Lucid Dream Journal:

An interesting account of the experiences I've had with lucid dreaming..... does it really work?

 [Rororer Island pic] Lucidity is a state in dreams where you are fully conscious and are aware that what you are experiencing /is/ a dream. Maybe once or twice throughout your life-time, you've already had a lucid dream. According to its level of lucidity, this can be a wonderful experience and very exhilarating allowing you (for example) to fly above an amazing star-lit city dreamscape or whatever. The limit is your imagination.
There are actual techniques to improve the frequency of these lucid dreams and once an expert, you can have as many as 4 lucid dreams a night.
After training myself (by reading books and websites on the subject), I prepare to have my first lucid dream.... but nothing much happens. Nor did I expect it to. But a couple of weeks later on......

22/23rd November 2001
Throughout today, I tried the "looking-at-digital-watch-at-random-intervals-to-see-if-it-changes" method. Apparently, if you're dreaming and you check your watch, the time isn't stable, and as soon as you look away and back at your watch again, the time will (probably) dramatically change. (It definitely is supposed to change with repeated viewings btw).

Of course, throughout the day, the time was always stable. Anyway, the reason for all this is to prepare me to do the same (check my watch) when I'm actually asleep but /think I'm awake/ thus giving the tell-tale sign I'm actually having a lucid dream!

Incredibly, I had a shock that night. I've indeed always been fairly sceptical of the idea of feeling awake and moving around, hearing sounds, seeing stuff - when I'm actually still asleep in bed, but...

The next morning, I 'woke up' as usual and performed the 'ritual' of checking my watch again. To be honest, I was very tired and I was /so/ convinced I /was/ awake, that I almost didn't bother. I 'walked' over to the far end of my bedroom, where a digital clock apparently was and did the usual reality check.
Something weird happened.
The time was changing as I was looking at it! This isn't what was supposed to happening when I'm awake /or/ lucid dreaming. (Usually when you're lucid dreaming, the time is only meant to change when you look away and then look back at it).
My eyes were a bit blurry, and I was still so convinced I was awake, that I put it down to a faulty battery (despite all my preparation for all this!). I was still suspecting the possibility of being lucid though, so I checked another digital watch near my bed (don't ask why I didn't check this nearer watch first). Once again, the time was changing dramatically (on average - every 1-2 seconds) before my eyes. I thought I might be dreaming after all, but I still wasn't totally convinced and my eyes will still blurry and tired, so it was hard to take in the enormity of what I'd just achieved.

Despite this, I sat on the bed and tried to 'float'. I thought "yeah - like in my dreams". Haha, joking aside, I was only sitting in that position for what must've been five seconds before I instantly awoke and was lying in my bed in the same position I had gone to sleep in! It had to be a (semi at least) lucid dream! I've had various lucid dreams when I was younger, but nothing like this for /years/.

One thing's for sure - you can /never/ be sure you are really are awake or asleep.

Journal ratings:
Lucidity: 8/10
Exhilaration: 4/10 (add 2 points for when I woke afterwards for /real/)
Scenery/aural aesthetic value: 2/10
Overall 16/30

OK, now gives my chance to describe these dream factors.

Lucidity is how /real/ the dream feels. 10/10 is 100% awake (many people describe feeling more awake /in the dream/ sometimes than in real life). 0/10 is what a dream usually feels like to most people - most of the time (i.e. boring, and you most probably won't even remember it).

Exhilaration: On the realisation that you have suddenly leapt into the dream world while still being fully conscious, this factor tends to high. Other factors affect this though, depending on how tired one is when 'fully conscious' inside the dream, how aesthetic the dream is, how used one is to waking up in the dream world and generally if there's an exciting element to the dream.

Scenery/aural aesthetic rating: This one should need no describing. Is there amazing music you can hear in the dream? What's the scenery like? Is there a panoramic surrounding paradise-like scape with a glorified STUN runner-esque tube over there?
If it looks good, sounds good and is emanating with atmosphere, this will be high!

23/24th November 2001

Great expectations for this night, considering what happened last night. In actual fact, I did have what appeared to be a lucid-ish dream at first (I couldn't have been that lucid, otherwise I would've been a lot more excited - further into the dream I was drifting out of consciousness - but there are techniques I didn't realise at the time - to get more conscious again). But anyways, I was flying in this one. I've generally had quite a few flying dreams over the years, but this one seemed a bit more real than usual (not surprising, considering it was kinda a lucid dream). Suffice to say, there was a 'kingdom' in the sky inhabited by these weird small creatures. I'm not going to make myself look stupid by going any further (and I can't remember much anyway), so I'll stop there I think :P Oh yeah, I seem to remember trying to fly higher and higher (i.e. out into space), but there seemed a limit to how high I could go (always the way).

