Forgetting Lucid Dreams?

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Forgetting Lucid Dreams?

Postby rothgar » 13 Nov 2011 20:22

I've read in a couple places (Including EWLD, and this website) that it is important to journal your dreams so that you improve memory recall. That we may have had lucid dreams in the past, but failed to remember them the next day. REALLY?

Does anyone know if this has been validated? It should be possible in dream research to have someone signal (through REM) that they are in a lucid dream. Then later, determine if any subjects actually forgot that they had been in that state.

I just wonder because to me it just doesn't seem logical. I've only had 6 lucid dreams (as far as I know :) but it goes against my experience. Sure, the subconscious mind while dreaming erases dream memory. But once I become lucid, my conscious mind is in control and it's just like being awake. My awake mind doesn't erase my memories! The LD is just like being awake to me, memories and all. Also, if I wake up in the middle of the night and work at recalling the dream, I usually get some part of the dream, although I know some of it I'm not recalling. But, I don't then journal (usually) until the next morning, but nothing of what I explicitely recalled seems to have gotten fuzzy... once I really impress it on my "waking" brain, even at night, and am not just "half-awake". Seems like LD memories would be from the conscious side and not forgot.

Any thoughts about this? I'd hate to think my true conscious memories could be stolen like that... but if it's been proven, I guess I have to believe it....

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Re: Forgetting Lucid Dreams?

Postby fuzzylogic » 14 Nov 2011 11:49

Can you remember everything that's ever happened to you in your life? I'd guess not. Memories to do fade. And "unimportant" memories fade faster than others. Fading isn't necessarily lost forever, so you conscious mind hasn't "stolen" these from you. You have just decided at some level that they aren't critical to you.

I read cases of lucid dreams in my dream journal and once reminded I can definitely recall them. But I know that if I wasn't prompted by the journal to remember, they would be lost. Yes they may still be hidden in my memory somewhere, but in the final analysis, being unable to locate them in memory is pretty much the same as being unable to remember them at all. In both cases they are functionally lost.

So writing them down keeps this from happening. Also it preserves key details. For example, recently I had a lucid dream where very specific lines text were revealed to me. Without my notes I couldn't recall the exact text (I tried for hours without being able to do so) and without the exact text much of the authenticity and nuance would have been lost forever. It is an important dream for me and loosing that information would have been a shame.

I would write down at least the important ones. And unless you have them all the time, lucid dreams might be considered important to you.

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Re: Forgetting Lucid Dreams?

Postby fineganswaker » 14 Nov 2011 22:16


Interesting topic that presents quite a philosophical conundrum regarding memory in general.

First, though, I think we have to distinguish between two different types of memory lapses here. The first would be where after waking you do remember becoming lucid but don't remember what you did while you were lucid (don't remember the lucid dream). The second type would be where you don't even remember becoming lucid!

The first can and does happen (it's happened to me). I've read (but can't remember where!) that experienced lucid dreamers sometimes wake themselves up after a certain amount of time, or after they've achieved some goal, in order to specifically remember as vividly as possible that particular lucid event. If the dream continues on and on, that event will probably be much harder to recall--in the same way that we often know that there were earlier parts of a non-lucid dream, but can't recall them.

But it sounds like you're referring to the second possibility--and I agree that it's a troubling thought. Is it possible that we might actually have lucid dreams quite often but just can't remember becoming lucid? I remember reading somewhere as well (but also can't remember where it was I read it!) where the claim was made that it's rare to have a lucid dream where you can't even remember becoming lucid. That was a comforting thought--until I realized that the writer wasn't backing up that claim with anything substantial--and that gets to the heart of the matter: really, how would the writer know?! How can we possibly make any kind of claim at all on something that can't be remembered!?

Flipped the other way, it reminds me of an earlier post where the poster stated that you would definitely have incidents where you wouldn't remember becoming lucid. The possibility is certainly there--but how would we ever know?

I'm with you in believing that lucidity is a special type of dreaming experience that we tend to remember (even if we can't remember ever detail of what we did while we were lucid), since at least a type of waking awareness is being visited upon the dream experience. But, really, who knows? To paraphrase Wittgenstein--what cannot be remembered must also be passed over in silence!

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Re: Forgetting Lucid Dreams?

Postby Peter » 15 Nov 2011 02:34

I quite often wake up mid dream if a goal has been acheived and can go back to dream. WILD followed by WILD. not sure about forgetting a dream if I was lucid as its quite an experiance by its nature would be hard to forget. To counter that if you are new to LD and the dreams are short then yes I would expect that you could forget or at least not have a clear memory of the event
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

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