Halovision – dream like a boss!

28 01 2016

Michael of Lucid Code has refined his own REM detection system project known as Halovision which is great news for us interested in sleep and dream research.

Halograph dream headband with camera

The device measures subtle electrooculography (EOG) muscle changes by means of a small 5 megapixel camera over the eye which records your eyelid movements digitally frame by frame via your associated computer device. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Dream Machine (book) – Dr Keith Hearne

12 08 2014

This is the book that I refer to in my own about page which started my journey as an oneironaut.

I obtained a copy of it back in the early 90’s after stopping off at a bookstore during a college art trip to London.

I subsequently showed my girlfriend the book that same evening upon returning. I somewhat proudly said that I had ‘experienced’ lucid dreaming where I could change my dreams and I knew it was possible.

She replied that she didn’t believe it!

The Dream Machine book cover

Hearne, K. (1990) The Dream Machine. Aquarian Press

 

Dr Hearne himself is a world-renowned UK psychologist, parapsychologist, lucid dream sleep researcher, book author, and composer of various music pieces, including a full Requiem and a Ballet.

He also founded The European College of Hypnotherapy to boot.

Keith Hearne is the man who back in April 1975 detected and recorded the first ocular eye signals from a lucid dream in his sleep lab, pre dating the findings of Stephen Laberge who reproduced similar results later on in America.

These original records along with Hearn’s purpose built ‘Dream-machine’ are housed in the London Science Museum for posterity.

He also reported on lucid dream findings which included the ‘real-time’ and the ‘light switch’ effect, following on from Van Eeden, Celia Green, et al.

In 1982 Hearne developed the False-Awakening with State-Testing (FAST) technique for lucid dreaming which is based on observation and ‘reality-checking.’

The complete 1978 Liverpool University thesis containing this work can actually be downloaded as a .pdf file from Dr Hearn’s own website at www.keithhearne.com

The first 13 chapters of The Dream Machine book are also available to download.





A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming – the book

12 07 2014

This publication is a collaboration between Thomas Piesel, Dylan Tuccillo, and Jared Zeizel, all three of them filmmakers and of course lucid dreamers.

A field guide to lucid dreaming book

The book illustrations are all by Mahendra Singh. You can see more of his work here.

 

Flying oneironaut sketch by Mahendra Singh

Flying oneironaut sketch by Mahendra Singh

 

History

The Kickstarter campaign itself originally started back in April 2011 with an initial $17,000 USD goal.

Interested parties offering help and expertise came forward which meant Peisel could lower the goal expectation, etc. to a more attainable $9000 dollar funding amount as he no longer had to start from scratch. However under Kickstarter rules this meant he had to cancel and subsequently re-launch the project again with the new revisions and pledge amounts.

For example an initial $50 pledge for the softback book, etc. now became $35 dollars instead.

The re-launch was backed by 661 enthusiastic individuals within the funding period. Thus after June 2011 the project itself successfully raised $27,576 USD with the primary aim to help at least 1000 people experience their first lucid dreams and go on to set up a companion website.

The team behind the project wanted to push the boundaries, that is ‘lucid dreaming,’ and in order for people to share their experiences on social media platforms like on the Facebook page for example.

Oneironautics- A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming

Promotional graphic showing original title

 

Hardback and softback editions of Oneironautics: A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming

Laudanum at the ready

 

Description (from Kickstarter)

 “Our book, Oneironautics: A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming, is an illustrated guide for those wishing to learn how to lucid dream. In it you’ll find everything you need to know to have your first lucid dream, as well as practical advice on how to take it even further–what to do after you become lucid.

With the help of beautiful illustrations, our guide will teach you everything from flying with control, to dealing with dream characters, to shooting fireballs. It’ll even dive into the depths of nightmares and show you how you can turn them into your advantage. You’ll learn how to stabilize and guide your dreams as well as how to overcome common mistakes that beginning Oneironauts often face.

Our Goal

Being an oneironaut may sound like a hell of a lot of fun. And it is. But it’s so much more. Dreams are like mirrors of the mind, and exploring them can lead to deep realizations. As you journey over the foothills of this inner world, you’re exploring yourself. As a lucid dreamer, you’ll also be trying to answer an age-old question: What is dreaming anyway?

