I Finally Did It!

lion lambThere is an old saying about March coming in like a lion (and going out like a lamb). The reverse is also imagined: if it comes in like a lamb, it will go out like a lion. Weather mythology aside, March does have some significant dates for me.

One is “Vern’s Equal Ox” — a day of rejoicing for Lovers of the Light. Our days will now be longer than our nights. That’s less than two weeks away. The coming Saturday is a doubly special date (especially this year), but more about that another day. Lastly, March contains the birthday of one of the four people I consider life-long best friends.

Trumping it all right now: last night I had my first fully lucid dream!

This is something I’ve been hoping to accomplish for a very long time. To be in a dream fully aware that you are in a dream and capable of directing yourself and potentially manipulating the dream reality.

dream 2And I gotta tell you: one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to me. It! Is! Awesome! I’m hoping that, having done it once, I can do it again (and again (and again)).

Properly speaking, it happened around 5:30 AM this morning. I went to bed around 1:30 AM, read until 2:00, and then (due to an afternoon nap) tossed and turned sleeplessly until at least 3:30.

I was so restless I got up and wandered around my place for a while. Yesterday was the first day temps went above 50 (F), so it was the first day I had the windows open for most of the day. I saw that, even at 3:30 AM, it was still in the low 40s, so I opened my bedroom window for some fresh air and went back to bed.

dream 1I eventually fell asleep and had a fairly interesting dream, although not a lucid one. It involved taking a road trip to some location where I was expected for a work assignment. My travel plans had somehow gone awry, and I was in a taxi.

The disruption somehow (I’m going to stop saying “somehow” — dreams are filled with mystery elements) involved a diversion. I had a sense of being somewhere in England headed for a car barge that would transport me to the continent. Specifically, to Wales.

Wait, what? Well, it made sense in the dream. At Wales (which apparently is somewhere in France), they’d put me up in a hotel until I could proceed the next day to my destination. I knew I’d be days late, but that seemed okay.

The taxi was loaded onto the barge with a crane, and the barge began to move.

dream 3But then I was on foot in a city, and it was raining pretty hard. (I love rain and weather, so this wasn’t a metaphor for sorrow or tears.) I had a red umbrella (so I do see color in dreams), but the rain and wind were so strong they kept wrecking it. The frame and the handle were made with thin wire, so that wasn’t surprising.

I took shelter in the public alcove that fronted a closed business (a bakery, maybe?). It was a concrete block enclosure, about 8′ x 12′. The front wall was half opening and half wall, and there was a large horizontal vent above my head that crossed the wall part.

The strong wind was pushing the rain through the opening and the vent, and my umbrella was useless at this point. I didn’t feel particularly threatened in any way. As the wind and rain and noise increased I realized this must be due to a tornado.

dream 4I’ve never seen a tornado with my own eyes, and I’ve always wanted to. I edged around to look through the open part, and sure enough, there it was — fairly close and fairly big. It was moving from left to right and chewing up the city as it moved. It did not seem headed towards me.

And then I woke up.

“Well, that was kinda cool,” I thought! I rolled over and went back to sleep.

I found myself in a room with white walls and white doors, but the doors didn’t have handles. Just flat panels in a door frame. That’s when it occurred to me that this was a dream!

I started saying to myself, “I’m in a dream. I’m in a dream!” I wanted very much to stay in the dream, in full awareness, so I kept reminding myself that I was dreaming.

dream 5

Cogito ergo somniatis

I had some papers in my hand, and I decided that was messy. I wanted an iPad instead. Since this was a dream, I figured I could change reality, so I concentrated on changing the papers to an iPad.

Instead, I was able to pluck away the papers leaving a small device similar to a flip phone in my hand. That wasn’t what I’d asked for, so I tried pulling on it to stretch it into an iPad. Instead I got an iPod — the classic one.

I own both an old flip phone and that iPod, but have never had an iPad, so maybe my imagination just wasn’t up to the task.

In my mind was something I’ve heard about not being able to read in dreams; that one way to test a dream is try to read something. The papers in my hand had writing, but I didn’t think of trying to read them; I wanted to read something on the iPad or somewhere else.

dream 6

Hopefully next time!

I also wanted to see if I could fly, but never got to trying it. I clearly didn’t have full control of the dream.

I wondered what would happen if I pushed on the “door” in front of me. I did, it opened, and I walked through. Except that walking was more like gliding. I wasn’t aware of my legs or of taking steps — I just moved through space.

