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Lucid Dream

Hi All,

I know very little about lucid dreaming so I hope someone can offer some insight.

A friend once told me that when you realize you're dreaming you should try to fly. Why this is useful, I don't know, but I've done that three or four times in lucid dreams, and I can see that it might help someone to let go of his/her inhibitions. I seem to recall reading somewhere that Jung didn't have a high regard for Lucid Dreaming, but I don't choose to believe something just because someone smart said it was so.

Here's the dream: At the end of a day of work, which took place before my dream began (i.e. this dream began with the pre-existing history of that work day), I found myself walking in the woods at night. The feeling tone I experienced was that there was very little separation between the work day and the walk in the woods, i.e. that the two were one.

As I emerged into a clearing, the sky became visible and breathtakingly beautiful. I could clearly see a number of complete spiral galaxies in the sky (which I've done before - and Jung viewed the spiral as a symbol of individuation) and it was by seeing these galaxies that I recognized I was dreaming.

As I said, I've flown in dreams a number of times, and it was nice but not all that fulfilling, so in the dream I decided to do something different this time. I thought that the sky might represent the divine, so I tried to reform the images of stars and galaxies into the face of God (my religious beliefs are fairly eclectic and heavily Eastern but not anti-Christian).

At this point, as I was reforming the stars into the image of God's face, the stars/galaxies seemed more like a swarm of angry bees (maybe frustrated bees), and I had a strong sense that I'd misunderstood the significance of the image of the sky.

I became aware at the same time that I was in danger of awakening, so I tried to reconstruct the sky as I saw it earlier, and tried to remain in the dream while doing so. Maybe I should say that I tried to allow the scene to return to its previous state, rather than that I tried to reconstruct it.

I had some success in doing this, but the sky looked different in two specific ways. Whereas the night sky was black at first, it now took on a bluish hue. And there were fewer galaxies in the sky (if any), but some larger and very beautiful stars too.

This was the moment of awakening. This dream was very intriguing to me, and seemed to be laden with significance, so I'd be very interested to know your thoughts!

Thanks,
Jim/Pryzm

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Re: Lucid Dream

Pryzm,
On the subject of lucid dreaming.

I am not a fan of lucid dreaming. I see dreams as a tool to help discover truths about oneself, the psychology of the individual. If you were able to control your dreams, as in lucid dreaming, this compensatory function of dreams would be negated. Dreams are like the body's immune system. They help protect the psyche by working through stresses and emotional issues. If one spends their dream time 'flying' there would no time for this healing function. It reduces the dream to ego status.

But there are positive aspects of lucid dreaming. If you encounter situations that requires answers in the dream life, lucid dreaming can be a great tool for finding those answers. But as we all know humans are weak and undisciplined. Just with the ego life, to be able to control our dreams would only result in a fantasy life {how many people live to play computer games?}. The ego will always choose the easy way out. Lucid dreaming for most would lead to the same results.

Gerard

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Re: Lucid Dream

In Jung's view lucid dreams were important dreams with special important meaning. These dreams are also often in color. Your dream has a numinous (divine) quality.Your were ALREADY looking at god… What you did wrong was trying to change/control it (affirm your ego) instead of letting yourself being immersed in it. You traded control for experience and this is why the dream's tone changed.

In fact it's flying that Jung did not think much of. The sky is for birds, the earth for humans.

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Re: Lucid Dream

Thanks, Gerard and Lucius, for your insights. I've tried to give them some careful thought over a busy time.

And I'd like to point out first of all that I've never tried to dream lucidly, but that as I have tried consciously to honor the contents of the unconscious, I've also experienced lucid dreams with somewhat greater frequency. Whether this is mere coincidence or not, I've continued to view lucid dreaming as possibly lacking in value, for reasons basically identical with those expressed in your comments, Gerard, for as long as I've known about lucid dreams (not very long I admit).

(And I certainly agree with you, Lucius, when you say that I was already looking at the divine in the dream. I suppose that's why the thought to query the dream in the way I did occurred to me; in the dream state I couldn't think of another question to ask.)

But this dream has led me to consider the subject of Lucid Dreaming more closely and I'd like to ask you both a couple of questions I've been thinking about.

In the first place, in dreams we remember, unconscious contents have obviously become conscious. Does this flow of information/experience occur in one
direction only? Of course not; in fact, it is often the content that we push into unconsciousness by suppression that provides the thematic material for our dreams. So the flow of content between the conscious and the unconscious is bi-directional.

I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with an unconscious that simply issued edicts; it would seem to confer an altogether God-like character to the unconscious. And even though that may not be too far from the truth, I don't want to go there in this post...

The fact that content flows in both directions has led me to wonder about the optimal way(s) for this flow to occur, and whether it might be possible to dream lucidly without reducing dreams to ego status.

Of course, I think we should pay particular attention to unconscious contents as shown through dreams, and I've been wondering since this dream about whether in dreaming lucidly we may actually be best able to do that.

So, rather than controlling a dream by flying, might we be able to ask the dream to show us the spirit of a person in the dream, or even of a tree or mountain? Could we ask to see what is on the other side of a barrier, or even what we might be hiding from, that the unconscious, through the dream, is trying to show us? These are just a few questions we might ask; the list seems endless.

Of course these are just my questions about lucid dreaming; I'd like to address the actual content of my dream if we can arrive at a good starting point.

And I have to admit that even by asking questions, I am projecting! But I think it's much better to query a dream with an open mind and heart than to try to control it.

Thanks again for your posts, and for considering what are probably some very naive questions.

Best Regards,
Jim/Pryzm

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Re: Lucid Dream

What should we do if we find ourselves in a lucid dream? Is there any value to being in such a dream?

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