Lucid Living, Dreaming, and Dying
Written By: Jeff Behnke
If you don’t believe in UFOs, ghosts, psychic abilities, fairies, hollow earth, hollow moon, or anything in between, if you think the fringe is filled with little more than wishful thinking, there is still one avenue that you can fully explore to "scientifically" and "rationally" appreciate your own self awareness as it extends outside of your usual location of being centered on earth and in your body: your dreams. Yes, I know there is a scientific explanation for dreaming as random firings of neurons, of thoughts and opinions that you have seen in the course of your life, experienced again as you sleep at night--and I can attest to that—-but I can also attest to the fact that science is an approximation, and no matter what equation of understanding it may bring to the table, there is always a percentage that slips through the cracks, a percentage that they don’t understand because they don’t have the equipment to take them there, a percentage that is not covered by the particles. In this case, the percentage that slips through the cracks has a name -- lucidity.
If you have never heard of it, lucid dreaming is a capability we all have, and it is basically the act of becoming self-aware during your nightly episodic adventures. When you dream, you are usually just going through the motions, letting it do what it wants, and you generally act as an experiencer as opposed to an active, self-aware participant. It is usually as if you have been infused into a TV show as a character that has its own mechanics and plot, and the TV show just plays and plays as some other entity switches the channel here and there and changes its whimsical plot, confusing everything for you into one massive jumble of events and sequences. The channel switches again and again and you get tired of making sense of it all, and normally just stop paying attention. The "self awareness" that you are used to in this life is just not there. You forget that a part of you is lying in bed and this is all taking place somewhere else, made up and illusory. You usually don’t know it is a dream nor that you have the capability to think and focus on anything and truly experience what it is like to experience your dream while it is occurring.
This "dreaming without lucidity" must be what it is like to be a part of an interconnected conscious mind that is not entirely yours. In such a state, you still have experiences, but you don’t really feel as if you "own" the experience. The flow of things around you sometimes uses parts of your life, parts of other people’s lives, parts of your thoughts and perceptions, but the you that is looped back on itself and knows that it is experiencing something is generally not there. Instead, you are just caught in a stream or a river and are just moving with the current.
Lucid dreaming, however, is a much different experience because the you that you identify with when you are brushing your teeth in the morning—that part of you is in the dream. It is as if you have suddenly grabbed your entire body and not just your disconnected eyes and pulled all of yourself and all of your attention into your own head along with you. Impossible, you say? Not impossible at all! It’s probably one of the reasons I have an interest in alternative viewpoints in the first place—you can be self-aware in locations that allow flying and breathing underwater, places that have different rulesets, places that allow other realities to occur. And every one of those locations can be just as real as this one, as long as you bring your self awareness with you for the ride. Perhaps, as the Indian shamans believe and I believe as well after experiencing many myself, those other worlds are just as real as this one.
Like layers of an onion, holographic reality isn’t all the same, and you can go up and down these layers and experience them, even before your supposed ‘death’ in this world. It takes practice and determination, but once you start doing it, your body learns to do it on command. You learn to be self-aware there, just as you learned to be self-aware here. Which brings up the point: given the fact that you can experience a dream world in pretty much the same way as "tangible reality," then what makes this place seem more real than the others? And why do we keep coming back?
The rational side of you will probably think things like, "well that’s because you’re making it all up and those places with the different rulesets are all in your head." But I think there is a much deeper reason which truly opens up a world of possibilities. I hate numbering things, but whatever, here goes:
1) Like the normal pattern of a dream, many of us here have forgotten we are dreaming. Some are more self-aware than others, so they are more willing to manipulate the world around them. Others are less self-aware and generally just follow the flow of life where it leads.
2) Places in the hologram become more tangible when more self-aware entities share the same space and are self-aware closer together.
3) Like the stock market, when self-aware entities share the same place, rules are formed in how to perceive the world around them, how to move in and out of that place, where boundaries are located, making some things "less possible" and "more possible" than others.
4) When you die, the current ruleset of this location in the hologram allows you to detach yourself completely once again, and you can either re-enter the same ruleset, or, like the switching channels of sequences and events you experience when you dream yourself into a different frequency, you can move on to somewhere else. It will basically be like you have fallen asleep, but this time, you cannot go back where you first woke up—that’s a part of the rules. You must learn, like a lucid dream, to be self-aware somewhere else or inside of someone else instead.
