Meditation
Since this blog’s inception much of its content has been dedicated to getting people to think about freedom and individual liberty, how precious it is, and the public policy decisions that either strengthen or erode America’s moral fabric. At the start of the new year, I came to the conclusion that my ability to change perceptions was extremely limited because I was focusing on the external world’s problems before my own flaws were adequately addressed. And so, I turned inward. One aspect of that introspection began with meditation. Besides stripping away anger and frustration, which has allowed me to think more clearly, it’s also had another profound impact — on my dreams.

Dreams are often discounted as nothing more than a mish-mashed thought-manifestation of whatever is going on in a person’s life at any given moment. I have always believed they possess a deeper meaning. Now, I have come to the conclusion that the subconscious mind will gladly reward the person who makes the conscious decision to want to learn from it.

The following is a dream I woke up from at 6:57 a.m. Was it just a run-of-the-mill dream, a lucid dream or an out-of-body experience? And if lucid dreams are real, what are the implications for a man who could ask his subconscious mind questions about life, the universe and … everything? (Cool points awarded if you got the Douglas Adams reference.)

I’m getting ready to leave a hotel that seems inspired by the Moulin Rogue set design. I’m sitting on some steps just collecting my thoughts and J.K. Simmons walks by. He has no hair and is dressed like a skinhead. He has a swastika tattoo on his shoulder. He stops as he nears me and I wonder if he thinks I’m really a skinhead because I’m muscular and have all my hair shaved off. He sees my favorite Army cap on a railing and says, “Hey…” and looks like he might take it. I grab it and calmly say, “Do you know where you can get these? Old Navy. $10 bucks.” He nods and walks away with his entourage.

The hotel clerk then says to me, “I think that guy was going to steal your hat!”

I reply “Maybe, but I don’t think so.” In my head (in the dream) I think, “because I wasn’t going to let him.” Then I think: “That clerk doesn’t know he was an actor. He thinks he was a real Nazi!” which makes me laugh.

I then stand up and jump from the staircase I was sitting on, but suddenly I’m falling down a shaft farther and farther and father. Then I slow down and start floating. Again, I’m in some sort of Moluin Rouge-ish theater house. I see all sorts of strange things on shelves and there are walls with words written all over them.

I feel like I’m going through a slow Disneyland ride and I’m trying to read all the lettering on the walls. Some sort of fairground music is playing. I then think: “I need to read all of this.” The only thing I can make out is the name of author ‘S.E. Cupp’ although there are many others. As I’m floating I see a game that reminds me of ‘Fireball Island.’ I think: “I used to love that as a kid!” and laugh.

As I continue on I see a sign that says ‘Which Way To The End?’ I then rotate like a clock. I think: “I must want to go home now,” and then do a full clockwise rotation in the air.

At this point I begin speeding up. I’m going faster and as I’m accelerating I see a sign that says ‘You End With a Jump!’ and in midair I do just that like a happy kid. I burst forward at an incredible speed — like a fighter jet with its afterburners on. I’ve never felt like I was going so fast in my life.

I’m suddenly back in the theater, speeding along what seems to be a never ending wind tunnel lined with red velvet movie curtains along the walls. I think: “This is awesome!”

I’m so close to the ceiling that I see a blue glow reflecting off the tile. I think “Is that coming from me? Am I having an out of body experience? Am I returning to my body? I think I am!” I tell myself not to get too excited but I can’t help it and I let out an exhilarating yell. Immediately I come to an abrupt stop, slowly reverse, hear a “woooshhhoop!” noise, and wake up with my wife shaking me; she was under the impression I was having a nightmare (which I used to have regularly). She tells me that in my sleep I was breathing incredibly fast. I tell her that’s because I was flying like Superman if he wanted to get somewhere in a hurry.

Imagine the personal growth men and women could attain if they could ask the symbolic representations in their dreams what, exactly, they mean. What if a individual spends his days trying to improve his body, mind and spirit — and his nights doing the same thing? What would happen if we could stop the elements of our nightmares in their tracks to ask them why they haunt us? How would the physical world transform if individuals made the conscious decision during sleeping hours to take the darkest corners of their minds and fill them with light?

If these are questions that interest you as much as they do me, I suggest giving meditation a try. Then, feel free to circle back with me here with your findings. I’d love to hear your stories.

Best,

Doug

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

8 comments

  1. Yeah, I’ve always believed that dreams had a deeper meaning to them and that they were more than just your mind’s “recycling system,” as one of my high school teachers referred to it as. I can’t think of any offhand that I could describe as an out-of-body experience, but I do know is that a lot of my story ideas have originated as dreams or daydreams.

    1. Carl: Indeed some of my inspiration comes from dreams. Some of them get me out of sleep and then I must write — compelled by the color of the visions and emotions that they evoke. Sometimes they are a description of the dreams themselves. See http://vermontverse.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/two-thousand-miles-of-lonely/

      Other times the thread of the dream leads to an expansion of the poetry/story:
      http://vermontverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/plans-and-schemes-and-texas-dreams/

      Re: out of body experience: I’ve had 2. One at the funeral of a very close friend, momentary vision but a real one, and one in a grocery store that led to this poem:

      http://vermontverse.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/the-ghost-in-the-produce/

      Doug: Dream log sounds like a good idea. I’ll be starting one myself.

    2. Jim,

      All three of those links have really strong pieces. Impressive! I’m glad you’ll be starting a dream journal because it appears you have plenty of interesting material running through your head.

  2. Great stuff. I think certain dreams also allow you to make connections that you may have been on the cusp of making during your awake time. Be it new ideas, moral discoveries, lessons. And other times maybe for creative enjoyment.

    I’ve had a couple experiences, where the dream was incredibly lucid, and memorable. In particular, I’ve had some that played out like some type of thriller or action “movie” which I only use to describe it that way since it had a storyline that I could follow, and recall everything that happened at any given moment during the dream.

    Eventually the “story” of the dream came full circle, and when I woke up I couldn’t believe that my subconscious had conjured up what it had.

    1. That’s actually what’s so amazing, in that your mind is doing all of this instantly. It’s literally creating worlds for you in real time. I don’t know how anyone could just cast dreams off as nonsensical jibber-jabber.

    2. Likely people that can’t stand to live in their own mind. Which is unfortunate.

      Its too bad too that we haven’t fully unlocked this aspect of our ‘self’ like we have with other physical or mental activities. Probably due to the fact that everyone’s character is different, so there is nothing to be taught. I’ve talked to people that only dream in black and white, only lucid dream, and many who claim they don’t dream at all.

      It seems like something to endeavor to master nonetheless.

  3. “…The dream is always the same. Instead of going home, I go to the neighbors’. I ring, but nobody answers. The door is open, so I go inside. I’m looking around for the people, but nobody seems to be there. And then I hear the shower running, so I go upstairs to see what’s what. Then I see her; this… girl, this incredible girl. I mean, what she’s doing there I don’t know, because she doesn’t live there… but it’s a dream, so I go with it. “Who’s there?” she says. “Joel,” I say. “What are you doing here?” “I don’t know what I’m doing here; what are you doing here?” “I’m taking a shower,” she says. Then I give her: “You want me to go?” “No,” she says; “I want you to wash my back.” So now, I’m gettin’ enthusiastic about this dream. So I go to her, but she’s hard to find through all the steam and stuff; I keep losing her. Finally I get to the door… and I… find myself in a room full of kids taking their college boards. I’m over three hours late; I’ve got two minutes to take the whole test. I’ve… just made a terrible mistake. I’ll never get to college. My life is ruined.”–Tom Cruise, “Risky Business”

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