You are watching: Lucid dreaming: gateway to the inner self
Product DetailsRobert Waggoner is President-Elect the the international Association because that the study of dreams (IASD) and also a summa cum laude graduate that Drake University v a degree in psychology. That is additionally the cofounder and also editor that the digital journal, The Lucid Dream Exchange (dreaminglucid.com), the only continuous publication devoted specically to lucid dreaming. That is a constant speaker in ~ national and international dream conferences.
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Like countless children, I had actually an intense dream life. Dreams were an amazing theater the the mind featuring both glorious adventures and moments of slim terror. In one dream, a songbird, a meadowlark, ns believe, came down on my chest and sang me its basic song, which I immediately understood and woke up singing. In one more dream, I found myself ~ above a fifteen-foot Pogo pole bouncing under the deserted streets, nearly flying. On occasion I seemed to it is in an animal—a dog or coyote, for example—trotting along the dark night"s sidewalks in a four-legged gait, totally at peace, seeing the community from a canine"s drooping-headed, tongue-wagging perspective.
With dreams like these, ns was a child who had actually to traction himself out of bed.
In those early on years, ns remember plainly only one voluntarily lucid dream. In it, i was wandering the regional library and also suddenly observed a dinosaur stomping through the stacks. In which method it dawned on me: If every dinosaurs room extinct—this must be a dream! currently consciously mindful that i was dreaming, i reasoned further: since this was a dream—I can wake up! i reasoned correctly and awoke for sure in my bed.
That youthful endure illuminates the essential aspect of lucid dreaming: the aware awareness of gift in a dream if you"re dreaming. In this distinct state that awareness, you can consider and also carry out deliberate actions such together talking to dream figures, paris in the dream space, walking through the walls of dream buildings, creating any kind of object desired, or making them disappear. An ext important, an competent lucid dreamer deserve to conduct experiments in the subconscious or seek information from the apparently mindful unconscious.
But I"m acquiring ahead the myself ...
In those preteen days, prior to I began lucid dreaming regularly, three experiences retained alive my interest in dreaming and the psyche: occasional dreams that seemed to it is in precognitive, an unexpected "vision experience," and the an extremely real feeling of having access to an inner knowing. Choose many, I uncovered life"s deepest mysteries in the mind.
For me, the occasional precognitive dream often appeared as tiny events, prefer dreaming of someone making an odd explain in a dream, just to listen a real human make the very same odd explain a couple of hours later, or to have a voice in the dream announcement an monitoring that later would be proven correct. Once, the voice defined that the dream symbols intended the dream events would take 3 years come transpire. I retained track of that date and something remarkable did indeed occur in the waking world, straight related to the dream from 3 years earlier.
Precognitive dreams tested my budding scientific worldview and also disrupted mine traditional spiritual and spirituality views. Strange coincidences, self-fulfilling prophecies, or unknown information? how was one to tell?
One job in my preteen, church-going mind, I had actually a mini-epiphany. It emerged to me that if God to be the same "yesterday, today, and also forever," together they stated in the Old Testament, then God must exist outside of time, except time, in a location where time had no meaning. And, if the were true, then perhaps desires were the gateway to a location without time, where time existed in one glorious Now. However my young science-educated mental balked in ~ this notion. A dreamt occasion followed by a waking event could be nothing more than thin coincidence and also didn"t necessarily entail any type of foreknowing. Or maybe it was like a self-fulfilling prophecy, in which ns unknowingly assisted bring about the occasion that i dreamt. And even when a dream voice made an monitoring that later on turned the end to be true, perhaps my creative unconscious had actually simply noticed points and, through calculating the likely outcome the those things, made a clever announcement.
As this spiritual questioning was going on, another fascinating incident occurred. One Sunday evening once I was eleven or twelve, ns lay on my bed analysis a book and stopped for a moment to think. Together I absentmindedly looked up in ~ the ceiling, my head unexpectedly turned north and I started to check out a vision the a indigenous American setup overlaying the physics scene. Ns struggled to totally free myself native this unexpected endure while another component of me soaked up the vision. Lastly it stopped.
At that young age, what perform you perform with something choose this? In my case, I saw the library. I flipped v a variety of books about the Old testament containing comment on visions yet found small of worth for me there. I also checked the end a few books on native American culture and discovered the vision quest, a traditional practice by which youth obtain insight into their lives. Usually a vision pursuit occurs in a routine fashion. The young person is causing obligation to leaving the tribe and also travel alone for a period of work of fasting, praying, and waiting because that the visionary experience. Yet why would something like that occur to me? only years later did I uncover that our family members had native American ancestry.
