Down the rabbit hole…

If I’m certain of one thing in relation to consciousness, it’s time dilation.

I had one of the most profound dreams I’ve ever had two nights ago, one of those meaning of life experiences. Sadly as the events of the previous night involved a bit too much festive cheer at the work Christmas Party, the contents of the dream remain a mystery.

It was only after going through the entries of the Notes app on my iPhone that there was some semblance of recall. This is what it said:

What I do remember is climbing (crawling) into bed around 2am, and at some point waking up from a dream and reaching across to the bedside table in the hotel and picking up my phone, the scraps of dream content being type with some accuracy (given the state I must have been in) in the same way I once kept my Lucid Dream Diary.

Time. Time is the only thing I remember about the dream. The visual representation has been lost, no pictures were stored to hard disk, but what I do remember is that the dream lasted quite literally an eternity. I had with the space of 2 hours of ‘real time’ lived not only a previous life, but the entire history of human consciousness.

Time really is wonderful, as is the perception of time. Clearly, our consciousness (our “awake-state”) perceives time as linear, with each segment clearly defined, measured and going from left to right. However, the same cannot be said for our sub-conscious / unconscious self (our “not awake-state”), the rules of the game are different and simply do not apply.

It is as if we have in our noggins two distinct consciousness’s, Observer 1 who observes time in accordance to the rules of being awake, and Observer 2 who operates in a time with no real rules at all. These consciousness’s have the ability to talk to each other, to commune and share each other’s experiences and it is the duty of Observer 1 to interact with other conscious or awake Observers (you) in what we call reality.

What is reality? Reality it seems depends on which Observer in charge; both could argue that their definition / experience of what reality is, is correct.

So how far down the rabbit hole are we; is there an Observer 0? Is what we think Observer 1’s reality just a part of the “super-consciousness” of Observer 0, in the same way that we think that Observer 2 is simply a subordinate of Observer 1, our waking self?

I’m not sure, but “I” hopes to find out one day…

A whiter shade of pale

We tripped the light fantastic,
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the doors (of perception),
I was feeling kind of far out,
And the mind called out for more…

My spiritual journey has been on the road now for exactly two years this week. I look in the mirror from time to time, the face is still the same (albeit with a few more lines and the levels of monochrome in the facial fur department have increased), but looking beyond the physical manifestation lies an inner self which is, to me at least, almost unrecognisable.

I reviewed my commitment today to both myself and others, a commitment which was a sincere pledge undertaken during those dark times and I’m happy to say that I’m on track. My personal outlook is and will continue to be my priority list. I’m a firm believer that it is our priorities that define who we are and how we are perceived by others, and when these priorities change, the universal order of things becomes chaotic, fragile. Often when one changes priority, it’s most often as a result of the ego kicking in, want and desire taking president over need and reason. My priority list is quite simple really:

  1. The Wife and Children.
  2. My health, well-being and search for enlightenment.
  3. My friends.
  4. Everything else.
  5. Work.

Work really is a distraction to what is important to me, but a necessary evil nonetheless. So when I do have to work away from my number one priority, I try to keep myself distracted, to fend off the pull and energy drain of “The Corporation”. This week saw me climbing over the roof of Millennium Dome on Tuesday with my brother-in-law, and Tuesday marked another milestone in my search for “the source”.

Following on from reshuffling of the priority list deck two years ago (whether that took place on a prioritisation table I’m not certain), I took up yoga, meditation and reiki which really help ground me, the glue to who I am now. At that time, I also saw an opportunity to open my still sceptical mind to alternative ways of thinking, alternative ways of operating, which inevitably led me to the door of my good friend in Eastham.

The catalyst to this change in consciousness was a gig in Chester. We went to see Nick Harper (a personal favourite of ours) but instead of taking up our usual front row seats, decided to stop at the bar and talk. And talk. And talk. Nick played majestically on his “Last Guitar”, as our conversation delved deeper and deeper, from quantum physics to Everetts Many World Interpretation, as Anthony Peake stroked Schrödinger’s Cat in a parallel universe somewhere.

Fascinated by all of this, I drove us both home (stopping to relieve myself on the way due to all the soft drinks) and bid my Peroni pal a fond farewell, with a mission to find out more about this Anthony Peake character. The next day I found that he had quite a few books out and more immediately available was a plethora of podcasts, vodcasts and articles on the web. I duly ordered ITLAD and downloaded most of his audio files. It was quite a departure from the former me, no woo-woo name calling was to come from my lips.

There was one particular podcast which drew my attention, it was his theories relating to the pineal gland. The pineal gland makes/secretes melatonin, the chemical which puts us to sleep each night. Peake posits that there is more to this pine-cone-shaped walnut than meets the (third) eye, in that it has the ability under certain conditions to
self-produce “metatonin”, a DMT-based neurochemical which can put the “secrete-ee” into altered states of consciousness.

One such “under certain conditions” is Lucia No 3, a Lucid Light Machine. This device is comprised of several halogen bulbs placed within what resembles a shower-head; it combines a stroboscope with a constant white light which induces a transcendental experience for the viewer.

So a few weeks back, I sent out a list of potential things to do with my chums in work whilst I was in London this week, including running events, the cinema and a “trip” to Light Eye Mind studio in Finsbury Park. I wasn’t hopeful that anyone would go with me to see Lucia, but was happy when “M” decided she would go with me, the lads stating that they would meet us up after for a spot of tiffin.

