Active and Passive Control
Recently the nature of Dream Control has been classified and split into two main branches, Active and Passive Control, and the separation is of great significance and usefullness for any Dreamer who would want to experience more control, or a safer one; many report how they stuck with just one of the two, and experienced all its ups, and most frustratingly, its downs; but by knowing both, and alternating when necessary, it is possible to get the best of both worlds. Without further ado, let’s explain their differences in detail.
This can summarized as the act of taking complete control of the dream, by realizing it’s just a figment of the mind, a pure, maneuverable illusion.
Upsides: Complete and total control
Downsides: Loss of vividness/“concreteness” of dream.
When you tell yourself “I can do this because it’s a dream, because nothing around me is real”, “there is no spoon”, etc. we are doing this, and “this” includes and kind of dream-warping, law-bending, direct commanding etc.
It is based on the realization that the dream is an elaborate illusion, a mere thought of your mind: and as such, your thoughts can influence it.
Our mind works by associations, so you can use that to your advantage, or amusement, like saying “tree bark” to make the wall you’re touching feel like bark. During that moment, you were thinking about the tree more than the wall, and as such, your experience was deeply modified, and in a controllable way. Also, notice how sight and touch can become completely independent from each other (you were still seeing the wall), so you can modify your sensory experience selectively.
This works particularly well with visualizations: when you invoke, or see, something this way, it becomes reality in the dream, visualization among visualizations. By visualizing, you take an active role in the creation of the dream.
This technique includes the realization that if a dream follows any rule, it is just by assumption of the Dreamer. We ordinarily use rules because they shape the reality around us in a more understandable way (IE. fire is hot, and will always be, no matter how many times you try), but if any one of those has to be broken, it’s up to the Dreamer to realize that the rule was up only because it was assumed so. An example would be gravity, which is on almost all the time you’re not thinking about flying, mainly because it’s an everyday experience, but also because it’s convenient to keep on, in ordinary dream activities, as we are used to it. However, it is well known how it can be turned on and off, or played with, often at will, and this applies to any rule you may find you were assuming before, and changing it by the realization.
By realizing no thing is given beforehand in dreams, it is possible to modify the experience in any conceivable way, from transforming things, to tweaking your sensory experience (hearing smells, or looking 360°), or any sort of physics/reality bending, like superpowers. It is a dream, after all, and it’s your dream moreover, so every thing there is is completely up to you.
It is possible to do truly anything this way, however there is the need for a lot of caution while doing this, because when you apply that, you could end up refusing the realness and consistency of the dreamworld, or telling yourself that you are inhabiting an illusion. By doing this continuously, you would be progressively detach from what surrounds you, refusing its very existence, eventually to the point of exiting it completely and waking up. So, if you attempt this, remember to stabilize and reinforce the dream reality every now and then
It is generally advised to use this form of control only if the other fails, since the results obtained this way will feel somewhat external to the original dream, thus “fake”, not to mention there’s often methods to achieve the same things that are a lot safer, more stable, not to mention more fun. And that is exactly what Passive Control is about.
The basic idea of Passive Control is acheiving what we want by less intrusive means than brute force; the methods for this are multiple, but are all based on using the laws a dream already possesses to achieve what you want. It may require some cunning to get through, but the results are totally worth it.
Upsides: Dreams are much more stable, realistic and enjoyable; Can be used repeatedly, at will
Downsides: The control is less “direct” than its Active counterpart; Not everything can be controlled this way
Introduction: Treating the dream as real
If you think about it, your dreams tend to take care of themselves during the times you’re not actively modifying them, for the most part. Your dreams where you’re not conscious don’t just end abruptly, blur away for some reason, or whatever, they just keep going. This is due to a variety of reasons, but mainly, when you’re not conscious, you just take the place you are in for granted, and believe it’s genuinely real; instead, when you’re lucid, you tend to disbelieve the dream world you’re in, think of it as an illusion, think of your real body back in the bed etc. and we essentially need to stop all that.
