Dreaming – Interval

by pre., Friday, June 5th, 2009.

Half way through our trip around our arbitrary map of the mind, it’s time for a short interval. This month we won’t be tacking one of the topics from the The Transcendence Spiral. Instead, in anticipation of the third lap, we’ll spend the month focusing on dreaming.

Some people rarely remember dreams. However research shows that even those whose dreams are this ethereal on waking still in fact have them, they’re just as deeply involved in their night time adventures at the time they’re happening as those who describe their visions over breakfast each morning. They just forget more quickly.

Dreaming isn’t even a uniquely human phenomenon. As any dog owner will tell you, animals too spend half their sleeping time cavorting around in their imaginations, presumably chasing imaginary rabbits or torturing imaginary mice.

What are dreams for?

The truth is that, although we have many clues, there’s still no single outstanding theory of why people and animals dream. Most likely, dreams fill more than one function. Certainly it would appear to be important for survival, since dreams are so extremely widespread through the animal kingdom.


What happens when you deprive a person of dreams? As you probably know, sleep researchers have shown that dreaming occurs during a stage of sleep known as REM sleep, named for Rapid Eye Moment, the most obvious characteristic of that sleep phase. This offers us a simple test: To find out what dreams are for, wake someone up every time they go into REM sleep and watch what happens.

As you can imagine, this certainly doesn’t make your experimental subject very happy. Indeed, it’s no doubt very annoying to be woken up every few hours.

As well as the obvious effects on mood, it turns out that depriving people of dreams quite drastically effects their behaviour in waking life. They behave erractically, overly emotional, and most importantly for our analysis, they find it hard to remember things, and perform much worse in test of memory capacity.


Further evidence comes from what’s known as the Tetris Effect. Tetris is a simple computer game in which blocks various shapes have to be tessellated, packed together to completely fill a given space. When intensively learning to play this game, many players report dreaming about the game at night. They dream of those blocks, slotting into place, sliding around the screen, the constant and increasing pressure to move each block to it’s proper position.

The more people dream about those shapes, the way they interact, the way they fit together, the more quickly they get better at the game. It seems that playing Tetris in your sleep is better for learning how to play the game than playing it for real!

While it’s true that modern science is still confused at exactly how the sleep and dreaming process work, or even all the functions of your dreams, it’s clear that your dreams are an important part of cognitive functioning. The Transcendence Institute believes that concious understanding and manipulation of any part of cognitive functioning will lead to improvements in its efficiency and ability.

Thus, the meditation at the end of this little interval will help you to explore your dreams. You’ll learn to remember them more clearly, to understand their purpose, meaning and function. You’ll learn how to influence the subjects of your dreams. You’ll even increase the chances that you’ll dream lucidly, knowing as you dream that you are in fact dreaming, giving you more direct and immediate conscious control over the content of your dreams than you dreamed possible.

Dreaming Is Fun!

Plus, most entertainingly, you’ll enjoy your dreams, even the scary ones. You’ll learn to treat them as free TV, free theatre, an entertaining distraction and source of pleasure.

You’ll start, next week, by learning a little more about the symbolism in dreams, the way they are built and presented to your conscious mind.

After that you’ll learn how to influence your dreams. Perhaps to ponder a particular problem, find an artistic solution. You’ll learn some techniques for increasing the chance that you’ll become aware of the fact you’re dreaming and so start lucid dreaming, able to take direct conscious control of the content of your night-time wondering.

Next you’ll think about the virtual world of your dreams, and compare it to waking life

Finally, at the end of the month, we’ll present a meditation designed to remind you of all these things, and to help you to recall the things you have been dreaming about, to judge the results of your endeavour.

Dreaming – Symbolism

by pre., Friday, June 12th, 2009.

People have been having dreams since before they were people. Any dog, cat or even hamster owner will tell you that their animals dream. Brain scanners and modern science has confirmed it too, essentially all mammals dream.

Since the dawn of civilisation, there are records of people dreaming. Of them striving to understand what those dreams mean, often attributing them to divine portents, messages from the gods, prophecy or mystical omen. Even today dream interpreters abound, offering advice and help on what the specific events of your dreams mean, or foretell. As with all prophecy, understanding the symbolism inherent in the dream could explain how it can be true even when it turns out false. Many careers have been built in so interpreting dreams over the aeons.