Eager to read as much of the remainder of ITLAD that I could before our visit, I managed to cram in a hundred pages on the redeye down to London, both eager and a bit apprehensive about what was to come.

Our journey to Finsbury Park took a while, but we arrived a little early and had to wait a wee while (apt as we were desperate for the toilet) for our hosts for the evening. Talking outside the store, “M” and I swapped our own stories about our own experiences, of spirituality, of alternative therapies and holistics.

We were met by “A”, “N” and “D” from Light Eye Mind, and within minutes it was clear that there were no egos involved here which was great. There was no big sell, all very humble and approachable folks. “A” resembling a young Russell Brand (hope that is taken as a compliment should he ever read this :D) introduced us to both the studio (which was displaying some cool artwork by Danny Wilder) and Lucia No 3. His suggestion of an initial three minute tester was well met by both of us, a sample of a longer session to follow if we felt ok with the machine.

Waiver forms dutifully signed (that we didn’t have epilepsy or deep rooted psychological problems), I stepped up as guinea pig and took to my seat. I decided to bring my own music, my approach was one of deep meditation (if that was possible) so on went my Kundalini Yoga playlist from Spotify, as did Lucia. In bright light with the eyelids closed, I guess we would all see a peachy glow, and before the strobe kicked in, that’s exactly what I saw, but once the strobe kicked in, everything changed. Everything changed. I saw art. My art. My eyelid was the easel, my mind the painter. Even though the tester session was brief, I managed to see / create fractal vistas of magnificent colours, a gallimaufry of spirals and shapes, more colours, more shapes, downwards spirals.

When the light dimmed, I took a deep breath and passed the cans over to “M” who selected some of “A’s” own tunes by a band called Carbon Based Life Forms and assumed the position. The three minutes went fast and she was done. She opened her eyes with the same “wow-look” I’d had and immediately wanted more, to get back to that place she had just been, and so she remained in-seat and took a further fifteen to twenty minute session.

I talked outside to “A” and shared my journey over the last two years with him, and he listened, really listened. It’s so refreshing to talk to folks like him, folks in-tune and attuned to one’s own frequency, not ridiculed or pilloried for looking at things in a different way. I told him I’d been reading a lot of Anthony Peake and studies into consciousness (Piero Scariffi), watched a great many videos regarding DMT and ayahuasca (Rick Strassman) and experienced first-hand universal energy flow via yoga, meditation, reiki (advising that I was now Reiki Level 2), and having listened to podcasts pointing the way to Lucia No 3, I’d decided give it a try and here I was.

When “M’s” session came to an end, “A” went to her to gently wake her as she  remained static. She opened her eyes, there and not there, seemingly having a full on hypnogogic experience, managing to finally reconnect her out of body consciousness with her physical form. We made sure she had settled before I took to the chair, the details of her trip to be shared after my own journey.

As the session was a lot longer, I decided to settle into a seated yoga position, and with mudra fully deployed I relaxed into it. Once again I began to create my own William Neal / Roger Dean prog-rock-album-cover type vistas. Isometric shapes began to form, mandalas created by thin illuminous “Tron-esqe” lines appeared, followed by what can only described as wormholes, deep blues and greens spiralling inwards and outwards. Then I saw a swastika, not the revolting symbol of the Nazism, but the softer ancient Hindu symbol, growing in size from central core before disappearing.

The most profound part was yet to come. I felt myself departing into a middle state, not conscious nor subconscious nor unconscious but somewhere in the middle. I remember being surrounded by a warm glow, with a central elipse of orange light (an eye if you will, or tunnel even), a place of peace, and for the first time I saw (or created) white light, three forms or shapes of white light presented themselves. Initially the three small star-like shapes (reminiscent of looking at a far off light source from underwater) moved and twisted, and then grew to be larger amorphous forms, the one on the left staying significantly smaller than the two on the right. It was then that the full on kundalini experience kicked in. I felt a surge of energy in my spine, emanating out from the base and traversing upwards through each chakra, through each of the seven tattoos on my back and out to the meridians.

Whether I was conscious, hypnogogic, unconscious or in another place altogether, I couldn’t say. Gradually the white forms faded and the whole scene turned a blood red orange and then upon reaching the darkness I came out of my altered state and opened my eyes. The energy did not stop however, it continued whilst I gave “A” and “M” commentary of my experience, as it did all of the way back to Finsbury Park train station.

I asked “M” about her experience on the way back and she said she too had seen swastikas, but associated these to the Second World War, and saw ghostly images (like those on film negatives) of soldiers passing her line of vision one by one.

We both felt quite tired and drained, but nonetheless we made it to the Brazilian restaurant where our work chums waited patiently (albeit with beers in hand), for the inevitable closed-mind ribbing and they did not disappoint. We were both fully prepared for the abuse, and took it all, good natured as it was.

