Waking up is hard to do

I had a dream about a dream about a dream this afternoon. I try to always take a nap in the afternoon, just like they taught me in kindergarten. I recommend it to everyone.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that God spoke to me in my dream. This dream was inspired by the movie Inception, which I watched yesterday.

In the movie, the bad good guys try to change the mind of the good bad guy by putting him (and themselves) to sleep and then wiring him (and themselves) up to a contraption that will alter his dreams. Including themselves meant that they could participate in his dream, and thus manipulate it.

The twist was that the idea they want to plant in his mind was so deep that they had to “go down three levels”. In the first dream, they had to repeat the process to create a second dream, where they repeated the process to create a third dream.

The movie also touches on the tantalizing subject of lucid dreaming – the theory that you can learn to become aware of the fact that you are dreaming, and then to control your own dreams. One problem with this theory is that, even if you succeed, there’s no way to prove it to another person. It’s a bit like proving that God has spoken to you. But that’s another story.

I’ve tried for years to learn lucid dreaming, and I dreamt that I had finally mastered the art. I don’t recall much about the lucid dream, except that in the dream, I remembered a technique offered in the movie to find out whether you are dreaming or not. Something about trying to push one finger through the other hand. I couldn’t see my hands in the dream, but I thought I knew where they were, so I gave it a try.

Lo and behold, my left hand was not where I thought it was! That’s when I realized I was dreaming. I cautiously opened one eye, being careful not to wake up, and sure enough, my hand was not where I thought it was. It was up by my face, where it usually is when I sleep. As I looked around, I could see bits of the real world all around my dream world.

At first I couldn’t move my real hand, because of course I was asleep. Yet with a bit of effort, I could become awake just enough to move my hand, and eventually to control the rest of my body, without losing the dream.

How exciting! With a bit of practice, I could change my mental focus to move in and out of the dream at will. I got so good at this that I found I could remain permanently in a sort of dual reality, both awake and dreaming at the same time. I floated around in the real world, explaining to everyone that my dazed state was because, while I was awake, I was also dreaming. What fun!

Then of course, I woke up, this time for real, and of course it was all just a dream. I had finally experienced the wonders of lucid dreaming, even if only in a dream.

I can’t wait to go back.

Sweat dreams!

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  • tanclo  On 17 October 2010 at 8:13 pm

    a similar state can be achieved by sleep deprivation. i do it all the time. it’s fun

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