Sunday, July 11, 2010

Can Intelligent Entities Move In and Out of the Dreams of Others?

Lucid dreaming is usually defined as the ability to maintain waking consciousness during a dream or to be able to control and direct one's own dreams.

In Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan series, the Mexican shaman Don Juan is always trying to teach the narrator to dream lucidly by reminding him to look at his hands.

Night after night Castaneda goes to bed intent on remembering to look at his hands in his dreams, and night after night forgets to look at his hands until he wakes up the next morning and realizes he hasn't done it.

The whole point of Don Juan teaching Castaneda to remember to look at his hands while dreaming is so Castaneda can then learn to move between dreaming and waking states freely, and so he can understand that the two realities are not that rigidly separate. Moving from one state to another at will is an important part of shamanic practice.

Learn to look at your hands in your dreams today, fly around in the body of a raven tomorrow.

It's all connected.

That's the idea anyway.

Every so often I have an experience with dreams that is lucid-like but is not exactly the same as what Don Juan was teaching Carlos. It's more passive and a bit unnerving.

What happens is that people and objects seem to move between my dreams and waking reality without any problem, blurring the line that might tell me where they are really from.

I know this sounds weird. But it happens with some regularity, if not all the time or even every week. Jung called this phenomenon 'synchronicity', but sometimes it gets way weirder than synchronicity. I promise to post an example later to illustrate what I'm talking about.

Recently I've been thinking about this a lot, about how our culture is one of the few on earth that insists dreams are 'imaginary' (as in 'not real'), and then goes on to rigidly separate dreams from waking life, discounting the importance of these (often incredibly vivid) experiences.

Some psychologists do interpret dreams, but interpretation is a very different thing from believing in a matter of fact way that the dream reality is as real in its own way as the material reality we all imagine we share while awake.

Psychology lays down a fairly rigid barrier between inner and outer, personal and cultural, material and symbolic. It's a dualistic system of thought. The Ego versus the Dynamic Ground. The personal versus the Archetypes. "Psychological states' versus bodily illnesses. Blah, blah, blah.

What if that whole way of framing it is wrong?

I think maybe it is.

In truth, we don't really have a clue what reality is. If you think I'm overstating that, then you've never taken a single philosophy class--or at least you've never stayed awake all the way through one, which is completely understandable.

What if there are intelligences, alien or earthly, that can move enter dreams and reality at will? Why should this be an impossibility? Shamans claim to do it. Freddy Krueger does it. Maybe all sorts of other being do it.

Maybe we even do it.

I also think some people have thinner boundaries than others in general, and that people with very permeable personal boundaries may well notice more wanderers between states than people who are more rigidly defined.

I think this could explain quite a lot of paranormal perceptions without making any value judgments about thin or thick boundaried people. Some people may just be born this way, just like some people are born good at math, and others have perfect pitch, and others are color blind.

We know some people claim to learn to be this way.

I think that truly "there are more things in heaven and earth" than we know.

I wish we could study them more seriously, without all the ridicule.

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