I found myself in what I identified as my sister’s room from when we lived in California. I could hear birds through the open window on my left (with my hearing loss, normally I don’t hear birds).

I moved through the connecting doorway which, in that house, led to the back bedroom that had been mine. Sis and I normally kept that door closed; I had another door to my bedroom that was the principle means of access.


I meant iPad!

But dream space is weird, and I found myself in what I identified as the front bedroom, which had been my parent’s. But this wasn’t theirs. For one thing, it was actually two rooms and the door I used was in the wrong wall.

That door had hanging clear plastic square tubes hanging down (similar to those beaded curtains sometimes hanging in doorways). The tubes were about three inches square and hung from top to bottom. But they were easy to pass through.

The bedroom seemed to belong to a teenaged girl — unmistakeable signs of young female occupancy. And she was obviously a fan of Batman and had framed pictures of him on her dresser. I moved towards the second room, but the dream shifted again.

Up until now, the rooms all had white walls, and there was lots of light — like a bright sunny day with lots of windows. But now I was in a darker, windowless hallway, and there was an open kitchen off to the left. By “open” I mean that only a low counter separated the kitchen from the hallway.

dream 7

Now I need one of these!

I’d been alone since the taxi driver, but seated in the kitchen nook I could see a woman eating. I moved around the low counter and approached. The nook was deeply recessed from the kitchen itself.

As I got near, I saw the woman was old, in her 70s at least. She was fairly slender. She didn’t look like my mom, and I didn’t identify her as my mom, but in looking back I wonder if she was. Her body type and age, the kitchen, and the breakfast nook, are all suggestive of her.

Once I was standing in front of this woman, she stopped eating, looked up at me, and said, “You never did tie it all together.”

And then I woke up.

dream 8

And one of these!

I was extremely excited about finally having a lucid dream, and I immediately wrote down some notes about what had happened. As I write this now, the memories have faded and other than snippets all I really have are my notes.

I tried to dream some more, but wasn’t able to return to anything other than fragments — none of them lucid. I’ll keep trying because it was just too amazing.

I’ve always had some degree of control over dreams — being able to steer them away from any hint of threat mostly (“Hey, this is my dream, and I won’t stand for that!”). Or the realization that I must be dreaming, but that’s always had the effect of waking me.

Maybe having done it once, doing it again will be easier? I hope so. It was really amazing. And I really want to see if there’s any continuity. I’d like to find out what that woman meant about tying it all together!

dream 9

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

27 responses to “I Finally Did It!

  • Hariod Brawn

    You’ll be having OBE’s next Wyrd!

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Same thing as dreams, aren’t they? I don’t know that I believe in actual OBEs any more than I believe in ghosts (and for largely the same reasons).

      • Hariod Brawn

        There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        In general a good philosophy, but in this case I’m skeptical to the point of complete disbelief. The problem with OBEs — and ghosts — is you need an account of how something immaterial and invisible is able to receive photons and sound waves. Far as I can tell, there’s no way it could. But as dreams, OBEs make sense.

      • Hariod Brawn

        My experience with this is very limited Wyrd. For me, it’s been this body ‘somehow’ being aware of what appears to be a counterpart moving away from it. If fear arrived, as it did initially, the counterpart slammed back into this body straight away, almost violently, yet without feeling. I could not see my phantom ‘limbs’ drifting out of this body, yet I could focus attention on these counterparts doing so as if they were physical. I would imagine there are rational explanations for this phenomenon, though when it happens, it is very ‘real’. By the way, these occurrences happen in waking hours when the senses are normal and alert – others say the same.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        What you describe doesn’t sound like an OBE to me. As I understand the idea, it applies to an experience where your presence and awareness is projected to some other location than the one where your body resides. What you describe sounds like a (waking) dream, hallucination, or other mental phantasm.

        I have those, too. A variety of different kinds, actually, but not so far one involving any part of my body. In some cases where I’m resting, but not asleep, I realize my mind has gone dream state. “Day dreams” or (Walter Mitty type) “fantasies” are fully under my control, but waking dreams have that same passive-subjective feel sleeping dreams do.

        The mind, and the imagination, are extremely powerful and come up with all sorts of various and sundry phantasms. As such, our subjective experience requires extreme skepticism and analysis. Subjective experience is not trustworthy — our minds lie to us constantly. They fill in the two blind spots and provide the illusion of peripheral vision color.

