Saturday, October 15, 2011

Another Inception Deception

"Let me ask you a question. You never really remember the beginning of a dream, do you? You always wind up right in the middle of what's going on. ...So how did we end up here?"
-Cobb, Inception

This is not strictly true.

I use predominantly WBTB to induce lucidity in my dreams. Sometimes, however, I get a chance to try something different.

I can tell whether it's going to be a wait for me to fall asleep or if I'm going to do it quickly. Most of the time, it's a wait, but once in a while, I get sufficiently exhausted, sufficiently relaxed, and sufficiently focused, and in those rare opportunities I can use a different method: WILD.

WBTB, or Wake-Back-To-Bed, requires me to wake up in the middle of my dream, recognize the reality, and then fall back to sleep. WILD, Waking-Induced Lucid Dreaming, on the other hand, requires me to tell myself what I'm going to sleep as I'm falling asleep, allowing me to step between my waking imagination and my dream world in a single bound. I don't get to do this often because of a terrible weakness of mine: what keeps me from falling asleep most nights is my head just won't shut up. If I try to focus on a scene, I will just continue to stave off sleep all the more strongly, so it is only when sleep is overtaking me that I can slip in a subliminal image or three.

It's the difference between waking up from a nap in the middle of the movie theatre when you fell asleep watching the trailers, and fading off as the opening bars are starting and then not waking until the credits start rolling. When you induce lucidity while awake, you know how you got into any scene because you put yourself there. Maybe you're still starting in the middle of the story, like many writers do on their first drafts (and some writers keep on their final drafts, myself included), but you know how you got there.

You got there by putting yourself there.