By Coco Shellim
Tigers and Domino’s
Lucid dreaming is a skill where you learn how to be aware that you are dreaming and then control your dreams. I tried to learn when I was at Uni but whenever I realised I was dreaming I would get so excited I would wake myself up, it was very frustrating, and I gave up.
So, when sitting in front of a blank piece of paper saying ‘my passions’ underlined and a big box around it but sadly, no practical passions listed underneath, I thought it was a good excuse to go for a half-arsed project attempted a few years ago and try again, properly. I don’t know if sleep counts as a passion, but it is one thing I am damn good at.
There are loads of benefits for lucid dreaming, one of them being it can improve your memory (any excuse to stop the reading the memory book?!) You can overcome your irrational fears- let’s say you’re scared of heights, you can dream of jumping out of plane and because the laws of physics don’t apply in the dream world, you can float back down to Earth and have a little fly around. You could practise a speech you’ve been worrying about or have a much-needed cathartic experience and tell your boss to fuck off. You could see what it feels like to walk with six legs- basically, you can get as weird as you want.
Dreams are a supposedly great place to problem solve, you have this completely inhibited flow of ideas coming from your subconscious. The only real difference when your dreaming is that when something unusual happens – like the room floats away- your subconscious won’t find it unusual and won’t question it. If you manage to get lucid, then your rational mind can check if any of your ideas are in fact, any good.
Larry Page (a co-founder of Google) came up with the concept of Google in a dream, Paul McCartney famously dreamt the tune for Yesterday. Even Einstein’s theory of relativity was thought up in a dream about cows. Salvador Dali went a step further and would to sleep with a metal bowl on his chest, holding a metal spoon above the bowl, so as he slipped into sleep the spoon would slip from his hand, clang on the bowl and wake him up. Dali would then paint the surreal images he saw in his dreams.
Have you ever watched Inception? If you have, you’ll know it’s confusing. I just learnt that Christopher Nolan came up with the whole concept in one of his own dreams (or did someone plant it there?)… but thinking about that makes my head hurt.
The first step is to train your brain to remember your dreams by making a dream diary. When I first started out my entries would only include maybe a place I remembered or who I was with. After a while they’ve turned into hilarious and very weird detailed stories.
So, I’m going to keep practicing lucid dreaming and hopefully I’ll invent something clever and cool or maybe even get over my irrational fear of slugs.
Or, will I spend my time riding a tiger up a waterfall, eating an endless supply of dominos and chocolate cake? – probably.