Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Dream 339

'Raekwon's Looks Improve'
I was in a room with sisters AP and KP. KP had a textbook which she was showing me. However she told me that 'clients' had written confidential anecdotes about breastfeeding in the margins, so I was not able to read the book myself - she was flicking through the pages quickly so I could not actually see what was written. 

I was then watching a performance by American rock band Faith No More which was very energetic and accompanied by strobe lights. I was right up close to the stage and it seemed as if I was watching a music video rather than at a live show, even though I recalled arriving at the venue (the location of which I cannot remember). I stepped back and realised I was actually watching Wu Tang Clan perform, although only three members - Raekwon, Ghostface Killer and Inspektah Deck were on stage. The track they were performing was not one I was familiar with. I saw a close-up of Raekwon and noticed that he was no longer ugly - his looks had dramatically improved, which I was surprised by. His face was longer and slimmer and his features more aesthetically pleasing. He also looked much younger and fresher-faced, with clear skin which was glowing. He was wearing a pale blue jumper. I then saw Inspektah Deck close up - he had abnormally long arms. I tried to tell someone (unseen) that he looked odd, but I kept referring to him by the name of Gza, even though I knew this was incorrect and Gza was not on stage with his group. 

Monday, 22 December 2014

Dream 338

'Naked & Happy'
My mum asked me to buy her some cigarettes. I was annoyed about this because she gave up smoking nearly 15 years ago and I did not want her to become addicted again. I asked her if she was planning on smoking them herself and she said she wasn't.

The scene changed and I was in a big hallway, by the front door of a residential property. I was sitting on the floor and was completely naked. The front door opened and a group of people - including PS - entered. I felt confident and happy in my nakedness and no shame at all. I was happy to expose my body to these people. I asked PS where N the dog was. He said N was having his front leg amputated. I felt very worried and upset and did not want this to happen. PS was unable to explain why N was having his leg needlessly amputated.

I was then on my way to a hotel with a middle-aged man who I did not know well in the dream and do not recognise from real life. Myself and some female dream characters had been planning to drive in a car to the hotel together, but for some reason we were unable to do so - it may be that the car would not start or was out of petrol. The middle-aged man had approached the car and told us that we did not need to drive there anyway because the hotel was just a few minutes away. He told me that he would show me the way, and despite the fact that it was nearby, we boarded a bus and got a ride there. The hotel was very posh and had an extremely long foyer, with wardrobes lining the walls. The man got me to sit in a luggage trolley and pushed me down the hallway. He stopped by one of the wardrobes (which was open) and I looked inside. There were some white towelling robes hanging inside - complimentary gifts for guests of the hotel. I thought that these robes were called 'Moojies' and I helped myself to one of them, putting it on. We then went into a reception room where there was a desk and a woman seated behind it. She dealt with guest bookings and arrivals. I wondered why I was choosing to pay to stay in a hotel which was in the same area that I lived in anyway (I am not sure exactly where, only that I lived here) and realised that it would be a waste of money, especially since I would be alone in a double room and bored. The receptionist told me that I had not had to pay a deposit, so I was free to leave without losing any money if that is what I wanted. I chose not to stay in the hotel. However, I kept the Moojie that I was wearing.

I then saw PS in a room (I am not sure where) and N the dog was laying in a dog bed. I was stroking him and fussing over him as I normally would and was trying to see if his leg had been amputated, although I could not tell because his front legs were in their usual folded position. I kept trying to count his paws without disturbing him, and it seemed as if they were all there.

* The day after this dream I saw PS posted a picture of N on Facebook - he was laying in a new dog bed and had his front leg folded under which made it look like he had no paw. I am completely convinced I did not see this picture when it was posted because I did not have internet access over the weekend and further, I would not have skimmed over a picture of my beloved N who I miss so much everyday - every time I see a dog resembling N on the internet or in the street I pay careful attention.

Dream 337

'Buying Sugar Clocks'
Dream date: 20 December 2014
I was trying to find clothes to wear to attend a party I had been invited to. The house I was in seemed like my house in Norwich, but different at the same time. I was with a female dream character who was a composite between AM (a girl I lived with during my first undergraduate degree), AP and VW (two girls I went to school with). I could not find anything to wear because although my cupboard was full of clothes, nothing fit me. Everything was much too small. I tried on some camouflage print trousers and then a navy mini-skirt, but neither of them would go over my hips and butt. I then saw a sparkly white vest top on  a coat hanger and decided that I would wear this.

I was then trying to find an email which had been sent to me by Mrs A (my former sixth form teacher). This email had been sent on 10 December, and had an appointment time for me to visit the hospital to undergo an operation on my womb. I had actually received two emails from Mrs A on 10 December, but I had already read the first one, which had the wrong appointment time and date. I needed to find the second, unread email to find the corrected time and date. The female dream character was using my email account, and I made her get off my laptop so I could look through my emails. No matter how hard I looked I could not scroll past the emails sent to me on 9 December - every email I saw listed had been sent on this date. I began to feel worried.

I was then in a shop, trying to buy an alarm clock. All the clocks were red and sugary and some had designs on them. I summonsed a shop assistant to help me choose the best one. She picked two, which were both perfectly round, red and coated in sugar. The clocks did not have the normal features of a clock, just a flat surface. One of them was plain red and the other had a picture of an owl on it. I was trying to decide which one to buy and picked the one with the owl. I handed over my money and then noticed that both clocks had bites out of the side of them. I complained to the shop assistant and her female manager came over. She made the shop assistant refund my money and then reprimanded her, telling her she was rubbish at her job.

I was then at the party. It was party held by MS (a boy from my school and the first boy I ever dated). I realised I was not wearing my intended outfit (the white sparkly vest top), but instead a baggy pink T-shirt. I felt under-dressed, but then noticed that all the other people at the party (locals from Sheringham and particularly my former high school classmates) were all wearing baggy T-shirts. MS told me that he was moving somewhere and I told him that he should stay here instead. Myself and other guests were walking from room to room in the house in which the party was being held. I cannot remember anything else about this dream.

Dream 336

'Magic Taste Maker'
Dream date: 20 December 2014
I was somewhere looking at chocolate desserts, which were perfectly cube-shaped. They were being made by pastry chefs. I then realised that PS's new girlfriend lived in Luton and I had a (dream) memory that I had seen him update his Facebook indicating that he was going to Luton. I thought that this made sense and everything was falling into place.

I then had some kind of handheld gadget, which looked like an icing bag. I just had to think of a flavour and the gadget would squeeze out a coloured gel which would harden into edible pearls which tasted of my chosen flavour. I used the gadget to decorate the hemline of a dress I was wearing with mango flavoured pearls.

I was then walking down York Street in Norwich with DL, telling him about my magic taste-making machine and how we could have a lot of fun with it when we got back home. It was a sunny day. We were both pushing prams with children in them, but the children were not ours. As we crossed the road, I saw a building in front of us and three men stepping outside the door. One of them was my former boss, IF (who I stopped working for following a dispute). He looked old and I wondered if he would acknowledge me, but he walked past and ignored me. I questioned whether he thought the children belonged to me.

