Robert Waggoner: Lucidly Aware, But Mentally Trapped?
By Robert Waggoner
Lucid Dreaming Experience (LDE) Magazine
Original Link (pdf)
The movement from dreaming to lucid dreaming involves a shift in awareness; we realize “This is a dream!” Suddenly, a portion of the waking self’s awareness engages the unconscious realm of dreams. But what then? Aware in this new realm, we often overlay an invisible structure of beliefs, expectations and ideas upon it. Instead of relating to the actual unconscious and its potential, we instinctively establish and engage the invisible structure of our belief system. Without even realizing it, lucid dreamers act like a bird encircled by its own concepts, its own mind-cage, and fails to see the unlimited space there, or the open door.
I was reminded of this a few months ago, when I posted a simple question in the ‘advanced’ section of a lucid dreaming forum. I asked if anyone had used lucid dreaming to heal a physical problem? The first month, no one responded, even though the counter showed a couple hundred people had read this simple post. I assumed that the lucid dreamers at this (largely European) forum had no lucid dream healing experiences to share.
Then, something surprising happened. One lucid dreamer replied with a possible lucid healing experience, whereupon numerous lucid dreamers emerged to challenge the idea! They expressed deep doubts that a lucid dreamer could influence the healing of any physical ailment, except perhaps emotionally related issues. They wanted scientific proof before even considering such a ‘radical’ idea.
Of course, some experienced lucid dreamers have sought physical healing, while consciously aware in the dream state, and achieved considerable success with a rapid disappearance of symptoms. Ed Kellogg, Ph.D. has personally investigated lucid dream healing and written a number of papers on it. In my book, Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self, I have a chapter on “Healing in Lucid Dreams” showing approximately a dozen apparently successful lucid healings and a few unsuccessful attempts.
This idea is not new. In 1985, Stephen LaBerge wrote in Lucid Dreaming: “The fact that our laboratory studies have revealed a high correlation between dream behavior and physiological responses presents a rare opportunity for developing an unusual degree of self-control of physiology that might prove useful for selfhealing.” Later, Patricia Garfield agreed with this idea, citing some actual lucid healing experiences in The Healing Power of Dreams (1992). She concludes, “The potential for healing in lucid dreams is enormous.”
The forum’s debate about the idea of lucid dream healing demonstrates that lucid dreaming’s potential seems largely constrained by the lucid dreamer’s own conceptual boundaries. As long as the concept of healing one’s self in a lucid dream seems radical or impossible, it becomes so in one’s experience. But as soon as a lucid dreamer opens to the concept positively, something truly revolutionary happens: the previously impossible becomes possible. At that point of conceptual expansion, new events are allowed and healings occur.
This small issue relates to a much larger one; namely, to achieve the real potential of lucid dreaming requires revolutionary conceptual openness. Without that revolutionary conceptual openness, the lucid dreamer merely contends with the unexamined limits of his or her conceptual boundaries.
Like an invisible fence, each lucid dreamer’s belief system and courage begin to define the boundaries of their lucid explorations. To a large degree, we only explore to the extent that we feel comfortable; otherwise our fears constrain our unconscious explorations. Similarly, we only explore that which we believe exists or conceptually accept; there seems no need to explore what we have pre-determined to be impossible.
Thankfully, the larger awareness, which we encounter in some lucid dreams, beckons lucid dreamers to reconceive the dream realm, and open their minds to being even more adventurous. However, an inflexible mind can ignore these hints and suggestions, and persist in old patterns of belief. I know in my case, it took years and years of odd behavior from dream figures before I granted some the capacity for ‘independent agency.’ Since I was steeped in the cultural belief that ‘all dream figures’ exist as a product of my mind, I could not accept conscious dream figures having their own independent agenda and ignored the evidence for that, since it conflicted with my beliefs at the time.
The quickest resolution lies in surrendering to the lucid dream state, letting go of limiting concepts and accepting the unconscious as a mystery. To do this requires the capacity to allow ‘not-knowing,’ where you actively offer yourself the freedom of infinite wonder.
With each lucid surrendering, the conceptual boundaries begin to expand and the mind grows. At some point, you realize that concepts act as a hindrance to unconscious experience and distort its truest expression.
As you wrestle with emotions that arise and the fears of what conceptual freedom might mean, you begin to untie the knots of self limitations. As these self expressions unravel, you feel the lucidity of unencumbered awareness.