        The idea that our immaterial awareness can be projected elsewhere and yet continue to experience the material world violates basic rules of that material world. As such it requires extraordinary proof, and subjective experience doesn’t even come close to that.

        Oddly we seem to have switched roles here, Amigo! I’ve had the impression previously that you’ve been less supportive of the reality of ideas whereas I’ve argued for it. Here you seem to be arguing the reality of subjective experience whereas I’m in the position of denying it has real substance.

        I know you don’t like labels — and I agree they’re often problematic — but as a starting point, do you feel you’re more a Realist or Idealist? Which is more real: the external world or the internal one? (If it isn’t immediately obvious, I’m a Realist, although I like Kant’s idea of Empirical Realism and Transcendental Idealism.)

      • Hariod Brawn

        I appreciate that what I’ve briefly outlined doesn’t sound like what one might describe as an OBE Wyrd. However, the experience of it is very much like that, In that one is aware of oneself exiting the body, and sensing just that in a way that seems entirely convincing. More accurately, one is aware of two-selves – not ‘oneself’ – and that one of them, the one that’s usually there, is very much not dreaming. That is why it is frightening initially. 😮

        There is no need to remind me of how powerful the mind is my friend. I have spent something well in excess of 30,000 separate hours in meditation over recent decades, and have close links with others similarly experienced in very focused introspection. I could tell of some mightily strange stories, both from my own and others’ experience, yet I also appreciate and accept the limits of introspection, and am not prone to gullibility or taking as knowledge anything that is not within my own sphere of experience.

        I would rather not fixate here upon ‘isms’, or upon subjectivity vs. objectivity, ‘reality’ as against whatever its opposite might be. o_O I know you won’t appreciate this old bean, but I can’t deny what is true to my own experience. What if, as Chalmers posits may be so in the Vancouver TED talk we both watched, consciousness (at some level) is a fundamental property of the universe? What place has our putative category of subjectivity then? And as to “which is more real: the external world or the internal one?”, then what I can say, somewhat futilely, is that along with countless others, I have had experiences where such distinctions dissolve – of course there are brain correlates for that; I know.

        Such experiences, or theories suggesting as much, have been documented for over two and a half millennia beginning in Classical Advaita Vedanta, Pyrrhonism, and through to contemporary phenomenology. We can’t place those experiences within the categories of subjectivity and objectivity, and there is no ‘extraordinary proof’ that they obtain beyond the fact of their occurrence. There is no counterpart ‘extraordinary claim’ being made, because the experience cannot be conveyed meaningfully in words. Any attempts to do so merely sound like mumbo-jumbo, as does what I am saying here. To those who have not experienced (let’s call it) non-duality, it can only seem paradoxical and most likely delusional too. But here we’re straying quite a long way off my rather facile and facetious initial comment about OBE’s.

        Coincidentally, my latest piece is about this sort of weirdness, and in case your WP Reader or notifications are still playing up: http://wp.me/p4wkZJ-ce

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Ah, my friend, I’m not sure this can be a fruitful topic of discussion for us. We stand on very different poles here. Your experiences, and those of others, fall into an area I classify as “spiritual” or “religious.” I have my own such experiences, but I’m also very aware that they may lack real meaning.

        I don’t deny your experiences; not at all! I do question the meaning you read into it. I just don’t place a great deal of — for lack of a better term — “real world value” on subjective experience. The mind is fooled in all sorts of ways. You recently mentioned one regarding your perception of a heron.

        Subjective experience, even throughout human history, just doesn’t cut it for me. Every human ever has two visual blind spots they never see, as well as the experience of peripheral color vision, but these are both fabrications of the mind.

        In that Chalmers talk, he speaks of a “kind of consciousness” in all things, a kind of awareness. Plants, for example, are “aware” of sunlight, and elementary particles are “aware” of magnetic fields. He does not mean these things have a human-type of consciousness or experience the world as we do. I’m sure he would agree there is NOT “something it is like” to be a plant or elementary particle.

        You write that, “it can only seem paradoxical and most likely delusional too.” Are you willing to consider the possibility that “delusional” (or some much less pejorative word) is, in fact, the case? (I do fully appreciate that may be so for my own such experiences.)

        30,000 hours is very impressive! If you meditate for three hours every single day of the year, that’s over 27 years!! That’s some serious dedication!

