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I have lucid dreams frequently. I had one a couple weeks ago that was turning into such a good story that I had to wake up and write it down. They never strike me as "realer than real." I know they are dreams and I am aware that they are such when I am dreaming them.

Congratulations Michael! I'm jealous!

Cool!

I have been thinking about delving into lucid dreaming myself (maybe as an alternative to the mushrooms :-)

Just curious, how long had you been practicing before you achieved this result? Thanks.

"how long had you been practicing before you achieved this result?"

I really hadn't practiced at all. Though I'd read about lucid dreams online, I hadn't taken any specific steps to have one. I think it may have been a fluke.

I started having lucid dreams as a kid. I figured that if I could know when I was dreaming, I could do something about the nightmares. It didn't take me long to start turning monsters into bunnies.

The only exception seems to be when the dream is about something real that I can't change. Maybe because it isn't my reality, it belongs to someone else. The only thing I can do about those ones is wake myself up.

Enjoy your Dreams, Michael! Maybe it started as a fluke, but once you have one, others seem to follow.

How little we know about consciousness!

The one thing that a lucid dream, an NDE and normal waking reality would have in common is the presence and awareness of the "Observer".

I'm sure most readers of this blog understand what I mean by the term Observer, so I won't wax philosophically on it here. However, to me, its existence is proof of the soul,in fact, I often wonder if it may well be the soul itself.

Lucid dreaming is great fun. It's like being in The Matrix. I wish I could learn to void gravity in this world the way I can do it in the dream world.

I often have lucid dreams. Sometimes people I barely know are in them, or actors I've never met. When I wake up I feel deeper emotions and connections to them then exists in reality. Sometimes, these feelings take several days to go away.

I've had only one lucid dream so far, and my first reaction upon realizing it was to levitate. But once I hit the ceiling I could go no further, the ensuing frustration ended up breaking the spell and I woke up. *sigh*

And speaking of NDEs, I've uploaded some more peer-review literature if anybody is interested:

Consistency of near-death experience accounts over two decades: Are reports embellished over time?

Do Prevailing Societal Models Influence Reports of Near-Death Experiences? - A Comparison of Accounts Reported Before and After 1975

Phenomenology of Near-death Experiences: A Cross-cultural Perspective

Near-Death Experiences and Spirituality

Download

"What I found outside was not my actual street, but a breathtakingly beautiful view of a wide expanse of blue water -- possibly the ocean or a vast lake or bay. "

Congratulations, Michael! What a great experience. I enjoyed reading it, in part because it reminds me of dreams I myself have had where I suddenly discover something marvelous, often in a location where I never expected such a thing to be. Like an extra room in my house (current or childhood), a magnificent view out a window, or a new or old friend or sexual partner.

Dreams are such a fascinating mix. A dream like yours could be a metaphor for discovering some unexpected beauty within yourself, could contain precise images from a place you'll actually visit or move to five years from now, or presage a movie you'll watch tonight.

Or all three! (That's my experience, anyway.)

Hi.RabbitDawg
you might be interested in the article :
"Hoffding's Outline of Psycholgy" in Popular Science
July 1891.p.382ff.(N.B the date!)
One of his comments:"...
the fact that mental states can not be measured like physical energies and chemical substances is, in itself, sufficient to frustrate the hope of finding a mental parallel to the doctrine of persistence of force."
http://books.google.com/books?id=_iADAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA388&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false

Michael: tempered congratulations on your experience. As Bruce notes, symbolic/metaphoric content plus short-and-long delay precognitive moments could be in the offing. And RabbitDawg's comment about the "Observer" are well worth emphasis. I temper this entry because, given my own experiences with precognition in dreams, a feeling of diminishment and disappointment have consistently accompanied the moment of verification, feelings I attribute to the collision of a desire for (conscious) "free will" with the seemingly immovable inevitablility we'd call (subconscious) "fate". I shrug my shoulders here at acceptance of what I am powerless to change, with a nod toward Epictetus and the other Stoics.

