Thursday, May 21, 2009

Taking Flight

Yesterday morning marked a milestone in a project that I have undertaken several months ago. After watching the film Waking Life for the second time, I began making the conscious effort to begin lucid dreaming.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept or too lazy to read the 2 paragraph introduction to Wikipedia's entry, I'll give a brief description. Lucid dreaming is simply the act of becoming conscious in your dreams. A person's consciousness generally plays a role in most dreams, but it's generally on autopilot. The same way a person "spaces out" while their awake, a person spaces out in their dreams just letting the stream of consciousness pull them this way and that. If the analogy makes any sense, then you can think of lucid dreaming as the conscious thought you experience when we are awake and engaged in active thought.

It should be noted that it is much more difficult to enter a state of lucid dreaming than it is to just start concentrating while you are awake.

I'm not going to explain how to lucid dream here; there is a wealth of tutorials on the internet, specifically on youtube (and watch Waking Life). It is mostly reliable and accurate from what I have read and tried.

Since I started this project, I have successfully dreamed lucidly 7 times. The first time that I achieved the state it lasted for maybe 20 seconds. I was standing in a large formal room, and I looked at the clock on the wall. The hands were literally bouncing around the face of the clock, which helped me make the connection that I was in a dream. And after the realization, I was able to control what I did and what took place around me.After that first experience, I came up with some goals to accomplish through lucid dreaming.

The first challenge was to fly. Most children have dreams in which they fly, but most lose those dreams by puberty.
I spent the next 6 lucid dreams learning how to get this ability back. It's not easy. At first I would jump and manage to hover briefly before my mind would tell me that gravity still binds me to the firmament of my dreams (not unlike Neo's experience in the Matrix). But yesterday, I successfully took flight and it was more exhilarating than I imagined.

So what's next?

Now that I can fly, I'm designing/drawing a training island that I can travel to from wherever I am in my dream. I will use this island to experiment and learn various activities and master new skills.
  • I will learn a Talmudic dispute between Rashi and Rambam, and summon them to the Island to argue one another.
  • Play Quidditch
  • 360 degree vision was mentioned in Waking Life, and I also want to make it my goal too.
  • Solve highly visual math puzzles from the Putnam.
  • Make plants grow spontaneously.
I'm also open to anyone's suggestions for activities, and feel free to contact me if you want some advice on how to start lucid dreaming.

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