Katie [userpic]
Lucid dreaming / Door fondling
In Egyptian Civ class today we watched a little film with a goofy man talking about the Book of the Dead. He said the Egyptians used the Book of the Dead as a way to focus concentration so that they would be able to proceed through the journey to get to the afterlife. The Book of the Dead makes many mentions of 'magicians' (malliteration!!) who were thought to be very smart, have great wisdom and a strong will.

He went on to say that many cultures have similar such rituals. He mentioned one (I think it was Tibetan) that had ways in which to focus concentration in order to have lucid dreams. One was that every time one went through a door, one would stop for a split second and think "Am I dreaming?" He said people think this is generally silly and that if having lucid dreams were that easy, everyone would be fondling doors. But the first day he tried it, he went to sleep and when he started dreaming he stopped and thought "Am I dreaming? ... Yeah, I am!"

So all day, I've been going through doors and stopping to think "Am I dreaming?" which has earned me a few odd looks. It's a very surreal sensation to have to persistently question reality... normally I just go around assuming I'm awake. :) So I've come up with a few reasons this might work:

1. Have you ever noticed how many doors you go through each day? A large portion of your day will be spent thinking "Am I dreaming?". Because your dream state reflects your real day, it will be only natural for at sometime in your dream for you to ask the same question. I think part of this relies on really thinking about the question every time you ask it, not just saying "Am I dreaming? Of course not!" Plus the oddness of it all probably increases the chance that your subconscious will put it in a dream.

2. Doors are highly symbolic. So are dreams! I think that doors were chosen because of their symbolism and the high chance they will show up in a dream, even if one doesn't remember it. If doors become associated in one's mind as a "consciousness" checkpoint, if one sees one in a dream it will become a portal to lucid dreaming.

Reasons it just might not work...

1. Have you ever noticed how many doors you go through each day? It's really hard to remember to question reality at each one. I forgot to do it all between lunch and Latin. And it gets kinda old fast. And really, people do look at you funny. I can only imagine it looks as if I stepped through the door, thought about something I forgot, and then decided it didn't matter if I had it or not. And sometimes I look at my hands like they will tell me all the answers. Which is kinda strange.

2. The guy in the movie was really goofy. Off. Odd. CRAZY. But it was funny hearing him talk about the Masons and his father. And good ol' Hippopotamus Sandal from the Book of the Dead. But yeah... off his rocker.

I've also been thinking all day of objects other than doors that this might work for. And... not come up with much. So if you'd like to try an experiment with lucid dreaming, fondle doors for a day and tell me how it went!

Also... this post is a prime example of how to mix up third and second person impersonal expressions.

Comments
i'm always dreaming...

i'm always confused about what is real! when you start questioning reality things just get really weird.
also, you should start calling it the necronomicon and muttering "clatu...verata...it's an 'n' word, i know it's an 'n' word!" and replace your hand with a chainsaw. or not. whatever.

reminds me of some story....
i'm telling it wrong, but who cares. maybe your teacher has heard of it.

so there's this guy, who has all these dreams with awesome ideas in them, like how to solve world hunger and stuff, but when he wakes up, he can never remember the idea, just that he had one and it was great. So that was small consolation...one night, he had a dream that he just wrote down his dreams in a little book (libellum!) right after he woke up, so he would remember. So he woke up from that dream, and wrote it down in his little book. Then he started--how did the journal get there?