“As sunlight obscures the stars by day so too does wakefullness blind us to the fact that we are still dreaming.”
– Liber Kaos, Peter J Carroll.
Part 1, Essays for the Discordian occultist: introducing the lucid dream.
Everything you experience of the outside world has to pass via your senses into your brain. Your body acts as an instrument through which reality is filtered. Ignorance allows you to focus. You always exclude more than you are taking in. If this article has your full attention it will necessarily be at the expense of other things. If you’re reading it on your mobile in a pub some people will see your focus as ignorant, for example.
It is with your memory and imagination that you decode meaning from the chaos of the external world. You’ve been around in some form or other since the dawn of time. In my experience it’s only recently that any of it has made any sort of “sense” thanks in the main to my memory and imagination.
However, that “sense” and meaning is ultimately decided by you. You get the final call as regards what is or is not “real”. This is the case with everything you have ever experienced.
Sleep is a good expression of this truth. While enveloped in sleep the brain invents scenarios by ignoring most sense data. This act of invention is usually a result of your subconscious mind combining memories and imagination. This video posted on Disinfo recently about lucid dreaming allows you to investigate the dream state further by learning to use your conscious mind to create dreams. There’s plenty of information online elsewhere about the process but a simple three step guide for the busy Discordian would run something like this:
Step one: Resolve to perform frequent ‘reality checks’.
Reality checking techniques vary from person to person but I find pulling my hands up into my line of vision is enough. This is tricky for me to do while dreaming as they usually appear a little slow moving or blurred. Other people switch electric lights off and on or try reading words, in short perform any simple activity you find is usually difficult in a dream.
Do these checks every hour or so until it’s an instinctive habit. The point of them is to trigger the realisation that you are dreaming.
Step two: Keep a dream diary and fill it in every morning.
This principally aids your memory and ability to recall any dreams from the previous night. No point in lucid dreaming if you forget about it the next day.
Step three: Learn not to freak out when you do finally feel lucid within the dream state.
I fell into the trap of waking up each time I realised I was dreaming for a while. This was mainly because I’d get so excited when a reality check revealed I was dreaming that I’d also trigger a ‘fully conscious wake up in the middle of the night situation’.
Step four: Explore the world of lucid dreaming where anything you think is true becomes the case instantly.
Magick is the art of manipulating reality both internally and externally. Lucid dreaming is an interesting preparatory first step. Further magickal exercises will build upon principles you’ll discover as your mind becomes more able to consciously manipulate the dream state. Most so-called low magick is principally concerned with projecting dreams outward into our external reality. There’s little point in doing this if you can’t dream properly.
The phrase “living the dream” owes more than a little to magickal thinking. However, our aim is to live this dream we call reality in a fully conscious ‘awakened’ state.
And of course this article’s invaluable comments section…
Note to commenters – I intend to use your words in a little podcast I’m making, if you don’t mind? This article is to be featured (with your improvements) in a later episode of http://thecultofnick.libsyn.com/