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Personal experiences with dreams

  1. Apr 13, 2010 #1
    Hi, I'm pretty sceptical. I wont believe an explanation for something until I have seen very compelling evidence. Even then I must take the stance that other explanations are at least possible. I admire the scientific method. I don't believe in ghosts, witches, wizards, magic, majik, telepathy or E.T. I have to admit though that these things are at-least possible (except maybe majik - that's just coolly spelt magic IMO). Yet I don't know of anything which dis-proves these things.
    I can't offer any explanation for the frankly amazing claims that people make about such things. I can however recount my own inexplicable experiences.
    I'll try to keep it short :wink:.

    Incident 1

    When I was little (about 8??), my parents went out to the theater while we children stayed at home. I was a good boy and went to bed nice and early, thought my folks didn't get back until much later. When they got home, my dad came up to check on us. At that moment I had a vivid dream. I can remember it very clearly even now, some 20+ years later. It is still vivid in my mind. I dreamt a scene, a hazy view, much higher than I was accustomed to, traveling down the corridor of my home, to my room. The perspective was much higher than I was used to and I had the strange sensation of floating along the corridor. I approached the door to my room, reached out and opened it where I could see myself sleeping in bed. (my stomach is turning just remembering this) I approached the bed, still from a tall view point, and reached out to myself. Then I woke up. Very scared. I opened my eyes and saw my Dad leaning over my bed checking on me. I punched him. It was a very strange experience.

    Possible Explanations:

    A: I was remote viewing, during a dream, through my dad's eyes, as he came to wake me up.

    B: I was able to assimilate in my dream, based on the (presumably familiar) noises and commotion of my parents returning, a simulation in my mind of the view through my dad's eyes as he came to wake me up. (i imagined it, being stimulated by the environment)

    C: Coincidence.

    I have no idea what happened. The only explanation I rule out at this time is C. If you can think of a reasonable explanation (or even a fantastic one) please let me know.

    Incident 2

    One night, about 8 years ago, I had the most vivid dream I have ever had (much more resolved than the memory of the hazy dad-dream I had as a child). I have never experienced anything like it. It left me full of emotion and when I think about it now the sensation returns. It was incredibly... real, for want of a better word. Unlike anything else. Unlike normal dreams. And I do have lucid dreams quite frequently.
    I dreamt I was in a hut full of children. There where about 6 or 7 of them and they where scared. I was scared. They where in a very simple hut that was enclosed on all sides. The only way in was through a trap door in the floor. Water was coming. The children where scared and the older children comforted the younger ones. They where all huddled in the corner of the hut. The one most important and strongest sense I am left with is that they where brave. They where crying, they where scared, but they understood what was happening and they where brave. How I know this I'm not sure, but i was left with this very strong notion: bravery. The waters came and I woke up.

    Later the next day I told a friend who I met at lunch about the dream and he told me about a flood that had happened that night in some remote part of the world. I saw pictures on the news that evening of small villages, with huts on stilts, that had been devastated by the floods. I had (and still have) a very strong sensation that this is what I dreamt about.

    Possible Explanations:

    A: I was remote viewing, during a dream, into one of the huts that contained the children.

    B: Coincidence.


    Again I have no idea what happened. I cannot explain it. The sensation is too vivid and the likelihood too small that it was just coincidence. I would love to hear possible explanations.
    I am level-headed and have little tendencies towards fanciful thinking. I do however think that we humans are far from a full knowledge of the physical world.
    When I hear about this Mr. Anderson character I think: 'Matrix'. And the next thing I think is: 'Charlatan'. But I myself have experienced similar and seemingly inexplicable phenomenon. I am open-minded and must at least entertain all explanations for what I have experienced. As Einstein said "...condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance..."
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2010 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    Post moved as a new thread.

    Thetom, I can assign another thread title if you wish.
  4. Apr 13, 2010 #3
  5. Apr 16, 2010 #4


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    Hi Thetom;

    If one were to believe in astral projection, then your 'incident 1' would be a classic case of it.

    I'm probably as sceptical as yourself in these things, but I recall I had a spate of such incidents in my late teens. Incidents way beyond what could be called a lucid dream.

    The most memorable one was when was about 19, (I'm now in my 50's) I drove a girl I had just met back to her apartment. I was very eager, but she wasn't - didn't let me in, but made a future date, etc.

    I was intensely interested and exited by her in any case, and couldn't stop thinking and fantasising about her, on the way home.

