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Concerns About Lucid Dreaming-Questions and Answers-2

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 Q. Sometimes in lucid dreams I encounter situations of otherworldliness, accompanied by feelings of the presence of great power or energy. At these times my consciousness expands far beyond anything I have experienced in waking life, so that the experience seems much more real than the reality I know, and I become terrified. I cannot continue these dreams for fear that I will never awaken from them, since the experience is so far out of the realm of waking  existence. What would happen if I was unable to awaken myself from these lucid dreams? Would I die or go mad?

A. Despite the seemingly horrific nature of this concern, it amounts to little more than fear of the unknown. There is no evidence that anything you do in a dream could affect your basic physiology in a way that is harmful. And, as intense as a dream may be, it can't last any longer than the natural course of REM periods-at most an hour or so.

Of course, since explorations of the world of the world of dreams have just begun, there are bound to be regions as yet uncharted. But you should not fear to pioneer them. The feeling of intense anxiety that accompanies the sudden onset of strange experiences in dreams is a natural part of the orientation response: It is adaptive in the waking world for a creature in a new situation or territory to look first for danger. However the fear is not necessarily relevant to what is happening. You need not fear physical harm in your dreams.. When you find yourself in the midst of a new experience, let go your fear and see what happens.

Q. They say that if you die in your dream, you really will die. Is this true?

A. If it were true, how would anybody know? There is direct evidence to the contrary: many people have died in their dreams with no ill effects, according to the reports they gave after waking up-alive. Moreover, dreams of death can becomes dreams of rebirth if you let them, as illustrated by one of my own dreams. After a mysterious weakness quickly spread through my whole body, I realized I was about to die of exhaustion and only had time for one final action. Without hesitation, I decided that I wanted my last act to be an expression of perfect acceptance. As I let out my last breath in that spirit, a rainbow flowed out of my heart, and I awoke ecstatic.

Q. If I use my lucidity in a dream to manipulate and dominate the other dream characters, and magically alter the dream environment, won't I be making a habit of behavior that is not likely to benefit me in my waking life?

A. Chapter six discusses an approach to lucid dreams that will help you establish ways of behaving that will be useful to you in waking life. This is to control your own actions and reaction in the dream, and not the other characters and elements of the dream. However, this does not mean that we believe it harmful if you choose to enjoy yourself by playing King or Queen of Dreamland. In fact, if you normally feel out of control of your life, or are an unassertive person, you well may benefit from the empowered feeling engendered by taking control of the dream. 

Q. Won't all these efforts and exercises for becoming lucid lead to loss of sleep? And won't I feel more tired after being awake in my dreams? Is it worth sacrificing my alertness in the daytime just to have more lucid dreams?

A. Dreaming lucidly is usually just as restful as dreaming non-lucidly. Since lucid dreams tend to be positive experiences, you may actually feel invigorated after them. How tired you feel after a dream depends on what you did in the dream-If you battled endlessly and non-lucidly with frustrating situations, you probably will feel more tired than if you realized in the dream that it was a dream and that non of your mundane concerns were relevant.

You should work on learning lucid dreaming when you have time and energy to devote to the task. The exercises for increasing dream recall and including lucid dreams probably will require that you spend more time awake during the night than usual, and possibly that you sleep longer hours. If you are too busy to allot more time to sleeping or to sacrifice ay of the little sleep you are getting , it's probably not a good idea for you to work on lucid dreaming right now.

Doing so will add to your current stress, and you probably won't get very good results. Lucid dreaming, at least at first, requires good sleep and mental energy for concentration. Once you learn the techniques, you should be able to get to a point at which you can have lucid dreams any time you wish just by reminding yourself that you can do so.

Q.I am afraid that I may not have what it takes to have lucid dreams. What if, doing all of the exercises you suggest and devoting a lot of time to it, I still can't learn to have lucid dreams? If I put all that time into it, and do't get any results, I will feel like a failure.

