What makes lucid dreaming relevant and relatable at an archetypal level…
The Dreamer is one of our most universal essences.
A dreamer something we all are with absolutely no exceptions. It’s a sometimes hidden but very alive aspect of our humanity that fully transcends belief, interpretation, or even experience.
If you ask the mystics, they’ll say that waking life is just as much a dream. Surely you must have heard this or experienced it on some level yourself if you’re tapped into your dreamliness… You know that some Tibetans believe lucid dreaming to one of five pathways to enlightenment? Yup, the Big E.
Let’s try on this truth for a moment. What sets the waking dream apart from the sleeping dream?
The waking is more of a crystallized state of dreaming, therefore by definition not as malleable. You don’t get to fly while you’re awake. You don’t bend physical matter with your mind. You don’t time travel or meet with otherworldlies and ancestors in person. We get to access these abilities and experiences through conscious dreaming states, like high meditation, hypnosis, yoga, shamanic journeying and of course, our favsies: lucid dreaming.
The more lucid dreams we experience and remember, the more this malleable state of being trickles into our waking selves, or at the very least it opens our minds up to a natural magic and synchronicity. Our night lucidity helps us carry the water of the unconscious, which is perhaps synonymous with a higher awareness, back with us to drink in at that moment of awakening, to melt our being a little more each time from the inside out.
Lucid dreamers, with some tenure, will each get their lucky glimpse into a deeper architectural truth of reality. Over many years, if they stay the course and keep practicing, they’ll experience a series of powerful Initiations.
They get access to a powerful perspective: the present moment of self awareness in a world with very elastic “rules”. When they sincerely explore this vista, the differences between waking and sleeping dreams lessen. Prolonged lucid experiences establish how malleable consciousness is in a very visceral way. The subtley of difference between belief and knowing – this is what the aperature of lucidity affords us.
Something I’ve ascertained from personal experience and listening to others talk about more advance lucid dreaming is that there’s a natural arc to these Initiations. Unsurprisingly, it’s a lot like a Hero’s Journey. Here’s, loosely, how many of us experience it:
“The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego-consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends.”
The Lucid Dreaming Arc of Initiations
Crossing of the First Threshold: The first (intentionally) initiated lucid dream.
Sustaining Acuity: Many early on lucid dreams are like quick bursts. The dreamer must take care to stabilize themselves within the dream over a series of dreams and mindful regulation of their energy.
Exploration of Unhibited Self: Once the dreamer learns to stabilize within the dream, they’re usually drawn to explore their primal instinctual desires and pleasures. The dreamer may endeavor to manipulate the dream with flying and bending the waking “laws” of reality.
The Trials: The dreamer will begin to experience obstacles to their continued lucidity. i.e. Not being able to fly anymore, less frequency in lucidity, a dream recall drought, dream figures chasing you, “the dream police” coming for you and waking you up etc… There’s usually a feeling of not having as much freedom as they’ve had in prior dreams. Without the passage of this threshold, the dreamer will likely stagnate in a pleasure/play – fight/flight mode for a while.
Mentoring: At this point, if the dreamer doesn’t quit their practice altogether (please don’t!), a big initiation is met, which requires a certain calling: A deeper intention for healing, innovation or wholeness. This call grows within a fusion of curiosity, humility and a touch of inner trickster. If things aren’t working as well as they once did, the dreamer might either seek out a waking life mentor in the form of a book, teacher or course; or they’ll begin to engage the dream itself as a Mentor. They become a student of the Dream.
The Underworld: Sometimes, the dreamer must go down into the underworlds in order to reach the upperworlds. It’s as if the dream is saying, “OK cutie, so we’ve had some fun. It’s business time. Are we ready to go to the next level of the game?”
Breakthroughs: If the dreamer is persistent, open and courageous, they’ll have breakthroughs every time they go lucid. Their dreams become a treasure hunt for epiphanies and transcendental states.
Investigation: The dreamer may at some point decide to begin investigating the nature of the dream, consciousness and reality. A deeper purpose and calling emerges.
Reconciliation: The dreamer feels, sees and knows every* aspect of the dream to be a part of themselves; they willingly and actively seek integration and reconciliation with it all.
*While every aspect of a dream can be seen as an aspect of Self, there is also the experience of Other. Just as there are other people in your life, there are dream “characters” with their own lives and experiences. Some of them are extraterrestrial or extradimensional. Intuition, discernment and common courtesy will tell the dreamer whats important to integrate in any of these encounters.
Apotheosis: The dreamer must deeply surrender the illusion of control and begin humbly exploring the higher nature of the greater dream awareness. With open eyes, the dream will bloom open and reveal another layer, petal by petal, dream by dream. It will be an ecstatic time of epiphanies and revelations. This is where a great kinship with the greater Dreamer within, or higher self, begins to take roots in their waking life.
The Return: The dreamer expresses their lucid epiphanies creatively in their waking life. They allow the dream to work through them, to be embodied in some meaningful way. They become an ambassador of the Dream.
Waking Lucidity: When each Initiation is undertaken with care, gradually the dreamer will begin to slip between the waking and sleeping dream more effortlessly, with more continuity, truly recognizing their waking life as a dream as well.