The WILD Way To Lucid Dreaming
Today I'm reviewing The WILD Way To Lucid Dreaming: Waking. Induced. Lucid. Dreaming. Lucid Dreaming On Demand by Slider. The copyright is 2016.
I normally don't focus on Lucid Dreaming books. After all, I've still got plenty of astral projection and out-of-body books in my library to hold my attention. But this book intrigued me, so I had to buy it and read it.
Who is "Slider?" I don't know, but maybe the pen name was taken from the 1995-2000 television show, Sliders, in which a small group of people travel or "slide" from dimension to dimension, finding adventures and trying to find their way back home to "our" dimension. Sounds about right.
We all know a lucid dream is a dream in which you're conscious and completely aware that you're dreaming. It's also a convenient jump-off point to out-of-body experiences, and therefore isn't out of place in my blog. If you already know how to induce lucid dreams, click on this link for an article I wrote about converting lucid dreams into OBEs.
If you're still learning to induce lucid dreams, you should know there are basically two approaches: DILD (Dream Induced Lucid Dreams) and WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dreams).
With DILD you condition yourself and alter your habits so you more easily discover when you're dreaming, by doing reality checks ("Am I dreaming?"), reminders, mnemonics, flashing light masks, and other tricks of the trade.
This book is entirely about the WILD approach to lucid dreaming, which is to induce a lucid dream from the onset of sleep: you consciously choose to go into the dream, starting from full consciousness and ending up in a lucid dream.
The book is broken into several parts.
Part 1 is "Theory" which is just the basics: what lucid dreaming is, degrees of lucidity, why should we do it, etc. Unfortunately, I found this section somewhat repetitive or tedious. Slider repeats over and over how WILD is superior to DILD. After all, DILD takes a lot of time and training to be any good at it, it's hit-or-miss and you have less control. The larger dreaming community seems to think that WILDs are much harder than DILDs, but Silder disagrees. He claims WILDs are easier to learn, you can enter into the lucid dream with your full waking memories, and you have much more control. But he seems to harp on it just a little. I admire his enthusiasm but by the end of the section I was getting impatient and ready for some real substance. This section takes up roughly a third of the book.
Part 2 is "Practice" and this is where the book gets interesting. This is where Slider explains how to induce a WILD. The first chapter of this section is titled "Hypnagogia: The Key to WILDs." His technique is very similar to the out-of-body technique that I favor, and have taught. This is what makes it relevant to out-of-body experiences. It's so important I'll quote the book:
"All one really has to do in order to start lucid dreaming, is to learn to recognise the stages of falling asleep, find this hypnagogia on the way into it and then treat these hypnagogic images in a very particular way. Ultimately, it is through hypnagogia that one actually enters into an altered state at all and lucid dreaming in particular...when you want to lucid dream, then all you do is to watch that same [hypnagogic] movie show again, only this time treating those hypnagogic images by examining their detail in a particular way.
This conscious act of examining a hypnagogic image's finer detail is the very thing that finally beckons one right into a lucid dream. One is somehow bodily zoomed in, or rather, pulled into the image itself resulting in dreams in which one is already awake. Not examining the details of those images while just letting yourself drift as usual results in one eventually nodding-off and having very ordinary, non-lucid dreams... and really that's all there is to it. A simple choice!" (pg. 60-61)
By the way, this is really the only "WILD" lucid dreaming technique Slider has in the book. Elsewhere he gives some advice for inducing DILDs, but he plainly states that it's not his focus and there are better books on DILDing.
Compare this to my favorite OBE technique
Now in my favorite out-of-body technique, for example, the one I teach in this blog article, I recommend the following:
- At some point you will see/hear [hypnagogic] imagery.
- Do not get drawn into them.
- Do not take interest in them.
- Do not pretend "What if" with them.
- Maintain conscious awareness.
- Take control of an image.
- Move the object or spin the object.
Elsewhere I've also said:
- At this point the hypnagogic image is likely to dissolve or vanish.
- When that happens, just wait patiently for another to appear, then do the same: take ownership of the image. Tell yourself, "This is my object."
- Hypnagogic images at the onset of sleep are more likely to dissolve, but
as you get further into sleep, they should become more stable,
realistic, life-like, and longer-lasting.
- If a hypnagogic image is too big or complex to move, spin, or manipulate, like a soccer stadium packed with people, just take ownership of it and watch it passively until it disappears, and in a few seconds, the next one will appear.
In my OBE technique, I imagine a strong force like gravity pulling me toward the object and out of my body.
So what's the difference?
Slider's WILD technique is indeed very similar to my OBE technique, although IMHO he doesn't describe it in enough detail. In Slider's technique, examining the hypnagogic image draws you into the lucid dream state. Apparently you merge with the hypnagogic imagery and it becomes a lucid dream. In my technique, the hypnagogic imagery is simply used as a device to draw you away from the body. Or as I wrote elsewhere, to "derail" your in-the-body "story of experience." You are not sucked into the hypnagogic image, its dream elements, its dream setting or its dream story. You just feel a blur of motion, then usually all motion stops suddenly and you find yourself lying inside your physical body, fully conscious and aware, but separate from it. This is usually when the vibrations come sweeping through your body.
Slider also offers some sound advice that applies to both WILDs and OBEs. For example, he says to relax completely and tweak your body's position to find a state of complete relaxation, then it's important to not move again.
