I rarely dream anymore. Usually you need sleeping for dreaming, and I probably don’t get as much of that as I should. (Dreams without sleeping are usually considered hallucinations, and are generally frowned upon if you don’t have a good reason for them.) With few dreams, I have little chance to practice turning dreams into lucid dreams, which are dreams in which you are aware that you are dreaming, and have some varying degree of control over aspects of the dream.
I first worked on the skills for lucid dreaming nearly 30 years ago. I had a wide selection of books on subjects like Tarot cards, Hypnosis, the I Ching, Astral Projection, Astrology, Creative Visualization, and the like. I don’t think that, even back then, I tried to avoid treating these subjects as magical divination, but rather noticed that they had elements of meditation, goal setting, focused concentration, and trying to foster an internal dialog. The astral projection book had two general sections, one for locomotion of the consciousness within a dream world, the other within the physical world. The dream version I recognize now as being what most people would consider to be lucid dreaming. (the book was also interesting in that the author became increasingly erratic and irrational in the later chapters. I finished the book with the general feeling that I was following the transcript of someone going insane. Somehow, that did not deter me.)
Last night, I had a dream with some minor lucid aspects to it. I went like this.
My wife and I were talking and suddenly my brother-in-law appeared. He didn’t appear to be the age at which he passed away, but rather he was much younger. I’d say he looked similar to photos I’ve seen where he is about 4-6 years old. We commented to each other that either this was an incredibly bizarre occurrence, or it was a dream, so we decided to check it out. We walked out of the front door of the house, and I sank down through the cement of the front walk, and then back up. I asked my wife what she saw, and she said that she suddenly saw a few dozen of me, and then all of me collapsed back into one. At that point we concluded that we produced something bizarre enough that this must have been a dream. Once aware that it was a dream, it allowed us some control over the environment, but being out of practice with lucid dreaming I kept falling back to taking things at face value and reacting to it. If I can encourage this and get back in practice with it, I know I can exert and more control over things.
When I woke, one of the things I found really odd was that all through the dream, and through the realization that I was in the dream, I never considered the fact that all the discussions I was having with my wife weren’t actually with her, but rather with a dream manifestation of her. I was asking “are we in a dream” and trusting her response.