Dream 335

'Bad Apprentice'
Dream date: 19 December 2014
I was a contestant on the UK TV show The Apprentice. The project manager for my team was EH, a colleague in real life. We were being supervised by Nick Hewer and the challenge was the one in which the contestants have to buy items from a list provided for the cheapest possible price. The room we were working from was dark, with a kitchen area down one side and tables to sit at. I was sat at a table, using a mobile phone to call suppliers/sellers to get the best price for the items I had been allocated to buy. I rang one company and asked them the price for some specialist books, The man on the phone said that the books cost £x amount (I cannot recall how much he said), but I only budgeted £10 for this item. I asked if he could sell the books to me for this price and he said he could not. Instead of bartering with him, I just said 'thank you' and ended the call, then realised I had made a mistake in not trying to get him to change him mind. My next item was an 'Islamic raincoat' although instead of 'raincoat' I was thinking of an Arabic word and did not know what kind of coat this should be. I was trying to find Islamic dress suppliers to enquire about the item, but having no luck, which made me frustrated. We all left the room and on the way out, passed Nick Hewer, who had an expression on his face which told me he was not impressed by my performance. The other item on my list was a 'roast beef' and I had to prepare this in the kitchen. Instead of doing it myself, I got a male member from the other team to roast the joint of beef, because he was already using the oven for his team's effort. He burnt my team's roast beef, meaning we lost the task and faced the boardroom.

The scene changed and I was in my old bedroom at my nan's house in Sheringham. My cousin HM was there and she had a daughter, aged around 2 - 3 years of age. HM was sitting on the bed with her daughter, while I was standing at the dressing table, styling my hair. I noticed that my long hair had been cut to shoulder length and wondered when this had happened. I also wondered why I had not styled my hair in bunches. I could see the top of my own head and my hair was thinning on the crown. HM put her head back and said: 'My hair is much too thick' (everyone in my family has thick hair). Her hair was as it appears in real life - mid-length and brown. Her hair was loose with a hair clip keeping the front of it from her face. I asked her why she didn't put it in a ponytail and she said: 'That makes blisters on my scalp'. I joined her on the bed and we started talking, She said her mum was 'different' and we both came to the conclusion that her mum going to Germany and meeting up with our aunty, CJ was the reason for the change. HM was then trying to get her daughter to sleep, using some sort of toy which played a lullaby. The little girl was laying, wrapped up in a blanket on the floor by the bed. I went over and kissed her goodbye and left. 

I was then in some kind of costume, which was a white leather catsuit. I was with my ex-boyfriend (from many years ago), SL, and others. We were on some kind of superhero mission and SL was instructing me on what to do. One of the tasks was to run up a staircase as fast as I could. I was behind SL, and we ran up the staircase (it seemed like we were in a train station or similar) at super-human speed. At the top of the stairs were some lifts and we stood outside the lifts to talk. A man with ginger hair stepped out of the lift and started taking photographs of us. I told him to stop. We then went outside, and while I was leaning against a wall, I started having a conversation with SL and the other superheros, all wearing similar costumes to my own. I then realised that I was very special. 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Dream 334

'Cutting Off a Nose Tip'
I was in the back of a car with my stepbrother. My mum was in the front passenger seat and next to her, in the driving seat, was a man whom she was supposedly dating. He was younger than her, big built and with dark hair. My mum was having a baby with this man. Both my stepbrother and I were suspicious of him and felt that he had evil intentions. We were begging my mum to leave him. My mum got out of the car and pulled her boyfriend out of the driver seat. She threw him down on the floor and used a knife to cut off the tip of his nose. This was some kind of 'trick' to make us accept him, but we knew this, and therefore still wouldn't warm to him or approve of the relationship/new baby.

The new boyfriend was then present in an interior setting. The tip of his nose (which had been bloody and shortened) had now regrown/been re-attached. This made me angry, because I knew my mum had done it for theatrical effect to try and fool us in some way. I was learning/studying something - I had textbooks. The new boyfriend was trying to give me cupcakes to make me like him, but I was refusing. There was some kind of aggression or nastiness underlying his personality. 

The rest of my dream recollection is hazy. If I recall anything else about this dream (sometimes dream memories come back to me, triggered by a thought or something I see/hear), I will write this up below...

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Dream 333

'Making a Music Video'
I was in a room which I was going to use to film a music video. The carpet was brown and I was planning to sprinkle green on top to make it look like grass. I knew I hadn't yet written the song (a hip hop track) that I was going to perform, but I thought it was more important to get the setting for the video right before I did that.

In the far corner of the room was a bar and some bar stools. My mum was sitting on one, and my cousin, HM, was on another. HM seemed to be younger than she is now (although she is petite and looks very young for her age anyway). She was wearing a pink vest top. I joined them and HM was doing some kind of weird dance and seemed to be either intoxicated or high. My mum said that we should get her home because her behaviour was odd. HM vomited on the floor (which annoyed me, as this was the scene for my intended music video). My mum said it would be best to take a bus home with HM. 

There was a scene outside in a very foggy, grey, murky urban looking environment where Ruthless (a UK rapper) and a small middle-aged woman were present. I do not recall much about this scene.

I was then aware that PS was now dating a woman called 'Steph' (this is my mum's actual first name). I was talking to Steph (the new girlfriend) on Facebook, but my profile said that I was male and everyone  on my friends list - regardless of whether they knew me offline or online only - believed I was actually male. The lights were very bright in the room I was in, using a computer/laptop and the Facebook screen I was using seemed to mirror exactly what was going on in this room (as if I was watching myself on webcam rather than having a static Facebook profile picture). I cannot recall what Steph looked like, other than she had brown hair. I remember thinking: 'I knew it was her from what she said on Facebook previously' (I am not sure if PS even has a Facebook friend called 'Steph' in real life, but in the dream I had the idea that I had seen her commenting on his status and suspected they were dating).

I know there was more to this dream, which I actually could not remember when I first woke up. However, the memories started coming back to me after a short while. If I recall anything else about this dream, I will update it below...

Lucid Dream Sex

Other than flying, having an erotic encounter is cited as one of the foremost motivations for why people decide to learn how to lucid dream because it is a safe and largely consequence-free way to explore sexuality. In lucid dream sex, the dreamer can experience the pleasure of intimacy without the real life feelings of embarrassment or inadequacy. Indeed, lucid dream sex is often said by oneironauts to be as vivid, arousing and fulfilling as the real thing - or at least a great alternative! Lucid dreaming allows safe exploration of fantasies - whether having sex with a celebrity or other unattainable individual, or partaking in physical acts which are not possible in waking reality. Sex in a lucid dream is so popular because not only is the dreamer consciously aware throughout, but the sensations and feelings are realistic, mimicking those experienced in waking encounters, although I assume that you would need to have actually experienced these feelings and have a waking memory to draw from to compare and contrast. 

