Lesson 8 – Reality Checking
So we think we may have become lucid, how do we tell for sure?
We must test our reality using what is known as reality checking (RC for short). The basic premise of this is to stop and ask yourself “Am I dreaming…..Is this a dream?”
We then test our reality by doing one of a number of actions, the outcomes of which will give us a definition of our reality. This works on the basis that there are certain peculiarities to dreams that are not typical of waking life. We will run through a number of the better RC s (of which there are many but a concise list is easier to remember).
1) Look at your clothes and ask – “Is this how I dressed today, do I remember dressing this way today?” The principle here is that we frequently end up wearing all sorts of outfits in dreams, often not even our own, a memory check is being employed here too which is unlikely to add up in the dream.
2) Look around and ask – “Do I remember getting here and how did I get here?” – try remembering back the last 30 minutes events – a similar method of questioning memory is being employed here – the dream is unlikely to come up with an answer.
3) Try to read some text – text is inherently unstable in dreams – look at some text, look away and back again and see if it changes – text tends to be hard to read in the first instance in dreams
4) Try to push your index finger on one hand through the palm of the other hand – because of the non physical nature of dreams it is possible for two matters to penetrate each other e.g. you could try walking through a wall. However I would recommend the hand test for obvious reasons here.
5) Pinch your nose and try to breathe in – again the non physical nature of the construct will allow you to breathe like this
6) Mechanical device failure – mechanical devices notoriously behave badly in dreams so TVs, toasters, light switches etc don’t work very well. Mobile phones have the dual function of acting as a text and device test here and more often than not they can change form in dreams too.
7) Look in a mirror – I will leave you to try this yourself, like Alice and the looking Glass …. Be prepared!
When reality testing, act with the intention of finding out you really could be dreaming and try at least two tests. If you really believe you could be dreaming, keep testing until sure as the tests can fail and you can wake up later to find out you missed out on a really exiting experience.
Reality test whenever you experience something weird, even if your friends are round, make a joke of it if you have to, if the test is positive for dream state, just think, who’s laughing now!
Reality testing first thing in the morning is highly advisable so as to avoid what is known as a False Awakening. This occurs when you wake up and carry on with your activity oblivious to the fact that you are still in fact DREAMING! I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me. Get in the habit of RCing first thing when
you awake, regardless of where you are!!
Another reality check should always be performed when awaking from a lucid dream. They frequently exit into another dream, I really can’t stress this enough. Always RC on waking from a lucid dream!
At this point I also recommend performing what I refer to as a Cognitive Check. This is a simple mental self check to make sure we have the right mindset on us to get the most out of our dream.
A simple mental rehearsal of something simple like the following example will do – 2+2=4, 4×3=12, 5×12= 60 and so on.
Next we say to ourselves “My name is (your name) and my mission is ….. (one should have a mission or two planned before induction, a list in your dream diary is a good idea).
This works on two levels, firstly it helps to focus the intention to become lucid by giving the mind a goal beyond a goal. The mind is far more attentive to this kind of agenda.
Secondly it makes sure we have our wits about us so as not to get swept up in the dream imagery and fall back to sleep or get over stimulated and wake up.
Not all dreams have the same level of lucidity and we don’t always get the best value out of our experiences due to our wandering minds. We will further explore maintaining lucidity after the inductions have been covered. A lot can be said on this subject and for the advanced dreamer, will be a topic of huge consideration!