INCEPTION: Hostile Dream Characters. (Warning: spoilers)

Hostile Dream Characters: Protectors of the Dream?

In the movie Inception, dream characters play an important role. According to the movie, dream characters are all part of the dreamer, and act for the dreamer’s protection. It’s therefore important to not to draw attention to oneself when in another’s dream, because their dream characters may notice you and will try to evade you from the dream, much like the body’s immune system when dealing with a virus.

This poses an interesting view. While the majority of my encounters with dream characters has been pleasant and informative, I have had experiences with hostile or threatening dream characters. For example, I recall the following lucid dream where I was kicked out of the dream when I was drawing attention to myself:

[i]I become lucid in a big, open building.There are people milling around on their own business. Everywhere I see things stacked up, like boxes, and chairs. I wander around and suddenly realize I’m dreaming.

First, out of sheer joy, i start to fly around and sing loudly. My voice is beautiful. I sing like an opera star. Very high voice. I pitch my voice as high as I can imagine and still the tone is clear and loud. I really enjoy singing like this, because I know I can’t do it in waking physical reality.

Then I have an idea to try and find real dream characters. On something that resembles a crossroad in this building I call out:“Attention everybody, I want only the real people to stay!”.
People look at me. Then one person comes up to me. He feels very powerful and wears something like a police hat. He frightens me, I protect myself with white light and want to defend myself— and feel myself waking up.[/i]

It seems this dream character acted like some kind of “dream police”, or protector.
After I had woken up I thought it could be that that dream character didn’t want me in that world and had sent me back to wake up. I drifted back to sleep and ended up in the same setting again, fully lucid. But not lucid in a controlling way. More lucid like realizing I’m still dreaming and I’m back in that same place.

I shout out apologies to the dream character who sent me back, it was rude of me to assume the people where not real.

The interesting part is that I was able to get back into the same dream, but this time in a more inconspicuous manner.

Does that mean I was in someone else’s dream? According to Inception’s theory, it would. But that also means that if you are nice, you are allowed to stay.

Another encounter where I was urged to “act normal”, in my lucid dream:

I’m in a little alley and try to fly. Surprisingly, I get a few feet in the sky. A cop jumps and holds my feet, demanding where I think I’m going. Because of his weight I can’t get any higher.

This dreamcharacter wasn’t threatening, or intended to kick me out of a dream - but nevertheless insisted on me being inconspicious in the dream.

In another case, just the act of me becoming lucid was enough for a dream character to act threatening:

[i]I’m in a car with my dreamfriend Wendy (this is a recurring dream character, based on a childhood friend). I say we should stop to be sheltered for the heavy rain. The car moves - hey, the handbrake isn’t on. I pull it. The car still moves, I try to brake with my foot and then it hits me - I’m dreaming!

I get outside the car do decide what to do. Then I realize I want to ask the Wendy dream character who she is, so I return to her. She is opposite me now and I ask:“Who are you?”
She looks at me and then says in a threathening way:“I will bite your nose off!”

I’m shocked by this reply and wake up.[/i]

The surprise in this example is that the dream character, who was friendly before I became lucid, turned hostile as soon as I lucidly asked her a Question. It seems in this dream, just turning lucid, was already a sign for the dream character to become hostile towards me. Or was she offended by my Question?

So it seems that you need to pay attention in your lucid dreams, because it is possible to be “kicked out” of your dream if you don’t behave yourself. Or is it “your dream?” Could it be that in those cases you weren’t actually in “your” dream?, but in some greater dream, a dream not solely created by yourself?

What are your experiences? Have you ever experienced hostile dream characters that have kicked you out of your lucid dream while you were having fun?

I think the hostile dream characters were more a plot device to fuel the action scenes in the movie. I really don’t like to think of my dream characters as obstacles to becoming lucid, but I suppose if you believe they are, they will become that, which is exactly why I don’t want to.

in the movie, it’s not your DC’s that are hostile - on the contrary! Your DC’s protect you for “invaders” in your dream. I found it an interesting theory.

And I wonder if anyone else has had DC’s that turned hostile as soon as they became lucid.

