Lucid Dreaming and SessionWriting

You’ll see in a moment…

Lucid Dreaming
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the value and implications of lucid dreaming. It is a fact of nature that everything comes at a cost – in the case of lucid dreaming, the price is proper dreaming and sleep. Every session to encourage lucid dreaming that I have written, conforming to the generally agreed methods, uses deep sleep (mid delta) induction with pulses/spikes/spindles of theta or even alpha sufficiently into the session to make it likely that the intrusion will break deep sleep into REM. If the session is fully lucid then it seems that activity is getting up into high theta/low alpha – conscious participation in thought isn’t available until those rhythms are well wound up. Dreaming is essential to well being. There’s all manner of theories as to what goes on and why we need it, but its involvement in the sorting and storing of memories seems a certainty. I would, therefore suggest, that lucid dreaming involves a degraded state of sleep and the illusion of dreaming whilst in actually being almost awake.
P.S. I would venture that if examined carefully, the content of transitional dreamoids includes literal answers to questions “left to mull over”, unanswered until sufficient information came to hand – and obviously it did last dreaming. I would suggest that lucid dreaming is a counter-productive activity. It suggests a desire to extend control even into sleep, the time the mind needs to play on it’s own.

Session Writing
I’m often asked how I write what I write, what tricks I use and so on. My trick is simple – I write for myself and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. If I make a session available it has worked for me. My standard for “working” has little to do with aesthetics, though even I like what I like. My criteria is psychoactivity. Any session intended to change a mental state, whether it be functional (mood, anxiety, focus, relaxation, sleep) or recreational/self-exploratory (meditation, astral, etc.), must be psychoactive. I’m guilty of making the distinction between “altered states” sessions and functional sessions – apart from supposedly physiological function sessions, such as chronic pain or hgh release, all sessions are aiming for altered states. It could be argued that all sessions are – not being in pain is a state different to being in pain. This gets to the point – how I write sessions isn’t all that important – if you play with the software for a while, try things, listen to things without worrying about creating whole sessions, eventually you will know what works for you, and then you have a unique offering. We’re not that different – what works for me will certainly work for some others, not all, but some. Sessions that work for me are extremely diverse, but tend to be rather different to the average fare. I receive no shortage of feedback suggesting that what I do works – when it works, it really, really works. There are two keys to this method – one is to get to know your own mind, the other is to get to know how to make the sounds and patterns that do it for your mind – and that comes only with experimentation. I can tell you that filtered noise, long cycle modulation and disquieting elements are my favorite inclusions. I avoid using elements that provide the listener with any preconceived experiential environment unless I’m actually trying to produce the effect of a particular environment. I tend to use synthetics rather than natural sounds, and when I use natural sounds I usually modify them heavily. I also use any tools in any mix that does what I want – MWS, MuLab with a lot of custom MUXes, Audacity, NP2 (MP2 had a quality of sound lost with NP3 and MWS), NP3 and custom written software. I also take a while before deciding if a session is good. If I can’t listen to it on a few separate occasions and feel good about it, I leave it in the “sandbox”, maybe coming back to it, maybe not.
P.S. Including a complex pattern in the sound light, one that you know is there but can’t quite put together, keeps huge parts of the conscious (critical, oppositionally defiant mind) amused while deeper structures get to play uninterrupted.

Cheers,
Craig

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