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Author Topic: Hypnogogia/Consciousness slip  (Read 1784 times)
SilverSlider
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« on: November 01, 2007, 22:19:08 »

Hello all

I have been trying very hard recently to increase my lucid dreaming and I have found the absolute best time is when I have already slept for a good portion of the night. I usually when waking up press my snooze button a few times before I actually get up, so this is when I try to go lucid. The reason I find it easier to slip into a lucid dream at this time versus when I initially go to sleep is that I fall sleep way too quickly to be able to control anything, or I control is too much and not fall asleep forever lol.

I will first describe the process, then the question that I have. As I am falling back asleep I can feel myself getting closer and closer to sleep by noticing random thoughts & images coming at me (hypnogogia) and sense dissolvement. When it comes to my senses I am fine and only notice them when I'm flung back to waking consciousness from hypnogogia. If I try force or influence hypnogogic images, I am sometimes successful, though I havn't determined exactly what the reasons are. The best seems to be just letting images come at me, which leads me to my problem...

How can I stay conscious while hypnogogia is going full steam? It seems like from the time intense hypnogogia ensues, there is maybe 30 seconds max. before I am asleep. What I seem to be struggling with is separating myself from hypnogogia, while still falling asleep. I believe this is one of the reasons why I am normally not successful when making images in my mind to fall into - that is I keep one eye on the image and one eye on my consciousness. When I let the images come to me I am significantly more successful by most of the time I just fall asleep because I am overcome by them & I lose waking consciousness.

The reason why I have been investigating this so much lately is that I used a technique I read in LaBerge's "Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming," which was magnificently successful - so successful, I would suppose, that the excitement of lucid dreaming in seconds causes some of the problems I mentioned above. The technique I'm taking about is really simple, all you do is count as you're falling asleep - 1, I'm dreaming; 2, I'm dreaming; 3, I'm dreaming, etc. until you are asleep and dreaming when you will say to yourself "32, I'm dreaming," and you'll actually be dreaming! The first time I used it was incredible, like the curtains to my dream has been opened; I went from falling asleep & sorting through hypnogia to fully dreaming with no break in consciousness.

So what I am wondering is, how do I manage this rough terrain? It seems like I either give in and fall asleep hoping I wake up in a dream (which I do sometimes) or lie there waiting to fall asleep because I've twisted my mind up so much that I can't even pass through the hypnogogic stage.

Thanks
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Selski
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2007, 15:30:24 »

Hi SilverSlider

It's a very very fine line that we are trying to walk - and more often than not, we fall off one side or the other!

I find that when I get the images, I'm practically there - all I need to do is stay awake until one image stays put.  This normally happens after a few seconds (maybe 10-15 seconds).  At first, all the images are brief, random and too fast for me to actually look at.

However, one will become fixed and I am able to view it properly.  I also know that I can look up, down and sideways at the image without it moving.  Have you ever looked at those Magic Eye pictures?  It's a bit like that, where you know that your vision has shifted slightly and you are now perceiving/viewing something that you couldn't earlier.

By this stage, there's no way I could possibly fall asleep - it's as if the fixed image jolts me to being extremely mentally aware and alert.  And from here to enter the image (if I haven't already done automatically), I reach out for something in the image - a wall, grass, whatever - and touch it.  This has the immediate effect of placing me in the imagery and having all the sensations of actually touching the object.

I wonder, when you are getting the images, what is your mind doing?  Are you trying to stay awake?  If so, this might be the reason why sometimes you can't get to sleep.  Or is your mind lazily drifting?  This could be why you fall asleep.

I can't really give you an exact frame of mind to be in - it is hit and miss with me.  More often than not I too fall asleep.  Occasionally I get the random images and then zoom to full waking consciousness and lie there frustrated.  I think that's when I try to stay awake too much.

The times it has worked, my mind has been more of a passive observer, without any thought of what might be round the corner.  I tend to focus on the present moment, such that it might go something like:

"oooh, what's that, it looks like... hang on it's gone, now is that a car?... wow nice colours...wait, where did that go... weeee, that's cool!...oooh a swirling thingy...is that a table leg...that's a nice scene... oh, it's opening out...cool...wow I can look around...look at that tree to the left...oh, I'm in the scene!...yes, here we go...keep calm...which way shall I go?"

I like the sound of counting 'I'm dreaming'.  And I see it worked for you the first time.  What happened to stop it working?  If you keep thinking it mentally aloud, surely you wouldn't mind falling asleep because you know that at some point you'll be counting it in your sleep.  What went wrong?

