In 1985 after ten years of lucid dreaming, I had a mini-epiphany after an unexpected conversation in a lucid dream. In the dream, I approached an elderly dream figure in a three-piece suit and lucidly asked him, “Excuse me, what do you represent?”
Instead of the dream figure responding to me directly (as I expected from previous lucid dreams), an unseen Voice boomed out a response from ten feet above, “The acquired characteristics!”
The response did not make complete sense, so I looked up towards the empty space above the dream figure and asked, “The acquired characteristics of what?” It felt like the unseen Voice had to process my query for a moment, whereupon it boomed out, ‘The acquired characteristics of the happy giver!” Okay, I now knew what he represents. I decided to wake up and record this lucid dream.
In the morning, I began to wonder why an unseen Voice boomed out a response?
Did this mean that ‘behind‘ the dream figures and settings, an unseen awareness exists in every lucid dream?
Or did I simply have a weird experience?
As the months went on, I began to experiment. In this new set of lucid dreams, I simply ignored the dream figures, and asked questions of the unseen awareness, like, ‘Show me something important for me to see!‘ After a few lucid experiments, it seemed obvious that an unseen awareness (or some other layer of self) existed in the lucid dream. Moreover, this awareness seemed much more creative than, well, me.
In retrospect, an unseen awareness in dreams does not seem too shocking. I recalled some infrequent normal dreams in which an unseen ‘voice‘ made a comment about the dream situation, or its symbolism (and if you think about it, you may recall dreams in which an unseen narrator makes commentary or explains dream symbols).
I then realized that I had already heard this unseen Voice, but discounted it as just another strange dream thing, like flying cars. I also recall reading of the ‘hidden observer‘ in deep hypnosis, explored by psychologist, Ernest Hilgard (but science criticized this, feeling the hidden observer seemed largely a function of demand characteristics in the hypnosis process).
Months later, when Stephen LaBerge‘s first book came out in 1985, he appears to have experienced something similar. LaBerge wrote of announcing or intending in lucid dreams “….to surrender to ‘The Highest.‘ (p 244) When he surrendered to the lucid dream, it often changed significantly and he found himself following its direction, rather than influencing it. LaBerge writes that one such lucid dream of surrender led to ―one of the most satisfying experiences of my life.” (p 245)
LaBerge left untouched the issue of who or what ‘responds‘, writing, “Such questions as whether this is a part of yourself or something beyond yourself need not be resolved at this point.” (p 244)
Because of my lucid dream experiments, I have engaged directly this unseen awareness, and view or listen to its response, and see its knowledge, wisdom and creativity (which I illuminate in my first book, Lucid Dreaming – Gateway to the Inner Self). Thousands of other lucid dreamers have engaged this aware layer of self too. However, for those who have a distrust or fear of the idea of an aware layer of self, not surprisingly they receive no response or perhaps something variant like laughter, or unintelligible sounds.
Lucid dreamers need to explore this, and resolve it. Explored, this layer of awareness may offer broad access to unforeseen creativity and insight (which may help a needy world creatively resolve serious issues). Explored, this layer of awareness may help science reconfigure the nature of self and consciousness (which may broaden the view of an ego based culture). Explored, it may show you something utterly profound: your self as it truly exists.
U.K. artist, presenter and lucid dreamer, Caroline McCready speaks with interviewer Robert Waggoner about exploring conceptual boundaries through lucid dreaming.read more
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
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