A. One of the greatest stumbling blocks in learning almost any skill is trying too hard. This is especially the case with lucid dreaming, which requires that you sleep well and have a balanced state of mind. If you find that you are losing sleep while struggling to have lucid dreams without result, let go of your efforts for a while. Relax, and forget about lucid dreaming for a few days or a few weeks. Sometimes you will find that after you let go, lucid dreams will appear.

Q. Lucid dreams are so exciting and feel so good that real life pales by comparison. Isn't it possible to get addicted to them and not wish to do anything else?

A.I t may be possible for the die-hard escapist whose life is otherwise dull to become obsessed with lucid dreaming. Whether or not this deserves to be called addiction in another question. In any case, some advice for those who find the idea of "sleeping their life away" for the sake of lucid dreaming is to consider applying what they have learned in lucid dreams to their waking lives. If lucid dreams seem so much more exciting, then this should inspire you to make your life more like your dreams-more vivid, intense, pleasurable, and rewarding. In both worlds your behavior strongly influence your experience.

Q. I am currently undergoing psychotherapy. Is it okay for me to try lucid dreaming? Can I assist in my therapy?

A. If you are in psychotherapy and want to experiment with lucid dreaming, talk it over with your therapist. Not every therapist will be well informed about lucid dreaming and its implications for therapy, so make sure your therapist understands what you are talking about and is familiar with the current information. Chapters 8, 10, and 11 of this book offer ideas of how lucid dreaming may be instrumental in psychotherapy. If your therapist doesn't think that lucid dreaming would be a good idea for you at this time, follow his or her advice. If you disagree, you should either trust the judgement of your current therapist on this issue or find another therapist, ideally one who knows how to help you to work with your lucid dreams therapeutically.

Reference: Exploring the World Lucid Dreaming: Stephen LaBerge. Ph.D. & Howard Rheingold.

 

 

 

10,000 Dreams-Sleeping and Dreaming

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Dreams are said to be the mind's way of making sense of the various types of input  with which it has had to cope. It has certainly been proved that the human being needs sleep in order to function successfully. Indeed sleep depravation has a profound effect on the efficiency and the ability, and the function of dreams seems to be to balance the psychological and physiological activity within us. Mental and physical breakdown occurs very quickly without the relief of the dream process. During waking hours the focus of our activity is generally geared towards the external and conscious. We are continually taking in information which must be either used immediately or stored until we can categorise it and fit into some kind of pattern.

We have the ability to 'read' our fellow humans and situations. We are capable of assessing what is going on, making decisions and producing realisations and insights in the light of fresh information. Both the information and the insights are stored for later use, and can appear in dreams in an apparently random fashion. There are those people who do not believe that dreams have any particular function in our lives other than being some kind of repository for information received. It has been suggested that dreams are a kind of white noise or a background hum similar to that which emanates from any piece of electrical equipment.

On some levels this may well be true. They are a sort of self-clearing process which makes room each night for the next day's information. The question then arises, however, as to where the cleared material goes. It is a little like the housewife who spring-cleans, throws some of her rubbish away and stores the rest in the attic. What is left is then put to good use in the home. In the case of dreams, the rubbish, or what is not perceived as being needed is returned to the general tip or collective unconscious. The material which may be useful in the future is then put away to be drawn on at random, and the remainder is left available for easy access.

Another way of looking at this process is to think of the mind as being a huge computer . In the waking state we are continually feeding information, which is not filed in any particularly efficient way. Dreams perform two functions. One is the correct sorting ad filing of information. The second is the presentation of information necessary for the dreamer to function successfully within the world in which he/she lives. As this internal computer becomes more powerful it needs to spend less time and effort sorting the incoming information, and more time searching for relevant information  to enable it and its manager to function more effectively.