        FTR: I don’t (ever) use the WP Reader and rely on email notification. At this point I’m convinced that something in my email chain has tagged your notifications as spam and never letting me see them. I don’t get notifications even when you comment here, so it has to be something in my email chain (but you don’t show up in the one spam folder I have access to, so I have no idea how to fix this).

        I did set an RSS feed for your blog, and did notice you have a new post up, but haven’t had a chance to drop by. There are some blogs I can read quickly and equally quickly dash off a comment for, but other blogs — such as yours — require more time and care. Unfortunately, that has the effect of putting off a visit until I have the time for the care.

      • Hariod Brawn

        I think you’re right Wyrd; there’s not really anything to discuss unless whilst perhaps disagreeing, we actually understand each other, and I’ve already said that my (and others’ similar) experiences don’t make sense; they’re irrational in a very fundamental way. I dislike the word ‘spiritual’ though, and think it serves no useful purpose here, less still ‘religious’. It’s about the appearances in awareness, phenomena as they present, and the absence of them. Invoking wandering souls and Gods hardly helps the already messy terrain!

        I am not sure I understand when you talk about me deriving ‘meaning’ from any of this Wyrd, and reject your assertion that I derive any such thing. On the contrary, I have said that to all (rational) intents it is mumbo-jumbo, and that no claims, extraordinary or otherwise, as to anything, have been made beyond the fact of the experiences. I am just saying that there are such experiences, which you accept. If we were to continue with this, I would argue that there is indeed what you call “real world value” in such experiences, as would anyone having had them. You mention the “fabrications of the mind”, and this is the point – how to gain a perspective (not merely an idea) that is not derived from within the mind’s own gearbox of conceptual/perceptual comprehension?

        Of course Chalmers wasn’t pointing to anything remotely like a human or animal consciousness, but you are, I think, here missing his point that ‘some sort of awareness’ (we have to use known words) may be a fundamental property of the universe, not of integrated information systems within it, or ‘things’, as per Tononi & Koch, but woven into the fabric of it, so to speak.

        What are you saying might be ‘delusional’? Are your dreams and hallucinations delusional, or are they actualities in some sense?

        I meditated for 4 or 5 hours a day for 14 years. But all that while I did retreats for 6 or 7 weeks a year in which this increased to 8 hours a day. This was the concentrated phase of my meditative life, and outside of these years the hours reduced, for a decade or more to this day. I’m not keeping count, and the quantity was more about my lack of acuity as much as anything!

      • Wyrd Smythe

        “I dislike the word ‘spiritual’ though, and think it serves no useful purpose here, less still ‘religious’. It’s about the appearances in awareness, phenomena as they present, and the absence of them.”
        Your second sentence identifies experiences I classify the same way I do spiritual or religious experiences. For example when you say these “experiences don’t make sense; they’re irrational in a very fundamental way.” Thomas Aquinas said exactly the same thing about Christian faith.

        “I am not sure I understand when you talk about me deriving ‘meaning’ from any of this Wyrd, and reject your assertion that I derive any such thing.”
        Fair enough; the misunderstanding may be mine.

        If you have a chair, it appears in your mind and, in some sense, only there. But you can make a variety of measurements of that chair: its physical dimensions, weight, color, what it is made of, and so forth. You will make the same measurements a day or a week later. You can ship that chair to me — or to anyone — and we would make identical measurements. As such the chair has a physical reality anyone can confirm.

        This is not the case with these OBE and other experiences. They cannot be verified or measured by anyone else. If they have a reality, it’s a different class of reality. One that is personal and immediate to you only.

        Not unlike writing fiction (in fact, not unlike writing science fiction given that we’re going beyond earthly physics), these things all appear in your mind. They are certainly as real as any fiction, but they may be no more real than any fiction.

        To the extent you are, or may be, making a claim they are any more real than fiction, I’m saying I’m skeptical. That’s what I mean by, “I do question the meaning you read into it.”

        It’s not entirely clear to me where you position these experiences in the spectrum of reality. If you agree they have no more reality than fictions or ideas, then I’ve misunderstood and we’re in accord.

        “I would argue that there is indeed what you call ‘real world value’ in such experiences, as would anyone having had them.”
        Yes. In the same sense that fiction does. It can lead to deeper truths. (I’ve always liked the statement that: There are lies, truths, and fiction.)

        Keep in mind that I revere fiction, especially science fiction, because of the insights — the deeper truths — it can offer. Being entirely fictional is not a negative classification to me.

