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Altered States

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There are some simple trance experiences below, such as dreamers who practice dream re-entry and visualization techniques, hypnosis or autohypnosis, and a few experiments with automatic writing, but many of these are something more complex--dreams incorporating altered states. If lucid dreaming is a sort of hybrid of the waking and REM states, what is this? I'd love to see an EEG of a dreamer who's dreaming they're hypnotized or having a psychedelic experience! An altered state within a different altered state, or the illusion of a doubly altered state? If that's different!

The causes of the altered state, in the dreams, vary wildly of course--weird alter egos called forth by hypnotists (or wizards), illusions induced by sneaky alien telepaths, the confused states you get from cheap mass-market dreamhelmets, smartbeds, and REM suits... or, most seriously, cultural trances that crack to reveal you're not who you think.

And that may be the point of such dreams. Some repressed people can only act out under hypnosis. What is it you literally dare not dream of doing, that you can only think or do in a trance inside a dream, when you're doubly not yourself? At least nominally.

Though, at such moments, free to follow impulse without fear, freed by a spell from your own identity, like a Renaissance reveler at a masked ball... you may be more yourself than you'll ever be awake.

RELATED TOPICS: therapy - autosuggestion and incubated dreams - shamanism - out-of-body experiences - astral plane - memory - dreamwork and dream research - hypnogogic state - spells and curses - dance - music - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

