I understand that dream characters "can be" created by our subconscious therefore having no subjective existence of their own . I also understand that vast portions of our dreams are populated with such characters and that it is not easy for the dreamer to know a "thought form" when he/she meets one. In "Lucid Dreaming", Robert Waggoner made a non conclusive (albeit honest and entertaining) attempt to sort autonomous dream figures from imaginary ones by asking them questions. His approach did not convince me. The characters involved were all answering the questions in a predictable way; in other words I felt that the Lucid Dreamer was potentially the author of both the questions and the answers no matter what. To me identifying autonomous subjects in dreams (or in the astral) is a challenging issue and I am yet to read a clear description of the process. In my own dreams, that is lucid dreams or dreams that I can remember in clear details when I wake up, I believe that I meet mostly autonomous characters. My criteria in sorting figures created by my subconscious from actual conscious autonomous individuals are based on (superficial) psychoanalysis. When I meet someone in dreams I try to focus on the actual personality, the thought processes, the values and the aspirations of the individual. In most cases it does not take long for me to "know" that it is "not me" and that I am dealing with a real person, be he/she friend or foe. When I say "real" I am aware of the fact that the character in question may be the product of someone else's thought creation.....we can't win! My system is not perfect but it is a start. I am aware also of the fact that the dream world (astral) is a place where the creative imagination is more powerful than in the third dimension. When there ...I see first what I want to see. That includes landscapes, situations and people familiar to me. Therefore I think autonomous dream figures are likely to be individual centers of awareness, just like us, who in the immensity of the astral plane vibrate at the same frequency and come from a comparable background. They see us and we see them and we come with our baggage . The question which has been haunting me for a while is this: when we meet dream figures that we like can we meet again? Personally I have never managed to reconnect with dream figures, they are all a one night stand. In this I exclude of course , friends, relatives dead or living, colleagues. neighbours, etc). Is any of you capable of saying: I enjoyed meeting this character last night, let us meet again!!!!