For me and many others, our first lucid dream lesson seemed a simple one — don’t get too excited or the lucid dream may collapse. Within seconds of feeling far too much emotion while lucid, I could sense the coming collapse of the lucid dream. After a few more similar experiences, the lesson to modulate my emotions felt hardwired into my lucid dreaming playbook.
Then another lesson appeared – don’t stare at dream objects for too long. For some reason, staring at dream objects made the lucid dreams unstable and likely to collapse. Perhaps it relates to the rapid eye movement (REM) normally associated with dreaming, meaning a fixed stare seems incompatible with the dreaming process. Whatever the cause, it only took a few lucid dreams to teach me not to stare at a dream object for too long.
More lessons, even subtle ones began to occur. I realized that I had to maintain my lucid dream awareness and not get re-entranced by the lucid dream events. Has that happened to you? You become lucid, begin to explore the dream state, and see something so amazing and absorbing that you forget it’s a dream. Soon enough, you learn the lesson of maintaining ‘lucid’ awareness, while exploring the dream.
The Expectation Effect? Who Writes the Code for Lucid Dreaming?
Have you noticed the principle of the expectation effect? Lucidly aware, you ‘expect’ to fly through the wall easily, and you do so. But on the return flight, the wall seems more solid, and now you suddenly expect trouble and bounce off it! It’s a dream wall, but in that moment your expectation rules.
The lessons of lucid dreaming seem both common place and largely universal. After a number of lucid dreams, and a bit of conscious attention, most all of us begin to see that certain rules and principles apply to the lucid dream state. We may not know ‘why’ these particular rules exist, but we pay attention to the rules since violating them may result in the lucid dream’s termination.
Where does the rules and structure come from? If you play a virtual reality game on your computer, you know that somewhere, someone created the software code and rules for the virtual reality game. The rules and coding become quickly evident as you play the game,. You learn that advancing requires understanding the rules as you respond quickly and thoughtfully to the virtual reality.
But in the virtual reality of lucid dreaming, who wrote the software code? Who decided upon the rules? Who placed a campus setting on the other side of the wall that you just flew through? Does the lucid dream have an inner programmer, or does it just emerge from the cloud of the collective unconscious? Who responds to your intent?
As you explore the world of lucid dreaming, notice how the lessons occur naturally and universally. Without that, you wouldn’t be able to talk about lucid dreams with other lucid dreamers, because each person’s experience would seem too unique and idiosyncratic. But because the lucid dreaming state has rules and principles, you can discuss it and everyone gets the lessons of lucid dreaming.
Every lucid dream has a lesson. Attended to with thoughtful awareness, lucid dreaming will teach you to become a better lucid dreamer. What lessons have you learned?
Occasionally when I am giving lucid dream presentations, someone will raise their hand and ask, “How would you describe the experience of lucid dreaming to someone who has never had a lucid dream before?”read more
At the time, it seemed a simple question, which I posed to the young woman in the lucid dream. But this simple question led to profound lessons in lucidity, and taught me much about the nature of transformation in dreams, lucid dreams and waking.read more
Do you begin to relate to the reflection? Does your analytical mind arise (e.g., ‘I need to wash my hair’) or the emotional mind (e.g., ‘You look marvelous!’) or the social mind (e.g., ‘I wish that pimple would go away—I want to look good for the party’)?read more
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