What to do when you realise you're lucid dreaming


The Living Force
T.C. said:
I don't know how accurate that is but I found this:


Though these parts of the brain are all active during REM sleep, it is important to know that the two hemispheres of the brain work unilaterally in dreaming. The right hemisphere of the brain actually creates and displays the dream, shown by an increase in blood flow and electrophysiological stimulation in that hemisphere during REM. The right hemisphere uses a form of visual-spatial and emotional language, which creates the themes and images of the dream through remembered emotions. These sorts of memories, such as those used as the material for dreaming, and those that later will become the remembered dream are called lateralized memories, for they are only remembered by one hemisphere of the brain, the right(1).

So, the idea presented in the cartoon is that the left hemisphere which controls language, is inactive during a dream and so we can't read or see/understand words. I don't know how true that is, just a FWIW.


I remember that cartoon too. I was watching it with my younger brother, and I laughed when in the cartoon Batman said you couldn't read in dreams. My brother just made a face and said "Weirdo." :D

I've had dreams in which I'm in a library reading a book. Others in which, riding in a car, I'm reading a map or street signs, billboards, etc. One there was a phone number I was trying to remember. Others I'm chatting online with someone....in all of those dreams there was no problem at all reading anything.

For Laura:
I know what you mean. I've had bouts when I can't remember a person's name in conversation. When it does finally hit a synapse, I tend to just announce the name in a loud tone, and it doesn't matter where I'm at. My father in law, my husband, and me were going to dinner, and we were talking about old swashbuckler movies. None of us could remember the name of an extraordianary fencer who had the misfortune of working with Errol Flynn. The weather was bad and we were quiet in the car so Hubby could concentrate. All of a sudden I announced "BASIL RATHBONE!!" Lucky for us, dad was not driving. :lol:


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
lol gimpy

I remember that cartoon too! :D
I remember thinking I'd try and remember it at the time, and tried it out in dreams in subsiquent years. Firstly, couldn't read anything in dreams, but have noticed over the years that I can now read in dreams. One thing though, the words are organic.....they change and re-arrange.
If you looked at a page in a book while awake, went away for a minute and came back they'd be the same. In my dreams they would have changed. PErhaps its something todo with photographic memory (or lack there of)?

Interesting about the connection to not remembering someones name. Or not remembering something you just thought of and wanted to mention!
I read an article in new scientist years ago and have spent the last 4 hours trying to remember what it was (ironically!) called.
Neural Inhibition _http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Neural_inhibition
The way I understood it part of your neural network is there to give order by inhibiting the reactionary neurons. The article I read talked about if a pathway was active, ones connected to it would be inhibited.
It struck me at the time that this may be why you temporaly forget words/names/sentences.....I can now usually recall them by relaxing and not focusing on recalling them (I concluded the neural pattern of Trying to remember was part of the inhibition!), but trusting that I will recall it. Its like a slow google search, type the name in, hit send, then walk away from the computer for 10 minutes until it beeps to tell you its found it! lol

Now doing the work, I find that this goes hand in hand with self remembering! How weird is that? I've been practicing it for years before discovering the work.
Maybe it has a baring on many I's.....but I'm going way off topic now.

The brain definatly is weird.
I think I'll have to go back over secret history and what was writtern about hemispheres


The Living Force
RedFox said:
It struck me at the time that this may be why you temporaly forget words/names/sentences.....I can now usually recall them by relaxing and not focusing on recalling them (I concluded the neural pattern of Trying to remember was part of the inhibition!), but trusting that I will recall it.

As a post-menopausal woman, I experience the name/word-forgetting thing quite a lot. But I've discovered a method for recalling those names that works every time:

I quickly go into a light meditative state. While holding a mental image of the name-less person/thing/place, etc , I run through the alphabet in my mind, sounding each letter as I go. When I come to the right letter, the name just comes to me. Dunno HOW it works, but it works....


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
SAO in post # 36 said:
thorbiorn said:
If I have a dream and I then forget its content or misremember it, then the dream material joins the mass of subconscious material
But if the dream came out of your subconscious mind, would you really be adding anything to it that wasn't already there? It seems that if anything, it's the parts that you do remember that might influence you (like a powerful dream that just had a really strong effect on you), cuz if you don't remember something, wouldn't it just go back to where it came from?
To the first question: Are you not then assuming that ALL dream material has origin from our own subconscious. The possibility I was thinking of, was that other minds or entities could influence the display that comes up in a dream or insert content into it. Why should that not be possible? And if it is possible, would it really be desirable that such influences just go back to the subconscious unnoticed?

