My dear friend and business associate Youcef wrote a very interesting post regarding lucid dreaming. I can’t help trying to go further with my own experience and to suggest what could be the next possible steps.
I have been pretty successful in controling lucid dreams, when they occur. What does that mean? Well, I am completely aware that I am dreaming, that I am in a parallel world. And I manage to keep on with the experience. I usually use two ways to achieve this and to remain in such an unusual state of consciousness:
The first one is to try thinking as if you were in a video game with objectives. From there, you can benefit from two useful consequences:
1. If I stopped dreaming, I couldn’t finish the game so that would become a serious pain. Lucid dreaming, as a game, is turned into a continuous necessity.
2. I can switch from “It’s not worth doing that if it’s only a dream” to “It’s worth because it’s a lot of fun and I am able to experience things that I could not in real life”. This is exactly why so many people love playing video games, so why not love playing dreaming games as well?
I am not saying we are talking about the same thing. If you have already experienced that kind of dreams, you may have noticed that GTA IV is to controlled trash dreams what Pong is to RL Tennis (RL Tennis is not a video game, it stands for “real life tennis”). Yes, dreaming is a huge technological breakthrough, its only drawback being that until now it has only been discovered and enjoyed by unconscious people.
The way you feel the world while dreaming is in fact in the holy grail of the whole video game industry. Input signals do not suffer from the hassle of steering wheels, keyboards, joysticks or even the latest wireless controller for gamers, let alone the Wiimote. No, this time you feed the game directly with your mind. You do not only control what you are doing, you also have a total control on your environnment. No need for cheat mode.
But we have not mentionned your perception of the game output. Far from your beloved narrow-angle television or 15,4″ computer screen, you feel immerged in the richest colorful and three-dimensional environment ever.
Yes, you are at the same time the gamemaster and the main player.
The second method is quite similar, but works especially well if your lucid dream is closer to a lucid nightmare, a very intellectual story (like giving an articulate talk in front of an assembly or having a very deep conversation with someone), or affective events (a love adventure, tragic drama with members of your family being killed…). The idea is to consider you are writing the scenario of a movie (or a book for those who are more conservative) and playing the main role. Unlike playing a game, you don’t necessarily need to achieve your objectives. You only have to make sure everything is consistent and the story is interesting.
Otherwise, and this leads us to what can still break a lucid dream, you are likely to say yourself “this is a sheet of bull” and wake up. Dreaming games are likely to virtually crash (like a blue screen of the death) for the same reasons: too many inconsistencies make you feel this is a total nonsense, or on the opposite, a too-good-to-be-true event. Usually I cannot sustain it, that’s a pity but it might be because it is to far from reality to be acceptable. You suddenly wonder: “Hey, I’m happy but when I wake up I will have to face a slightly ruder reality!”, which cause your fun level to go down the required threshold and you open your eyes.
Now, what remains to be discovered to go further with lucid dreaming? All what I have described are only handcrafted and not that easily controlled experiences. Especially, it is still very difficult to enable the lucid dreaming functionality of your brain. When it happens, you are happy, but that is not satisfying, IMHO.
So, the first step would be to understand better how we can activate lucid dreaming on the fly, on demand, without having to be sleeping before for long hours for example.
So next one could be to learn how we can physically influence the content of a lucid dream, so that we could schedule it on our computer before going to bed (or using the machine developed on step 1).
More ambitious would be to retrieve in RL the content of a lucid dream, or otherwise to interconnect people’s lucid dreaming, so that it may help step 4 happen someday.
This latest step is the matrix. I won’t explain it, just watch the movie.
This time we are the ones. Let’s not miss the opportunity to be the pioneers.