Regular readers of this blog know that I started to occasionally write on lucid dreaming in 2013. For some odd reason it took me until 2015 to run across an old TedX video by Charlie Morley, whose experiences with the practice mirrored my own. I was impressed by his ability to articulate just how useful lucid dreaming could be for, say, soldiers who suffer from PTSD or just the guy down the street who wants to confront his nightmares. I recently took Mr. Morley’s online course through Awake Academy to see what tricks he might know that I didn’t. I must say that I walked away (or should I say “slept away”?) impressed.
Here is one snippet from Week 2 of the seven-week course that I can vouch for through my own personal experiences:
To believe that your itsy-bitsy me, my, I sense of self that you bring in to the lucid dream state can in any way dominate, subjugate or control the power of the unconscious mind is to ascribe that sense of self and inflated degree of importance. The unconscious mind is awesome in power. As awesomely powerful as the ocean, perhaps. And to quote my friend Robert Waggoner: “Just as no sailor can control the sea, so to does no lucid dreamer control the dream.”
It would be an arrogant sailor to believe that they could control the awesome power of the ocean. And so too, I believe it is an arrogant lucid dreamer who believes that they can in any way control the powerful oceanic unconscious. So drop control. Don’t try it. Instead, turn your attention to making friends. Make an ally out of the unconscious. Be friendly towards it. Go into the dream with open arms saying, “I’m ready to meet the mystery.” If you do that, you’ll still be able to ‘control’ the dream and do whatever you want, but you won’t be doing it from a point of domination or subjugation — You’ll be doing it from a point of friendship.
Two years ago I was having lucid dreams that lasted 10-15 seconds. Over time that got up to perhaps a minute. These days when I have a lucid dream it feels like I’m lucid from 5-7 minutes. Like Mr. Morley says, the unconscious mind is incredibly powerful; the ocean analogy is spot-on. Likewise, it is possible to essentially become “friends” with your own subconscious. It may sound weird, but it is true.
During a recent lucid dream I asked my unconscious mind to impart wisdom. I was given an answer about certain unchanging elements of man’s nature, and when the tutorial was over and I found myself still lucid I casually asked, “So, I was just wondering, what the heck was that earlier dream I had tonight supposed to symbolize?” Again, my unconscious mind answered. I may not always get the answer I want, and some replies are downright mysterious, but I always wake up having learned something about myself.
There is no way I could fit the knowledge from all seven weeks of Mr. Morley’s course into a single blog post. Besides, that would be incredibly unfair to him and all the hard work he put into the project.
I will say this, however: If you want to start lucid dreaming, then a dream journal is a must. If you have the intention to lucid dream and you write down what you can remember at least five days a week, then you will probably be half-way to obtaining your goal. I would be happy to give you some pointers in the comments section below, but if you really want an assortment of tools for your “dream toolbox,” then I suggest checking out Mr. Morley’s course.
Note: If you regularly read and comment on this blog and you want to take the course — but you find it is too expensive — let me know and I will deposit $60 into a PayPal account for you. That is roughly half the course fee. I will do this for the first TWO “regulars” who make such a request. For those of you who are waiting for me to make contact about T-shirts, just know that I have not forgotten about you. I got a little sidetracked and haven’t been able to finish the design to my liking.