        “What are you saying might be ‘delusional’?”
        You used the term when you wrote: “To those who have not experienced (let’s call it) non-duality, it can only seem paradoxical and most likely delusional too.”

        I asked: “Are you willing to consider the possibility that “delusional” (or some much less pejorative word) is, in fact, the case?”

        In other words, what’s the possibility that rather than “seeming” delusional, they are in fact delusional? (I think a better word is “illusional”.)

        I’m not saying they are or they aren’t — I have my own such experiences which beg the same question. I’m asking if you’re a believer or if there is an element of agnosticism or skepticism.

        “Are your dreams and hallucinations delusional, or are they actualities in some sense?”
        They are “delusional” (“illusional”) in the sense of having no ontological actuality. They are actual in the same sense that fiction and ideas are.

      • Hariod Brawn

        “These things all appear in your mind”/”If you have a chair, it appears in your mind”

        Where is your mind, and what is the location of the chair within it?

        “This is not the case with these OBE and other experiences. They cannot be verified or measured by anyone else.”

        I can only talk about ‘other experiences’ with any authority Wyrd. Whilst we cannot take a tape measure to aware experience, we can at least attempt to compare notes, and countless thousands have done so with respect to what I called ‘non-duality’. This is not due to any pressure to conform, or wanting to appear to emulate peers’ experience, though those sciolists who do so can generally be spotted by their use of borrowed expressions – a bit like a bluffer in the arts world. When the experience happens, it is so radically removed from anything that could have been imagined, that by and large, descriptive words lose their power, particularly as everything – every ‘thing’ – appears completely normal, or as it always has.

        “It’s not entirely clear to me where you position these experiences in the spectrum of reality.”

        Again, I don’t think it is helpful to bring in the idea of ‘reality’; and again, what is ‘unreality’? These are conventionally useful terms when we have a widespread consensus ‘reality’. Non-duality (or whatever) is not part of any such widespread consensus. To say that ‘reality’ begins and ends with what our ape brains can ‘measure and verify’ seems a bit anthropocentric don’t you think?

        “What’s the possibility that rather than ‘seeming’ delusional, they are in fact delusional?”

        If one read what you called ‘meaning’ into such experiences, then we can introduce the possibility and concept of delusion. If there is no interpretation of the experience after the event, then what is it that the delusion adheres to, or inheres within?

      • Wyrd Smythe

        “Whilst we cannot take a tape measure to aware experience, we can at least attempt to compare notes, and countless thousands have done so with respect to what I called ‘non-duality’.”
        Do you then grant that religious and spiritual experiences, as well as experiences while taking hallucinogens, all of which people have had throughout history and culture, and which all have common elements among them, are the same sort of thing?

        “Again, I don’t think it is helpful to bring in the idea of ‘reality’; […] To say that ‘reality’ begins and ends with what our ape brains can ‘measure and verify’ seems a bit anthropocentric don’t you think?”
        Actually, no, I don’t, but that’s not what I said. Physical objects have a measurable and verifiable reality, but that’s just one class of reality. A design for a building, a religious experience, a love of a brand or style of beer, the rules of baseball or cricket, an OBE, a science fiction story, a dream, a hallucination — these all have some other class (or classes) of reality.

        Dismissing the discussion of reality as unhelpful is… unhelpful. Perhaps this is a good time to leave off on this.


        I picked up a new beer, Out of Bounds Stout from Avery Brewing (in Colorado). They’re the same folks who make Ellie’s Brown Ale. (although I tend to think of it as “Nellie’s Brown Ale” 🙂 ).

        I really like the stout. My beer tastes seem to be evolving towards more flavorful beers, and I’ve dropped several over time for lacking flavor. I’m going to have to try Guinness again. It was always on the very edge of drinkable to me, but I suspect that may no longer be true.

      • Hariod Brawn

        Nellie’s Brown Ale – that’s very sweet of you my friend, thank you. 🙂

      • Hariod Brawn

        By the way, another of my dumb techy questions:

        How do you highlight comments in colour?

      • Wyrd Smythe

        The short answer is: HTML magic.

        I wrap the text in <em> tags (which makes it italic) and include a ‘style’ attribute to set the color. The color part seems to work only for the author of the blog (or perhaps it’s due to some blog setting). I’ve done this when commenting on other blogs, and I get the italics, but not the color.

