This dream embodied everything I love about dreaming. It’s one thing to just be in the passenger’s seat of your subconscious mind and have random, noisy, potentially scary dreams that make no sense, or leave you scared to close your eyes. But when you understand what dreaming is, as a skill and learn to control the rich content driven experience. Dreams yield an ability to create a form of art unlike anything we currently have in our modern age. It makes even Virtual Reality head gear seem lame in comparison because dreams offer not just the quality of virtual reality visually but engages every sense and offers 100% immersion into a first-person 3D reality experience.
30 years of Lucid Dreaming has not only allowed me to hone a skill of producing a organic, dynamic and vivid artform. This type of art lives and breaths with intelligence, beauty and deep personal expression. I wrote about the technique that I use which I call “Genre Specific Lucid Dreaming” on Reddit a year ago here’s the link: https://www.reddit.com/r/LucidDreaming/comments/5shkwz/genre_specific_lucid_dreaming_gsld/
The key to play natures finest virtual reality simulator known as dreaming is consciousness. Without being self-aware and awake in the dream, you get half the experience or nothing at all. The true art is not just in making it to a dream, but is becoming fully self-aware and conscious so you can take that dream to the next level.
I’ve practice nearly every day for 30 years because the rewarding experiences in each dream never cease to amaze, inspire and drive the raw passion I have for this part of myself, and my desire to help other people achieve lucidity so they too can enjoy living the best of two worlds.
The dream starts off where I am in an unconscious state of awareness. If this happens, it means I failed at the more challenging WILD technique and have fallen back to rely on MILD where a reality-check is needed to break the immersion present in this focus state.
If the dream is too mundane and normal, it can make a reality check difficult because the logical mind doesn’t catch on, and that is the part of us that needs to be able to question what the current situation is and determine if it is a dream or if it is waking reality.
You might think that’s easy, a dream should be obvious but the fact is a dream presents a form of reality simulation that can appear as natural and real as waking reality that looks and feels 100% authentic. The immersion this creates is the problem, because we naturally go with the flow of the drama present in this immersion. To break the immersion you need to question the reality and prove to yourself it is a dream.
In this dream, I find myself in a city walking on a sidewalk full of people. There are cars driving on the street. A homeless man pushing a shopping cart. The city looks and appears real, as do the cars driving on the street. There is nothing out of the ordinary that would make me suspect it is a dream because it’s perfectly simulating the waking world as effortlessly as breathing.
I feel hungry and am looking for a place to eat. I see a Boston Pizza restaurant, it’s part of a strip of shops so not stand alone. I open the glass door and go inside. The restaurant is busy, it has booths and a kitchen at behind a counter at the front. The layout is more accurate to a Diner. There is a middle eastern man with a beard and short curly black hair. He is the only one working at the restaurant.
I watch him taking orders at the counter with people lining up to place their order. There is a menu board above him. Right away, this triggers a sense of something being not quite right as I thought I was supposed to be in a Boston Pizza and I’ve never seen one that looks like a Diner. However, I rationalize that it’s because I’ve never been to this city so maybe they are different here. Reality-Check 1 failed.
I walk up to the counter and wait in line as people place their orders. Finally it’s my turn and I order a small pepperoni, mushroom, green pepper pizza and a drink. He gives me a glass and points out the pop dispenser to go fill up. I walk over and push the glass into the ice dispenser then proceed to fill it with coke. Grab a straw and find a booth to go sit at.
Now at this point, everything is vibrant, very sensory real. I can hear all the sounds of people having conversations. I had no problem reading the menu board and noted that it had food items I didn’t recognize as part of Boston’s menu. This just caused me again to rationalize that it’s just different in this city.
The table had a metal napkin dispenser, the rectangular stand up kind that has two sides where you can pull out a napkin. There was salt, pepper and a sugar container for coffee. I relax and sip away at the coke. It’s cold, tastes like coke again everything seems very real, very natural. I’m hungry and a bit impatient for the food.
The restaurant is busy and I watch as the only employee is bustling to deal with all the customers and think that this place is way too under staffed to run efficiently. I pull out my cell phone and start to distract myself with reading some Twitter posts. I go to a forum that I frequent and scroll down the threads looking for something interesting to read. Time keeps ticking, I watch as he’s carrying out other people’s food order in anticipation that one of the orders will eventually be mine.
The battery on my phone is low, so I put it away now restless with nothing to entertain myself with as I wait so I focus on how long it is now taking to get my food. Time ticks and I watch people leave and others take their place. It feels like 30 minutes since I placed my order and finally I’ve had enough. I was sick of waiting and had other things I needed to do.
