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Diffusing nightmare question...

Posted: 09 Feb 2014 04:16
I was having a pretty interesting conversation today about using love to diffuse nightmares. I have had many occasions during LD's and non-LD's where using love (or kindness in general) has diffused a rather confronting nightmarish DC. BUT, I have also ran into situations where no amount of love would calm a hostile dream figure down.

So, my question is this...

Based on your experiences, is it possible that certain aspects of our subconscious are not ready, willing, or able to change (short term, long term, or possibly permanent); no matter the amount of love, kindness, or otherwise goodwill that could be thrown at them?

An example that was used today during this conversation: take a man on the street that has had the shittiest day of his life and is just out looking for a fight, does he really care if you come at him with a hug and goodwill? It's quite the possibility that he'll break your nose.

Can our subconscious act like this, or is there a key to using love in a certain way? After reading Laberge's books, I was under the impression that any nightmare could be diffused. Wondering how experiences have been for fellow oneironauts.


Re: Diffusing nightmare question...

Posted: 09 Feb 2014 15:25
by TillyPink
Great question....Love often goes hand in hand with acceptance. Yes i agree, the angry man on the street analogy is amidst of raw angry emotion, the last thing that would be welcomed would be a big love hug - although many have diffused their shadow DC's in that way. The last shadow LD i had was very archetypal. I was walking in the woodland and spotted a huge scary figure in the bushes...hostile. As i turned to fly away..i became fully lucid and immediately turned to check this character out. It came running at me and I could also see a man running away to the right of me, but i chose to stand my ground. I accepted fully this hostile monster for what it was. I became a curious non-judgmental observer to it approached me i no longer saw this huge hairy big foot type monster...i was looking right into the beautiful golden eyes of a young German Shepherd dog. She waited patiently for my guidance and i lifted her easily under my left arm and flew to find the man that had ran away. It was a wonderful dream of transformation through acceptance and non-judgment and lack of fear. In the moment I could not have used love to diffuse such an angry hostile force. But my acceptance and lack of judgment transformed it into a more useful projection (and emotion) and yes, one that i immediately fell in love was beautiful!

It was the best version of Little Red Riding Hood i could've come up with (there were many more details in the dream).. Whose afraid of the big bad wolf? :D

Re: Diffusing nightmare question...

Posted: 09 Feb 2014 16:52
I've tried using love and acceptance, but the problem is I can't fake my emotions. If I am genuinely scared, it doesn't matter if I try to be nice and ask, "What's your problem? Can I help you?". Those are just actions, but in a dream the fellow DC's tend to be influenced by my emotions, not my actions. There's no such thing as a fake emotion. A misguided one perhaps, but love and fear are as real in dreams as in real life. We can hide our emotions and put on a fake front for others in waking life, but DC's won't respond to superficiality.

There have been a few times in a lucid dream when I did manage to control my emotional state and confront an antagonistic dream character and it works.

But other times, especially during Sleep Paralysis, my emotional state is beyond control. What I have done in those situations is get angry at whatever it is that's fighting me. In December was the last time that happened and there was a guy in my room who grabbed me, so I held his arms to subdue him. He somehow was able to poke me in the eye with another arm and just kept jabbing me in my left eye. I knew I was dreaming, so it wasn't painful and I knew I would not get hurt, but it was certainly annoying and shocking. After trying to reason with him, which was impossible, I decided to take matters into my own hands, and got really angry and jabbed my fingers into HIS eyes. I pulled his face down, like ripping off a mask and I saw robotic circuitry in the space between his eyes and cheeks under the skin. He eventually morphed into a Slinky toy and I tossed him aside and left my room in the dream.

If love and acceptance, and controlling your emotions fail, turn your fear into anger and take control of the situation. It's like standing up to a bully. But although I felt good about defeating it, and even joked to myself in the dream about it, I didn't really win. As I walked away I realized I still felt fear and comedy only masks my true emotions, but in a dream I'm not fooling anybody!

Re: Diffusing nightmare question...

Posted: 09 Feb 2014 21:19
by TillyPink
You're absolutely right, we can't suppress our fear and emotion in dreams, lucid or otherwise. But i guess for me, part of the journey is learning how i can embrace my shadows, as they relate to waking life. I had these reoccurring dreams for a long time where this woman was trying to stab me - normal to semi-lucid (the repetition made them grow in lucidity) I'd run from her at first. But in one major breakthrough dream, i awoke fully lucid and allowed her to stab me. I did not fight her, but i knew i would not die - i felt very brave! And it HURT!! She got me right in the neck. But then as she pulled the blade out, i just carried on looking at her crying. Then we sat down on the edge of this bed and had a chat. I've never seen her since. I think i managed to integrate her. With love? Dunno. But i just had to accept her for what she was...a part of my angry and frightened self trying to sabotage a part of my unconscious potential.

