This “guide” is a work in progress. Changes can and probably will be made to improve it
In our dreams our subconscious mind can create anything it pleases. Environments, situations and even people. Most people find that their dreams involve people they know, places they’ve seen and other things they recognize from their waking lives. The problem is that we don’t naturally associate the elements of our dreams with dreaming and thus don’t become lucid. CALD is a technique that attempts to counter this and it does so in a way that makes it very different from most other lucid dreaming techniques.
So then what is Character Assisted Lucid Dreaming? (CALD for short)
CALD is a lucid dreaming technique in which you create a character in your mind that you will associate with lucid dreaming. By building this character, communicating with them and spending time with them in waking life your goal is make them appear in your dreams. Then, as you associate the character with dreaming you’ll hopefully realize you are dreaming and become lucid. The technique may sound ambitious, it might even sound crazy but if you give it a go you may find it highly rewarding.
CALD works differently for each person and is very flexible but it still follows a clear path.
Create a character
Communicate with your character
Use your character to achieve lucid dreams.
Creating a character
First of all you should understand that creating a character in your mind doesn’t make you crazy. You are no different to a fiction writer, except instead of writing your character’s actions on paper you’ll be imagining them in real life. Before you start you need to make sure you’re committed, creating a character will do you no good at all if you decide not to follow through with it.
The process of creating a character is exactly the same as creating a character for a work of fiction. You’ll need a starting place and it can be absolutely anything you like. What do you want your character to be? You could start with an element of personality (Calming? Wise?) or appearance (Male? Tall?) Or maybe you’ll draw inspiration from an idea completely unrelated to building a character. (Time? The colour orange? The sky?) If you want to make it complicated or deep then go right ahead but if you’re unsure then keep it simple. You can make this step even simpler by using a pre-existing character or even a real person. (Childhood friend? Superman? The attractive news reporter on tv?) Your character can be anyone you want them to be whether they’re human or otherwise.
Now that you have a starting place you’ll want to focus on two important aspects. Appearance and personality. You may be able to avoid one of these under special circumstances but most characters will have well defined appearance and a distinctive personality. You can work on these one at a time or as a mix.
Appearance: You’ll need to build your characters appearance to a workable level. It isn’t critical to define every aspect of your character and you may find that some details may change over time. Close your eyes and try to visualize your character. If you can do this then you can move ahead, if not then you’ll need to ask yourself some questions. Is your character male or female? Neither? Perhaps your character is an animal or an alien? Maybe even an object? Now think about the details? Hair? Eyes? Height? If you’re having trouble then just choose at random, you can always change it later.
So you now have a character you can visualize. If not then all is not lost, coming up with a personality might help you decide how your character will look. Take as much time as you need.
Personality: This is where things get interesting but also where they get more complicated. If you’re starting out then you’ll probably want to choose character traits you have a good grasp of. Making the character have a very similar personality to yourself may be a good move and you can always come up with quirks later on if you want to make your character different down the line. At this stage you only need the basics down. When you begin interacting with your character you’ll find their personality becomes much more defined.
Now you’ll want to think about your character’s background. Does your character come from a long line of successful businessmen? Perhaps they were sent to earth ten years ago on a spaceship? Maybe they just haven’t told you yet or perhaps they have no background at all. Creating a fictional background for your character isn’t critical at all, your character’s background can be as simple as knowing they are a character who was created by you to help you. Remember that you are allowed to break the fourth wall with your character and they are allowed to know what they are.
So at this point you should have a pretty good idea of who your character is. If not then you’ll need to go back and try again because we can’t move on until you have at least some idea.
- Communicating with your character.
So you’ve gone to a lot of effort to create a character but what do you do now. You talk to them of course. At first you’ll probably feel incredibly awkward talking to someone who isn’t there but give it some time and it’ll come more naturally. Imagine your character in the same room as you or in a special room created inside your mind (mindscape, dreamspace, call it whatever you like). They could be standing, sitting or leaning against the wall. Anything that makes them feel real to you. Now say hello. Then you’ll need to come up with their response. Congratulations, you just spoke to your character for the first time.
The learning curve for each person will be different. Some people will find they have to think carefully and for some time to come up with a response, others will be able to imagine the reply immediately. Worst case you won’t be able to come up with anything at all. If this is the case you’ll need to force it, we call it puppeting. It’s perfectly okay to force a response, especially in the beginning. Your initial goal will be to talk with your character for as long as you can. Ask them questions, get their opinion on things. Get used to talking to them.
With time you’ll find that the responses come more easily, even without you consciously thinking about it. If you’re having trouble then sleep on it, go away and do something else for a while. You may find your character is easier to talk to when you come back.
If you can hold a conversation with your character then you are ready to start using your character to help you.
But you may have already encountered a terrible problem. Your character can’t or doesn’t speak. Well fear not. For example your character is a puppy, well imaginary puppies can speak if you want them too but maybe you don’t want to give your new friend a voice. If this is the case then you’ll need to work on visualizing them more intensely. Imagine them doing something, give your puppy a ball to play with and see what it does with it. Even a human character doesn’t need to speak. Imagine their smile or frown. Your character doesn’t have to even acknowledge your presence for CALD to work but it will probably make things more difficult.
The important most important part of this step is visualization. You have to believe your character exists within your mind otherwise they’ll be no help at all. If you feel like you are having success then you are ready to move on.
- Use your character to achieve lucid dreams.
There are many ways you can use a character to help you achieve lucid dreams. You just need to get them as involved in dreaming as you possibly can. If you interact with your character enough you may find them appearing in your dreams. You can also make it your characters’ mission to help you dream and they can help in various ways. They could appear in your dreams and tell you you’re dreaming, they’ll remind you during the day to do reality checks or perhaps they’ll offer some assistance with other lucid dreaming techniques. All you have to do is ask and remember the more you interact with your character the better.
This last step really comes down to you. You have to figure out for yourself to what degree your character is going to help you. Persist and interact as much as possible and you’ll get the best results.
So you use another technique already? Great! Here are some ways your character could assist you with the technique.
MILD: Your character could repeat mantras with you or come up new ones. They could even use the technique themselves, “I’ll help X to lucid dream” or “I’ll appear in X’s dreams.”
WILD: Your character can help you to focus, keeping your mind active by having a conversation with them instead of falling asleep. They might also help you to remain calm if you find you get excited or distracted by HI.
Be creative and get them involved. Your character can be a dream master if you want them to be. If you believe their wisdom will help you to dream then chances are that it will.
And here is the best part. Now that you have created a great character and are having lucid dreams you can go on the most awesome adventure with the very character you have created. You can talk with them freely, fly around with them by your side or perhaps have the dual of your life with a super powered and friendly character.