Dreams and Lucid Dreaming

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June 5, 2017 (Updated 27 July 2017)

I’m pondering Pope Francis’s announcement in which the Pope entrusted both the temporal and eternal destinies of humanity to the iconic Virgin Mary, whom the Pope claims is the greatest example of courage and hope.

It was not easy to respond with a “yes” to the Angel’s announcement; and yet she, a woman still in the midst of her youth, responds boldly despite not knowing the fate that lay before her.

Pope Francis before a General Audience in St. Peter’s Square.

My faith would have carried me had I been blind.

This statement comes from what I was thinking in a visitory lucid dream which I experienced one night clear back around 25 to 30 years ago. If I were to give it a title, it would be River of Life. In the experience, I had come out of the woods and spotted something akin to a Utopian village of people, but it seemed like a place out of time. The water was still. The trees and grass were a lush green, and the residents were accepting and hospitable, but I felt as though I had to keep moving, for it was not an easy place to be. That was when it could be safely said that I was still young.

May 6, 2017
When it comes to interpreting what I get, the trick is not to try too hard, but to just let it come to me.

St. Francis of Assisi was legendary. Birds were sometimes to said to have perched themselves on his shoulders. He was peace-loving.

Apr 30, 2017
About a week or so ago, a woman showed up in a lucid dream in my sleep. She said her name was “Sister Maria,” though she was dressed in civilian clothes. I never knew anyone named Maria before. She had medium brown, relatively long, thick and straight hair and looked to be about in her 30s. She walked closely beside me to my left. I asked her if she was the mother of Jesus. “No,” she said.

“Everyone should know someone named Maria,” I said. Then I explained to her that maybe I was thinking of Teresa, but she didn’t seem concerned that I didn’t know anything about her. All I know is, when I awoke I thought of Padre Pio, who was also blessed with the gift of prophecy, because “Maria” was supposedly the last word on his lips.

…In boyish dreams I used to travel over the sea upon a cloud; I tried to soar to fancied grandeurs, and then dropped down on to all-fours; but to its goal my mind was constant. Somewhere -I can’t remember where- it says that if a man shall win the whole wide world, but lose himself, all that he gains is only like a wreath upon an empty skull…

(Ibsen, 1936)[14]

edvardgrieg00finc_0009What charm, what inimitable and rich musical imagery! What warmth and passion in his melodic phrases, what teeming vitality in his harmony, what originality and beauty in the turn of his piquant and ingenious modulations and rhythms, and in all the rest, what interest, novelty, and independence.

(Finck, 1906)[15]

Tchaikovsky’s glowing description of Grieg’s music resembles dreams, which tend to be poetic, big on imagery, and often dramatic. They can represent something in the depths of your being, or your subconscious mind, responding to your needs. They can be extrasensory. Interpreting them can help you in your waking life with problem-solving, promoting self-healing, and tapping into your creative power.

  • Repeating Dreams
  • Disturbing Dreams
  • Lucid Dreaming (What’s it like? What are the benefits?)
  • Dream Masters and Warriors (What’s a dream master? A dream warrior?)

  • Repeating Dreams
    A repeating dream may reflect attempts by the process in yourself which endeavors to keep your mind and body healthy. Recurring themes such as running from something, looking for something, etcetera may suggest that a habit which is an impediment to your development needs to be overcome. It may be helpful to think of a dream character or entity as a resource or a representation of your unrealized potential and to ask it for a clearer message. If something unpleasant threatens in a dream, you may habitually try to avoid it by waking.

    In my earlier years, I was periodically haunted in my sleep by an approaching tidal wave. I felt like I had to warn everyone. As it came closer, it became taller and more threatening, while at the same time, I woke up to a greater level of lucidity within the dream. I would still run from it, but it seemed I was running in slow motion and could never get away from it fast enough. It would wake me up physically because I was afraid.