"given my own experiences with precognition in dreams, a feeling of diminishment and disappointment have consistently accompanied the moment of verification"

Wow—just the opposite for me, Kevin. When one of my dreams seems to pan out as precognitive, I feel pleasure and excitement. Because each time it happens, it puts the lie to that part of me that still takes seriously the old paradigm in which I'm just an elaborate machine and death is my only destination.

I mean, if part of me is somehow traveling to, or existing in, the future—for how else can you explain precognition?—that makes the universe a much grander and potentially more beautiful thing than my fears would have me believe.

I do know you're not alone, though. I've read accounts where people end up feeling guilty because, for example, they were powerless to prevent a death they saw in advance. Are you talking about something like that?

MP said:
"As far as I know, virtually no NDErs feel this way about their experiences, and a great many OBErs also draw a sharp distinction between their out-of-body excursions and even the most vivid dreams. (The closest thing I've had to an OBE was a strangely intense dreamlike experience that I described in an earlier post. I don't know if this was a legitimate OBE or not."

I have experienced both many many times over,with a dream diary of dreams a year long noted down.

I can assure u ,OBE is the closest way to be to a near death experience but the qualitys when u can experience a prolonged and detailed OBE (from sleep) has alot more in common with dreams then NDe's.

Sure at first u will experience a tons of different 'feelings' primarily when trying to step out of the body after maintaining the hypnogogic phase consiously,be it floating,feeling or seeying a "cord" but afterwards u might even see people in your house when it's impossible that those specific people are there.Or the house usually as starting point looks almost the same yet has small differences.

I have however had one OBE in which I was able to read a text(usually impossible in LDE's and OBE's) and then having it happen in real life in the future.A kind of precognition if you will.

This leads me to speculate that one possibility could be that the dreamworld overlapses the afterlife.Certainty I don't have but to me that would explain away the mixed bag of what u experience during an OBE.

Even some NDE's seem to have some dreamlike qualitys to them which makes it all the more confusing.

I still put my money on NDE's providing more accurate info when it comes to the afterlife because it fits so well when taken with other areas of evidence,mediumship,etc.

"I do know you're not alone, though. I've read accounts where people end up feeling guilty because, for example, they were powerless to prevent a death they saw in advance. Are you talking about something like that?"

I would be.

I would also say that there is a sense that the future is determined by choices - free will - but once sufficient momentum has been achieved, laws of cause and effect are in operation and it would require massive personal power to alter the course.

@dmduncan well said..I agree on you.. =D
Its so fun dreaming!

Bruce: I haven't experienced any sense of guilt (as of yet) when a precognitive dream gets verified. My feelings of diminishment come with the implication that our life experience here is pre-scripted, that our sense of choice-making is an illusion, and that, no matter how we may characterize our actions and experiences, all of our lives are essentially "fated" to proceed as they do. It seems like a vast mind/soul development program is in session, and that purpose is served best by a range of experiences (I'll refer here back to MP's post on the necessity of suffering). Perhaps reincarnations only occur to those who either failed to gain the "required" insights in a previous life or had that life possibly (?) cut short "prematurely" (I'm thinking here of NDEs which seem to end when the percipient is told that their "time is not yet": mistake, or intentional? If intentional, to what effect?). If the progressional development of consciousness is the purpose of human (and otherwise) life, I can accept that as reasonable, albeit with ambivalence. If I tend somewhat toward the negative, I put it down to the downside of being a "sensitive, artistic-type" personality, receiving the bad and good as a la carte offerings from a prearranged menu.

Cool.
Way to hold it together. The one time I realized I was dreaming, I woke up immediately thereafter.

Realising you are dreaming is really fun,but the possibilities after that are endless.

Make anyone u want appear,change the landscapes into what u invision as heavenly,ride a giant wave,go skydiving while having it feel so realistic u would think real waking life is a dream.