Somewhere in this time period, I additionally recognized the existence of an "inner advisor," for lack of a much better term. At particular times, as soon as I considered things deeply, an within knowing appeared in mine mind. It to be such a natural thing, i assumed everyone competent this. It to be like having the services of a way old guy inside. For example, after a very an easy incident that most anyone would ignore, the inner discovering would do an observation around life or suggest the prosaic incident as a life parable. The comments seemed intelligent, even remarkable. I started to sense that all roughly me life had actually meaning, if I just cared come look. Due to the fact that I stayed in the middle of Kansas, far from the centers of people power, the speed of life to be slower and also perhaps simpler, yet listed below the surface, at another level, i knew we had actually everything, every the lessons of life.
Like any teenager, I"d plague this within advisor—What to be I? that am I? come these concerns I was offered two answers and then never ever visited the problem again (although the answers rolled roughly my mind for decades). In one instance, to mine "Who am I?" the inner advisor responded, "Everything and also nothing." Okay, i thought, any kind of person in a sense has actually the potential ability of all, yet in having them additionally has nothing, for time or the fates will sweep it all away. In those words, too, ns sensed a concealed connection in between the wealthy lavishness the Being and also the complete freedom that Nothing. Yet still not totally content v being a place marker in between two extremes, I continued to pester myself and, by extension, the within advisor through the inquiry of identification until, one day, solution came that laid all additional questions come rest. "You are what friend let yourself become," said the within advisor. That answer to solve me completely: The life of life to be an allowing of self.
Altogether, the precognitive dreams, the vision experience, and also my search for spiritual meaning kept me probing because that satisfying and also complete answers. Obviously, my intense inner life, sparked by thought provoking dreams, produced a persistent desire come accept, abandon, or perhaps bridge among the two worldviews: the scientific and the spiritual. I beg your pardon is why in 1975, at age sixteen, ns picked up among my earliest brother"s books, trip to Ixtlan: The great of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda, and embarked ~ above my very first lesson in lucid dreaming.
As some readers might know, Carlos Castaneda to be an anthropology graduate student at UCLA in the 1960s who sought to discover from indigenous shamans about psychotropic plants in the southwestern unified States and Mexico. According to his story, that met a Yaqui Indian sorcerer, don Juan, who agreed come teach him about hallucinogenic plants. In the process, don Juan provided Castaneda v a distinctive view of the world. Even more important, perhaps, don Juan supplied approaches to experience this brand-new worldview.
The philosophy of don Juan could be summed up in these words, talked to Castaneda: "
Castaneda has recounted in numerous publications his decade-long association through don Juan. While plenty of have openly questioned Castaneda"s veracity in storytelling, his many publications nevertheless save on computer a variety of provocative principles and, like many young people, ns was intrigued. I read Journey to Ixtlan and decided to shot just among the ideas, never imagining exactly how transformative one idea might be.
Don Juan suggests to Castaneda a simple an approach to "set increase dreaming" or become conscious in the dream state. "Tonight in your dreams you should look at her hands," don Juan instructs Castaneda. After part discussion about the an interpretation of dreaming and also the an option of hands as an object to dream about, don Juan continues. "You don"t need to look at your hands," he says. "Like I"ve said, pick anything in ~ all. Yet pick one point in development and discover it in her dreams. I said your hands since they will always be there."
Don Juan further advised Castaneda the whenever things or scene the he was looking at started to transition or waver in the dream, he have to consciously look back at his hands to stabilize the dream and also renew the power of dreaming.
Simple enough, ns thought. So, before going come sleep each night, ns sat cross-legged in bed and began looking at the palms of mine hands. Mentally, i quietly said myself, "Tonight, ns will view my hand in my dream and also realize I"m dreaming." I repetitive the suggestion over and also over, until I ended up being too tired and also decided to walk to sleep.
Waking increase in the center of the night, i reviewed my critical dream. Had actually I checked out my hands? No. But still hopeful, ns fell earlier asleep remembering my goal. Within a couple of nights of trying this technique, it happened. I had actually my an initial actively sought lucid dream:
I"m go in the liven hallways of mine high institution at the junction the B and also C halls. Together I prepare to push the door open, my hand spontaneously paris up in former of my face! they literally popular music up in prior of me! ns stare in wonder at them. Suddenly, ns consciously realize, "My hands! This is a dream! I"m dreaming this!"
I look around me, great that i am conscious within a dream. All approximately me is a dream. Incredible! everything looks for this reason vivid and also real.
I walk with the doors a couple of feet towards the management building while a an excellent feeling of euphoria and also energy wells up inside. Together I stop and also look in ~ the brick wall, the dream appears a bit wobbly. I lucidly remember don Juan"s advice and decide come look back down in ~ my hand to stabilize the dream when something remarkable happens. As I look in ~ my hands, I come to be totally took in in them. "I" currently see every fingerprint, every line, as a gigantic flesh-toned canyon that i float within and also through. The people has become my palm print, and I"m moving about its substantial canyons and gullies and also whorls together a floating speck of awareness. Ns no much longer see mine hand; I watch cream-colored, canyon-like wall surfaces of differing undulations surrounding and also towering over me, which some part of me knows together my fingerprints or palm prints! as for me, "I" it seems to be ~ to be a dot of mindful perception floating through all of this—joyous, aware, and also full that awe.
