn't a dream. ;-)
That is a really interesting idea for an experiment. To try and create a false awakening. I've also had them and find them really cool.

I'm curious how possible it is to be still in a dream. I always seem to be moving or doing something. Even the act of looking at something seems to cause the item to change shape eventually. I wonder if it is possible to just sit very still, for instance on a porch, and look at the woodgrain of the floor or to stare deeply at the detail on a teacup for more than a moment.
 
#23
I wonder if it is possible to just sit very still, for instance on a porch, and look at the woodgrain of the floor or to stare deeply at the detail on a teacup for more than a moment.
It is definitely possible. Last night I was lucid and was just sitting standing still on my drive way looking around. I got bored and started toying with the weather, and I accidentally created a rather powerful blizzard. I turned around, punched my garage door in like the hulk to get out of the wind. I just watched the snow whip around for a bit before trying to leave the garage. Turns out I'm really good at making blizzards! The wind was so strong it kept pushing me back. I had to finally shout to the dream to stop the wind. In an instant everything was completely still.
 
#24
You have an odd concept of the imagination I think. Lots of artists create even written works without any real idea of the source of the work. Some of the greatest works of art have been described by their creators as seeming formed by another. While it is true that using the imagination can be a conscious, explicit process, it certainly needn't be that way.
I was thinking of the process of forming a mental image or idea. I agree that sometimes the process is spontaneous, but that isn't what you were asking for.

I seriously doubt that anyone studies the content of lucid dreams in that way.
Other than me? I'm sorry to hear that.

The main source of that kind of knowledge is by communicating with the dreamers themselves.

Anyway. You completely missed my point.
Oh, sorry. I thought you meant for me to call upon specific gods to see what they show me.

Linda
 
C

chuck.drake

#25
It is definitely possible. Last night I was lucid and was just sitting standing still on my drive way looking around. I got bored and started toying with the weather, and I accidentally created a rather powerful blizzard. I turned around, punched my garage door in like the hulk to get out of the wind. I just watched the snow whip around for a bit before trying to leave the garage. Turns out I'm really good at making blizzards! The wind was so strong it kept pushing me back. I had to finally shout to the dream to stop the wind. In an instant everything was completely still.
How do you think the mind is capable of producing the visual input for a swirling snowstorm? Pretty amazing to think about.
 
C

chuck.drake

#26
I was thinking of the process of forming a mental image or idea. I agree that sometimes the process is spontaneous, but that isn't what you were asking for.



Other than me? I'm sorry to hear that.



Oh, sorry. I thought you meant for me to call upon specific gods to see what they show me.

Linda
Surely you have been surprised by the content of your dreams now and then.

I will give it another go. You are in a dream world, correct? So in a dream world anything should be possible, even the existence of gods. It should even be possible for your dream self to have faith that certain gods exist, as part of an experiment. You don't always need to play the role of the rationalist, right?Surely you have adopted other personas in a dream before. We've all seen images of what classical temples supposedly looked like way back when. Find one of these temples. Spend some time in devotion. Become a devotee. Live near the temple. Join the cult. Create some nifty rituals and do an invocation. Call forth the Oneiroi. Create belief inside the dream. Summon these gods and bow down before them. Ask them to share some knowledge of the dreamworld. What is the worst thing that could happen? Play a role. Have faith. Believe that you are truly calling forth some gods. It's only a dream.

What I meant was that I don't think many people study the content of lucid dreams scientifically. Most discussion about the content of lucid dreams happens, I would imagine, on the lucid dreaming forums.
 
C

chuck.drake

#27
I'm especially interested in the way that the mind constructs dreams. I was having a dream last night where I could have a kind of DVR functionality. I could pause and then the dream dropped down to a kind of meta framework. Not so much visual as symbolic or abstracted. Not exactly like that Aha music video "Take on Me," but similar.
 
C

chuck.drake

#29
Buried deep within this paper and scattered among much oddness are some interesting ideas on dreaming:

http://www.shaman-australis.com/~claude/dreams.html#conscious_dreams

Something in there for everyone. He talks quite a bit about his ideas on memory formation and free will. A unique thinker if nothing else.

