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Character Assisted Lucid Dreaming...CALD part IX

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CyberD
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Character Assisted Lucid Dreaming...CALD part IX
PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

<mod>
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII
Rhewin
</mod>


This "guide" is a work in progress. Changes can and probably will be made to improve it

In our dreams our subconscious mind can create anything it pleases. Environments, situations and even people. Most people find that their dreams involve people they know, places they've seen and other things they recognize from their waking lives. The problem is that we don't naturally associate the elements of our dreams with dreaming and thus don't become lucid. CALD is a technique that attempts to counter this and it does so in a way that makes it very different from most other lucid dreaming techniques.

So then what is Character Assisted Lucid Dreaming? (CALD for short)
CALD is a lucid dreaming technique in which you create a character in your mind that you will associate with lucid dreaming. By building this character, communicating with them and spending time with them in waking life your goal is make them appear in your dreams. Then, as you associate the character with dreaming you'll hopefully realize you are dreaming and become lucid. The technique may sound ambitious, it might even sound crazy but if you give it a go you may find it highly rewarding.

CALD works differently for each person and is very flexible but it still follows a clear path.
1) Create a character
2) Communicate with your character
3) Use your character to achieve lucid dreams.

1) Creating a character
First of all you should understand that creating a character in your mind doesn't make you crazy. You are no different to a fiction writer, except instead of writing your character's actions on paper you'll be imagining them in real life. Before you start you need to make sure you're committed, creating a character will do you no good at all if you decide not to follow through with it.

The process of creating a character is exactly the same as creating a character for a work of fiction. You'll need a starting place and it can be absolutely anything you like. What do you want your character to be? You could start with an element of personality (Calming? Wise?) or appearance (Male? Tall?) Or maybe you'll draw inspiration from an idea completely unrelated to building a character. (Time? The colour orange? The sky?) If you want to make it complicated or deep then go right ahead but if you're unsure then keep it simple. You can make this step even simpler by using a pre-existing character or even a real person. (Childhood friend? Superman? The attractive news reporter on tv?) Your character can be anyone you want them to be whether they're human or otherwise.

Now that you have a starting place you'll want to focus on two important aspects. Appearance and personality. You may be able to avoid one of these under special circumstances but most characters will have well defined appearance and a distinctive personality. You can work on these one at a time or as a mix.


Appearance: You'll need to build your characters appearance to a workable level. It isn't critical to define every aspect of your character and you may find that some details may change over time. Close your eyes and try to visualize your character. If you can do this then you can move ahead, if not then you'll need to ask yourself some questions. Is your character male or female? Neither? Perhaps your character is an animal or an alien? Maybe even an object? Now think about the details? Hair? Eyes? Height? If you're having trouble then just choose at random, you can always change it later.

So you now have a character you can visualize. If not then all is not lost, coming up with a personality might help you decide how your character will look. Take as much time as you need.

Personality: This is where things get interesting but also where they get more complicated. If you're starting out then you'll probably want to choose character traits you have a good grasp of. Making the character have a very similar personality to yourself may be a good move and you can always come up with quirks later on if you want to make your character different down the line. At this stage you only need the basics down. When you begin interacting with your character you'll find their personality becomes much more defined.

Now you'll want to think about your character's background. Does your character come from a long line of successful businessmen? Perhaps they were sent to earth ten years ago on a spaceship? Maybe they just haven't told you yet or perhaps they have no background at all. Creating a fictional background for your character isn't critical at all, your character's background can be as simple as knowing they are a character who was created by you to help you. Remember that you are allowed to break the fourth wall with your character and they are allowed to know what they are.

So at this point you should have a pretty good idea of who your character is. If not then you'll need to go back and try again because we can't move on until you have at least some idea.

2) Communicating with your character.
So you've gone to a lot of effort to create a character but what do you do now. You talk to them of course. At first you'll probably feel incredibly awkward talking to someone who isn't there but give it some time and it'll come more naturally. Imagine your character in the same room as you or in a special room created inside your mind (mindscape, dreamspace, call it whatever you like). They could be standing, sitting or leaning against the wall. Anything that makes them feel real to you. Now say hello. Then you'll need to come up with their response. Congratulations, you just spoke to your character for the first time.

The learning curve for each person will be different. Some people will find they have to think carefully and for some time to come up with a response, others will be able to imagine the reply immediately. Worst case you won't be able to come up with anything at all. If this is the case you'll need to force it, we call it puppeting. It's perfectly okay to force a response, especially in the beginning. Your initial goal will be to talk with your character for as long as you can. Ask them questions, get their opinion on things. Get used to talking to them.