I"m wondering exactly how this could be, once suddenly my vision pops ago to common proportions and I check out again that ns am standing, hands outstretched, in former of the management building. Still consciously aware, i think about what to perform next. Ns walk a few feet yet feel an significant urge to fly—I desire to fly! I become airborne heading right up for the intense blue sky. Together my feeling of overwhelming happiness reaches maximum pitch, the lucid dream ends.
I awake in bed, totally astounded, my love pounding and also head reeling. Never had actually I feeling such intense feelings of elation, energy, and also utter freedom. I had actually done it! I had seen my hands literally paris up to confront level in my dreams as if moved by some magical force and also I realized, "This is a dream!" in ~ the age of sixteen, I had become mindful in the dream state. And also suddenly, like Dorothy in Oz, ns was not in Kansas any more.
Well, actually, I was in Kansas for an additional year, till I left because that college.
THE PARADOX the THE SENSES
My an initial lucid dream felt favor a significant achievement. I had actually become conscious in a dream. Moreover, in the don Juan tradition, this very first lucid dream appeared filled with auspicious symbols—becoming a speck of awareness floating v my palm prints, preserving the dream, working on awareness outside of the "administration building" (symbol because that my own inner authority, perhaps). I was excited.
Still, it appeared so paradoxical—becoming aware in the unconscious. What a concept! prefer some teenage magician of the dreaming realm, I had done what researchers at the moment proclaimed could not it is in done.
Little did ns know, during that exact same time in April that 1975, thousands of miles away at the college of Hull in England, a lucid dreamer named Alan Worsley was making the first-ever scientifically videotaped signals native the lucid state come researcher Keith Hearne. By making prearranged eye motions (left to right eight times), Worsley signaled his lucid awareness indigenous the dream state. Pads on his eyes recorded the intentional eye movements on a polygraph"s printout. At that moment, hearne recalls, "It to be like getting signals from one more world. Philosophically, scientifically, it was merely mind blowing." Hearne and also Worsley to be the first to develop of the idea and also demonstrate that deliberate eye movements can signal the mindful awareness of the dreamer from in ~ the dream state.
A couple of years later, in 1978, Stanford sleep laboratory researcher Stephen LaBerge, making use of himself as the lucid dreaming subject, devised a separate, comparable experiment of signaling awareness indigenous the dream state with eye movement. Posting his work in more broadly read scientific journals, LaBerge became strongly figured out with this amazing discovery and a leader in its continued research.
Back in Kansas, every night prior to I checked out sleep I would look in ~ my hands and also remind myself that i wished to see my hands in mine dreams. Of course anyone who tries this will certainly soon find that staring at your hands for more than ten seconds is fairly boring. When you already feel sleepy, that takes real effort to concentrate. Her eyes cross, her hands obtain fuzzy, your attention wavers, within a minute or two you may even come to be so bored and tired as to go blank momentarily. ~ a few minutes, ns would give up and prepare because that sleep. In ~ the time, ns chastised myself for my absence of concentration and wavering focus, yet later I involved feel that these herbal responses were actually the ideal approach, since the waking ego appeared too worn down to care about the video game my mindful mind want to play. In fact, don Juan argued that the waking ego frequently felt threatened by the much more profound nature of ours inner realm. Possibly a sleepy ego would certainly be much less likely come interfere.
My next couple of lucid desires were lessons in exquisite brevity. I would be in a dream, check out my hand in the food of the dream (e.g., together I opened a door through my hand or together if by part inner prompting mine hands would certainly suddenly appear directly in prior of me) and also immediately establish I remained in a dream. I"d experience a rush of exhilaration, joy, and also energy. As I took in the dream surroundings, mine feelings of happiness rose to such levels that the lucid dream would start to feel unstable and then involved an end. I would awaken, full of joy but mystified through the sudden collapse of the lucid dream.
This lugged me to one of my an initial lessons the lucid dreaming:
To keep the lucid dream state, you must modulate her emotions.
Too much emotional energy causes the lucid dream come collapse. Year later, i learned that essentially all lucid dreamers establish this same lesson and also as a result learn come temper your emotions.
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After reading don Juan"s exhortation to Castaneda the he should try to stabilize the dream atmosphere and, little bit by bit, make it as sharply concentrated as the waking environment, this came to be my brand-new goal. Don Juan advised that the dreamer must concentrate on only three or 4 objects in the dream, saying, "When they begin to change shape girlfriend must move your sight away indigenous them and pick other else, and then look at at your hands again. The takes a lengthy time to perfect this technique."
In the following dream, i was walking in ~ night and suddenly witnessed my hands show up directly in prior of me. I instantly realized i was dreaming. Lucid, ns took a couple of steps and also noticed the color were exceptionally vibrant; whatever seemed so "real." i felt euphoric and knew the the dream would end unless I can regulate mine feelings, so i looked ago at my hands to stabilize the dream and also decrease my emotional upsurge.