The man walks by my table and I tell him, “It’s been over 30 minutes and I still don’t have my pizza.”
He stops and looks at me, “I’m sorry, it’s coming we are just really busy today.”
“I have to cancel it, I can’t wait any longer I’m just on a break and am out of time.” I complain.
He tells me he has my food, and walks me up to the counter and pulls out this take-out box that is full of rice and beef/broccoli stir fry. “Here you go, it’s ready now.” he tells me.
I look at the box lunch, it has a black plastic bottom and clear plastic top with dividers for the different foods. “But I ordered a pizza, and since when does Boston Pizza serve Chinese food.” I tell him. “I don’t want it, it’s not what I ordered.” I complain.
He becomes frustrated and apologizes. He tells me I have to fill out a complaint if I am not going to pay for my food. He hands me this note pad that has a form on each page. There are already several pages filled out with complaints. I read some of them as I dig through to find a blank form for my complaint and much of what the people were describing were my own experiences. Long waits, incorrect order, short of staff.
I have no problems reading in dreams, the thought one cannot read in a dream is simply a myth. The form has all the correct questions. Spots for my name, address and phone number. I start to fill it out, then I get to the long comment section with lines cascading down to write on. I start to write that the restaurant is under-staffed, busy and took to long for my food order. In the end the food was not what I ordered. At the end however it has a spot for my visa information including expiry date and pin. This raises a red flag immediately. I hover my pen over the visa line and look at the last line being the signature.
“Why do you need my Visa information on this complaint form?” I ask him sensing a scam.
“It’s company policy, you have to put your visa information on the form.” he tells me.
I’m not falling for it, I don’t want to pay and sure as hell not giving out my Visa information on a form that includes my full name, address and signature. But this is a good thing because it has got me thinking. Something is not right here, bigger than this scam, the whole Boston Pizza as a Diner serving Chinese food, all the drama then it hits me. It’s a dream. I look up at the man and smile. I put my hand on the counter and anchor my awareness in the dream. This key step for me is how I focus and draw in my full waking mind. In the MILD wake-up into the dream, lucidity can range from semi-lucid to fully lucid. And I have to go through a process of self-awareness exercises to really draw my waking self into the dream.
Now that I knew I was dreaming, I didn’t care about the incorrect order, the wait time, the visa request on the form. I also wasn’t angry at the dream character anymore and decide to be nice to him.
“Actually, forget everything I said. I’m happy to have the Chinese food and you can have my visa information.” I tell him as I pull out my wallet and fish out my Visa and show it to him. I grab the container of Chinese food and a plastic fork. Open the lid and steam comes billowing out. I stab a slice of beef and scoop up some rice and eat the mouthful. It’s hot, tastes like beef-broccoli on steamed white rice and the fact it’s a dream and this is so sensory real, I love it.
I can see that he is happy that I have changed my attitude and am willing to pay for my food. “Thank-you sir, thank-you.” he tells me as I eat some more of the food. He’s watching but then his smile changes and he says, “You still have to pay for the food sir.”
But now that I was dreaming, and had a nice tasty snack having enjoyed the dish I had other plans. The second challenge in a dream is pulling your intent of what you want to dream forward. The immersion is always so acute that it can constantly distract with what I call dream drama. I had something else I wanted to dream about and as much as I liked the current dream, it wasn’t what I wanted. I’ve been playing a game called Borderlands 2 with this wonderful cartoon cell-shaded graphics and it’s a Genre I wanted to dream in.
I go back to the note pad and start to draw on it pulling my intent to now create a vivid Borderland themed dream. I sketch out a mountain range and some details from the game. Shifting one dream content to another completely different dream style is really the art of dreaming. I was about to change the entire dream from a very stable vivid normal waking world version to the world of Borderlands 2.
How this transitions is an effect of reality morphing if there ever is such a thing. As I focus on the game style, the genre and the context of memories I have about the game the sketch I was drawing started to leak into the counter as black lines moved slowly from the notepad now outlining the till, the edges of the counters and the very texture of the counter itself changed to a cell shading.
I look up thinking in this genre now impressing it into the current dream canvas and these wonderful black ink lines grow and consume every detail, the kitchen starts to shift and the back wall opens up where I can see a sky and mountains that I recognize from the game. In the distance there is water and I add a bit of my own flare creating a giant turtle with leather straps, a saddle and saddle bags.
I turn my attention to my hands and start to shift them into cell shading, and leather gloves form around them with buckle straps along the arms. I create a sniper rifle with a scope very accurate to how they look in the game.