Orgasms which occur during sleep - and lucid dreaming - may be real, accompanied by heightened heart rate and breathing, muscular responses and penile ejaculation/vaginal lubrication (depending on whether you are male or female). Not all orgasms within the lucid dream are 'physical' - some may be more mental pleasures, especially if arousal happens instantaneously, but because the lucid dream environment is super-sensory, the pleasure felt often mirrors the most intense versions of real life stimuli. When ejaculation happens during sleep, this is known as a 'wet dream'. In fact, research has shown that penile erections and clitoral engorgement happens throughout the REM stage of sleep, during normal non-lucid dreams. Becoming consciously aware that you are dreaming means that you also become physiologically aware, and can experience sexual arousal. This does not just happen when the dream narrative features an obvious sexual theme - apparently physical arousal occurs during 'flying dreams' also, which may explain why they are so popular amongst lucid dream enthusiasts!

Non-lucid dreams tend to reflect our waking thought patterns and our subconscious emotions, fears and desires are brought to the surface. Many people report having sex dreams with unexpected or unwanted partners which leave them feeling confused or guilty, but there is no shame involved - having a sexual dream about someone doesn't mean that you necessarily want to have sex with them in waking reality. Indeed the sexual act may symbolise something else altogether.

The sensation of becoming lucid in a dream is often so exciting and overwhelming in itself that often the dreamer awakens before the critical moment of achieving their dream goal. This is particularly true for beginner oneironauts, so the best advice is to not become too disheartened, but instead learn anchoring, grounding and stabilisation techniques before attempting complex control or manipulation in order to prolong the lucid dream experience. 

However, lucid dream sex isn't problem free. Sometimes, the desired partner in a lucid dream may be resistant or undergo bizarre character transformations - a frustrating self-limiting construct which frequently occurs in dreams. For some, this is known as the 'Carrot on the string' phenomenon. You can see what you want right before your eyes (like a tempting carrot), but as soon as you reach for it, the string is yanked and you are left grasping thin air. This is because often we do not actually want 'lucid dream sex' but rather a sexual connection - it is not simply about instant gratification or the possessing a sexually  objectified partner, but rather fulfilling a deeper biological need for human relations and intimacy. While it is easy to intellectualise, it is harder to de-programme in a dream. Think about it this way - your dream reflects your inner desires and needs - if your dream sex partner is disinterested or unresponsive, it is because your psyche is interested in something other than the mere act of sexual intercourse. Listen to what your dream is telling you, your dream characters are a meaningful representation of your inner self!

Lucid dreaming is an altered state of consciousness and the sexual energy experience in the dream state, trances and visions have been explored for millennia by mystics, magi and saints as a form of 'journey' towards the divine. Medieval mystics from the Christian tradition (Saint Catherine of Siena and Teresa of Avile) were said to explore sexual themes in their ecstatic trance states, while Buddhism, Taoism and Sufism have developed mental practices for sacred sexuality. Some of the earliest known works of art - the cave paintings in Lascaux, France - depict sexual ecstasy. In fact, many ancient practices focus on the cultivation of sexual energy as a way of purifying the mind and body. It may not be every oneironaut's intention to embrace these transpersonal abilities, but it has been said that delving into sexuality and sensuality within a lucid dream has various unforeseen outcomes due to the power of erotic energies. Some lucid dreamers suggest that their waking relationships have improved as a result of their experimentation with sex within the dream state. 

Consent in a lucid dream has been touched upon in various texts. These texts describe sexual partners in the lucid dream as 'unreal mental models' and autonomous dream characters. I am of the opinion that all dream characters - whether based on actual people or composite/mental constructs - are simply projections of our subconscious mind, and therefore consent is not an issue. Recently one male follower told me that he wanted sexual contact with me in a lucid dream after viewing my Youtube videos. When I replied that I could not stop him having a sexual dream about me, he indicated his pleasure at the fact I was not resistant to the idea and therefore would be more likely to 'consent' within his dream. I am sure that this is true for him - if the waking Tallulah La Ghash says a lucid dream involving her dream character is fine, then there are no feelings of guilt or shame which will  carry through into the lucid dream and the male dreamer is able to imply consent and project that into the dream. If a dreamer is concerned about whether dream characters are consenting to sexual contact, then eye contact with a dream character is one way to ascertain this - by focusing on the eyes of the dream character, the authenticity of the encounter can be accurately gauged. Remember, that dream characters often communicate 'telepathically' with the dreamer, so it is possible to intuitively 'know' that something is OK to proceed with. Even better, if in any doubt, why not ask the dream character if they consent to your sexual advances? 

Often, we may have a particular fantasy in mind, but something else occurs in the dream. Perhaps the dream sex partner transforms into something unattractive, shape shifts or alters in some way. Rejecting the dream character should not be the first thought - unexpected dream characters bring insight to the dreamer and therefore they may be appearing in order to share something else (non-sexual) with you or guide you in some way. Accept what your lucid dream unexpectedly delivers - it is a message from your subconscious!

Lucid dreaming is certainly the safest way to experiment sexually...perhaps you want to engage in an orgy, have a same-sex encounter (this does not mean that you are gay or even bisexual, it simply means you are curious and open to new experiences, even if you don't wish to pursue them in your waking life) or partake in a taboo activity. These are all fine - you are not breaking the law or crossing social boundaries and whatever happens in your dream sex life is completely secret unless you choose to disclose it to others (such as I do on this Blog!). However, be aware that intense emotions are often accessed during lucid dreaming - feelings which are experienced just as pertinently as those in waking reality. Often intimacy can cloak powerful psychological dynamics - this being especially true for anyone who has experienced a history of sexual abuse. Remember, if you feel anxious, afraid or at risk, you can always wake up and leave the scenario behind in the dream. Some lucid dream writers question the ethics of lucid dream sex where the intended dream sex partner is either known to the dreamer in waking life (and likely to refuse sexual contact in waking life) or the dreamer is in a relationship in their real life, Lucid dream sex is not a form of infidelity and can be an unrestricted opportunity to experiment without cheating on a partner. That said, some lucid dreamers feel more comfortable discussing the issue with their actual partner and setting boundaries in advance. While I am not sure this is necessary or indeed helpful (given that in order to have this discussion you are essentially admitting to a sexual fantasy about someone or something other than your partner), lucid dream sex may raise questions about your level of commitment to your current relationship and therefore it is up to the dreamer to determine what their erotic fantasies represent for them on a subjective level.

Links to other articles you may enjoy:

Dream 332

'The One Where I Had Sex With Johnny Depp' (Lucid Dream)
This dream happened during an afternoon nap. When I have a successful lucid dream I will detail the specific techniques or circumstances which enabled it so my readers can note which methods of induction or dream-boosting practices work best for me. This was one of the most successful DILD (Dream Induced Lucid Dream) I have ever experience, mainly because of the superior level of control I managed to exert over my dream. I was able to manipulate the dream better than I have ever been able to do in previous dreams!

  • 8 hour sleep, awake for 4 hours, 2 hour afternoon sleep
  • MILD Technique (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming - meditations and affirmations before sleep)
  • Reality checks (previous days, regularly throughout the waking day)
  • REM Rebound Effect (48 hours since smoked cannabis)
I started in a normal non-lucid dream. I was with another girl, who I do not recognise from real life nor recall from the dream. We were attending a meeting with her academic supervisor (a female professor) in a large office. Behind her supervisor (who was a mature woman with grey hair in a bun and a tall, slim figure), was a floor to ceiling bookshelf which was completely filled with books. My female dream character friend was enrolled on a poetry course and this is what she was discussing with her supervisor. While the discussions were taking place, I was looking at the contents of the bookshelf, from my position, seated in front of the supervisor's desk. I saw that on one of the lower shelves was a book (on poetry, I think) which belonged to me. When the supervisory meeting was over, the supervisor left, I retrieved my poetry book. My writing was on the front cover and pages inside the book (I did not read what was written). I felt justified in taking the book. My female friend and I stood at the side of the room and debated whether it was right for me to take the book without asking, and I was arguing that it was OK.

