Dream Notes: Hello Icarus, Taking Dreaming To the Next 'Level'
by phil on Monday Mar 22, 2004 1:10 PM
This is what I'm talking about when I say "pursuit of passion."
I'm working on lucid dreams which are dreams that you can control.
Today, middle of Spring Break, middle-of-the-day nap, I had one of the trippiest semi-lucid dreams. I dreamt I was falling asleep in class, and that I was lucid dreaming, which led me to a new, nested level of dreaming. Then when I woke back up in the class, I start spreading the good word about lucid dreaming while skirting over topics of metaphysical goop.
More details follow, including side notes to fellow oneironauts (explorers of the dream space).
The spaces I'm in have become more detailed. I'm in a classroom that, from the top-level, is like a rectangle of two squares with one square shifted to the right, similar to the S-Piece in Tetris. I'm sitting in the front square by the professor who looks like blog-buddy Michael Shanks (view his blog). We have the bigger desks in the front seats while as the back square of the room is just filled with chairs. There are blackboards on every side of every wall, the ceiling is high like a cathedral and in the front hangs a metallic rendition of Matisse's Icarus. I'm observing more detail in my dreams now that I've been diligent about dream recall.
Note: When I say that I observe more detail, what I really mean is that I remember more detail. There is massive information that amateur dreamers forget, and they mistake it for having not actually happened.
Sitting at the desk, I fall asleep and then wake up partially. My eyes are half-closed and I feel like I'm somewhat blind. I walk around, and bump into things. I see one thing, move toward it, see another thing, and then move thusly. It makes me look like an old man, and the other students are making fun of me.
There are two students that I remember from my past who are there. One is a chubby, goateed Indian, Sanjit, and another is my old roommate, Joel who is a military-buff, blond-haired, blue-eyed youth. Sanjit sits in the front next to me and is shaking his head the whole time as I explain to the class that I really feel like I'm blind. Joel is also laughing, and so he starts writing teasing epithets on the blackboard in the back square of the room, which gets a good laugh from the other classmates. The good professor is skeptical but doesn't doubt me completely.
Note: Afternoon naps have the highest yield of lucid dreams for me. (and by "have" I mean, "have and remember," because we most likely have these dreams but forget)
I fall back asleep at my desk during a lecture, and I find myself by a canal or a river, not unlike being by the Seine River in Paris, with these angled blocks that lead down to the water. There are cobbled stones and a moderate population of people roaming around on this sunny day. I bump into David Blatt who is having a bite with one of my friends about how happy he is that they are working together for next year's school elections. I nod a "wassup" to them, but internally I am disgusted that my friend is cavorting with these evil conservatives. Then, a short, energetic African-American kid, Tony from my freshman year at college, comes running down the slope like he always does. He's running away from me but then he decelerates, does a 180 and is like, "Phil! Dawg! Wassup!" We exchange small talk, and then I disappear back into my classroom.
Note: I'm starting to feel like an oneironaut, and it's exciting. Before my nap, I laid myself oblong on the sofa, and said to myself, "okay, it's time to visit this fantasy alternate dimension of mine." And I felt like I was slipping into an imaginary pod to slide through space.
When I return back to my class, I don't feel like I'm dreaming the class. I feel like the class is the waking life and that I'm having these wild dreams of Paris. When I return, I'm still partially blind. I explain this to others with the theory that I'm actually still asleep on some level and can negotiate both the dream life and waking life at the same time. This is telling because today, in the waking life, I had only gotten four hours of sleep and so I must be expressing a desire to somehow recover my sleep debt. Once again I'm treated with skepticism, and so I try to back to sleep and reach Paris to prove my "theory."
Note: The dream time felt like four hours, when in actuality, my nap was about forty minutes. Shows how disconnected our perception of time and the actual transpiring of time are.
My guess is that I actually return to the river-scene about five times, but only remember two of them. This is the second remembered time, but it could be the fourth or fifth, and by this time, my theory about lucid dreaming has expanded to include extra powers in addition to dual-dimension control that I initially suggested. Now, my theories are that my dreams are gateways to other quantum, alternate realities. And that by popping in and out, I'm actually jumping discontinuities in spacetime.
The way for me to test this theory is to return back to my classroom and find that the epithets that Joel had written were incorrect or not there.
Before I can test this, there is another visit from Tony, who comes running back again. Instead of small talk, though, I give the low-down on my metaphysical theory. Him, being the eager, open-minded type, keeps nodding his head up and down, sounding like he's digging what I'm saying. But then I tell him, "I'm sorry, I'm going to leave you now. You are just a figment of my imagination." He then looks at me like Kate Winslet looks at Jim Carrey before she disappears, or how Penelope does the same to Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky. It's this half-puzzled, half-sad puppy-eyed look that questions, "What's next?"
Note: I've developed a muscle for waking up now. Its hard to explain how to invoke it, just as it's hard to describe how you can move your arm, but I akin it to shaking myself, or squinting my eyes until white stars from the stimulation coalesces. I expect to develop many new muscles as I improve.
When I wake back up to the classroom, I twist backwards to check the blackboard, and unfortunately there the epithets are, unchanged and mocking. Sanjit is still scratching his chin, smirking at me, and Joel's got a grin in the background, as if to say, "gotcha." There appears to be a guest lecturer who is also there, whose lecture I must have slept through. Professor Shanks then lifts an excerpt from my blog to repeat to the class, and the whole entire dream starts to wind down.
Before I finally wake up to the real waking life, I have a view from the ceiling, looking down at the hanging Icarus statue. The statue then lets loose and falls in slow motion to the ground, crashing into shards and making a sound like in The Matrix: Reloaded, when the street lamp falls apart. It's a sound that's a part-synthesized, part-reversed shriek. What was neat was that the sound was of a high-resolution that I haven't heard in my dreams before. (once again, I have heard it in my dreams, I just don't remember it). So in other words, I'm reaching new levels of resolution. Eventually all my dreams will be vivid or lucid ones, vivid being ones that are recalled with the same resolution that we can recall the waking life, and lucid being the added benefit of dream control.
Note: I'm only an amateur oneironaut, so my tips may be shoddy. Check the Lucidity Institute for more info. I may have also slightly dramatized certain aspects for emotional appeal; the Icarus, for example, makes for a convenient symbol. However, I won't fabricate technical details that relate to the scientific analysis of the extent of the dreams; for example with the Icarus, I did hear that sound from a hanging sculpture that did fall down and shatter. If this bothers you, let me know, and if enough people complain, I'll be 100% faithful as opposed to 98%.
update: techincally what I just had is not a lucid dream as I wasn't aware that my classroom scene was a dream. I was aware that Paris was a dream, but I didn't control it in a detailed way that you would normally in a lucid dream.
Phoenix said on March 23, 2004 2:07 AM:
o.o I had a dream like that recently. I was flying around and spontaneously became lucid, and subsequently had a false awakening and lost my lucidity (At the time I was not aware that it was false.) I went back "to sleep" and had a dream, again, in which I became lucid, and again "woke up." Then I realized that my alarm clock didn't work, and, instead of realizing that it was a cue, proceeded to leave for school, at which point I really did wake up.
Nested dreams are weird, aren't they?