Modern science would reject most of these understandings of dream process almost out of hand of course.


Sigmund Freud attempted probably the first, certainly the most famous, modern scientific systematisation of the understanding of dreams. His book ‘the interpretation of dreams’ had a very powerful influence on modern popular ideas about dreaming.

He essentially proposed that each human had certain drives, biological impulses, and that these drives must find expression, they must be acted out in some way to reduce their potency for the mind. Modern man, with his culture and his civilisation and his capacity for taking the long view, had built various mechanisms to act out these drives without damaging society. To Freud, dreams were basically wish fulfilment, encoded and obfuscated by the ego so as not to offend.

This encoding of the dream, to disguise the drives which were being safely tapped, explained symbolism in dreams. Why a dream might not be entirely literal.


Contemporary with Freud, Carl Jung expanded upon Freud’s work (and had bitter arguments with him over it).

Jung agreed that unconscious individual drives influenced dreams, but he also believed that evolution had blessed us with archetypal symbols. A universal subconscious filled with the kinds of symbols and myths found in tarot cards and the like. While Freud would suggest that the symbols used in dreams are individual, based on associations built up during a person’s life, Jung maintained that at least some of these symbols are directly genetically controlled, or perhaps carried in the subtext of our language and culture. He thought these symbols are universal, they apply to everybody.

The psychological explanations for dreams were widely appreciated for many years, influencing modern culture a great deal.

However, even with Jung’s additions, these theories never found empirical foundations. While some of the language he invented (or at least popularised) still remains in the lexicon today, terms like “ID” and “Super Ego” never found an experimental basis. Though many of Jung’s archtypal symbols no doubt do fill popular culture, and can account for the universal symbolism in dreams, he could not account for how this happens.

Activation Synthesis model,

In 1977, Drs. Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley from Harvard proposed a radically different systematisation of the dreaming systems. Rather than psychological causes for dreaming, they suggested physiological causes.

Their Activation Synthesis Model hypothesised that each night circuits in your brain would activate during REM sleep. These circuits cut off the senses and muscles from the higher functions of the brain, leading to sleep paralysis (so that the dreamer wouldn’t hurt themselves) and essentially random noise in the input to those higher functions.

Dreaming then, is the higher brain’s attempts to interpret this random noise, creatively building a story to link all the random information coming in to the neural locations which usually would receive sense data.Their theory is primarily constructive, having the brain build a story based on noise, rather than a distorting and censoring process as Freud suggested.

Under the Activation Synthesis model, symbols come to mind based on this constructive interpretation of random information.

Does this mean that dreams are meaningless? No. While analyzing them is not likely to predict the future, seeing what kinds of interpretations it comes up with from the noise can still tell you a lot about how a your mind functions. What your fears, provocatives and interests are. How you think.

Stephen LaBerge, who is a well respected current dream researcher, set up the Lucidty Institute and suggested some fusion of these ideas.

What Do We Know About Dreaming

A theory to explain dreaming should take into consideration all the evidence we have about dream and dream function.

  • Dreams are affected by your actions in the day
  • It seems obvious that the ‘noise’ from your lower functions, or at least the feedback systems around your higher level brain functions, are not in fact ‘random’ at all. If you spend all day playing tetris, it’s not coincidence if you then dream of those terrible falling blocks. If you wear rose tinted spectacles all day it’s not random chance if you happen to dream rose tinted dreams that evening. We know that the daily activities which we work through do in fact effect our dreams, both from experience and experiment.

  • All mammals dream! Not just the smartest or most sapient ones
  • Mammals from Gerbils through to University Professors all dream. Whatever functions dreams have must make as much sense to a Gerbil in it’s environment as a university professor in his. It’s no use proposing that a dream has a function unique to human beings. If dreams are psychological, then rodents have psychology.

  • Dreaming evolved by natural selection
  • The costs to an organism of dreaming five or six times each night are not negligible. Having to paralyse the limbs makes responding to sudden attack slower. Metabolism increases during dreams, meaning animals who dream must eat more to survive. Whatever functions dreams have, they increased the survival rates of the animals which had those functions.

