I seem to get mentally dull in a dream. For example- in my waking mind, I know I can read. But in my dream mind I seem to be OK with the fact that the words or all blurred. I don't seem to be puzzled by that fact.
Last night I found myself as a soldier on a military base, in a dress! I was confused about why I had a dress on, but it should have been crystal clear to me that things were bizarre and I should have known immediately that I was in a dream or at least that I should be doing some RCs.
So it seems that all of the real life practice doing RCs won't work if your thinking is dulled in a dream. What am I missing?Does the practice of doing RCs get to be such a habit that you do it instinctively? But you won't do it unless you see something you perceive as strange, right? And something won't be strange unless you have a critical mind operating normally.
How to work around this conflict?
I need help to get to the next level. Any thoughts?
Your example of being a soldier in a dress is a perfect dream sign because it's so wacky. It wasn't successful in sparking your awareness THAT night, but perhaps if you work with the concept it might show up again similarly in a future dream, giving you another chance! For instance, while awake you could check out your outfit a few times a day & question yourself, "Am I dreaming? Is this a dream? What about this outfit really proves to me that I am awake?" etc. This might work especially well if you often find yourself dressed strangely in dreams but not in waking life. There might be other dream signs you find that will resonate more strongly for you though.
For example, I once read about dream goggles which would flash red lights over your sleeping eyes as soon as you enter REM, to help induce lucidity. Well I really wanted some of those goggles! Soon after, I dreamed of being in a club booming with music & flashing red lights. It did not spark lucidity that night, but I was able to recognize it right away upon awakening as being a poweful dream sign for me, almost screaming, "Here's your flashing lights! You don't need to buy goggles! Be lucid, you're dreaming!" Combining a strong image like that with your RCs can be even more powerful.
Build on your experiences (dreaming & waking). So, since you have already noticed the strange situation with reading in dreams, performing waking reality checks with a digital clock may work for you. Read the time, look away, then look back, asking yourself if you are dreaming, can you read the numbers? Does the time keep changing? How can you know that you are really awake? Asking yourself what you were doing moments ago is a good prompt too. It's just all about becoming as aware as possible while awake. The more you question yourself like this, you will take the habit & the awareness into the dreamworld too. So then next time you see a sign & can't read it, or a clock with crazy numbers, you might not be so quick to dismiss the oddity & then become lucid!
Also thinking... some sleep cycles are deeper than others. You might find your sleeping mind to be its clearest during a nap or early morning sleep. Take advantage of those times.
Keep doing what you are doing, good luck!
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