        It looks like this:

        <em style=”color:#000066;”>“quoted text; quote marks optional”</em>

      • Hariod Brawn

        Thank you very much – that looks straightforward enough. Where do you find the colour numbers?

      • Wyrd Smythe

        They’re an RGB triplet in hexadecimal. Black is #000000, White is #ffffff, full Red is #ff0000, and so on.

        You can find more info here: http://sonnack.com/web/color/

      • Hariod Brawn

        Thank you again. I will go and look.

  • dianasschwenk

    Here’s hoping you finally ‘tie it all together,” Smitty! I tried to control a dream once when I was aware that I was dreaming. I cannot remember the dream or if I had success. ❤
    Diana xo

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Wouldn’t it be mind-blowing if I find this mysterious woman again and learn The Secrets Of The Universe!

      (I keep a pad of paper and a pen by my bed for writing down dreams — or any other sudden thoughts I have. My dreams usually fade almost completely without hours. And various other interesting thoughts… who wants to get out of a warm bed and find something to write on!)

      • dianasschwenk

        I used to write down my “middle of the night” brainwaves. When I re-read it in the morning it was complete and utter nonsense! Yes the memory of dreams fade very quickly. If I want to remember them I say out loud everything I remember immediately. I’ve had some really doozies!

      • Wyrd Smythe

        I know what you mean. It definitely helps to review the dream in some fashion! It’s weird how they can be so vivid during and right upon waking, but within a few hours they seem as if they were just a dream.

  • SelfAwarePatterns

    Hmmm. I almost never remember my dreams, and usually when I do they weren’t pleasant. I do remember once trying to pinch myself in a dream, to see if I was dreaming. For some reason, I couldn’t reach my skin to do the pinch, which made me suspicious. I think I woke up shortly thereafter, which is probably why I remember it.

    I wonder sometimes if we actually experience dreams, of if our minds don’t hobble together a narrative in the moments after emerging from the disjointed processing of REM sleep.

    Best of luck on having more lucid dreams.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I’ve always wondered what — if anything — it means that many suffer nightmares, unpleasant dreams, or even re-occurring discomforting dreams (like being naked in public or late for class or whatever). I’ve never had any of those, and I love my dreams — they’re always interesting and fun. There are some I wake from and think, “Damn! I would have paid money to see that on the screen!”

      The pinching thing you described is like my desire to try to read something. I had papers in my hand, they had something on them, but it never really occurred to me to try reading them — I wanted to read something else. That right there might answer the question: No, you can’t read stuff in dreams. Those papers had something on them.

      Your point about ‘hobbling together’ is kinda like something I’ve long wondered about. Time doesn’t really exist in the mind — you can instantly remember something that happened long ago. It may be that, at least some, dreams are instantly created at the moment of awakening due to some external trigger. There’s almost a meme about how the alarm clock going off creates a dream that ends with a ringing bell or some such.

      But watching every dog I’ve owned apparently run and bark while sleeping, or observing women I’ve slept with seeming to experience a dream over time, makes me think that, at least some, dreams do occur over time. REM sleep does seem to be a dream state — perhaps some are more coherent than others?

      Last night I just had the usual disconnected fragments, the memories of which evaporated quickly (you really do have to capture them immediately upon wakening). Nothing resembling lucidity, but I’ll keep trying!

  • Wyrd Smythe

    I did it again! This time I was able to manipulate an object’s size, and I was able to — movie ninja wizard style — levitate-throw it into a corner and smash it to pieces by just closing my fist and willing it to smash.

    So far, it appears lucidity either fades while the dream continues or shortly wakes me up (based on two data points). In the first dream, the sense of being fully lucid had faded by the time I met the woman in the kitchen. This time lucidity came near the end of the dream where I woke up (and waking was weird this time).

    A striking common element in both dreams despite entirely different plot lines and settings. In both there were two stages: one filled with bright light and light colors; one with darker tones and a sense of dimmer, yellow light. There was enough light to see, but the setting was definitely darker. In both cases, the darker stage came second.

    Didn’t hit the sack until 4 AM and then couldn’t sleep until 5:30-ish. I realized upon waking (around 10-ish) that I’d actually dreamed some of the trying to get to sleep. There was a strange sense of anxiety involved in both cases. The dream part of trying to fall asleep seemed to involve rapid breathing — almost gasping for breath (the waking part just involved a weird sense of anxiety — uncertainty about what I might discover? — “stage fright”?).