Journal ratings:
Lucidity: 6/10 at first, dipping down to 4/10 during the dream.
Exhilaration: 3/10 (more relaxing I guess than anything)
Scenery/aural aesthetic value: 4/10
Overall: 12/30

10/11th December 2001

At last, another 'lucid' dream. Fairly similar to the first one, except this time I go downstairs (at which point my eyes are bleary and everything sort of fades to white and back again) and into the lounge. It's morning as usual and since I'm aware it's a dream, I say to my mum and dad (who happen to be there), "did you know, you're not real - you're just part of my dream" - they give me a blank expression back :) I then go outside for a spot of flying before waking up very shortly after that.
So far, it seems as though it's very difficult to create an ideal fantasy land scenario which I kinda hoped for, but next time, I'll do my best.

Journal ratings:
Lucidity: 7/10
Exhilaration: 3/10
Scenery/aural aesthetic value: 2/10
Overall 16/30

I've given the whole thing a break for the time being. I'm soon going to dedicate my time a bit more to it in the future as it really seems interesting - and the possibilities are immense.

22/23 May 2002

I wasn't even trying this time, and I had another pseudo-lucid dream - the first one in months (helped by the chaotic sleep cycle I was in these past few days)! This one is interesting though because of the implications for dreams generally. Read on:

Have you ever had the kind of dream where you think... "Oooh, I wish I could see what that dream actually looked like" ? Wouldn't it be amazing to replay your dreams back on the TV the following morning! At this point, you might be thinking that it wouldn't be such a big deal after all. Maybe the 'dream-world' is/was just a blur, and that none of the weird/cool atmosphere that accompanied the dream would resurface upon second viewing. Well, I might've thought this at one point too, but thanks to the experience in this dream, I now think it really would be incredible to see what sights were in the dream (if the dream seemed cool at the time).
So... what happened? Well, I was having an ordinary dream as per usual, when suddenly it hit me that I was actually dreaming again :) Thanks to reading about lucid dreams, I tried the usual tactics (to become aware/conscious) by repeating to myself "Increase awareness/clarity". And sure enough, it worked - everything became crystal clear (for about a couple of seconds). It was a very interesting kind of 'arcade' - not really like a shopping arcade as such - very hard to describe... - but when it became clear for a couple of seconds, I looked around and everything had stunning detail without losing any of the atmosphere that the dream had had up to that point! Looking at the 'carpet' on the floor, I could see every nuance and detail.
This is real evidence that the dreamworld is truly filled with detail - and that someone needs only to be become conscious within the dream to recognise this detail.
In the dream - I wanted to explore, but perhaps I should've tried to further stabilise the clarity first, because as I walked further on again, everything went blurred and I soon woke up.

What's interesting is the distinction between everything looking blurred - and the idea of being 'unconscious' instead (and therefore it being blurred in this way). As far as I know, they are separate properties, but in my experience, they tend to be roughly proportional to each other in the dream world.

Journal ratings:
Lucidity: 8/10 (for a few seconds)
Exhilaration: 5/10 (again - fleeting)
Scenery/aural aesthetic value: 5/10 (unusual and quite otherworldly)
Overall 10-18/30

10/11th October 2002
Wahey, another lucid dream and totally unexpected. I think it was thanks to watching "The Matrix" the night before.
I realise more and more now that lucid dreams have two disadvantages (one of which can be partially overcome):
a: Anything heard, seen, or created (such as music, art etc.) will possibly never be seen again - and certainly not by anyone else in the real world.
b: They last too short =P

I'm working on B =)

Anyway, I 'woke up' in my old house and it was Christmas (everything was decorated), but this seemed very 'normal' for some reason and I was semi-convinced I was really awake and not dreaming. I just about had the presence of mind though to question if I was truly awake. One test I promised to myself in a dream was to turn on a television to see what I would see. Surely the complex movement of pictures and sound would be 'too much' for my brain to 'calculate' on the fly in a dream....!? =D
As it turned out, it was very convincing. It was breakfast TV (maybe the weather news or something), and the sound was 'streaming' from the TV just as it would normally do in real life. Before I had time to even think about the enormity of the implications of this, I woke up =(

The great thing about lucid dreams compared to normal dreams, is that as well as everything else, one's perception of time is more accurate - I'd say this one lasted about 2 to 3 minutes.

Journal ratings:
Lucidity: 6/10
Exhilaration: 3/10
Scenery/aural aesthetic value: 6/10
Overall 15/30

Check back later for more.
In the meantime, why not write to the Skytopia Forum to see other people's experiences with lucid dreaming and discuss yours.

If you're interested and would like to read more about lucid dreaming, here are some great links:
Playing God - The ultimate lucid dreaming OR What would Godhood be like anyway? - A slightly disturbing but fascinating account of someone who had ultimate control of their dreams, and what that felt like.
Dreamviews forum - A nice tutorial to get started
The Lucid Crossroads

The above sites give excellent advice and tips on lucid dreaming techniques.

Related Skytopia pages of interest:

  • Skytopia art gallery - - - View the best gallery in the world! Maybe some of the scenes could inspire your own lucid dreams.
  • Quest for Profound Truth - - - Do we have a soul? Have a chance to scientifically prove the existence of an afterlife - based on the 'near death experience' phenomenon.
  • Dynamic Optical Illusions - - - View a collection of old, new and exclusive optical illusions, and see the best voted illusion of all time - The Eclipse of Mars.

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    All text on this page is copyright 2002 onwards D. White.