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Thread: My favorite altered state - "the snooze"

  1. #11
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: My favorite altered state - "the snooze"

    Quote Originally Posted by Azvanna View Post
    I wonder how hard it would be to simply observe if heading into a nightmare. My husband has a natural ability for lucid dreaming. He never developed it consciously, but in all his dreaming and especially if a nightmare begins, he can simply take control and change the thing into a bunny or ice cream or whatever! The only time he can't do this is when he's really sick. I don't view lucid dreaming as a positive unless you're purely an observer like you say, Corbin, because then your fears are never really brought to your awareness. I could name my husband's fears with a certain amount of accuracy, but I'm not sure he could. I also wonder how subconscious the subconscious would become if it knew it were being watched.. kind of like us. If we know we're being watched, our behaviour is changed to suit what we think the observer might be pleased with seeing. If I understand the quantum physics right (is that even possible...), even particles change behaviour when being observed.
    This is pretty much what I imagine as well.

    I have had lucid dreams on rare occassions, but not often enough or consistently enough to be able to experiment with them - just often enough to know it is possible to have them, so I'm not much of an expert. I'd kindda like to know what your hubby feels about this...

    And this is also why I would act as an observer, and let things unfold - even in a nightmare, where horror can go beyond description - to be able to detach from the the overwhelming fear enough to watch how things unfold seems like it would provide more info than would changing things to be more pleasant.

    As far as what the subconcious would do, I think the idea of "retreating into darkness" might come into play. By definition, as soon as something subconscious becomes conscious it is no longer subconscious. Taking control in a lucid dream might mean that a line of communication has been cut off and turned into a way of enjoying fantasy (not that fantasy is bad, but the mind does other things as well), causing the communication to be lost in the shuffle. This is purely speculative on my part - again, I don't lucid dream often enough to be able to test the theory. It would be interesting to hear from somebody who does, and can test it.

    One thing I actually am certain about is this - when the subconcious is aware that you are observing your dreams (as when you keep a dream diary), it will change the dream content. I have seen this very often, and read or talked with many people who have had the same experience:

    If you analyze your dreams using Freudian theory, you start having Freudian dreams. Use Jungian theory, and you have Jungian dreams. Alchemy theory brings alchemy dreams, while Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish theory brings Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish dreams. The effect of changing the theory you use to understand dreams has a profound effect on the content of the dream.

    IMHO, I think this is because the subconciuos wants to be heard, and will try to communicate in whatever language the observer is trying listen with.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jembru View Post
    You won't get links or quotes to back up my theory though. My spirituality doesn't concern itself much with trying prove myself right. I'm less concerned about being right and more concerned about just being.
    I have come to the conclusion that books have a limited value (and this is coming from a person who, literally, loves books!).

    It's always good to have information, and books can give you all kinds of ideas that you may not have ever been able to think of yourself, but if one is going to explore the subjective world, one should remember that the value of a subjective experience is subjective, and does not require comfirmation from books, and that measurements measure only what can be measured.

    Subjective experience is not measurable.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    I have insomnia due to bi polar. I can only sleep with zzzquil. Though due to my naturally inclined night owl status, I can do a good nap(if I put my audiobook on).
    I can't meditate. i can't sleep.
    I'm effed.
    I feel your pain. For a while I was downing 10 benadryls a night, and they stopped having any effect at all. I once ODed on 'quill, and it was not a pleasant experience...
    Last edited by B. de Corbin; 13 Jul 2016 at 01:46.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  2. #12
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: My favorite altered state - "the snooze"

    Speaking of dreams, here is an interesting article:

    Are dreams predictions?: Dreams might not be omens or prophecies in a mystical sense, but they do have a distinct psychological predictive power

    To the extent that the author is on the right track (but I suspect that "dreaming" is information dense - there is far more going on than allows a single theory to explain them), it tends to support the idea that controling dreams may - at least in a vague way - be less than optimal.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  3. #13
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: My favorite altered state - "the snooze"

    Since the last time we were talking about sleep, dreams, and meditation, I've been conducting an experiment, and thought I'd share the results. I have some new insights...

    Background:

    1. I'm an experienced meditator - I've been doing it for a long time. Although there are many types and techniques of meditiation, the "standard" for me is the simple breath-counting meditation.

    2. I know from past experience that, if I meditate while tired and lying down, I'll fall asleep fairly quickly. In fact, this is the usual way I go to sleep at night.

    3. I have had a couple of times where I fell asleep, then woke up, still breath-counting. this suggests that it is possible to meditate in your sleep, although I've never remembered any dreams when doing this. My suspicion is that I entered the hypnagogic state - the state between wakeful and sleeping. this state is characterized (subjectively) by vivid hallucinations that seen very real - i.e: true hallucinations, which are different from pseudohallucinations where the hallucinator knows he/she is hallucinating. Everybody goes through this state every night, but usually doesn't remember the hallucinations because the state is also characterized by complete amnesia of the experience, unless a person wakes up during the state.