For instance, I dug this interesting bit out on memory and dream formation:

All homologous objects colocalised in a same domain are called, collectively, a Motif Homologiquement Variant (MHV) or a homologously variable pattern. For example, in this example, all the watches I have seen in my life constitute a "single" MHV and a single watch extracted from this MHV is called a "slice" of the MHV. The memory area where an MHV is stored is called a MHV domain. Any MHV can contain a huge amount of informational objects which are extracted into consciousness with metabolic energy. To illustrate this with a simple familiar example just consider a game with soap which has been played, for generations, everywhere by children: in this game, children plunge an annular piece of plastic in liquid soap then blow inside and what happens? Lots of bubbles, with different sizes, sprout out! In the same way, when you inject energy in a MHV (you "heat" the MHV) this MHV starts to "bubble" its slices out into consciousness! A bubbling MHV is called a radiating MHV. The MHV are the shortcuts of dreams and, often, an oneiric scene will change to another oneiric scene through a MHV jump, that is a transformation obeying a law of homologous patterns. MHVs contain enormous quantities of informational objects which have a similar pattern in common. For example, a mushroom and and ashtray with a candle in its middle are very close in shape (pattern) and they are, thus, colocalised. This is why if I observe one visual thought (see drawing) consisting of an upside-down mushroom, for example, and if, all a sudden, this mushroom disappears and is replaced by an ashtray with a candle inside this is because their patterns are very similar and it needs only a small amount of metabolic energy to shift consciousness from the first informational object (the mushroom) to the second informational object (the ashtray with the candle).
 
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C

chuck.drake

#30
Another interesting riff on memory and consciousness by this guy:

http://www.shaman-australis.com/~claude/dreams.html

Continuity and discontinuity of consciousness
The main characteristic of the dream and schizophrenic state of consciousness is discontinuity. When we are awake our consciousness is continuous and this is the reason why we can express ourselves in a verbally "logical" way. On the other hand the consciousness of the schizophrenic or the dreamer is made of continuous and discontinuous parts alternately. The nature of these discontinuities comes from the way our memory is organised and structured. Biological memories are not sequential memories: they store information both in a continuous and discontinuous way. Discontinuity comes from the fact that our memory classifies information through patterns. In fact, the brain has nothing to do with the computer analogy as a brain is, actually, a pattern analysernot a sequential analyser like computers. Computers will become intelligent only when they will work as artificial pattern analysers. As long as they will work sequentially they will continue to be complete imbeciles! In fact, as a scientist, I am amazed at how stupid computers can be. Another reason for their lack of any intelligence is that they cannot make mistakes and mistakes are the basis of emerging intelligence. Intersection memories, on the other hand, are very flexible.
Our memory thus stores information according to patterns. For instance spherical objects will be stored in the same memory area, triangular objects will be stored in their own memory area, etc. Our memory stores also information in a continuous way. This form of information storage is called MCV memory from "mémoire à motifs continûment variants". In fact, analysis seems to suggest that MCV memory is only an illusion and an expression of MHV memory where all stored patterns flow in the same time direction. So to each slice of MHV we can assign a time coordinate and when a set of slices of MHV have similar time coordinates then this produces continuity and the illusion of MCV memory. All this has been fascinating brainstorming and research for me, from 1976 to 1989! This is the first time I have shared some of my knowledge with many people.

An area which stores homologous patterns is called a domaine d'homologie motifielle in French, which may be translated as "homologous pattern domain". For instance, all the heads of people we have seen in our life are stored in a common homologous pattern domain which can be called, for convenience, a "pattern domain of heads": a MHV of heads! All those stored heads constitute a MHV of heads while one head is a slice, a section of this MHV, as we saw previously. This is important to keep in mind. But one head per se can also be subdivided into more "elementary" MHVs: so a slice of a MHV of heads, for instance, contains in itself other slices made of many mutually interacting MHVs. If we take one head (that is, one slice of a MHV of heads) and then introduce continuity by rotating this given head in the imaginary space-time of our memory we obtain a given MCV. A moving slice of MHV in time generates, radiates potential MHVs contained in its structure. This is reminiscent of fractals.

