|We are, all of us, storytellers. Our dreaming minds compose intricately, if often implausibly, plotted dramas from which, regrettably, we generally wake up "at the good part." Sometimes we have the leisure and the skill to drift right back into an intriguing scene to continue the story, and lucid dreaming -- knowing that we're dreaming while we're dreaming -- lets us more fully appreciate our own ingenuity. Even so, we will probably never recapture that entertaining show in subsequent viewings of our REM-chair theater.
Then again, why not?
|Many dreamers, lucid or not, have the ability to program aspects of their dream content by a process of concentration before falling asleep. I engaged in this doggedly in 1982, after the spontaneous appearance of the late Beatle John Lennon in a vivid dream prompted me to seek him every time I became lucid in sleep. I would find him behind chosen doors in empty buildings, or he would manifest in hypnagogic reveries, his hair and clothing styles randomly varied but his famous features and voice recognizable. I even dabbled in automatic writing purporting to come from Lennon. At the time I really wanted to interpret all these meetings as spirit contacts, though I had some suspicion that I was simply dissociating when doing the automatic writing, since the "ghost-Lennon" seemed unable to tell me anything I didn't already know. My skeptical side got a boost thanks to, among other things, stumbling on a book about lucid dreaming, and I started to lean more towards the idea that I had simply created the dream Lennons from my memories and expectations.|
|But, romantic that I am, enlightenment did not take away from enjoyment, and by 1984 I was very deeply into experimenting with lucid dreams, "OBEs," and sundry conscious sleep states while continuing to sustain the hope that there was at least something paranormal about them. For my attempts at "remote viewing," for example, I chose a setting all too common in my dreams at the time: grade school. Whenever I became lucid in a dream setting representing my home town, I could take a mind trip to those familiar buildings, wandering invisibly through the crowded halls, spying on old teachers, and so on. Finding out that I could do this equally well on Saturdays and in the summer when there were no crowds actually in the school finally convinced me that I was indeed only dreaming. But this lucidity stuff was great fun and I began to enjoy myself immensely in the dream world, generally making mischief while honing my dream control skills.|
|This article is an updated and revised version of one that first appeared in LuciDream Journal in 1992.|
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