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DrT's DreamKoan Interview - Part 1

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DrTechnical:
Part one of an interview conducted by JohnB at DreamKoan. October 2010 timeframe. Reproduced here with his permission:


In my recent interview with pj of Mortal Mist (MM), one of the topics that came up was the fascinating lucid-dream-related research of MM member, DrTechnical. After reading many of his posts on MM, I've become convinced that his work would be of great interest to readers of this blog. Fortunately, he has agreed to be interviewed.

Dream Koan: By way of introduction, could you say a little about your background and how you got interested in lucid dreaming?

DrTechnical: Most certainly, and thanks for having me. I've always been fascinated by dreams. There were a number of nighttime experiences I had as a young child which were at times interesting and at other times quite scary. For example, I remember that every once in a while I would get this weird head and neck vibration thing going on. It was often in the middle of the night. I didn't understand it at the time of course. But I now recognize it as the vibrational state leading to a wake initiated lucid dream (WILD). The experience was complicated by the fact that my WILDs typically have me transition to my dreamspace such that it's a replica of my waking reality space (WRS). Almost like a false awakening (FA). So in short, I never picked up on the fact that I was dreaming, and simply put my head down for some more sleep. On the scary side, I remember waking once and having the clown on the wall start talking to me. I freaked and called my parents in. I now recognize this as nothing more than a FA with a sufficiently quick dreamspace to WRS transition that I simply got confused. I wish I had some of my present day knowledge and perspective on dreams way back then. There was so much I missed out on.

As a young adult, I took an interest in dream interpretation. I always had good recall and this was the typical area that people focused on at the time. I read a number of books including the classic one by Sigmund Freud. At around this time, I had a few off the cuff lucid dreams. I was sufficiently educated on the subject of dreaming to know what they were. Of course I was fascinated. In an effort to reproduce the phenomenon more often, I honed in on Laberge's work and read "EWOLD" [Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming]. I tried the common approaches of dream sign categorization, constant reality checks and the like. It earned me a few lucids but progress was slow. I eventually lost interest.

About 4 years ago, I had taken an interest in brainwave entrainment via binaural beats. The hynagogic imagery associated with a good theta wave session reminded me of lucid dreaming. I did a little internet searching on "lucid dreaming" and found plenty of great info on the subject. Dreamviews was in full force. Great strides were made in lucid dream supplement (LDS) theory. There were several commercially available dream masks. It seemed like I had what I needed to dig back in. Now my background is very technical. I'm an electrical engineer by education and profession, so of course I like my electronic toys. So mental techniques supported by some experiments with dream masks led to my initial successes. Because the brain is nothing more than a several pound electro chemical device, I viewed the LDS approach as a logical and interesting next step. I had wonderful success with a number of common supps, and I was off and running.

DK: Wow! I already have so many questions I hardly know where to begin. You mentioned feeling vibrations at the beginning of some of your WILDs. It reminds me of a strong vibration I once felt during a lucid dream. Do you have any theories regarding what could cause such sensations? Also, could you explain how brainwave entrainment via binaural beats works? You said that it can induce hypnagogic imagery. If used while asleep, can it also induce lucid dreaming? What mental techniques were you using with the dream mask? Some form of meditation? What supplements did you initially have the most success with?

DrT: Lots of questions here. Let me take a stab at changing up the order a bit so the chronology makes sense and we'll take it from there.

As I mentioned earlier, the mental methods that are central to EWOLD had yielded modest results. When I reimmersed myself into lucid dreaming I immediately bought a dream mask. Now these devices have their pros and cons. They really are a bit cumbersome and difficult to sleep with. Sleeping on one's side is even more difficult. But they do work to a reasonable degree. I had learned enough about REM (rapid eye movement) phases to convince myself that applying a dream mask at wake back to bed (WBTB) made the most sense. This yielded two important self discoveries. One, when the lights on the mask went off, it typically forced a FA. My propensity to have these was a good find. I got much better at using the reality test button and learned to negotiate the FA process in general. I also came to realize that after a dream mask and FA based lucid, I would take off the mask, resume sleep and often have another lucid dream immediately thereafter. A little reading on the subject of WBTB and neurotransmitter balance convinced me that my overall logical processes were being positively impacted by the sleep disruption. In other words, WBTB was allowing my acetylcholine (AcH) levels to rise and positively impacting the likelihood of lucidity. I further realized that plain old WBTB after about 5 hours of sleep was a great option for me. All I would do is review my goal to note impossible things in general, and made a mental note to do reality checks upon waking to catch the FA's.
I also continued my meditation practice along with the help of binaural beats. There is a great deal that can be discussed here, and I recently wrote a tutorial on the subject over at MM. [Note from editor: You must be an MM member to read the tutorial, but it's free to sign up.] In short though, I sort of rediscovered what was already pretty well known (see Tibetan Dream Yoga, Hemi-Sync and Robert Monroe, etc ...). Meditation is a great lucid aid and binaural beats have some interesting effects on the brain. Now appreciate that meditation has a positive but indirect effect on lucid dreaming. Basically, it tends to enhance focus. One of the fundamental reasons that we aren't lucid all the time, is that our logical processes are attenuated and there is a collective defocusing of our mental faculties in the dream state. Now binaural beats at theta and alpha frequencies have two uses as I see it. By entraining the brain to these brainstates, we can practice focus and awareness in an electro-chemical state quite similar to that of the dream state. Furthermore, we can learn to better negotiate hynagogic imagery (HI). This can potentially help with WILDs, for people inclined to have WILDs via HI techniques. In summary though, I have been unable to leverage binaural beats to directly induce lucidity. More powerful entrainment techniques such as cranial electro-stimulation (CES) have relative advantages there. I'm sure we'll get to that later.