In the consciousness of normal people, those domains are always in a very low metabolic state. Thus, the patterns stored in these domains do not radiate outside. Metabolically inactive patterns, then, do not enter into consciousness, making our consciousness rather continuous. If the metabolic status of these domains is increased, then these domains start to radiate in all directions in our memory, introducing discontinuity, as our consciousness will start to flow according to pattern homologies. This can best be observed with the psychotropic cannabinoids, as cannabinoids, specifically, enhance the metabolism of homologous pattern domains thus giving rise to the typical discontinuous thoughts of a person intoxicated with cannabinoids. This, in fact, is the beginning of madness as pure madness will be characterised by a still higher metabolic activity in these domains. The thoughts of schizophrenics will thus be, essentially, discontinuous and this discontinuity will naturally put them in a state of total confusion as their consciousness will then become illusioned. The French psychiatrist, Dr. Joseph Moreau de Tours seems to have understood this phenomenon in his book "Du Haschich et de l'Aliénation Mentale", published in 1845 - one of the greatest ever books written on the mind.
 
#31
Surely you have been surprised by the content of your dreams now and then.

I will give it another go. You are in a dream world, correct? So in a dream world anything should be possible, even the existence of gods. It should even be possible for your dream self to have faith that certain gods exist, as part of an experiment. You don't always need to play the role of the rationalist, right?Surely you have adopted other personas in a dream before. We've all seen images of what classical temples supposedly looked like way back when. Find one of these temples. Spend some time in devotion. Become a devotee. Live near the temple. Join the cult. Create some nifty rituals and do an invocation. Call forth the Oneiroi. Create belief inside the dream. Summon these gods and bow down before them. Ask them to share some knowledge of the dreamworld. What is the worst thing that could happen? Play a role. Have faith. Believe that you are truly calling forth some gods. It's only a dream.
You are describing a more explicit task..."imagine a world where you ask for knowledge from gods". While it's interesting to play around with imagining different worlds, what I was talking about was accessing implicit knowledge which requires indirect techniques. Studies using fMRI and EEG show that asking people to imagine something and asking people to obtain anomalous or implicit information draw on different sources and different processes. I can't draw on the numinous by conjuring up a character who tells me about the numinous, but I may be able to draw on the numinous if I conjure up a marathon run (for example).

It's the difference between designing a creature to be intelligent, and evolution through the process of natural selection for fitness. You may end up in the same spot (an intelligent creature), but you don't learn anything about the process of one with respect to the other.

What I meant was that I don't think many people study the content of lucid dreams scientifically. Most discussion about the content of lucid dreams happens, I would imagine, on the lucid dreaming forums.
I was asking about what sorts of conditions have been found to invoke the numinous (if this has been anyone's study (formal or informal)) - e.g. breast feeding a baby? cooking breakfast? watching a blizzard? Simply "imagine gods who know about the dreamworld and ask them" not only demonstrates a shocking lack of imagination or creativity, it also is unlikely to work based on what we already know about the conditions of accessing anomalous information.

Linda
 
C

chuck.drake

#32
You are describing a more explicit task..."imagine a world where you ask for knowledge from gods". While it's interesting to play around with imagining different worlds, what I was talking about was accessing implicit knowledge which requires indirect techniques. Studies using fMRI and EEG show that asking people to imagine something and asking people to obtain anomalous or implicit information draw on different sources and different processes.
Are you talking about this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicit_learning. Is that what you mean by implicit information?

I can't draw on the numinous by conjuring up a character who tells me about the numinous, but I may be able to draw on the numinous if I conjure up a marathon run (for example).
What a silly idea I had that you could draw on the numinous by using faith, belief, devotion and ritual! What an idiot I must be! Where do I get these ideas?!

It's the difference between designing a creature to be intelligent, and evolution through the process of natural selection for fitness. You may end up in the same spot (an intelligent creature), but you don't learn anything about the process of one with respect to the other.
Right. You have nothing to learn about faith by becoming someone who actually experiences faith, or about belief by becoming someone who actually believes or about devotion by becoming someone who is actually devoted! You understand all those things with your brain already!