Here's another sound piece of advice:
"Once you've reached this floating feeling of relaxation, the next step is to absolutely and deliberately turn your attention completely away from all any sensations of the body altogether, totally ignoring them. Having served their purpose they are no longer important. Peer instead at the blank dark screen you can see just behind your closed eyes. Don't move at all and hang onto that feeling of lightness or floating and stare at the darkness that's right there in front of your face until you begin to notice the odd blob or streak of colour appearing and disappearing at random." (pg. 65-66)
"Watching these really clear images for any length of time (a marvelous experience though it is) always leads to falling away into normal sleep. On the other hand, if you instead stare at one of them and attempt to examine the finer details of it, something very strange happens; the sensation of what can only really be described as a kind of "zooming-in" -- and then you'll suddenly find yourself in a lucid dreaming state." (pg. 69)
He also says that his technique leads to lucid dreaming "daily."
Levels of Lucidity
The book has an interesting section in which he describes several levels of lucidity. In each level, lucidity seems to be more difficult to maintain.
- In the first level, the only person in the dream will be you and you alone.
- In the second level, you may see some people but usually don't interact with them.
- At level three, lucidity drifts in and out in waves, but you still know that you're dreaming. You can forget what you were doing and find yourself drifting off into daydreams, then coming back again.
- Level four is a "full lucid dreaming scenario" where anything can happen.
- Slider hesitates to call this level 5. He prefers to call it "level zero". In terms of awareness, it seems to be a middle-ground between waking and dreaming.
One chapter is devoted to changing dreams. Many lucid dreamers insist you can consciously manipulate the contents of a lucid dream. Lucid dream expert Robert Waggoner points out this is often not the case: lucid dreams often have a mind of their own and defy attempts to change them. Slider insists lucid dreams are easy to manipulate. If you want to fly, just jump up and fly. For what it's worth, I can usually manipulate my experience in lucid dreams.
Part 3 is "Advanced Techniques"
I was enthralled by this chapter because Slider brings up some very interesting observations. For example:
Recommended body position
Most authors of astral projection and out-of-body books insist that lying on your back is the most effective position. Slider recommends inducing WILDs while lying on your left side. He notes several qualitative differences with other positions, with left-side dreamers having more control and stability. He writes:
"Anyway, with left-sided dreams one is apparently very much in control of the dreaming situation from the outset, with the option of changing dreams. Everything from the left side in dreaming is smooth, thus making it the perfect starting off position for newbies to have their very first, real, full lucid dream. In left-sided lucid dreams you feel fully awake and aware and every respect, which gives you time to manipulate your next moves judiciously and put into action any experiments you may have had in mind." (pg. 111)
Contrast that to right-sided lucid dreams:
"While sleeping on the right side, the dreams seem to change all by themselves without any warning or choice on the dreamer's part. Do nothing other than observe in a right-sided dream and you will find yourself going (or hopping) from one lucid dream to another in quick succession....
In right-sided dreams, by contrast, the dreams themselves are far more complicated. You'll be presented with a series of often novel and very compelling dreaming situations that almost force you to interact with them. Lucidity is still full, as is full waking memory, but in these dreams there's no real volition as to what you'll be dreaming about or the situation you will find yourself in. Furthermore, the dreams themselves tend to change from one situation to another very quickly without giving the dreamer any time to adjust as you barely have time to get used to one novel dream scenario before being hurled off into another." (pg. 112-113)
Slider also has some interesting observations about how sleep is a necessary part of life. For example, you can have severe problems if you're denied the dreaming phase of sleep. What about lucid dreams? He says that lucid dreams are even more refreshing than ordinary dreams. He comes back feeling very energized. In fact he says:
"This brings us to another noteworthy point; that another emerging but undeniable fact about lucid dreaming is that even the slightest contact with the lucid dreaming state results in what can only be called a thorough refreshing of whatever it is that makes us feel tired in the first place. If actively a mere forty-five or ninety minutes of 'lucid' dreaming is noticeably more physically restoring than a whole night's worth of ordinary sleep and dreams." (pg. 129)
Contrast that to many OBE authors who insist that OBEs require a great deal of energy, and they come back feeling drained. Full disclosure: OBEs have always left me energized.
So are OBEs just Wake Induced Lucid Dreams?
Slider addresses this question directly. He joins the swelling ranks of experts like Robert Waggoner who insist OBEs and Lucid Dreams are not the same thing, as Stephen LaBerge once wrote. Slider writes:
"This [astral projection / out-of-body experiences] is something completely different to lucid dreaming, although at times it does indeed feel like you have been from your body in the sense that, with WILDs you can still feel your body lying down in bed whilst still dreaming." (pg. 147)
I liked this book. I'm not entirely sure why, but I really liked it.
On the down side, the book doesn't really say much: it only gives one concrete technique for inducing lucid dreams, and almost no lucid dream narratives to indicate the author's level of experience. Still, it was honest and tidy. It talks about the lucid dream in very concrete and relatable ways. On the up side, it's honest and no-nonsense.
The book is 159 pages, with a small footprint, but the tight font and close margins compensate to give you a satisfying amount of material. The writing starts a little immature, but by the end of the book he comes off as both knowledgeable and sophisticated.
I'll give the book 4 stars out of 5.
23 November 2021
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