Lucid dreaming allows us many freedoms, including the freedom to test our beliefs and assumptions. Let go and allow the larger Awareness beyond lucidity to express the real mystery.
The Awareness Behind The Dream: A Portal Between Dimensions
By Ileana Lartigue
Lucid Dreaming Experience (LDE) Magazine
Original Link (pdf)
By far the most useful notion I’ve come across related to lucid dreaming is that of the presence of an awareness that lies beyond the visible dreamscape. It has helped me develop a much stronger connection with the dreamworld. In my experience, its energy signature, the energy pattern it presents when summoned during sleep, can function as an interdimensional portal that is accessible outside the realm of dreams. It opens to pathways of the psyche previously unknown to me and facilitates the passage and communication between levels of consciousness, as well as the reception of information and guidance outside my habitual scope.
From the moment the idea first entered my mind, I was captivated by the enormity and the beauty of it. I heard Robert Waggoner talk about it in a video interview by Iain McNay. In that interview, Robert says, referring to his first conscious interaction with it: “… I realized something crucial for me which was there might be an awareness behind the dream.”
The notion fascinated me. That same night I did as Robert suggested. When lucid, I asked the awareness to make itself known and explain the significance of a dream character whose presence was baffling me. Out of nowhere, an invisible force came forth and surrounded me. It was irrefutable. There was an intelligence present in the dream that responded the instant I called upon it. It gently but firmly enveloped me and pulled me upward through the levels of the old building structure I was in, to the top of what felt like a belfry or tower. There I was given the answer I’d requested, written on two translucent fortune cookie wrappers.
That was the first of a series of lucid dreams that came in quick succession over the nights that followed. In those initial dreams, the moment I solicited it, a magnetic force field was activated, a field of energy that embraced it all and that I could feel at the heart of me. It was powerful, all knowing, all encompassing. It possessed an understanding that seemed boundless. I knew it was there to help me and guide me. It didn’t speak to me directly as Robert’s did. Some of the answers it gave were mysterious. All were poetic. They came in different forms: I was transported somewhere to witness a dreamscape or action that held the key to my query; I was given a symbol that represented my answer; I was handed the solution in some kind of written form, etc.
From Dreaming into Wakefulness
The communication with the larger dream awareness had an incredible impact on my psyche. It changed my lucid dreaming significantly and opened up possibilities that, if not for it, I may never have known were there. During those first interactions I established a strong, lasting, ever-present connection with the non-visible awareness that inhabits my dreams and, it soon became clear to me, if conjured, my waking life. The first reference in my journal to the awareness overflowing from dreaming into wakefulness came after our second meeting:
“I become lucid at some point and remember to call out to the awareness. The awareness comes forth. It’s powerful beyond anything I’ve ever encountered before. I realize it holds the answers to anything I need to know. I can sense its presence in and around me. I can feel it at my core. All pervasive, it reaches much further than what seems, in comparison, my very limited scope. I feel a new reverence for the dreamscape. I’m enthralled.
“I remember to ask it why I’m here, meaning: what is my purpose for this lifetime? The awareness immediately responds. The dreamscape shifts to take the form of my answer. I see myself from a distance, as observer witnessing a scene that unfolds. I’m in a dark tunnel holding the string of a balloon in my left hand. Upon closer observation, I see that the object floating in the air is not a balloon but the face of Christ. Its features remind me of a Byzantine icon. It’s very large. The string in my hand that links me to it is thick; more like a connecting cord, organic in nature, an umbilical cord of sorts.
“I adhere to no religion. The dream is referring, not to the biblical figure, but to Christ Consciousness, the recognition of the divine in all things. The awareness is telling me my objective in this life is to achieve that state of higher consciousness.” (21 February 2014)
That dialog in images with the awareness was key for me. It shed light on the meaning of my existence, gave sense to many of my apparently incongruent past actions, and helped me bring together my until-then dispersed life force into one unified flow. I was very grateful for having received such insight.
