I used to think that dreams are a mostly uniform experience; but during the mediocre time I spend lurking dream-related forums and boards, I've found that people seem focused on different aspects. Some of them mostly remember a story or narrative, while for others it's just successive experiences loosely connected by an object or two. I rarely feel touch, taste or smell, it's usually just a sense of being there and visuals - perhaps in sync with my daily life. There is also a 'dogma' in most dreams that I never question; it usually tells me the identity of certain people and events that I wouldn't recognize, almost like a script for a movie. Coherence optional.
Lucid dreaming seems to be a common theme, and everyone seems to strive for it and love it. I don't remember having one myself, and I'm highly doubtful about it. It certainly exists and many experience them, but it could be just a regular dream with a 'tag' or 'flag' saying that you were free, in control, making choices and aware - just like the dogma can appoint a person to be your mom without her resembling your real mom in any way.
The point however where I really became curious about how others dream was talking to a person born with aphantasia. He cannot imagine visual or recall visual memories at all; he also thinks with an inner voice(). He said that every and all of his dreams are basically floating around in a black void, feeling uncomfortable or tense. There is absolutely no visuals, and he doesn't have sense having a body either; rarely he hears some indistinguishable sound, and time doesn't seem to move/things do not change. He just remains in that uncomfortable state until he eventually wakes up. Hearing this from him really made me wonder if dream really is a similar experience for most, or if only the descriptions of the experience match, while dreaming itself is wildly different from person to person.
It would be nice to hear some descriptions of how lainon's dreams work, and perhaps the various kinds you have!
() Not exactly related, but some people seem to think by speaking out loud, or using an inner voice in the same manner - this is commonly seen in movies. I however always thought that it's just an artistic way to show what people think and that in reality, everyone thinks silently, without words. How do you?
I rarely have dreams, at least ones that I can remember. Most of the dreams I am cognizant of after the fact are usually bleak adventures where I am somehow invulnerable. I also always have a sense of the dream being not real whilst I am in it. I've never lucid dreamed, and I think it's too much work to force it. If my subconscious doesn't want to do the heavy lifting for an imaginative experience, then so be it. If you are a spiritual person, then perhaps more control of your dreaming mind is good what with it being more connected to the astral plane or whatever while you're asleep. It's balderdash for me though. I can't say I have aphantasia, but there is some impairment. I have to really focus to envision an object which will only still be a silhouette instead of its true form. I prefer to read out loud text and when I am not mouthing it then my inner voice is reading it to me. Similarly I think with my inner voice with words in English. Funnily enough, I can't stand podcasts or audiobooks. I prefer silence to music and need to hear myself think.
Francis Galton looked at mental imagery:http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Galton/imagery.htm
I get lots of exploration/journey dreams. I always seem to be moving, and finding nooks and crannies in landscapes. Usually there's some sort of menacing danger out there inhabiting the same world, that I'm sneaking around trying to avoid.
A couple memorable ones are:
> A hellish world made of office cubicles, where every half hour a wall of flame devours everything. I was trying to find refugees and shelter them.
> A world with time traveling agents trying to run the world. This earth has hatches hidden everywhere in the natural world. A circle on a cliff face can be grabbed and opened. It opens to MC Escher world of twisted metal catwalks that lead from portal-to-portal, which in turn all lead to different points in spacetime.
The dreams are fun. I want to dream more.
I always have dreams that are half-lucid in a weird sense. As in, I seem to know intuitively the logic of the dream I'm in, without realizing its a dream, so it's like I know I have some agency but not the complete agency of lucid dreaming. It gets pretty weird, I think last night I had a dream about sex that turned into someone telling me the mating rituals of frogs as if to mock me ("you thought this was about human sex? lmao"). I also have a lot of stress dreams, nightmares such as yesterday when I went to sleep in the late evening and woke up at like 10 PM, I had a nightmare about this terrifying movie by an animator named "Nickelodeon" where the spookiest part was kids saying, "Let's have a gnarly," which I guess was the title of the movie. And an image which was terrifying to look at for some reason, even though it was just some abstract squares. I can't remember it clearly now, though.
