Could lucid dreaming be in fact normal dreaming ?

I got last night what is my first lucid dream since I discovered this forum and other websites about it. I had had one when I was younger but I didn’t know about lucid dreaming at that time.

In last night’s dream, I became conscious of the state of being dreaming in the middle of a dream that had nothing special. And I made my arm move several times just to be sure I was actually capable of it. Then I willingly kissed a girl who happened to be there (…). In fact, moving my arm is what I had done in my first (old) LD, so I guess I spontaneously wanted to try it again.

Since I was aware of the fact I was dreaming, this is actually a lucid dream.

However, it raised a few interrogations in my mind, when I woke up :

  • First, I didn’t remember it as I woke up. I was quite tired the day before, so I had a good night of sleep (3 hours more than what I usually sleep), and when I woke up, I thought I hadn’t dreamt at all (which is impossible, I know). I only realised later I had dreamt, and “Oh…” first LD, yeehaa ! So, since the memories of it are quite vague, I wonder if I didn’t imagined all this during the day. But let’s say this really happened.

  • Leaves me to my second thing : the dream wasn’t really vivid at all. Sensation of dreaming was vague and the feeling of position and movement of my arm was really less clear than in my old LD.

  • I didn’t try to have this LD. The only thing I did since I found information about LDing is starting a new dream journal (a written one. Typing + translating to English my French journal would be even more time consuming…). But after all, I hadn’t wanted the very first one and it had happened anyway. Why not.

All this made me wonder about the very mechanism of dreaming :

Is it, as we intuitively think, a phase during sleep when we get back to conscience, and our senses are replaced by creations of the brain, following a kind of script, a storyboard ? But then, does the “thinking” part of conscience awakens too ? I really often “think” in my dreams, but I can’t know if it is a part of the script, or if I still have an independant part of me that is allowed to make reflexions about what the other part shows.
In a lot of dreams, I made decisions, used my free will and free thinking, but those decisions and thoughts were a part of the “script” : it was not “lucid dreaming”.

And I think it is a very important question, because, if the dreams are totally “scripted”, it means that lucid dreams could also be : every part of them :

  • the knowledge of being dreaming
  • the sensation of being actively thinking
  • and, if relevant, the free will, and “control” of the dream

I mean, if we can dream of “eating pizzas on Mars”, why couldn’t we dream of “being dreaming and think about it, and make decisions, and move left arm and make a girl appear, and kiss her” ?

In fact, I now remember a few dreams where I had the thought of being in a dream, but it doesn’t really match the idea I have of lucid dreaming, because then, I simply thought (after waking up) that it was a part of the script of the dream.

Now I spent all the day wondering… It would be a little disapointing if lucid dreams were simply normal dreams in which the script included information about thoughts, conscience and free will…

Plus, the fact that all we know of dreams is what we remember of them is very disturbing. I’m already wondering about whether what I recall is correct or not (about this night’s dream, and the first I had).

To sum it up, I’m trying to decide what happens during a dream, when a part of the brain replaces the senses :

  • our thinking center (and decision center if LDing) are really in the same state than when awake, and actually think about (and control during lucid dream) the dream. They are independant from the dream.
  • thinking and deciding are elements of what the brain replaces during the dream (not only senses). I’m sure about the thinking (it happens very often), but it’s more disturbing about the control and free will.

To sum up the sum up :
If the brain can simulate thinking and deciding in normal dreams (and even the knowledge of being dreaming), how can we be sure that it doesn’t do the same during lucid dreams ?

Sorry for the long post, but this second LD ever has put me in the same philosophical state than the first had :smile: I really like to know how we work. I think it’s fascinating.

Well, as you should know, normal dreams can vary in clarity, it’s the same with LD’ing really, and ofcourse, a LD can be scripted, but as far as I know your concious can’t, I’ve never had a dream making me believe something (even if I’m not lucid, I don’t have any prior forged memories from before the moment I started dreaming).

i had dreams where i tought i am lucid ,but later when i woke up i knew i was not.you can tell are you lucid or not ,when you remember the feeling of being in a dream.if you had feeling that you are watching yourself doing or saying something like in a movie or if your interaction with surrounding switches from situation to another situation without making you excited or feel like :what the **** is happening,than it is normal dream.if you are making decisions for movement and if scene is stable,and if your voice sounds like it is far away and if you feel strange energy or pressure in your stomach ,then it is LD.and you can not say that it is ,or can be false when you try WILD.you know that it is you because you remember that you are sleeping,and that you should do something you said you want to do,or chose between whatewer you want to do.if LD is not real ,then we allso are not real in sence of deciding what to do, IRL .