I then woke up in bed. My laptop was on top of the duvet (on my stomach) and the screen was detached/broken. There was also an orange on the bed. This alerted me to the fact that this was a false awakening. I was not suffering from sleep paralysis and could move easily. I felt excited and decided to quickly get out of bed and try and lucid dream. I got out of bed easily. I found that my bedroom looked different. Where my desk usually is, there was a tall wooden wardrobe, and where my wardrobe and cupboard should be, there was just a larger than normal blank wall. I opened the wardrobe door and saw a white plastic shopping bag on the shelf. This was the only item in the wardrobe. I wanted to look inside the bag, but was worried that there might be something nasty in it, so I asked myself for an object with which to touch the bag (so I did not need to use my hand). Suddenly, I had a hammer in my hand. I decided to smash the bag with the hammer, and I could tell that there was an object in the bag, but it wasn't moving and felt solid. I decided to just look in the bag, as if there was something alive in there, it would now be dead because of the hammer blows. Inside the bag was simply a white box. I was distracted from looking in the box, because the door to my bedroom was opened. I looked up to see who was coming in, and noticed that the wall beside the door (where my wardrobe and cupboard would normally be) was covered in green graffiti. LM (a boy from my school) entered the room. He wanted to have sex with me and pushed me onto the floor. I was laying on the floor and said: 'NO!' forcefully, pushing him away. He disappeared. I fell back asleep into a normal dream.

In the normal dream, I was then standing in the back courtyard of the Two Lifeboats Hotel, the pub my mum used to manage. I was outside a seafront house which is attached to the pub and in which I used to live for a couple of years when I was very young. It was dark, and instead of a narrow concrete path, there was now a wide road with trees lining it. I instantly realised that this was not what I would expect to see in real life, and became lucid again. As soon as I became lucid a group of young men on bikes started cycling towards me. I felt in danger and knew they had bad intentions, so wished that I had a weapon. A handgun appeared in my hand and I started firing it at the men on bikes, which caused them to disappear, although the one at the front of the group just fell off his bike into the road.

I woke up again. I thought I was really awake and looked at my mobile phone to see what the time was (I had an alarm set for 16:00 hours). The clock said it was 19:00 hours and therefore I realised I was asleep and dreaming, this being another false awakening (because I did not hear my alarm and I was expecting a guest at 18:30 hours, so I knew I would have been awoken before 19:00 hours by the phone/doorbell). I then decided that I should get out of bed again and try and have another lucid dream. As soon as I thought this, I saw a man standing beside my bed, with his trousers undone, and his erect penis pointed towards my head as if he wanted me to give him oral sex. I wanted to get out of the situation, but then I looked up and saw it was Johnny Depp! He said to me: 'We can get married and start a family if you want...' I said: 'What about Amber Heard?' [his supposed girlfriend] to which he replied: 'I broke up with her because my children and Vanessa [Paradis, former partner and mother of his two children] didn't like her'. I was really happy that Johnny wanted to be with me and we started having sex almost immediately (missionary position), which created a feeling of sexual excitement (although I did not orgasm, so not quite a wet dream!). However, after a while, this feeling began to fade and it seemed like we had stopped having sex prematurely. The dream started to fade around the edges and grow fuzzy (a sign I was waking up and needed to use a lucid dream stabilisation technique). I started shouting 'CLARITY NOW!' and my vision cleared and I was again, fully lucid within the dream. I felt overjoyed it worked! Johnny said to me: 'I can't find your vagina!' which worried me, and I reached down and touched between my thighs and noticed that I did not have a vagina, which made me panic (as I had a normal vagina just moments earlier, before I started losing lucidity). I wished for my vagina to return, but it didn't and I asked myself how I could figure out how to control this aspect of the dream (because I wanted to continue to have sex with Johnny!) 

Suddenly, I found myself in front of a woman (non-descript - middle aged, medium build, brown hair, plain clothing) who was standing in front of a display. On the display was a model of a woman's vagina and a woman's torso, with bear breasts. These were both similar to the kind of models used for medical students and were purplish in colour, and seemed to be the texture of human skin, although I knew that they were not real. The woman said: 'What can I do for you?' and I was aware that she practiced witchcraft, although I am not sure how I knew this. I said: 'I've lost my vagina and want to get it back!' The woman said: 'You're lucid dreaming right now and in lucid dreams the breasts are just folds of fat but they are one-dimensional and can't be held and the vagina is a box with no lid'. I looked at the models and the 'vagina' was actually just a smooth surface (like the crotch of a Barbie doll, without detail) and the breasts were square and both one-dimensional and three-dimensional at the same time. The woman started flicking the breasts with her hands, but when I reached out to touch them, my hand just went straight through them and there was nothing there, although I could clearly see them! The woman said: 'If you can get back to Johnny, your vagina will be intact again'. I wished myself back to my bedroom and found I was standing in the middle of the room. Johnny was still there, now wearing sunglasses. His hair looked greasy and was falling around his face. He was wearing a checked shirt open over a brown T-shirt and baggy blue jeans. The dream started to fade again and go fuzzy around the edges, so I used the same lucid dream stabilisation technique as before, saying: 'CLARITY NOW!' This worked perfectly again. I then found myself kneeling down on the floor beside my bed while Johnny had sex with me doggy-style. I thought I might orgasm, but Johnny finished before I could. He then said: 'We could have a baby together!' which was a thought which didn't distress me too much! He said we needed to go and do something (he was being secretive and would not tell me what) and said: 'Afterwards, we can go and elope', so I was happy to join him on his secret mission. We left my bedroom and started walking down a staircase which was very dark and looked like those you find in council towerblocks. At the bottom of the steps was a brick wall. Johnny had something in his hand, which he rested against the wall (so he could write on it) - it was a small brown picture, although I could not really see what it was of, because it was so old and faded. Johnny was signing it. I asked what he was doing and he said: 'Forging some art'. The dream then started to go fuzzy and faded again and I could feel myself waking up. I said: 'CLARITY NOW!' but the fading/fuzziness continued. Desperately, before I woke up, I tried to say to Johnny: 'Johnny tell me something about myself I don't know!' (because I am aiming to ask a dream character something about me as a person to see what my subconscious will answer!) but it was too late. I woke up in my bed and performed a reality check and looked at my phone. It was 15:58 hours and I found I was really awake!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Dream 331

'Santa Races'
There was a small dark-haired woman of middle-age, who was juggling a range of patterns - they were all appearing in her hands, as if they were holograms. One in particular was a kaleidoscope of grey and blue colours. She told me: 'I can only handle fractals!'

