The technique driven mentality and mind-hacking

The Technique Driven Mentality
I’ve noticed that there is a certain mentality on the forum and chat, with regards to techniques. It might sound peculiar, but it seems people are becoming more focused around generating techniques, and less around actually getting lucid.

I know that techniques are generally considered, a method to get lucid. I’m beginning to doubt though if that is truly the case, or at least, if it is the most useful mechanism or mentality for an aspiring Lucid Dreamer to adopt. The whole experience is becoming centred around what technique are you using. There is a strong drive, it seems, to designate and name techniques. To pidgin-hole them neatly. I’m not sure if that is useful.

In addition to not being useful, I’m concerned that such a system is paving the way for ulterior motives, that aren’t necessarily malicious deliberately, but are still harmful. For example, egoism as somebody supervises the dissemination of their technique. Whilst this is helpful in the short term for certain people, for whom the technique is effective, for those that it isn’t however, they don’t gain from it, they just get a little more frustrated at another failed attempt.

So what would be the alternative?
For me the alternative is to ignore the technique name, to be inquisitive. Listen to how other people get lucid of course, and see if there are any ideas there which may prove beneficial. I have to stress, I don’t see this as a technique. The technique is nothing more than the finished method that is effective for you. Why are we viewing the process as a whole that must be taken as a complete item. It’s like looking at a computer as a solid unit, instead of separate components. Each of us is different, I don’t think the solution is to try all the techniques to find one that works, but to dismantle them down to their components and construct something useful to us.


This for me links to the techniques driven mentality. It’s almost like there is a thought that we must hack our minds to be able to lucid dream, like its some purpose we must sneakily obtain and that the technique is the means to do this.

I’m not sure it’s the case that we have to hack, that there is an ultimate technique to do this. I don’t think a ‘master’ of lucid dreaming has a method as such to share, precisely for this reason. Perhaps because they have transcended techniques. To them Lucid Dreaming is just natural, and these hacks and tricks we use, nothing more than stepping stones on the way to that point or there to assist in getting into the right frame of mind.

I’d love to hear others views on these thoughts.

Brilliance! Its true, everyday we have people that are panicking they aren’t doing the techniques right (especially WILD; there are at least 3 WILD posts per page in the Quest) and absolutely need to know what they are doing wrong. I think this leads many people to saying “I can’t do it!” because they can’t perfect a technique. And then it gets really confusing once you add variations like FILD, M-WILD, CILD, VILD, DEILD, C-WILD, etc. Really, for me technique names are just the way I classify an LD after I’ve already had one. I don’t try to VILD, I just do it if it feels right at the time. I may not be a master, but I’ve had a pretty high success rate.

Anywho, great topic. I wish I had thought of it :tongue:

I tend to agree with you, Dragon. Although to a beginner, lucid dreaming can be very daunting and many people need direction at first. However, I feel that once a person has good dream recall and is motivated enough, he/she should do whatever feels natural in order to become lucid. I think that it’s somewhat important to have distinctions between a DILD and a WILD, but very specific techniques, such as CALD or the new GALD (Game-Induced Lucid Dreaming) seem to be a bit too specific. Sure, one can use characters or games or what have you to become lucid, but as you say, they should be taken as a component of the whole rather than a means to an end.

I also think that in focusing on techniques, people tend to neglect basic skills such as dream recall, reality checking, and general awareness of themselves. If one focuses on a technique, one tends to be so concentrated on that one thought that they forget to actually look around them and question reality. To “master” lucid dreaming, which I haven’t done yet, it seems as though it requires a mindset rather than an inventory of skills.

You won’t believe me if I tell you this, GreenDragon, but I’ve been thinking about the same thing today. And I must say, you are very right. For example, I don’t know how to go to sleep normally anymore :eek:. When I go to sleep, even though I know it is useless I do WILD without wanting to ! :help:

And I remember those sweet times (About two months or so) when I was new to this forum and could fall asleep “normally” - now my “normal” way of falling asleep is WILD. I just lay there for hours motionless without any effect.