    Later, in bed, I was dreaming about her, and all of a sudden it all changed. It was as if a giant chasm had just opened, and all of a sudden I found myself floating on the walkway at the front of her 3rd floor apartment. Lucid dream you might say, but then I was inside her apartment, floating along her hallway and into her bedroom, where I observed her asleep for a few seconds, then woke in startled amazement in my bed.

    Lucid dream ?

    During later dates with the girl, we got on very well, formed a relationship, etc, and when I did get into her apartment, some things I recall during my earlier 'visit' were identical - the left had turn along her hallway toward her room, the color of her curtains (not visible at all from the front) her bed situated in a particular spot - these were the most accurate, though others were not so accurate.

    To this day I beleive this was something well beyond normal or lucid dreaming.
  6. Apr 18, 2010 #5
    Its really hard to pass something off like this as 'coincident' or whatever when it actually happens to you. Personal involvement may cloud ones judgment. But it also resolves/clarifies/accentuates the occurrence. Just how is it possible that you could have dreamt about her apartment, right down to the position of her bed? Wishful thinking maybe. And there are only a few places that a bed can actually be in a room. But soo many people have similar experiences. This should at least warrant some sort of close study.

    It seems similar to telepathy and the like. I have seen a report (no citation -sorry. I will try to dig it out if it's required) that says that when asked a significant majority (i.e more than 50%) of the control group admitted they thought telepathy and mind reading was possible and that it has happened to them at some point.
    If most people think it may be going on, but are unwilling to admit it in every day life, how are we ever to realize these occurrences. We should embrace these possibilities.

    I will try to find that report. It was a 'mainstream' study. I think I saw it on wikipedia though...

    Also, for anyone interested in such things imiyakawa recommends some areas of study in this thread:

  7. May 17, 2010 #6


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    You are describing what is commonly known as Out of Body Experiences. This used to be called Astral Projection, and some think that OBE and AP are slightly different although I don't agree. The difference between a Lucid Dream and an OBE is that a Lucid Dream has the usual dreamscapes such as unfamiliar places, distorted views, and fast changing scenes. An OBE also differs in that it will typically start from a waking state. Your state becomes altered, you can feel yourself separate from your body, and you slowly move away from your starting point. The view from above your body is very typical. OBEs can turn into a lucid dream when one gets far enough away from your starting point.

    Please note that and OBE is NOT necessarily an actual "soul trip", and indeed the phrase Out of Body Experience expresses that this is an experience of something interesting that mimics what it might be like if one were to actually leave ones body without actually doing so.

    The Labarge institute insists that an OBE and a Lucid Dream are two sides of the same coin, but I do not fully agree. Some commonality between the two are:
    1. Full awareness and consciousness and the abiility to use one's free will.
    2. The ability to critically analyze one's situation while it's happening leading to such thoughts as "I simply cannot believe that I am really here touching this object"
    3. Fantasticness in the environment such as brilliant landscapes, the ability to fly and so on.

    The differences are:
    1. OBEs will always start from a waking state where one is aware one is in bed, then there is usually a loud screeching sound or some other such noise accompanied by a feeling of a strong vibration in the body, and then a subsiding of these symptoms followed by a slow separation of consciouness from the physical body.
    2. OBEs tend to be more "realistic" in that you usually end up seeing your bedroom with minor differences from actual reality (and examining it if you are curious) or your yard or immediate neighborhood and the environment tends to be much more stable where you can spend a great deal of time in an unchanging setting.

    OBE and Lucid dreams can easily overlap, such as an OBE being more dreamlike or a Lucid dream being more OBE like and because of this the jury is still out about whether or not they are the same phenomenon.

    Also keep in mind that although it might sound like I'm describing OBE and Lucid dreams as some kind of metaphysical phenomon, I am not as there is no reason to believe that they are not both just "tricks" of the brain. On the other hand, since science has no clue what consciousness is, I am also of the opinion that OBE and Lucid dreams (and for that matter regular dreams) are simply an extension of the consciousness problem.
  8. May 17, 2010 #7
    Coincidence. Think about it this way - what about the other thousands of dreams that you had that didn't go anywhere? Out of 10,000 dreams (assuming you're 30) 2 matched to some extent is not great odds. 1 of them pretty iffyly: the odds that 1 in 10,000 dreams will match some event anywhere in the world are extraordinarily high.
  9. May 17, 2010 #8