One thing “A” told us was to watch out for our dreams that night, as a lot of people have very strange and vivid visions post-Lucia sessions. When I got in to work the next day, I asked “M” how she felt and did she have any interesting dreams, but sadly her dreams were even crapper than mine. She dreamt that she was in work testing a new IT product, mine was running a 10km race which involved climbing up a hill covered in snow, all rather boring…

ADDENDUM: Always a Cynic     

I got in late last night to a message from a friend of mine who’s into his metal in a big way. A favourite band of his is called Cynic (oh the irony) and he sent me a link to their latest video, them having taken a fork in the road to a more progressive rock style. The video itself was surreal, fractal art central, mandalas everywhere. Coincidence or just another universal synchronicity presenting itself?

Dream Diary: If at first you don’t succeed, stop trying…

Like a great many things in life, the harder one tries sometimes, the further away achievement advances.

A classic example of this syndrome was my pursuit for a soul mate. I recall nearly 15 years ago that I lived alone, in a house that I could barely afford, begging friends or foes to lodge with me so that I didn’t have to foreclose on my property.

Thankfully, someone did take me up on that offer, and at once I set off on a quest to get out there, cover in man-oil, prowling the rock clubs and pubs of Liverpool and Birkenhead in search of girls.

I tried. Then I tried. And then I tried. Nothing. Nada. The harder I looked, the cheesier the lines, all my hand was showing was a picture card high, miles away from the full house I was seeking.

So eventually, fatigued I stopped looking. Stopped trying. And then I saw her. A chance meeting on the Liverpool waterfront, our eyes met and there was an instant connection. Something special. 15 years on and we are still together. Granted the road took a sharp bend and nearly threw us out of the car, but we were both strapped in and clung on for dear life.

Similarly (after some serious digression), my first lucid dreaming experience happened in the same manner. In the weeks leading up to my sojourn into this night-time activity, I read and read it, discussed and discussed it, and eventually I started. I tried for the first week without success, and then life got in the way slightly, my focus turning to the setting up of a local meditation circle (and associated technique I have developed) to the family, (the wife having corrective surgery post-cancer), Stand Up Paddleboarding (which is my new weekend hobby) and work.

On Monday night this week, it started. I woke at 07.00am when my alarm went off. Snooze button. Buzz Buzz, 07:09am. Snooze button. Buzz Buzz, 07:18am. Snooze button. And then something happened. Between 07:19:am and 07:26am I managed to fall back asleep. In my dream, I was out jogging when I came across an old friend who was also out jogging. He had long hair again and I recall him having it tied back in a pony tail, complete with a pretty yellow ribbon. We had drifted apart many years ago and haven’t really spoken since a chance meeting at the supermarket a few years back.

He jogged past me and didn’t seem to want to stop. I let on to him and he nodded as I asked how he was and how his new partner and child were doing. Without turning, he ran up a set of stairs in front of us which led to a bridge over a train track. As he carried on up the stairs, I thought sod you mate, I was only trying to be friendly and followed the path he trod. When I got to the top he was waiting for me, and we swapped pleasantries about our respective families, after which he asked if I wanted to back to his for a while.

He opened the door to his house and all I could see were lionesses. In the hall with the door open I could count four or five of them, wandering around the ground floor of his house, quite sedate.

I recall turning around quite shocked, and my vista changed in an instant and I was standing in my bathroom, my wife brushing her teeth in the mirror. I told her that I had bumped into A” and give the lowdown on the lions in his house.

She turned to look at me and laughed “You have either gone mad, turned into a liar or you are just dreaming”. At once, I realised that it was the latter. I was dreaming and for the first time since taking up lucid dreaming, I remembered how it was I could check.

I tried to lift my right hand to put it in full view of my face and it felt really heavy. When it eventually came into view I could not discern any of the digits, the hand was grey and devoid of fingers, like a bulbous flipper. All of a sudden a huge wave of energy came over me (feeling quite alien and strange), and I came out of my dream.

I woke up really excited though. Without the rules and regulations, the constant reality checks, the constant overlooking at dream signs and the like, I had had (albeit briefly) my first lucid dreaming experience!

So it was then that I realised I needed to get up, get dressed and ferry my wife to the hospital for her surgery. And it was then that I became a little anxious. “L” my reiki mistress told me a few months back to look out for energy waves, especially when you are not expecting them, they are a sign that the energies are shifting. On thinking that, I temporarily thought the worst and had a sense of foreboding about the events of the day.

Later on after I had dropped her off, I sat and meditated back in the garden and sent healing energies to her, whilst at the same time I sent “L” some information to support her bid for a local venture and realised the energy surge I had had in the night was a positive one, not negative, and all of a sudden the weight bearing down on me was lifted, and I knew the wife was going to be fine.

And was she! The surgery was better than we had both hoped and fingers crossed she will only need one more operation before things are back to the way they were.

We spent the rest of the evening in each others company and went to bed, holding each other.

Lucid dreaming must be like buses, you don’t see any for ages and then two come along at once!