I was then in a room which was similar to a room which I have seen in another dream - it was well lit and had multiple sections, created by a series of diagonal walls. I am not sure how much it actually resembled the location in my earlier dream, but I had a clear sense of dream deja-vu. There was a tall, young black man. He was standing at a counter brushing his teeth with an over-sized toothbrush. In the small square (open) room to his right (behind where I was standing) was a young, glamorous black woman. She said that on my suggestion, she had added the word 'rude' in front of the word 'bedroom'. She was a celebrity and had a suite of 13 rooms in a hotel. In front of me she telephoned the hotel and asked for 'Rude Bedroom 14' to be available to her. She seemed very pleased. 

I was then in some kind of airport. It was quite empty, but there were various stands on the open floor - one had bed sheets, another had umbrellas. I was with someone else (I think it was my mum) seated on the back of a motorised cart which was being driven by Santa Claus. We were speeding around the airport and I was reaching out towards the stands as we passed them, pretending that I was about to grab the bedsheets or umbrellas. The Santa Claus crashed the motorised cart, although I did not seem to be on the back any more, but was standing at a safe distance away. The Santa Claus was sick (vomited) all over the ground - it looked like orange squares of paper. I said: 'I can't see properly, did you film it?' to someone (I cannot recall who), hoping that someone had made a video of it so I could see what happened more clearly. 

Mastering the art of lucid dreaming

The authors of A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics (2013), Tuccillo, Zeizel and Peisel, offer some advice on how a beginner lucid dreamer can embark upon the magical adventure of lucid dreaming and learn how to control their dreams. 

Lucid dreaming is the art of waking up in a dream, so that the dreamer is aware that they are asleep and dreaming. Once the dreamer has become lucid, they are able to change elements of the dream and explore the dreamscape at their leisure. It is often  the bizarre and nonsensical elements of a dream (dreamsigns) which act as a trigger for lucidity. Normally we simply accept the dream narrative, characters and action, no matter how odd or impossible they seem to our waking brain. By recognising dreamsigns or triggers, a dreamer is able to become consciously aware that they are experiencing a dream instead of waking life. Often, waking life memories may trigger lucidity - for example, 'remembering' that you have actually left school, or that you are now in a relationship, rather than what you are being told in the dream. Perhaps the dream leads you to question the date, a name or the function of something, indicating that this is not waking reality, but rather part of a dream narrative. This is because, typically, lucid dreams are activated by some kind of inconsistency in the dream narrative, which makes the dreamer stop and question their reality. 

In the lucid dream, the dreamer is able to leave behind all the constraints of their physical body, and the laws of physics generally - it is possible to travel at the speed of light, become invisible or weightless and defeat gravity. The dreamer will experience these sensations as if they are really happening in a literal sense, although of course, the lucid dream is constrained by the breadth of the dreamer's imagination and their subjective experience. Conversing with dream characters can shed insight into the inner life of the dreamer, or reveal knowledge or inspirations, buried in their subconscious and not previously accessible to their waking mind. Many lucid dreamers relish the experience because it enables them to gain wisdom and guidance from an inner source. 

A dream journal is advocated by the authors, Tuccillo et al, because this will allow the dreamer to notice recurrent themes or dreamsigns, which are a powerful stepping stone to lucid dreaming. These dreamsigns act as landmarks in the dreamscape and are a great way of achieving lucidity. After just a few weeks of keeping a record of your dreams you will notice recurrent themes, characters, events or objects, and a clear pattern of your dreaming will emerge. Dreamsigns might change regularly as you change and grow as a person, but locating and identifying these dreamsigns will train your subconscious mind to spot them the next time they appear in a dream and can be used as a helpful lucidity trigger. You can even incubate an intention to become lucid next time you spot a specific dreamsign in your dreams, for example: 'I will realise next time I dream about a pink elephant and become lucid'. Slowly, you will become fluent in your own, subjective dream language!

Throughout the day, perform reality checks and ask yourself: 'Am I dreaming?' This will help you to become consciously aware of what is happening around you. If you perform reality checks throughout the day, they will eventually emerge in your dreams and your suspicion of reality will 'echo' in your sleep, until you become lucid. Reality checks are undoubtedly the cornerstone of lucid dream practice. 

If you stop and think about it, you can usually tell whether or not you are actually dreaming. While it may seem insane to stop and question whether you are dreaming when you know you are awake, it will be worthwhile when you find yourself conscious and lucid in a dream state. When you perform the well-rehearsed reality check and discover you are in a dream, the feelings of achievement and empowerment are almost unparalleled by any waking experience. 

Unsurprisingly, flying is the most common form of transport for most lucid dreamers. It is certainly a very popular experience for those who are able to achieve lucidity in a dream because of the exhilarating, intoxicating sensation of freedom and limitlessness. Another exciting thing to try in a lucid dream experience is walking through a solid object. Objects are nothing more than an illusion; a projection of your subconscious mind, and therefore are no obstacle for the lucid dreamer. Think about reality checks - typically, a lucid dreamer will use the basic method whereby they try to push the fingers of one hand through the palm of the other. When the reality check is performed in the dream state, it is completely possible to make the fingers pass through the 'solid' palm of the opposite hand. Other larger objects react the same in a lucid dream - if you focus on passing through a solid object, or perhaps moving something immovable, you will find that nothing is impossible, and the dream world will bend and shape around your desires. Additionally, after some practice, you can become the architect of your dreams - nothing is off-limits; you can create anything and manipulate your environment as you wish. 

There are many benefits to lucid dreaming. After a number of lucid dream experience, many dreamers undergo a drastic change in their perspective and realise that there is much more to reality and consciousness than they previously acknowledged or understood. Often, dreams alert us to problems in our waking lives and guide us towards resolution and closure. If we record and interpret our dreams, we are effectively decoding messages from our subconscious minds. Lucid dreaming enables us to explore our inner world with our waking faculties intact and an ability to search our psyche for clues as to who we are.

WILD Technique: Wake Initiated/Induced Lucid Dreaming - Explanation & Instructions

The aim of the WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming) technique is to keep your mind awake while your body is falling asleep. It is one of the more popular methods of lucid dream induction, but one that seems to cause new practitioners many problems. Indeed, WILD is considered to be the 'holy grail' of lucid dream practice for many oneironauts.

Although I have written on this topic before, I thought I should pen another article outlining what WILD is and how to achieve a lucid dream this way. The major advantage of using WILD for lucid dreaming is that you can essentially experience a lucid dream using this method whenever you want, as long as you are in the right frame of mind. It is sometimes called the Mind Awake/Body Asleep technique and has been said to produce the most vivid forms of on-demand lucidity, because there is no lapse in consciousness. The principle behind this technique is mind-body independence.

Basically, when using the WILD technique, the dreamer uses focus and concentration to keep the mind active, while allowing the body to enter sleep paralysis. This effectively bypasses the 'false awakening' stage or the need to perform reality checks in a non-lucid dream. One of the main advantages of this technique is that the dreamer is encouraged to relax and meditate, which is a beneficial end goal in itself. 