  • They are involved in consolidation and integration of memory
  • When deprived of REM sleep, people and animals perform less well in memory tests. Not just all memory tests though, but a certain kinds of memory. When testing if rats can learn which door contains cheese, depriving them of REM sleep makes little difference. When testing if rats can learn the pattern behind which door will have the cheese (eg, alternate times it’s in door 1), depriving the animals of REM sleep significantly degrades their progress.

    It’s as though REM sleep allows animals to test hypothesis, and let their brain learn what the world would be like if they were true, and thus to strengthen the neural circuits in advance, ready for testing.

  • Dreams are mostly forgotten.
  • Dreams are notoriously difficult to remember, often special techniques must be used in order to make dream recall practical. Notebooks or dictaphones by the bedside. Deliberate early alarm calls. Being woken by researchers and asked when you are mid-dream. Whatever their function, it seems that being able to remember them is a disadvantage, at least for most species.

What Dreams Are

Taking all this evidence, LaBerge suggests that dreaming allows us to practice, to experiment safely in the confines of our own model of the world, to try and encourage neural pathways which would otherwise be tricky: learning how to spot high level patterns, to learn skills we won’t otherwise get chance to learn.

While the pathways which are built using this method are, by necessity, continued into waking life, the autobiographical memory of them happening should, ideally, be wiped. LaBerge’s example is of a cat which dreams the dog next door is replaced by a family of mice. A cat which remembered this, would be more likely dog-dinner than one who forgot his night time fantasy.

LaBerge also points out that humans, because they can be told every morning to learn to notice the difference between dream and reality, do not necessarily suffer so much from this effect. So long as you can keep reality and dream separate, you won’t wonder into the dog’s garden expecting to find mice. Indeed Piaget’s child development work seems to show that kids do mistake this difference until they are linguistically programmed to recognise it.

Since the higher brain functions operate pretty much entirely in symbols, in abstract representations of the world rather than concrete association or perception, dreams will indeed contain many symbolic elements. They will in fact be built entirely from symbols. Though it must be considered that these symbols are usually simply what they refer to. A cigar, as they say, will usually just be a cigar not an encoded reference to anything else.

How Dreams Can Help

Given all this, how can studying your dreams help you, personally, improve your self understanding and concious skills? Should we not deliberately forget our dreams in order to be free of the confusion?

Firstly, as we have mentioned, your dreams are likely to help you understand the archetypes which your brain uses. If whenever you dream of a dog, it’s a particular dog, you’ll know that this particular dog should be the one you imagine if you’re doing any conscious, waking, self-hypnosis or visualisation to try and change your response to dogs. Learning which symbols you use in your own brain can have invaluable results when trying to learn which images to use while reprogramming your brain through NLP etc.

Secondly, if you are able to learn to influence the content of your dreams, you can direct them. We did a lot of this during the first lap, trying to influence the content of dreams by thinking of things before sleep.

This is particularly useful. If you are trying, for example, to learn how to play Tennis, then dreaming about Tennis a lot is likely to help you learn to do that faster and better. Being able to consciously chose to do so, or even just chose to be more likely to do so should thus speed up that learning process.

Next week, sure enough, we’ll discuss some systems for trying to influence the content of dreams, and even learn to become conscious during your dreams, and thus take control at the time, pushing your dreams in your previously chosen direction.

Thirdly: that distinction between reality and fantasy is an essential thing for a linguistic creature to have. No dog can tell lies to another dog, so no dog has to spot those lies. No cat has to understand that the story about Dick Whittington may contain moral lessons, truth in it’s inferences, but that Dick’s cat himself didn’t exist. Dreaming, and learning the difference between that and reality, may well enable us to learn from simple fiction too. To learn our culture, our ways of thinking, our very consciousness from the lessons implied in the stories in fairy tales and in our dreams, while not having to believe in literal fire-breathing dragons.

Practice at the task is likely a good thing.

Dreaming – Influencing Dreams

by pre., Friday, June 19th, 2009.

