I must admit that I lost the encouragement to write this along the way, which explains why the last subsections are very short.
The most important issue is in fact, presenting the problems found in the current naming system. However my suggestion might not reach the intended objective, because most people I talked to think that changing it is not a good idea.
Even so, please comment and ponder about it.
A Suggestion for Technique Naming Standardization
The use of acronyms is common in the lucid dreaming communities, however, even that these acronyms may be simple, they are often misleading and even members used to their usage may confuse their definitions. In this post, I discuss the problem, show the results of an experiment and propose a new naming system for techniques.
keywords: Acronyms, Technique Names, Standard, Syntax.
The book “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming” (LaBerge and Rheingold, 1990) has descriptions of DILD’s, MILD’s and WILD’s.
However, even that these acronyms may sound simple, an experiment showed that they may be misleading, not only for beginners, but also for experienced members of LD4all.
After studying the naming of techniques and dream categories, a perfect naming should have the following attributes (but not limited to):
• The naming system should be capable of representing all possible techniques;
• The naming system should allow composability among compatible techniques and characteristics;
• The naming system should restrict or indicate incompatibility among techniques and characteristics;
• The naming system should not be ambiguous.
In this topic, a proposal is presented and it is has most of these attributes. The unsolved attributes are described on the “Conclusions” Section.
This post is structured as follows: in Section 2 there is the experiment report, in Section 3 there are Current Naming Problems, in Section 4 there is a sample Acronym Symbols Dictionary, in Section 5 Standard Sentence and in Section 6 there are the Conclusions.
DILD is an acronym commonly used by the community and defined as the most common type of lucid dream by LaBerge and Levitan (1991).
Despite the frequent use of the acronym, an experiment showed that many members are not aware of its correct definition.
The experiment was conducted on June 26, 2011, involving 8 LD4all members (anonymously). Each member had to answer “What does DILD stand for?” quickly and without looking elsewhere. The following results were discovered:
• Five members answered “Dream Induced Lucid Dream” (62.5%);
• Two members answered “Dream Initiated Lucid Dream” (25%);
• One was unsure about the correct definition and preferred not to answer (12.5%).
Considering that the standard definition is “Dream Initiated Lucid Dream” and it is in fact a type of lucid dream and not a technique, the rate of incorrect answers (62.5%) is significantly high. However, that is not the only problem with the current naming system.
Current Naming Problems
In the Experiment Section, most of participants answered an incorrect definition while the standard definition of DILD is considered, that shows how ambiguous the current naming methods are.
The following issues regarding the current naming system can be identified:
• Letter Definition Ambiguity:
o When a letter has more than one acceptable definition, e.g. ‘I’ can stand for Induced and Initiated;
• Acronym Type Ambiguity:
o When a type of a acronym cannot be identified without looking at its definition, e.g. DILD is a type, while MILD is a technique (LaBerge, 1985);
• No Definition Standards:
o There is no rule on how to define a new acronym and definition, or to identify similarities to other acronyms and definitions just by looking at them.
o It is not possible to compose acronyms with different types and equal types of definitions and acronyms in a specific way.
The following sections are intended to supply solutions to the given problems.
Acronym Symbols Dictionary
The most obvious way to deal with the first category of problem, is defining a public acronym table, which will be used to identify the ideal letter (or sequence of letters) that can be employed when creating a new acronym.
For example, the following listing shows a suggestion of a dictionary that gathers all letters used in MILD, WILD and DILD:
• D: dream;
• I: induced or inducement;
• In: initiated;
• L: lucid;
• M: mnemonic;
• W: wake or awake;
Hence, when creating a new acronym, a user would look up the dictionary in order to make it “letter/symbol unambiguous”.
In this section, a sentence standard is proposed; it can be used to solve the following problems: “Acronym Type Ambiguity”, “No Definition Standards” and “Incomposability”.
There are three grammatical categories of acronyms, each of them with varied possible types:
[left] o State descriptor or Achievable: names of anything that may occur. These are common in the lucid dream community, e.g.: dream.
o Static: names of entities that cannot happen: e.g.: sub-conscious, dream guild, member.[/left]
[left] o Common: adjectives found in the English language: effective, quick, soft.
o Specific: adjectives found in the community to categorize lucid dreams and possibly other entities, e.g.: lucid, shared, normal, non-lucid, Dream Initiated.[/left]
[left] o Technique Descriptor: a verb that indicates a technique, e.g.: induced, assisted (transitive in past participle).
o Auxiliary: a verb used to turn a technique or definition more specific, e.g.: quicken, improved.
o Common: any other verb found in the English language.[/left]
o The same as in English;
o The same as in English.