We hope to introduce lucid dreaming to the general public through an interesting and entertaining book. Specifically, our goal is to help 1,000 people experience and share their first lucid dreams. We believe if we can do this, we can begin to build a critical mass of Oneironauts and push the boundary of lucidity even further. We are also creating a companion website, which will allow readers to record their lucid dreams and share them with friends on Facebook and Twitter. By donating to our Kickstarter project, you are helping to create the book and the companion website.”

 

The book itself was first published back in spring 2012 with shipping taking place just shortly after to 25 different countries globally.

Since, the book has been translated into various other languages including Spanish, Italian, Chinese, etc.

In English the book is now generally known today as “A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics” with the more familiar light blue sky and instantly recognisable ‘flying man’ illustration on the front cover.

 

Sample Chapters

Chapter 3 – History of dreaming.pdf

Chapter 9 – Becoming lucid.pdf

Chapter 17 – Defusing nightmares.pdf

 

For more information regarding the book

A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming

Mastering the Art of Oneironautics

By Dylan Tuccillo, Jared Zeizel and Thomas Peisel

Paperback/softback, 288 pages (Also available in Electronic book text and CD-Audio )

ISBN: 9780761177395 (0761177396)

Published by Workman Publishing

$12.95(US)

 

Note: Original book cover illustration © Workman Publishing Company/ Mahendra Singh.

Graphics courtesy of © Dreamlabs.io





Galantamine

7 03 2014

Galantamine or galanthamine is an alkaloid used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other memory related conditions.

It is derived either synthetically or from the bulbs and flowers of certain types of Caucasian snowdrops, snowflakes, daffodils and lycoris, the red spider lily.

Other brand names include: Nivalin, Razadyne, Razadyne ER, Reminyl, and Lycoremine.

Galantamine was first developed in the Soviet Union in the early 1950s by two Soviet pharmacologists.

Sopharma of Bulgaria began the first industrial process in 1959 where Nivalin (galantamine hydrobromide) was extracted from a snowdrop species known locally for its medicinal properties.

Field of snowdrops - galantamine molecule

“I love the smell of galantamine in the morning…”

Galantamine acts as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which has the effect of increasing acetylcholine in the brain.

Acetylcholine itself being one of the many neurotransmitters found in the central nervous system.

The absorption of galantamine is rapid, with a peak ACh inhibition within 1 hour, whilst the half-life is about 7 hours.

Side effects can include gastrointestinal symptoms and insomnia.

 

Galantamine and lucid dreaming

Galantamine is probably the best known dream-enhancing supplement used in the lucid dream community where it has developed a cult status where even Thomas Yuschak has an exclusive chapter on the subject in his book ‘Advanced Lucid Dreaming – The Power of Supplements.’

Stephen LaBerge has a patent application (US20040266659) which relates to lucid dreaming, dream recall and the use of memory enhancing drugs which includes the class known as acetylcholine esterase inhibitors, namely Donepizil, Rivastigmin, Galantamine and Huperzine.

 

I present this as a guide only. It is not intended to be seen as an endorsement.

Galantamine is usually taken orally where it is supplied in 4 or 8 mg tablet form, although it is usually combined with chlorine (like choline bitartrate) as a precursor is needed for galantamine to work more effectively.

The supplement is best taken after 4 or 5 hours of sleep when a person’s R.E.M. periods are longer, therefore increasing the likelihood of a vivid or lucid-type dream, along with better recall of the event.

I should point out that any person who considers taking supplements for the first time should thoroughly research the topic and/or seek medical advice where necessary.

Tell your doctor if you are using any other drugs, medicines or herbal products which could interact with galantamine, especially if they are chlorogenic or antichlorogenic, SSRI anti-depressants, heart drugs such as beta-blockers and NSAIDs including aspirin.

It is advisable the lucid dream student does not to take galantamine too frequently. Galantamine itself takes approximately up to 48 hours to leave the body.

It is strongly recommended not to take it on two consecutive nights.

Yuschak recommends a period of between 4 days in between individual dosage, although he recommends the use of the Nootropic piracetam to counter the desensitization of acetylcholine receptors in the brain from the galantamine immediately after having a lucid dream.

I personally have no experience in using piracetam in this instance so I cannot comment further on this.

I have found a 4/200 mg galantamine/choline combination useful where I have experienced a lot more transition and false awakening episodes, although I have found the dream control using galantamine difficult at times.





Sex and dreams

5 03 2014
Freud, Jung and dream symbolism

Freud, Jung and dream symbolism

It was Sigmund Freud, the 19th Century Austrian father of psychoanalysis who said dreams were “The royal road to the unconscious.”

