Lucid Living Topic

Okay, now it’s cleared up JNoise.

Well, I don’t have much to say on the topic, but I hope someone else can bring it back on track again :smile:

JNoise, LucidityX1000:

Having started this comparison linking the human brain to articles of scientific equipment, let me just say that it’s been interesting reading your posts.

One thing I noticed though was the apparent lack of distinction between the main sections of the brain, conscious and subconscious. In my initial post I stated that my reference to computers only applied to the conscious part of the brain.

Also, the comparison only went as far as pointing out that each can essentially concentrate on only one task at a time.

I really enjoyed reading your posts, and it certainly encouraged a lot of thought on the subject.

First of all id like to say great topic again. I just wanted to share a simple technique that i have been using called parallel thinking. Its a meditating technique to activate your entire brain which also helps lead to a higher awarness because you are concentrating on the here-and-now. Ok the main concept of the technique is to visualize the exact opposite of what you are currently doing. It may sound easy, and it is, but it takes some getting used to. For example your walking to work from the parking lot and you look left as you cross the street. In your minds eye, you would be walking AWAY (backwards) and looking Right. You might be thinking “omg how dumb is this” but i kid you not, do it for 10 minutes then tell me how dumb it is. Not only does this increase the blood flow to the brain (warning: you may experience a slight headache the first few times you try this due to the increase of bloodflow), but it also skyrockets your awareness. Ok enough of my rambling, go out and try it. It can be done doing anything, even sitting there typing your response to this post :content:

micron -

I absolutely LOVE the idea. I’m willing to give it a shot. I wonder if it would help in finding the separation between body and mind. If you consistently practice this, you should be more aware of the part of our selves called ‘Mind’, which is the source of all awareness (which, of course, tends to get buried behind active thinking).

I will let you know my success with this idea. I practice ‘standard’ meditation every day, this would be an interesting way of seeing if I can get the same feelings when accessing Mind as I do through meditation. Very interesting idea!!

I wonder if all these techniques basically amount to letting go of your body a little, distracting yourself from ‘holding on’. Similar techniques such as focussing on your arms and legs as you walk, focussing on a central area (like below your navel), or even just focussing on rapidly scanning your eyes about, all produce this feeling of detachment and heightened awareness.

For me, the result is the sense that your body is just an equal part of the environment, doing its own thing with or without you - and you’ve sort of let go of it. Often I think we behave as though we have to try to walk, and try to see, etc, instead of letting the body do it’s thing, because it’s meant to just do those things. But if you let go of it, that frees up your awareness to check things out.

So if these techniques just fool you into letting go of control like this, through distraction, there might be a quicker way - instead, aim to develop the sense that your body is just part of the environent, working automatically, and your awareness is ‘condensed’ for the moment in that vicinity.


(Actually, there was a good description earlier in this thread - describing non-lucid dreaming as a situation where ‘you’ are just part of the fabric of the dream, part of the story, but when you become lucid that’s not the case. Maybe it’s better to think as though we’re always part of the story fabric, and the only thing that changes is that our awareness is diffused, or focussed/condensed - in both waking and sleeping life.)

Sounds funny, this parallel thinking technique, but not too easy.But I´ll give it a try :smile:

Just something I just wondered:

When speaking about LL, many of you say that they try to be really aware of all the senses and so on.
I don´t know if it is the same to me.My perception gets more intense, but often only one of my senses (visual).But at the same time everything seems more and more unreal, I only concentrate on some things and the rest is absolutely in the background.
So, basically I am not trying to feel as awake and aware as possible, but the opposite:
I feel like everything is unreal, I am only walking through illusions.Sometimes, I silently say something like “this isn´t real” and I really feel a chilling sensation down my back :alien:

How is it for you?

This works the same for me.

If I understood correctly, you can always have the illusion that you can be fully consious aware of more senses at the same time, but what really happens is that in that case your focus shifts very fast between the different senses. Just like a Windows™ Machine. :wink: Well, we do have multitasking, but that does not occur on the consious level. As far as I know, our consiousness focusses at only one thing at the time. Maybe that is what defines consiousness.

Could it be that in (lucid) dreams with heightened awareness we are able (or have the illusion) that we can focus on more senses at the time, and that this creates the sense of heightened awareness? Or is there only an increased awares in one of our senses?
I did not have many of those ultra-clear LD’s, so I can’t speak from experience here. My LD’s are always somewhat blurry, with few exceptions. :neutral:

I’m not sure if this is related to the point that Hypnodude is making, but it’s interesting enough to share. When sober we all have the ability to “divide consciousness.” I was taught this by a cop. :neutral: Often times cops will ask you to retrieve your registration for your vehicle, while your busy looking in your dash he will ask you another question like ‘what is your address.’ If you pause to answer him he will suspect that you are drinking. Supposedly, this is a sign of your inability to divide your consciouness. Which is a symptom of being drunk. :bored:

Straight from the cops mouth, take it like you want.