    One night when I saw the threatening tidal wave, I turned and confronted it by diving into it. I had made the conscious choice to stop running from something that didn’t want to take ‘no’ for an answer. The next thing I knew, I was riding the crest of it as though I were flying. By holding the idea that a troubling character, image or scene is a mental projection of an aspect of yourself or a reflection of a condition or situation which needs to be dealt with, you can move towards wholeness as each aspect of the projections is integrated.

    Why did it require the bravery of an army of men to confront something from which I knew I would physically awaken completely physically unscathed? Stepping outside of the circle of social pressure to conform to the majority can require tremendous courage on the part of any single individual. Back then, for fear of worrying anyone or sticking out like a sore thumb, I was shunning a divinely-given gift. What I figured out in hindsight is that I wasn’t ready to accept it at the time. In hindsight, it might have been nice if I’d documented my experiences in a dream journal for comparison purposes.

    While developing this blog, I typed ‘tidal wave’ in the search bar, and lo and behold, there was a WWII operation by that name, so I read about it. Then, history felt to me like it was coming alive. George Herbert Walker Bush (POTUS #41) was the youngest WWII naval aviator and the last WWII veteran to be a U.S. President. They called the naval pilots blue angels.

    Posthumous Medal of Honor recipient Baker wasn’t one. How could he have been when he piloted Hell’s Wench? That’s not the reason. The real reason is that he was in the Army.

    According to one female psychiatrist who was a guest one night on Coast to Coast AM, a possible cause of a repeating dream has to do with the theory of reincarnation, or memories of a past life. The theory is that some of us could be reincarnated souls who are here again to learn an even greater lesson or to bring to completion an experience from a prior life.

    Some people have a theory that we reincarnate in our own bloodlines, or that we at least can. (Weiss). One night in early 2010 before going to sleep, I sincerely prayed to God for an answer to the question: “Is there such a thing as reincarnation?” I ended up having a lucid dream in which I had entered a country fairground in a field from a long trek. A man appeared beside me at the entrance, bent down to pick up a straw hat, and handed it to me. “You lost your hat,” he said. I hadn’t even known I’d been wearing one.

    All I can think is, what red-blooded American lady wouldn’t be tempted to go flying with Frank, until I realized that I could’ve never done it. It would be like dating my father (who’s right about his age) and they were both from New Jersey. It would be like going with a family member. How do I know that Frank, a “big baby,” wasn’t volunteering to fill in for my father, whom I would die for? I hope so, because then my father could be spared any knowledge from beyond the grave that I feel like I’m having less than a wonderful life, but then I realized, that might be like robbing a cradle, wouldn’t it? I could never do that.

    I didn’t recognize the man but felt I’d known him for a long time. There were people seated on chairs. They invited me to sit with them while they showed me their family photo albums. I didn’t recognize them either, but they were very nice to me. The man stood off in the distance. I yearned to be with him, but he slowly departed and faded off as he telepathically informed me, “You’re not going to find the answer in any book.” Then, I awoke.

    I found myself later that year perusing an old family photo album to which I was lucky enough to have access. Maybe it was my father’s father. God knows I was nuts about him, but not overly demonstrative about it. Maybe it’s my other half in some kind of secret society of saints. Maybe the Popes are angels of sorts. Damn. I just know that when he departed and faded off, to me it felt like taking candy from a baby, with me being the baby.

    Asking questions from primary or secondary sources can lead to greater self-understanding since who you are is in part a reflection on your primary formative 519Gr6HUATL__SX327_BO1,204,203,200_influences and, indirectly, a reflection on those who came before them. Be leery of thirty-third hand accounts. Mind the rules but don’t let society or institutions and organizations alone define you. As you look back, take history into account too since all of us, at least in some small ways, are reflections on the societies and times in which we’ve lived.