But, just as important as this, was that the sensation that the awareness had been deeply imprinted in me. I could feel it in every atom. I realized from that moment onward that the communication with the awareness I’d encountered during sleep was not limited to dreamtime. The bond I’d made with it seemed to have carried into wakefulness. Shortly afterwards I wrote:
“. . . the dream consciousness I’ve interacted with in the past three lucid dreams . . . seems to be present in waking reality. . .. I should maintain and feel the presence during waking time.” (22 February 2014)
I began to invoke the dream awareness on and off throughout the day when in need of answers or guidance. I was able to activate the same sentient energy field while in meditative states, once free of the space-time continuum. It didn’t seem to make any difference whether I was awake or asleep. I could feel the same force come alive around me and surround me like a protective cloak that permeated everything. The answers came as needed, just as in sleep, only adapted to physical form.
The key was to bring forth the exact energy imprint as in the dream state. My body has memorized it and I’m able to replicate it almost exactly when awake. It feels similar to calling upon the inner self in dissociated states. But it’s not exactly the same. The presence of the dream awareness in waking is stronger, steadier. It’s a deeper, more informed, less filtered version of it. This might be because it’s coming directly from the dreamtime. The sensation that’s triggered when it emerges is akin to that of becoming lucid in dreams. Only here, I’m becoming hyper-awake in wakefulness.
A shift in perspective takes place then and I perceive waking reality from the energy standpoint of the awareness behind the dream. There is a merging of states that occurs as the waking self opens up to integrate a flow of consciousness that’s coming from another realm. As the two meet, the dreamlike nature of physicality becomes immediately apparent, with no effort. It’s automatic. It generates a hybrid state in which I’m harnessing both worlds. This gives rise to the inescapable sensation that the world of matter is constructed not out of solid objects. They are but symbols projected outward, born of the psyche. They’re therefore malleable and can be interacted with and impacted exactly as in dreams. I can clearly sense my role as generator of the waking dream and my incidence on the material landscape. I’m able to catch glimpses of my full creative power.
The same all-knowing guiding force that I access in sleep becomes accessible to me in wakefulness. This is invaluable. As stated above, the guidance I can access through this practice feels surer than the one received from the level of the inner self I had tuned into in waking previously. It feels like a more profound, more detailed, less distorted flow of information of that same inner guidance.
From Hypnagogia into Lucidity
Recently I’ve started to take the interaction with the awareness in another direction. I’m experimenting with using it as portal into lucid dreaming, which is paradoxical, since that’s where I encountered it first. It seems to work as an entryway into WILDs. I activate its energy pattern in my body. I hold it there as I drift through hypnagogia. This creates some sort of energetic tunnel or pathway through which my consciousness can move into the dream state without losing focus:
“I tune into the awareness behind the dream and hold it in my body. Hypnagogic images begin to take form. I see a room in the house I grew up in. The dream is opening up in front of me though I’m not yet asleep. I move forward and into the room with determination, attempting to enter the dream that’s beginning to solidify. As I’m doing this I clearly feel how my waking consciousness morphs into dreaming consciousness. I feel the moment of transition, the exact point where the waking self yields to its dreaming counterpart and lets it take over. It’s amazing. An unbelievable sensation. I’m now surrounded by the dreamscape, fully lucid. I know my body sleeps.” (25 March 2019)
In this instance I was able to pinpoint the exact moment of transition from one form of awareness to another. Sometimes there’s a gap between the hypnagogic state and the re-emergence of conscious awareness in the lucid dream. There’s so much ground to cover still.
I continue to explore the potential of the larger awareness that dwells in my dreams. It’s a magic entryway to the crisscrossing fabric of consciousness. I’d like to use this gate to achieve my purpose, as indicated by the larger dream awareness: the recognition of the presence of one same source energy in it all. Unity of consciousness.
I’m very grateful to Robert Waggoner for this incredible contribution to the world of lucid dreams. It’s a master key to the golden territory of the unknown.
How Conscious Are Lucid Dream Figures?
By Clare R. Johnson
Lucid Dreaming Experience (LDE) Magazine
Original Link (pdf)
Excerpted from the new release The Art of Lucid Dreaming
Some of the most spine-tingling encounters I’ve had in lucid dreams involve animals. I’ve danced with elephants, lived in the jungle with a Bengal tiger, turned into a dolphin, discovered a baby bird napping on my bedside table, met the mother of all lizards in a luminous bardo zone, encountered a frozen stallion made of champagne, and had an ecstatic lucid kundalini awakening with a green serpent. Many of my dream animals are recurring figures in my dreams and they take on the role of guides, showing me when I need to pay attention to things in my life.
