So recently I have been wondering about the nature of reality checks, and how we are trying to use them to affect our psychology. The basic principle being that we are trying to get into the habit of questioning our reality whenever something ‘dreamlike’ occurs.
So what is often mentioned is the idea of prospective memory – remembering to do something in the future. However, from what I can tell, this doesn’t seem to be the whole story. I’ve been wondering if there are three (or more) different ways of looking at this.
The first is the classic prospective memory – training ourselves to remember to do something in the future.
The second is that we are trying to condition ourselves (Pavlov style) to automatically react to things by questioning our reality. Something doesn’t work? Automatic reaction – reality check. The problem I see with this is that the scope of what we are looking for is very large, and perhaps difficult to absolutely condition for.
The third is that we are trying to connect the concept of lucid dreaming to as many mental ‘schemas’ as possible which often appear in dreams. By doing so we increase the chance of lucid dreaming coming up in dreams, since there is a chance they will be manifested by a connection to a common schema. This is my favourite idea, and seems to fit in well with the current ideas about dream logic.
I imagine that in reality it’s a combination of all three, but I wonder if by thinking about the nature of the psychological side of reality checks, we can improve their efficacy. Any thoughts?
(Sorry for the long post!)
Edit: I just also had a thought about dream journaling and mental schemas. Could it be that by writing down dreams which we would ordinarily forget we are connecting (via schemas) the subject and contents of the dreams to the idea of dreaming itself? This would mean that by simply journaling we are increasing the chance of lucidity.