Dreams tap into this information database of memory, experience, perception and cultural belief, and form new ideas and concepts. They also present with a way of solving problems which may seem impossible  on a conscious level. When the limitations that the conscious mind places on the though processes are removed, the mind is free to roam wherever it pleases. Free, from inhibition, it will create scenarios and situations which defy explanation by the logical side of the personality. In looking for explanations we have to become more creative  and open in the pursuit of knowledge. We can thereby tap into not only our own storehouse of images, but also into an even  more subtle level of information available to everyone. This is the level that Jung labelled the Collective Unconscious.

The term 'unconscious' is taken to delineate many functions and aspects of Self. It is that aspect of pour being that scans our life experience, knowledge of which is retained in a level of memory to which we seldom have access. Information processing then becomes the development of a concept of reality in the understanding of what is probable and what would be severely out of the ordinary. Much of that which we call the unconscious forms a set of basic physiological and physiological functions - our way of surviving. It is also a collection of inherited norms of conduct, beliefs and ideas.

As the collective unconscious becomes more accessible to us, it becomes obvious that there are certain patterns which continually emerge. These basic patterns often have been adjusted to fit the dreamer's experience and sometimes need to be readjusted so that they can be made to fit better. Many dreams take place which enable us to have access to the basic patterns and many more enable us to make the very subtle adjustments necessary.

Reference: 10.000 Dreams Interpreted: Pamela Ball.

 

Concerns About Lucid Dreaming-Questions and Answers

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Q. Might lucid dreaming be dangerous for some people?

A. The overwhelming majority of lucid dreams are positive, rewarding experiences, much more so than ordinary dreams (to say nothing of nightmares). Nevertheless, there probably will be some people who find the experience o9f lucid dreaming frightening and, in some cases, extremely disturbing.

For this reason we cannot recommend lucid dreaming to everyone. On the other hand, we are confident that for people no  more than  "normally neurotic," lucid dreaming is completely harmless. Different people will use lucid dreaming for different purposes; it makes little sense to warn the typical explorer of the dream world away from lucid dreaming because some might use it in a less than optimal manner. If, after reading the first six chapters  of these pages, you still have serious reservations about lucid dreaming, then we recommend that you not continue. " To thine own self be true." Just make sure that it is really your self to which you are being true. Don't allow others to impose their personal fears on you.

Q.I am afraid that if I learn to induce lucid dreams, all my dreams will become lucid. Then what will I do?

A. The philosopher P.D. Ouspensky experienced conflicting emotions regarding "half-dream states," as he called lucid dreams: " The first sensation they produced was one of astonishment. I expected to find one thing and found another. The next was a feeling of extraordinary joy which the 'half-dream states,' and the possibility of seeing and understanding things is quite a new way, gave me. And the third was a certain fear of them, because I very soon noticed that If I let them take their own course they would begin to grow and expand and encroach both upon sleep and upon the waking state."

I experienced exactly the same fear when I first began attempting to induce lucid dreams.. My efforts were soon met with impressive success; after a few months, I was having more and more lucid dreams at what suddenly seemed like an alarming rate of increase. I became afraid that I wouldn't be able to control the process: "What if all my dreams became lucid? I'm not wise enough to consciously direct all of my dreams. What if I make mistakes?'' and so on.

However, I found that the moment I entertained this worrisome linke of thinking, I stopped having lucid dreams>Upon calm reflection I realized that without my consent there was very little chance that all my dreams would bec ome lucid. As both Ouspensky and I had forgotten, lucid dreaming takes effort. Lucid dreams occur only rarely unless you go to sleep with the deliberate and definite intention to become conscious, or lucid in your dreams.

Thus I understood that I would be able to regulate (and limit, if necessary) the frequency of my lucid dreams. In fact, after a decade of experience with more than a thousand lucid dreams, I rarely have more than a few per month unless I have a conscious desire to have more.

Q.Since I believe that dreams are messages from the unconscious mind, I am afraid that consciously controlling my dreams would interfere with this important process and deprive me of the benefits of dream interpretation.