As far as LDS theory is concerned, my success with WBTB had already demonstrated that AcH plays a huge role in my ability to get lucid. I immersed myself in Yuschak's outstanding book on the subject and focused my personal trials on the galantamine/choline mix. As you are no doubt aware, that combo has the dual effect of helping to keep AcH alive (effectively increasing its half life) while helping to enhance AcH production. The combined effect has a very profound net result. Suddenly, I was reintroduced to that phenomenon I experienced as a child. I was able to easily maintain awareness during wakeful to REM transitions characterized by powerful head/neck vibrations. The often cited "waves of electricity up and down the body" vibrations were realized only occasionally. What was most interesting here was that I started to differentiate between lucid dreaming and out of body experiences (OBE). I felt these direct transitions via the vibrational state were the latter, and the overall experience was sufficiently different from traditional lucid dreaming to warrant its own categorization and approach.


Now, onto vibrations. It's hard to dig into this subject and my personal theories without some background. But I will say upfront that I have yet to hear a sufficiently convincing theory and/or explaination as to what these are precisely. Countless people have experienced the effect. But they remain a mystery as best I can tell.

Now I am not a theoretical physicist. I say that upfront. But there are a number of conjectures and theories in that space that I find very interesting. I think we'll get into what I call the convergence problem a little later. For now, let's keep it a little scientific. There are several interesting results that fall out of theoretical and quantum physics as I understand it. One is the belief that there are upwards of 26 dimensions in our universe. Now we are intimately familiar with our usual four (three spatial dimensions plus time). Well, where are the missing 22? I wouldn't be the first person to suggest that maybe, just maybe, the dreamspace has physicality in some sense. Now, let's look at quantum physics. Again, we'll keep it very high level. But it is well accepted that human observation and consciousness has an effect on quantum particle superposition state. Going back to the dream world, isn't it interesting that it behaves sort of like a macroscopic quantum reality? That is to say that mental energy is the force creating the "physical" realities of the dreamspace. Finally, there is a conjecture that falls out of this notion of multi-dimensional space. Without loss of generality, let's call our 4 dimensions lower dimensional space (LDiS) and the remaining 22 dimensions higher dimensional space (HDS). It is theorized that points in LDis and HDS can be linked hyperdimensionally. In other words, these points are not truly orthogonal but rather bleed into each other. If that were true, then a force meaningful in one space could traverse into the other space and manifest as a change in fundamental force meaningful to that space.


Now, what does this have to do with vibrations? If one assumes that one's dreamspace is a projection into HDS, then it would stand to reason that it may be possible to transfer force from HDS into LDiS and vice versa. Now in LDiS there are four fundamental forces. Electromagnetic (EM), gravity and weak/strong nuclear. I think we're all in general agreement that mental energy IS the force meaningful to the dreamspace. What if the OBE creates a scenario in which a hyperdimensional link were set-up between these two nearly orthogonal spaces (LDiS/HDS)? Mental energy or consciousness traverses up the ladder (since that is the force meaningful to the dreamspace). EM force traverses down the ladder and into one's physical body in LDiS. Multi-dimensional conservation of energy is maintained, the universe remains balanced and mother nature is satisfied. Now the force in question is probably doing nothing more than tickling some element of the brain and creating the perception of powerful vibrations. Yes, this is a complex theory. One which would need further corroboration (another possible topic for later). But be careful on the application of Occam's Razor. I've seen it fail. Especially true when we dig into some of these larger mysteries, such as extracting verifiable info from lucid dreams, PSI phenomenon in general and the like.

DK: I'd like to hear more about your hypothesis that the dreamspace is a projection into the higher dimensions of physical reality. If that turns out to be true, what would be the implications? Would it mean we might be able to alter physical reality from within our dreams? Could we alter, or perceive, physical reality at locations distant from our physical bodies in space or time (past and/or future)? What experiments could be done, or have been done, to provide evidence for or against this hypothesis?

