Controlling the 'Uncontrollable'
My experience with the unresearched field of lucid dreaming

June 19th, 2014

Ever wondered what it is like to talk to your subconscious?

Warning: This blog is not that organized. So if you feel like its jumping around a lot, I think so too.

Well around my second semester of my Freshman college year, I discovered some wikipedia article on the internet. It was titled 'Lucid Dreaming' (link here). At first I thought, "That's neat!", but never thought too much of trying it.
And then, during that same semester, I had some free nap time during the day (I wasn't complaining) and the idea of lucid dreaming just wouldn't leave my thoughts.
Mind you, I have had previous experiences where I realized I was dreaming but they were completely random and sporatic.
So I decided to try this seemingly-bogus ritual of forcing my mind to stay conscious as the rest of me delved into the unknown dimension of my dreams.

The result?

Eh, well... I managed to get myself in sleep paralysis more often than not.

After trying for weeks I finally had a gleaming moment of success. I had a dream in which I stayed lucid with a long enough period to test around.
First I hit sleep paralysis. I managed to just relax and suddenly my mind felt like it was 10x heavier than it normally was.
I heard static, like what you would hear on a broken radio, that just permeated in my ears. It rang so loudly that I thought I was going to go deaf.
Suddently, I hit a point where random thoughts I made would materialize in front of me. I would imagine hearing a dog, and I would hear it. I would imagine moving my arms around, and suddenly I felt like I was moving. I no longer felt like I was laying on top of my bunked bed at Purdue.
My mind started to fill the space around me with random objects. I imagined a hallway and suddenly I was standing in one.
Don't take this as weird, but the rest of the dream involved me cutting my own arm off and growing it back, imagining the doors next to me to be portals to different scenic areas, and feeling different types heat (even the painful type). And then?

Well, nothing. I hit a dry(ish) spell.

Every attempt I made at it would end up giving me a migraine. I would get so close, but nothing.
I would feel my head get heavy. I would hear that static press on my ears.
But I still wouldn't lucid dream.

Okay, fast forward about a year from then.

After encountering lucid dreams very rarely between a year ago and now (my sophomore year), I finally had a very interesting experience.
In my dream I was chasing myself. Some odd version of me was laughing and beckoning me to follow, so I did. After moving there and back in weird settings, I finally managed to catch my elusive self.
At that moment, I asked myself different questions about current events that I was dealing with. To each he responded some infinitely deep message that made me feel better about my life. Regrettably, I don't remember exactly what he said, it just made me feel better.
Then I woke up.
I looked into this a little and found that people claim to talk to their subconscious when they're dreaming. Whether they take the form of an animal, or someone else, other dreamers have talked about their experience finding solace in the answers they receive.

So what is it that I'm trying to get at by telling you this?

Well, first off, there seems to be some taboo wrapped around lucid dreaming. Don't get me wrong, I thought that controlling my dreams by will seemed too good to be true, but I realized it really isn't. Somehow our brains are so amazing that we can train it to stay partially awake when the rest of it sleeps. The result, we get to live out our fantasies all by thinking of it. In the end, the veil between dreaming and being awake is thinner than one might imagine. There is a lot of research that needs to be done on such experiences. I want to know whether my 'subconscious' was what I wanted my subconscious to be like, or whether or not I actaully connected some part of the human brain that rarely delves into my own consciousness. Lastly, the big question I ask is, why do I get a lot of migraines when attempting to lucid dream?

Anyways, here's a video portraying lucid dreaming by The Verge.

Useful Links:
Mask that sends markers for your brain to identify while you're dreaming

I would recommend reading the first link up above to learn what lucid dreaming is. It's very interesting.
John Lee - 2014