You’ve seen that your dreams are practice, enabling you to test and refine skills you are learning without fear of consequence. That they can tell you about the symbolism and construction of your mind, teach you more about how you think. It would obviously, therefore, be useful to be able to control your dreams. To consciously direct dream content. You’d be able to practice those things you most need to practice, learn about the things you most need to learn. More than this, since dreams are legendarily full of revelation, controlled dreams can be used in creative problem solving, in the search for inspiration and ideas.

Last week we mentioned Stephen LaBerge, who set up the Lucidity Institute to study dreams, and systems to allow people to influence their dreams and thus their life.

The Lucidity Institute’s FAQ suggests many ways to influence your patterns of dreaming.

Increasing Recall

Perhaps most importantly, you need to remember the content of your dreams. You’ll never know how much success you have in influencing that content if you can’t even remember it.

The Lucidity Institute have a page devoted to improving dream recall. The key, essentially, is to wake up while dreaming. You need to set an alarm which tells you to immediately think about your dreams and, at least to start with, to write them down as soon as you wake up.

If your alarm wakes you each morning, and you immediately think about your dreams, and still think you weren’t dreaming, try setting the alarm half an hour earlier. If it still doesn’t work, half an hour earlier still. Dream research suggests that we each dream every 90 minutes or so, meaning you should be able to interrupt a dream if you try waking yourself in intervals of 30 minutes.

After a few weeks of writing down your dream content as soon as you wake, you’ll find that you get better at dream recall, eventually simply mentally reviewing a dream upon waking will enable you to remember it.

Influencing Dreams

Once you have started to remember dreams well, you’ll be able to start aiming to influence dream content.

Experiments show that the content of dreams often parallels the activities of the day. If you spend the day herding sheep, you’ll likely dream about sheep. If you spend the day driving, you may well dream about driving. If you spend it learning to play Tetris, you’ll dream about those constantly falling tessellating blocks. Indeed, the effect is named after the game Tetris

This points to the most obvious, and most easily learned, system for influencing dream content: To think about the things you wish to dream about while you fall asleep. To prime your mind, keep active the concepts and ideas and thoughts you want to ponder on and illustrate in your dream-scape.

Like all these skills, you’ll find that the more you practice trying to influence your dreams, the better you will get at it. So long as you are still recording the content, comparing it to your intent, you’ll soon start to understand how to influence your dream-scape more and more strongly.

Imagine, for instance, that you need to solve some creative problem. Design an album cover, write a song, script a TV show, spin a presentation, format a document, teach a subject, and you aren’t quite sure which direction to head, how to progress.

Deliberately deciding to dream about this problem, thinking about it single-mindedly for half an hour or so before bed, thinking on it further as your fall asleep, constantly returning to that subject whenever you notice your mind drifting, should start to influence your dreams to confront that problem during your sleep.

Once dream recall is improved, you’ll likely notice correlations between your attempts and the written record the next morning. You’ll start to realise what works, and probably just as importantly, convince yourself that it’s possible. That it’s just a question of learning to think right. As you improve you may even go one step further!

As you remember your dreams more and more, and as you learn to influence them to a greater degree, you will start to start to notice patterns. Reoccuring people, landscapes and situations. These things will help you to determine the symbolism used in your dreams, surely useful information for learning how your own mind works.

These patterns will also do something even more useful, they may tip you off that you’re dreaming. One night, during a dream, you’ll realise that this is a dream. That you’re not awake, but that you’re living in your night time fantasy world. You’ll be Lucid Dreaming.

Lucid Dreaming

A lucid dream is one in which you become aware of your self within a dream, aware of the fact that you’re dreaming. It’s as though your consciousness comes alive within the dream.

Most people find this pretty rewarding in itself, but when combined with the realisation that you are therefore living in your own mind, and are able to take conscious action within that mind, you see that conscious dreaming offers a great deal of potential to the aspiring self-programming student of improving mental skills.

Thinking of a general skill, design, system or person which you wanted to dream about and having it happen is useful, genuinely rewarding and worthwhile when trying to improve your transcendence skills. Being actually aware of the dream as you are dreaming it gives you a whole new level of control.

Wikipedia has a description of methods for helping to induce lucid dreaming and of course the Lucidity Institute’s FAQ mentioned earlier has more. We will just summarise the top few.

