Lucid Dreaming East vs West, and Tinnitus as a Recursive Dream

Discussion in 'Support' started by linearb, May 26, 2015.

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    1. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I wasn't sure whether to post this in support or alt treatments, but after reflection decided that these thoughts are useful to me, so I am posting them here in case anyone feels similar. I suspect this will seem like jibberjabber to a lot of people, but I know that at least a few folks on here share my rather plastic view of reality and may find it of interest.

      I've been working my way through The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep, which is very interesting to me as someone with a long-standing and very Western grounding in how to lucid dream and how to conceptualize the dream experience.

      This book distills fairly ancient dream practices into simple concepts. What's fascinating to me is that mechanically, the practices are quite similar to how a Western lucid dream book tells you to approach the process, but the philosophy behind it is radically different. In a nutshell, most western lucid-dream texts and forums I've seen are basically hedonistic: I want to lucid dream so I can fly/have sex/race cars. Conversely, the Buddhist take on it is "I want to lucid dream so that I can meditate while I'm asleep and develop a completely consistent 24 hour experience of awareness".

      Anyway, a common Western mechanic for achieving the lucid state is to frequently ask oneself throughout the day "Am I dreaming? How do I know I'm not dreaming?" This is fundamentally a dualist perspective because it makes the assumption that 'I'/ego exists and has substance, which is of course the polar opposite of how Buddhism and Hinduism approach self. This thought doesn't really have any implications with regard to tinnitus at all.

      Conversely, the Tibetan corollary to this practice is to remind oneself throughout the day "This is a dream. I am having a dream of making a forum post, using a dream laptop, connecting to a dream internet". Mechanically, this is very similar. To the extent these practices work to promote lucidity in dreams -- which they very much do -- they are operating on the same basic principle of ingraining a reflex to question the nature of reality, which will then be repeated as a reflex while sleeping, and awake the conscious mind. However, the Tibetan practice is fundamentally monolithic and selfless: it assumes on faith that "I" is an imaginary and transient construct with no substance to it. Viewed from this perspective, I think that tinnitus is a dream within a dream: it's a fundamentally illusory 'sound', being experienced in the context of a fundamentally transient, insubstantial, 'dream' of reality.

      I just thought this was sort of interesting.
       
    2. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      And as an aside, responding to your intrusive perceptions of tinnitus with a gentle "yes, I am having a dream of tinnitus" rather than annoyance might be a reasonable way to placate the suffering a little bit, and also help you lucid dream if you're in to that -- even if your only interest in doing so is figuring out how to have more sex dreams. As a warning, though, my experience is that if you start dicking with this you may start having your tinnitus turn on in dreams even if it doesn't already.
       
    3. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Sex dreams? I'd prefer having real sex, but then again, could that be a dream? Are we in the matrix? Questioning reality is always fun, but on a serious note, it does sound interesting but it does sound like some kind of drugged up reality. Too much trobalt has a very similar effect.
       
    4. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Oh yeah, absolutely. The most intense visual and psychological hallucinations I've ever had have all been in very intense dreams, and when I was younger and brasher I tried pretty much all of the interesting visual/psychological drugs.

      Sex in lucid dreams for me is pretty unsatisfying; once I know it's a dream, it doesn't have that 'realness' to it that makes it compelling.

      As to your first question, I'd say that yes, we're in the matrix ;) But that's just me...
       
    5. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      I'd be cool if we were in the matrix...Who knows aliens could've created us as some kind of experiment. I've always been scared of dreams, as you never know what's gonna happen and nightmares aren't very nice...It can scare you for years...I'd never want to actually have a dream about tinnitus, maybe when I'm cured I'd dream about it and I'd just think gosh, that really existed?
       
    6. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I think that getting over fear of tinnitus in dreams is more or less the same as awake, and similar processes facilitate both....
       
    7. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      I can't believe you've had it since 1998...How bad is your tinnitus anyway? And how did you get it, if you don't mind me asking?
       
    8. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      When I let it stress me out it seems like the worst thing in the world. When I don't "let" it get to that point -- easier said than done, for sure, but doable! -- then it just seems like a small imperfection in the lens of my life.

      It got worse in 2009 following acoustic trauma/benzo w/d -- but as to what caused the initial signal? Who knows. In 1998 I developed bizarre visual problems, more or less extreme visual snow. I think I'd been exposed to the herpes virus (cold sores, the kind that ~80% of adults in the US have by age 30) shortly before that onset, but I'd also been on and off a lot of SSRIs/etc in the years prior. I started reading about these visual symptoms, I found reference to the phrase "many people with these visual problems also have tinnitus", I used Yahoo or whatever search engine I was using in 1998 to search for "tinnitus", started listening to silence in a way I never had before, and lo and behold, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I became fixated on it, and could soon hear it without plugging my ears, in usually loud environments.

      So, basically, who knows. I think that even people "without" tinnitus can develop it pretty quickly if they're put in a state of severe stress and also given a reason to start over-analyzing the nature of their sensory experience of the world.

      One of my friends told me recently that if he is laying in silence and starts paying undo attention to the very, very minor high pitched tones that he hears, they get louder and louder to the point that they can seem deafening.

      This is a complex problem which seems to work as a feedback loop with consciousness. This is why I think that cognitive practices of one kind or another are the best treatment at present. It's not a matter of self-deception, it's the simple fact that your brain anatomy changes in measurable ways based on how you use it, just like any other part of your body.
       
    9. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      That is rather odd...Then if you were in a super quiet room, anyone would hear tinnitus...As it's feedback from the neurons. Still, it's scary knowing anyone can get this condition which makes me wonder why more people aren't afraid.
       
    10. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Well, yes -- actually studies that place people in silent rooms conclude that they do all hear high frequency sound, more or less. There was a famous study along those lines done in the 50s.

      I think the reason is, most people do not have fear-aversion responses to normal stimuli -- and I think people (like me) who are more prone for whatever reason to have more fearful responses to stimuli, are also more likely to have a rough go with tinnitus.

      Case in point: the father of a close family friend has what sounds like "worse" tinnitus than I do, in that it is at a volume level which more or less precludes listening to music, and causes him some difficulty understanding speech. However, it doesn't "bother" him, in that he says it is not distressing and he doesn't spend much time thinking about it, he's just accepted it as the base state of his perception for the last 20-30 years.

      And that is exactly why the goal of TRT and all these other cognitive practices is to change one's reaction.
       
    11. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Ah, I don't need TRT. Trobalt managed to basically reduce mine to a manageable level. I'm hoping that Autifony solves the issues of tinnitus. TRT may help but we need to move on to an actual reduction than management.
       

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