Step 1 - Preparation

The best time to try the WILD technique is after approximately 4 - 6 hours of sleep (depending on how much sleep you require - this is subjective, of course and make take trial and error to determine). It is essential that you are not deprived of deep sleep when you try WILD, because if you still need deep, restorative sleep, you are likely to experience less REM sleep, which is where dreaming occurs. Try the Wake-Back-To-Bed method alongside the WILD technique - wake yourself up after 4 - 6 hours of normal sleep and then,  during the period of wakefulness, practice the WILD technique, using the final 1 - 2 hours of sleep time for lucid dreaming (assuming that the average person sleeps for 7 - 8 hours in total per night). If you usually have 8 hours of sleep, perform WBTB after 6 hours, and spend the remaining 2 hours for the WILD technique. Hopefully, you will experience a lucid dream in the final 1 - 2 hours of sleep, before you wake up again for a second time. Research has shown that dreams occurring in the final part of the sleep cycle, near the time of waking, are most vivid and easily recalled. This is the best time for attempting a lucid dream, other than during an afternoon nap (if you have had your full quota of sleep the night before), which is my personal preference. Often, the brain will try to catch up on REM sleep during an afternoon nap (rather than going into a deep sleep), which makes this the perfect time for experimentation. You may wish to combine your lucid dream experimentation with binaural beats (for brain entrainment) of lucid dream supplements/dream-boosting foods, but these topics have been/will be covered in detail elsewhere. 

Some lucid dream researchers suggest that you should not eat or drink for up to an hour before bed. Even more importantly, you should try to limit use of any screens or other electronic/digital devices while preparing to sleep, and make sure that no light is being emitted from an active source of power (such as a computer screen or night light) or able to enter the bedroom through curtains/blinds. Light can have a detrimental impact on our ability to sleep and produce melatonin, a chemical known as the 'dream hormone'. Minimise any noise and make sure the temperature of your bedroom is comfortable. 

If you maintain a dream diary/journal, you may find it useful to read through some of your previous dreams before bed, to get into the right mindset and also assist your ability to recognise dreamsigns when you are in the dream state. 

Step 2 - Physical & Mental Relaxation
Once you are in bed, practice some deep and steady breathing exercises - yoga breathing exercises are perfect for this. You must then prepare yourself to be able to lie completely motionless. Make sure your bed is comfortable, your muscles have been stretched and any itches are scratched. 

You need to lay very still, with all your muscles loose and relaxed, Do not cross your ankles or your arms - let your body feel heavy an sink into the bed without resistance. Let your mind be free of intrusive or distracting thoughts - try to empty your mind. If thoughts do pop into your head, acknowledge them without interacting with them and let them drift away. Focus your mind on the blackness of your closed eyelids. This part of the technique may take a while, or it may come naturally - you need to persevere until you are able to meditate your way into the sleep state with a focused mind. If you feel the urge to move or readjust your body in any way, you should do so and then repeat this step of the technique. Some practitioners experience the 'swallowing problem' - where a build up of saliva in the mouth produces an urge to swallow and a concern that this will 'reset' progress (like when you make other movements when intending to be completely still). My advice is to just swallow and try not to focus on this action at all. It is simply a reflex and should not hinder your method if you pay no attention to it.

Step 3 - Stop, Drop & Roll

When your body has been very still for a long period of time, it is 'tricked' into thinking that the brain is asleep and begins to enter the process of sleep paralysis, in preparation for dreaming. However, it is not good for the body to be asleep while the brain remains awake, so the body sends a test signal - this is known as the 'roll over signal' - and presents itself as a strong urge to roll over. If you move - i.e. responding to the roll over signal - the body knows the brain is still awake, so the main aim here is not to respond to the roll over signal because this sends the message that you are still awake. There are 4 types of roll over signal:
  1. Fast relax - This happens when you relax quickly and deeply and the body decides to go into sleep paralysis without sending a proper roll over signal. This is the best condition for the WILD technique because you enter the optimal state rapidly.
  2. Slow relax - If you are tense, but tired and remain still for long enough, the roll over signal will build in strength until it cannot be ignored. This is known as a 'signal swell' and the body will not enter sleep paralysis because of the tenseness of the muscles.
  3. Urge surge - The body sends a strong roll over signal at random. If you can resist the roll over signal, it will pass in a matter of seconds and the body will go into paralysis. This is a useful condition for the WILD technique, although if you are not sufficiently relaxed, you may only enter partial paralysis, which is not helpful.
  4. Quick switch - This happens quickly and rewards you with a deep form of sleep paralysis. It tends to happen when you are very tried (not an ideal time for practicing WILD) or when you are in a deep state of relaxation (ideal time for WILD). 
The key is bringing on the roll over signal as quickly as possible. This can be achieved by the stop, drop and roll step of this method. It is essential that you are laying on your back and your legs are slightly separated and not touching. Some researchers suggest laying with your hands by your sides, while others advocate putting your arms on your pillow above your head. I opt for the latter because I have found that this sends the strongest signal. The feeling that you need to move your arms and place them across your body or cross them in some way is a subtle form of the roll over signal and this sensation is an indication that you are on the right track. Resist this temptation: when you toss and turn in bed, what you are effectively doing is resetting your internal sleep-timer. The roll over signal is a test to see if you are asleep, and moving (rolling over) is a reminder that you are awake. Continually moving around keeps you awake - hence why tossing and turning is associated with insomnia. Instead of haphazardly releasing small amounts of tension by continuously moving, the Stop, Drop and Roll step allows you to control the release of tension, by dissipating it in two intentional chunks. 

You need to get to the stage where the body is 'asking' to go to sleep and then tell it 'yes'. This sounds strange, but it is actually very easy to do! First of all: STOP. Relax in the position you have adopted, with your arms above your head. Once you feel as relaxed as you possibly can, purposefully DROP your arms from above your head down to your sides, releasing all the tension which has built up in your shoulders. The dropping of your arms will let the body think that it is ready to sleep and that the brain has prepared itself for this state. You should now experience the roll over signal strongly, which is the body's response to you dropping your arms and releasing tension therein. The stronger the roll over signal, the stronger the body's quest for sleep. If you reach a point where it feels that the roll over signal has plateaued, ROLL over. Once in this final position, do not move - let yourself fall asleep. If you do feel the need to move - do so - and go back to Step 2 and repeat again.

One trick is to build up a strong roll over signal before even getting into bed (or getting back into bed if practicing WBTB). Lay on a hard floor next to the bed. After a few minutes this will become uncomfortable, and your body will be grateful for you getting into a more comfortable bed, making it easier to relax and go to sleep. 

The Stop, Drop and Roll method is a form of sleep starter, with an implicit sleep trigger - if you ignore the roll over signal, your body is tricked into entering sleep paralysis.

