Aware but not in control?

Aware but not in control?2018-03-22T14:28:37-05:00


There’s something I’ve been wondering about for a while. I’m not sure if its lucid dream or not or if its even related, but it seemed like it might be. I’ve been finding myself aware in my dreams. I’ll know its a dream and be thinking about it, but regardless of what I think I can’t control anything or really do or say anything. Its like I’m nothing more than a passenger watching through somebody else’s eyes as they go about their activities. Nothing overly strange really happens in most of the dreams either. They’re a lot like real life but some of the details are different, like my house might have a different layout or there might be people I don’t think I’ve ever met. The me in the dream will talk to these people or move around the strange house as though it were normal for them and there is a vague sense of familiarity that I get, but I’m also very aware that this is strange and that its not my house or its nobody I know or things similar. And I’ll actively be thinking things like “this looks a little like my room except its bigger and the bed is facing the wrong way.”

More over, there’s really no transition period in my thoughts between the dream and waking up. If I’m in the middle of a thought while in this dream and the dream ends my thought just continues into what ever comes next, being it a period of nothingness or opening my eyes and completely waking up. I generally remember most of the details from the dream well and for a very long time. The dream’s quality is extremely vivid and clear. And waking up does not really feel like “waking up”. Instead it feels more like I was awake the know time.

What is this?

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Thanks for your question.  It sounds like you may have ‘semi-lucid’ dreams — where you have the basic realization that you dream, but simply go along with the flow of the dream and rarely (if ever) realize your ability to influence the dream.

Experienced lucid dreamers talk about ‘levels of lucidity’ (and I discuss this in my book), because ‘lucidity’ can be weak or strong, and can also fluctuate throughout the lucid dream (in fact, many beginners have a hard time staying lucid, because they become so captivated by a dream event that they lose their lucid awareness and return to regular dreaming).

Also, experienced lucid dreamers have noticed that their ‘thought process’ continues, even if the lucid dream collapses and they find themselves in sparkling blackness (routinely called, ‘the void’).  This might actually provide evidence for NREM dreams and NREM lucid dreams — though visually, one sees nothing of consequence (other than the blackness), one continues to think.

To shift from semi-lucid to truly lucid dreams, I would suggest having a ‘goal’ to achieve, during the next time you realize, ‘Oh, this must be a dream, because we don’t have that couch anymore’.  By having a goal (e.g., ask a dream figure, “What do you represent?”, fly to the top of the nearest building, etc.), you will have the impetus to act and influence the course of the lucid dream.

Lucid wishes!

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