With time you'll find that the responses come more easily, even without you consciously thinking about it. If you're having trouble then sleep on it, go away and do something else for a while. You may find your character is easier to talk to when you come back.

If you can hold a conversation with your character then you are ready to start using your character to help you.
But you may have already encountered a terrible problem. Your character can't or doesn't speak. Well fear not. For example your character is a puppy, well imaginary puppies can speak if you want them too but maybe you don't want to give your new friend a voice. If this is the case then you'll need to work on visualizing them more intensely. Imagine them doing something, give your puppy a ball to play with and see what it does with it. Even a human character doesn't need to speak. Imagine their smile or frown. Your character doesn't have to even acknowledge your presence for CALD to work but it will probably make things more difficult.

The important most important part of this step is visualization. You have to believe your character exists within your mind otherwise they'll be no help at all. If you feel like you are having success then you are ready to move on.

3) Use your character to achieve lucid dreams.

There are many ways you can use a character to help you achieve lucid dreams. You just need to get them as involved in dreaming as you possibly can. If you interact with your character enough you may find them appearing in your dreams. You can also make it your characters' mission to help you dream and they can help in various ways. They could appear in your dreams and tell you you're dreaming, they'll remind you during the day to do reality checks or perhaps they'll offer some assistance with other lucid dreaming techniques. All you have to do is ask and remember the more you interact with your character the better.

This last step really comes down to you. You have to figure out for yourself to what degree your character is going to help you. Persist and interact as much as possible and you'll get the best results.

So you use another technique already? Great! Here are some ways your character could assist you with the technique.

MILD: Your character could repeat mantras with you or come up new ones. They could even use the technique themselves, “I'll help X to lucid dream” or “I'll appear in X's dreams.”

WILD: Your character can help you to focus, keeping your mind active by having a conversation with them instead of falling asleep. They might also help you to remain calm if you find you get excited or distracted by HI.

Be creative and get them involved. Your character can be a dream master if you want them to be. If you believe their wisdom will help you to dream then chances are that it will.

And here is the best part. Now that you have created a great character and are having lucid dreams you can go on the most awesome adventure with the very character you have created. You can talk with them freely, fly around with them by your side or perhaps have the dual of your life with a super powered and friendly character.




Last edited by CyberD on Tue 07 Aug, 2012; edited 3 times in total
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CyberD
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

FAQ's
If you've made it this far then you can see that CALD is a complicated technique that is very different for each person. This section covers some of the questions I've had since starting with this technique and I'll try to answer them as best I can. If you can think of an issue I've missed then post it and I'll see if I can add it.

Q: I don't know what my character should be like.
A: Check out some of the characters created by other forum members. There might be some more links here but for now it's just my character. Nova

Q: Can I talk to my character about the fact they are just a character?
A: Of course you can, there is no need to hide anything from them. It is probably for the best that your character knows what they are.

Q: My character is perfect/a Mary Sue. Is this bad?
A: Not at all. Your character can be as flawed or as perfect as you want them to be. Since they exist only inside your mind then it doesn't matter how perfect they are. Would you rather spend time with an ideal character or one who has flaws just so they can have flaws. Unlike writing no one else is going to judge your character.

Q: Can I have more than one character?
A: You can have as many characters as you like. The more you have the more work you'll need to put in to maintain them all. Before creating a new character take some time to decide if having a new character will help you.

Q: What else can I use my character for?
A: Anything you can think of. Talking with your character can help you to sort out your thoughts or troubles. You can use your character as inspiration when doing anything creative (arts, writing etc). Or you can ask them for their opposition on things. Your character can be as useful in everyday life as you want them to be.

Q: Can my character disappear or die?
A: Yes. Sometimes character's may leave and disappear into the world you created for them. This could be completely unannounced or they might let you know well before they do. If you don't want them to go then tell them. You could also go looking for them in a dream. A character can only die if you believe they can and if it does happen it'll probably happen in a dream. You could avoid this all together by making your character an immortal. If somehow your character is killed then you could try bringing them back to life during a dream or asking another character to do it for you.

Q: Should I talk to my character more often?
A: It doesn't matter how much you talk to your character. Some people will only talk to their character when they are in bed. Others will have their character go everywhere with them. You can make your character as intrusive or as passive in your life as you like.