It is however a good example of how we unconsciously divide out consciousness everyday.

This parallel thinking seems a bit more difficult than the mundane task that we easily divide our consciousness with. … but don’t practice drunk. :wink:

If the consciousness only focuses on one thing at a time then how does multitasking occur? Only on a subconscious level? I’ll have to think about that. At the moment I can’t think of any time that I have carried out two things simultaneously that both required conscious thought. Usually one is an automatic, practiced reaction.

Ill have to consider that the next time I am trying to do two things. Pay attention.

A few weeks ago I posted my understanding of this issue to a different thread…which I can’t rememebr now.

Anyway, the conscious mind can indeed multi-task, but the way this is done relates heavily to how a computer with a single processor multi-tasks. Basically, the computer never actually does both things at the same time, but instead it allocates a tiny amount of time to process each one, and continuously switches bwtween them. I believe this is how the conscious mind works.

Think about it, you may be doing two things at once, but you can only concentrate on one of them at a time. The one that you are not concentrating on, is being handled by your subconscious mind. Things like raising a glass up to your mouth: Judging the required force that needs to be applied to get the glass up there, but not to knock all of your teeth out, is a subconscious activity.

I certainly don’t mean to say that the mind works even remotely similar to computers, but in this one respect I think it’s an appropriate comparison. You may not realise it, but you are using a lot more of your subconscious now than you might think. You’re reading this, breathing (hopefully), monitoring any sensory input and maybe considering what to write about all at the same time. You can only concentrate on one of those at any one time though.

I hope this makes sense, but I must make it clear again that these are just my casual observations. I don’t claim to be a professor of human biology, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I think that the ability to disconnect yourself while doing a task can help you in some ways but hinder you in others. (I know this isn’t “exactly” on topic, but I think it kinda applies)

For instance when I was in high school I used to work in a cabnet shop. I got to sand lots and lots of cabnet doors. After a while I could just stand there and sand the doors, while I was some other place in my mind. Yet somehow I never ruined a door this way. I think that once you are so familiar with something, you tend to not think about it when you are doing it. An example of how bad that is. Driving, most accidents happen within 5 miles or so from where you live, because you are so familiar with that area you really don’t think when you are driving. Then when something out of place comes along, you are not ready for it.

I think that this type of anamoly for lack of a better word is like a two edged sword. It can be good, but it can be bad.

Here is an example of how you can use this ability to over come some amazing difficulties. I read about a man who was in a concentration camp. While there he developed the ability to pretty much step outside his body when they decided to torture him. So instead of them hurting him, he was standing there watching them hurt someone. I also read about a balet dancer who answered when someone made the comment “its a pitty you can’t see yourself dance” he replied " on the contrary Im there directing my body where to go" so basically he was able to step outside his body and watch himself dance.

Once again Im not sure if this really applies to this topic or not, but I think it does to some degree. That and don’t quote me on exactly what I quoted, I was paraphrasing.

Very Interesting. For some reason this makes me think of my baguazhang training. Im reminded that you dont look AT your opponent you look at the enire area of your opponent. This way you are using all of your senses and so when you see his head start you move back you know hes gonna kick you. when he moves his shoulders/and or back pedals you know he is going to punch you.
Is this kind of what you mean?

PhanthomSpectre said:

Hmm Phanthom…i did the same when i practised Hsing I…really works.

In lucid dreams or just dreams as in a hypnotic trance or trance…our consciousness has less structure so we are then more in a associative state of consciousness with is more flexible and our awareness can also then be more intense…association gives room 4 free variables in structure…In the normal consciousness…waking state…there is not so much room 4 association…and free chosen variables…the consciousness filters it right away as true or false…in dream state that filter/structure is so much less that there is much more room for experiencing association or suggestion…two sides of the same coin.
u also c that back in neurotransmitters, when u are awake serotonin and norepinephrine and epinephrine (catecholeamines), very important for the cortex and consciousness, are in rem sleep brokendown, instead acetylcholine is about a 100 times more active in rem, thats our memory neurotransmitter…memory seems to be more of an association and less of a conscious thing. U remember how a rose smells. U cant rational remember how a rose smells…its an association at first…after that u can rational create a frame where it belongs to…label it, so we all know what u mean if u say the rose smelled sweet, or it was red…but in your memory u c it as red and thats an association…

:beer: now lets have beer

I see that a recurring theme in this thread is consciousness etc. This is a very good thread!