After your first good LD’s, you probably started asking yourself questions. I’ve asked them myself too. What is real? What can we call real, basing our judgment on what we can actually perceive? Do you realize you’ve probably been mistaking dreams for reality in a large part of your dreams?
Can we make it basing ourselves on the only true way we can communicate with what’s out there, our senses? In this scenario, what distinguishes a stable dream from reality? You can feel everything, it keeps coherent, you are free to interact with anything you might like in any conceivable way, only, unlike reality, it’s ready to modify itself at your whim, and everything is truly possible to you.
If a dream can be/feel as real, convincing, and as good as can reality, and often more, then why not treat it as such? For the time you spend there, just treat it as a proper different world, where you spend your exciting nights.
Next time you get lucid, just continue believing in the realness of the dreamscape. Next time you’re in a dream, believe what you’re seeing, hearing, touching, just like you believe in the reality of an apple you would hold in your hand in your ordinary, waking life. As real as an alternate world. This will just be our little secret plus it can enhance the dream experience in unseen ways.
When you get lucid, just take time stabilize your emotions, get the lucidity you desire, and then you’re set, be free to enjoy your world of fun, adventure and amazement ^^.
There is a little addendum to this however: In order to recognize the dreamstate, one must go with believing it’s all an illusion, and recognizing the dream as such, but that’s a completely different story Now for the true Passive Control part.
Give the dream the responsibility: what you’ll be doing when you apply Passive Control is believing that something will happen that is dependent on some property of the dream itself: an example would be, if you want to fly, going around the corner to find a vending machine that sells wings, and buying yours ^^ Now, using that wings, you are flying not because you believe you can by yourself, but rather because the wings had that property, and you are using them. This allows for the Dreamer to delegate all the responsibility of stuff working on the dream itself, making for more relaxed attempts, and a more focusable state of mind.
Use your fantasy and let the dream do the work: just play pretend, think of all the things that could happen in your dream, and make those good for your Quest real! It’s as easy of describing the workings of it out loud, imagining all the little details, even starting to feel its presence, maybe just behind you…
Bend the story to fit your needs, not the dream: The whole dream might be a perilous thing to tinker with, but it is indeed composed of smaller parts, and playing with them is a lot safer, not to mention quite easier. The dream is what you make of it, so if you want something to happen, just make the reason up on the spot, and let it happen by simple cause-effect! Finding a reason for things is a very powerful tool, a lot more powerful that you might think at first glance. Correlation is a weaker concept (two events will happen in a short time span, even if apparently unrelated) but it still works: one thing will happen when you do the other, as long as you correlate the two, out loud or in your intention. It can be as simple and straightforward as saying “By the time I’ve walked to that pole, X will have appeared.”, and it will still work.
“He who controls the past, controls the present”: since the past is not here anymore, it’s really easy to change it, just by pretending it was different, and by doing this, the present will accommodate accordingly, to better fit the past it came from. An example would be, if you want to admire a nice statue in the middle of a plaza, just turn around, think of great battles that happened in the past, and now there’s a statue in the middle of this to celebrate its heroes! Or it can work with your past too, if you want someone to fall to the floor, just pretend you passed the wax was just minutes ago, and watch them slip on it.
List of possible techs
Of course, asking: it has been explained already in the guide, but there is the need to put this technique under the light given by this explanation; the real point of doing this is, you are putting the responsibility of your request in the dream, it is the dream that will grant your wish, and it won’t be directly you. So just ask, relax a bit, go do other stuff, and savor the moment when a Dream messenger will come to you with your package ^^
Give the dream a choice: When facing a problem, it is recommended to try and give a number of options for the dream to follow, this for various reasons: first, the dream might choose the more suitable way to keep going, and secondly you are shifting the responsibility of choosing to the dream itself, thus resulting in a lighter burden on the Dreamer him/herself, and a less forced, more relaxed course of events.