    Disturbing Dreams

    Comprehending the meaning of a disturbing, scary, or even riveting dream requires objectivity: open-mindedness, a certain neutrality. You must be able to understand the entire message of the dream’s content without prejudice. This is accomplished by learning to see through your own subjective (personal) filters of perception. Sometimes it requires a courageous willingness to transcend the boundaries of your currently held beliefs.

    “Our perception is based more on expectation and belief than on independent interpretation.”

    (Taylor, 2009)[17]

    The consensus amongst psychologists and sociologists is that we’re predisposed to believing what we fear, hope, or expect. We tend to believe what we’re preprogrammed to believe. Taylor’s book Mind Programming discusses at length subliminal advertising and the power of suggestion.

    Technical experts in various fields, or highly-skilled specialists, have a tendency to rule out the unexpected. They become blind to it. Miracles are incidents we might experience which are unexpected, but they’re unlikely to be realized without a willingness to take a step beyond fear.

    When WWI broke out in France in early August 1914, the 33rd Infantry Regiment of the French Army was considered one of the best fighting units in France. In late 1914, De Gaulle’s unit gained recognition for repeatedly crawling out into no man’s land to listen to the conversations of the enemy in their trenches.

    “Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown.”

    Charles De Gaulle (b. 1890 – d. 1970)

    People are creatures of habit, and repetition creates habit. Many people have been conditioned through the bombardment of advertising in the mass media by the science-and-industry-driven status quo to have such a healthy respect for the face of the unknown (since the research and development divisions of business conglomerates are continually seeking marketable practical applications of new technological developments to keep the explosive population boom from starving, rising up and creating mass chaos out of hunger), that they often automatically shun it out of force of habit.

    America’s success has depended on the ability to innovate, which requires novelty. New discoveries must have practical applications to get funding. There’s so much competition for resources, which is why there exists such a bombardment of noise on the information superhighway. It can require a concerted effort to sort through the mixed messages and propaganda to become truly awake and aware. It requires not only a humble heart, but an open mind.

    It’s not safe to assume that a repeating scary dream must mean there could be something wrong with you simply because you don’t understand it. This is why overcoming a scary dream’s recurrence may ultimately require a willingness to surrender to the greater wisdom of the ages rather than insisting on imposing your habitual mindset or narrow view onto it. You’ve been influenced to one degree or another by the marketplace, but you can work with the fear of what’s yet unknown to you by replacing any negative or self-defeating thinking patterns with positive ones by cutting through that spiritual materialism, sifting through the dirt to separate the lies from the truth.

    There has been a gradual move away from a firm belief in the divine toward secularism in society, but this may have had its roots with the ancient Greeks and the philosophers during the classical period in the Age of Reason, when the masses stopped believing in cult gods and the divine right of authority to rule. Monotheism (the belief in one true though invisible God above it all) took root.

    We live in an iconic society, as evidenced by statues and memorials of leaders who were considered to be great because they served as living examples of heroism for many while they were alive, but a word to the wise.

    Without God, there is no virtue, because there is no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we’re mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy cannot and will not long endure. If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

    Ronald Reagan, August 23, 1984

    Lucid Dreaming
    What’s it like?
    To be aware you’re dreaming at the same time that the dream is transpiring is known as “lucid dreaming.” It’s to experience a feeling of vastness beyond the limitations of the physical senses and boundaries of the everyday world, often resulting in an exhilarating sense of freedom. Lucid dreams can be cryptically colored and tend to be much more memorable than ordinary dreams, leaving a deep impression upon you, sometimes for years or even for a lifetime. To dream lucidly is to experience a wider knowing than your normal waking perception. It may be felt as a sense of “at oneness” with something that seems to lie beyond time and space, often accompanied by a feeling of profound peace or miraculousness.

