Matthew Ivan Bennett – Lucid Mathematics in Lucid Dreaming


I awoke from a dream and was able to settle into sleep again. I slipped lucidly into the imagery of an urbanscape. Remembering Tholey’s study of the consciousness of dream characters, I decided to ask some dream characters a few simple math questions.


On the street I found two college-age women. When I approached them they thought I was hitting on them. I assured them I wasn’t coming on to them, I only wanted to ask them a few questions. I walked with them as we talked. I plied them both with simple multiplication questions with sums larger than 20. (For instance, “What’s 6×5?”)


Neither of them answered correctly. They didn’t seem to struggle with the answers or know that they were wrong. I followed them to a party where I asked two more characters math questions–a young man and a middle-aged woman. Both of them also got the questions wrong. I knew in each case that they were incorrect.


Deciding that everyone at the party felt “hollow,” I left. Outside, along a chain link fence, I noticed a little boy staring into a baseball field. I asked if I could ask him a few questions. He wanted to know what was in it for him. I dug into my pant’s pocket and was surprised to pull out my wallet. I looked in my wallet and saw a number of bills, as well as receipts and an old wrapper. I absently handed the boy what I thought was a bill out of the wallet. He said, “Hey, this is a candy bar wrapper.” It was a candy bar wrapper. So I dug out a $20 bill and gave it to him. He looked impressed.


I asked him three multiplication questions and he got them all correct. I remember asking him “What’s 5×5?” and “What’s 6×7?” He cracked a joke about the answer to 6×7 (42)–something related to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”


At this point, his friends arrived and they wanted to climb on top of the dugout and watch a ballgame. I climbed up with them because I wanted to continue questioning the boy. I decided to try a subtraction question on him, suspecting that he had “read” the answer to the multiplication questions out of my visual memory of a times table.  


I asked the boy, “What’s 42-11?” He shot back “511.” (Five-eleven.) I laughed. I thought he meant five feet, eleven inches, so I did the math and told him “Five eleven would be 71 inches. The answer is 31.”


I woke up because my girlfriend shook me.


To the best of recollection, I had no expectations of any of the dream characters. I wanted each of them to answer correctly. I wanted contact with an intelligent character. I plan to experiment more.