I miss the old times when I actively pursued daily lucid dreams.

Though there is a downside to it as well.
As with remembering a previous life the deep feelings which have been buried are able to be brought up to the surface.

For instance if you have a past lover who u just don't want to have those strong feelings for again.

Such a mysterious realm,dreams.

Hello,
I just tripped over your blog. Interesting indeed. "lucid dream" great many of my remembered dreams fall into this description. I still recall some vivid dreams from 50 years ago. Several weeks ago I was experiencing (dreaming)about a situation in which a water pipe had burst and I needed help fixing it. I asked a man (who was with his family) to give me a hand. I knew I was dreaming so I explained to this fellow that "you are a figment of my imagination, but I still need some help here".
I usually differentiate between dream state and being awake by levitating and vision. However recently I have been, on occasion, unable to levitate in my dream and have started wearing my regular glasses while dreaming. This occasionaly gets really interesting trying to decide where I am.
Now if this letter is not in my computer tomorrow, where do I go from here? ....Skip

I always seem to look about 24 in my dreams. I had hair down to my waist back then, so it isn't hard to tell I'm dreaming. Another total giveaway is something that has been with me since I was a kid. I still dream about my teddy bear. He's a real bear in the dreams, but I still recognise him.

"I still dream about my teddy bear. He's a real bear in the dreams, but I still recognise him."

Sandy, that's really sweet and funny. And, it reminded me of something.

Several years ago, one of my piano students, a very fine singer and songwriter, was trying to sell a TV kids' show that she would host. She suggested that maybe I could write a song for it. So I did.

Here it is. The world's first metaphysical kid's song about bears. Just maybe, it contains the answer to the mystery of your recurring bear dreams. :o)

Ev’ ry night I have the strangest dream.
Pictures running through my mind I cannot change
And can’t explain.
I dream of . . .

One bear, two bears,
Well each and every night it’s
Three bears, four bears
getting off the elevator
Five bears, six bears
They’re saying, “See you later!”
Somehow they know
we’ ll meet again tomorrow night.

Night after night I dream of . . .

One bear, two bears,
There go those bears again, there’s
Three bears, four bears
riding down the escalator
Five bears, six bears
They’re saying, “See you later!”
How do they know we’ll
meet again tomorrow night?
How do they know?

(Instrumental)

One bear two bears
I think I know the answer
Three bears, four bears
It’s very strange but maybe
Five bears, six bears
they’re not in my dream . . .
I’m in theirs!

Bruce, thanks for sharing the bear song! I've always liked bears, even after a few heart stopping encounters with them in the wild. After my car accident, the head-on collision that resulted in an NDE, people sent me all kinds of teddy bears. I gave most of them away to a children's charity the following Christmas. I figured the bears could make more people happy that way, which seems to be something that bears enjoy doing. :D

I started lucid dreaming many years ago, in just the way you described -- In the middle of the dream I would suddenly realize that something is logically wrong, which pushes me into awareness that I'm dreaming.

Back when I was doing this regularly, I never let the dream meander, taking me along. I always attempted to push the dream in a certain direction..."OK, now I want to fly...or play the piano masterfully...or meet a beautiful girl."

It would work for a while, but I found that forcing the dream into the direction you want it to go usually breaks the spell of the dream state and I wake to full consciousness.

After a while the novelty wore off and I stopped lucid dreaming. It only happened when I prepared myself for it while going to bed.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the nature of dreams -- if they have meaning and why we dream what we do. I think that, by and large, dream events and imagery are mostly "focused randomness," that is, we often dream about particular things,people or events that are on are mind during the day (the "focused" part), yet incorporating a mish-mosh of thoughts and images from everything else we have experienced in life (the "random" part).

Our minds like to stitch together a narrative from these unconnected scenes and images...we attempt to find meaning in them. Sometimes we get lucky and find true meaning in the odd juxtapositions of events and images. Most often, however, the narrative we concoct is meaningless.

