About a year ago I was interviewed by Kent Bye, host of the Voices of VR podcast, about connections between VR and lucid dreaming. It has just been published:
Voices of VR #750: Lucid Dreaming & VR: How our waking life is becoming more dreamlike
Lucid Dreaming is ability to become aware that you’re dreaming, and to potentially even start to interact and direct what happens within your dream. Arthur Gillard has been tracking the potential connections between immersive technologies and lucid dreaming, and we explore the nature of dreams and how VR is changing our dreams. He sees VR as a sort of training ground for Lucid Dreaming where we can potentially start to learn interfaces and skills within VR that might be transferable into lucid dreams where we’ll be able to interrogate and become more of a consciously-active participant within our dreams. He also sees that cultivating these lucid dreaming skills means that our waking life is becoming more dreamlike.
Along the way we talked a bit about @aholecek’s paper on virtual lucidity, and @alexk’s paper Designing for Self-Transcendent Experiences in Virtual Reality
It was a really fun conversation for me. If you decide to give it a listen I hope you enjoy it as well
Really great episode! I am listening to it a second time right now… and I have actually just thought of another state test that is specifically VR related: If the VR program I am in starts glitching, or even crashes entirely, instead of getting pissed off at it (like I did this morning) I should ask myself if I’m dreaming. I mean, the more time I spend in VR, the more I’ll encounter VR specific program freezes and glitches, and also, the more likely it is that VR content will start showing up in my dreams. (This hasn’t happened in any dreams that I’ve recalled yet, but it’s bound to.) For example, this morning I was sculpting in Medium, and (right after saving my file thank god) the program froze. My disembodied hands were stuck in place, things in the environment started to look wavy, almost like a heat signature, and the FOV became limited to the place I was looking before the freeze: If I turned my head, I just saw it out of the corner or my eye or complete blackness, and of course the hourglass. All these things could be cues for me to ask myself if I’m dreaming.
Hi grrlrighter! Glad you are enjoying my interview. And great to see you in Night Club! (aside: grrlrighter and I have a preexisting friendship).
I love your suggestion of using glitchiness in VR scenarios as a dreamsign. Please let us know if that starts showing up in your dreams! Since I started using VR a lot, I’ve noticed that my dreams often have a VR theme to them, i.e. I’ll be thinking of the dream space as being in VR (but usually – so far at least – without becoming lucid). However, notably, I’m in a VR simulation without VR gear. I won’t be wearing a headset, my field of view is not restricted as it is in waking life VR etc. Because of this I would say that “being in VR without gear” is a dreamsign for me. (One that has rarely, if ever, resulted in lucidity, so far.)
I’m also reminded of a semi-lucid flying dream that I had a few days after trying the Birdly VR experience, in which you are flying like a bird. (I very highly recommend Birdly to everyone if you get a chance to try it! It’s like a dream of flying.)
I’ll be very interested to hear if your dreams start reflecting VR experiences over time. Also if you have further thoughts or follow up questions about the interview I’d be happy to talk about that.
UPDATE: The link I gave of the fascinating* conversation I had with Kent Bye about lucid dreaming and virtual reality is working now. Immediately after I started this thread, a problem developed with his website and the link wasn’t working for 2 days. It’s now available for anyone who may be interested in listening to it. Or, here it is again: Lucid Dreaming & VR: How our waking life is becoming more dreamlike.
p.s. my friend grrlrighter has decided to leave Night Club for now – not because she’s not interested, but because she is very busy and doesn’t have time to devote to it right now. Alas!
- fascinating to me at any rate!
Hi. I recently joined this awesome community . I have been incredibly interested in both Lucid dreaming and VR since the 80’s and 90’s. I have also enjoyed flight simulation since the first Microsoft flight simulator. For 2 years I learned to fly a paraglider, in Real Life, but stopped after having kids. I have been wanting to get back to the sky safely ever since with both VR and Lucid dreaming . I have had several wonderful non-lucid flying dreams and even built a VR paragliding simulator that I’d be happy to share info with anyone interested. I owned the first Oculus Rift CV1 and just got the Valve index. There is so much to share about my observations connecting VR and LD, but want to be sure that anyone is interested in this topic since I see it was an old post.
Let me know if anyone is interested in going further with is topic.
@Flyingkeys Please do share, I am totally interested and am considering buying an Occulus Rift but was a little disappointed due to the limited number of games. I am not so interested in VR shoot‘em up type of games.
Hi Flyingkeys, I continue to be very interested in the overlapping realities of dreams and VR. I haven’t been on the forum much of late but hoping to change that going forward.