A. As chapter 5 will explain, dreams are not letters from the unconscious mind, but experiences created through the interactions of unconscious and conscious mind. In dreams, more unconscious knowledge is available to our conscious experience. However, the dream is not at all the exclusive realm of the unconscious mind. If it were, people would never remember their dreams, because we d not have waking access to what is not conscious.

The person, or dream ego, that we experience being in dream is the same as our waking consciousness. It constantly influences the events of the dream through its expectations and biases, just as it does in waking life. The essential difference is the lucid is that the ego is aware that the experience is a dream. This allows the ego much more freedom of choice and creative responsibility to find the best way to act in the dream.

I don't think that you should always be conscious that you are dreaming any more than I think that you should always be conscious of what you are doing in waking life.

Sometimes self-consciousness can interfere with effective performance; if you are in a situation (dream or waking) in which your habits are working smoothly, you don't need to direct your action consciously. However, if your habits are taking you in the wrong direction (whether dreaming or waking), you should be able to " wake up" to what you are doing wrong and consciously redirect your approach.

As for the benefits of dream interpretation, lucid dreams can be examined as fruitfully as nonlucid ones. Indeed, lucid dreamers sometimes interpret their dreams while they are happening. Becoming lucid is likely to alter what would have otherwise happened, but dreams can still be interpreted.


Reference: Exploring the World Lucid Dreaming: Stephen LaBerge. Ph.D. & Howard Rheingold.

Dictionary Of Dreams - A - Arro-Ash

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Arsenic

To dream of arsenic signifies poverty but good health. If you receive arsenic from a friend, your virtues will be rewarded.

If you give arsenic, you will encounter opposition while trying to perform a good action.

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 Arson

An unfortunate dream.

News of accidents at sea, possibly yourself.

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 Art

To admire or discuss art is a sign of advancement.

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Artesian Well

If an artisan well figures in your dream, a moderate but steady income will be yours.

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 Arthritis

To dream of this problem indicates good health.

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Artichoke

Vexations and trouble s which, however, you will surmount.

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Asbestos

To dream of using this as a protection against fire portends family discord.

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 Ascending

We are becoming conscious of being able to exercise control over passion or sexual pleasure.

The transition from expressing our energy through sex to expressing it in self-awareness is often shown ascending.

If we are climbing the stairs, going up an elevator or lift we are making a movement towars waking or becoming more aware;

We are making an escape from anxiety or being down to earth and are freeing ourselves from physical constraints.

We are searching for spiritual awareness.

Ascension

The act of Ascension is a break-through to a new spiritual plane which transcends the state of being human. 

Ascension is an altered state of consciousness which can occur as a result of meditation and spiritual practices.

In dreams it is seen as acceptable and real, and is often accompanied by symbols of paradise.

Ascension frequently follows the experience of a descent into the underworld.

 

 

 

 Ashes

Misfortune and losses through carelessness.

Ashes in a dream often indicate penitence and sorrow. We are aware that we have been over anxious and stupid within a situation, and that there is little left to be done.

That situation has out-lived its usefulness. After an event or person has gone we mat dream of a fire that has burnt out, leaving ashes.

These are what remains of our experience which will enable us to make the best of the situation.

A memory or a learnt wisdom needs to be retained in order for us to use information.

These represent purification and death, the perishable human body and mortality.

Asia

If you dream of travelling to Asia, you will experience great changes in your life, but they will not necessarily bring you good fortune.

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Asleep

To dream that you are falling asleep is a bad omen for a busy person, unless it proves just a timely hint, because it signifies that he or she is likely to take great pains, but will work in such a drowsy way that the result will be small compared with the work involved.

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 Reference:The Complete Book Of Dreams/ Edwin Raphael: Reference: 10,000 Dreams Interpreted: Pamela Ball

Read More:Dictionary Of Dreams - A - Arro-Ast

 

 

 

 

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