In the first dream i posted, my adrenaline was up, but i stood my ground because i knew i was dreaming - that is the beauty of lucidity. And although it doesn't always stop us reacting, it does allow some conscious assessment of the situation. In a way though, i think fantastical creatures are easier to deal with...human ones are far more connected to perceived 'reality'. I've done running and fighting too.

SP is particularly vivid but i must say, I loved the way you tossed the guy aside at the end as he turned into a toy...being annoyingly into interpretation, it does seem to present a good metaphor! But yeh, there can be no winners because we are only fighting ourselves in those situations.

Re: Diffusing nightmare question...

Posted: 10 Feb 2014 03:38
Wow, thank you both. I'm going to lean more heavily on acceptance, rather than trying to force love. I was coming from the perspective that everything in dreamland is my own, so I MUST be able to love it. But Haggart has a point, it can't be forced. I think acceptance may prove to be more valuable in dealing with DC's that are none too nice.

Re: Diffusing nightmare question...

Posted: 11 Feb 2014 00:23
by TillyPink
And DO love all that you are...shadows and all! I think the thing to remember is that they are not this out side nasty force breaking into our dreams to get us :o :D Dealing with and integrating these frightening aspects of self might just take some experimentation and creativity.

Moto of the day..'Love Thy Demon' :D They are actually, very helpful to us, if we can learn to meet them.

Re: Diffusing nightmare question...

Posted: 11 Feb 2014 01:21
I always try to come up with something new, but then realize I've been on this site for a while and I've been around the block and written about this before.

Let me redirect you all to an earlier passage from my past. All true, but in retrospect, hindsight is always 20/20. But this is organic and from me and pure from my early days....

(Take it or leave it, but if it was important to me at the time, it still is, and should be relevant to any discussion still going on today!)

This is all anecdotal, but I needed a place to share it, because lucid dreaming can get deep sometimes and we need a place to talk. ( I don't believe in demons by the way... )

Re: Diffusing nightmare question...

Posted: 11 Feb 2014 22:26
by TillyPink
HAGART wrote:This is all anecdotal, but I needed a place to share it, because lucid dreaming can get deep sometimes and we need a place to talk. ( I don't believe in demons by the way... )

Neither do I. Not really. Only poetically.

What an amazing (if uncomfortable) dream and thanks for sharing it as I wasn't here then (nor was Maker) - it's given me a lot to mull over and i'd like to read through the whole post when i have more time. There are classic signs of inner shadow stuff going on with the response 'If you punch me, you'll feel it, but if I punch you, nothing will happen to me' (indirect quote) Nothing can happen to the shadow as the shadow is exactly that...but it does give me a lot to think about in terms of the way these figures manifest themselves...and how we 'choose' to interact with them in a lucid state. Since then, have you had any more encounters with this particular shadow? I must say, i love the way you still bring your humor into your unconscious, i think this is a great tool in itself, even when the shadow doesn't think it's funny!

I must also add that by talking about this, last night I had a night full of shadow stuff that's familiar to me! I also kind of knew i would. At one point i woke myself up then lay there very still and thought 'Nooo, go back and face it' and I did, wasn't lucid, not fully, but it wasn't resolved by any means. Learnt a lot from it though!

I think state of mind is important too. I think if in waking life we feel grounded calm, we can deal with this stuff easier. Perhaps you were in two different states of mind on those 2 occasions creating different scenarios.

Tell you what, just that we are talking about this stuff (beyond religious perspectives) is pretty cool and i'm sure it all helps. We can talk about this more at some other point, like you say, it's all emotive and effects us on a deep level.

Re: Diffusing nightmare question...

Posted: 12 Feb 2014 00:38
TillyPink wrote:Since then, have you had any more encounters with this particular shadow?

No, that was the big finale.

I find it interesting to see my younger self's take on it before I became more informed. (I just read it again, and words are hilighted because I used the "keyword search tool" to find and share the link in case anyone wonders why...)

I've had some SP nightmares since, but nothing like that. They are manageable now since I am more familiar with them. It's like riding a bike and you can get use to it and learn the do's and don'ts. For example, don't bother looking at it. If you feel hands touching you, just let it be and keep your eyes closed. And do get up if you can and leave the room behind you, free from the grips of sleep paralysis. They go away in time. (I've got some stories I can share some other time). The transition from wake to dream and that half-way period when there is a dual perspective on your corporeal body and the dream body are very amazing and not always scary after you get use to it. (They are still rare for me... maybe 10 times a year).

Re: Diffusing nightmare question...

Posted: 15 Feb 2014 03:55
by Snaggle
Dream characters might or might not be aspects of your subconscious - most are not. Dream characters also may or may not be present in nightmares. One can have lucid dreams where it is the emotion of terror that one faces directly - this is what I faced in my all night lucid nightmare- no dream control would have saved me or even emotional control; though emotional control may save saved me from being killed by it.

I don't know that acceptance will work for you either. Psychology links together being accepting and trusting as one psychological trait. I'm trusting according to multiple psychological tests. My question is can you really trust a DC that you're already afraid of and suspicious is going to attack you - I think that might be even harder than radiating love at them.