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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lucid Dreams

A lucid dream, in case you don't know, is a dream when you know you're dreaming.  I have maybe four lucid dreams a year - at least dreams that I remember the next morning.  If you've never had a lucid dream, you might think it's way cool, and it kind of sort of is, but mostly it's either frustrating or disappointing.

Last night for example, I dreamt I was hanging out with some chickens, and suddenly I realized I was dreaming.  "Say, I'm in a dream," I told myself, "what will I do?  I know, I'll fly!"  (Every time I'm in a lucid dream I decide to fly.  I really need to think of something more interesting.)  So anyway, bammo, I think, I'll fly, and the next thing you know, there I am flying.

It's not as cool as it sounds.

Basically I just floated into the air and looked down on the chickens.  The chickens, by the way, were completely unimpressed even though I was flying way better than any chicken could, and I wasn't even flapping my arms.

This is the whole flaw with lucid dreams - at least in my experience: you can do anything you want, but you can't make anyone or anything else cooperate with you.  

Another lucid dream I decided I'd fly around the city at night like Superman fighting crime and stuff.  Only once I got up in the air, I couldn't see anything.  I was flying around in the dark.  I mean, I was perfectly safe, it was only a dream, but I couldn't see a thing.  I guess I could've given myself super-x-ray-vision, but then I'd have had to imagine flying, having super-x-ray-vision, seeing into buildings and junk, and someone committing a crime.  It was all just too much work.  When I sleep, I want to relax.

Sometimes lucid dreams aren't just a let-down but actively 

One time I was aware I had to get up extra-early to get to an appointment out of town somewhere.  So I get out of bed in the morning and I'm getting dressed, when all of a sudden, I realize I'm dreaming.  I'm not getting up and getting dressed because I'm dreaming about getting up and getting dressed.  Then I open my eyes, and I'm lying in bed.  And I get out and start to get dressed.  But then I realize, I'm still dreaming.  By this time, I'm in a tizzy; I can't get out of this dream-loop, and I'm scared I'm going to oversleep for real and miss my appointment.  So I begin shouting to myself, "Wake up!  Wake up!" only you know how it is in a dream, I wasn't really making any noise.  It was like shouting into a paper cup or being underwater.  The real-life me was just lying in bed making a soft nasal honk like an anesthetized seal.  I did finally get up and keep my appointment, but the dream had left me rattled.

"If I had a lucid dream," you're thinking, "I know what I'd dream about!  Rrrow!"  Well, I tried that, too, and it doesn't work.  I can conjure up some vague fantasy woman - a little like Dolly Parton, only made of vinyl, and come to think of it, I'm not sure Dolly Parton isn't made of vinyl at that.  But then we just sort of stand there looking at each other, waiting for something to happen.  And the fantasy-vinyl-Dolly-Parton figure is like, "Well, make me do something.  This is your dream."  It's like she's perfectly cooperative but at the same time sort of uncooperative.  Like not just her skin, but her personality was made of vinyl.  It's hard to explain, but in the meantime it's a tremendous amount of performance anxiety, because I'm not just responsible for my performance, but hers.  And the possibility of a menage a trois is just too terrible to contemplate.

The bottom line is, lucid dreams aren't all they're cracked up to be because in a dream, it's so hard to make things happen.  Whether it's getting to an appointment, fighting crime, or just enjoying some physical affection, the place to make things happen is in your waking life.  In your dreams, you're better off just lying back and letting things happen to you.

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