Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sweet Dreams!

First, a short explanation:

I don't believe in "supernatural". I don't believe in God, reincarnation, chakras, psychic energy, all that bullshit. However, I believe in vast powers of human brain, which are, amazingly, mostly untamed (huh, huh). I definitely believe in placebo effect and I have no problems accepting the fact that sincere belief in God can actually improve someone's physical health, for example (and this in no way proves existence of God). In the same way, it's perfectly plausible for someone to sincerely believe that he saw God or Four Horsemen or Flying Spaghetti Monster. But that does not mean they exist.

I have personal experience with hypnosis, self-hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Programming or Lucid Dreaming (by the way, this stuff also works and you don't really have to pay for it if you know something about the stuff mentioned before, which you can read about for free). I know this stuff works. By the way (I know you want to know it), this stuff is also real (and all the people on the stage are really enjoying it) but you must remember that subjects in stage hypnosis are chosen from the whole audience and you cannot expect an average person to be as suggestive as these people.



However, all of these things have nothing to do whatsoever with anything supernatural. It's all just a question of how your brain works, how it can be manipulated and how the subjects themselves want to be manipulated (yes, many people WANT to be manipulated, subconsciously or consciously, and it makes them feel good). Of course everyone's brain is different and the process of consciously altering your (or anybody else's) mental state is too subjective to even be described in words (just remember when you tried to describe your dream to someone and the words just weren't enough). That's why there are no simple "scripts" or "textbooks" to guide you when using this stuff (however, I must stress, it cannot possibly be dangerous when you experiment with it, unless the subject [you] is already seriously messed up [i.e. has epilepsy, was raped by his parent etc.]).

The point of all this is that I found this nice introduction to Lucid Dreaming which lists some cool methods that beginners can use. Yes, I know it just "sounds stupid" to write down / record your dreams. But you've got nothing to lose and much to gain. The feeling of being in your own "virtual reality", where you can experience anything you wish without any side effects or hangover, is really great and makes me wonder why people use illegal drugs when they could have this for free. Just try it until you have your first Lucid Dreaming experience. And remember, with practice, it gets better and easier!

12 comments:

Kolowrat said...

Do you really think those stage hypnotists are real? I don't believe that kind of shit.

Fuxoft said...

Not sure what you mean by "those" but yes, there are real stage hypnotists (for example the Sailesh guy linked above). You have to understand that HE CANNOT DO THIS to everyone in the audience, but maybe to 10% of people there.

Kolowrat said...

I see. That means the people are not randomly selected. How does he know who is suitable and who is not?

Fuxoft said...

He says for example (to all the people in the audience): "Now concentrate on my voice, breathe in, breathe out, you are calm, blah blah blah... put your hands together, now, when you try to separate your hands, you find you can not! OK, whoever cannot separate his hands and wants to have some fun, come on to the stage!"

Anonymous said...

With accordance to what you say, you can persuade yourself, that something works for you, and it might be true or it might be not.

The problem at the moment is, you are no longer an unbiased observer of what's realy going on. And everytime I come across this, I have to ask myself a rather philosophical question (i.e. not easily answerable by the means of what we call "scientific process", because the observer and the observed became the same entity):

Haven't I already crossed the line between mental sanity and insanity.

Have you ever posed this question yourself? And may I know, what would be your answer ?

Have you ever came across this book? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0684831074?ie=UTF8

Fuxoft said...

Excellent point! I think, when it comes to feelings and psychological processes, there cannot be such a thing as "unbiased observer" (and this is even more true if you are talking about your own feelings).

And yes, wa can go on saying that the world around us doesn't have to exist at all and it's all just in our head (if indeed we have a head).

However, we can never be sure about this. And if I can change my perception of my surroundings in such a way that I am more content with my life as a result, I am perfectly happy with that. Screw objective reality.

Charles Hamel said...

Thank you so much for your link to my Blog! Too many times lucid dreaming is passed off as some New Age wacko stuff, but in reality athletes have used this to improve onfield performance, students have used it for test taking purposes. Lets not forget the benefits it can have in our waking lives for the entertainment value it can have.

Thanks again

Anonymous said...

Well Fuxoft, I was expecting an answer like that. But there is something perfectly observable:

You can persuade yourself, that something is the way you want it or what ever and you can perceive it your way for a decent period of time.

But as soon as you start perceiving something some way, something perfectly independent and objectively observable, what you have not taken into an account begins to grow in order to finally come into your focal point and strike hardly your way of thinking, uncovering fatal flaws in the way you perceive yourself and your environment thus rendering your up to that moment working way of perception further unusable.

This "mental hangover" can be very risky sometimes and can take it's toll whatsoever.

Does the concept you introduced somehow incorporate a mechanism preventing this from happening ?

Anonymous said...

OMG Fuxoft, I read that article and my impression is, this Charles Hamel is one big @*#?&%, beleiving he manages his life, but in fact only further disseminates the mess he made of it...

Run away, while you can...

Fuxoft said...

ANonymous (7:23): I have vague idea what you are talking about but in 10 years I am amusing myself with this stuff, I simply didn't have any of these problems at all. *OR* I had them and I subconsciously ignored them. Which, in the end, is the same result.

jtk said...

Been into this lucid dreaming stuff some years ago and even managed to have a few lucid dreams. But there's no free lunch - you've got to work hard to earn your goal.
I am yet to see better site than http://ld4all.com, especially their forum is a must. Enjoy!

Fuxoft said...

Anonymous2 (7:47): I have absolutely no idea who Mr. Hamel is and I don't care what he does with his life. I just discovered that single post and it was very much in line with what I know about Lucid Dreaming. So, instead of writing all that, I just linked his post. Maybe you didn't understand that these techniques are not something I just discovered. I've been using them to manage my life for the last 10 years and I am rather pleased with the results, thank you very much.