“We all dream. But do we really dream? Yes, we do, but do we really dream? Yes, yes we do. But do we really dream…?”
– Howard Moon; Yorkshire philosopher, savant, jazz maverick
Ever had a lucid dream?
The only time I ever wrestled a dream under my control was back when I was eighteen. I was in a golden orange desert, and surrounded by multi-angled Egyptian structures. I can’t remember exactly how it happened, but I thought something like ‘that can’t be right’, and suddenly there I was, in the desert.
Then I flew. Oh yeah, did I fly. The interiors of the buildings were vast, marked angles, and with unmatched exhilaration I swooped up and down massive staircases and halls, eventually emerging out into what was now a valley. It was around then that the dream ended, and I awoke. I’ve never experienced anything like it since. Apparently, it’s most likely to happen to teenagers, during times of stress or irregular sleep patterns, and it occurred during my A Level exam period, so I’m guessing that’s why it popped up.
Being able to lucid dream at will though; now that’s something. It’s a long and arduous process; following the aforementioned dream I did some research on the subject and started a regime to be able to do just that. It starts off with getting a grasp on your normal nightly dreams by noting down every detail of them that you can remember when you wake in the morning. As the weeks went by, reciting ‘I will remember my dreams when I wake‘ over in my head as I was drifting off led to my being able to recall dreams very vividly the next morning.
The next part is getting into a habit of thinking ‘Am I dreaming?’, and performing ‘reality checks’ such as trying to change letters in front of you, that sort of thing. The idea behind this is so that it becomes a habit that crosses over into your unconscious self, thus becoming the first stage of actual lucid dreaming: realising that you are in the dream.
After that it becomes a matter of keeping yourself in the dream, through various methods such as spinning, and some other stuff I can’t remember. But anyway, enough with the amateur Wikipedia entry, let’s get to the point:
Lucid dreaming has many applications – it is used as a highly effective way of allowing people to confront their fears in an environment that is under their control. But what would lucid dreaming mean for a writer or an artist? Literally given a sandbox for our imagination, it makes me wonder what untapped horizons could be breached. Could we play out plotlines and ideas to see if they hold up? Actually bring our characters into existence in front of us? If so, that would mean a hell of a lot for the quality of our work; it’s like a direct tap into the imagination. Plus the possibility of bringing back the dinosaurs and racing them, which would be sheer awesome.
Clearly, my previous explorations along the path to lucid dreaming came to an end – once I started university it tapered away into nothing – but as of tonight, I’m going to start the journey again. I’ve proven to myself that I can go the distance with writing a novel; now it’s time to take that focus onto another level.
Back in reality, I updated the ‘Nocturn’ section to something a bit less rickety earlier, though my blurbing skills still need a bit of work. It’s hard to know how much to reveal, and what kind of image to convey in such a brief snippet!
Oh oh, and the website’s almost done. Very exciting stuff – just a few minor difficulties to overcome, such as managing to actually upload the thing…