SAO said:
thorbiorn said:
This is where I am wondering, how different an unrecalled dream is from watching a subliminal advertisement or getting a post hypnotic suggestion.
And if there is a subliminal message in advertisements, we won't know about it anyway because it's subliminal. So I think the idea is not to shut our eyes and not see advertisements with subliminal messages - but to be able to see them and not be influenced by the subconscious signals. To be able to face the world - and still be conscious and in control of ourselves.
If for example there are subliminals in a film sequence, it could be possible to analyse it and find for example the one frame that is the one that does not fit. This is not to say that one can always find them but in some cases it can be done and in some countries there is legislation against using subliminals in TV ads. If there is legislation, there must be some means in place in those countries to test the advertisements for subliminals.

Self knowledge including the ability to be in control of ourselves is the solution to many impediments and distractions. However I am not yet at the goal of what you describe. So my protection includes knowledge and awareness that subliminals do exist along with an intention to resist these. And in regard to dreams, since I consider external manipulation as possible, I have the intent for these not to affect me.

SAO said:
thorbiorn said:
About understanding dreams and sorting out the disinformation that may come in, I think it is not much different from how one counteracts disinformation for issues in the waking state. One uses reason, analysis, knowledge, networking, research, and intuition. And a desire for the truth about one self is helpful.
But you can do that with a non-lucid dream too. I don't see why you'd necessarily remember a lucid dream more than you would a non-lucid one.
Your are right and I was not clear enough in my expression. I was not referring specifically to lucid dreams.

SAO said:
My thought on this is that dreams are inherently subjective.
If you by inherently mean that all material without exception originate from our own minds then as described above, I am not yet completely convinced.

SAO said:
The Work has to do with objective reality. What you do in your dreams has no real repercussions on anything. The "cause and effect" dynamic doesn't exist there. The real lessons for us are in the objective reality - where what we do has real consequences on ourselves and others allowing us to learn and progress.
Let us say I did something in a dream, be it lucid or not, that makes me feel good or bad. When I wake up, that dream impression may at times carry over or pop up as a substrata of joy, depression or guilt influencing slightly how I later think and conduct myself.

SAO said:
So if you're always in control of your dream, maybe you're denying yourself the possibility of experiencing parts of you that you're not aware of while awake.
Mostly I am not in control of myself in the dream state, but I find it useful to be aware of what happens in my dreams. When I discovered years back that sometimes I could be in control of a dream, I tried out that possibility, but later found that to see and be aware of what happens, be accepting of the ups and downs without trying to influence too much seemed frequently a nobler option. As a result sometimes I accept death or mutilation in a dream as a witness, without resisting or interfering.

But I shall give you an example of a recent dream, in which I did not let things pass. In the dream I walked down a path and to my left there were some in a semi open house with whom I felt some unspoken conflict, I passed by, as I did so I became more lucid. I began to question my real motivation for avoiding them and thought that perhaps I should turn back and confront my fear. So I turned around and approached them. As I did, I sensed their negativity, then I began to question them, asking who they were and what they were doing in my dream. As this process went on the atmosphere became more cordial, the scene changed the figures disappeared. For a moment there was as if no dream pictures just awareness, then a new scene opened up. It was in a kitchen, with tiled floor and staff that I had not met before. I saw a wash basin of dirty dishes, and thought that it might be good to help out, as I had this thought one told me that two-three steel pots on the top were some I had put. I went to work with the intention to do dishes and at this the scene of dirty dishes cleared.

This dream may have several meanings, however often I meet a parallel to a dream the very next day, sometimes unexpected. In this case I found myself walking among some huts in the poorer part of a provincial East African town late in the afternoon in order to visit and say goodbye to the cousin of a former employee, that I had got to know through chance and circumstance.

As I walked down a dirt path, I passed a group of loud and happy women, I did not look at them, did not greet them, just passed by. But that was not a well seen way to do obviously. So as I continued they complained why I had not greeted them. Then I recalled the dream, overcame myself and walked back to say hello.