Part way through the night, I dreamt that I was back in Malaysia and out to lunch with some colleagues. I recall wandering off on my own to a bookstore. Something wasn’t right about the scene, where had my colleagues gone, and more importantly, why was I back in Malaysia. And then it dawned on me, I was dreaming. I knew what to do, so I tried to raise my right hand, this time no issues, No blurred vision, no bulbous abomination instead of a fist, a normal right hand. I took the two fingers from my left hand and pushed them straight through the palm of my right hand. And then there was a buzz, not as intense as last night, more like a shift in the Matrix  (cheesy I know) and then everything became crystal clear. The bookstore was in ultra-high definition, I could make out the individual spines on each tome from the other side of the store. I needed to do one more reality check, I looked again at my right hand and could see the lines as I traced them across my hand. Upon realising I was lucid, my mind turned to one thing, levitation, so I dropped both arms to my side and looked up. To my shock I was no longer in the bookstore, I was in a wine store and a man in a smart suit and chiselled features (looking like the guy from The Hunger Games Part One with the ridiculous facial topiary stood in front of me and boomed “You cannot do that, I am the one who controls your dreams”. And with that I left the store and went back to work on the 19th Floor of the Petronas Towers, ready for the afternoon shift…

I will return to bringing some structure back to my lucid dreaming and catch up on the backlog of emails I’ve been sent via The World Of Lucid Dreaming website on the train back from London tomorrow. Who knows it may bring even more success, as long as I don’t try too hard…

Dream Diary: Day 4

DATE: 16th April 2014
TIME: 8 Hours 28 Mins
MEDITATION: Yes (30 mins before bed – Tai Chi / Zazen / Reiki)
REALITY CHECKS: Yes (a few times during the day)
MIND CHECKS: Yes (during meditation)
SLEEP TALK RECORDER: Yes (nothing of interest , other than a muffled “parp”)
HYPNOGOGIA: No
DREAM SIGNS: Yes
LUCIDITY: No

RECALL ALL: I was flicking, through the channels on the TV. Sugar mice in the rain…

Last night’s dreams are difficult to recall, to put into words. I can liken the imagery as I woke up to sitting on the sofa with the Sky remote, starting off at BBC on Channel 101 and ending up on Scuzz Channel 367, giving each channel on the way through a few seconds to impress me before I realise they are all full of boring dross and turning over to the next one.

It started off with me being in London and watching the second film in the Matrix trilogy, where Neo and Trinity getting jiggy with it, except this time it was odd. Very frickin odd. I can only liken it to the David Kronenburg film “Videodrome”, where James Woods takes hold of a revolver and his body morphs around it so it becomes part of him. Likewise in the dream, both Neo’s and Trinity’s arms and legs morph into the others until they become one amorphous abomination. Although it started off with me watching it on the silver screen, my vista soon changed so that I was in the room with them. Soon after a different scene, with me packing several suitcases in a hotel room, which almost as quickly changed into me taking part in the next version of Hunger Games, again almost as brief, my only recollection was being in a forest trying to activate a glow stick (but it was more of a transparent canister), with dire consequences as it heated up exponentially, a bit like the power cell in Superman I, which melted through the floor.

After I awoke briefly, I drifted off again and back to London, where I was in the office, my last day on the project. All I remember was that “S” was sitting next to me smoking a joint (I do remember smelling it, something I didn’t think one could do in dreams [like my ability to read in dreams which I have experienced this week], recalling that it smelled like a normal roll-up rather than the good stuff). Both he and “R” decided not to give me my leaving present which was on a folder up piece of paper, before an ex-colleague “F” who had a head full of hair (very improbable) asked me where I was moving to, his face fading and the dream ending.

Dream Signs: Neo/Trinity (Form/Context); “S” smoking (Context) Hunger Games (Action); “F” with hair (Form).

(NOTE: So after 4 nights of trying, the Dream Signs are most definitely there that is for certain, but there is no indication as of yet that my conscious state has the ability to recognise them and attempt to persuade my subconscious to look at my right hand. That is what I am looking for in my dreams, as soon as I see my right palm coming into focus, I will know that there has been progress. I will not lose faith, I will persevere. Patience is a virtue, as well as an awesome song by Guns N Roses…

Dream Diary: Day 3

DATE: 15th April 2014
TIME: 8 Hours 10 Mins
MEDITATION: Partial (30 mins in morning – Tai Chi / Zazen / Reiki)
REALITY CHECKS: Yes (4 times during the day / in between dreams)
MIND CHECKS: Yes (5 mins before sleep)
SLEEP TALK RECORDER: Yes (although nothing significant recorded)
HYPNOGOGIA: No
DREAM SIGNS: Yes
LUCIDITY: No

RECALL ONE: Back in the DHSS…

Another day back in the office. As I walk through the dark narrow corridor before entrance, I hear the ringing of phones. Another day back in the call centre. Mid way through my shift “GM” call me over to his desk, which for some reason is in the middle of a huge wire frame contraption which goes up a few hundred feet, noting that there was no ceiling to the office, above us only sky. He states that if I wanted, I could climb to the top of the tower and take a zip ride all the way to the bottom, as long as I would make a donation to a LGBT Charity (associated to the Pride movement), which I thought was a bit odd as he was the school bully for many years at my comprehensive school.

I agree and begin to climb the tower with a female colleague I do not know the name of. We both reach the top and secure ourselves for the zip ride. As we make our way down, I realise that the whole thing as actually a big zipper, as we speed down the spiral, I look back and the wire frame has turned into material and the two pieces separate like the zipper on a pair of denim jeans. As I get towards the bottom going faster and faster my vision fades and the dream ends.

