quinta-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2008

Lucid Dreaming: False awakening and lucidity

By David F Melbourne

Fonte: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Lucid_Dreaming/id/6333

How often have you woken in the night, looked at a digital clock, but it has appeared blurred or doesn't make sense? Have you ever reached out to turn on the light - or any electrical appliance - to discover that it doesn't function properly, or not at all? Have you got vague memories of getting up in the middle of the night, trying to open the door, finding that it won't open and going back to bed? Would you believe it, if you were told that you were probably dreaming? A false awakening is a convincing illusion of having woken when, in fact, you are still in dreaming sleep, so the imagery - although seemingly real - is artificial.

Dreams, dream interpretation, meaning of dreams, lucid dreaming, lucid dream, false awakening, lucidity

How often have you woken in the night, looked at a digital clock, but it has appeared blurred or doesn't make sense? Have you ever reached out to turn on the light - or any electrical appliance - to discover that it doesn't function properly, or not at all? Have you got vague memories of getting up in the middle of the night, trying to open the door, finding that it won't open and going back to bed? Would you believe it, if you were told that you were probably dreaming?

A false awakening is a convincing illusion of having woken when, in fact, you are still in dreaming sleep, so the imagery - although seemingly real - is artificial.

There is the same degree of conscious awareness in the phenomenon as in a lucid dream - all one's 'critical' faculties are present and the subject can think very clearly. However, what is lacking is the realisation of being in a dream, because the dream is recreating scenery that is familiar to the dreamer - say, the bedroom.

The accuracy of the imagery to that of the real scene can be quite amazing - until something gives the secret away.

False awakenings sometimes follow lucid dreams, or they can occur separately. Intending lucid dreamers need to be aware of this fascinating situation, so to illustrate, here is such a case from our files:

I seemed to wake up from an interesting, vivid lucid dream. My mind was perfectly alert and I looked around the bedroom. It was morning and the room was fairly light. I got up and walked around for a while. Then I went to the window and looked out. Incredibly, the road outside was not the road it should have been! The surprise woke me and I found myself snuggled in bed.

Some individuals report that they experience multiple false-awakenings - which can leave them rather puzzled:

Several times I have known that I was dreaming when it was time to get up for work. I have tried to wake myself up, but only succeeded in dreaming that I have woken. This could happen four or five times in a row before I actually woke up properly. I'll know it's still a dream usually because the carpet or bed-sheets are a different colour, or that something else in the room - say, furniture, is not correct.

It is not unheard of for some unfortunate souls to apparently wake up in the morning, wash, eat breakfast and then wake to find themselves still in bed. They get up again, wash, eat breakfast, and leave for work. Caught in the rush-hour traffic, and while thumping the steering wheel, impatiently, they wake up again to find themselves still in bed. And so it can go on almost ad infinitum.

The false-awakening is more common, however, when dreamers perceive themselves as waking up at home in their own beds, then probably turn over and - in their dream minds - go back to sleep. Sometimes this occurrence can be accompanied by an atmosphere of eager expectation, stress or even apprehension, and these feelings can remain with the subject for some time after waking.

Celia Green, in her analysis of lucid dreaming, identified two varieties of false awakening. In Type 1, the person seems to have woken from a dream and reflects on things normally.

In Type 2, the individual seems to have woken, but there is a somewhat oppressive atmosphere:

I thought I was awake. It was still night and my room very dark. Although it seemed to me that I was awake, I felt curiously disinclined to move. The atmosphere seemed charged, to be in a 'strained' condition. I had a sense of invisible, intangible powers at work, which caused this feeling of aerial stress. I became expectant. Certainly, something was about to happen.

Fox,O, Astral Projection, University Books, New York, page 48.

So how can we recognise false awakenings when they happen to us? As described earlier, electrical appliances will not function properly - if at all - during a false-awakening. As with the lucid dream, Dr Hearne was the first person in the world to discover this and other anomalies, and has devised a test whereby the dreamer can assess their validity.

'10 tests for state-assessment':

1. Switch on an electric light in the dream scenery. If it does not work, or there is a malfunction of any kind, or light switches cannot be found where they should exist, suspect strongly that you are dreaming. The same applies for any other electrical appliance.

2. Attempt to 'float' in mid-air, or fly. Any success, of course is proof of dreaming.

3. Jump off an object, such as a chair. If you descend slowly, then you know you are dreaming.

4. Look carefully at your surroundings. Is there anything there which should not be present, or is missing?

5. Look at your body (eg hands, arms, feet) and your clothes. Is it your body and are the clothes yours in wakefulness?

6. Look out of a window. Is the environment accurate? Is the season correct, and is the light-level right for the time?

7. Attempt to alter a detail in the scenery, or make something happen by will-power.

8. Attempt to push your hand through solid-looking objects.

9. Pinch your skin. Is the texture and sensation as it should be?

10. Look in a mirror. Is there some alteration to your face?

It is advisable, however, if living with a partner, to issue a warning regarding one's intentions. It would be most disconcerting for a husband or wife to waken in the middle of the night and find a partner switching electrical gadgets on and off, jumping off chairs and so forth. Advance notice might well prevent a visit from the men in white coats.

