I just had a most fascinating dream and don't know where else to record it. So here you are.
I am sure we have all had dreams in which we became aware that we were dreaming. I have, and have often be frustrated that, on realizing I was dreaming, I tried to fly and could not, and became frustrated that I couldn't as I felt I should be able to do anything I want in a dream. Now I have an answer to that problem.
I actually went through a series of dreams. My dream-self became aware, at some point, that I was dreaming. I knew I had had lucid self-aware dreams in the past, but I was also aware that this was by far the most lucid. My dream-self thought my degree of consciousness was equal to my waking self, though I realized this to be false as soon as I woke up. It was, however, quite a high degree of self-awareness and level of consciousness for a dream.
When I realized my degree of awareness, I began to analyze the nature of dreams. Once I woke up, I also compared my waking thoughts to my self-aware dream state. Here is what I learned.
1) Each dream had parameters, and I intuitively knew them. For example, in one dream I could fly. I changed dreams and immediately checked to see if I could still fly, and I couldn't. I understood that flying was outside the parameters of the dream and trying to do so was fruitless. Each dream had its rules, and I could do whatever I wanted within those parameters, but I couldn't go outside them.
As another example, in another dream I was being hunted by someone (I think Storm Troopers)? First off, I knew I was completely safe, whatever happened in the dream. It occurred to me to whisk my pursuers away with a thought, but immediately understood this was outside dream parameters. I could, however, hide from them, even in plain sight. They couldn't see me unless I let them.
If this happens again, I will investigate how parameters to dreams are set. I was not consciously part of that decision in these dreams. I also couldn't direct the flow of the narrative, though I had freedom of will within the narrative.
2) Speaking of narratives: again, they were self-driven, but didn't always exist. In my final dream I ended stuck in my living room with my roommate and eventually decided to wake up because it was clear nothing was going to happen. I did not seem able to create my own narrative and act it out. I said goodbye to my roommate, told him it was time for me to wake up, and I woke up. (I don't have a roommate - more on this in a moment).
I do think it is possible that there might be dreams where the ability to control the dream's narrative fall within the parameters of the dream, but I didn't have any of those last night.
3) My dream-self had an important cognitive shortcoming: I thought some people and the events we discussed in the dream were real, and our discussions would carry over into real life. In one dream I was discussing a job competition I'm in with my cousin. The job and cousin are real. My dream-self thought I was getting helpful advice on this very real job competition, until I woke up and realized the advice was nonsense.
In this vein, I knew some people in my dream from real life, but there were others who were strangers that I thought were from real life. My roommate in the previous comment is an example. I knew this version of my roommate was a dream, but I thought he was also a real person. When I said good-bye, when I was ready to wake up, he asked me not to go. I said, "Don't worry. I'll see you as soon as I wake up."
Then I woke up, and that roommate does not exist.
So not only did the dream make up a person and convince my dream-self they were real, I also thought the people I spoke with in these dreams would also be aware of our conversations in real life (ie. I thought they were shared experiences).
That said, I didn't think EVERYONE was real. I was aware that 'side-characters' weren't real people.
Anyway...turned out to be one of the most interesting dreams I've ever had. (Really, it was a series of several dreams in which my dream-self kept analyzing the different narratives and parameters.) Would be curious to know if anyone has had a similar experience.
Bryant Reil currently resides in Kelowna, BC. Recent accomplishments include completing a Master's degree, and having finished two books, Elf Mastery and Elf Doubt. The third book, Elf Righteous, is underway.