Expect to find something interesting, use your fantasy! Remember always to play play play : Just play and find ways the thing could happen, take a bit of your time and fantasize! Play with the alternatives, that monster you see in front of you could be eaten right now by a giant earth whale emerging from the ground, or maybe a time distortion would bring him in the past of a distant planet… While you’re doing it, just play with your imagination, and imagine if those things were really happening! You will soon see something you speculated about, happening for good ^^.
Just remember to take it like the silliest game, play and fun are huge factors.
The simplest methods are the most effective: when you want to achieve anything, just use the first thing that comes to your mind. Methods that seem complicated to you are only going to fail you, as when you attempt them, you’ll be thinking how hard they are, and not actually focusing on the task at hand, which is required for your success. Besides, the only person who can decide if a method will work or not is you, so just go with what you feel comfortable with
Use powerful dream objects, or powers, from stories you like: if you’ve seen it, and/or know how it’s done, you can do it. Going with what you know is always a reliable option. There’s also powers you already possess which can be used in new, imaginative ways, like using Telekinesis to lift yourself into the air and fly ^^
If you want to do some things by “yourself”, you can use special dream objects with powers, even objects right out from a book or movie. If you have a hard time flying, get yourself a jet-pack or a magic carpet. If you have trouble turning invisible, use the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings! Just use an object with powers you already know and are sure of, so you don’t even have to worry about how it works or should work, make it plug ‘n’ play ^^.
When you’re in your dream, holding on to the One Ring, remember that it is not a toy or simply a ring that looks like the real thing, it’s the same ring used in the book or movie, it HAS the power to turn you invisible! That is also bound to double your immersion and fun! ^^
Remember to look for whatever you are looking for in places you haven’t looked yet, such as closets and drawers, or behind closed doors, in other rooms or in boxes If the box is empty, an object can always spawn inside it suddenly, try to shake it to check if there’s something inside now ^^. If you have trouble, you can always ask a DC where it is. Interaction can clear doubts right out of the way!
The Dream Multiverse: Some people think that in a dream, it is difficult to read stuff, or operate electronics, or even fly, just because they think it is, maybe they have read it somewhere. There are several cases, however, in which those myths are proven false, as there are people who can read anything fine in dreams, even keeping the consistency of phrases, and so on. The conclusion is, this is still a conception of your mind, and nothing else. So, how can you disbelieve that? If you think these are given rules of your DreamWorld, why just not migrate to another one? Teleport to Crypton, where everyone has super strength and can fly! Or take the train to the school of Hogwarts, where you can learn to use magic in a jiffy! Or why not going to a dream school, so you can learn to operate that dream PC of yours properly? The (dream)world of possibilities is open to you, nothing is truly impossible here, you just have to find the right way, or the right planet
Cause and effect: You can truly make ANYTHING do ANYTHING as long as you tell yourself the two events are related. A notable example would be a Dreamer that incapacitated a samurai just by opening a pink umbrella.
Just say it, “When I do X Y will happen”, “By the time I get to the balcony the sky will have turned red and beautiful”, “When i strike that duck with my club it shall turn to gold” “My girlfriend will already be at my front door when I call her”
It can bring extra efficiency to find a justification for it, even if it’s a stupid reason; actually, the sillier or funnier reason you find for that to happen, the better! And anything that makes the slightest sense to you might work! You can get away with a lot more than you could possibly imagine.
A Master for each: Summoning characters with the power or knowledge you want can be a great way to achieve it. They can even teach you all you need to know, so you won’t need them next time. You could even try to merge with the DC and become one! So you would get all his/her powers,
- The key to everything is arranging something that you think it will work; as anticipated before, not everything can be achieved first try, but that’s what our imagination is for, you can always find new methods that will work better than the previous one
- And when you finally got used to the power you desired to achieve, and had your fun with it, and you don’t want to be all that dependent on DC’s and the dream itself… just realize it was you all along! You do know it was really you doing all that stuff, don’t you? This dream is completely made up ‘by’ and ‘of’ you, so there’s no way it was actually something else that gave you that power now that you know you can do it by yourself, you’re free to enjoy your new power whenever you want ^^
As a sum-up
Using Passive Control makes the experience more enjoyable and stable, and it “feels more realistic”, both in how consistent to the original dream they feel, and how they make more sense (as the dream is still following a resemblance of a plot), not to mention fun! It can be a very fun experience, simply thinking of new creative ways to get things done in your lucid dreams.
