So I was combing through YouTube at 3am, and somewhere between the illuminati conspiracies and a video of Cher blinking for 10 minutes (it was an exceptionally odd night), I stumbled upon a video about lucid dreaming. I was met with a gentleman who seemed to be of the hippie disposition. He explained what lucid dreaming was, how it could be achieved and its dangers.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of lucid dreaming…
a dream state in which one is conscious enough to recognize that one is in the dream state and which stays in one’s memory
This essentially means that whilst you are in a dream and you’re frolicking around Disneyland or Kylie Jenner’s mansion with the intent to pet her dogs and steal her food, you catch yourself and realise that you are not in reality but are in fact dreaming. It’s a wondrous thing when this happens, mainly because from that point onwards it means you can then control said dream. You can fly, meet celebrities and even punch Donald Trump in his smug orange face without any of the legal ramifications and probable death. The world is your oyster my friends!
Being a broke and weary college student who can’t afford VR and has had to burn furniture for fire wood, I figured it would be an interesting exercise to see if I could shape my dreams into anything I could want them to be. I could live impossible realities! Like have a stable job and financial security. The possibilities are truly endless!
The steps to tricking yourself to lucid dream as were explained to me are as follows:
- Count your fingers.
The rationale behind this is that if you can hold your hands in front of you and count your fingers at regular intervals throughout the day, you should start to instinctively do it in your dreams. However, in your dreams, for whatever reason, your brain, the same organ that controls thousands of bodily functions and holds years of accumulated knowledge, cannot comprehend the amount of fingers a hand has when in a dream state. So when you’re dreaming and you’re counting your fingers, you’ll count 11 total or 9 total, thus causing you to realise you are dreaming and trigger lucidity.
Reader’s Discretion is advised. Counting your fingers in public at regular intervals, as is advised, will make you look insane. It is ill-advised to practise this at crucial times such as: operating heavy machinery, doing trust falls with a loved one, when you have a kill streak on Call of Duty, etc.
2. Check your reality.
Like the first step, this one is quite simple. It merely involves taking a moment to tell yourself what you are doing in that very moment. The most common one for myself being: I am walking to college and I am cold because none of my coats are nice and in order to maintain the integrity and fashion of the outfit I am wearing, I am going without one and risking hypothermia. You know, just the usual everyday things.
3. Convince yourself before you sleep that you are going to Lucid dream.
As you are lying in bed regretting your life decisions (or is that just me), you have to repeat the Mantra “I am going to lucid dream tonight.” At this point I was like easy peasy, I can do this. In fact, I can do this in my sleep! Har har har. Sorry. A little bit of lucid dreaming humour for you there.
Unfortunately, this whole activity of lucid dreaming transpired to be a tad bit more difficult than I had anticipated. Firstly, the act of repeating “I am gong to lucid dream tonight” mentally to yourself does nothing but keep you awake because you’re a bit too focused on it. Secondly, when you do start to drift, you’re so fixated on the idea of lucid dreaming that this excitement leaves you in this odd in-between space where you’re not asleep but you’re so close to being so that your senses become dull and you start to see colours. And, I don’t know, i can’t remember the rest. But in my defence, I was half asleep.
So yes, lucid dreaming, like most of my endeavours, has been a complete f*@king failure. (censoring that because my mother could read this and I do not want to bring dishonour on my family). I’ve been trying to lucid dream for the past week or so but as you can see, it has not been going well. If you hear of me selling a kidney for some VR accoutrement, you’ll know I failed miserably.