Step 4 - Sleep Starters & Triggers (optional)

Ideally, this topic could be treated as an independent article in itself, but it is useful for me to summarise some of the sleep starters/triggers herein, as they complement the WILD technique.
  • Sleep breathing (sleep starter 1) - Learn to breathe like you are asleep. Sleep breathing is a deeper and longer form of breathing than wakeful breathing, and you should pay attention to the rhythm of your breath as you fall asleep and try to mimic that pattern when trying WILD. You may detect your sleeping breath by laying completely still when you awaken and noting how your breathing is. 
  • Stop micro eye movements (sleep starter 2) - If you close your eyes and try to keep them as still as possible, you will most likely sense a twitching. These are micro eye movements. If you are able to keep your eyes completely still, this is another way you can trick your body into thinking it is asleep. One way of stopping any eye movements is to relax your eyes before bed. Do this by performing wide eye rolls (both directions) until the eye muscles feel tired and then relax them. 
  • Pause breaths (sleep paralysis trigger 1) - These are useful if your body is in partial sleep paralysis. While breathing deeply and steadily, as described above, exhale fully and then pause your breathing. During this 2 - 3 second pause, try to relax your body as much as possible. After continuing this for a short period, you should feel your sleep paralysis deepening, a tension is released from the body. Techniques such as 'blackout breathing' and 'narcotic breathing' have been advocated by some lucid dream explorers.
  • Muscle twitching (sleep paralysis trigger 2) - Again, this is useful for when the body is in partial sleep paralysis. When you experience the partial paralysis, try to twitch just one muscle - the limbs are best for this - and you will feel complete paralysis onset. 
  • Up and down/side-to-side micro eye movements (sleep paralysis trigger 3) - This is also known (in hypnotherapy) as 'eye movement desensitization and reprogramming' and is used as a trigger for sleep paralysis. While your eyes are closed and the rest of the body is relaxed, quickly move the eyes either up and down or from left to right for approximately 10 seconds. This should help partial sleep paralysis become full sleep paralysis.

Step 5 - The Hypnagogic State
This is one of the most fun elements of the WILD technique for me! At this stage - and all others in this technique - it is essential that you remain calm and focused and do not let fear overtake you or interrupt in any way.  I have experienced horrible hypnagogic imagery because I have let negative thoughts intrude into my mind at this stage (usually during a false awakening) and this can be off-putting and terrifying, as well as ruining attempts at nurturing lucidity.

After successfully performing the above steps, you should be entering the hypnagogic state, which presents itself when you are half asleep and half awake. During this state you will experience brightly coloured patterns and visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations (sounds and voices) and physical sensations (floating or tipping are common). You need to embrace the hypnagogic state and let it draw you in. Allow the numbness and heaviness of your body to take over, and do not move. Observe the hypnagogia and tell yourself that you are entering the dream state and you are transitioning between wakefulness and sleep. Hypnagogia occurs during a period of 'threshold consciousness' which is ideal for lucid dreaming. Other terms for the hypnagogic state and the sensory phenomenon which occur are: presomnal or anthypnic sensations; oneirogogic imagery; phantasmata; praedormitium; dreamlets or pre-dream condition/sleep-onset dreams; or wakefulness/sleep transition (WST).

Hypnagogic imagery is usually static and lacking in narrative. The most common types are phosphenes, which are random speckles, lines or geometrical patterns, in either monochrome or bright colours, and may be flat or three-dimension. Some people - like myself - may experience moving imagery. The images may be fractals, form constants or figurative/representational shapes and movement through tunnels of light are also commonly reported. Often the images are fleeting and changeable, although some report elaborate imagery. I often experience a snowy landscape at night, where I am able to see snow falling against a dark sky. I have also experienced similar imagery during a conscious false awakening/sleep paralysis experience. Sometimes I can detect a small house and figures moving. For some - particularly those who have engaged in a repetitive (or new) activity before bed - it may be common to experience what is known as the 'Tetris Effect'. This is where the new or repetitive waking activity dominates their hypnagogic state and is not confined to visual imagery, but also sounds and physical sensations. 

The hypnagog
ic state can also cause strange auditory hallucinations, which can vary in strength from a whisper to a loud bang (exploding head syndrome). Common sounds like the dreamer's name being mention, buzzing, the doorbell ringing, snippets of conversation or simple white noise are all typical. These sounds may be the internal voice of the dreamer and perhaps (in terms of snippets of conversation) appear as apt summations or comments on their thoughts at the time. Gustatory (taste), olfactory (smell) and thermal (temperature) sensations have also been reported. Alongside the physical sensations of floating, being crushed or suffocating, tingling or vibrating and falling, these are all phenomena associated with sleep paralysis and transition from wakefulness into the sleep state. 

Try to engage with the hypnagogia - relax with it and 'perceive' it, but do not become so absorbed by it that you accidentally fall asleep.

Remember that if you get the roll over signal, or any other urge to move, you need to resist at this stage. If you do have to move, you will need to repeat this technique from Step 2 again.  

Step 6 - Visualise a Dream Scene

Once you are fully immersed in the hypnagogic state and feel sufficiently still and relaxed you are ready to begin visualising a dream scene. Some OBE enthusiasts use this stage of the technique for Out-of-Body-Exit. I am not a proponent (or believer) in OBEs, so the idea that this part of the experience can be used to induce an OBE is insignificant to me - indeed, several lucid dream researchers and popular sources for lucid dreaming material suggest that an OBE is just a very vivid lucid dream experience, where the dreamer actually wrongly believes they are awake, rather than realising they are conscious within the dream state. 

I will therefore concentrate on visualising a dream scene. You need to inject the most amount of realism and detail into your visualised dream scene as possible. Therefore, it may be useful to re-create a scene you have experience in a previous dream (whether a non-lucid, or lucid dream - it doesn't matter). Either 'programme' the dream scene into your hypnagogic imagery or recall the imagery from beyond your field of vision. Use your mind's eye to paint a picture from your memory (if using a previous dream) or to solidify and make concrete the hypnagogic imagery you are experiencing. Often, the hypnagogic imagery will come together to form a dream scene for you. Be aware of your field of vision expanding as increasing detail and depth is added to your mental dream scene, which will slowly become three-dimensional. It is essential that you achieve the right balance between passive observation and light interaction when visualising the dream scene.

Imagine yourself at the core of the dream scene you are visualising, all the time remaining focused on your goal. Keep reminding yourself that you are dreaming - you need to maintain your wakeful mind and lucidity and not lapse into a normal non-lucid dream state, which is highly probable at this stage.

Imagine stepping into the dream scene - or rolling/falling into it. You need to work out which method works best for you. It is important not to open your eyes at this stage - the visualisation process, like the hypnagogic stage, occurs when the eyes are shut. Your eyes should remain shut during this entire technique. At first, the dream world will seem faint, but you need to anchor yourself within it. Try and move your dream body - some dreamers like to imagine themselves sinking through the mattress of their bed into the dream world. You may gradually find yourself entering the dream world you have visualised, or you may discover yourself there in an instant. Remain calm and focused, reminding yourself that you are dreaming, but not allowing the feelings of excitement or exhilaration distract or overwhelm you. You may need to perform a reality check to make sure; and of course, if you find yourself waking up in bed, make sure you do that reality check to ensure you aren't in a false awakening situation (although this could be used as a springboard for a lucid dream!). Moving your dream body and using lucid dream stabilisation techniques are key once you are in the dream world and aware that you are dreaming. 

Below is a Youtube video I made to accompany this Blog post:

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Dream 330

'New Theory of Dreaming'
Dream date: 12 December 2014
This dream was more like a series of unconnected dream scenes, many of which I do not remember clearly.