Have you ever tried an HTC Vive? If so, can you tell me if the lenses of the Index have the same kind of concentric ring artifact? I don’t like the Vive lenses for that reason.
My main VR device these days is an Oculus Quest. About 99% of the time I’m in VR these days it’s on my Quest, but I still dust off my Vive when sufficiently motivated (e.g. to meet someone in the Museum of Other Realities or play Half-Life: Alyx).
Hey KhyungMar, you might also want to consider an Oculus Quest, which is standalone and can be connected to a PC. The game selection in the Quest is also significantly tilted towards shoot 'em ups, but there’s lots of other interesting stuff on it, like Tripp, Tai chi, Fuji, The Under Presents.
I love my Quest because it is untethered and has a lot less friction than PC VR, i.e. it is much faster and easier to get in and start playing/exploring
I’ve never tried the Vive , but I don’t notice concentric circles . I do see “God Ray” when it’s light color text on black background. I do hate being tethered but I just ordered the Kiwi Pro cable management system, so, at least , the cables will be over head rather than tripping on them all the time.
The resolution on the Valve Index is amazing and running at 144 refresh rate is smooth. I’m upgrading my whole system in the fall to get the newest video card and can’t wait to see what that does for total immersion, I was introduced to Richie’s Plank experience on this board and the coolest part of it is not even what it promotes. It allows you to do free flight with these “Ironman” like jet packs on your hands. Although the graphics aren’t that great and you’re limited to one area, I’ve never felt such a free feeling of flight. The coolest thing is being able to “land” anywhere and then “ run and thrust your arms forward and take off just like Superman. I try and do it most nights before bed and hope it will give me flying lucid dreams.
Much more to cover , but don’t want to overstay my welcome,.
Would love to chat more about it.
Hi Steve, thanks for letting me know about the (lack of) circles. I’m OK with God rays.
Ritchie’s Plank Experience is pretty cool. I agree that flying around in that game is pretty fun. Have you tried the nightmare mode?
I’d love to hear more about your experiences, what you find particularly interesting etc. Have your VR experiences influenced your dreams at all?
I didn’t play the Nightmare mode as I have always been horribly effected in dreams by anything scary I view while waking…,I think ever since I saw “The Exorcist” and “The Omen” as a teen. I’m sure that in Richie’ Plank it’s probably benign , but I don’t watch horror films or play horror VR games. :).
One of the coolest effects of VR was actually in real life. I was playing the VR game “Lone Echo” for many hours. If you don’t know it , you take on the role of an intelligent robot on a space station where you are totally weightless and move around using bursts of air -like blasts from your wrists. The sense of weightless motion is incredible with none of the usual motion sickness . Well, after playing , I would often feel like I was flying around my house as I was actually moving around.
I just bought a cool Oculus experience called “Guided Meditation VR” which is awesome. They have a motion mode where you are basically floating above the landscape while your choice of music and guided mediation is played . It really gives me a beautiful sense of floating around . I occasionally use edible THC at night for the powerful effect it has on imagery and meditation. (it’s not great for recalling dreams, as I’ve been told it can mess with REM sleep). One time I took an edible and 2 hours later did that VR over a beautiful mountain river scene and I could swear that I was really flying.
As far as effect on dreams, so far it’s more of a feeling of motion during , what I think I’m learning here is considered Liminal sleep.
So far not really much success with getting lucid after 5 months of very dedicated practice Except for 2 dreams with reality checks working and then the dream ending.
There were several “I must be dreaming” moments for a while, but nothing lately and I continue to dedicate myself to this. I hoping my joining this community will be the answer.
Thanks for replying and chat later.
I usually am not affected by scary things in movies, but the Nightmare mode in Richie’s Plank gave me a pause, the first time. Second time it was was still effective.
Wow. I think I’ll pass.
Very odd thing…after I wrote the above post last night, I ended up having 3 horrible nightmares and woke from each one in fear. Between each one I repeated affirmations that dreams couldn’t hurt me, that I would go lucid and protect myself, but then had another nightmare ,
After the second one, I did go thru the experience I’ve had where I recite the dream so as to remember it and then dream that I am journaling it and was even writing the dream down in the dirt with a stick . I did remember dream #2 after waking from dream #3. When I was up for good I couldn’t remember dream #1 but had written it down at 5:30 when I first woke up,
I had taken 30mg of 5-HTP and 150mg of Choline. But they never had this effect on me.
Shadow work is not easy. You must be hitting some deep notes in your practice.