I just had an example of this last night. I dreamed my father was driving the car down the highway and I was in the passanger seat, looking out the side window at the scenery.

Suddenly I hear snoring and turn to find my father asleep at the wheel! As the car speeds faster and faster down the road, I try to wake him up but it's no use. I try to drag him away from the wheel and take his foot off the gas, but he's too heavy and he won't budge. As the car careens dangerously down the highway, he continues to snore loudly and I start to panic. The car is going to crash and I will die!

So what does this dream mean? Does it mean I realize that my father is "asleep at the wheel" and not paying attention to his family? Does it mean that I have placed my life into the hands of someone else, and I am now powerless to control my life?

It was only upon awakening that I realized the true significance of this dream.

My wife was in the bed next to me, flat on her back and snoring loudly! I had incorporated the sound of her snoring into my dream!

This is why it is probably not a good idea to find too much meaning in every dream we have. The fact that my father was "asleep at the wheel" had nothing to do with deep-seated emotions or family secrets. I had incorporated the random sound of my wife's snoring into a storyline of my father driving the car. There was no hidden meaning to the narrative I was creating...just random events stitched together.

Hi Stinky,

I would never try to interpret someone else's dream. But I do tend to think that something meaningful is happening, particularly in a dream like yours that contains such intense feelings, and which centers on one of the key relationships of your life.

Is it possible that you incorporated the sound of your wife's snoring into a scenario that allowed you to experience a true feeling you carry inside? I mean, just because your dream used a sound from your environment to tell its tale, doesn't necessarily mean the dream was completely random and meaningless, does it?

Lucid dreams are very interesting.
In tibetan buddhism they are used to explore consciousness.
According to buddhism you have 3 states of consciousness, the waking state, the dreaming state and the dreamless state.
During the waking state we are all aware unless heavily intoxicated or comateuse, during the dreaming state most of us are not aware and during the dreamless state we totally black out.

According to the tibetans it is possible to remain aware during the 3 states.
They find it very valuable to learn how to lucid dream. The first step is to be aware that you are dreaming, the next step is controlling the dream to a great extent, realising everything is a visualisation of you and you can change whatever you want.
For example if a crocodile is attacking you, you could make yourself into a bigger monster, or fly away. Or if you really really realise it is a dream than you let the crocodile take a bite and you can regenerate your body.

If you think about dreams in relation with sustaining a visualisation than it is amazing how effortless we can create a complex visualisation like a dream.
Just try to visualise the face of your mother clearly when you close your eyes now. It is hard and lasts for a few seconds but during the dream state we have this complex visualisation with all the details we can imagine, effortless.

For tibetan buddhists the dreamless state is consciousness in its natural state, non-conceptual, clear, stable and luminous often with a deep peacefull feeling. The dreamless state is the phase during sleep where you are the most relaxed, the breathing is the most natural, you as the thinking person are out of the picture. This is also the consciousness which is experienced in deep meditation when all mental activity has seized. It is quite interesting that such complex visualisations are possible without effort and come from a state of deep relaxation, which is a hint that deep concentration in meditation is achieved in an athmosphere of deep relaxation. And is quite different from the forced concentration which is exhausting, like airplane pilots use etc..

It is possible when you learn to lucid dream to remain aware after the dream fades away and you remain in non-conceptual awareness or the substrate consciousness as they call it.
Which is quite interesting. An exercise you could try when you are having a lucid dream is: try to stare, just be aware of awareness itself and you will see that the visualisation falls away and you remain with awareness of awareness itself...


Kind regards,
FIlip


Anyone interested in lucid dreaming should take a look at www.lucidipedia.com
They offer an electronic dreamjournal specialized for lucid dreaming, a well used forum and soon they will be launching virtual classes.

(just trying to provide with interesting info, not spamming)

"you remain with awareness of awareness itself..."

...then after a bit, you invent a world to play in.

;-)

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