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    That to me is the first red flag "they are in bed". I can't even count the number of dreams I've had that I was awake, but after I actually woke up, I'd realize that what I believed was happening was actually a dream. I was so sure I hadn't been sleeping that it was really hard to accept that I was, in fact, asleep.
    This would leave me to believe that it is a neurological condition.
  10. May 17, 2010 #9
    Hypnopompic and hypnagogic hallucinations. The end.
  11. May 17, 2010 #10
    Absolutely. I wish for once, someone had a story of premonition, speaking to spirits, speaking to aliens, etc, that didn't involve being in bed, prescription medication, de-hydrated/starving, heat-stricken, etc. "I was in bed when I heard a felt a presence and when I went to my balcony I saw a spaceship", duh.
  12. May 17, 2010 #11
    Ideally they would have this moment of foresight in a crowd, which they would then narrowly save. That would be impressive. Perhaps the only example of oddity I can think of would be Saint Hildegard von Bingen, who was clearly a musical genius. Still, she said her inspiration was divine, and it would be interesting to understand that internal process from someone who acted on that "intervention": (real or imagined) and created timeless music.
  13. May 28, 2010 #12
    I once had a dream like that once. I had just moved to Alaska from Florida and was finally going to bed after a LOOOOONNG and boring trip. So the dream I had was I was in a carpentry class room talking to two kids by a belt sander about movies we had seen. Well I woke up and the dream was still very vivid in my mind. So a week later I started school and my elective was, wait for it, carpentry. When I entered the class room, Irecognuzed every thing from my dream, and I found my self in the exact position from my dream, talking to the same kids about the same thing. Now I know some of you are saying "well, it was just his mind adjusting his memories to fit the current situation, like deja vu." However I could still vividly remember that dream before the actual event and it was the exact same as the event.
  14. May 29, 2010 #13
    Sometimes I'll be asleep and I'll be dreaming of something that's about to make a noise, then a noise happens in real life.
    What I think is happening is I'm hearing the noise, then immediately my brain inserts something in front of that noise as the thing that caused it.
  15. May 30, 2010 #14
    Well aren't we getting some type of paralysis when we fall into deep sleep?
    At the same time this chemical transition hits isn't there a sense of equilibrium shift/ disorientation? The feeling that we are knocked off balance?

    I think that when this happens to me during 'waking sleep moments' , my perspective of where my body is changes drastically and gets rationalized. I often have a tremor and when I am still slightly aware, I both visualize and 'experience' the sensation of being knocked off my feet, tripping down stairs, falling, flying, or even floating etc.

    I am not a nuerologist but that sensation (when I am a bit aware) is not that different than the inner ear shifts of being twisted upside down in a rollercoaster or falling down.

    It makes perfect sense to me that people interpret this as an out of body experience because it does not feel like lying down in a bed at all. There are even rare moments where I am sometimes almost fully awake but also paralysed (this has only happened about three times) and all I can do is silently scream myself awake. If I were more imaginative and having a more waking dream during this I could view this as an alien abduction and probing/operation. I certainly feel prone and vulnerable when this happens. There is a paranioa when this happens, and having experienced acute paranoia before, it is very easy to fabricate a watcher or entity or enemy that is the direct product of paranoia.
    Don't underestimate the imagination of someone frightened. Sleep paralysis is terrifying ; maybe even the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced.

    I have extremely vivid dreams often, most of which are oddball adventures, and if I make a concerted effort to remember a night's dreams beforehand, I always do so. My mother was a psychologist and fascinated with hypnosis and dreams and gave me 'remember your dreams' tips' books when I was very young and I practice retaining dreams from time to time. Mostly the trick is the complete confidence that I will remember the dreams to come. The 100% positive assertion. For me it works. Another trick I use is to remember a dream from another night and slowly retrace the steps of that dream before I fall asleep.

    Oddly (or maybe a result of remembering so many dreams and dreaming them again) I dream about elevators at lot. (this may be that night tremor rationalization of 'falling off my feet')
    Other places I often go to are abandoned parking structures (aboveground or belowground) Large parking garages (like the type built into a building with an elevator as well) hold deep significance to me for some reason. The ideal dreamscape for me that I used to hang out a lot in is the shopping mall and parking garage next to and including the John Hancock Tower in Boston Mass. Either that specific place or something like it.