The first scene was a party. It was night and I was with my mum and was hosting a party which appeared to be both inside and outside a house which did not look familiar. I am not sure if it was just one party or a series of parties, but whole crowds of guests kept arriving and then leaving. Every time the guests left I would feel sad and cry, so my mum and I decided to keep bringing fancy deserts to the table to tempt the guests to stay at the party.

I was then in my kitchen in my home in Norwich and aware that my housemate, BG, was in a poly-amorous relationship with a male and another female. They were standing in a group by the microwave.

I was then looking through a catalogue which was printed on some very rough paper, with fuzzy, blurry photographs in black and white. This catalogue was full of adverts (text and image) of men. The idea was that the reader should select a man to be in a relationship with. One of the men was very strange, although I cannot recall why. Someone (unseen, unrecalled) pointed out another of the adverts in the catalogue. It was for a young man who had a beard. The photograph used was of him in a bedsit, standing bedside a sink. I said/thought that he would not be appropriate because he had  had sex with his sister (incest) and therefore was immoral. Suddenly, I saw the grainy black and white photograph start to come to life - the man was moving around the bed sit, throwing his possessions (clothes) in anger and his sister was seated on the edge of his bed.

DL then told me that I could get a puppy and it would live in his flat (I cannot have a puppy in my current accommodation). I was happy, be he was indicating that this had already been an option and I had just failed to think of this solution to me wanting a  dog until he mentioned it.

I then heard running water and saw a picture of a very pink brain. As well as the running water, I could hear the snap of a camera taking a photograph and then saw photographs (like Polaroids) streaming out of the brain. They did have images, but it was more of a depiction of a Polaroid (almost like a cartoon) so the image on the photograph was more 'suggested' to me  than actually seen in detail. I felt I was being shown something profound and had a sense that I witnessing a 'New Theory of Dreaming' - it was being explained to me in the dream.

I was then with my mum and we were travelling somewhere, or to many places, but they were all banal and boring.

* The next day (Saturday) I was having a coffee in a cafe when I went to wash my hands. The sound of the running water triggered a memory in me and I instantly recalled the 'New Theory of Dreaming' which had supposedly been shown to me in this dream. The dream memory seemed a lot stronger than it had when I woke up earlier and recalled the dream. I will be writing up my New Theory of Dreaming as soon as I have an opportunity.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Dream 329

'The Hotel'
I was with a female dream character (who I cannot recall) and perhaps some other people. My memory of who I was with is very unclear. We were in a hotel which was closed and empty, but for our group. It was a three-storey building and very very narrow - about the width of half of a normal house. It was painted white on the outside with black details (like Tudor beams, but it wasn't a Tudor-style building). There was a set of steps leading up to the front entrance from street level and I am not sure of the location, other than it appeared to be on in the UK and the street was lined with residential and commercial buildings. It was dark both inside and outside the hotel. We (myself, the female dream character and others) were inside an office within the hotel. We knew the hotel would be closed for a period of time and therefore had decided to take it over and have a private gathering inside. We were printing massive posters to be displayed around the hotel, using a colour printer which was in the office. I was worried that we might run out of ink for the big poster I was printing which I wanted to put behind the desk at the reception. When the poster was printed - it was an A2 size - the bottom part was really faded and blurry. I thought that it would still be fine. We hung the posters around the hotel, which we also decided to re-name 'Shortcomings'. I then saw DL or PS - it was unclear who it was, or it may have been a composite of both persons - reading a map. I asked where they were planning to travel and was told: 'Addis Zulu', which I perceived to mean 'Addis Ababa'.

* I looked up 'Addis Ababa' in Google and found that it is the capital city of Ethiopia. I did not know this, or at least, I did not remember this fact. I recently had another dream involving 'Ethiopian Vodka'. I have no idea why I am having recurrent dream references to Ethiopia because I cannot recall thinking, reading or watching anything about this country in recent times.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Interpreting popular dream themes (9) - Naked Dreams

Finding yourself naked or unsuitably dressed in a dream is a universal theme, and one which is often accompanied by feelings of anxiety, embarrassment, shame or fear within the dream narrative. Many dreamers describe their 'naked dreams' as a nightmare due to the unsettling nature of being exposed in public. Naked dreams often involve the sensation and realisation that the dreamer is naked in a social environment where those around them are able to see their shortcomings. Up to 75% of people will experience a 'naked dream' during their lives, and can be interpreted as either positive or negative depending on the context of the dream narrative and the comfort level of the dreamer during the dream. Dreaming of being naked in public is the fourth most popular dream, according to dream analysts. 

One interpretation of the naked dream is that the dreamer may be feeling accountable in either their domestic life, workplace or in a specific relationship. Insecurity and fear of rejection is also another cause of many naked dreams. The dreamer may lack confidence and feel 'stripped' of their defences or protection - the clothing as a 'shield' has been removed, revealing impotence weakness or powerlessness and causing humiliation. Additionally, the dreamer may be experiencing a loss of privacy in their waking life, or feelings that they are susceptible to the influence of something they wish to protect themselves from. 

It may be that the dreamer has a secret which they feel will lead to them being shamed if they are exposed or observed in some way. Naked dreams tend to happen when the dreamer is burdened with something - perhaps guilt, regret or shame. They may worry that they will not live up to expectations of them or that they have revealed themselves in a way which leads to scrutiny or judgement by others. There is a strong notion of vulnerability linked to naked dreams. Clothes are a form of concealment and protection from the elements - the dreamer may be aware that they are hiding something and nudity within the dream represents others around them learning or discovering something about the dreamer which they wish to keep under wraps. If no-one else seems to notice that the dreamer is naked in the dream, it may be that the dreamer is magnifying a situation and making it more troublesome than it really needs to be; the dreamer's fears may be unfounded or insignificant. 

Nakedness may also symbolise being caught off-guard or unprepared for something in the dreamer's waking life. Some interpretations suggest that the dreamer may be avoiding responsibilities or afraid of letting go of something. While naked dreams are common during puberty and adolescence, signalling an awareness of sexuality, it is also suggested that they symbolise a longing for lost innocence and childhood - the self stripped of social conditioning and societal norms

If the naked dream is a positive experience, it is thought to represent the dreamer's carefree, open and honest attitude - they are proud and do not feel the need to hide their true nature from the world at large. The naked dreamer is happy to reveal their true self and not hide behind a veil or mask. Nakedness offers an unrestricted freedom. It may also be a sign that the dreamer wants to see the 'bare facts' of a waking situation and therefore needs to strip away the layers and look at what lies beneath. Alternatively, it may be that the dreamer is drawing attention to themselves in a waking scenario, but going about it the wrong way.

Jungian dream theories do not link the naked dream with themes of sexuality or sensuality. Instead, naked dreams may reflect an inflated ego or sense of self - in his nakedness, the dreamer is showing himself to be more than what he really is, although in cultures where nudity is a social norm, the naked dream should not be interpreted as particularly meaningful in itself. Freudian dream interpretation suggests that naked dreams are a form of 'exhibition dream' - where the dreamer's dream reflects suppressed and forbidden wishes from childhood.

Dreaming of naked, sexually desirable dream characters is usually perceived as a form of erotic dream and wish fulfilment, as are naked dreams which also involve sexual activity or the promise of it.