    What are the benefits?
    Deepening conscious awareness in your sleep enhances your opportunity for personal growth. Instead of just reacting to your dreams, you can learn to proactively utilize the opportunities they make available to draw on the enormous reservoir of information from gathered experience and memories of the distant past. The newly found wider awareness may carry over into your waking life, having a positive “transformational” effect. Relaxation techniques (such as slow breathing) may aid in gaining lucidity, a heightened or expanded awareness and sense of connectedness to the fabric of existence.

    Is the goal of “lucid dreaming” to control the unfolding of your dreams? Not necessarily. Many aficionados reason that since you’re the one having the dream, you must be the driver behind the wheel, but to make such an assumption contains the risk of interpreting a dream based solely on your desires and longings. Certain themes are universal to human existence in general, while many people within a given culture share similar hopes and fears. You might think you’re self-contained as an individual, when the truth is, you have a conscious awareness common to all humans.

    You’re an expression, or facet, of the greater society in which you live, and in turn, of the larger universal cosmos. Acknowledging that you’re subject to, and part of, a higher order is not an overnight process, but by gradually opening your thinking to the world of broader possibilities, self-defeating ways of thinking are then replaced with attitudes which reflect the true nature of existence. Instead of swimming upstream, you can appreciate that you’re the product of a long line of ancestors who helped build our world.

    Dream Masters and Warriors

    What’s a dream master?
    A dream master is continually lucid throughout sleep and is said to have achieved enlightenment (liberation) by having achieved a harmony with the ocean of consciousness or the flow of life energy.

    Many people either follow (or turn to) old and established philosophies or religions to achieve a greater level of spiritual development. Some do it in the hopes of feeling liberated from pain or suffering caused by events or obstacles over which they may not have any control. Buddhism, for instance, is essentially a practice of self-mastery. We cannot control what others decide to do, but we can (with a disciplined mind) be in control of how we decide to let it affect us.

    Taoism is a system of thought with East Asian roots based on the Tao. The Tao denotes something that is both the source of and the force behind everything that exists. The ancient Chinese believed in divine realms.

    “A seeker of Truth. He will never find it. But the dimmest of possibilities–he may himself become Truth.”
    (Fort, 1919)[16]

    What’s a dream warrior?
    Dream warriors, having achieved a global awareness or consciousness, have learned to differentiate which dreams or aspects of dreams are unique to their own individual life circumstances from those dream images and scenes which don’t have anything to do with themselves directly or personally. Only a few have crossed the threshold to the frontier beyond their own conscious personalities.

    Dream warriors are predestined to achieve totality at birth. They have extraordinary God-given birthrights. At some point, they consciously completely submit their self-wills to serving a God greater than themselves. It is one who has made itself known to them from their earliest recollections.

    They have taken a vow. (Pope Francis, for instance, publicly stated that he took a vow to the Virgin of Carmen not to watch television). Ultimately their namesakes are revealed to them. (The Pope’s is an early medieval monk and founder of the reluctantly admitted Franciscan order). At some point in their journeys, they come to realize their patronages. Supposedly, there’s something to it about “things done in secret,” or what miraculously speaks to them. That was how I felt years ago when I discovered the Prayer for Peace attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.

    Even though it’s nonscriptural, it basically reiterates the core beliefs of most mainline Christian denominations. Dream warriors achieve an ever more perfected state of awareness through a process of self-development which occurs over their lifetimes. They’re enshrined at some point and generally beautified and subsequently canonized after their passages to the other side of the river of life.

    My creed

    I believe in the Sun even when it is not shining. I believe in Love even when I feel it not. I believe in God even when He is silent.

    Old Irish blessing

    Faith was never my gift. Old Irish blessings seem to be the only things that ever worked for me, and I’m still here. Not all of them have worked for me yet (but I’m still here). Maybe it has something to do with the luck of the Irish, or hope.

    By blossoming in the garden of your dreams, depending upon your talent and motivation, you can achieve full self-realization and experience the corresponding unconditional bliss of a perfect union with the source of all that is (which many call God), from which all that one is, arises.
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    Page originally published October 12, 2013

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