Lucid dreaming, the meaning of life, and flying through space like a ballistic missile

As regular readers know, I occasionally have lucid dreams. Sometimes I share the memory of those dreams so that others can discuss their own experiences — or perhaps just see the weirdness floating around in my subconscious. For all those political posts that have made you ask: “What the heck is going on inside that man’s head?” you now have an answer:

Oct. 23, 2013: 5:00 a.m.

I’m in an office building. I’m following a young girl who is guiding me on a tour that involves a high-ranking military official. As I follow her I think: “I am lucid dreaming right … now.”

I break off from the girl, put my fist in the air, look up, and fly right through the ceiling and up, up, up. I don’t seem to be leaving the dream behind so I think: “Clarity now. Clarity now. Clarity now.” The dream dissipates around me and I find myself in a black void.

I feel as though wherever I am it’s at an incredible height. There’s a part of me that can’t believe I haven’t woken up. I think: “What is the meaning in life?” and I start falling.

During my decent I pass through all sorts of rainbows, fireworks, glittering ice particles (that don’t sting when you fly through them) … and then what I can only describe as childhood cereal boxes with cartoonish characters on the covers. There are words on the boxes, but everything is going so fast that it is hard to read them. Perhaps I pick up the word ‘linked.’

The entire time it sounds like I am in a casino and people are talking all around me. The voices are slightly high pitched in tone. I think: “Interesting. I must be doing something right. There is nothing negative here. Then I get slightly nervous, wondering if the act of pondering the existence of negativity would manifest something negative. That doesn’t happen, but I stop falling and realize that I’m still high above earth.

Still surprised that I’m conscious within my dream I think: “I want to see Yizhou,” [followed by my wife’s maiden name]. I am propelled through space, too fast to really even see what’s going on around me. I’m being hurled to some location. I look behind me and see an infinite blue cord stretching out and realize that it’s attached to me. I’m kind of taken aback by how long it is.

Finally I land, but I’m on some sort of puzzle board of the United States, and I’m in California. I’m on a map and it says my wife’s name. Underneath is a little red dot that is glowing and it says: “disconnected.” I get scared that something has happened to my wife and then realize that I said her maiden name. I shake my head and say: “No, I want to see Yizhou — my wife — in Arlington, Virginia.”

Immediately I am flying through space again like a ballistic missile. As I’m traveling I again think of the blue cord and can’t get over how long it is. When I land I’m on another map, this time with little cardboard houses. I get frustrated and start trying to read the lettering on the ground. I’m floating and can’t just walk like I normally do. When I try and stay still I levitate and sort of wobble around. All I can make out is “Lane.”

I start to float upward, but this time it’s out of my control. I grab a tiny cardboard house that was on the map and pick it up. I try to read lettering on the house and it says, “flick the white tab.” There is, indeed, a white tab on the piece of cardboard. I flick it, and then I wake up.

After waking I realize a.) I should not have said my wife’s maiden name because I ended up where we used to live in college, and b.) in my confusion I screwed up my wife’s location — again — because we used to live in Arlington, but she is now bouncing around due to medical school.

On some level I’m annoyed that I would screw up such a direct request, but on another I’m actually impressed that I was able to keep it as mentally together as I did, given how surreal the experience was. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if I had I kept enough composure to get my wife’s actual address right.

Any armchair psychologists out there? If so, have at it.

Related: Thoughts on lucid dreaming and the floating purple orb

Related: The effects of meditation: What if you could ask your nightmares why they haunt you?

Thoughts on lucid dreaming and the floating purple orb

Every so often bloggers are accused of writing for “attention.” There are many reasons why this is silly, but what drives me to write is because I’m a writer. It’s really that simple. That’s just what I do. I have thoughts and feelings and emotions that I have to get off my chest. They’re inside me and they have to get out. Every time I get a random comment from someone who essentially says, “I thought I was alone out there,” it brings a smile to my face, because one of the primary reasons I write is so that people who have similar experiences do not need to feel as if they are alone. No one should ever have to feel like there isn’t somebody out there who they could talk to or lean on, and bloggers of all kinds help mitigate such situations.

It is for that reason that today I’ll part ways from politics and popular culture to talk about lucid dreaming … and the floating purple orb.

The following is a dream I woke up from at 6:47 a.m. EST.

I’m at an old high school cross-country meet, but I’m on a pair of swings talking to my old friend Larry about the upcoming season and he says he’s in better shape going into senior year than he was in the past. Then I think that I am in really good shape too and I say, “One more year! Gotta make it a good one!”

Then I pause and think: “Didn’t we already graduate? I’m actually not in cross country shape anymore because I’ve been lifting weights and I like where my physique is at. Wait a second … I’m lucid dreaming!” I jump off the swings and start running around in circles like an excited little kid, saying, “I’m lucid dreaming! I can ask anyone anything I want! I can do anything! I need to talk to someone before I wake up.”

I see my old coach, Coach Devine, and he looks confused for a moment and says, “Doug, is it really you?” I say yes and he says: “Do you still think about me? Do you still love me?” (There wasn’t any sexual connotation to it.) I say, “Yes. I do. I really do think of you,” and he smiles and I smile and we both come close to having these tears of joy and then I give him a really big hug.

As I hug him everything begins turning white and then I start flying towards this book that opens with pictures of an older woman hugging a child drawn in purple ink. It’s not my deceased grandmother and me, but it reminds me of the two of us. I try to read the lettering that is on the bottom as I then start to enter the book, but can only make out ‘Ha xx Ho xx Ho xx’.

I then started to really wake up and my whole body was tingling, particularly my arms and hands. As I opened my eyes I saw a purple orb floating directly above my head that scared me, so I closed them again, and then there was a little “whooop” feeling (Perhaps like I was disconnected from my body?) and then I woke up. The purple orb was gone.

Question: Was I lucid dreaming? Was I having an out of body experience? Was the purple orb real or was it just my eyes playing tricks on me? My wife thinks I was dreaming that I was lucid dreaming and she thinks my eyes were just playing tricks on me.

I’m sharing this story, again, because on a long enough time line I figure someone out there will have had a similar experience that they could share, or perhaps they just think it’s all a bunch of “hooey” and they can let that be known as well.

The only thing I will add is that this dream felt real. Very, very real. It was extremely vivid and clear, perhaps an “HD” version of my other dreams.

So there you have it. Thoughts on lucid dreaming and floating orbs? I’d like to hear them.

Related: Lucid dreaming, the meaning of life, and flying through space like a ballistic missile

Related: The effects of meditation: What if you could ask your nightmares why they haunt you?

Here is me accepting an award at the Crystal Lake South cross country meet as a junior in high school. I believe I came in 17th place out of perhaps 120 runners. I was always a "mudder" and a hill runner. On a rainy day I always performed a lot better, and for whatever reason I could grind out hilly courses and beat guys who would normally fly by me on flat terrain. Larry is dressed in the maroon running pants.
Here is me accepting an award at the Crystal Lake South cross country meet as a junior in high school. I believe I came in 17th place out of perhaps 120 runners. I was always a “mudder” and a hill runner. On a rainy day I always performed a lot better, and for whatever reason I could grind out hilly courses and beat guys who would fly by me on flat terrain. Larry is dressed in the maroon running pants.