Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Lucid Dream Report 1

"The Picasso's Apprentice Dream"

8 January 2012
As this was a full lucid dream, I will record it differently to my normal dream interpretations as there seems little point in analysing the symbolism of a dream which I brought into existence entirely by my own intention. Further, I wish to keep (full) lucid dreams separate from regular dreams so I might be able to analyse the ‘lucidity triggers’.

Mnemonic/MILD techniques
  • Nightly before sleep (6 weeks; on-off practice across 5 – 10 years prior to current project, with no further mental dream entrainment/incubation at those times)
  • Daily ‘reality checks’ (approximately 10 per day) – markings on left hand

Dream incubation technique
Nightly (1 week)

Binaural ‘theta’ beats
I listened through to 90 minutes of theta beats through headphones, before and during sleep (past 3 days)

  • 5-HTP (200mg) before sleep (1 month)
  • High strength cod liver oil enriched with omega 3 & multivitamins A – Z with evening meal (past 3 months) 
    Time of dream
    During 1st hour of sleep during afternoon nap lasting approximately 90 minutes (note no 5-HTP would be in my system at this time, as I ingest before a night-time sleep, with the product metabolising within 6 hours of consumption – this may account for REM sleep/lucidity occurring soon after falling asleep i.e. no ‘REM rebound’ effect taking place).