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ALP VARK: by Wayan; 1983/11/24-25, an epic comic psychic dream.
I'm kissed by the Holy Aardvark, but my bond with my dad is strained by ESP he can't accept...
ANGERHELM: by Wayan; 1994/11/11, a reassuring nightmare.
In one long night I hike out of Frustration Hell, to Inner-Freedom Heaven...
ARAGORN'S LIVER: by Wayan; 1983/1/29, a nightmare.
I'm a hobbit in Silicon Valley, stalking Ring-wraiths down El Camino. But one of them's stalking me...
THE BAR PET: by Wayan; 1994/12/4, a disorienting dreamlet.
I meet a sex-kitten in the Underground Cartoonists' Bar, but her body language makes no sense to me...
THE BARRINGTON BUNNY: by Wayan; 1988/8/30, a world-saving alien-abduction dream
Alien robots kidnap me... and make me the mascot for a college football team.
But my Channel Changer slowly infuses us all with nerdy trust...
BOND: by Wayan; 1981/10/31, a nightmare where I'm the nightmare.
I'm James Bond. Captured and questioned, I lie to the enemy: the senators of the
Committee on Intelligence Activities. Till I see myself through their eyes...
BRANDY'S CURSE: by Wayan; 1996/10/23, a bizarre dream (even for me).
After I saw the film "Surviving Picasso", I dream a friend asks me to remove a strange curse...
THE BRIDGE: by Wayan; a 3-page comic from two linked dreams, 1989/5/28 & 1989/10/1.
The Hunt of the Unicorn (yeah, guess who I am), as I fly through the worlds fighting Reaganism...
BRUSHWOOD BELLY: by An the Black; Easter 1003, a bizarre predictive dream.
An dreams a scary woman pulls his guts out and fills him up with brush! He wakes, gets gutted in a feud, and then...
THE CYBEDS: by Wayan; 1995/3/29, a dream on lucid dreaming?
The new smart beds stimulate your dreams--but how to program them? We can't even manage VCRs...
D, D, D: by Wayan; 1988/2/1, trance-poem during automatic writing (done to rewire my brain)
I always wrote some letters strangely--my 'd' was nearly illegible. So I set out to retrain my deep motor skills...
DIVINE IMAGE, or, A VISION OF ADONAI: by Anna Kingsford, 1877/7/23, a waking vision
Gazing at the moon, Anna finds herself touring the Solar System, meeting all the planetary guardians...
THE DOUBLE: by Julie Doucet; Nov. 1992, a lucid alter-ego sex dream.
Looking in a mirror, Julie goes lucid. She changes herself into a man
and pulls her mirror-image through the glass...
DOUBLE DREAM: by "Anonymous #23 & 24"; pre-1963, two linked false-predictive dreams
Mother & daughter both dream Mum runs over a little girl. Next morning she
spots the girl in the road--warned, she swerves. But bystanders see no child...
THE DOUBT: by Wayan; 2007/2/15, an undream trance-painting
Painting an abstract watercolor, I drifted into trance, and found myself climbing a
thorny slope. Deer in the brush. Great peaks around. Had I gone wrong?
DREAM MILKING: by Wayan, 2000/6/30, a dream warning of overwork... but awake or asleep?
After a hard day getting a "free" bed, I dream my milker comes to drain my dreams.
Wait...did I agree to this? Or does milking drain objections, too?
DREAMS EXPLAIN DREAMS: by Wayan; 1994/5/31, a dream in a dream in a dream.
I'm the composer Schumann, till a nightmare jumps me and I wake. And wake. And wake...
DREAMKU, JUNE 2006: by Roswila; various dates up to June 2006; thirty dream-haiku
Daily dream-poems in haiku style, nonstop for a month. A flood of animals, revenant ghosts, sex changes...
DREAMSTONES: by Patricia Garfield; 1978/8/4, a dream of summoning a goddess
In the cave, I chanted "Come Kama, Come Love..." and a procession of strange creatures came down the stone steps;
squirrels, peacocks, a blue birdlike being with golden headdress, and then the Goddess of Love. Her form shocked me...
THE DREAMSUIT: by Wayan; 1992/7/12, a dream on unconscious programming.
An experimental helmet knocks me out. I'm groggy, miserable, till I learn what it did to others...
EXIT THROUGH THE DUNGEON: by Wayan, 1982/5/23, trance-drawing experiment with surprise advice
I turned off my conscious judgment and just drew. Two paths appeared--one led to
psychodrama, then parental prison; the other, into the underworld of dreamwork...
EXPLORATION OF TAROT IMAGES IN A DREAM: by Roswila, 1998; an analytical numerate dream
Tarot cards fuse and meanings layer, to warn me I've similarly (con)fused>
real and trance-induced memories during therapy...
FALCON AND FÜHRER: by Miriel; 1985/7/31, an epic flying/transformation dream