Indeed, assistance would be invaluable in any endeavours of this kind. Arrangements could be made for a partner to prod or talk to the person experiencing REM sleep - shortly before waking in the morning. Following, we will see, (in the F.A.S.T. method), that anticipating an interruption to one's slumber can trigger a false awakening.

It is interesting to note that false awakenings not only precede, but often follow on from a lucid dream. If this occurs, then there is nothing to stop one from running the tests and becoming lucid again. Some dream enthusiasts have experienced lucidity as many as four times in a single night.

On occasion, when the dreamer becomes lucid for the first time, this may last for a few seconds only, before drifting back into REM sleep. This, of course, can be very disappointing, but it has been discovered that the duration of lucidity can be extended. At this point, it is worth mentioning that the more one is able to induce lucidity, the greater the chances of the phenomenon lengthening as one becomes adept at controlling it.

It has been found that if lucidity seems to be slipping away, concentrating one's gaze on the back of one's (dream) hands may cause the duration of the experience to be extended. Nobody can say categorically why this should happen, but it appears reasonable to assume that the act of focusing one's thoughts might have something to do with it. Similarly, Continually reminding yourself that you are experiencing a lucid dream, can prove very successful.

A wish to change locations within a lucid dream can be realised by closing one's (dream) eyes and willing oneself somewhere else. On opening them again, the chances are that the wish will have been granted.

It is a pitiable waste of time and effort to use the lucid dream solely for self-gratification. So let us consider some constructive uses to which the experience can be put, and how it might be of benefit.

Jack Nicklaus, corrected his golf swing after having a lucid dream. Inventions, great musical compositions, well-known paintings, novels, and hit songs have been inspired through dreams.

There is, perhaps, amazing potential for healing, and nightmares can be banished. Probably most fascinating of all, is the ability to conjure up people in a lucid dream. In this context, there could be comfort and solace for the bereaved.

Accomplished lucid dreamers have reported evoking deceased relatives and having conversations with them as if they were still alive. And as lucidity appears real in every respect - indistinguishable from full waking consciousness - this could prove to be an efficient way of helping the bereaved to overcome their despair.

However, although these encounters appear real in every respect, the experience must be adjudged to be a dream. We will probably never know if the spirits of loved-ones are able to manifest themselves in dreams, or whether these happenings are the product of the dreaming mind.

Dr Hearne also devised a method of inducing lucidity, that reportedly is successful for some people, based on recognising false-awakenings, and you may like to try it yourself. It is termed the F.A.S.T. technique (an acronym for False Awakening with State Testing).

In his sleep-lab research Dr Hearne observed the potency of expectation in subjects. This method sets up an expectation in the subject which hopefully results in a false-awakening - where state-testing can cause recognition of dreaming.

You will need an assistant. Every half hour or so after 6 am (when there is more REM sleep) the assistant needs to enter the bedroom, say a few words, potter around and then leave.

Religiously, whenever it happens, you should go through some of the state-tests listed above - no matter how utterly convinced that you are awake!

Occasionally, you will, because of the expectation effect, dream that the person has come into the bedroom. At that point the testing procedure will reveal that it has been an elaborate dream.

Then, you should get up, explore the artificial scenery of the building - as if in an out of the body experience, or relocate by covering your eyes and willing yourself to be somewhere else.

We have established that it is not unusual for people to experience this phenomenon without realising it and, for the purpose of dream interpretation, it is important that the analyst understands that fact. Here is a typical example of the kind of letter an analyst might receive:

'I have got a vague memory of getting up and going to the toilet, in the middle of the night. However, I noticed that the light switches weren't working properly. Yet when I got up this morning, they all worked perfectly. Now I'm not sure if it was a dream or not. What does it mean?'

Another example:

'I remember getting up during the night, only to discover that the street scenery outside my bedroom window was strangely different. I'm sure I wasn't dreaming, so can you tell me what happened?'

Bear in mind that there might be reports of the bedroom furniture being somehow different, or perhaps the curtains were not quite their usual colour. These are all clues that the client has undergone a false-awakening.

If any sort of interpretation is placed on this experience, it will be fruitless. As with a lucid dream, this extraordinary occurrence is open to contamination by conscious thoughts.

If the above descriptions sound familiar, It is likely that you have experienced this curious happening. It is probable that we all have them from time to time, without realising it. So convincing is this dream state that one is certain one was awake.

Some insomniacs complain of a restless night, and for some, that may be the case. But for others, it may have all been an elaborate dream, a fantastic illusion, whereby the bedroom looks the same, and you may even see your partner sleeping peacefully next to you.

Another aid to assist recognition is the contrast to a lucid dream, where the scene is likely to present itself in typically weird dream surroundings, the false-awakening usually occurs in a familiar environment, (not necessarily the bedroom), albeit a dream environment.

