Friday, April 23, 2010

DREAMS: The Aggregation of Our Best, Worst and Yet

dreaming awake

The Stuff that Dreams Are Made by John Anster Fitzgerald, circa 1858
Image from Ursi's Eso Garden, a great blog with some amazing images. Check it out too!

I have had many dreams lately. Ironicly, friends have also been telling me of the same occurrences. Chatting with Andy, my cohort this morning, he asked me if I was familiar with lucid dreaming. I was and had done it often. In fact, I prefer it. Lucid dreaming is like driving a car with the windows down. You feel the air, you see the road and you smell that air as the sun warms your skin. It’s the supreme form of dreaming. So what is it and what about it?

Lucid dreaming, also known as dream consciousness or conscious dreaming, is dreaming while being aware that you are dreaming. At Dream Views, you will find information on lucid dreams, controlling dreams, the stages of sleep, dream recall, dream signs and more. For me, my best dream state is right before I have to wake up – which is part of the downside. I typically wake up right at a really good part.

Have you ever controlled your dreams? 
Yes, that is really possible! Another great site on the matter, LD4all helps you learn how to do it. I have had several dreams that I was falling in and since I was lucid, I would focus and grow wings or add an awning to a building or create a pool below. So there are some real values to being lucid while dreaming. In addition, its all in the details.

LD4all lists 5 areas important to gain control/understanding of your dreams.

1) Obviously you have to first REMEMBER your dream. That can be tricky and difficult; especially if you try to force it. It works best by just letting it come back to you slowly. One trick: Water trick
You can also take a glass of water, and consciously drink half of it. While you drink you tell yourself that you are going to dream and remember your dream. Then visualise how you wake up, drink the rest of the water, and remember your dream.
When you awake, you empty the glass and if everything goes well, your subconscious will be triggered to let your dream surface.

2) WRITE it down. It is a great practice to keep a journal by your bed that you can easily reach and write during the moments of inspiration or remembering. Trust me, more than likely you will forget what seemed so vivid just hours ago.

3) RECOGNIZE Once you have a list of several dreams, you may notice some reoccurring themes. These are critical to being aware of what’s really going on in your life.

4) REALITY CHECK Some dreams are so real that you might not be sure if you are awake or dreaming. I have had dreams of my complete morning schedule: shutting off alarm, getting up, showering, dressed and walking out the door; only to realize I had overslept. Those are the days I would rather just call out sick. I hate being late. Here are some reality checks you might employ if your dream has you confused:

Read something. Read something, look away and read it again. If you are dreaming the text will have changed. It will maybe not even be text at all but weird symbols.

Look at the time. Find a clock and tell the time. Then look away and look back again. If you are dreaming, the time will have changed.

Hold your nose. Simple and effective. Hold your nose and try breathing through your fingers. If you can breathe you are dreaming.

5) SIGNS Lucid dreaming leaves signs just like everything else. Once you begin trying to lucid dream, you may notice several unique signs including feeling paralyzed, senses of motion and/or false awakenings.

Our dreams can become very powerful tools for effective management of our lives and environments. Through them, we gain a better understanding of what’s really going on inside our minds and behind our faces. Lucid dreaming is the premiere usage of dreaming. Don’t get addicted or get weird and don’t dismiss its value.

Some great sites to interpret dreams you may be having:
Dream Dictionary

Dream Forth

Dream Central

Dream Interpretation

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Apocalypse of Tuesday

apocalypse faces

Image courtesy of the amazing art of Meats Meier: Artist and Animator.

Tuesday has been another busy day. That’s good in my book; the alternative is not so attractive. I would rather be busy than trying to look busy or fill my time by looking for things to do. When I hit a slow spot, I look forward to looking for things that will make me better as a person or better as a graphic artist. Sometimes that can be a very daunting task; there is so much information to be found and digested.

Nonetheless, there is that gnawing feeling in the background as I push through projects that a quantum leap is coming. Its that special moment that something is and something else no longer is; almost transportation to a level without the road being tred. It is these moments that become benchmarks of our existence and progression. Its almost as the needle on a record is lifted and placed at a different place without the knowledge or benevolence of the needle. The interesting part is that the groove on the record is already there. Hmmm…how?....why? whom? Would destiny have pushed us to that point anyway or is it such that makes the jumps happen?

Learning creates a hunger to lean more. The same thing is true of creation; perhaps God is just that way. Think of all the animals, insects, sea creatures, cells, microscopic entities, spiritual organisms…..what a wide variety of making things and designing how they function internally and with each other. That’s huge! What is it about creating things that makes, generates and perpetuates more of the very same? How does something become from nothing? What manufactures a thought into a physical form? Some argue that things are the figment of our imagination; but if you stump your toe in the dark, you certainly were not thinking about the painful chair being in your path. As I get older, I am less inclined to settle for BS….yeah you know what I’m talking about; things that everybody says are true or are just the way things are or its always been this way. Does that mean I have to touch the fire; no, but I can explore new things to do with it or ways to control it.

The human mind is infinitely amazing. One needs only to look around at not only the good technologies; but also the darkest cruelties to see the potential of creation and its effects beyond the mind into the physical world. Our thoughts and the invisible waves all have an effect/affect on us with or without our consent. Unlike Vampires, these invisibles are not restricted by our permissions. Our cravings for control are the very demonstration of our lack of such as we attempt to tame not only our world but its very building blocks. We love the idea of playing with God’s building blocks and marvel at what we can accomplish; but what can we make without His materials? Are we capable of making something from nothing that wasn’t here before? The questions and the answers are living liquids....