Zivot got the right idea. If we don’t have free will in LDs, but feel that we do, we are 100% convinced that we do. With the sense of being there and all, then we can ask the same about waking life. That’s more philosofical though.
The thing is, I don’t think dreams work with scripts. I think they are a stream of consciousness similar to the waking state that simply takes influences from the mind alone, instead of from the senses and the mind as it does in the waking state. We don’t “follow a story” because it’s not a story until it’s in words, wich happens when we wake up and remember it, write it down. We react to things we experience in normal dreams. it’s just that we react strangely alot. Like sometimes in waking life we react without thinking, it’s like someone else did it.

OK, it’s true we could ask the same question about the awaken state : do we actually decide stuff, or follow some kind of physical determinism… Suppose we don’t.

Then lucid dreaming is a bit like daydreaming, but where you actually see and feel things instead of imagining them ?

I’m a big daydreamer, and in day dream, you can actually control exactly what you want. When you’re relaxed and in a slient and dark room, you can even forget the world you’re in.

If lucid dreaming is like that, but better… Then it’s probably really cool. I admit I don’t feel really excited about this (second) first LD. It won’t leave a great memory…

I’ve noted the thoughts that I have in my own dreams, but this is the first time that I have wondered to myself that this is part of a dream “script.” No, I may have briefly considered an idea similar to your own, but normally I don’t think of my dreams following a particular script. :content:

As if becoming lucid is simply part of the storyline of the dream? :cool_laugh: I’ve had that same exact feeling, but you’re lucid! The idea of lucid dreaming is that you are aware that you are in a dream—that’s it. Some have the misconception that being lucid involves control over the dream itself, but that isn’t a part of lucidity. Thoughts, conscience, and free will is the whole point of being aware of your dream!

If you’re lucid, you’re lucid. If the storyline of the dream calls for your becoming lucid, then that’s great!

Not so much in my opinion, and I’ll get to why I think so after this next quote. To me, lucid dreaming itself feel more like…hmm. I’ve never had to describe that before. It’s something like living in real life or being in a normal dream, with the exception that I know I have some freedom to do anything that may not be possible in real life. This isn’t to say that I have complete control, or that I am even thinking to myself that I’m really asleep and laying in bed. In fact, that thought has never even crossed my mind in a lucid dream. I’m focused on what’s around me.

/me raises her glass to the daydreamer club. :cool:

Me too, me too! :grin: But…lucid dreaming doesn’t feel a bit like daydreaming. At least in my case it doesn’t. Within a daydream, I control everything: the storyline, the actions of myself and those I imagine myself interacting with, the setting, everything. And it’s all in my head, but as we all know, our minds have quite a deal of power, now don’t they? :wink:

In a lucid dream, this is not the case. From my point of view, it feels more like real life, with the exception that I have extra powers, such as flying and creating small objects whenever I need them. If it were like a daydream, the scene would easily melt into whatever I wanted it to be, and dream characters would behave exactly as I imagine them to. That’s not the case in a lucid dream, but I imagine that you’ll have plenty of lucid dreams in the future. You have plenty of time to come up with more thoughts on the experience.

OK, I understand what you mean. It wasn’t really obvious after last night’s experience. In fact what diturbed me the most was this weird feeling, the following day, that I probably had imagined the lucidity.

I’ll wait till I have more lucid dreams before I try to make conclusions about them. If I don’t, I’ll probably have a hard time finding anything relevant about them :angry:

:tongue:

  1. S. Laberge had tested that eye movement in the dream world occurs also iwl while you sleep by moving his eyes in cooridinate pattern so this already proves ld s as an unscripted plot. 2. when we wild we consiously enter a dream. 3. dreams tend to skip parts and im sure that doesnt happen often in an ld plus if so it would skip urself questioning if dreaming. 4. who cares as long as u ‘feel’ u have control and awareness to the max and happy u should be alright, besides wut u gonna do, sue your subconsious? Case Closed (or whatever ).

I find that whenever I lose lucidity (forget that I’m dreaming), I remember the dream poorly, like a normal dream. If I awaken directly from the lucid dream, the experience seems as “real” as any waking one.