Mnemonic induction of lucid dreams

The MIND system essentially involves training yourself to check reality every now and then. LaBerge suggests reading a bit of text twice over, checking if it’s changed. Find some system to remind yourself to ask the question often: am I dreaming? and to check. Once you have built the habit of doing this in waking life, the habit will transfer into the dream world, and you’ll start to get the answer “Yes, yes I am,” more often.


Setting an alarm clock for an hour before you have to get up, interupting a dream, thinking about it, writing it down and then going back to sleep seems to help people enter the lucid dreaming state quite often.

Wake-initiation of lucid dreams

The WILD system involves learning to train your brain to stay conscious during the transition between sleeping and dreaming. If you’ve ever fallen asleep with the TV on and had the TV world and your dream world mix in a hypnagogic haze, you’ll have experienced this. The key to the WILD system is to learn to recognise it as such, and keep it in your consciousness while the sleep state takes over your brain. This technique tends to work better for an afternoon nap than after a full day’s wakefulness


Alternatively, technology can come to the rescue! The NovaDreamer is essentially a pair of electronic spectacles which watch your eyes while you sleep. When they notice the REM patterned movements, indicating the dream state, they flash a light which can be sensed through the eye lids. In the dream world, you can learn to notice this flash, and that will prompt you to realize you’re dreaming.

The Transcendence Institute Method

Our meditation this month is designed to be listened to upon waking, in fact, ideally, before you fully wake. Set it up on an alarm system. The aim is for it to slowly fade into your consciousness while you’re still dreaming.

The meditation starts quietly, and slowly, being designed not to wake you but to gradually raise your level of consciousness while you sleep.

It contains suggestions that you’ll notice you are dreaming. That you’ll be able to start to use the dream world to think about whatever you have planned to think about, to become more lucid. It will also contain suggestions that you’ll remember this experience when you fully awaken.

Finally, it will tell you to write down the dream that it has just interrupted, increasing recall.

If the meditation doesn’t work, try setting the alarm half an hour earlier, or half an hour later, or indeed a whole hour earlier. The aim, remember, is to find a time when you are likely to be dreaming, and have the meditation slowly percolate into that dream, prompting you to notice that you are dreaming and spend ten minutes in control of that dream before waking to write down your recollections.

Dreaming – Virtual Reality

by pre., Friday, June 26th, 2009.

In their FAQ, The Lucidity Institute suggest that lucid dreaming can be used for ‘transcendental’ purposes. They say:

The experience of being in a lucid dream clearly demonstrates the astonishing fact that the world we see is a construct of our minds. This concept, so elusive when sought in waking life, is the cornerstone of spiritual teachings. It forces us to look beyond everyday experience and ask, “If this is not real, what is?”

When dreaming, your consciousness is nevertheless in some sense awake. It is experiencing things. You are conscious of your dream, of your own actions. When the dream is lucid you are even aware of your own consciousness during that time. Yet the things you are conscious of are not the things which are actually happening around you.

Experience without senses

Consider one of this author’s lucid dreams from a few months back.

I wondered around the house some more, impressed by how incredibly *vivid* the dream experience is. How easily I had managed to fire up this virtual world, how the colours and shapes and textures were all just *right* and the pictures were as clear as can be.

In my dream I stroked a hand along the banister and pondered: In the real world, outside the dream-scape, when I meditate, when I day-dream or try to recall the way some object looks, the experience doesn’t have this incredibly vivid, utterly realistic quality which the dream world I’m wondering through now has. I can’t *see* my wakeful visualisation as utterly convincingly as I can currently *see* and *feel* the grain of the wallpaper pasted onto the walls around me.

Experiences like these impress on your mind that, even while waking, you do not see photons. You do not see light-waves or even really patches of colour unless you actually look closely. Instead your consciousness sees objects, constructs from data.

When you are awake, your brain is interpreting the data your sense organs are feeding it, constructing a tale and virtual environment from that data, building a world from it in which you think you live.

These experiences suggest that when you are dreaming, the same thing is happening, but with the sense-data cut off or ignored and either random noise or the echos of the previous day’s data percolating through your mind instead.

When you are awake, you are still living in the dream world, it’s just that the world is now constrained by sense data in a way that the dreaming world isn’t.