Here is a list of various examples:
[spoiler]Small-degree bending:Different life situations offer various schemas around which our trail of thoughts are organized, and it’s very possible to choose the ones that are useful for our situation, and get things going easily and steadily ^^
When you want to contact someone --> Use the IWL the preferred way of yours, be it a phone, calling them out loud, have a ready PC nearby and messaging them, or just some way that you would die for experimenting, like telepathy. Just pretend they have the same communication device ready!
Or maybe they’re coming to you because they have something very important to tell you, and they are actually yearning to do it!
Or why can’t you just pretend they’re coming to you because they’re out of sugar? they knock at your door, an empty cup in hand
If you want to gain more sight focus --> Do you wear glasses in waking life? If you find your dream is out of focus, maybe you forgot to put them on! Or they might be dirty, so it’s just the matter of a simple cleaning. You can also try using special goggles with knobs and buttons on the side, developed by your average super-genius neighbor. You can use knobs to control focus, but not only for that! They can have controls for zoom, brightness and contrast. Maybe even some cool special effects!
You want more control on the dream --> You forgot to take your control pill! :facepalm:, don’t you remember your doctor advised taking one before attempting?
You get sight freezing, and want to get rid of it --> Well look at it, there’s a photo of what you should be looking at in front of eyes (thanks mattias for that one! ^^), who the hell did leave that there? They must be good, sneaking up on you that way but you’ll get them next time. For now, just remove it and continue with your dream.
You want to try some transforming into a X --> you’re a were-X, you were infected days ago by a similar creature! And you’re transforming right now! It’s inevitable, feel the foreign blood running through your veins and transforming you!
You could also find a skilled wizard that can easily transform you into whatever you want or drink a magic potion.
Want to control a DC --> Just throw strings at him, connected with your hand, and move him like a little mannequin, and remember you don’t have to feel necessary sorry for a DC
How about making a DC disappear? --> A black hole is forming at his/her feet right now, because the CERN is near and they’ve been crushing too much atoms lately! Or he really dislikes your T-shirt colour (s/he told you just before), to the point of fleeing away in panic.
Using whole fictional constructs: since you are used to deal with particular situations/games/rules of any kind, and you are grown accustomed to them, it’s very possible to use this to your advantage, and take the best from it! They come in whole amazing packages, so be sure to grab the offer while you can, and become everything you want!
If you’re into any kind of videogames --> Then you are very familiar with the concept of permanent power-ups, or new-powers-in-a-can (think Metroid).
Fan of RPGs? --> Then there’s the world of innate magic that waits you, plenty of worlds to explore, allies to gain, epic monsters to battle, quests to complete, fame to gain, romance to carry out ^^
Not to mention the little things: save states! unlimited, organized inventory! And more weapons than you can shake a stick at
Is there any kind of movie, book you like? --> Use their powers, gadgets, full-blown apparatuses from there, and have fun!
What about the power of (fictional, awesome, over-the-top) science? --> You can simply take a pill, developed from the latest studies, for anything you might desire, and enjoy the effects right away! Or use near-omnipotent nanites, or just enjoy the practicality of a power armor and plasma blaster
Remember that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”, after all [/spoiler]
[com] - This is meant as a small addendum to the already existing Dream Control Training Course; it could be merged into it soon.
- Many thanks to mattias who helped me write this
- And of course, many thanks to BillyBob, who I got the idea (and many parts of his post ) from. If you want to read the original version, go read it here on DV, it’s a lot shorter and to the point, and also BillyBob writes in a very enjoyable style.
- As always, comments, experiences in the matter, critiques, and general feedback, are always appreciated [/com]