Author Topic: Declaring War on "Expectation"  (Read 732 times)

Offline Rebel Seven

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Declaring War on "Expectation"
« on: December 19, 2014, 03:16:53 AM »
One of the most common bits of advice about dream control you will see floating around the cybersphere here is to manage your expectations and the dream will fall into line. If anything isn't working just believe it more and it suddenly will.

Now, to a degree this is undeniably true. We experience the world in a certain way and our dreams reflect that. They tend to contain gravity, light, sounds, recognizable events, characters that respond in a measurably understandable way, and so forth. But it is also undeniable that dreams defy expectations. This is a simple fact, if you have ever felt surprised in a dream then you should agree with me (...right?) sometimes gravity fails for no "reason", DC's of people you know can act in utterly bizarre and unfathomable ways. Even the dreamer him/herself has the potential to act in utterly uncharacteristic way.

There is also untold examples of a dreamer HAVING the expectation of something happening, and it fails or falls short. When this crops up in the forum it's often met with doubt that the dreamer truly expected their control to work. So lets take an example that the average dreamer has experienced themselves. Have you ever succeeded, dream after dream in a skill, lets say flying, only to have it suddenly fail in an otherwise normal situation? You know what it feels like, how to do it, what affect it will have on the environment, but still you claw at the air uselessly? No amount of "expectation" let you achieve your goal, or let overcome the flaw.

Yet another example of the flaws of expectation is when you expect something NOT to work, and yet, it does. For example, I've had dreams where I'm being attacked by someone with a sword, I reach behind my back reaching for the sword that I had hanging there, and it was gone! As the attacker drew in to kill me I pretended to have a sword and swung it up to block him, knowing full well that I had nothing in my hand, yet there was a clash of metal, a spark, and his sword was stopped by my pretend one. (I've even pointed intangible guns and made a shooting noise to fatally wound DC's before) It might be argued that by pretending I was creating expectation, but I don't believe this to be true.

Even if I am completely wrong in my suspicions with expectations, and they are the true path to total dream control, how could anyone possibly purposely change their actual expectations? Isn't trying to change your expectation to something else proof that you do not expect your desired outcome, and any attempt to CHANGE it only further cements it as your real expectation? If these things are true isn't it not only useless but harmful to use it as advice to others seeking dream control?

Now, the nature of dreams themselves is that they are unproveable and unknowable to another, maybe I am just an odd dreamer (I don't think so, but I can't know for sure) is there anyone else who has these experiences with expectations like I have? Does anyone care to postulate what the real role expectation has in dream control assuming it is not the single infallible holy grail?

Thanks for reading
Sol rests her head on her great celestial pillow, and I rise from my sun-soaked slumber to claim the night.

Offline DrTechnical

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Re: Declaring War on "Expectation"
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2014, 09:58:41 AM »
This is an interesting post and a fair observation.

Here are my thought, in short. Expectation is by no means the total dynamic at play. In no particular order, I believe the factors involved in how a dream manifests are:

- expectation

- emotional state

- how the dream is communicating via metaphors, and how you are communicating back to the dream verbally, mentally, or via other metaphors that you project back to the dreamspace.

I think emotion is the key bit of info being experienced while dreaming, and I think metaphors are the fundamental mechanism by which dreams communicate to us and vice versa. Expectation is probably a tertiary effect that guides emotion and metaphors, but does not over ride them.
"In a fearful stampede to save themselves from the terrifying menace of an original idea, the herd can become a mindless destroyer of the light." - Thomas Campbell

"I just had to get nice last night. My Mind is so free, you wouldn't believe ... you wouldn't believe" - Dave Wyndorf

"I don't understand. How can less be more? That's impossible. More is more." - Yngwie Malmsteen

Offline Shellidfl

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Re: Declaring War on "Expectation"
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2014, 09:39:04 PM »
My take:

When I started taking supps, I had great control and was quite easily able to meet my goals of the night (see 2013 Monthly Meeting Place challenges thread...).

Then, I started having interactions with some unknown "being".  I then mostly lost my ability to control my dream.  And still mostly have.  Why?  I truly am not sure.  Is it my expectation now?  Is it a vicious circle/cycle?  Am I perpetuating my own problems of not being able to control my lucidity as I know expect that I cannot?  A "Catch-22"?

This is in part why I am now trying out the Tibet Dream Yoga workshop.  I am early into it, and had one short-lived lucid that I attribute to it, and was somewhat successful in my expectations in it.  I hope to be able to fully report that I will have full control of my lucid dreams again in the near future.  But.... Will I?

Offline howitzer

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Re: Declaring War on "Expectation"
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 04:22:05 PM »
Great post
Expectation runs deep when analyzed.
We often mentally expect something good bad or indifferent to happen. This clashes with the unexpected.
All these variables are unfolding simultaneously during a dream.
What I think is moe notable is our (molded) expectations!
How many laws of physical nature and psychological nature are we compelled to believe through facts, reason and beliefs?

We are all hard wired in a different way. My lucidity gets shaken rather easy. Now this I feel is an attribute I carry, and many others, whereas some may have almost an unshakable confidence about them.
So yes...mental state foe sure. A mental that has been conditioned. 

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
I'll see it when I believe it.

Offline Phantasus

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Re: Declaring War on "Expectation"
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 07:36:35 PM »
It seemed that pretending DID in fact add control over expectations to your dream.
I have found control a balance of logic and imaginative creativity.
Can you further explain why you don't feel 'pretending' or faking it till you make it is not a valid way to go?

Offline johnb

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Re: Declaring War on "Expectation"
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 09:32:06 PM »
It seemed that pretending DID in fact add control over expectations to your dream.
I have found control a balance of logic and imaginative creativity.
Can you further explain why you don't feel 'pretending' or faking it till you make it is not a valid way to go?

Great question! In any case, it could be impossible for most people to not have expectations of any kind. But it's probably good to also acknowledge that one's expectations may not turn out to be correct. And to not be too disappointed when that happens. Just keep doing different things in a spirit of openness. Sometimes what actually happens is way more interesting than what you were expecting to happen. But you may fail to realize just how interesting something is if you're caught up in disappointment about your expectations not being met.