    As I was entering sleep (listening to the theta beats), I felt my body falling in on itself – I could ‘feel’ the sleep slowly loosening me. The falling sensation continued and I felt my eyes uncontrollably twitching, I couldn’t stop this, no matter how hard I tried, until I realised that they were closed tightly. This seemed to act as a ‘trigger’ – I thought ‘I must be in REM sleep!’ I opened my eyes and it was still pitch black and I was still falling. I don’t know why, but I didn’t perform a ‘reality check’ by attempting to look at my hand – I assume this is because I was already aware I was in a lucid state and didn’t feel the need to test this. I imagined myself as Alice falling down the rabbit hole to Wonderland and tried to focus my thoughts on landing on solid ground or seeing something. I saw the bottom of my ‘dress’ and noticed it as a long, sky blue circular skirt – like that I associate with the character of Alice. This made me feel calm. I looked down and saw, through the darkness, a huge shining amethyst gem stone at the bottom of my ‘rabbit-hole’. I felt my feet touch ground, but I was still in darkness and the amethyst was gone. I thought, I wish I could have some light in here and moved my right arm forwards in front of me and felt amazed to see I was holding a lit match which could illuminate some of my environment. I concentrated on having a better, brighter light, but could not conjure up anything better than the lit match. I saw in a window in front of me, at head height – with prison bars. I thought I might be able to remove them and found I could, by pulling them softly. I then tried to imagine that  I was in a bright, sunny environment – like a grassy meadow, but it still remained dark and I only had my match. I then looked to my left and saw part of what looked to be the shadow of a palm tree (I have always had a fascination for silhouettes and particularly love palm tree motifs). I felt very happy and wanted to see the beach. I could hear the gentle splashing of the ocean waves to my right, but I could see nothing still. At this point, I was becoming frustrated at my inability to ‘control’ what was going on in my dream and I think I may have started feeling anxious as I tried not to think negative thoughts or conjure up unwanted images (I sometimes feel anxious about seeing bizarre ‘dream environments’ as opposed to meeting ‘bad’ dream characters – to see myself in a scene from the film The Day After Tomorrow (2004) – where the planet is flooded with water is a much more frightening prospect than say, coming into contact with Freddie Krueger. The worst image from this particular scenario is that of the Statue of Liberty becoming submerged. I also fear seeing the world ‘falling away’ into nothing or being on the edge of something looking down – I think the actual fear is of something ‘lying beneath unseen’, certainly with the water dreams). It was perhaps this desperately trying to think of ‘nice’ images that brought about the nightmarish ones at this point – I could see a face in a white mask, covered in blood splatters swaying from left to right in front of me, which I would just about see by following with the lit match. Sometimes it looked like ‘Jason’ from the Friday the Thirteenth movies, but as it moved back and forth, at other times it appeared ‘tribal’. I tried to mentally force the image ‘away’ and could then see a little clearer – now the match showed me a wider, brighter circle of light. There was a curved ski slope and several tiny cartoon-like characters were (not skiing, but sliding on their feet) coming down towards me with huge smiles on their faces – I tried to ‘see’ them and they were from the illustrations of the Chapman Brothers (two of my favourite contemporary British artists) – therefore quite nightmarish by design. They had the same ‘painted’ quality. I didn’t feel anxious or scared anymore, and watched for a moment, before deciding that I should actively do more to enhance the experience. It is strange that within my lucid dream state I was able to feel disillusioned with the experience whilst still experiencing it! I felt cold and shivery and tried to imagine warmth - and indeed could then feel the heat of sun on my back – although it was still dark night. I thought about ‘goldfish’ (a topic of a conversation in real-life, two days previously – where we debated whether they were natively tropical or cold water fish, concluding that they must be cold, non-saltwater as they are used as prizes at fairgrounds and stored in plastic bags of tap-water). I was then in a small, white boat on the sea – I could see and hear the waves lapping at the sides. I looked at the floor and saw a pile of dead fish – they were not goldfish. I imagined myself back on the shore and found myself there immediately. I decided to ‘meet’ someone non-threatening to test my control of the dream. I thought ‘I’d like to meet Kim Kardashian’. It was no longer quite so dark, as the moon was shining above me, illuminating everything in a cool, blue light. I looked up to see the moon, which hadn’t been there before, and it was huge - sitting just above the horizon – almost 20 times larger than normal and a strange whitish-blue. I thought I might start panicking at the changing environment, so I focused really hard on an image of Kim wearing a white dress similar to one I had actually seen her wearing in a relatively recent media photograph, and everything felt very relaxed and tranquil - all fears and concerns just seemed to wash away. I was then standing at an easel, painting a picture of Kim Kardashian in the style of Picasso (his later 'high Cubism' style - particularly his portraits of women) – the painting was amazing  and I knew it was a masterpiece, but I was slightly annoyed that I couldn’t walk over to Kim or call out to her. I knew I had been commissioned to paint her and as an artist’s apprentice, I wasn’t supposed to speak to the client. I wish I had actively tried to break the ‘rules’, but I felt I should not. I asked myself who I was apprenticed to and realised it was Picasso himself. The experience of ‘asking myself’ was like trying to recall a short-term memory – I sort of ‘reminded myself’ if that makes sense. This knowledge reassured me that I was right in not disrespecting the rules, as Picasso was just authority over me and my blossoming career and I was pleased to behave properly for him. I knew my painting of Kim Kardashian would make me rich and garner critical acclaim. The darkness started to lift then, and it became a beautiful sunny day instantly – the tropical island was the most picturesque location I have ever experienced. Kim was gone, but I felt the greatest sense of achievement at my art and my conduct – I felt enormous pride looking at my finished painting. I woke up. The binaural beats had finished playing a few minutes prior to this and the dog had run into the room, probably creating a noise distraction.

    Associated dream imagery
    'Alice' falling down the dark rabbit-hole from Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951) (above) and the iconic blue 'Alice' dress (below)
    Barred prison windows
    Tropical island
    'Jason mask'

    The Chapman Brothers'-style cartoon characters were reminiscent of those from Jake & Dinos Chapman, My Giant Colouring Book 5 (2004) - cover (above) & selection of images from the book/accompanying exhibitions (below)
    Curving ski slope
    Small white fishing boat
    Dead silvery-white fish
    Huge blue moon on the ocean horizon
    Artist's easel by the ocean
    Kim Kardashian in a white dress
    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
    Pablo Picasso, Seated Nude (1953) Oil on canvas (130.2 x 95.9cm)
    Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman (1953) Oil on canvas (60.8 x 49cm)
    Pablo Picasso, Large Seated Nude in Red Armchair (1929) Oil on canvas (195 x 130cm)

    1 comment:

    1. I'm not sure if it is relevant to the symbol of the 'blue moon' which appeared in this lucid dream, but I have just noticed that the nail varnish I was wearing at the time is called 'Blue Moon' (by Barry M) - a fact I was previously unaware of!