Dream Signs: Working with “GM” (Context); “GM” interested in gay rights (Inner Awareness); Wire Frame (F); Zipwiring in office (Action)

RECALL TWO: School Dayz…

I enter the place where we are having our school reunion, it appears to be a dome type structure, a marquee of some sorts, in dark aqua marine. There is one main room where a lot of people already are, with an annexe towards the back. I see “SD” and “JD”, girls I hadn’t seen in over 30 years. As others start to filter into the room I see “K” and “H”, former friends who I hadn’t seen for quite a while as we fell out many years ago. I go over to Ken who now has no hair and his ears are sticking out, I smile to myself that he now looks like the character “Pob” from the Welsh TV station S4C.

After saying hello to “H” who I had not changed one bit in the last 15 years, I make my way to the back annexe. I see “AW” who used to be my best friend at junior school, he and a few others are gathered around a machine which presses pennies into commemorative coins for certain events, although I cannot the design of the pressed item. “AW” has an oddly shaped key and he appears to be some sort of machine repair man. I walk over to him and say ‘“AW”, I haven’t seen you in a long time, what are you doing these days?’ I look away temporarily towards an outside cooking area and when I turn back, “AW” replies to my question but with a stutter, his face has changed into “SM” and he continues by saying that he was a forensic solicitor, a private investigator who looked at cases that police couldn’t solve. We walk outside towards the cooking area, and find that it is a serve-cook, self-serve place, so I start to cook us some steaks, as I do so my vision fades and the dream ends.

Dream Signs: “K” and “H” at my school reunion (Context); “K” looking like Pob ” (Form); “AW” turning into “SM” (Form)

RECALL THREEE: CSI: Irtby…

I am on a train in a dark tunnel. The place is completely black and no lights are on. I know I’m on a train because I can hear the familiar noise of the train going down the track as well as the rocking motion. As the train leaves the tunnel, I realise that I am sitting next to “AW” (who is “AW” and not “SM” this time) and he tells me of the case he is working on. It is a very strange one. As he describes it to me, my vision changes to the actual scene of the original crime (like a dream within a dream), and I am in a really old and creepy house. At the bottom of the staircase, there are two small children, accompanied by their mother, a grotesque character who is a miniature version of a woman. All of her features are relative, just miniscule in comparison to someone of her age. She must be around the height of a two year old child.

My vision of the house fades, and I am back on the train, “AW” continues his story that it is alleged that the woman who was into dark arts and that she had murdered both of her children, and herself, but that no bodies were ever found. He is onto a lead in the case which is taking us north to the National Library Archives. As the train passes close by to a road sign, I see that we are near to Chester-Le-Street, and a short while later, we go past the Newcastle river side, the Tyne in full view. Our final destination is Irtby (which I see in big letters on the platform sign) and we get off the train and make our way over to the archives building, which coincidentally is on to the train station platform.

We go in to a small room and I’m surprised to see my friends “L” and “C” in there looking for books. This archives had a specific children’s book section and that was were “AW” suggested we go. On a small scrap of old parchment, I can make out scrawled letters EDIN TONBLY, and I point out to “AW” that it is an anagram of Enid Blyton and that we should look for her section. We find it and start scanning the bookshelves, and right in the middle of her archive, there is an ancient looking tome called “Exhumus”. I pick it of the shelf, and it’s not really a book, it has book like appearance, but also like packet. As I go to open it, dust starts to fall out. I open it and to my horror I find the ashes of the two small children and the mother, as well as the small shrunken skull of the evil matriarch. Accompanied with the remains, there are some odd black magic trinkets. I realise that the clue was in the book title, “Exhumus” relating to exhume – to unearth, and that is exactly what we have done. All of a sudden a character who is sitting on a chair at the end of the aisle approaches. It is Derek Dick (Fish from the rock band Marillion) and he tries to steal the trinkets from the ashes, as he does so, my vision fades and the dream ends.

Dream Signs: “AW” and I on investigation (Context); Miniature matriarch (Form); “L” and “C” in Irtby Archives (Context); Fish (Context)

Dream Diary: Day 2

DATE: 14th April 2014
TIME: 7 Hours 45 Mins
MEDITATION: Partial (meditation / reiki flow during Tai Chi)
REALITY CHECKS: Yes (throughout the day / before bed and also in between dreams)
MIND CHECKS: Yes (before bed)
SLEEP TALK RECORDER: Yes (although nothing significant recorded)
HYPNOGOGIA: No
DREAM SIGNS: Yes
LUCIDITY: No

RECALL ONE: This is getting Sicily…

The wife and I now live in Sicily, and there is a distinct lack of children around us. We have recently moved from England but are disgusted by all the rubbish in the streets and in the rivers and beaches. There is literally rubbish everywhere we look, piled deep everywhere. We are currently living in the same hotel as the United Nations Refuse Committee (C) and spend most of our days riding around on a Vespa like in the film Roman Holiday, my vision fades and the dream ends.

Dream Signs: Sicily (Context); UNRC (Context)

RECALL TWO: Holiday in Malaysia…

The hustle and bustle of the Annual Works Ball. The wife and I are really enjoying ourselves, mingling with colleagues and generally having a good time. I bump into “M” who is a great guy, originally from Poland he is very good at what he does but his zest for life and surfing is second to none. He and I share a secret and he nearly gives the game away to my wife before I tell her. As “M” looks on smiling, I tell her that I have planned for the kids to be looked after whilst I take her away for the weekend after the Annual Works Ball finishes to Pangkor, our favourite place in the world for a bit of rest and relaxation. Overjoyed, we board the plane and land hours later on the island itself (not Kuala Lumpur International Airport).