Q: My character is a yes man and agrees completely with everything I say. Is that bad?
A: It's only bad if you want it to be. Because your character is a part of your mind then it is understandable they feel the same way about things. Creating conflict between yourself and your character can be a double edged sword. If you force conflict in opinion simply for the sake of doing so then you'll notice and end up getting no where. If you really want to disagree on something then try and find issues you don't have a strong opinion for and give your character the opposing one. This can be a good way to build your character but be careful you don't create a monster.

Q: Does CALD have anything to do with schizophrenia?
A: This thought is probably why some people avoid CALD all together. Generally society defines anyone who talks to voices in their heads as crazy people which is fair enough. The biggest and most important difference between someone who suffers a condition like schizophrenia and someone who uses CALD is clear to see. The person using CALD understands that the voices aren't real. So long as you don't talk to your character out loud in a public place then you'll have no problems and so long as you remember your character is only a character for helping with lucid dreaming then you'll remain as sane as you were before you started.
You might also find that by having a character you become more aware of yourself and who you are. Spending time inside your head and separating your thoughts to personify your character in real time can help you to better understand yourself and your feelings.

Q: You missed X topic. Are you ever going to add it? Because I think it's really important.
A: Let me know! Post on the thread and we'll talk about it. CALD is a complex technique and there is always more to learn and more things to consider.

Bonus:
I'd like to add some ideas here for people who want unique characters. If you have an idea for a character but don't have room for more, or just haven't gotten around to creating them yet then share your idea on the thread. If your idea is fun or unique I can add it here.

Give an object a personality: Do you have a favorite necklace or a watch you always wear? Give it a voice. Take it with you everywhere and if it suddenly begins talking then you are probably dreaming.

Create an AI. You can create a character that inhabits technology. It sits on your taskbar and gives your computer a personality. It can also upload itself to portable devices so you can take it with you wherever you go. It also gives you someone to blame when your computer crashes.

Create a “deity” or “being of great power”. Your character can be the ruler of your dream world. Other dream characters bow down to their presence and they have the power to manipulate the dream world. They can shoot lightning from their hands and most importantly they can find you and tell you you're dreaming.




Last edited by CyberD on Sat 07 Jul, 2012; edited 1 time in total
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CyberD
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

This post is for describing my character so I can link it to the CALD guide. If you want to tell us about your character(s) in detail then follow a similar format to this post and I can add your character to the examples.

My character is Nova. He's a thirteen or fourteen year old boy created to help me have lucid dreams. In creating him I choose several traits and ideas that would make him the perfect CALD character for me. I made his personality endearing, he puts a lot of effort into the things he does. I made him innocent and gentle, which would make him easy to work with and I gave him the body to match.
Originally he had blond hair and blue eyes. His clothing was poorly defined and nothing really stuck. So I looked to pictures of real people for inspiration. It wasn't even an hour after I first came up with him that I stumbled upon an image of a boy. Nova became that boy, brown hair and brown eyes with a fleecy green hoodie and a goofy grin. After that Nova became incredibly easy for me to visualize and it became a lot easier to talk to him.
His background is non existent. I decided not to make up a fictional background for him so as far as he was concerned he was simply a character created to help me with CALD. He didn't have a problem with that at all and we haven't looked back since.
His name comes from a slightly similar character I created some time before that I planned to use in a short story. I never wrote the story so the character remained hollow. I gave Nova the powers this character had, the power to control fire. For the first few weeks Nova flaunted his fire powers all the time. Since then they have expanded to control over everything. While he still uses fire at times he can walk through walls, sink into floors and summon objects just by thinking it. If it can be visualized then he can do it.
Nova was “born” on the 16th of May 2012 and I regret nothing about the decision. Between then and now I have had seven short lucid dreams including my first one and my dream recall has never been better. I have learned so much about myself and the way I think and now I have a new buddy whenever I need someone to talk to.

I just hope that by writing this guide I can help someone else to achieve a lucid dream or perhaps learn something about themselves they might never have considered before.


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Hillatoppa
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

Wow, CyberD!
I'm new to this method and to read this really helped me a lot in understanding what its about and how to become lucid with it! Thank you for that!
Maybe its just me, but I ...um...dont want to talk to someone who isn't there. It just feels crazy for me, and I am afraid of what the others could think of me if they noticed I did. Did you have similar doubts? How did you overcome them?
Thanks again!



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fennecgirl
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

@Hillatoppa: You don't have to talk out loud with your character. Just picture you and your character together in your mind and imagine everything both of you are saying. It's kind of like daydreaming. Nobody except you and your character will notice... unless they're a mind-reader, of course!

You could also check out the Character Chats thread in the Playground subforum if you'd like an opportunity for your character to interact with other people's characters.