    Transcending stories in a building or garage means something deep to me. Its been a mystery to figure out. It might be my atheist version of Dante's journey or some odd mental sorting I do about events taking place on certain floors (times in my life or day) like files in a cabinet only verticle. At least this is what I choose to interpret it as.
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  16. Jun 1, 2010 #15
    If you can hear footsteps of someone approaching then it doesn't seem odd to dream yourself as following those footsteps.
  17. Jun 4, 2010 #16


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    I agree.

    I sometimes experience a different phenomenon with noises. Not when I'm asleep (I might then as well, but too hard to quantify) but when I'm laying in bed or the couch, in a quite but awake, or maybe semi sleep state.

    A loud noise occurs. The instant before the noise occurs, perhaps a quarter of a second or so before, I experience a flash of light in my mind. I have been careful to observe and analyse this when it occurs, and am definitely of the view that it occurs just before the noise, and not simultaneous to it.

    Anybody else experienced this ? Any clues as to what's happening ?
  18. Jun 4, 2010 #17


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    What you are describing is called false awakenings, and yes, these are very common. What I am describing is something quite different, where one actually is just lying there in bed, in an awake state. From this point one can vascillate from this awake state, to a semi awake state (which certainly could also be called a semi dream state), back awake and so on, then at some point from this semi state there is a distinct feeling of a separation of the senses (sense of touch and sight) from the known location that one is fully aware that one is at. The odd thing about this state is that even though there is a sense of being in an altered state at this moment, there seems to be no discontinuity from the point of view of the senses. In other words, one does not simply move from an awake state to a dream location and back again with the familiar "blackout" phase in between. The state of mind does seem to change but from the point of view of the senses, one is simply lying there in bed feeling the covers around you.

    I am not advocating a mystical or metaphysical event here, I am simply describing as accurately as I can an odd and interesting event.

    No doubt there is a change in the activity in the brain as is the case in all altered states of consciousness. It's certainly not pathological however if that is what you are implying. The interesting thing about this particular state is that 1) it's under reported but well known between those that experience it and 2) The symptoms are repeatable and consistant between individuals.
  19. Jun 4, 2010 #18


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    I agree with what you are saying but you're missing the point of the OP namely the state of mind during this particular experience. I recognized it immediately, but I can see where others might not. Without a doubt there is a "dream" state where one is fully conscious and has full and complete control over one's personal "will" and reasoning abilitities. This is not common in an ordinary dream. The reason it's so interesting from a standpoint of physics is that it is a singularly unique experience of being in an altered reality as real as the one you are familiar with, without actually being in the one you are familiar with. Yes, it is likely a hallucination, but again that's missing the point. The exact point is that it is possible to be a fully functioning human being, with a life and everything that goes with it, without actually being in an awake state. You may not find that interesting, but I find it particularly compelling because it forces one to examing the actual nature of our waking reality from the vantage point of being outside of it.
  20. Jun 5, 2010 #19


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    Very interesting experiences Thetom, and I can relate.

    **Gory dream ahead, do not read on if you are disgusted by violence**

    In January 1988, I was 14 and lived next to a girl who was just a year younger than me. She was a silly "hyper" kind of gal, always cheerful and boisterous. We rode the same school bus each morning of course. During this month I had a dream in which I remember every single event that took place clearly. The dream started as this girl and I getting on our bus for school, and she was her usual happy self, making jokes, laughing loud, etc. In the dream, the bus driver turned out to be Hitler who was in his late 90's, and still had the trademark hat and mustache (just gray) that many pictures portray him wearing. He was angry at my friend for being loud, yanked her off the bus, lined her up against the bus, and shot her point blank right next to my window. I remember seeing blood and tissue scatter on the windows. He let her fall to the ground, boarded the bus, and continued driving.

    I told my friend about this dream the next day, and she laughed at it. I wasn't too disturbed by it, not as much as I should have been, because exactly two days later, her mother committed suicide (they lived just two doors down from me).

    Coincidence? I don't think so, because I never have violent dreams, and this dream occurred only 2 days prior to her mother's death. There was no knowledge on my part of her mother's pain and torment. It would also seem to me that younger people have more of these sort of experiences than adults, possibly because their aren't so burdened with mundane activities that life sweeps us to once we do "grow up".
  21. Jun 6, 2010 #20


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    Hi Kerrie - I'm wondering, if it's not too difficult a question, whether the ladies death was similar to the one you saw in your dream.
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