I guess that explains why I’m so tired all the time… :sad:

I know exactly how you feel! I went through that period as well, basically resulting in insomnia because I just couldn’t fall asleep. It lasted about a month without any LDs. I took a little break then saying to myself, tonight I am going to sleep normally and I really don’t care if I dream or not. I just want to sleep. Finally was able to sleep again. I did start WBTB after a while,( because I really do long to get lucid) but only every other day, to give myself a rest.
Lately however I realize that it should not be necessary for me to do this either, that I should be able to become lucid by just bing more aware and by constantly doing reality checks until I have changed my perspective more solidly. Becoming more aware during the day and questioning your reality really seems to be the key to becoming more aware in your dream.

Yeah, KauaiDreamer. I did a WBTB today (about 6-7 hours ago) without wanting to. I woke up and went to sleep again. I had a short LD. I feel happy :gni:

Still, I don’t know how to go to sleep without doing WILD. When I go to sleep, it’s WILD-time :tongue:. And that makes me :cry:

I was never completely comfortable with most techniques. I mean, you could probably classify most of my LDs as CALD, but ONLY because a DC reminds me it’s a dream. It’s not like I incubated the DC to say something in that situation. (I have characters for writing reasons only) I completely agree with your view on the “hacking” mentality. I never, ever, ever have LDs on days when I think too much about them. I just sort of gently ask my SC to remind me to LD later. It doesn’t “soak in” if I let the thought consciously develop at all, so my SC incubates it until I fall asleep. It’s definitely more of a mind set than a trick. I find that using MILD or WBTB or WILD or CALD, etc, is like trying to assert my thinking self’s dominance over the SC, when the SC truly controls the dreaming state and can be a cruel and bitter mistress that doesn’t appreciate being told what to do.

As a beginner, I was totally intimidated by the WILD technique, and WBTB just messed with my sleep schedule. My SC knows perfectly well what I’m doing. LDs have to come naturally for me.

In fact, the only “technique” that has ever worked for me multiple times is to go to bed super tired. Not “stayed up until 3 am” tired, but a “I had a busy day at school and then I went to the gym, and then the girls went out for dinner so I went too OMG I NEED SLEEP!” It’s not a technique. It’s the blatant negligence of any technique whatsoever.

I find that day-time activities that require me to be more aware (a hectic schedule, a busy social life) seem to carry over into the dream state. My brain hasn’t calmed down from that wild party, or that invigorating debate, which makes my dreams much more vivid. Plus, having WL experiences enriches my dreams (LD or not) much more than laying in bed obsessing over getting lucid. I think beginners place so much importance on using the “right” technique for LDs that they put themselves under too much stress. LDs should be an enlightening experience, a supplement to daily life, rather than a way to prove oneself capable of WILDing.

tl;dr: I agree that a “mind-hacking” mindset is useless if the goal is to “master” LDs. Dreams are only a third of your life, at most. They should be enjoyed instead of being a source of stress.

I wished that this worked for me! Unfortunately it does the opposite. If I have a really hard and exhausting day I sleep like a log, with absolutely no dream recall, or if I do, I dream of things that are too normal, so nothing will stand out and trigger lucidity.
I think the importance of LDing is different for everyone though!
Personally I would like to master LDing, for the sole reason of finding out that we can be more then what we are. To get a better glimpse at our “reality”. Lucid dreaming is not entertainment for me, even though it feels indeed wonderful to be lucid. I wish to learn from it. In one LD I was able to create a small healing energy ball that I placed over my damaged molar that still hurt so much even after I had it fixed that I could not bite down on it (the dentist had told me he did all he could, but that I would probably lose it). The morning after this LD I I was actually able to chew a little with it. It wasn’t healed all the way, but seeing as my healing energy ball was really small and flimsy, it is a wonder it did anything. I have heard of more people who have healed through lucid dreaming. So this is what I wish to master.
So I guess for me it is important to be able to lucid dream on a regular, and even an “at will” basis. My subconscious knows what I wish to accomplish, but I think for me my conscious is the one fighting me on this. Haven’t figured out why yet.

I completely agree with this, and in fact, I too have been thinking about this recently. I myself am still a rather inexperienced LD’er (although I’ve been doing this for a while), but I have gotten close a few times. Despite this, I have not become frustrated, but instead, I started questioning lucid dreaming and all these techniques.

