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more lucid dreaming

I love when this happens. I had another lucid dream last night (they happen every couple months or so). I'm now convinced that an even larger portion of the brain than I thought is subconscious; probably more than 99%. The imagery was so vivid and crystal clear, and I could see so many details at once, that I started to realize what I was seeing couldn't be real.. it was too "surreal", seemingly realer than real. So in the dream, I thought of a good experiment that I could use to test whether I was dreaming. I was on a street corner and there were a lot of buildings around, so I figured if I ran to the next corner and looked down the road, there's no way my mind could keep up with the detail and there would have to be some fuzzy picture around the corner, or just a black void, or something that indicated to me for sure that I was dreaming. But to my utter surprise, when I ran around the corner I saw a completely new scene, just as stunningly complex as the last. I felt like if I'd have woken up at that moment I could have taken out a paintbrush and painted the entire thing (if I had any skill at drawing). So I decided to take this to the limit, and see how much raw generative power my subconscious really had. I ran as fast as I could, all around this weird town that I'd never seen before, every time I saw something new I ran up to it and inspected it closer. I kept running down sidewalks, cutting through yards, then I started going into random buildings. I even found a post-it note up on a wall somewhere and walked up to it and read it; meaning my mind wasn't just able to generate pictures but also words during the dream, and fit them together. The entire time there was never even the slightest delay in the detail of the images I was seeing. It was probably the most vivid and real-feeling dream I've had so far. Eventually I ended up inside a gymnasium connected to a school. I had run up a back staircase and was looking down into it. I was at the top of some bleachers that were mechanically folded up and compressed against the wall. I could see lots of chairs stacked up and a basketball court drawn on the floor. I looked down and felt afraid of the height which was about 20 or 30 feet or so. I paused to catch my breath at that point, because I had been running for quite a while, and now I'd reached a dead end. I didn't want to turn back, I wanted to keep exploring, but I was afraid of the height. I thought to myself that was really silly because if I was dreaming it shouldn't matter. So then I asked myself "do I know for sure that I'm dreaming?" And I thought "yes, I'm certain that I'm dreaming, but I can feel the own weight of my body and my muscles moving so vividly that there's a good chance I might be sleep-walking and really standing at the top of somewhere. It would probably be very bad if I jumped." I've never sleep-walked before, so I thought this was unlikely, but I also couldn't believe how real it felt so I thought it might be possible. Then I realized the solution. It felt like as soon as I stepped off the edge I would fall and injure myself, but I remembered that in prior dreams I had been able to fly. If I could mentally convince myself I could fly, then I should be able to do it without stepping over the edge, and so if I was sleepwalking I wouldn't get hurt because I wouldn't be doing the stepping-forward motion, I'd just be floating. It worked. I concentrated and soon was able to levitate myself over the edge without any stepping-motion. All the detail of the room was still there, and I flew out the front door and around for a while. After a short bit I started feeling like flying was exerting and I felt tired. Something opened up in the ground and I started falling slowly into it. Then as I relinquished control, I started falling more rapidly. I still saw everything above me like the sky and the edges of the bottomless pit I was falling into, elaborate root structures sticking out of the earth on either side. Faster and faster I fell, and music started to play. My arms were flailing and slowly they started to extend and grow into these huge flexible brown hoses. They twisted upward into the sky above me and then tangled around themselves to form all sorts of interesting patterns. I kept falling for a while with these brown streaks of hose filling up the whole of my vision and tangling up everything above me. It looked like the tops of them had hooked around the upper edges of the pit and were spreading out across the surface of the earth above. Although I was falling more rapidly than I could have thought possible (especially being in a face-up position, which I know from being an experienced skydiver is highly unstable), my tenticles were growing upwards even faster and so it never slowed me down. Slowly it all faded and I gained concsiousness and woke up, still hearing the music playing in the back of my head. I always wake up feeling incredibly refreshed and renewed after a lucid dream. I don't know what they mean or why they happen, but I do know the subconscious has an incredible amount of processing power! If I were at all superstitious I would have thought for sure something else was feeding all this information straight into my visual cortex.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
kaolinfire
Jan. 18th, 2005 09:07 pm (UTC)
Fucking beautiful. =)
jen_rosero
Jan. 19th, 2005 12:50 pm (UTC)
awesome
gustavolacerda
Jan. 19th, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC)
I've had amazing dreams like that, that seemed like very colorful 3D flying tour of a Disney-like city, with very fast music in the background. The world looked like an animation, although of the highest kind you see today.

And I just wished I could record it all... (I remember once taking notes in my dream-PDA, to no effect)

Btw, while it may seem like our unconscious brains have a huge ability to create a world in such detail, in fact our perceptual abilities are very narrow... so it may not take that much to fool it, especially if the dream-generator has access to your "dream self", and can create things ahead of you.
spoonless
Jan. 20th, 2005 04:40 am (UTC)

Btw, while it may seem like our unconscious brains have a huge ability to create a world in such detail, in fact our perceptual abilities are very narrow... so it may not take that much to fool it, especially if the dream-generator has access to your "dream self", and can create things ahead of you.

That's a good point. Although I was very sure I was seeing a whole lot of detail at the time, I noticed that I was unable to recall it well later. I remembered thinking how complex it looked, and I remembered a few details, but I couldn't conjure up exactly the whole picture after I woke up. I have been debating to what degree I was really seeing it all and to what degree my mind was just convinced that I was. I think the truth is probably somewhere in between... the thing that makes it a lot tougher to figure out is I think there's some sort of weird erasure that goes on after dreams. I've noticed that if I wake up in the middle of a dream I'll remember it well, but if I sleep right through it and wake up later I'll only have a vague recollection or sometimes not even remember it at all... just that I was dreaming something. I don't know what causes the erasure--maybe we don't record memories while we're dreaming as well--or maybe since the state is so different from our usual reality we discard it as not making sense and can't fit it into any context.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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