A woman grasped my arm, looked at me and asked for four cents to buy some local alcoholic brew. I looked back, and seeing she was already slightly tipsy told her in a nice way that I did not think she really needed more. She did not give up and kept on arguing her case. I said I would look in the pocket and found a coin worth five times more than what she asked for, gave it to her and told her to share it with her friends, she became overjoyed. I turned around and continued on my path to the loud, happy, talking and shouting of this small group of women.

Was there in reality a connection between the dream I had and this event? Did the experience of lucidity make any difference? These are question I can not answer with certainty.

Perhaps turning back to some old questions put by other forum members is also a way clean dishes. ;)

Another recent example: In a dream I heard the sound of mosquitos, then a voice said: "You need to take care of the mosquitos, otherwise it will happen to you as to the old couple whose bodies became lunch". I was dreaming and lucid, decided to wake myself up and follow the advice. To wake up a sleeping body is not so easy or comfortable but with practice I have come to induce some jerks and get out, which I did and discovered a far greater number of mosquitos than is safe in an area where brain malaria is common. I knocked out a couple and surrendered to the last below a mosquito net.

Anyhow on the subject of dreams as a source of disinformation, one source that I did not clarify, is the possibility that the element of disinformation enters from the interpretation of the dream. That is something influences us in the waking state, be it ignorance, manipulation or what others say to interpret a dream in a particular manner, that does not correspond to what really is the case.

Maybe that is why, Swami Radha in 'Realties of the Dreaming Mind' writes based on years of dream diary and hard work on herself, that one is better not to base a decision or opinion about oneself on just one dream, but to see many dreams together. Some dreams are the expression of the tricks of the mind, as she call them, or our own wishful thinking.

Interestingly she also mentions that as one becomes more honest with oneself, the dreams tend to become more straight forward. I think that has been my experience too.

By the way, the author does not put much emphasis on lucid dreams, she explains the importance of building a good foundation and getting to know the elements of our own subconscious before setting out on spiritual practices.

While looking again for the Realities of the Dreaming Mind on the web, I just found a review, though an old one, that mentions two other books:

_http://www.asdreams.org/magazine/articles/kelly.html Kelly Bulkeley Ph.D. said:
All books about dreams are, at some level, books about the author's dreams. There's really no avoiding it; the author's own dream experiences inevitably influence his or her work in countless (and frequently unexpected) ways. This poses a real challenge to anyone wanting to write about dreams. On the one hand, authors need to make an honest and reflective study of their own dreams; on the other hand, they need to speak clearly and empathetically to their readers, addressing the interests, concerns, and questions that the readers will be bringing to the book.

The three books under review here meet this challenge with great success. Swami Radha's Realities of the Dreaming Mind, Chuck Coburn's Funny You Should Say That..., and Will Phillips' Every Dreamer's Handbook are all outstanding examples of books written by people who have gained deep personal insights from their own dreams and who have managed to share and communicate their discoveries with other people.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Some years ago I was frequently lucid dreaming without wanting it. Strangely it was always the same trick that made me realized I was lucid dreaming, it was linked with light switches. The moment was always in the dream when I was trying to switch on/off the light and it was not working. So I recognized it was not a real switch and then I was fully conscious of dreaming.

But the scenario turned to be almost always the same. It was so real that I always wanted to prove myself that my "dream body" was able to interact with the surrounding. A real obsession. I wonder if I was not blocked as a ghost in a previous life or something like that. So I said to myself things like: "OK, if you put this plate on the top of the wardrobe (I was always able to levitate), you will see it when you will awake and it will prove you can move things with your dream body."

It was almost uncontrollable but after a while I managed to remember it was not working. So I did not really know what to do in the dream because I was not able to go far from my room. I was able to levitate and go out through the window and admire the frontage of my building or the few cars passing in the street. Wonderful :-/

Once I asked to meet Jesus or something like that and when I had someone in front of me, I played the fool by jumping/spinning and it stopped here. I think I protected myself because meeting entities without being fully award is not really a good idea at all I think.

So after a period it stopped.

I have a friend who was very advanced in lucid dreaming. He was able to sleep in a lucid dream, and then sleep again in this new lucide dream. But apart from that, he didn't know what to do in lucid dreams either.
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