I’ve noticed a lot of people have developed this sort of “Technique Driven Mentality”, and the way I see it, it actually works more against you than for you. At least, for some people. For others, it works great, but it doesn’t work for everyone. In reality, LD’s are these simple actions that shouldn’t require much effort, because, after all, it is merely increased awareness within a dream. Even dream recall should be simple, as all it requires of us is to remember, and, for the most part, people are able to easily remember their recent past: Can you remember this morning? Last night? What happened yesterday at noon and when you woke up? But can you remember most of what happened during that 8 hour gap between last night and this morning? Most people can’t. A few remember it quite well.

Despite this being so “simple”, I still don’t understand why it isn’t that easy. LD’s are something everyone is capable of doing, some naturally, some with a bit of effort. “Techniques” are merely here to give us a boost, but instead, those who struggle to achieve a LD cling onto these techniques, and usually its not just one technique, but many.

I want to see why natural and experienced LD’ers can easily LD with or without techniques. I assume its simple because of knowledge. They know how to LD, so they can. But then, why does it become so difficult for the less experienced? Even when they have had an LD?

Agreed. I can’t fall asleep anymore without thinking “Oh joy, I just rolled over. Now I’m going to take even longer to fall asleep. I’ll just lay here and concentrate on not moving.” I can’t fall asleep normally anymore!

Dragon, very well put. I think the technique mentality hurts us rather than helps us.

Yeah, I agree on this one. When I first joined this site, I had gained amazing (compared to usual) recall and decided I’d try some techniques. Basically, I lost motivation because I couldn’t get any technique to work for me and my recall went down, leading to a lack of interest in lucid dreaming.

Just before coming back to this site, I had my first lucid dream. I hadn’t used any techniques or even attempted to lucid dream, it just came. After that my recall was doing good and I decided to try some techniques again, resulting in what is happening right now, terrible recall.

I think the best way to go about lucid dreaming, at least for me, is to just focus on recall. Once it gets good, stick with it and sooner or later I imagine your recall will get good enough to realize you’re dreaming without much trying. This is basically what I’m going to try doing because techs have just been hindering me ever since I started using them.

This is so true. That and just being more aware of your environment. I think one of the big reasons why any tech works is because it makes you think about LD’ing. Just from personal experience, becoming lucid seems to be much more about your attitude and thinking rather than just performing some tech.

I totally agree with this. It seems that many people feel like there is a door in front of them, and that the techniques are the “keys”. When it is more like they are there to help you find the keys that are already in your pocket. If you learn to find them for yourself things can go much smoother.
Now I do see the point behind the techniques, like MILD helps keep it on your mind, and WILD carries over your conscious awareness into dreamland, and I’ve practiced, and still practice them often. But I recently came to realize this very thing. So now I try to focus more on lucidity and less on techniques that say they will get you there.
Last night I thought of a new mantra, “I know”. I was trying to think about what the core of lucidity is, and I came up with knowing. So “I know”. For me it means many things.
I know:
I will have a lucid dream
I will remember my dreams
I will have clarity
it will have good length
it will be awesome
I did this while counting, 1 I know, 2 I know, 3 I know etc. I fell asleep not too long after and later that night I had a LD in which I just knew I was dreaming. No RCs, no weird stuff was going on at that point, I just knew.
So I think it is just fine to do the techniques, but focus on being lucid rather than how you will become lucid. The keys are already in your pocket, just pull them out and enjoy the ride.

I completely agree with Yves and Dreamjutsu!
Techniques are useful yes. CALD and MILD work on prospective memory, and are basically just based on autosuggestion. WILD helps maintain awareness throughout the different sleep phases. And VILD simply requires you to use your imagination to envision your LD. All these are different, and some people are better off with one of these rather than another.

However, all they really are there for is to help make some sort of transition. They can be used to fill in some sort of “gap” between ND’s and LD’s, but you could always just “jump” this gap without the help of any technique.