These categories and types are important when specifying a new definition.
In each standard sentence, there are one or more leading prefaces that can define either an noun, e.g.: “Character”, or within state, e.g.: “Upon Awakening” or a transition between states, e.g.: From wake to sleeping.
The state definition may be complex, however, allows several new compositions, since anything that describes a specific time or happening can be used as a state descriptor, e.g.: While doing a technique.
The syntax of the sentence is defined in this subsection. Words written on all capitalized letters must appear on the final sentence, while others are categories as defined in the “Types” subsection.
Techniques can be defined as follows:
Preface (optionally: AND more Prefaces) + Technique Descriptor Verb + optional Adjective + Achievable Noun + TECHNIQUE.
Where the Preface can be:
Noun (optionally: and more Nouns) or
FROM State TO State.
Also, a Preposition can be inserted before Preface.
Then, in order to define a technique (according to this proposal) the standard sentence form must be followed. After it is defined, it should be possible to look up the acronym symbols dictionary.
For example, when creating a definition for a technique which objective is to induce a lucid dream that happens upon wakening, the following sentence would be created:
Upon awakening induced lucid dream technique.
Considering that the acronym symbol table has the following elements, each one with a given grammatical category (but not limited to):
• A: assisted; (Technique Verb)
• D: dream; (Achievable Noun)
• F: from; (State sentence word)
• I: induced; (Technique Verb)
• In: initiated; (Adjective)
• L: lucid; (Adjective)
• M: mnemonic; (Noun)
• N: normal; (Adjective)
• S: shared; (Adjective)
• Sl: asleep or sleeping or sleep; (Adjective, Verb or Noun)
• T: technique; (Technique sentence final word)
• To: to; (State sentence word)
• U: upon; (Preposition)
• W: wake or awake or wakening; (Noun or adjective)
The following acronym would be created:
As stated in previous sections, Dream Initiated Lucid Dream is in fact a category of dreams. Then Dream, Initiated and Lucid are adjectives and dream is an achievable noun. If the earlier technique would be used specifically for Dream Initiated Lucid Dreams, the acronym would be UWIDInLDT, which stands for:
Upon awakening induced dream initiated lucid dream technique.
The final acronym can both be used as a verb or as a noun, and can be composed into new sentences as a State Descriptor.
Since the final acronyms can be used as state descriptors, as long as it defines a time or occurrence, the earlier defined acronym may be combined into another sentences.
For example, considering that a technique based on mnemonics is created to help with achieving UWILDT, this acronym would be used as the achievable noun: MAUWILDTT would stand for:
Mnemonic Assisted UWILDT Technique.
However, if UWILDT is used to describe a state, for example: BUWILDTISD: Before UWILDT induced shared dream.
While some techniques can be used together (composed), other may not. It is not a trivial activity; however, the standard form of the sentence can assist on the discovery, for instance:
Upon Awakening Induced Lucid Dream and Upon Sleeping Induced Lucid Dream have conflicting states.
In this topic, problems regarding the current acronym and definitions were exposed. Solutions were proposed to cope with the exposed problems.
• The acronym dictionary leads to dependencies among the members while defining and looking up a definition;
• It was not identified the completeness of the standard sentence, further suggestions are welcome;
• The proposed solution for composability is not very natural as recommended by the introduction.
• The proposal do not solves the ambiguity of a definition, for example, one technique may have more than one definition.
Despite the problems, it is expected that this post encourages the community to bring new ideas to the subject.
An important issue that it was not dealt in this post is (if possible): “How to naturally define the conflicts among the techniques”.
Thanks to Rhewin for encouraging me to post this on General Lucidity.
LaBerge, Stephen; Rheingold, Howard (1990). Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming. ISBN 034537410X.
LaBerge, S. and Levitan, L. Other Worlds: Out-of-Body Experiences and Lucid Dreams. (NightLight newsletter, 1991)
LaBerge, Stephen. Lucid Dreaming: The power of being aware and awake in your dreams. ISBN 0874773423. (1985)