28 July 2016

It's all good

Whatever field of endeavor you're involved in, there are topics that come up when you are talking with the general public that get... well... tiresome. If people know you're a writer, it can get very tiresome to hear all about the film script or novel they'll write one day (they won't). If you practice martial arts, everyone who's ever seen a Bruce Lee movie thinks they can talk to you with authority about what training is and what the ultimate fighting techniques are.

If you are a practitioner of dreamwork, everyone thinks they are telling you something you've never heard of when they insist on talking about lucid dreaming. In case you don't know what the term "lucid dreaming" means, it's that thing almost all of us experienced as children when, in the middle of a dream we realized "hey! I'm dreaming!"

People who have been attracted to the contemporary lucid dreaming movement, think that if I'm involved in something called "dreamwork" it must have something to do with lucid dreaming.

Well, yes and no.

If you work on becoming more aware of your dreams, on remembering them and working with the stories they tell and the symbols they show you, inevitably you will at some point become aware in the middle of the night that you are dreaming. It's a heady experience. You suddenly realize that you aren't awake and that this world you are in at this very moment is another reality. You look around and notice that the world you are in isn't like the material world. You see that the object around you aren't like physical objects that have solid surfaces and reflect light, but that they are actually made up of tiny points of light. And you also notice that if you stare at them they slowly shift and change, unlike the objects of waking reality.

It can be tempting to want to experience this state again and again. There are techniques for doing this. I will admit to having spent time and energy on this in one part of my life. And I did succeed in bringing on this state of consciousness fairly regularly during this period.

But I came to realize the lucid dreaming is only one the many states of consciousness you can experience while sleeping. It's not important to have a "waking" type consciousness while you are dreaming. What's important is that you remember it. What's important is that you become aware of the many stories and symbols that are presented to you while you are sleeping, and that you use them to bring greater meaning to your daily life.

The lucid dreams come when they want to. They don't have to be forced. And with time they come more often. But they are not the only game in town.

So, don't obsess about lucid dreaming. Just become more aware of dreaming in general. Experience all the things it has to offer. And when the lucid dreams come, treasure them as the gifts they are.

It's all good.


Adam Schmideg said...

My daughter just told me her dream this morning. I asked her if she had been aware. Yes, I thought lucid dreaming is the highest peak of the dreaming landscape. Now you made me think.

Exlib50 said...

Sometimes I am aware I am dreaming early in the morning, but I attribute that to being in the process of waking up. Sometimes, if a dream is bad, I feel myself pulling away from it; conversely, some dreams are so fascinating that it annoys me that I forget them not long after I wake up.