The thing about eyemovements is this. The eyemovements are correstponding to where the dreamer looks in normal dreams as well. If a lucid dream was a normal dream with the illusion of consciousness, the eyes would move as in that dream. So if we have a certain signal to perform in the dream, looking in certain directions, then surely we could remember it in a normal dream and perform it without becoming lucid. if we have a reason to perform it. It may seem like the experiement proves everythin, but it doesn’t really. One can still rationalise it away.
The real proof lies in the experience itself, you have to experience it to really understand. What you understand will eventually be point 4. It doesn’t matter, the experience is what it is and no amount of rationalising can change it. I love lucid dreams, even if they never happened.

It’s funny, I can’t remember moving my eyes in dreams. As if I saw without eyes. In fact, I think that most of the time, I don’t have a physical body in my dreams. I am just there and I percieve through direct senses.
Except of course when the body is directly involved.

[mod]moved from quest to the general lucidness forum :moogle:
Merged with existing Topic :moh:[/mod]

I recently had a discussion about LD on a forum on www.gamefaqs.com, and another user (who is actually a Psychology major who said he had a lucid experience once or twice) said he was skeptic about whether LD’s are real.
I’m very much interested in hearing some thoughts from you people, because since I haven’t reached lucidity yet, I couldn’t retort his claims from my own experiences, only by referring to scientific research or testimonies from experienced LD’ers.

The italized quotes are mine, followed by his response:

He’s really only speaking from his actual experiences. Maybe in his lucid dreams, he has had a rushed, dreamlike state of mind, but that is very far from what is possible.

That is a bit strange… I’m pretty sure it does make sense.

There aren’t really any variables. Lucid Dreaming is simply having the knowledge that you are asleep, and dreaming, while it is happening. One’s brain is capable of doing this while asleep. Having knowledge of something is not refutable. If you think to yourself “I am dreaming”, and actually ponder what that means, you are definitely in control.

He just hasn’t experienced a good lucid dream yet (notice he says probably). I know that I have in fact thought to myself, “What is the date tonight?” in a dream.

That’s true, there is a holycrapimdreaming feeling :grin:, and your surroundings in the dream can still be very dream-like. But your thoughts are able to be as clear as IWL. You can easily think rationally in Lucid Dreams.

i’ve experienced not being able to rationalize as clearly in an almost lucid dream (i did realize it was a dream but shortly afterwards lost control).
but i attribute this to how excited a person is when they finally do get lucid
it’s like trying to do some schoolwork on a roller coaster (at least at first)

i got the same problem this guy had.

Hazy, dreamlike dreams even when i know i’m dreaming, and without much clear, conscious thinking.

Appererntly that is something we both need to work on >.>

He made a remark to the effect of, “When you have and LD it’s all hazy, like being drunk.”

My response to that comment is this:
When you’re a beginner, you don’t usually have much control over your dreams and they are very hazy. This guy only had two LD’s. When you have your first couple of LD’s, of course they are going to seem “hazy” because you haven’t gained enough control over them to increase the vivivity (is that a word? I hope so) of the dream!
[/quote]

NapoleonDynamite55 is correct. You need to practice - as with most things - before you will achieve non-hazy fully-controlable dreams (and even then it will be more challenging for some). From personal experience Lucid Dreams are very much possible and can be very-very rewarding.

Good point. Next time you see him, tell him one just needs practice (and maybe a little luck) to have a completely realistic LD.

Who knows? We might even end up with a new forum member :smile:

You should definatel invite him over to the forum. Ofcourse he might feel a little pressured with all of us here. I know where he’s coming from. I have thought the same thing. Maybe the consciousness in a lucid dream is an illusion. It is a real possibility. But can’t the same be said about waking consciousness? You can’t prove that a person who is awake has consciousness. If the person is asleep instead it’s not gonna be any easier.
Not until we figure out exactly how consciousness works can we investigate LDs. We can say this though. If you take the material view, consciousness is produced by the brain, with activity in certain areas. SInce the brain is more active during REMsleep than when you’re awake it’s not so unlikely that the same areas that produce consciousness in waking life are “activated”.
You may add that if dreams were alltogether unconscious it would be inpossible to remember them at all. Lucid Dreaming is only RAISING the natural consciousness of the dream to a level where it’s comparable to waking life until you are clearheaded enough to realise you are dreaming.

Thanks for all the feedback. This forum has been a great source of inspiration and information for me sofar. :smile:

I’ll definately tell him about this web-site. For anyone here who intereted or has a GameFAQs account: this discussion took place on the Mind Pursuit board on www.gamefaqs.com, which is an empty board that is now used for people with an interest in psychology.