I like how Dreamjutsu put it:

And I think that’s all it really is. But now, if someone else were to look at this and say, “Oh, if that worked for him, then maybe that will work for me too!”, and if they try to copy Dreamjutsu, they might fail. Why? Because now this person is looking at this as new method or “technique”, a new, simple way to become lucid. But this person is forgetting one thing: Belief. Knowing a technique and attempting to become lucid through it does not mean you believe it will work. That is probably why this person failed to become lucid, and even continue to fail if they don’t change their perception of an LD around a bit (or “attitude”, as Yves put it).

And I believe belief itself is NOT something you have to put a lot of thought or effort into. All it takes is knowing (as Dreamjutsu put it :content: ).

Yes, it’s all about just being more aware, and in a way, not even thinking or worrying about having lucid dreams, but just be more aware in life then it happens in dreams.

This whole technique thing really can cause stress on many people. but I do see it helps people lucid dream like how when you first learn to make coffee: you may stress about getting the measurements right and following the directions…etc. Then later you just make coffee really quick and don’t even think about it being a technique.

Hahaha, I like that analogy! :tongue:
That same analogy can be applied to many RL matters, and just as well, to dreams.

Yeah they actually have to believe it. Not just think, “Oh, it worked for them so I should do it too.” I think it works best if it really fits you, and you feel connected with it. I feel like one of the most beneficial things you can do is do what works for you. Not others. It is fine to try them out, but make them your own, personal.

On a similar note: I think I’ve come up with something that works for me. If I wake up about an hour before I usually get up and say my mantra (“I am aware that I am dreaming”) about 4-5 times and then go to sleep, I have about a 75% success rate in becoming lucid.

The thing is is that you couldn’t have found that in a guide. You couldn’t read that somewhere as an established tech and make it work for yourself. I find that to work for myself; I wasn’t directed to do that from anyone else. And that’s the whole thing that Dreamjutsu is talking about. You find a method that works for you through accident or trial and error or luck, but I think it rarely works out where you read a tech and then have instant and constant success with it. You really have to make it your own.

Yeah Yves, exactly!

@ Rehwin
Thanks for your kind words Rhawin, I have to be honest these thoughts aren’t strictly something I came up with alone, many of the thoughts arose from hearing other members discuss their ideas.

@ Yves
I’m not so sure about the usefulness beyond helping to describe. I mean I can see the use in saying I find DILD works better for me than WILD. To save having to say, I find I get lucid during a dream that is already happening more than I do from going to sleep maintaining awareness. It’s less wordy and more to the point, but as far as helping to induce lucid dreams…

The concept of trying to get lucid by staying aware is useful whether you know the name or not. I’d say it could be harmful if people ascribe too much to the label WILD, like “to WILD means to sleep on your back” or some such, as a raw example. “or to wild means to count to keep aware when trying to sleep” Such an idea limits creative solutions, there are many ways to stay aware when falling asleep, you can’t do WILD wrong, a WILD is just a type of lucid dream. That’s more what I’m considering here.

@ Don Annoymous
I can relate to trying to WILD in some form every night, I did that for months too. I wouldn’t worry about it, if you are finding yourself lay awake, just focus on relaxing and forget about Lucid dreaming. That is sleeping normally as far as I can tell. :tongue:

@ Dreamjutsu
That was a very eloquent analogy, about the keys, I like it.

Yeah, I can see that analogy. I think that it will be much easier to remember and will allow you much more creativity if you understand the elements of a technique though. Like why you boil the kettle and add it to the coffee powder. What purpose the sugar serves. Then there can be little things that aren’t part of a technique, like adding honey instead of sugar. If you see the method of making coffee as a whole process, you lock down so much creativity you could throw in. Trying using cream instead of milk. You can understand the parts, and begin to understand what things can be swapped for other things or even removed completely or reworked.

I think this hits right on the head of something I feel strongly is an important part. Its not a clinical operation learning to Lucid Dream, as has been pointed out earlier in the topic, its something that is so simple in theory. There isn’t a real strong reason why we can’t LD at will. I think building an understanding of ourselves, in a personal way. We move one step closer to LDing naturally. Where its no longer a hack we must make to attain it. It’s something we can just decide to do at will.

[size=75]Sorry for my slow reply, been busy with work[/size]