To me, this truly causes much of the events in the world which are perceived as paranormal to make more sense and gives a certain credence to conspiracies, ghosts and UFOs, and also releases the power that is generally reserved to the particle physicists and bank officials and politicians into the hands of the masses where it belongs. To be illuminated and create this place, you must be self-aware and know that you are dreaming. You have not truly woken up. You will never wake up. There is no such thing. There is only a switching of frequencies. Self awareness is a mysterious choice in this world just as much in the dream world. Why, for instance, did I become self-aware in August of 1976? What was I doing in 1940? More than likely, I was busy dreaming, lucidly or otherwise. In August of 1976, I just "went lucid" here and realized I was dreaming, and there were a number of others—billions of self-aware others—who had done just that at this location, on this frequency as well.
Using this experience of being lucid, I think I can imagine what death will probably be like. When you are usually dreaming but are not lucid, there is a moment in which you say to yourself, "I thought I was in bed," and then you think, "Oh my god I am dreaming." You become self-aware. When you die, it will more than likely be the same thing, although instead of "I thought I was in bed," it will be, "I thought I died" and the whirlwind will hit you. It may take you a long time to realize this or you may die and enter the next life fully lucid. It may take you thousands of years to say to yourself "I thought I was dead" or you may know it, instantly. But when you do, you will once again go lucid, and who knows where you may find yourself at that time?
So how do you do it? How do you become self-aware in other places within the hologram? One manner that I have been exploring with much success is that before you go to sleep, you must simply express to yourself the intent of remembering you are dreaming. In addition, you invent some rule or flag that you will see that will help you remember. Carlos Castaneda was informed by the shaman Don Juan to simply look at his hands in his dream. If you look at your hands, you will become self-aware. That is the rule. Once you learn to do this through persistent effort, it becomes much easier. You may not believe it, just by looking at your hands, that you are dreaming, so you need to try other things, such as punching your leg or pinching your arm to ensure you can’t feel it, at which point there is much more evidence that your self awareness can use for it to fully assemble itself in this new location.
Be warned, however-- dreaming while being self-aware takes an unusual amount of energy as the pull of your dreaming self in your bed is quite strong. You may be afraid and just wake up. Once you become self-aware, you have to quickly and forcibly dream something else or you will get sucked out of this other world and you will find yourself in bed again. The easiest way to stop this from happening and stay dreaming after going lucid is to spin in a circle and try to make yourself dizzy inside of your dream. I used to do this by grabbing my ankle and doing a few somersaults. Spinning in a circle while standing is just as effective. Then, once you are lucid, explore the ruleset of this new place. Can you fly? Can you see through walls? Do you see anyone there in front of you? Do you know them? Talk to them. Do they respond? Ask them a question. What does this place look like? What can you do here?
I’ve been able to do this for as long as I can remember—I still recall a dream I had when I was 4 years old, where I realized I was dreaming and asked my dream to give me a boat and a lollipop, which it did in true form. A couple years later, I started practicing flying which was as simple as jumping off of the ground and imagining my arms stretching out into the sky like long threads, and then imagining my feet connected with those long threads to reform into a body and fail to hit the ground upon landing. When I looked down again, I would realize that I was in the air flying over green pastures, mountains, and cityscapes, somewhere way over the rainbow.
Some locations within the hologram respond to you instantly and give you exactly what you want—other places, like this one, ruled more by popular opinion and brute force than anything else, don’t respond as easily, giving you the sense that it is a lot more hard coded and tangible with more rules and structure than other places. Sometimes, in your dreams, you will be in a location that lets you fly. Other times you will find yourself in locations—like the one you are in right now as you read this--that will not let you fly and that you cannot leave as easily. It is a matter of practice and observation. Give it a try, and as Dr. Seuss once said: Oh, the places you’ll go!
If all this is true, and we are in the midst of some dream that we don’t quite understand, where we have a choice to become self-aware whenever and wherever we want--given that we make the choice to do so--then why do we keep coming back to this one which seems to have so many rules, that doesn’t always respond the way we wish it would? There is obviously some type of cord that keeps us pinned here for whatever reason which will eventually release us. But why the cord? Perhaps Don Juan is right in this regard as well. We, as self-aware beings, need a context. Otherwise all we would see and feel and understand as reality is a kaleidoscope of images and sensations with no form that goes everywhere and nowhere at once. This world gives context to other worlds. Otherwise we wouldn’t know what, when, where--or how--to dream.