    4. I have previously experimented with the hypnogogic state by paying close attention to the subjective experience of "falling asleep," then waking myself up before reaching full sleep - and amnesia. From these experiments I know that, as one falls asleep, there is a strong, almost irresistible desire to "let go." This "almost irresistible desire to let go" is much like a drug craving. You want it so bad that resistance seems pointless. I suspect this is an effect of the brain chemicals that bring on sleep.

    Because of these 4 experiences, it occurred to me that I could try breath counting meditation while monitoring my "falling asleep," and possibly avoid the amnesia. So that's what I did.

    I can't say that I have mastered this, but I did have a couple of experiences that may shed a little light on what is going on. In both cases I found that I could switch my attention from breath-counting to hypnagogic hallucinations at will. I didn't experience both at once, but could shift from one to the other as I chose. The quality of the hallucinations was still very realistic - when I was there, I experienced them as "real" (they were nothing special - I was walking the dog on one occasion, and on the other I was watching a movie that I had just finished watching), and the knowledge that I was hallucinating did not enter into my experience, but, at the same time, I could shift to the other perspective - the one where I was counting breaths, as if I were somehow aware that I was having both experiences at the same time..

    My best guess as to what was happening is this - it is a well established fact from experiments on people who have had the connection between the two brain hemispheres (the corpus callosum) that each hemisphere acts independently, and the subjective perception of a single conciousness is due to the near instantaneous communication between hemispheres through the corpus callosum.

    It may be possible that one hemisphere was engaged in the breath-counting meditation, while the other half was engaged in the hypnogogic hallucinations.

    If that's the case, it would mean that there is a third independent consciousness at work as well - the one that was "the observer," the "I."

    I wonder where that thing comes from? Is it a third part of the brain, or an amalgam to the two hemispheres that can turn inward and observe itself, or what...?
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

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    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: My favorite altered state - "the snooze"

    Thanks for the update on your experimenting. This could very much explain my own experiences of vivid dreaming/journeying. I can only enter that state if I meditate lying down, and can only bring it on deliberately if I listen to drumming. It would make sense then that the drum sounds are keeping enough of my mind active to prevent me falling into a deeper sleep state and thus allow me to recall the visions. It's good to have a possible explanation as to what is happening to me.

    Mind you, at the same time I'm a bit bummed out by that. I mean, does this mean I haven't been entering the spirit worlds after all? Has it all just been a hallucination? I guess I have to be willing to accept that as a very real possibility. It's just the things I've learnt through these visions have had such real and positive affects on my life. Has it really all been nothing but a coincidence?
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

  5. #15
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: My favorite altered state - "the snooze"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jembru View Post
    Mind you, at the same time I'm a bit bummed out by that. I mean, does this mean I haven't been entering the spirit worlds after all? Has it all just been a hallucination? I guess I have to be willing to accept that as a very real possibility. It's just the things I've learnt through these visions have had such real and positive affects on my life. Has it really all been nothing but a coincidence?
    Take the word "hallucination" with a few large grains of salt. I use the word because I'm trying for clarity in expressing my thinking and experiences. But giving a thing a name is not the same as knowing what a thing is.

    We call dreams imaginary because, once we wake up, waking "reality" feels more real than dreaming "reality." In other words, we call things real if they feel real in comparison to other things, but, in truth, we don't know what really is real, or what is imaginary. Both real and imaginary are products of the brain - literally, the brain costructs ordinary "reality" by creating an internal model based on sensory input (right now, I feel a pain in my arm. The pain, however, is created in the brain, then projected outward to the place that is "arm" in a model of my body created by the brain).

    The brain also recieves input from other parts of itself. We really have no way of telling whether input is coming from the outside, or the inside... Other than reality testing (is the water hot? Feel it). But, since reality testing requires the brain to interpret sensory data, which could also be data being input from other parts of the brain, we end up knowing nothing.

    Theoretically, the real test would be survival. If I imagine that a truck barreling down the road is a ball of cotton I won't live long, and my crazy genes don't reproduce. However, not every possible event is a survival crisis, and, there may be ways in which interpreting outer experience as inner experience, or interpreting inner experience as outer experience may lend a hand to survival. Even reality testing doesn't give us exact answers...

    ... with this in mind, consider - does your spirit journeying increase, in some way, your chances of survival? (And you say they have)

    If so, it is real enough.
    Last edited by B. de Corbin; 23 Oct 2016 at 16:13.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

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    Sr. Member Chessa's Avatar
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    Re: My favorite altered state - "the snooze"

    Honestly, as someone who's always fighting myself every step of the way (thank you fire-and-brimstone upbringing that thinks even meditation is new-agey and evil), I do my best work when I haven't slept for a while. The added benefit is that when I finally *do* sleep, I have awesome and incredibly vivid dreams, and if I can sleep in, I have a little more control of the dream when I roll over and go back to sleep a second time.

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