Sarah
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2007, 15:30:24 »

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Astral Projection, Metaphysics and many other subjects.

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SilverSlider
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2007, 08:01:46 »

Hi Selski!

What went wrong? honestly I think it's because it worked so flawlessly the first time that I get very giddy every time I use the same method. I have been working hard on flowing along, like you mentioned, and allowing things to unfold naturally.

I just thought of something right after I posted so I'll add it here, but you asked if I don't mind reminding myself that I'm dreaming what is stopping me, since I'll be saying it in my sleep - this gets at what I'm asking very much since at the point of the "consciousness slip" as I think of it, I can't think logically anymore and I seem to stop counting - even the first time it happened the transition was smooth enough for me to be counting 18, I'm dreaming; 19, I'm dreaming; then my mind started fluctuating and I decided there's no way I can hold onto a sequential order so I started saying random numbers and reminding myself that I'm dreaming so it became 24, I'm dreaming; 36, I'm dreaming; then after about 3 of these I was suddenly in a dream. So like you said - about 10-15 seconds for the whole process. From that experience the actual transition was about 3-5 seconds.

I appreciate an understanding between us on how long the images last and how they progress. Now that I think about it, the scenes *are* rapid at first then become more solid, like you mentioned. I think it's when the scenes become more stable and longer that I mess up, because like I mentioned before, I get excited and think wow! and snap back to waking consciousness. I really think this also shows a way in which I can make some progress, and that is actually focusing on the counting and "I'm dreaming" part, if I'm actually doing that - it's apparent that I'm focusing too much on the reactions of my senses and not the actual experience...which now that I think about it may be because I try hard not to fall asleep at these times; I believe it would be beneficial if I thought "who cares about falling asleep?" and just tried to ride those incoming thoughts as long as I could. I think I have been trying this a bit lately but now that I have actually thought about it outside of a near dream state, it might actually solidify cheesy

Hmm I *really* like your idea of grasping onto specific parts of a dream...I've never thought of that - I normally just wait for the dream to engulf my senses to the point that I'm fully dreaming. Thanks for the tip! I'll have to try that out.

I very much agree that we need to be passive observers...or maybe more of passive engagements - stay interested but don't get too stimulated...which I guess is probably what you meant by passive observers!  cheesy

Either way thanks for responding, it looks like we are at about the same place in this, so its good to hear how you have been dealing at this stage. This point I think is probably the most frustrating in that I feel like I am near dreaming lucidly often, but my mind is swaying back and forth so much that I can't keep it centered on one continuous track that is effective...sometimes I wake up thinking maybe I shouldn't be lucid dreaming this much undecided Nonsense! cheesy
« Last Edit: November 03, 2007, 08:09:32 by SilverSlider » Logged
Selski
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2007, 17:01:14 »

Hi SilverSlider

Well, I tried the counting last night.  I admit it was before I'd had any sleep, so I wasn't expecting it to work - I was just playing around with it.

For some reason I was finding it difficult to drift away but eventually found myself doing this...

"71 I'm dreaming; 72 I'm dreaming; 73 I'm counting; 74 I'm dreaming; 75 I'm 23..."

I'd catch myself and giggle.  Do you leave a gap between numbers or is it fairly constant?  I tend to keep it constant, but slow.  If I leave gaps I'm prone to mentally wandering or falling asleep.

It actually reminded me of when I had a bout of insomnia a few months ago.  To try and get myself back to sleep I would count, slowly and methodically.  Some nights I'd get to 500 or more, but I always got confused in that I would be on (say) 381 and then next I might come out with 265, and then I'd totally forget what number I was up to!  I guess that's a sign of drifting, but I was also too focused on getting the numbers in the correct order, that I'd snap back to full waking and have to start from where I thought I was. 

It's the 'getting excited' bit that is the killer.  When I first started having lucid dreams, they would last as long as it took to think, "wow! I'm dreaming!" and that would be enough to wake me up, due to excitement that I'd actually done it.  I've gone through other stages since then.  I went through a period of having to tell any dream person I could find that I was dreaming.  For some odd reason, the very act of saying aloud that I was dreaming would abort the experience.  Then eventually I learned to stay very very calm.  And then I was able to talk about it, without losing it.  This took months by the way.  I'm now at the stage where I can converse for quite a while about dreaming and even get intelligent and thought-provoking answers from dream characters - leading me to believe that they aren't products of my imagination. 

Keep us informed as to your progress - and best of luck!  smiley

Sarah
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