I can never seem to have lucid dreams. Whenever I become aware that I'm dreaming, the dream itself always ends. I think that by trying to consciously control my actions in the dream I just end up distancing myself from myself in the dream and into the perspective of myself, in bed, and the dream loses it's clarity/realism and just becomes another daydream/fantasy.
Always oddly. Sometimes it'll take place in a place that I'm familiar with like my old high school or someplace in town, maybe my home or someplace different altogether. Conversations are strange and I never have dreams in the first person. I'm not always in them either. No matter who's talking the "camera" likes to swing about like in does in this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAt3TDMj7Q0
starting at about six minutes in. If the dream takes place in some familiar location then it's almost always weirdly rearranged.
Lately though, I dreamt of climbing a large tower with movable parts. After getting to the top I woke up.
Another was I pushed my toungue against the back of my lower front teeth and they cracked very slowly, kind of like candy. Nowhere near as pleasant though.
I have never dreamed lucidly nor have I tried.
My dreams are mostly visual and guided by some narrative. Seldom do I get other sensations, the more common being sound.
I don't exactly have a "dogma", but yes, there are some things that I "know" in the dream. I also have in-dream memories. I dream that I remember something that had happened before the dream and gives it context, tough that had never happened and I probably didn't dream about it previously either.
I rarely have lucid dreams, and when I do, I don't really care much, I let the dream flow.
What I do have, however, is a sort of intuition as to what things mean or even what triggers a dream. For example, I might have a vivid image of an apple during a dream, and at that moment, I subconsciously think "Oh yes, I saw an apple in waking life and that's triggering this image". It's like I am subconsciously processing what I see and relating it to the real world. It happens fairly regularly to me.
Along that, my dreams are very coherent, only not under the logic we use in real life. Of course, from an outsider perspective you may think they're as illogical as dreams are supposed to be, but within the context of the dream, everything makes sense and it has a reason, and it's not just because it's happening and I'm seeing it, but because it actually makes sense in the "dream logic". This last thing is actually what drives most of what I described above.
It's like the dreams are an integral part of my life. For some, they seem to be just… some weird soykaf that they saw during their sleep, which may or may not hold a significance. In my case, they are part of my experience. Even though I don't remember my dreams after a while and I don't have a dream journal (I should!), I do not think of the dreams as detached from the life I am living. I learn from the dreams I have, I relate them to my own thoughts and emotions, etc.
Usually in my dreams I have something/sombody chasing me. Or, I have a random lesbian who's related to me: a friend, a college member, acting as my girlfriend. I always have the mission of going somewhere, like a school trip, taking the bus, going to job.
Another thing is that my dreams are hell detailed, happens a lot of stuff, I can feel when somebody touches me/I touch something. When I remember so many things, I wake up feeling like soykaf, like if I never rested and instead I was actually doing all that.
I have this dreams 1, rarely 2 times in a week, and I prefer it that way. A few years ago, I started telling my friends about the dreams I had and since then, my dreams where getting longer, more detailed and I'm more skilled to recognize something or somebody that I saw during the day. But I can't be an oneironaut, I belive every single thing that happens. Since It feels like I never rested during the ones with a lot of content, maybe it's a better idea to not add more stuff to my dreams like being capable of acting on my own knowing I am dreaming.
my dreams aren't particularly surreal. They tend to feature realistic or quasi-realistic subject matter with occasional unrealistic details. I usually find myself in worlds with new and unusual social arrangements that are explained to me in detail and forgotten completely as soon as I wake. In fact I have almost no dream retention whatsoever and I find myself padding out the details even when recounting relatively well-remembered dreams. I don't ever have seriously lucid dreams, but I'm always low-key aware of my dream. I tend not to use my lucidity as a tool to shape my dreams, because I'm always interested to see how they turn out and never scared. Every now and then I will reach out into my dream to shake things up; sometimes I will find myself having to make a decision, and if I make the wrong one I will sometimes rewind time and try again.
I probably dream more while awake than while sleeping. I need to stop living in the clouds.
(Can't be rude when you sage your own thread!)