How Do I Create Dream Characters?

by Charlie via Email

I am pretty new to lucid dreaming, but when I do lucid dream, I find it extremely fun. There is one problem I am having though. If I want someone to appear before me, let's say my neighbor, they don't. What I usually do is, whoever is nearest to me, I say, while believing it, "Turn into (insert name here)!", and it does nothing. They just look at me like I'm crazy, and I move on with the dream. I have tried turning around to see them, and I saw a very fuzzy person and I couldn't even tell who they were. Do you have any ideas? Thank you.

Rebecca Turner

Rebecca says: There are a couple of ways to explore this issue. First, there is a very logical way which plays on my unconscious expectations. If I want a specific person to play a role in my lucid dream, I look for them in the place I'm most likely to find them in waking life. So, if you want to dream about your neighbor, you should go to their house and knock on their front door. That's one way of doing it.

If that fails, you can say to the dream, "When I walk around this corner I'm going to meet X" - and really believe it. Say it like they're already there. Then go and confirm your statement by walking around the corner. If the dream figure is still fuzzy or has a vibe of the person you wanted but isn't really them - try saying to their face: "I'm going to look away and when I look back you will look like the closest representation of X my imagination can create."

It may sound strange, but instead of demanding things in a lucid dream like a child demanding candy, remember who you're dealing with: yourself! Ask clearly and respectfully and know the result that's going to happen. I have been met by many dream characters who wont talk to me or simply think I'm crazy, but in hindsight it was because I wasn't talking to them as equals, I was just bossing them about!

Finally, if you've given them respectful instructions, and you've heightened your lucidity as much as possible, and they're still blurry and passive, try this. Interact with your dream character, by asking them questions like:

  • Why are you here?
  • How do you feel?
  • What do you have to tell me?
  • Can I help you?
  • Why don't you look like X?

There is one more important rule of lucid dreaming that comes into play. In dream control, don't try to change the dream - change yourself. As Stephen LaBerge explains in Exploring The World of Lucid Dreaming (an excellent guidebook, by the way) - don't try to magically turn a nightmare ogre into a toad, because this lesson will never apply in real life. You can't magically turn your worst enemy into a toad in reality and be done with it! Instead, confront your ogre in your lucid dream and find out what fear he represents. Then project love at him. You will overcome your nightmare and the underlying fear that caused it, and it will give you confidence at facing your fears in future.

As far as dream characters go, vowing to change yourself instead of the dream can really work in your favor too. Perhaps your unconscious doesn't want you to walk around conjuring up people from waking life. Perhaps you are meant to see your dream characters for what they really are and interact with them as your unconscious presents them to you...

About The Author

About the author

Rebecca Turner is a science writer, illustrator, explorer of consciousness - and founder of World of Lucid Dreaming. She is currently studying for a biology degree in Auckland and blogging at her site Science Me.