Next month, we will talk about this Virtual Reality in which we live, the reality model, how it’s built, how the knowledge that your experience is experience of that model rather than of reality can help you, and hurt you, and how to increase the help while decreasing the hurt.

In the mean time though, this week we present a new meditation.

Introducing the Lucid Dreaming Meditation

Our meditation this month, and indeed all the meditations during the following lap, are designed to be set as an alarm clock to wake you. Set it to go off just over ten minutes before you have to actually wake up. It will be slow and gentle, designed to infiltrate your dreams and remind you that you are dreaming, to bring on lucid dreams.

The meditation will gradually get louder as it goes on, increasing the chances that it will seep into your dream world.

Finally, after around ten minutes, it will end more loudly, with suggestions that you’ll wake up bright and fresh ready to start the day before finishing with a bang.

Remember, if your alarm isn’t interupting your dreams, you should try setting it twenty, or forty, minutes earlier. Experiment to find the best time for it to wake you slowly from your dream.

Download The Meditation:

Bonus Guided Meditation File! – Dreams
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Dreaming – Wish Fulfilment

by pre., Friday, March 5th, 2010.

You have been learning to become conscious in your dreams, to take better control of them and of course this gives you god-like powers that you never have in waking life. The power to fly, to move things with your mind, to travel in time, to meet historical figures, to have sex with film stars and take part in epic apocalyptic battles between good and evil.

This can be incredibly rewarding, extremely fun and amusing. The question, of course, is whether or not that is helpful? Could it even be destructive?

Is it destructive?

Wish fulfilment in dreams is essentially fantasy. Big, exciting stories with massive emotional rushes. A world gone right, exaggerated to impossible extremes. If this leads you to expect those impossible heights, to get used to them and begin to think that they are attainable, then their potential destructive effects depend on just how impossible they are. Expecting and wanting impossible dreams can lead you to put misguided effort into chasing those dreams. Wasted effort. Wasting effort which could be put towards attainable goals is surely unhelpful.

However, effort is a conscious process. Most people, especially more transcended people, will quickly dismiss the idea of working towards things which are obviously impossible. As long as realism is a part of your waking consciousness, it’s unlikely you’ll start to practice levitation or begin work on your time-travel machine.

Is there any subconscious process which could be harmed by excessive fantasy? Some system in your mind which would be wrong-footed by spending each night in ecstatic joyous experiences?

There are: You could be treating dream-people as objects, to be used and cast aside. This kind of dream-behaviour, practising using people as means rather than ends, could easily begin to seep into your behaviour patterns in the waking world.

The fact that everything in a dream-world is so easy can lead you to expect the waking world to be just as easy, to expect the world to give into your desires just because you desire them. When things in the real world aren’t as simple your mood could be affected. Disappointment at the normal order of things isn’t a useful trait to develop.

However, the whole point of lucid dreaming is that you are conscious of your dreaming actions, so avoiding this kind of dream-behaviour should be relatively simple. Remember, in your wish-fulfilment dreams, to keep your ethics turned on. To keep in mind that this is just a dream world, that reality is not so simple. So long as you can do this, there is likely no harm is spending at least some of your dream time conjuring up your greatest desire.

Is it possible to get so attached to the fun, excitement and adventure in your dream world that you lose attachment to the real, waking world? Become a being who’s existence is directed towards spending as much time dreaming as possible, to neglect waking life in favour of the awesomeness of your dream world?

It may well be. We would certainly not advise that every dream you have is directed toward wish-fulfilment. Keep your real-world goals in mind. Try and ensure that a large proportion of your lucid dreaming is directed towards improving yourself, towards ensuring you are more capable, aware, more transcended in your waking life.

Is it helpful?

Dream wish fulfilment then is, at least if done carefully and with restraint, unlikely to lead to any long term problems. But can it have any use other than the happy memories you wake up with? Can it help you to achieve your waking goals?


You could, for instance, use a lucid dream to test a goal. To see just how happy some vague building desire would make you, to compare it to other desires, to see which will have the greatest emotional impact. You can use dream wish fulfilment to help keep focus, to remind you just exactly what your realistic aims will feel like. To remind yourself why you are working so hard towards some ambition.