Shift workers can be vulnerable to false awakenings - especially if they go to work in a tired condition. Should they nod off during a shift, it has been reported that they may dream convincingly that they are at work, carrying on as usual.

If they then drift into natural REM sleep, the chances are that they will be unable to discriminate between true and false-awakenings. In fact, they will probably believe that their last waking memory is that of the false-awakening, when they saw themselves at work, performing their usual duties.

How often have you heard people say, 'You must have dreamt it,' or, 'In your dreams!' Little wonder then, at how baffling it could be - if you were a shift worker - to hear yourself accused of something you know you did not do, while your accuser is equally certain of your guilt. He may have actually witnessed you committing a transgression while he was experiencing a false-awakening. The following day, unable to discriminate between the false-awakening and reality, he could find himself stridently defending the contents of what was really a dream.

Imagine the implications, if somebody who was serving on a jury, dozed off undetected, for a few minutes, and like the shift worker, saw the accused - while experiencing a false-awakening - scoffing at the jury or laughing behind the judge's back.

Why should we take the trouble to find out whether we are dreaming or not? Apart from the advantage of being able to discern reality from fantasy, there is a much more important reason. Remember, identifying a false awakening when it occurs, provides us with a potent method of initiating a lucid dream. This would facilitate an increased potential for healing and eradicating nightmares, apart from the exhilaration of finding oneself able to fly or to enjoy a romantic encounter.

The person who doesn't know about false awakenings, usually doesn't register the previously mentioned subtle changes. But the dreamer reading this page, now has a golden opportunity to utilise the phenomenon to initiate a lucid dream.

DAVID F. MELBOURNE, who lives on a remote Scottish island, has been studying dreams for 25 years and is known all over the world for his accurate dream interpretations. Apart from the general public, he has analysed dreams for celebrities and famous authors, all of whom have admitted a high degree of accuracy.

David was the first person to discover the 'trigger mechanism' in sleep, which identifies message-bearing dreams, thus disproving Freud's idea that dreams are the guardian of sleep. He was also the first to establish a link between neurological visions, caused by trauma, and the subconscious. He has written a fantasy novel, and has had about 40 short stories (nearly all inspired by dreams) published by various imprints.

More about David F. Melbourne can be found at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/dreamthemes

2 comentários:

andrea disse...

Essa noite sonhei que conseguia voar. Eu pensava assim 'vou levantar agora' e meu corpo flutuava. Tinha muita gente ao redor, eu estava numa cidade e tinha predios. Todo mundo me via levitar mas nao se surpreendia, era normal.
Dai eu pensei: isso eh um sonho! Entao ja que eh sonho eu vou voar para ver coisas lindas...
Ao redor da minha casa (so do lado direito) tinha um lodacal, muito barro negro. Eu achava aquela sujeirada repugnante, entao voei para o outro lado e tinha agua, muita agua. Era um rio corrente com pedras, meio estranho mas bonito. Melhor que o lodo. Mas tive medo dos meus cachorros cairem, fiquei meio que na frente deles. Dai, resolvi voar so para cima, vendo tudo mais de longe. Era gostoso voar, mas eu tinha um certo 'desequilibrio' pra alcar o voo. Parecia q eu nao ia subir, mas dai eu fazia 'forca' com o pensamento e subia...Conseguia e era muito legal.
Pensava: eh sonho, eh so eu querer voar e consigo. E realmente conseguia.
Foi otimo.
Acordei muito intrigada, querendo mesmo voar.

Me pergunto o que seria isso... Eu estou vivendo um momento de mudanca GRANDE na minha vida, buscando algo melhor para mim. Fico me perguntando se esse sonho seria meu 'eu' dizendo 'VAI FUNDO! VOCE PODE! VOCE CONSEGUE'
Sera isso??


Last night I dreamed I could fly.
I just had to think 'float' and my body would lift up. Then, I though 'hey, this is a dream!' and decided to fly around and find beautiful things to see.
On the right side of my house, there was a swamp with black mud. I did not like; it was gross and so, I flew to the left side of my house, where a river was flowing. The river was OK but looked dangerous. I tried to protect my dogs from falling in. Then, I decided to take off again and fly UP. It was great. I had a hard time starting the fly, did not have balance. But once I took off and I moved UP, I could see things from a distance and it was really wonderful.
I knew it was a dream and I thought "I will enjoy this opportunity and fly as much as I can"
how awesome!
I wonder what this means??
I have been trying to change something 'BIG' in my life and I am searching for courage. I wonder if this dream was telling me 'GO FOR IT. YOU CAN DO IT"
Could it be???????????

jholland disse...

Olá Andrea,

É isso mesmo.

O sonho lúcido é, ele próprio, uma espécie de sentimento libertador. A liberdade que sentimos - semelhantes àquela que sentíamos quando criança - é uma espécie de pequena fagulha da lucidez plena, de que falam os mestres.

Quando cultivamos essa sensação, nossa lucidez aumentou e isso se reflete nos sonhos.

O desapego e o despreendimento nos levam a essa vivência.

Abraços e obrigado por participar do Blog !