I was asking about what sorts of conditions have been found to invoke the numinous (if this has been anyone's study (formal or informal)) - e.g. breast feeding a baby? cooking breakfast? watching a blizzard?
Nobody has given much thought about what it takes to invoke the numinous yet. Maybe you could design a computer program to do that in your spare time! :)

Simply "imagine gods who know about the dreamworld and ask them" not only demonstrates a shocking lack of imagination or creativity, it also is unlikely to work based on what we already know about the conditions of accessing anomalous information.
Yes. I display such a paucity of imagination that I actually believe that these deities exist. My imagination is barren since I consider it entirely possible to experience these gods in their full splendor in the nonphysical spaces of the dream realm. How dry my imagination is. It is like a dry husk. You may want to check the bottom of your heel. Is there a sticker there that says "Intel Inside?"
 
#33
Are you talking about this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicit_learning. Is that what you mean by implicit information?
This is probably a better overview.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicit_memory

Also, Max_B linked previously to an experiment which demonstrated the difference between tasks which draw upon explicit (asking for an answer) and implicit (using a Ouija board) knowledge.

http://hct.ece.ubc.ca/publications/pdf/gauchou-rensink-cac2012.pdf

What a silly idea I had that you could draw on the numinous by using faith, belief, devotion and ritual! What an idiot I must be! Where do I get these ideas?!
Don't beat yourself up about it. Most people think of it this way, and the idea of indirect inquiry is counter-intuitive.

Right. You have nothing to learn about faith by becoming someone who actually experiences faith, or about belief by becoming someone who actually believes or about devotion by becoming someone who is actually devoted! You understand all those things with your brain already!
This is different from what we were talking about, though. If I want to learn about faith and devotion through the process of becoming faithful and devoted, this is something that I can do in real life. And in that case, the process is likely to be useful and enlightening and unexpectedly revealing than it would be if I were imagine myself as faithful and devoted within a lucid dream (where I will be limited by what I imagine may happen).

Nobody has given much thought about what it takes to invoke the numinous yet.
As far as I can tell, a great deal of thought has been given to this, and there is a lot we have found out about the process. I think it would be helpful to make use of that information, rather than ignoring it.

Maybe you could design a computer program to do that in your spare time! :)
That's an interesting suggestion. My point was that I wouldn't start the process by writing a program to "invoke the numinous", but rather, write iterative programs which do something else to see whether something like "invoking the numinous" emerges, maybe something like assigning agency to movement.

Yes. I display such a paucity of imagination that I actually believe that these deities exist.
I'm not sure that belief in creatures of the mind relates to imagination (I think they are separate).

ETA: I thought about this a bit and I think I am wrong about that. I suspect that belief is probably related to an ability to generate plausible alternate examples, so there may be a relationship between belief and (lack of) imagination.

What would show a paucity of imagination is limiting creative suggestions only to fairly literal or concrete suggestions (for examples, see the Captain Bob thread, where any but the most literal interpretations are derided).

My imagination is barren since I consider it entirely possible to experience these gods in their full splendor in the nonphysical spaces of the dream realm.
It wasn't that your imagination is barren because you consider this possible, but rather, your imagination didn't bring up other less obvious or intuitive options. Nor did you seem to understand the idea of indirect inquiry.

How dry my imagination is. It is like a dry husk. You may want to check the bottom of your heel. Is there a sticker there that says "Intel Inside?"
Interesting that my ability to come up with novel or less intuitive options makes me computer-like. :)

Linda
 
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S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#34
Here's one lucid dreamers can try out ->

The Mirror Experiment: Probing The Lucid Dream Mirror


Mirrors present an interesting puzzle in lucid dreams because their main property in real life - reflection - is driven by the laws of physics. Yet these laws are entirely moot in dreams. In fact, the only reason things do follow the laws of cause and effect in any dream is because we expect them to. Physical law drives our entire conscious experience and we carry it with us - both consciously and unconsciously - into the dream world.

Every "normal" construct in the dream world (cars, houses, human beings, bicycles, swimming pools, trees, dogs, clothing) has been drawn from your waking experience. If you were blue and lived on Titan, you would no doubt dream of blue aliens and green skies every night - and that would be your normality.

So your dreams are heavily based on your memories and expectations, and this creates an interesting conundrum which we can explore with dream mirrors.
 
#37
I've managed to get two instances of what I would consider to be lucid. But there were very short and I didn't have much control. I don't try every night but I alternate regularly with some lucid dream induction videos on youtube.

