Lucid Dreams: Purpose and Plan

     “Lucid dreams are perhaps the most bizarre perceptual experience one can have.” Susana Martinez-Conde opens her blog from January 31st 2015 for Scientific American. Unfortunately, the statement describes more about how Martinez-Conde lacks both abundant exotic perceptual experience, and familiarity with the topic of dreams.
     Indeed in the next paragraph Martinez-Conde goes on to say, “…you can choose to wake up (I usually do…I don’t think I’ve ever had a lucid dream that wasn’t a nightmare…”) Italics are mine.
     That’s right, you may choose to wake up, although it may not seem exactly as a choice. If you do not choose to rouse yourself to day level consciousness, the dream will change. It definitely will not remain the same.
      Therefore when Martinez-Conde goes on to say, “…you can continue to dream on, with one important advantage. You’re now aware that the world around you is completely made up by your brain…you can bend the physical laws…fly, stop bullets…” she’s talking nonsense. By her own admission she has never experienced such a dream. My guess is she’s not found another person who has experienced such continuity after waking up in a dream.
      That’s because the purpose of lucid dreaming resides as much in the content of the dreaming mind, as in the sleeping personality. In other words, Dreams are a two way dialogue between the sleeper and the forces of the Depth that paint pictures, evolve images, provide sounds and other sensory data in an experience we call ‘Dreaming.’
      To approach Dreams as though the sleeper herself maintains total control and only occasionally slips out of such remains as dull minded as pretending each of us personally are totally in control of ourselves, our career, our health, our lives with only the odd happenstance out of line.
     In fact it’s the other way around. Through a miniscule amount of control we perceive ourselves to be completely in charge. And therein lies disaster.
     One of the outcomes of deep, consistent dream journaling and reflecting on dreams intelligently over time rises from the growing awareness this force that dreams at night reveals an intelligence and love we barely glimpse in the day world.
     As a lucid dreamer of some decades I’ve found the start point is the lucidity but from there it’s another level of stability. Let me explain.
     At first many lucid dreams involve the shattering experience of nightmares. So it was with mine.
     What I did within the night dreams paralleled my personal positioning in the day world: I turned toward my assailants and said, “This is MY DREAM and I’m not running from you anymore!” True story! The would be stalkers/attackers dissolved and so did the entire dream. That dream had achieved its purpose.
      In the situation where a person decides to pursue Lucid Dreaming and becomes aware in the dream the next stage is another level of training. That training is mastering the art of making objects in the dream multiply. That is a Dream Yoga task.
     What Martinez-Conde offers is great research into dreams and their neurobiology. Her article goes on to say, “The scientists concluded that lucid dreaming and metacognition share some underlying mechanisms, particularly with regards to thought monitoring.”

     In other words, if you are aware of yourself in a metacognitive manner during the day, you will have more lucid dreams, dreams where you are aware of dreaming at night.
      Aside from being simple common sense, this conclusion follows the basic maxim of neuroscience, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” Whatever brain pathways you exercise in the daytime replay through the night.

     October 20 2015

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