A mysterious "Führer" hypnotized all my companions. So I become a human-sized falcon and hunt him...
FLOWER CONVERSATIONS: by Larry Vigon; 2004/1/12; a surreal psychedelic dream
Worms rappeled down from my ceiling. My friend says "I've had great talks with those creatures."
They became flying flowers exuding a gas that, if you napped, let you have wonderful conversations...
FLY-PARADISE: by Wayan; 1978/12/15, an automatic-writing poem that worked like an advisory dream
I'm a fly lured to a bright but sealed window. The only way out is to ignore the light
and brave the dark--and only when a door opens. Patience AND boldness...
FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH: by Roswila, August 2002; a dream-poem illustrating dream reentry
My horse and I dove into a lagoon and sought buried treasure on the sea-floor. What are we really after?
GIANT'S HANDS: by Wayan; dreamed 1981/12/23, a split-consciousness nightmare
I was a giant carefully & guiltlessly flattening San Francisco--just following orders
to recycle it! Killing how many? While my mind inside the giant's mind was appalled...
GIRL IN THE WATER: by Wayan, 2000/10/7, twin dreams on... dreamwork?
In a California with no Gold Rush, wild deer carry a girl over the San Fernando hills to a secret dream-pool...
Then in a Japantown hotel lobby, that girl floats meditating in a huge aquarium, as local gossips lie about her...
GRAVESTONE: by "Miss S."; late 1930s-1946, a recurring clairvoyant/predictive nightmare
I'm walking up a churchyard path. My hair clings to me, damp. Horses wander. I'm drawn to one graveside...
GUARDIAN ANGELS FEUD: by Wayan; 1995/10/9, an epic, heretical dream.
You know angels feud over regional underfunding of Divine Grace. But you don't know how low they'll go...
THE HACKER: by Wayan; 1993/11/23, a psychic nightmare.
Who's the demon? Mom, the Dragon, the Smiler, the Rubber Ax Murderer, the Doll Princess or the Tiger?...
HOUSE OF BLUE LIGHT: by Wayan; 1994/4/3, a dark dream.
As my grandmother is dying, I have a dream about what really went on in her house...
I DREAM OF DERIVERRANS: by Wayan; 1982/11/16, a Joycean dream of surrender.
I must rescue Ann Soforth from righteous rapists, then Paul McCartney from a musical curse...
ILLUSIONISTS DON'T RULE: by Wayan; 1996/8/26, a dream on the strength of logic.
I read Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind; I dream
I'm a pilot who deduces an alien illusionist's in my plane...
JENNIFER MONTGOMERY: by Wayan; 1995/4/24, a film review
Montgomery's film about her teenage affair with a pedophile
is troubling enough before the FBI tries to blackmail her...
LAMPREYS: by Wayan; 1974/6/27, a dream of assimilation
Pretty much everyone in my school is a bloodsucking alien, but, come to think of it, so what?
LONG ROAD TO HEAVEN: by Edwin Muir; 1920, an epic hypnogogic shamanic initiation
Creatures in the primal sea touch my third eye, dragons cry their eyes out, I fight the Sphinx, and arrive at last in...
THE MAGIC OF WRITING: by Diana Wynne Jones; 1974, mid-'77, '82, late '83, early '84, & '87; prediction, or causation?
What I write in my books and think I have made up has a creepy way of coming true. I noticed it first...
MERMAID, MARE, AND SEA-STAR: by Wayan; 1983/3/23; daydream of sea-love
I was a mermaid summoning a great storm to carry my love to me--and my love was a red sea-mare...
MOM THE MURDERER: by Wayan; 1996/3/7, a possible psychic dream.
My mom confesses to a killing, says tearfully she had to do it--but her reasons make no sense. When I wake..
MOON-STRIPED TIGER PROWLING: by Sylvia Rosen, 1975/6/29; dream poem
The foul old fossil woman had carved and burnt her own flesh in the name of art;
we washed her till she was reborn young. It was my turn next to enter the water...
NO ďI": by Wayan; 2003/10/22, a dream of identity loss.
Iím in San Francisco trying to throw Sauronís Ring into the Cracks of San Andreas.
But a sexy sorcerer steals my sense of I! How can you act without a self?
OTTO SUGGESTION TO A HORSE IN DRAG: by Wayan; 1995/8/8, a dream on body image.
My uncle mocks the racehorse he rides! Smears lipstick on this stallion, calls him a wimp... Why?
OVERLAY: by Wayan; 1984/2/11, 1995/8/26, and 2004/9/11, 3 dreams shape a 9-page comic on living with ESP
Dreams of translucent fairies, centaurs, robots & gnomes prompt me to cartoon
on transparent overlays to show how dreamworlds overlay ours...
