“Life is But a Dream”

Picture: Anonmoos (PD)

“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.

FURTHER READING:

Robert Anton Wilson: Prometheus Rising

Peter J Carrol: Liber Kaos

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/

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  • alizardx

    Since that was written, technological aids to lucid dreaming have been created. Here’s one DIY example: http://www.geekosystem.com/diy-lucid-dreaming-goggles/ – which also provides a link to a much more expensive commercial version.

  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    This is what David Icke talks about. But then everyone is like “oh, he believes in lizard men!”

    • Borgar

      Icke has got some appealing hunches and intuitions, but I think he is suffering from what Aleister Crowley perhaps would have called “mixing the planes”. He lacks the ability to differentiate between models belonging to different orders of being, resulting in complete metaphysical mess.

      • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

        probably true. Or maybe he does know how and other people garble it up. Or maybe it started out a big mess and since then he’s been trying to sort it out.

    • Matt Staggs

      I believe in panning for gold in streams of thought: sometimes even the muddiest of rivers can yield shining flecks of wisdom. Icke has some good points, but let’s face it: the guy really does believe in lizard men, too. I have no problem with that, really, as I’m not here to “educate” anyone besides me, and don’t believe in throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

      • Andrew

        That is a really, really good attitude. Kudos.

    • Billy Pilgrim

      I think he came up with that to deliberately cultivate an image of “batshit crazy”, thereby discrediting himself with the mainstream media as a defence against getting quietly taken out of the picture by the security services. Imagine if the mainstream media began picking up on some of the other stuff he exposes. That’s never going to happen now, because “The Royal Family are blood drinking shapeshifting lizards from the planet Nibaru”

  • Daimon

    I’ve never thought to perform these “reality checks”. When dreaming, I have sometimes realized I am indeed asleep. I do not know why it happens in some dreams and not others, but I come to the realization each time seemingly by chance. I will simply come across the thought “oh, I’m dreaming”. Perhaps there is a trigger that is not obvious to me. Lucid dreams are certainly the most fun; the latest included myself exploring an unknown suburbia, with the strength of gravity considerably lessened. My favourite part of the dream was the spring received from each jump, the softness of each landing, the increased amount of hangtime, the feeling of weightlessness (to an extent) on my limbs. Most importantly I think is that it feels as equally “real” as any experience I’ve had while awake. The sensations are just as satisfiable and legitimate. I came to believe it would take a certain willed ignorance on my part to dismiss these occurrences as less real.

    For myself, sleep does is not necessarily needed to achieve the state. During high school my buddies and I would take shrooms, and just sit around “meditating”, granted our understanding of what that was at the time was limited. However, our desired effect was that of a lucid dream. To be… exploring consciousness, flying around rooftops, visiting distant planets, all through our minds, all feeling as real as the walk home after. Our most ambitious attempt was to connect ourselves to one other through these lucid romps, each being conscious of eachothers reality. We never succeeded but on paper it
    sounded like a grand idea. With practice I found the mushrooms, or the sleep, could be abandoned as a medium in favour of intense concentration (ie. meditation). It’s truly fascinating and one of my favourite parts of this live I’ve come across.

    I always thought it beautiful when I read of Hendrix’s recollections of visiting Jupiters sulpher mines.. perhaps quite a popular attraction ;)

  • kowalityjesus

    some of my most profound thoughts and unexplainable phenomena take place at the edge of sleep and waking.

  • emperorreagan

    I like to shape shift in my dreams.

  • teachpeace

    Reading this was interesting,

    a revisit with long ago stories from Carlos Castaneda, like him or not.

  • faggotmilk

    What in Goddess’s name does Discordianism have to do with lucid dreaming?

    Step one: Solve to perform frequent ‘ality checks’ then resolve to perform frequent ‘reality checks’.

    Ality & reality checking techniques vary from person to person but I find putting sticky notes on anything that you should not stick something to with phrases like “You are asleep,” or, “This is a distraction,” or, “fnord?” is enough, especially if you live with a bunch of other people. This is tricky for me to do while dreaming as I usually appear to be asleep & laying down in one place the whole time & my arms are not long enough to stretch everywhere I’d like to stick them to. Other people switch street lights off and on with their mind or try reading words upside down while standing on their head, in short perform any simple activity you find is usually difficult in a dream like falling asleep.

    Step two: Keep a dream diary and fill it in every morning with mayonnaise & other white stuff.

    This principally aids your memory and ability to call any dreams from the previous night so that you may be able to recall them the next morning. No point in lucid dreaming if you can’t forget about it the next day.

    Step three: Learn how to freak out when your underwear finally feels lucid within the dream state.

    I fell into the trap of falling asleep each time I realized I was awake for a while. This was mainly because I’d get so excited when a sticky note revealed I was awake that I’d also trigger a ‘fully unconscious
    dream in the middle of an everyday situation’.

    Step four: Explore the world of Discordianism where anything you think is true, false, or neither true nor false becomes the case instantly.

    (For step five, please consult your pineal gland.)

    FURTHER READING:

    http://principiadiscordia.com/book/5.php
    http://discordia.wikia.com/wiki/Discordianism

    All hail Discordia!

    Sir E. Faggotmilk
    Knights of Christ United in Faith
    Order of Chaotic Disorder (O.’.C.’.D.’.)
    Keeper of the Citric Acid, Diviner of Jellybeans

    Do you believe that?

  • sana fatima

    o it was but a dream