For an explanation of my amateur status and a description of how these experiments are not at all scientific, please see Dream Experiment: Non-Guided Verbal Test
Last night, around 11:00pm, I used the “Dream Creation” setting on the Binaural Beats app. Unlike the Non-Guided Verbal Test, there wasn’t such a sharp jolting awake, I suspect because the sound was consistent. I did have periods when I realized I couldn’t hear the sound, and this makes me think that when I’m in a quiet dark room, I may be sleeping for longer than I think.
Also unlike the Non-Guided Verbal Test, I did have a dream while listening to the Binaural Signal. I was in a small park, surrounded by buildings. I was in the middle of a photo shoot with a woman who was wearing only a pair of puce stirrup pants. I was wearing my standard get-up, jeans and a t-shirt. The photographer (one of those presences who is felt but not fully observed) kept pushing us into more and more suggestive positions. While it was enjoyable at first, I started to get an odd nagging feeling in the back of my head. I suddenly realized I was married, and that these photos may not go over well with people who knew me. Before I could protest, however, I woke up. It was around 1:30am.
There are several things that struck me about this:
1) With the exception of my participation, the situation is *exactly* the same as one described as a joke, which I read before I went to sleep. I remember being impressed by it. While not lucid, and not specifically guided, this gives me an idea about another possible “in” to a dream. Could a striking description read before sleep cause someone to dream about it?
2) I almost think the, “I’m married!” moment could have been a tip-off to becoming lucid. This often happens to me in dreams. Back when I was a vegan, I would have dreams of eating cheesesteak sandwiches and halfway through going, “What am I doing?” This is by no means uncommon. This quote is attributed to the Dalai Lama, in A Lifetime of Wisdom:
Sometimes in my dreams there are women. And in some cases fighting and quarreling with someone. When such dreams happen, immediately I remember, “I am a monk.”
3) The private nature of dreams may often keep people from being honest in experiments. Because of the circumstances involved, I can imagine that some people would be less inclined to describe their experiences. How many folks who “can’t remember their dreams” can’t do so because their dreams involved practices they would shun in real life?
I woke up around 1:30am. My right ear hurt, because sometime I had rolled onto my right side and I was wearing non-cushioned ear buds. This leads me to realize I may have to invest in somewhat better equipment. When I returned to bed, I just went to sleep normally.
My dreams for the rest of the night weren’t lucid, either, but I remember some of them.
1) I made an excuse to leave a party early with Betty, and walked to the bus. While walking, we ran into another family. Betty started talking in a British accent and said, “Perhaps I will talk like this from now on, Daddy!”
The father said, “We wish we could get our babies to do that!” I knew for some reason by his tone that the only accents his kids could do were a weird combination between New York and Boston, and he wasn’t happy about it.
I said, “Oh, Betty’s not a baby. She’s four!”
The mother laughed, “Four’s still a baby!”
2) A woman was showing me a dress she had made for Earth day. It was made from “recycled fabric” and sliced doormats. It was in the shape of a hollowed-out stuffed animal. “Björk would love this!” I said. She seemed offended.
3) I was walking through the graveyard behind the house where I grew up (I grew up with a graveyard behind my house, for real) but the empty field behind the graveyard had become an ocean. Sponges from the ocean had adapted to land, and would walk up on their little legs and zap people, like jellyfish. I stabbed some with a stick, and they seemed to stay away from me, but I could tell they wanted revenge.
4) I saw a cookbook, where they were comparing a savory rice dish with fish flakes on it to some coconut pudding shredded wheatgrass on top of it. They looked identical. The idea was that you were supposed to serve it to your guests so that no one knew which one they got.
Again, any of these had things that should have been a tip-off that I was dreaming, but seemed perfectly reasonable at the time.