Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams?
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Dreams are real while they last — can we say more of life?
Pause now to ask yourself the following question: “Am I dreaming or awake, right now?” Be serious, really try to answer the question to the best of your ability and be ready to justify your answer.
This article touches the phenomenon of lucid dreaming (also called controlled dreaming), how it relates to our understanding of life as a journey of consciousness and the role awareness plays in being able to choose the experiences you have. This topic is extremely vast and could be talked about for hours. This piece attempts to recap the main points of this particular aspect of understanding the nature of our conscious experience in its more general, overall form.
There will be many more articles zooming into separate aspects of this to provide better understanding of the subtleties of how awareness defines conscious experience and to piece bits of knowledge into complete comprehension. I’ve been having trouble writing this article as a single piece, as was originally planned, for a long, long time exactly because of how vast the subject matter is. So bear with me if some points seem underdeveloped or unclear or something seems missing, or you can’t see the logic in certain connections. There will be additional linked articles to provide fuller understanding and to guide you to where it all becomes clear. To clarify, you don’t have to be into lucid dreaming, or have had any experience with it. You don’t need to do it, or try to do it. It’s not about dreaming. It is simply an analogy, another pathway to illustrate how consciousness works.
Your world is not real!
Have you ever experienced a lucid dream? A dream where you know you are dreaming?
It’s a thrilling experience – to “wake up” while still dreaming, in a world that’s as real as your so-called “real” world, and yet to know that it is a dream. To become aware that you are actually not the little dream character busy with their seemingly real life. That the real you is somewhere else while your consciousness is having this experience, and you can watch it from your original place of being (presumably your bed), while simultaneously being in this other world of your dream. Think about it for a minute. You are literally in two places at the same time. You body in one, but your consciousness – somewhere else entirely. Let the very possibility of this sink in. If anything tips us off to better understanding of our consciousness and our experiences as consciousness in this human existence – it’s lucid dreaming. It’s like a little glitch in the matrix that lets you not only see that the matrix actually exists, but also try to understand how it works.
Everyone who has ever had a lucid dream will tell you that there is something remarkable about it (apart from the amazing experience of being in a whole different world while your body is somewhere else).
That remarkable thing is being able to control the dream the moment you become lucid. (Being lucid meaning you realise that it’s a dream).
In lucid dreams, you have power. Depending of how lucid you are, which means, how clearly and strongly you maintain the awareness of being in a dream, you can control it. You have the power not only over your dream character, but the whole environment of the dream. You can make things appear or disappear. You can create people and objects out of thin air. You can fly, or turn into things or objects. You can even move from one dream to a completely different one. You can do literally anything – as long as you are aware you are dreaming. As long as you are aware of the fact that the whole thing is happening inside your consciousness.
Dreams are more real than reality itself, they’re closer to the self. ~ Gao Xingjian
All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream. ~Edgar Allan Poe
What you experience during lucid dreaming is a good analogy to how your smaller I relates to your higher I in this journey of consciousness that we call “real life”. Your smaller I is a dream character, living through the everyday life, tossed by the winds of events and happenings, completely in their power. Think of an unconscious dream where you are, for example, running to catch a train, panicking, knowing you won’t be in time. You are completely under illusion that the world you are in is real, that you need to catch the train, that something bad will happen if you don’t. You hardly ever question the flow of life with all it’s demands and limitations, you hardly ask why you are here at all and where you are actually headed. You just … dream unconsciously.
And you have no control over anything, beyond your direct power of, for example, running as fast as you can to get onto that train.
Good luck with that.
Your Higher I, however, is the part of you that you gain access to when you wake up in a dream. When you realise you are not the dream character, but that the dream character and the dream itself are happening within your consciousness. In a way, the dream is your consciousness, or one of its forms, one of infinite number of other of its forms.
And, just like in a lucid dream, once you regain the knowledge of what you really are, once you remember that this whole “dream” of life is happening in your consciousness and created by your consciousness, you gain power over the whole creation, not just over what your little dream character can do.
This is when you get coincidences, synchronicities, mysterious turns of events and other things that are hard to explain. Things that happen, as if by magic, bidding to your will in the middle of what seems to be otherwise chaotic existence. Things happen to serve you. Events and circumstances click in the best way so as to get to you what you desire.
It works like this because when you “wake up” to the fact that your life is a journey of consciousness, created by that very consciousness, you realise that you are the creator.
Your consciousness is a container for your existence in your every day life, just like it is if you were in a dream. Your little I is like a character of a dream, whereas you Higher I is the one that recognises that it is consciousness itself.
When you align with your Higher I, you gain its powers.