I would like to add a bit of my own understanding on this matter. But first of all a tiny digression - eastern thought and eastern spirituality is far more developed than western, “scientific” techniques etc. In fact, when the “new age” started (1 AD), the eastern world was already very old then. Today is in fact the 5th millenium in many of these calendars (if I’m not mistaken).

Anyway, the point is that if you look into it, you would be surprised as to what people have been developing. The west is very new, very immature and undeveloped. Hence the focus here on “science” and material things. Notice how all the “industrialized” and “wealthy” countries are western? Whereas the east is considered “poor” etc? Do you know why? It’s because the east has been developing something else, something far more important than material wealth and “science” - the human mind/existence. I say existence because we are not the mind.

Now onto the real subject of what I want to say here, touched upon by the last sentence. We as humans are in fact just manifestations of our true forms, which is pure consciousness/spiritual beings. But what we usually do in our everyday lives is to associate with this manifestation.

So, when we think, we become associated with that thought. When we get angry, we associate ourselves with that anger, we become that anger. Just reflect on this, and you’ll be amazed. When we’re angry, we’re not ourselves. You lose yourself and you become the anger (roughly speaking). In fact, next time you’re angry, become aware that you are angry. It is in that awareness that you realize that you are NOT the anger - you are separate from it! The anger is happening to you, but you are just aware of it, separate from it.

And there’s the key. This can help a lot for LD’s, but it is far more than that. Awareness is the key to our existence. Try to go about your day being aware of yourself. When walking, don’t think about getting to your destination, or something else. Just walk - just be! Be aware that you are walking - become the walking! Likewise when sitting or doing anything else, do it for the sake of itself. When washing the dishes, wash them to wash the dishes!

Another point - our false sense of self. Note that our brains are wonderful machines, beautiful constructions of nature. The mind/brain is the most complicated structure in all of nature. Nothing man-made can even come close to approximating it. Now when the mind produces a thought, we as consciousness associate ourselves with that thought, as I’ve said. Now the thing is that from this process, we tend to associate ourselves with our human self. The mind is wonderfully complex, and naturally has an ego counterpart to deal with others like itself. The trick is that we have become associated with our egos. When we go about our daily lives, we are Joe or Sally or whoever.

This is why Buddhist (etc) teachings say that the world is maya, or samsara - an illusion. We buy into the illusion because we become it!

What I am suggesting is that try to go about being aware of yourself. In fact this technique is called vipassana, and is a powerful technique. Just go about being aware, remember that you are. Not that you are Joe or you are Sally, but that you are. In fact, you are not even Joe or Sally!

Not only does this apply to LD’ing, but also to everyday life. Soon, you will come to see that you are not who you think you are. In fact, some gurus describe enlightenment as a shift of perspective - you are aware that you are separate from the mind and body.

The largest obstacles to this are (1) the body and (2) the mind. In fact these are the only obstacles. The body is easily handled - all you need is relaxation. Meditation helps to get the knack of awareness developed. In meditation it is common practice to dissociate yourself from your body - “drop” your body, as it were. What helps is that first just become aware of your body, don’t try to forcibly “forget” it! Be aware of your body, and it will naturally relax. #2 is similar, but takes more time. Just be aware of your thoughts.

(Another great technique is to become aware of the breath - just notice the rise and fall of your belly. Follow your breath - don’t control it, just watch it. In fact this is the method with which Buddha became enlightened. It is a very simple and powerful method, because in becoming aware of your breath, you are aware of the here and now, of reality. Your moods fade and disappear, and your thoughts as well. You just become yourself.)

What I would like to emphasize, though, is don’t fight! Don’t fight your thoughts - it’s not a “battle” - your mind is not your “enemy.” In fact, your mind is your closest friend! People who are fully aware (i.e. enlightened) describe being in perfect harmony with the mind. Normally the mind is dominating you, but your nature is that you should be “master.” When aware, you will naturally “regain control” (there is nothing really to “regain” though, or to “control” - I’m merely using these words for a lack of better ones). So the point is not to fight the mind, but to just step beyond it. The simple act of witnessing your thoughts shows that you are not your thoughts.

Wow, I was just intending on shedding some light on this matter, but this turned into a full-blown post on awareness! Anyway I welcome any comments or questions.

Interesting post. and welcome!

First of all, since this is my first post, hello to you all!
On the way home from school, I thought about LL, and came up with this, to keep the topic alive :wink:

Lucid Living is the idea to live “here” and “now”, by raising your awareness. The result of the awareness can be:

  1. You notice things that already were there.
  2. You notice things new.

I think that because of the lack of new things, lucid living is somewhat more difficult. IE, you don’t even have to think in any way to drive home because of the lack of new things (although, that’s what I experience, on the bike), so, a good thing to do wil be to drive an other way home. You will have to think what you are doing and how you’re driving.