Some dream figures simply aren’t too bright; they can lack awareness and seem puppet-like. Others seem super-conscious — we get a little shock when we look into their eyes because they are so present and alert. These are the best ones to go to with our questions. This next practice shows the four main levels of awareness of dream figures that I’ve come up with. There will be other levels for sure, and every dreamer is different, so you may like to customise these “types” as you explore more deeply.
Practice #52: How Conscious Are Your Dream Figures?
Would you wander out onto the high street and ask a random stranger: “Where is my life going?” or: “Should I split up with my girlfriend?” True — for some, this sort of exchange can and does happen after pub closing time, but don’t we at least look people in the eye and exchange a few words first? In lucid dreams there’s sometimes the sense that we’ll wake up imminently, so we stress out, trying to squeeze in our goal. But when we become adept at stabilising the dream, we can chill out more.
This guide is to help you to find the best dream person to spill out your heart to, while remembering one vital thing about lucid dreaming: Since the lucid dream itself hums with awareness, directing a question to the dream itself can be just as beneficial, if not more so, than seeking out a dream figure to ask. In many cases, the dream figure can be seen as a kind of prop — we’re used to talking to people in waking life, so we feel the need to find an image of a person to talk to in a lucid dream, to make it seem “real” for us. But we could just as easily direct our question to the underlying, thrumming awareness that lucid dream imagery emerges from.
Zombies — these are the “film extras” of lucid dreaming. They have little more substance than a cardboard cut-out, and are non-responsive if you try to talk to them. The more lucid we are, the fewer zombies we meet.
Puppets — these are rather cute in their own way: they’ll talk to you, but you’ll have the distinct impression that you’re the one putting words into their mouths by expecting a particular response, or by telepathically supplying them with the words. If you imagine them laughing, then guess what? They laugh! Puppets do their best to keep up socially and maintain the illusion that they think their own thoughts, but their act is pretty easy to see through.
Conscious equals — some dream figures seem able to talk to us on an equal level. They don’t seem to intuit our thoughts and spit them right back out at us like the puppets do; instead they respond with insight. They can surprise us and they can argue coherently. Often, they take on the role of guides or mentors and can be helpful at initiating us further into the mysteries of lucid dreaming.
Super-aware — you’ll know if you meet one of these. Super-aware dream figures seem even more conscious than we are! They seem to act autonomously and possess a higher awareness and deep knowledge. It is electrifying (and occasionally terrifying) to find ourselves in the presence of these super-aware figures, who often manifest in non-human form, such as a glowing globe of light. Keeping our cool and not giving in to fear can make or break this type of encounter. When we stay calm and curious, we can learn so much from this type of lucid dream figure. If things get too scary, you can always wake yourself up — but it can be immensely rewarding to hold onto your courage and stay in the dream.
Whenever you ask lucid dream figures a question about your life situation, your future, the nature of reality, or any other pressing question you may have (“What are next week’s lottery numbers?” “Will I get laid this weekend?”), be alert for nonsensical or insanely cryptic responses, but it’s best never to dismiss anything in the dream, as sometimes we only understand the message (if there is one) once we’ve woken up.
No matter who we ask, remember that just asking aloud — asking the dream itself — is really effective, because the lucid dream is conscious. Responses may manifest through a voice booming out from nowhere, or a stream of imagery showing us a particular sequence of events, or the appearance of a person or image. We might suddenly be awash with a strong emotion, or experience a flood of insight.
When we ask profound questions in a lucid dream, such as “What happens after we die?” Or: “What is the meaning of life?” what often happens is that we get swept up by an invisible wind and transported at top speed into a vast sparkling lucid void, or we are pulled downward into a spiralling black hole. Don’t be afraid if this happens! Just hold onto your hat and go with that wind, because this sort of response from the lucid dream often ends in incredibly blissful states where we receive knowledge and experience pure interconnected oneness (more on that exciting state of affairs in chapter nine).
• Dream Basics
• Charlie Morley & Lucid Dreaming
• Robert Hoss: Lucid Dreams
• Lucid Dreaming – Dream Studies Portal (Ryan Hurd)
• 5 Amazing Spiritual Lucid Dreaming Books You Might Have Missed (Ryan Hurd)
• 3 Must See TED Talks on Lucid Dreaming
• Karim, The Alter Ego
• The Tibetan Book of the Dead