PARANOID HABITS: by Wayan; 1994/10/4, a hypnotic diagnosis.
A hypnotist elicits a personality inside me who says he obliges my paranoia by giving me weird luck...
PIXY CONCUSSION: by Wayan; 2006/3/11, a diagnostic sex-dream comic, 9 p. (or illus. text)
Janet's obsessed with a creepy guy till her pixy friend Kay decides to "knock some sense into her cunt"--literally...
POISONED!: by Wayan; 1994/6/20, three linked dreams.
Poison takes many forms, from attitudes to environmental by-products to actions done deliberately...
PRIMAVERA: by Walter de la Mare; 1920s, a dream persisting into day
I dreamt the Goddess of Spring paraded by my house. I woke and leapt to my bedroom window, and there she was...
PSYCHIC CAT: by Scott Bartell, art by Jesse Reklaw; pre-2000; a comic dreamlet
Our neighbors keep dropping by with gifts and favors for our cat.
Why? He'd gained magical powers by amassing 10,000 dead mice...
THE SEA-HAG RIOT: by Wayan; 1989/6/5, a wild dream hiding a warning.
Aliens, hypnotherapy, dancing molars, riots, witches, flying pianos, lettuce... yet there is a point.
SOCK PUPPETS OF THE GODS: by Dee and Wayan; 1994/4/14. Parallel shamanic dreams!
I dream I'm suicidal; but I'm saved when I'm shown the flow of human development--the same pattern,
from souls to civilizations! Eddies and knots recur, but the challenges slowly get more spiritual.
NEXT DAY: I learn what my shaman-friend Dee just dreamed. And now I'm unsure whose dream this is...
SONG by Nancy Price; Nov. or Dec. 1948, a transcendent music dream
Numb, sunk in a trance, I only woke when I broke through a wall to light and magical birdsong...
A STAGE FRIGHT: by Wayan; 1993/11/17, a revealing automatic writing-trance
I froze in dance class when I followed anyone else's script. Was it fear? A dragon inside said no...
STEPHANIE GODOT: by Wayan; 1994/12/14, a waking comedy of two dreamworkers.
My unconscious sabotages a lunch date with my friend Stephanie. The tricks get weirder, till...
STRANGE SERVICE: by Gordon B., early 2006, a transcendental dream
The old man sang in the empty church, then looked at me and snapped his fingers. I was filled with voices...
SULFUR GROTTO: by Wayan; dreamed 1988/8/30, a psychic genderbent rescue-dream
I'm a teenage girl diving for treasure. In an eerie coral grotto reeking of sulfur,
I spot a diver in trouble... and wake to find the grotto is real..
TIME WARP: by "Erwre Qerwgeqwr"; 2010/2/5, a nightmare recurring 4 times in one night
A timewarp started to swallow my house. It looked normal outside, but everyone inside was in a trance...
TITANIA: by Wayan; 1981/12/7, 83/1/7 & 2/13 and 84/10/2, a dream-epic in installments
Clarence the sappy angel from It's A Wonderful Life and Milton's Lucifer land on Earth, offering treaties.
Who to sign with? Clarence thinks we're fine as is, but the Devil's a tinkerer, learning from failures. Failures
like me and my girlfriend Titania, the first android with a full palette of feelings. Like the feeling she's fake...
THE TORTURER: by Wayan; 1997/7/13, a predictive nightmare
A free-lance torturer chooses me for his victim. He has the right. I bluster, but when I fall asleep at last...
TRIGO: by Edith L. Willis; 1929/6/4, an induced automatic-writing prediction (profitable, too)
In an idle moment I held a pencil and asked the air who'd win the Derby.
'Trigo' meant nothing to me, but was listed at 32 to 1, so...
TWO PLANES: by Wayan, 1994/9/6, a multistaged psychic dream.
An assassination plot using two planes triggers an invasion of our kingdom. Flee? Fight?
I'm a peaceful hobbit who'd rather be playing Frisbee with the dryads...
THE VIDEOGRAPHER'S APPRENTICE: by Wayan; 1994/7/29, a predictive/warning dream.
Blondie Wiggle builds a Video Igloo. But I'm allergic--TV kills me! A BAD omen for our video project...
VOW, CHOP, DOOR: by Wayan; 1997/1/26, a psychic dreamtale.
I make a weird vow--while I absent-mindedly slice up other people's cars! The next day...
WATERCATS: by Wayan; 1987/9/10; an epic, clear predictive dream
I dream I find a few 'extinct' watercats--in a slum! They talk. They say I'm one of them,
brainwashed to think I'm human. I wake, go to a dinner, and hear a tale of... watercats!
WING IT: by Wayan, 1995/12/29-1996/2/14, a 9-page improv comic.
An art experiment--the only rule is DRAW without preconceptions--
no models, no ideas, no plans, not even dreams. Drawing from the void!

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