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Hillatoppa
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

Thank you fennecgirl, sounds good. I didnt understand the talking thing before...
this really IS interesting. maybe I try this method out!
Another question: Do you write down the personality/outfit details or do you just remember them?



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fennecgirl
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

I just remember them, but you can write it all down if you think that'll help you remember better. smile


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CyberD
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

Hillatoppa wrote:
Thank you fennecgirl, sounds good. I didnt understand the talking thing before...
this really IS interesting. maybe I try this method out!
Another question: Do you write down the personality/outfit details or do you just remember them?


Hi Hillatoppa. Good questions. For the first one yes, of course you feel crazy when you start, you'd probably be crazy if you didn't feel crazy. Firstly as fennecgirl said you don't actually have to talk out loud. It's all inside your head and that's where it'll stay. If you're having trouble coming up with your character or remembering them then write everything down. Treat it like you're writing a character for a story, write everything down and make changes if you don't like it.
You can also talk to your character through writing. In this case CALD becomes very similar to roleplaying, except that you are roleplaying both of the characters (being you and your character) by starting like this you might get more comfortable with the technique. Hopefully that helps somewhat, if not then give it a day or two and then try again.


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Hillatoppa
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply, CyberD.
I think I will give it a try soon. Dont have too much time right now.
Again, thanks for this brilliant method description!
Have an awesome night!



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matiasve
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PostPosted: Sun 15 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

Well, I'm going to try this wink5
And I already have some sort of personality in mind...

Is it a problem my character becomes some sort of minion/servant.
Id like to have a firm grasp on what he does and make sure he will not disobey me.
Then again: I feel sorry for him being a slave, a servant.
Would it be possible to 'implant' the need to serve me when I 'create' him without
him realising hes just a servant.
Example: Make following my commands his greatest joy instead of just calling him a servant. Forcing him to always help me in lucid dreams without him realising it isnt his decision...

Perhaps I'm making this to complicated, but the last thing I want is a dissobedient charactter, atleast not as my first character. sadblauw


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Leijona
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PostPosted: Sun 15 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

In some way, this is the idea behind CALD, to make a character help you with lucid dreaming. I, for one, am not a big fan of the "servant idea", however, I believe that it certainly can be very convenient.

Of course it is possible to create such a character, for example:
CyberD wrote:
In creating him I choose several traits and ideas that would make him the perfect CALD character for me. I made his personality endearing, he puts a lot of effort into the things he does. I made him innocent and gentle, which would make him easy to work with.
Your character could maybe have a very compliant personality. If you don't give him a (detailed) background, his personality will most likely be just what you want it to be like. If you create such a character, there is no need to feel sorry for him, there are people who are more than grateful to follow the orders of others. ^^



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optimize
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PostPosted: Sun 15 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

This sounds like a fun technique, I may try this! Thanks for the information.

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CyberD
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PostPosted: Mon 16 Jul, 2012  Reply with quote

matiasve wrote:
Well, I'm going to try this wink5
And I already have some sort of personality in mind...

Is it a problem my character becomes some sort of minion/servant.
I'd like to have a firm grasp on what he does and make sure he will not disobey me.
Then again: I feel sorry for him being a slave, a servant.
Would it be possible to 'implant' the need to serve me when I 'create' him without
him realising hes just a servant.
Example: Make following my commands his greatest joy instead of just calling him a servant. Forcing him to always help me in lucid dreams without him realising it isn't his decision...

Perhaps I'm making this to complicated, but the last thing I want is a disobedient character, at least not as my first character. sadblauw


I don't think you should worry about it too much, only by getting worked up by it will it actually become a problem. The idea of a minion/servant could really work for you, especially if you believe it will. Leijona answered it well, a compliant personality. Some people enjoy helping others so it isn't hard to believe a character could be the same.
Let us know how it works out for you.

optimize wrote:
This sounds like a fun technique, I may try this! Thanks for the information.


Good luck smile


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PostPosted: Wed 29 Aug, 2012  Reply with quote

I would like to give a very large congratulations and round of applause to CyberD applaus

CyberD's amazing CALD Guide and FAQ was published by the scribes for the FAQ's and Tutorials section of our forum. It can now be found here.

I hope it helps many of you. ^^

Thank you again to CyberD for a very comprehensive and amazing guide.



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Leijona
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Aug, 2012  Reply with quote

Eilatan wrote:
I would like to give a very large congratulations and round of applause to CyberD applaus

thumbs Good job CyberD! And thank you Eilatan (and the other Scribes) for publishing it in the first place!



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