DrT: There are many places to go with that question, John. Let's try to pick it apart one piece at a time. First, let's consider the fact that we really need a model of some kind to make progress. Perhaps we should start with a few observations. History is rife with examples of telepathy and clairvoyance via dreams. A related topic of course would be remote viewing via various altered states of consciousness. If you do a little searching on these topics you won't need to look far. From my own personal perspective, I have experienced uncanny predictions of future scenes, events and outcomes via my dreams. Non-lucid ones in general. I most recently documented a dream on September 26th in my MM dream journal which appears like it will come to fruition later this week. Now, perhaps I am being too literal, or too 4 dimensional? But these phenomenon seem to imply that the dreamspace provides a conduit for information at the very least. One which is not bound by time as we know it. So at very least it's a channel, as we understand the concept. The basic argument that seems popular is that our dreaming mind is not filtering out PSI noise as effectively as our waking mind and this PSI info can in fact permeate our dreams. In my own experience, certain natural psychoactive substances such as silene capensis can be used with favorable effect here as well.
But then there is this whole question of altering physical reality. Let's turn away from my thoughts and perspective and turn our attention to a higher profile dreamer. In Robert Waggoner's book Lucid Dreaming, he cites a number of cases of apparent healing via the dream state. That is actually a much more challenging and profound example than anything I've tried to pick off. Certainly I applaud his courage for taking a rather risky topic and developing the potential concept. Now if the examples cited in his book had a dreamer focusing healing energy on themselves or another in a dream and it had an apparent physical effect, what does that mean? Well, if it's real, we couple this with the information conduit observations and can only conclude a true physical dreamspace link into WRS (waking reality space). The challenge with this type of experiment of course is how to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the healing was accelerated for the reasons proposed.

The challenge of "proving" an otherwise poorly understood physical phenomenon and effect is the fundamental problem in all PSI research. PSI research invariably relies on repeated experiments and statistical inference to draw conclusions. But even when the odds against chance for some experiment are a billion to one, all that's been accomplished is a strong inference. Not proof. But when these inferences are made again and again, tallying up independent trials yielding a billion to one, or a trillion to one, a quadrillion to one odds ... what then? At what point are we forced to acknowledge the fact that something is going on?

The basic theory I propose, of the dreamspace being a projection into one or more orthogonal dimensions seems to provide an acceptable model. It would not be bound by space and time as we know it. It can link into our 4-D world and information/force would be able to flow in a bidirectional manner. In other words, information could flow into the dreamspace from arbitrary points in space time. Force could traverse from this HDS into our physical world as well. As I mentioned earlier, there is theoretical justification for this concept.

It may seem like I'm digressing. But I want to introduce the whole convergence concept, then perhaps we can circle back to some experiments I've run and what they seem to imply.

The convergence problem as I define it, is one of pulling together various disciplines and results in order to achieve a more complete picture and understanding of our world. We can look at concepts of life after death, reincarnation and the impermanence of the "soul". We can look at Eastern concepts, especially those arising from Tibetan Dream Yoga such as the Six Realms model (and its uncanny similarity to the multidimensional model I allude to). We can look at quantum physics and string/M-theory. We can review the perspective and results of many of the great Western thinkers in dreamwork, those predominantly from the field of psychology. We can review PSI research. We can look to Shamanism and the use of altered state of consciousness to glean insight into the meaning of life and the universe around us. So I ask you, who's got it right?

Well if we're being pragmatic, I think the answer is most likely to be that there is some truth, wisdom and insight to be absorbed from each of these genres. But doesn't that mean what is really required here is someone who can cherry pick some of the relevant portions of each, extrapolate and project? Create a model, gather data, tweek the model and converge to a measurable result? Well, who is engaged in that effort? Would one of the necessary requirements be to have a natural propensity to operate out of body, if indeed that is the ultimate tool to pull this all together?

That is the convergence problem as I define it. Now in my humble opinion the person who has come closest to this thus far would probably be Robert Monroe. But even he lamented on the fact that dreamspace-to-WRS communication was something he was only able to measure anecdotally, not objectively. Of course Monroe's personal production of insights has also been sorely missed for the last 15 years. Well ... at least in a literal sense.

So where to go from here? The first observation I offer is that insight is going to be a multi-tiered challenge in and of itself. One needs to have enough knowledge of these different genres to be influenced by but not overwhelmed by each. The other crucial step in my opinion is a reliable method of using PSI to chase PSI. Doesn't that seem intuitive? Why chase PSI via purely scientific methods for example. Isn't that like swatting a fly with a baseball bat? It might work, but it doesn't seem like the right tool. Science doesn't always have the answer. Sometimes it needs a little help. Open your proverbial history books and do a little digging. Tesla and Edison were both prolific inventors. They were also both essentially mystics. What were they tapping into precisely?


In my experience, I've been able to use a particular altered state of consciousness to develop three specific sets of ideas,experiments and results. I've been able to prove to myself the relationship between PSI and this state of awareness. It's pointed me in the right direction time and time again without any real analysis or effort on my part. This is the sort of mechanism and approach that seems to stand the best chance. This coupled with exploration of the out of body state. These are my personal tools of choice.

The Littlest Leaf Dragon:
Posted it up front.  Haven't had a chance to read it yet, so haven't put much of a summary up.

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