I actually find hostile characters almost every single time I’m about to become lucid. I’m still kind of noob at this, so I think that may be part of the reason, but it has become odd by now. The degree of hostility is very variable: sometimes, they just want me to keep doing what I was doing before my reality check (“hey, we’ve got to keep pouring the blue substance through the tubes, you can do that later!!!”); some others, they assault me in a friendly way (a pretty girl in a dream I had last week just started kissing me); others they will just attack me with whatever they have at hand (a midget who decided to jump and scratch my face, and another dream in which a mob at a restaurant started poking me with forks); and finally, the ones that really don’t want me there (they actually called down a tornado while I was doing my reality check :eek: ).

I do agree that having them hostile at sight is part of the movie plot; however, I think that point is actually based on the fact that sometimes (or in my case, almost every time), dreams just want you to be clueless about you dreaming.

I doubt that. It probably happened to you once, which caused you to start expecting it from dream characters, and your expecting it caused it to happen more. Really, I haven’t had any experiences with dream characters actively trying to prevent me from being lucid.

I really hope inception doesn’t make everyone expect this from dream characters. I really hate to think of them as security devices. I’d rather think of them as interesting people to meet.

Then why did all your examples include characters from your own dream turning against you as soon as you became lucid?

I’ve had hostile DCs, yes, but they were all zombies and a friend of mine and I were already in the process of killing them when the dream became lucid. The same friend (we weren’t sharing dreams; he just appeared in the dream) has acted extremely out-of-place in a dream before (running through his dream house waving a finger he had accidentally pulled off while doing an RC around in the air, for instance) and has never encountered anything of that sort.

What I’m trying to say is the only time myself or any of my friends have ran across hostile DCs in dreams are during war scenarios.

great examples! But the way you describe it, you weren’t actually lucid yet, were you? only starting to doubt the dream? That’s an intriguing thing all in itself - DC’s that just want you to stay clueless. What I am interested in is DC’s that turned hostile as soon as you are lucid and having some fun, somehow “disrupting” the dream or drawing attention to yourself.

In the movie they only become hostile as soon as they realize something is amiss - when the extractors actively try to mess with the dreamer or the dream. In other words, when they draw attention to themselves. The movie was ofcourse different than an usual dream, since they had a constructed dreamworld where the “victim” was drawn into - thinking it was his dream. The DC’s were part of the victim’s mind.

the point I was trying to make there, is that maybe they weren’t “my” DC’s, and when I was lucid they had to do something to prevent me from doing whatever it was they didn’t want me to do.

The way I see it, not necessarily everything / everyone you see in your dream “belongs” to you, or is created by you. I therefore never speak of “my” DC’s. There is a subtle difference in :“A DC in my dream”, and “My DC”. :smile:

lol! yes, I’m not saying this should happen every instance, (If you have read my DJ you know the kind of stuff I pull off in my dreams and nobody complains :tongue: ) but it does seem to happen, the movie reminded me of the few instances it did happen to me, and gave an interesting theory along with it, why it happens.

I understand what you mean. I really have always wondered this myself. I Saw the movie today and almost yelled in the theater when that became a plot point. I have had several LD attempts that have been stopped by the local police…(not always police, but people that want to stop me from being lucid). I always thought I was crazy for thinking that.
Hell, maybe we are connecting to massive dream worlds that so many people can connect to…like maybe 20. To not dry attention to yourself you have to obey rules within these worlds…?

All right then. Make lucidity twice as difficult by believing dream characters are out to stop you, and therefore making it true. I bet you’ll have a great time avoiding interaction with dream characters at all costs, because all you really need to explore are unpopulated dream environments. Yay!

Seriously though, if what you guys are saying is true, a lot of the appeal of lucid dreams is going to be replaced by paranoia for me.

@Arsennio: do you have a dream snippet about that to share? I love to read it :smile:
I agree with you, it seems we could be in dreams sometimes that aren’t ours to decide what happens :yes:

@ian1: it doesn’t have to do with believing… I mean, I have had a few of these encounters, and that’s only a small percentage of every encounter I have had with dream characters.
So don’t worry ian1 :smile: I think if you never had an encounter like that it wouldn’t happen. Besides, the worst thing that can happen is that you wake up :wink:

I just saw the movie Inception and had to come see what others here had to say about it. I thought the movie’s treatment of DC was fascinating. I already mentioned in another thread about my first lucid dream. I “woke up” inside my dream, up in the balcony of a theatre, where actors were playing on the stage. I watched for awhile, knew this was not reality, and at some point started clapping and telling the actors how great they were. The moment they noticed me clapping, they said, Hey, what’s she doing in here? She’s not allowed in here! And then I was kicked out, and woke up. I had lots of other lucid dreams after that, but then I was on the stage with the other actors. I tried to get them to do what I wanted them to do, but they would argue with me. I said, this is MY dream, and I will decide what the story is…and they didn’t believe me until I started making them disappear by snapping my fingers! LOL After awhile, the DC seemed to stop fighting me and let me pretty much run the show. Then I started dreaming I was in a place called Dreamland, a recurring place, and I thought maybe some of the many people around might also be real, not like the characters on the stage on the first few dreams. I wanted to move there!

the same things happen to me like 5 mins after i teleported from the place i became lucid there were like hoardes of DC attacking me, but i just thoung of it as a nazi zombie game on Call of Duty black ops and my SC made my best friend apper and we started playing nazi zombies.

wow, this is a very interesting theory. I have never actually had hostile dream characters when lucid and also never had one “kick” me out of the dream. The only thing that was even close to this was when a dream character refused to do what I told them to do. It was just until I made it loud and clear that It was my dream and I’m the boss of it, then the dream gave in and did what I said without questioning.
So I’ve experienced stubborn DC’s but not hostile ones…

Hey, wait! You cannot escape! Never run away from the dream police, you will not survive!

(Sorry couldn’t resist)

Anywho, contrary to your theory of it being someone else’s dream. If these took place AFTER you saw Inception. You may have been thinking about hostile dream characters, which then spurred your SC into action, interpreting this into your dreams. If not, it may be some sort of real life issues making certain characters or authority figures in your dreams appear hostile.

This is really interesting. I’ve been kicked out of LD by DC but I’ve never got much beyond that point as I didnt even consider that I could change that part. I’ll give it a try after reading this as it would pretty much alter my whole LD experience. Ive never heard of DC backing off and letting you take control like that. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this?

I’ve never had any trouble with my DC’s in my LD’s, until I read this topic a couple of days ago. I now seriously which I hadn’t read it. Now two nights in a row I got lucid and one time I got police cars, helicopters chasing me, because I had been flying and tonight I even got arrested and was put in some lucid dreamers prison with special impenetrably glass…that really just showed me that these ‘hostile DC’s’ aren’t real or part of somebody else’s dream, but are just a result of our own fears. You’ll only get those DC’s that are trying to kick you out of a LD as a result of your own fear of the LD being ended. With other words, you can simply control them as well like any other DC and you must realize that you don’t have to let them turn your LD into just another chase dream.

I believe that hostile dc´s are projections of the parts of our psyches that wants to maintain status quo. Like the demons that attacked the Buddha as he sat and meditated.
Lucid dreaming is a powerful tool for psychological growth, but there are parts of our psyche that doesnt want healing/self-realisation. These parts can in dreams take the form of hostile dc´s.

While I have always been a natural lucid dreamer, I also have always dealt with hostile DC, usually close family members but they act completely unlike in real life. They can be somewhat conniving all the way to using violence, but my subconscious always pushes me to wake within a dream to forget I am dreaming. I never feared it would happen it just always has.

I am novice , and my lucid experience is very short.I don’t know when i will see lucid dreams.But still , i’m curious about this subject.After i read it , i understood this : When i’m lucid to protect this situation , i shouldn’t do anything suspicious or i will be kicked from the dream.Is that right ?

I’m not sure what you mean by “suspicious,” but not necessarily. If hostile DCs always kicked us when we were lucid and aiming to do things, I doubt you’d ever be able to have battles in dreams, but people have battles in dreams and stay in there. Also, what would be the point of LDs if you weren’t able to do things against the dream? The dream can kick you sometimes, hostile DCs or not. Once my subconscious kicked me from a dream to make a point. Also, remember what Qu said. She mentioned that most of her encounters with DCs are not hostile encounters, but such hostile encounters that kicked her out of the dream have happened a few times.

All in all, I’m just trying to say that this isn’t necessarily the case. I may not always be so successful dealing with hostile DCs, but I’m only kicked if they kill me, and those usually aren’t lucid dreams, so it’s not really interfering with the dream.

Uhm… did that make any sense at all?