Doesn't most of the world wake up, go to work and live most of thier lives asleep?
Though sometimes I want to yell "WAKE UP!" to all the sleepwalkers out there.
As for lucid dreaming. All the experiences described sound familiar. But I cant really say I have had exact
same situations because I dont have enough detail to go on.
Chris D, I think that when there are times when I am not supposed to be asleep, if I fall asleep my mind tries to stay awake- and somehow this makes my dreams more lucid. And similar to the situation you described.
I think your mind is trying to keep thinking, and therefore the urge and the pull of the conscious side of your mind is keeping you in that "half" state.
Most people when they go to sleep just relax and let it go. Let themselves fall away. Id stay that to enter that state you described, you need to TRY and stay awake and try and be aware when you are first falling away. And if you have strong will power you may find your mind still functioning to some degree while the rest of you is off hang gliding.
I can say that there have been times when I have been asleep and still in the real world and functioning. One morning I caught the bus home after a late night out, and though I fell asleep I was able to keep my mind on where I was somehow.
I woke up right before my stop, exactly where I wanted to press the stop button. I dont know how I did that asleep, but its a good example of being able to sleep and still be aware of your surroundings and sort of "mixing" the world of dreams with the real world. Keeping your consciousness on a slow hum, even though youre happily dreaming.
And I can also move from one dream to another. If Im lucid dreaming I can tell myself I dont like the dream then I go have another one. I hop between dreams.
If anyone has read the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, there is a sort of virtual dimension in that world where you can escape into the world of dreams. And whatever happens in them affects the real world. People can physically jump into people's dreams, or just be so aware in thier dreams they can move about in them and enter this virtual dream world and travel in it, or enter someone elses dreams and spy on them.
Some dreams seem so real that yeah, I wonder what is real and what is a dream sometimes.
I mean, our minds are always on- they just have the screensaver on when we defrag our hardrive. But move the mouse, and you will instantly get your screen back.