Tag Archives: lucid dreams

“Sanity is a madness put to good use; waking life is a dream controlled”


'sleep and his half-brother death' 1874

W.I.L.D. Wake- initiated lucid dreams. I had one of those last night. A lucid dream, according to my friend Wiki, is one in which the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming, and can even influence the pattern and events of the dream.

That sounds like a sweet deal, if you’re trapped in a lift with Johnny Depp or swimming in a chocolate-flavored sea or whatever works for you. But when it’s a freakish subliminal mind-fuck situation, like mine was, not so nice. I cannot go into details without scaring the four faithful readers of this blog, or myself all over again, but it involved a supernatural being and an evil Chucky-esque spawn who was trying to kill me.

Wiki says that in a study of 14 lucid dreamers performed in 1991, people who had wake-initiated lucid dreams reported experiences consistent with out-of-body experiences such as floating above their beds and the feeling of leaving their bodies. I was aware that this was a nightmare, and I kept begging the ‘characters’ in my dream to let me wake up. When they refused, I took things into my own hands and tried to move towards the lightswitch in my room. My feet alone weighed a ton, and when I lifted them, they came apart from my body and moved slowly labouriously towards the switch. Chucky was laughing maniacally through all this and somehow I eventually forced my eyes open, focused on finding my phone – somehow I reasoned that any light would awaken me and it worked.

It was 5am. It took me another 20 minutes to calm down and think happy rainbow-and-unicorn thoughts and go back to sleep.

I have always had interesting dreams, often in full colour and almost every night. I recall them pretty accurately too. Sometimes, I’ll wake up mad at someone or upset and it won’t hit me til late in the day that I’m confusing my dream state with real-life events. It doesn’t help that I feed my imagination on so much fiction (on Saturday night, I had a dream set in Pakistan because I’m reading Kiran Desai!).

Mythology, fantasy films and books have always been fascinating to me. From Alice in Wonderland, Borges and Tolkien and the films of Richard Linklater and Guillermo del Toro. I had to watch Pan’s Labyrinth for my Spanish orals two years ago. I must have seen it 10 times over. It’s so dream-like and yet so real, and del Toro actually says he got the idea of the faun from a childhood lucid dream he had himself.

But unless these dreams are going to inspire award-winning scripts, I don’t want them interrupting my sleep anymore. So maybe I should lay off the fantasy for a while so the crazy acid-trip nightmares can stop?