Lucid Dreaming Experiences - A Discussion on Dream Character

Want to better interact with Dream Characters?

I think a lot of us can agree that Dream Characters (DCs) are some of the most interesting and enigmatic aspects of our dreaming mind. Some characters are people we know in waking life and others are complete strangers, unsure if we’ve seen them before or created them entirely out of thin air. Their interactions with a lucid dreamer are even more mysterious and at times even a little frightening. When told that they are in a dream DCs can react passively, not seeming to notice your words, or actively, either being positive, affirming they know that they are in a dream, or sometimes even hostile.

I think at some point in everyone’s lucid dreaming career, dreamers play around with this concept the most. Interacting with DCs or even summoning them - be it family members, fictional characters, or creating them out of thin air. I think any interaction with dream characters or summoning are some of the most difficult things to accomplish in an LD without quickly loosing lucidity. Summonings can also be botched, either not working or creating a DC that isn’t what we expect. I figured what would be best to discuss here are methods for summoning and interacting with DCs, and the various ways things can go wrong based on my experiences.

Interacting with “Normal DCs” -
Now, “normal” is an extremely subjective term here, but what I can describe normal DCs as are the “normal” people that populate our regular, everyday dreams. They are often people we know in real life or “strangers” that fit into the archetype of the situation that the dream is emulating. For instance, let’s use a dream about school - being a college student, I have many dreams about school from all levels of education, elementary and above and here are the two main normal DC variations that come with that:

Normal Active DC - In my case, a normal active DC would be a friend of mine I see in several of my classes, let’s call her “Danny”. Dream Danny is much like real life Danny, she talks a lot, her personality is the same, and is generally very active in the dream. In a movie she would be a member of the supporting cast.

Interaction Guide: NA DCs are pretty standard to interact with when lucid. Since they tend to be people we know well in real life, their personality is set, our dream mind already has a good idea how they will react to many situations. In this case, I would just approach these DCs just as I would anyone else.

Normal Passive DC - Keeping the movie analogy going, these DCs would be the extras. Normally, these DCs are said to be based on strangers we see in waking life (However there is a lot of debate about that, even in my own personal experience I argue against it). They usually don’t speak or have a huge role in the dream. These are probably some of the more difficult DCs to interact with when lucid.

Interaction Guide: NP DCs are much more unpredictable and difficult to interact with in my experience. First few things you want to take into consideration is my thread on dream control and expectations because I’ve found that plays a HUGE part in interacting with any DC, but more so with passive DCs. This is because passive DCs are meant to be in the background, they are more just faces to populate a dream than to serve any interaction base purposes (There are of course exceptions to this). When deciding to interact with a passive DC, the dream has to assign a personality to it and will often fall back on your expectations, whether you know what your expectations are or not. If you expect a DC to respond hostilely or not at all, they usually will.

Summoning DCs and “Echoes” -
That power of expectation with DCs directly leads into summoning DCs. There are countless methods to summoning DCs since it is one of the most free and vague concepts in lucid dreaming, however that also makes it one of the most difficult - at least for me. There are many methods to summon DCs directly - have them appear around the corner, behind a door, or behind you. Generally for these kind of methods I would recommend a summoning method that allows the DC appearing out of sight to allow the power of expectation to work. That being said, not only do you have to expect the character in question to be there, you have to expect their personality too. I have focused so much on just getting a person to be there that when they do appear, the result is extremely interesting.

What I will usually get is something I like to call an “echo”. It is the person alright, but trust me there is no one home. Say for instance I try to summon one of my favorite fictional characters. They will appear, but they will be nothing more than a hollow cutout of their image. They won’t speak, move on their own, or really do much of anything other than stand or sit there. Despite my expectations, I really won’t get a response. Like an echo, all these DCs are is a hollow image of a person. The creation of an echo leads almost directly into an event occurring that results in an almost immediate event that causes me to lose lucidity. This is because trying to summon characters directly is extremely draining and requires immense amounts of focus for new lucid dreamers.

This is why I recommend using the “normal” DCs to your advantage, preferably an active one. Often times, my most successful attempts at summoning a DC involve asking another DC to guide me to or direct me to the person I am trying to summon. I’ve found it is much easier to “go to” a desired dream character rather than to bring them to yourself - unless you are extremely focused and confident, the result will more than likely be an echo. There is definitely the problem with expectation and you have to be confident when you ask the DCs to guide you. Often times, doubt will set in and you will think “How would they know where so-and-so is?”, the result will be exactly that. I’ve had some pretty useless DCs because of my lack of confidence or trust in DCs and your dreams will definitely take that and run with it.

Long post is long but I hope that helps some of you guys!

This is a very interesting guide. I’ve tried summoning DC’s before, and you’re right that it’s tough for beginners. I managed it a couple of times, but never really got the hang of it.

I’d never even heard of “echos” before seeing this. Have you ever been able to “wake up” an echo, or summon a DC who wasn’t an echo, but still didn’t have the personality you would have expected?

What happens, is I usually get these incomplete echoes of dream characters when I get way too gung-ho into accomplishing a dream goal without first establishing lucidity and stabilizing the dream first so by the time I’ve even attempted to awaken a proper dream character, I’ve either woken up or lost my lucidity entirely.

In terms of the latter I have definitely had that happen and it stems from the same result of failing to establish dream stability and usually precedes me losing lucidity or waking up. What usually happens is I will summon a character, however an entirely different character shows up in its place and I accept it - here’s a better example.

Say for instance I’m trying to summon Cloud from Final Fantasy VII (Just as a random example). I open a door expecting to see him (Or whatever your preferred method is), however it is my father or a friend there instead. Because I haven’t established dream stability and am doing something extremely difficult, I have lost lucidity and do not realize that this is my father or friend, instead calling him Cloud and acting as if he is such. It’s kind of hard to explain but hopefully you all get the point.

My theory on that is being a video game character, these dream characters in particular I have found insanely difficult to summon on the grounds that they do not exist in our reality so a lot more holes have to be filled by our brain in order to materialize them. If you aren’t properly prepared for such a task, the results can get a little screwy.

I used to be quite good with summoning DCs. But even then, sometimes there was something off about them. Not like your “echoes”, but more usually that they had the right personality but wrong appearance! It was generally easier to summon someone I knew really well (like a family member), than a person I’d never met irl.

I haven’t been active in practicing LD skills for many years now, just gotten back to it. Tried to summon a DC today (the god Thor), but it didn’t work. Got just a random dude instead, neither the right looks, personality or power. In this dream, I also think it was the first time I had gotten a highly positive reaction when telling DCs that they are in a dream. Back in my teenage days, DCs were sceptical when I told them they were in a dream. Like “huh? Really? I think everything seems normal…”
But today, the three women I asked if they were aware that they were in a dream, laughed and said “Yes! Of course!”