People on the forum have directed me to sources such as Laberge and I understand that they are worth looking into. For myself, I've come to terms with the fact that at this stage I'm not willing to study and develop personal techniques but I am willing to drift off to sleep accompanied by guided meditations. It might not be optimal but the two semi-successes I have had lead me to believe they hold some promise of success.
Actually had my first full scale lucid dream the other night. Wish I could say that it happened on a night where I tried an induction, but I didn't.

Started as a normal type of adventure dream. Pretty good one, lots of action. At one point I was chasing these bad guys and started flying. This seemed completely normal in my dream mode but then all of the sudden the superman theme music started playing. That's what triggered it.

I've been playing a lot of Lego Batman with my youngest and that's the music that plays when you make superman fly in the game. So that's what didn't fit. I found it odd and suddenly said to myself, hey, I'm dreaming!

Suddenly I had control. Not full control down to the last detail but still lots. I could change the room,
room, call up different people. Send away people. I would do it by thinking "ok, let's try x!" And it would happen. Again, I was not in control of the minute details. More like thinking what I wanted generally and being presented with an option, then being able to change the option if it wasn't what I wanted or I wanted to try something new.

At the end I started to wake up and hovered in a between state for a bit where I was half awake, in my bed but still had some control over things. I tried to hold onto it but it got away and I woke up.

Pretty incredible experience overall! I very much want to get back there! Tried the last two nights to induce but no luck. It's at least renewed my interest in experimenting with different induction techniques.
 
#39
Actually had my first full scale lucid dream the other night. Wish I could say that it happened on a night where I tried an induction, but I didn't.

Started as a normal type of adventure dream. Pretty good one, lots of action. At one point I was chasing these bad guys and started flying. This seemed completely normal in my dream mode but then all of the sudden the superman theme music started playing. That's what triggered it.

I've been playing a lot of Lego Batman with my youngest and that's the music that plays when you make superman fly in the game. So that's what didn't fit. I found it odd and suddenly said to myself, hey, I'm dreaming!

Suddenly I had control. Not full control down to the last detail but still lots. I could change the room,
room, call up different people. Send away people. I would do it by thinking "ok, let's try x!" And it would happen. Again, I was not in control of the minute details. More like thinking what I wanted generally and being presented with an option, then being able to change the option if it wasn't what I wanted or I wanted to try something new.

At the end I started to wake up and hovered in a between state for a bit where I was half awake, in my bed but still had some control over things. I tried to hold onto it but it got away and I woke up.

Pretty incredible experience overall! I very much want to get back there! Tried the last two nights to induce but no luck. It's at least renewed my interest in experimenting with different induction techniques.
I get those every once in a while, but I have to be well rested and that almost never happens. Mostly I'll just be in some dream and remember to change things in the middle of it if I don't like it or stop a nightmare, which seems to be getting easier. They are VERY cool when they do happen so congratulations.
 
#40
Actually had my first full scale lucid dream the other night. Wish I could say that it happened on a night where I tried an induction, but I didn't.

Started as a normal type of adventure dream. Pretty good one, lots of action. At one point I was chasing these bad guys and started flying. This seemed completely normal in my dream mode but then all of the sudden the superman theme music started playing. That's what triggered it.

I've been playing a lot of Lego Batman with my youngest and that's the music that plays when you make superman fly in the game. So that's what didn't fit. I found it odd and suddenly said to myself, hey, I'm dreaming!

Suddenly I had control. Not full control down to the last detail but still lots. I could change the room,
room, call up different people. Send away people. I would do it by thinking "ok, let's try x!" And it would happen. Again, I was not in control of the minute details. More like thinking what I wanted generally and being presented with an option, then being able to change the option if it wasn't what I wanted or I wanted to try something new.

At the end I started to wake up and hovered in a between state for a bit where I was half awake, in my bed but still had some control over things. I tried to hold onto it but it got away and I woke up.

Pretty incredible experience overall! I very much want to get back there! Tried the last two nights to induce but no luck. It's at least renewed my interest in experimenting with different induction techniques.
Congrats! The first one is always a pretty amazing experience. I'm sure it will be the first of many.
 
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