And with point one, if you notice things that already were there, I think the following: When you’re not “Lucid living” you will also notice it, with your subconsious I think. Your subconsious considers it als unnessecery (do I spell that correct?) information and you will not be able to remember it.
When “lucid living”, you’ll notice it also with your consious mind causing you to remember (the most of) the things you’ll notice.

As said before, it’s exhausting to be more aware of your environment, in the beginning. That is, i think, because you’ll be doing a lot more consious that normally would be unconsiously handled, and that costs more energy.
I read somewhere that we, as children, used to be more aware but we were said to calm down by our parent and so we stopped being more aware. I think this is nonsense, because when you pay more attention, you have less energy left for other thing, so why we never were more aware, and if we were, we had energy left, or we were not so busy with our concerns and toutghs then.

And, finally, if you remember more, because you paid consiously your attention, you’ll have more to dream about. (“Je moet meer verwerken”, in dutch, don’t know how you say this exactly in englisch).

Or the other possibillty would be: You remember more things that else only the unconsious would notice, so, when you dream, you’ll recognize quicker that you’re dreaming and “seeing” the things from your day.

So, this whole message came from a 14-year old dutch boy, not wrong, isn’t it? (Wow, is was able to tell what I was thinking in englisch)

Tell me what you think about it

I think Lucid Living is essentially being conscious of more than you are required to be conscious of. I define consciousness as a collection of thoughts that are the product of (in waking life) external stimuli. I define thoughts as a change in the neuronal structures in our brain that are mappings of the external world (meaningful re-organization [information] based on stimulation).

You say your consciousness doesn’t involve emotions, since they aren’t external stimuli?

How exactly do you define subconsiousness? A collection of thoughts, where thoughts are in this case from internal stimuli?

So, breathing is from a internal stimuli, yes, that’s true.
But reflexes? If somebody trows a ball at your head, for example, you automatically subconsiously react by putting your hand between the ball and your head or something like that, so that’s where the definition becomes false.

I looked up what the definition of consciousness is (from or something like that)

How nice, I didn’t expcet to have any responses that qould actually require me to give my full definition of consciousness :content:

A thought is defined as the change in either structural states of neuronal groups, or representations (maps of stimuli). Thoughts are events.

Stimuli is defined as input originating either externally in a mass or energy transfer from one system to the brain, or internally as a mass or energy transfer from one area of the brain to another.

Consciousness, being a collection of thoughts, is also an event.

You can see by these definitions then that the word “conscious” has no meaning in the sense that there is nothing it describes. You are not conscious, because “to be conscious” implies zero-time, because consciousness is an event you have to say “your brain is consciousness as time passes”, akin to saying, “your car is fast as time passes”. The reason it sounds funny is because the dictionary defines the terms slightly differently (consciousness is said to be a noun when in reality it is an adjective).

ah, yes, an interessting definition, which I totally agree with, now.
I revised my view upon LL, but can you tell me how you define subconsciousness then?

“I think that because of the lack of new things, lucid living is somewhat more difficult. IE, you don’t even have to think in any way to drive home because of the lack of new things.”
So, this is correct, cause there is nothing to change (there are no new external stimuli) since you’ve driven that road/way so much…

“And with point one, if you notice things that already were there, I think the following: When you’re not “Lucid living” you will also notice it, with your subconsious I think. Your subconsious considers it als unnessecary information and you will not be able to remember it.”
This is wrong, because you consciously notice it, because it’s an external stimulus. So, why do I forget things when I’m not paying attention, when I’m not so aware? Is this because you’re not fully focussed on “the thing”?

"As said before, it’s exhausting to be more aware of your environment, in the beginning. That is, i think, because you’ll be doing a lot more consious that normally would be unconsiously handled, and that costs more energy. "
This is automatically wrong too, and the exhaustion is caused because you’re more concentrating or simply being more aware?

“I read somewhere that we, as children, used to be more aware but we were said to calm down by our parent and so we stopped being more aware. I think this is nonsense, because when you pay more attention, you have less energy left for other thing, so why we never were more aware, and if we were, we had energy left, or we were not so busy with our concerns and toutghs then.”
This I still think, that we never were more aware when we were young, or, when we were more aware, that’s because our lives had less concerns then, and we had more energy.

"Or the other possibillty would be: You remember more things that else would be forgotten, so, when you dream, you’ll recognize quicker that you’re dreaming and “seeing” the things from your day.