We are checked into the hotel by a smiling Malaysian lady, and we make our way to the top of the hill to drop our bags off. Shortly after, we go down to the beach and make our way to a small cave and in a one man kayak is “M” again, smiling as usual. The wife and I get in a two man canoe and head out of the fast running water and out to sea. On the horizon, a typical mid-day storm starts to appear on the horizon, so we paddle back and make our way back up to our room. The room in the hotel is the highest point on the island, and the tropical storm leaves us a little scared so we make our way to reception and back to the smiling receptionist, except this time she looks concerned. She advises that we go directly to Nipah Bay and we would be met there by someone at a different hotel. We do so and are shocked at what we see, Nipah Bay is a dirty seaside town, everything the hotel, the cars, the people are covered in layers of dirt and dust. We stand on a decrepit boardwalk which gives way and we fall on to the beach. We look to the right and can see an island to our right, with big red capital letters entitled GUAM (with Chinese writing underneath) and behind the sign is a huge roller coaster, the storm clouds closing in overhead. At the dark clouds approach, Nazi Luftwaffe fly out of the clouds and start bombing both Nipah Bay and Guam from Messerschmitt planes and as we flee across the beach, my vision fades and the dream ends.

Dream Signs: Pangkor Airport (Context); Storm (Action); Nazis (Context)

RECALL THREE: Parenting advice for Paltrow…

Amongst the flashing cameras and the noise of the paparazzi patois, I stand on the red carpet and the Annual Oscars Award and see Gwyneth Paltrow. I go over to her and start chatting to her about work-life balance. I express my concerns over the lack of time she is spending with her children (especially now that she has separated from Chris Martin), and that in my opinion she should take a couple of years out and go back to film making after the youngest starts school. She doesn’t dismiss my ideas and ponders a while, as my vision fades and the dream ends.

Dream Signs: Oscars (Context); Gwyneth Paltrow (Context)

Dream Diary: Day 1

DATE: 13th April 2014
TIME: 8 Hours 36 Mins
MEDITATION: Partial
REALITY CHECKS: Yes
MIND CHECKS: Yes
SLEEP TALK RECORDER: Yes
HYPNOGOGIA: Yes
DREAM SIGNS: Yes
LUCIDITY: No

RECALL ONE: On an Eastern promise

I am once again living in Malaysia, spending time with a female colleague “J”. During my first time over there, we spend a lot of hours together, both inside work and outside (lunch, team events etc). My wife is suspicious for some reason that I am having an affair with her which I am not.

All of a sudden we are in a gondola, I have a suit on and she has the same wedding dress that my wife has for our up and coming vow renewal. As we talk in the boat, a picture of the two of us is displayed on a digital billboard (akin to those seen in Blade Runner) and my wife puts two and two together and thinks we are having an affair (which I subsequently tell her we are not). Unconvinced, we pack everything up and board the plane back to the UK, destined to go our separate ways when we get back. The flight is delayed for some reason, and I also meet another colleague in the airport (who I really don’t get on with) who is getting on the same flight as us. As we take off, we see a storm ahead, as the captain relays the message over the speaker that we are going to have to find an alternate route around the storm. As the plane is starting to get thrown around in the sky, my vision fades and the dream ends.

Dream Signs: Digital Billboard (Form); Colleague at airport (Context); Storm (Action)

(NOTE: Interestingly, at the time of the dream, my Sleep Talk app recorded my voice saying “Help…… Falling….. Head…… Ta…”)

RECALL TWO: Health and Safety in St Helens

I am in St Helens (a town just outside of Liverpool) and I’m attending a Health & Safety course. St Helens looks strange, instead of it being an urban area, it is more of a forested area, and the course is located in a lodge right in the centre. I see “E” and “A”, former colleagues who are also attending. We break off into syndicates and discuss various topics. All of a sudden three dark men enter the room and start threatening me, my vision fades and the dream ends.

Dream Signs: St Helens Forest (Context/Form)

HYPNOGOGIA: In between Recall One and Recall Two

After Recall One, I woke up and reached over to my bedside table to grab my notepad and pen. Half awake, half asleep, I scribbled some notes down on the dream I had just had, following which I placed the notepad and pen back in its night-time resting place and lay there in bed eyes open for a few seconds. It was then that I noticed something odd. My mind appeared to be both conscious and unconscious at the same time. I remember recalling the dream, but also had “memories” of what came next in the dream (“future echoes”), like I had already experienced the reality of the scenario when obviously I had not because the scenario was created by my subconscious. These future echoes were as real as any other event that I have had in this reality, it was as if my conscious and subconscious were have a fight for priority. Eventually I drifted back off to sleep and went into (at some point) Recall Two.

Dream Diary: Prelude

Now that I have attained my Reiki Level 2 status, my focus has now shifted for the time being to lucid dreaming. It’s something I’ve been reading about for a while now, but like many things in life, priority dictates the order in which such things are executed.