Imagine that you find yourself conscious in a dream, able to direct it according to will, and decide you want to see how it would feel to be more transcended, to have better persuasion skills, or to be hyper-aware of everything that happens around you. Being able to experience that mental power, to know what it feels like will in fact enable you to judge more accurately whether or not you are on track. It’ll remind you why you are working on those skills, and give a glimpse of a waking world in which you have improved your powers.

As long as you keep conscious tracking of your dream exploits, you ensure that you’re not relying too heavily on fulfilment in the dream-world, you don’t devote your entire sleeping time to endless orgasm and impossible feats, using some of your dream-time to just relax and explore what you want is likely a good thing which will help you to understand your own goals, and to see how they may actually be achieved.

Dreaming – Waking Up

by pre., Friday, March 12th, 2010.

When you’re tucked up in a nice warm comfortable bed, it’s cold and dark outside and the only thing forcing you to get up is an appointment at work, it can be difficult to summon the energy to climb from under the covers and face the world.

Yet when it’s four hours earlier than that and you have to get up to go face a horrible journey across town in order to catch a plane to go on holiday, you bounce excitedly out of your slumber and throw yourself enthusiastically into the day ahead.

Which is better? Which fills you more with a lust for life?

What, exactly, is the difference anyway?

Your slowly waking mind naturally considers the next few things which are approaching it. Compares them to the warmth and comfort of the bed, to the immersive strangeness of the dream world, and rejects the idea of leaving for anything which doesn’t hold the promise of being better. If spending the next few hours in bed, cuddling up to your lover, sinking slowly back into the dream world, relaxing and doing nothing is better than whatever the next few hours are likely to hold it’s no wonder you end up hitting the snooze button, turning over and seeping gradually back towards slumber.

You need to make a waking rational decision, not depend on your barely functioning half-asleep mind to decide these things for you. Do you want to wake up and be full of energy to face the day, full of vim and vigour? Or do you want to hit snooze and lie and bed and spend the first half of the day struggling to find the motivation to move?

This isn’t as easy a question as it may appear. There are definite advantages to sleeping, to dreaming, to remaining asleep until your body naturally wants to wake up. It’s less stressful, less demanding, easier. It is a question which requires actual thought. It may in fact be better to quit your job if it’s not filling you with enthusiasm anyway.

If you decide that you’d like to be able to get up earlier in the morning with less difficulty though, there is a way you can go about filling yourself with the right kind of oomph to help you slide out from between the sheets and begin the day with that same excitement that you have when you head out at 4am to catch a plane.

The Method

The key to doing so is to have something to look forward to and to start to think about it as soon as you awake. As soon as your alarm goes off you need to begin to point your mind towards that happy, interesting thing. Something better than just floating back to sleep.

You need a boost to start your day!

This might be something as simple as breakfast. If the first thing on your mind when you wake up is the taste of a delicious breakfast feast, hunger alone might do the trick. If this won’t do, then you need to think of something else. Ponder the question for a few minutes. What kinds of things can you do which are better than lying around in bed all day?

If this means getting up half an hour earlier so you can spend some time doing what you love, playing music, writing a chunk of your novel, playing video games, watching the next episode in your favourite soap, then that is the price of waking up with energy. You need to decide to do that thing, so that you can concentrate your energy on it from the second your alarm clock beeps.

Once you’ve picked a thing, you need to train yourself to think hard about it from the moment that alarm clock goes off. To put that thing in the front of your mind so that you will experience the desire to do it.

For example, next time you awake don’t think about the dread of the working day ahead, don’t think about how cold it is on the other side of your duvet, don’t think about how exciting your slumbering adventures were. Instead, think about the taste of your breakfast feast. The way the cheese bubbles as you grill your cheese-on-toast, the way the Marmite stimulates your tongue with it’s salty goodness, the way the milk goes chocolaty brown from your coco-pops. Spend a few minutes letting yourself get excited about the very next thing you will be doing.

This is how people who naturally bound out of bed in the morning do it. They get turned on by the things they plan to do that day. By the excitement of living.

If waking with energy and excitement is what you want, that is how you will achieve it.

Lap Three – Summing Up

by pre., Friday, March 19th, 2010.

