Experiments with sleep
When the state of lucid dream with stable enough consciousness and bright picture is successfully achieved, it becomes possible to conduct some experiments. Here are some of the interesting reports, made by Gennady Troschenko:
Study of environment, personages and their behavior:
Asking all encountered personages some simple test questions, like “what is your name?”, “how are you doing?”, or more complicated like “do you realize that you are a personage of my dream?”, or “do you know that we are presently in a very peculiar world of dreams, where we can, for example, fly in the air without any mechanical means?”. Most personages could easily tell their names (sometimes uncommon like Horace or Daphnia), but had difficulties with their family names. Complicated questions were usually just ignored, but some personages reacted rather surprisingly – one girl, after being told that she is a dream personage, answered: “OK, then. If we are in the dream, I shall go asleep” – and lied down to sleep right in the middle of a street.
Trying to teach personages to do something. Most personages were extremely simple – actually, capable of doing just one thing – say, walking down a street with a peculiar expression on the face. Were they able to learn something new, and therefore, to develop? Things like flying and dancing were found to be easily learned by them, and they soon appeared flying in the air or dancing in great numbers. Things like reading or counting they could not learn at all.
Trying to find out the degree of relation between dream personages and Ego, by asking questions like “do you know me?” or “how much do you know about that guy(another personage)?” Answers were more or less the same as with real people, some knew each other, some did not. Sometimes an unusual reaction: “I am acquainted with this guy, I have seen him in my dream before”.
Generally, dream personages made an impression of separate and independent enough individuals, similar to real people, though simplified, and having very short “life time”. Intriguing fact is that all of these “psyche organisms” are physically hosted by a single brain.
Study of hypnagogic phenomena:
- Electronic sleeping tone with biofeedback: the system was adjusted to emit different sounds dependently on the degree of relaxation – when oculogyration activity was high above a certain threshold, the system kept silence.
When the activity became lower, it started to emit small beeps synchronically with oculogyration signal peaks. With further lowering of activity the beeps became lower in pitch, and finally turned into very low quacks in heart rhythm.
This was found to function as a kind of “sleeping tone” helping one to go asleep; it even had the usual drawback of sleeping medicine – it could cause addiction. After some time of using the system it became harder to go asleep without it.