My brother-in-law came up at the weekend from London and we spent some quality time over the last few days with him and his sprogglings, enjoying the first real blast of Spring heat at the park yesterday. The mammoth two hours game of football served two purposes, to blow away the cobwebs from a few beers to celebrate his imminent thirty-third birthday down at the local pubs and casino and to spend some quality time with my nephews and own kids.

As an aside, a few of us went to the casino and my neighbour “D” gave me some BlackJack tips (in advnace of my trip to Vegas) and let me play with his chips for a while. Ever since joining the casino two years ago, every time I go in I throw twenty pound at the roulette table, almost directly at the croupier I may as well as my tactics are so poor I’m off the table normally within about four minutes. This time my tactic were different. I said to the wife that I was only going to put £10 on tonight, so I got twenty fifty-pence blue chips delivered to my side of the table.

I said to the wife that I was going to use my newly acquired reiki powers to influence the path of the ball, so a little potted, I drew a Cho Ku Rei on my right hand and sent out the power from my hand to the spinning wheel of misfortune. You would not believe what happened next, I certainly can’t. My tactics where to put a single chip on each “chakra point” on the roulette cloth (on the basis that in Hinduism one cycles through each chakra every seven years, until one starts again), so on that very first spin, the spin after I had sent a Cho Ku Rei towards the white ball of marble, five blue chips lay spread across the table, 7, 14, 21,28 and 34 (the beer having an effect on my basic levels of maths). And on the first spin, the spin after I had sent a Cho Ku Rei towards the white ball of marble up came number 7. I could not believe it. If that was shocking, two spins later 7 came up again! And a few spins after that 21 came up! Holy crap, what was going on. Had I really been imbibed the force on the beach two weeks ago. Did I have the same power that Qui-Gon Jinn had by fudging that dice roll with the force on Tattoine in The Phantom Menace?

Before we left for the evening out, my friend “M” came to our house for a beer and a chat to discuss amongst other things his very own progress in lucid dreaming. He shared that he has been doing it on and off for a couple of months now, and that although he is no expert, he has read up on it extensively. He said that he had had two vivid lucid dreams over that time, one in particular where he became self-aware that he was dreaming, and as he stood in the garden of his mums house at twilight shivering from the cold (and knowing that the laws of the physical universe do not apply in the subconscious), he manipulated the dream and turned the twilight vista into a bright and warm summers day.

I told him that I had read the website link he shared with me to give me a base knowledge on what it was I was getting myself into, but as I’m not a big reader, and much prefer to talk to people who have had experiences in certain things, seems to go into my thick noggin all the better.

So the next hour was spent me grilling him about the techniques he uses, and any accompanying software. In terms of the software, I had no luck, those on the iStore being inferior to Android, and looking a little deeper, as I share a bed with the significant other, not really conducive to my own REM (besides – any lucid dreaming app cannot replicate REM just now only bed movements so it’s relevance is limited). That said, I did download the Sleep Talk app, and have already seen (déjà vu?) some interesting things which I’ll go on to later.

Once the topic of software had been concluded, I then asked “M” about his own personal techniques, and last night I re-read the website to develop my own. So this is my plan over the next twenty-one days:

MEDITATION
I will meditate for at least twenty minutes every day. I have set my alarm to go off 15 minutes early before my morning meds so I can catalogue sleep related events in my dream journal from the night before, as if I do not catalogue them then, then post-meditation it is very likely that everything will be lost.

REALITY CHECKS
Practice my own reality checks at regular intervals during the day. I have settled on my own. They say if you can combine one or more reality checks together, then likelihood of you realising you are in a dream is increased. So my reality check is to look at my right hand, whilst conscious, I can see the lines of my hand. The life lines actually make up the number seven in the palm of my right hand (yet again another reference to the number seven), and being able to see such detail in the subconscious state is limited. Following up on that, I will then count and take two fingers on my left hand and try to push them through the palm of my right hand, understanding that when I do this as the laws of the conscious realm do not apply there, I will be able to manipulate my dreams and interact however I see fit.

MIND CHECKS
Before going to sleep, get into lucid dreaming mode by repeating to myself “I can remember my dreams. I can become aware in my subconscious. I can change my dream. I can commune with my subconscious self”.

SLEEP TALK
Set the Sleep Talk app to record.

HYPNOGOGIA
Observe my mind and body falling asleep, witness and catalogue any hypnogogic experiences.

LUCID GOAL
Once (I mean if) I become lucid, I have decided that I will at first try to levitate above the ground, and following on from that, float back down to the ground and take off like Neo from The Matrix.

DREAM JOURNAL
As soon as I wake (whether that be in the middle of the night) I will scribble notes down in my mini-jotter, make sense of them the next day and blog them up at some point when I have the time. I will also bear the following in mind when doing so:

PRIORITY: Write the most vivid recalls first, I one forgets the more boring ones then it doesn’t matter as much.

TITLE: Give the dream experience a title and confirm if the dream was lucid or not.

TENSE: Write in the present tense so that recall puts one back in the dream and increases the accuracy of the logging.

SIGNS: Note and detail dream signs, specific cues or triggers which reveal one is dreaming.

So my preparations are done, now all it will take is practice. And patience. It is said that if one applies their preparations correctly and one is methodical about learning how to lucid dream, and one is patient and not willing to give in, then it is likely to yield results within 21 days. There’s that number again. Three times seven…

Dream Diary: Introduction

So I have decided to add another string to my “new age” bow. I have had several very interesting conversations lately, all relating to the topic of lucid dreaming. I’m also a huge admirer of the film Inception, one of the most thought provoking films I’ve seen in many a year.