He also argued that even ordinary looking dreams on the surface had a deeper sexual meaning, and that (latent) dream content is driven by unconscious ‘wish fulfilment’ or ‘wunscherfüllung.’

Freud introduces this theory in his 1899 book, ‘The Interpretation of Dreams.

Freud is also credited with the seduction theory, the libido and the psyche which consisted of 3 components namely; the id, the ego and the super-ego.

 

Dream symbolism

According to Freud the symbolism experienced in dreams was often sexual even in mentally healthy subjects.

For example a phallus could be represented by an umbrella, a rocket, knives or swords, various reptiles including snakes and fish.

Even pipes or fountains with running water are phallic and symbolic themes in their very nature.

Female genitalia symbols include hollow objects like caves, shafts, pits, suitcases, entrances to houses, etc.

Breasts are often characterised by fruits, especially apples and peaches.

Animals often included snails and mussels.

According to Freud himself, the act of being threatening with a pointed weapon, climbing a ladder or stairs, and rhythmic activities like dancing or riding all symbolised sexual intercourse.

 

Carl Jung rejected many of Freud’s theories, although he expanded on the idea of dream content and unconscious desires.

He mentions that daytime memories can have an impact on dreaming in the form of ‘day residue’ and that dreams themselves were messages to the dreamer.

He came up with his own theory in regard to dream symbolism in the form of archetypes, especially those of the self, shadow, anima and the animus.

Jung is also known for his concepts regarding introversion and extraversion and the collective unconscious

 

Hall data show that sexual dreams are more prevalent in the young to mid-teens, accounting for no more than 10% of the time, whilst another study (Zadra, A., “1093: Sex dreams: what to men and women dream about?”, Sleep Volume 30, Abstract Supplement, 2007 A376.)  showed men and women’s dreams having a sexual content at 8%.

In some cases sexual dreams may result in orgasms or nocturnal emissions.

The most common emotion experienced in dreams is anxiety, followed by abandonment, anger, fear, joy and happiness.

Common themes include:

  • Being chased or pursued.
  • Nudity or being semi-dressed in a public place.
  • Love or searching for someone
  • Loose teeth
  • Arriving late or missing a train, bus or plane

There are also some sexual taboos which are occasionally experienced in normal non-lucid dreams. Often this can result in a range of emotions and thoughts ranging from guilt to disgust and revulsion felt by the person waking up afterwards.

 

Sex and lucid dreaming

The million dollar question is “Can you have sex in a lucid dream?”

The short answer is “Yes… of course!”

It all depends (like a bit like waking life, etc) in your level of skill and control, except all without the courtship, flowers, chocolate, foreplay or scruples even between couples.

Sure, a beginner can do it, just like in a normal dream but the excitement is more likely to cause them to wake up… often disappointed!

A sex dream can invoke strong physiological effects in the body – just ask any teenage boy for example.

I think it is a mistake that a beginner oneironaut start his or her quest by yearning for a major desire to have lucid dream sex without first learning all the basics first.

Sure, along with flying, sex in a lucid dream is highly coveted.

Your fantasies can be realised depending on your skill, or luck even, but it should not be your prime mover initially.

Just like in real life you will not be given it on a plate.

Most of my ‘sex’ dreams for example tend to form from typical false awakening ‘bedroom’ scenarios, not necessarily in the ‘visual’ sense.

Interestingly enough I have found that thought alone at this particular time can form into a type of hallucination, especially the tactile-type and auditory sounds, some of which tend to be from actual memories in my case.

 

Safe sex

I guess in the vast majority of cases then it is pure fantasy.

In saying that I’m not one for violating, demeaning or using unnecessary violence towards your dream characters, although self defence is ok.

Freud might see it where the lucid dreamer who initiates sex with their dream character akin to more like a dog who can lick his own balls.

One might say a problem might arise if you are dreaming constantly about an actual (unobtainable) person like a married work colleague, etc. and you become morbidly obsessive where you try to carry over your fantasy to influence you in your waking life to the point it might affect or ruin your relationship.

Lucid dreaming in general and lucid dreaming sex could be used as a form of escapism, but it depends on the individual and their addictive traits in the real world.

I guess it all boils down to the individual at the end of the day.

One thing for sure with lucid dream sex then you are not going to catch anything or be left holding the baby for that matter.





Supplements – what’s your poison?

2 02 2014
wake back to bed by rob

WBTB by Rob

Everybody has heard of the ‘natural’ lucid dreamer, but even they need a little help during a dry spell.