    The first act of the (non-lucid) dream involved my mom and dad and a female (not sure: sister or girlfriend?). Mom and dad were clearly identified as such, but indistinct in appearance (reminded me vaguely of how the Peanuts TV shows depicted adults, although there was no “wah-wah” — their speech was clear although all voices seem to be essentially my own).

    Mom was fussing over my appearance — repeatedly tucking in my shirt. Dad was arguing with me about time. Christmas Day seemed involved. I was saying 10 o’clock, he was insisting on 8 (as best as I can remember).

    We all got in a limo and “went to” — instantly appeared at — a large cafeteria restaurant. I left them — with a strong sense of wanting to be alone — to stand in line for food. Some stuff happened — this part of the dream went on for a while.

    I had an increasing sense of demands being made on me that I couldn’t live up to (I’ve never actually gotten this feeling from my parents, although I know there are certain aspects of my life that disappointed them; on most counts I know they’re proud of me).

    The dream shifts to a place with benches or pews. I’m laying face down on the floor between two of them crying and wanting to be left alone. A woman comes by to comfort me, but I won’t respond. For some reason I know her name is “Bebe” or something (I don’t actually know anyone with that name; I’ve never met Bebe Neuwirth (although I like her); I have met Bebe Barron who, with her husband Louis, did the music for Forbidden Planet).

    I have some food from the cafeteria — packaged Hostess Ding Dongs (which I’ve never eaten and don’t like). Little monkeys show up who want the food. They’re just annoying, and I leave the area.

    The second act (also non-lucid) involves me wandering around various large areas that front the restaurant from earlier. I’m alone, but there are people. It’s a bit like a hotel lobby with distinct areas. I feel alone, abandoned, and stuck (although not terribly upset by this).

    At one point I realize I have nothing in my pockets, so I can’t take a taxi back to work. I remember saying to myself, “No, no, no!” (in dismay — thought I had my wallet with me!). Here, as with the first dream, there is a sense of needing to go someplace (work) and having difficulty accomplishing that.

    I realize I can take the free shuttle back to work. (The Company did have a series of shuttle vans people could use to get from widely separated buildings.)

    I see a man headed to use a pay phone. He drops and picks up a pen, and I realize I need a pen (for some reason). I ask him for the pen and he gives it to me.

    These first two acts all took place in the bright, light setting. Now the dream shifts to the final act.

    I’m in a large room with a low ceiling. It’s packed with oddly shaped boxes, all made from chip wood. Each box is its own shape. At this point the dream becomes lucid.

    I read a word (!), “Stanton,” on one of them. “Ah ha!” I think. “You can read in dreams!”

    The box in front of me shrinks as I try to examine it. I will it to expand. It does. I decide to test my control of objects by waving my arm to make the box fly into the corner of the room. Then I hold out my arm and act as if I’m crushing the box in my fist. The box smashes into pieces.

    I try to move from the room, but there are so many boxes progress is difficult. Earlier there was a sense of a mysterious doctor who would appear when invoked. He has something to do with hypnosis or the dream state. (This image might come from recent episodes of ABC’s Agent Carter.)

    I try to invoke his presence and do hear his voice. I look around, but realize there is fabric of some kind over my glasses that blocks my vision.

    That’s when I begin to wake up. The fabric is my pillow and sheet, which does block my vision. For a brief moment, in my left eye, I see a hallucination that looks a bit like an extreme close up of an eye brow, but the hairs are all waving rapidly and wildly like skinny tentacles of some weird creature.

    I’m basically awake and very WTF is that?!?! I watch it for a moment. The hallucination fades leaving a dim after image that also fades.

    As I lay in bed considering all this, I find it fascinating and exciting. After reviewing it in my head for a while I rouse myself enough to reach for my clipboard and pen to write down notes.

    Both stages of this dream have a sense of being stuck. The first act of this resembles the first act of the last one in my seeking to get to work (or a work assignment) and having difficulty accomplishing that. The sense of wanting to be alone is new (but is, I must admit, a common theme in my life). The sense of being abandoned is also new here, but also reflects strong feelings from my life.

    Being stuck does not particularly reflect my life, though. I’ve never felt “stuck” wrt life. I fully acknowledge my limits as strictly my own, and many of them self-imposed.

    I seem to be getting the trick of having lucid dreams and am looking forward to more! This is really cool!!

And what do you think?

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