I have been sent a link from my friend “M” to the website World of Lucid Dreaming, which goes into some detail about the world of lucid dreaming (oddly enough) and presents dream control techniques for beginners. I will commence with a dream journal soon (as soon as my reiki cleansing period is over and I have the time), and share my lucidity journey (or otherwise) as it happens.

But for now, what is lucid dreaming exactly? Wiki explains:

“A lucid dream is any dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming. In a lucid dream, the dreamer has greater chances to exert some degree of control over their participation within the dream or be able to manipulate their imaginary experiences in the dream environment. Lucid dreams can be realistic and vivid. There is evidence to show that an increased amount of activity in the parietal lobes makes lucid dreaming a conscious process.

A 1968 study of lucid dreams analysed the main characteristics of such dreams, reviewing previously published literature on the subject and incorporating new data from participants. It was concluded that lucid dreams were a category of experience quite distinct from ordinary dreams, and predicted that they would turn out to be associated with rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep), and that eye movements signalled the onset of lucidity.

A lucid dream can begin in one of many ways. A dream-initiated lucid dream (D.I.L.D.) starts as a normal dream, and the dreamer eventually concludes it is a dream. A wake-initiated lucid dream (W.I.L.D) occurs when the dreamer goes from a normal waking state directly into a dream state, with no apparent lapse in consciousness. The wake-initiated lucid dream occurs when the sleeper enters REM sleep with unbroken self-awareness directly from the waking state.

While dream control and dream awareness are correlated, neither requires the other:

  • Dreams that exhibit one clearly without the capacity for the other
  • In dreams where the dreamer is lucid and aware they could exercise control, they choose simply to observe.

Four corollaries (direct or natural consequence or result) of lucidity are as follows: 

  • The dreamer is aware that they are dreaming.
  • Objects disappear after waking.
  • Physical laws need not apply in the dream.
  • The dreamer has a clear memory of the waking world.

Some experienced lucid dreamers have learned to remember specific practical goals such as artists looking for inspiration seeking a show of their own work once they become lucid or computer programmers looking for a screen with their desired code. However, most of these dreamers had many experiences of failing to recall waking objectives before gaining this level of control.

Other phenomena associated to lucid dreaming are as follows:

Rapid Eye Movement (REM)

When a person is dreaming, the eyes shift rapidly. Scientific research has found that these eye movements may correspond to the direction the dreamer “looks” at in the dreamscape. This has enabled trained lucid dreamers to communicate with researchers while dreaming by using eye movement signals.

False awakening

In a false awakening, one dreams of having awoken. The room the dreamer falsely awakens in is often similar to the room he/she fell asleep in. If the person was lucid, they often believe that they are no longer dreaming and begin their morning routine. The dreamer remains naive to the dream either until they realize they haven’t actually woken up or until they really do wake up.

Sleep paralysis

During sleep the body paralyzes itself as a protection mechanism to prevent the movements that occur in the dream from causing the physical body to move. However, this mechanism can be triggered before, during, or after normal sleep while the brain awakens. This can lead to a state where the awakened sleeper feels paralyzed. Hypnagogic hallucination may occur in this state, especially auditory ones. Effects of sleep paralysis include heaviness or inability to move the muscles, rushing or pulsating noises, and brief hypnogogic or hypnopompic imagery.

Out-of-body experience

An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE) is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside of one’s body and, in some cases, perceiving one’s physical body from a place outside one’s body (autoscopy). About one in ten people claim to have had an out-of-body experience at some time in their lives. Some work by neurologists suggests that such experiences are generated by the same brain mechanisms that cause lucid dreams.

Lucidity is strongly associated with stage 1 REM sleep but OBEs are far less consistent, producing EEG traces that can variously resemble stage 3 sleep, a waking, eyes-closed state or other uncategorized states. However, while this may suggest that perceived OBEs are a type of lucid dream which takes place in a dream environment that mimics the actual environment of the dreamer, this falls short of supporting the idea that some conscious form of the dreamer actually leaves the body and perceives their external environment while still in a sleeping state”.

As mentioned in my latest reiki diary entry, my friend “M” is having some quite remarkable results with lucid dreaming and has recently shared instructions of setting up apps on a smart phone to track sleep patterns, as well as links to instructions on how to lucid dream (all of which can be found at the link at the top of this post).

As well as all of that (again mentioned in my previous post) is the lucid light device which may be a good kickstarter for lucid dreaming. From what I can make out, it is a stroboscopic instrument which when viewed (with eyes closed) can “allegedly” help to produce (or help the pineal gland to produce) endogenous DMT (Dimethyltryptamine), and it is whilst this is happening that the viewer has the ability to ‘travel’ to or view other places, other realms (whether it be into the subconscious, super-conscious or astral plain is down to the interpretation of the viewer). Either way, it can bring forth moments of enlightenment, much in the way deep meditation / the kundalini experience can do.

There are several lucid light devices dotted around the south of the UK, for more information on these check out the following links:

I’m up for a ‘trip’ to Light Eye Mind if any other blogger is interested in meeting up…