With a new approach and sensible use then a supplement can help to boost your performance providing you listen to your body and not overdo things.

With any new regimen it is always best to seek medical advice where possible before hand.

Make sure you dose low initially to reduce side-effects and note any undue reactions or allergies.

Try to avoid mixing unless you know what you are doing and always do thorough research before starting any trial.

Make notes alongside your dream journal entries too for future reference.

Knowing the best times to take a particular substance and how long it stays in the body is also useful.

 

A good guide for the serious dream student is the book entitled ‘Advanced Lucid Dreaming – The Power of Supplements’ by Thomas Yuschak. ISBN 978-1-4303-0542-2

Common supplements include 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan, a naturally occurring amino acid) which is generally taken orally at the start of the night basically to suppress REM sleep thereby causing a rebound later on.

Remember never mix SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) which include antidepressants and the mood lifting herb St John’s wort for example.

A life-threatening condition called ‘serotonin syndrome’  can otherwise result.

 

The anti-Alzheimer chemical galantamine, especially when combined with a choline supplement is probably the most effective dream-enhancing substance available for the oneironaut.

It is usually taken after 4 to 6 hours of sleep to be effective.

 

However I hear some people swear by apple juice, bananas, coffee, Vitamin B6, a peanut butter sandwich, etc.

Even alcohol can affect a subject’s dreams due to REM rebound effects.





Lucid Dreaming For Dummies?

23 01 2014

Readers of this blog know the famous ‘For Dummies’  reference book series which have covered various subjects since the very first book ‘DOS For Dummies’ was released back in November 1991.

Now anything from Acne to Zoho is available, covering over 1,800 book titles since March 2013.

Well there is a ‘Dreams For Dummies’ book by the Author Penney Pierce (ISBN-13: 978-0764552977) which was first published back in December 2000.

There is even a ‘Dream Dictionary For Dummies’ written by the same Author.

 

What about lucid dreaming?

lucid dreaming for dummies book cover

Artist impression of book cover

You’ve seen the film (usually Inception,) got the t-shirt, but now all you need is the book!

You have heard of EWOLD because the abbreviated title reminds you of a cross between a furry Star Wars character and being AWOL, plus you are fed up of seeing new 4-letter acronyms for so-called lucid dreaming techniques being invented since.

 

If a For Dummies book were to exist then we would hope that it would bust some of the myths and fears that have built up around the subject that is lucid dreaming.

For example some people view the subject as something mystical; even occult, yet dreaming is a natural process. *Everybody does it whatever your race, colour or creed.

Dreaming is even mentioned in The Bible.

The term ‘sleep paralysis’ is probably still one of the biggest controversies amongst the lucid dreaming community in general.

A lot of myths still surround this subject especially. The student often has fears that attempting to lucid dream might bring it on, or that sleep paralysis and hallucinations are necessary to have a WILD (a Wake Induced Lucid Dream) for example.

It should never be confused with REM atonia nor the medical condition called sleep apnea.

Also various Hollywood films like The Matrix trilogy, the media and the growth of social networking on the Internet have catapulted lucid dreaming into the mainstream. It is seen as more pop culture than New Age nowadays. Even science accepts it.

The agreed definition of lucid dreaming is being aware that you are in a dream whilst asleep. The vast majority of people tend to only realise they are dreaming when they wake up, often disappointed. That person for example finds they haven’t got the winning lottery ticket, nor are they in a passionate embrace with George Clooney or Jessica Alba after all!

Then there are the people who don’t remember their dreams for whatever reason. It maybe that people are simply not interested or because they live a busy lifestyle.

Having some form of a bedside dream journal in the form of a written notebook or some form of dictation device or recorder can prove invaluable.

You will be able to recall more dreams with practice. It helps to notice your personal dream signs and themes which is where your journal comes in handy again. Recalling your dreams accurately should be your goal initially.

Daily awareness in your routine and reality checks can be useful too providing you carry them out with proper conviction rather than half-heartedly.

Do not believe the people that say lucid dreaming is easy. It takes dedication. Sure there are the naturals who used the skill to control their nightmares as a kid but lost the idea how to do it maybe when they grew up.

It takes hard work and practice; however it is worth it when you achieve your first realization.

Finally do not give up. Never give up. The adventure is about to begin!

 

*(Unless there are medical reasons.)

Dummies copyright © 2014 & Trademark by Wiley Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.