I look at the owner and think he would be more suited as Marcus the Gun dealer and I transform him into the character voice and all. I make the whole dream envelop this Boderlands 2 Genre down to the very cartoon coloring and artform.
This whole transformation completes and now I am fully awake and aware in a new reality based on the influences of a video game that I enjoy. Marcus is standing there and I have to influence is conversation to fit the role-play required to make the dream more authentic. I cause him to talk about his guns and the sniper rifle.
“This is a E-Tech Baddass slag rifle, you made a good choice. It will kill a lot of bad guys for you.” he tells me.
I’m still at the counter and pull the scope to my eye which produces a targeting HUD and zoom into the background. I see a Bullybog walking on the icy tundra and open fire. The gun gives off a loud energetic crackling sound with a kick back as the bolt zips and hits the target causing it to become enveloped in energy and burn into slag.
“I’ll take it.” I tell Marcus as I now swipe my visa in a terminal he had. I lift the counter top up so I can walk through the access point. I go out the back into the scenery so I can now stand in the world. It looks perfect, and I feel also very great admiring this accomplishment knowing what I just did was nothing short of miraculous.
I take this massive flying jump into the world flying towards the turtle I created off in the distance. The turtle isn’t part of the Genre but I just wanted to be badass on a bad ass turtle and use this as a mount. This thing looks absolutely awesome though, the head was armored with tech. The turtle also had two mounted heavy cannons.
The saddle was a fusion of leather and a cockpit having fighter craft style joysticks one for each hand to steer and shoot. The turtle also gave of these billows of steam as it breathed which made me see a bit of a steam-punk influence in how I designed it. It’s eyes also had a deep red glow to them. It’s beak was enhanced with razor sharp metal. Let’s face it… this turtle was badass.
I start to walk it on the terrain and needed to create some things to shoot at, when you take full control of a dream sometimes one has to keep creating the content at run-time and I visualize in my mind, what I want to create for an encounter. I really like the Rakk which is a like a flying mini dragon. I summon one from the snowy ground, the Rakk bursts through the snow covered tundra spiraling upwards and expands it’s wings. It is massive, much larger than in the game and is also white. The whole scene is very epic.
I watch as it animates and flies, more interested in the living art as it flaps it’s huge wings. I decide not to shoot it but rather admire it enjoying the quality of detail and coolness of it all.
I walk the turtle to a bandit camp and there are lore accurate bandits and Goliaths with guns who run out shooting at me. I use the cannons on the turtle and return fire, the blasts are fiery bursts, large plasma like balls streaking like a comet towards the encounter with big explosions. I rain death upon them with burst after burst watching explosion after explosion consuming them in fire. Absolutely loving every minute of it. Knowing I am mastering this art of dreaming, if not already mastered.
Then this lady penetrates the dream, she calls out to me and is not rendered in the cartoon cell-shading rather looking very human and waking world normal. “How are you doing this? This is amazing! I can’t believe you are creating this dream!” she tells me.
I look at her and dismount the turtle and walk up to her. “It’s a dream, and I like to play with the mechanics.” I tell her.
“You have to teach us, we want to know how you do this.” she tells me as more people start to emerge in the dream shifting the dream content breaking the cartoon immersion as it starts to fade. The dream is morphing into a classroom and they all sit down at desks. I am now in a class full of dream characters who want to learn how to dream.
Well, satisfied with the success of simulating Borderlands 2 I was ok with entertaining the request of the dream characters. “So you want to know how to dream?” I ask the class. I see them all eager and smiling, nodding their heads.
I proceed to explain, “If you have not realized it by now. Dreams are a highly-organized form of thought. Dreams invoke a process by which you can think in a format that expresses a desire or intent to bring about an experience.”
I use the chalkboard like a TV screen and animate movie like content showing some of the potential uses of dreams to simulate highly entertaining experiences. “Many think flying dreams are fun, but there are so many possibilities with using dreams as an artform that one can be the writer, director and star of their own dream productions.”
I ask the class, “How many of you would like to experience a Space Odyssey?” and I make the screen show a beautiful scene with exotic space ships flying near a planet. They raise their hands. “How about changing the dream to an entirely exotic artistic format. Take Native American art for example, what if you could be in a world that is based on that design even for a brief moment?” not as many hands go up, but I liked the idea and I changed the entire classroom setting into thick black lines on white making the entire decor inspired by Native American artwork.
“Don’t just dream, use this canvas of the mind like living art. Master the art of dreaming.” I tell the class as they look at the changed environment and they clap.
Students start to get out of their desks and come and shake my hand thanking me for the lesson. They ask me some questions but that point of inevitability arrived where I had to wake up from my splendid dream world.