Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Have You Done a Reality Test Today?

In class tonight, Dr. LaBerge wore an "Oneironauts" t-shirt (oneironauts being people who travel in dreams). On the back, it said:
1 - 800 - GO - LUCID
Reality tests are a quick and easy way to tell if you're dreaming. The most common test is to find something to read (a clock, sign, book cover, whatever) then read it, look away, then read it again. In a dream, it will nearly always be different the second time. Of course, he tells us this and then goes and wears a shirt that just messes everything up. It may be more obvious here on a screen in smaller type, but everyone in class had to read his shirt about 5 times before we figured out what it actually said. (Read it slowly, word by word, if you don't get it right away.)

One suggestion for inducing lucid dreams is to get in the habit of performing regular reality checks when you're awake, with the idea that, sooner or later, you'll do one in a dream and realize that you're dreaming. Apparently that's not really a very efficient way to do it though, since it takes a lot of practice to build the habit. Plus, once you're dreaming, there's usually plenty of other weird things going on to tip you off about it. The real trick is to remember to notice that you're dreaming. Unfortunately, simply remembering to do things in the future is very hard to do. Our homework assignment for the week is this: every time we walk through a doorway, we will remember to touch the door frame on the side with the hinges. Sounds simple. I remembered both doors on the way out the classroom, and forgot both doors coming back into my house and my room. Darn.

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