We have come to the end of our expended ten month period spent examining dreaming, and trying to learn how to take better control of your slumber. You’ve learned how to become more lucid and so direct your dreaming process. How to use this ability to direct your dreams to push your mind forwards, towards improving your awareness, memory, immune system, body control, reason, influence, language and empathy. This is probably a good time to ponder the obvious question:

How well has it worked?

Perhaps the first question of course is: have you been doing the excercises? If you haven’t, then obviously it won’t have been much help. In that case trying to judge your improvement is likely a waste of time. Instead, perhaps it’s worth going though the last 10 months again, and this time doing it? I’m sure that you will find it easy to simply set your phone to wake you with an MP3 from our site.

Assuming you have been doing the excercises, at least twice a week (that is 8 times per guided lucid dream) you should be in a position to look back and compare your experience, you mindset, to that before you started this lap.

Lucid Dreaming

What proportion of your dreams are now lucid? Do you at least remember more of your dreams? Think back over the last few months to all your memories of your dreams, to all the times you realized that you were dreaming and continued to dream. Are those numbers higher than they were before you started to concentrate on the issue?

Awareness – Reality Modelling

Are you learning to notice the differences between your model of the world, and the world itself? Are you asking yourself more often to check if you’re right? To try and test your theories, look for counter-examples rather than confirmation? Have you begun to learn that the world is Null-A, not black and white. That is is Null-I, no two things are exactly the same. That is it Null-E, that even the space around you isn’t as it appears?

Have you noticed occasions when what you think someone thought wasn’t what they actually thought?

Memory – Recall

Have you been able to dream up forgotten details from your past? Dreamed, ideally intentionally, of old lovers, old friends, dead relatives and long gone environments? The places and people of your youth, even simply forgotten drunken nights?

Immune System

Do you feel fitter, stronger or more healthy than you did before you started to try and train your immune system, your muscles? Has your posture improved, do people tell you that you look more healthy, happier? Do you at least think you understand how your immune system works, have you tried to concentrate on it, to consciously help it?

Body Control

Do you think you have more awareness of how hard your muscles are working? Of whether they are currently resting, or working, or working hard? Have you found yourself thinking of these things more often? Perhaps being more willing to excercise more often? At least, surely, your bedside manner has improved? Are you better able to cheer the sick and miserable?


Do you have a better understanding of how your ability to reason works? Are you using the extra mental skills you have learned from these excercises? Perhaps you’ve just noticed yourself more able to use pen and paper to aid your thinking, to be more willing to use lists, drawings, diagrams, notes and writing to help you come to a decision? Can you see more clearly how information flows around the world, and is used by your mind to help you think?


Have your skills at arguing improved? Are you more aware of the mistakes in other’s arguements? Have you noticed how little of people’s opinions are actually changed through argument? And how often they are influenced by a good story, an emotional nudge, by being led through an emotional fairground ride?

Are you more aware of how in synch you are with people who you want to influence? How able you are to follow their moods, and have them follow yours?


How’s your internal monologue coming? Hopefully you’ve started to pay attention to how often it’s positive or negative, and have even started to make it praise you more than chastise you? Has it become more questioning, more searching, been more able to narrow it’s focus to the crux of your thoughts?

What about your linguistic performance when speaking to others? Have you found yourself putting more effort into noticing the words you are using, to picking those which will provoke the desired emotional impact? Are people hanging on your words more, eager to hear what you have to say because of how beautifully you say it?


Finally Empathy. Obviously there hasn’t been as much time for this to begin to sink in as the other topics, but ask yourself if you have begun to notice rapport when you have it? Started to be more able to synch yourself with another’s emotions, to spot their moods and to actually feel them. If so, perhaps it won’t be long until you also feel more aware of the source of your emotions. More aware of which of them come from you, and which are just mirrors of your friends, your family, the strangers you talk to.

We hope you’ve judged yourself to be improved on some or all of these mental skills, and to more clearly see a path ahead to improve each of them more, because next month we start on the fourth and final lap around our transcendence spiral. We will begin to integrate each of the skills we’ve improved, to use them holistically, to let each feedback more powerfully into the others, and to shine light upon the path to even more transcendence that you’ve achieved so far.