“Everything, dreaming and all, has got a soul in it, or else it’s worth nothing, and we don’t care a bit about it… If I were only a dream, you would not have been able to love me so.” – George MacDonald
Ever since I stopped attempting to will myself through the dream space and began treating it as an all-powerful and loving Person, to Whom I address my lucid intents as hopeful requests, I have been richly rewarded.
I have been lucid dreaming for five years and have learned that it is sometimes possible, with varying degrees of success, to change, or creatively modify, a dream scene, to “fast travel” or to “teleport” to other dream scenes, and receive answers to my questions. I have also learned that it is a mistake to simply assume the dream space is obeying me with no will of its own. I think that on this point, most lucid dreamers can agree, but they are divided into primarily three camps:
Those who believe thinking and feeling are confined to our physical brain, and necessarily deny the dream’s autonomy, regarding it merely as part of their own personality and subconscious.
Those who believe that consciousness rather than matter is fundamental and are open to the concept of the dream space being autonomous, at least in certain respects.
Those who, like me, believe a Supreme Being created our minds and everything else.
I feel that my lucid dreams have been a way of developing an exciting, profoundly stimulating relationship between my soul and its Divine Artist, God.
A dream ceases… as we wake. But it does not become a nonentity. It is a real dream: and it may also be instructive. A stage set is not a real wood or drawing room: it is a real stage set, and may be a good one. (In fact, we should never ask of anything “Is it real?,” for everything is real. The proper question is “A real what?”)…The objects around me, and my idea of “me,” will deceive if taken at their face value. But they are momentous if taken as the end products of divine activities. Thus and not otherwise, the creation of matter and the creation of mind meet one another and the circuit is closed. – C.S. Lewis
Our religious beliefs, or lack thereof, notwithstanding, the fact is that we cannot always do whatever we want to in a lucid dream, or completely control it, no matter how lucid we feel/think ourselves to be, or how experienced we are with employing various methods, old and new, for achieving our intents.
In my view, our lucid dreaming minds are like children in kindergarten, and the dream space is the Teacher who, for example, we might order to immediately give us a chocolate ice cream cone. If judging the time and situation appropriate, the Teacher may metaphorically smile upon us, and appear to obey our command, but in truth, it is the Teacher—actively engaged in a relationship with us—who makes the decision to gratify our desires, or not.
My first lucid dreams were full of childish fun as I flew over the earth before diving down into magnificently detailed landscapes and cities while feeling joyfully invulnerable. But as I grew older, more knowledgeable and practiced, I began to understand that the dream space really seems to determine how best to interact with me in order to help me learn and grow in the most rewarding way possible.
I now have ample reason to believe the dream space cares about us, and for us, very personally, with exquisite, patient intimacy, and for that reason—and for other reasons we can no more fathom than a toddler can attain a PhD in quantum physics—I think there are rules in the dream space which appear to be limits to us but are actually there for our protection, rules which can change and evolve in proportion to how we mature as persons and, by extension, dreamers.
My experience, and the experience of some lucid dreamers I have spoken to, indicates that a humble, loving, hopeful and faithful attitude continues to bear remarkable fruit, enriching our dreams in ways we ourselves would never have imagined.
What Shakespeare’s Juliet says to Romeo as they embrace on the balcony outside her bedroom very much expresses how I have come to feel about my lucid dreams, and the loving Presence within them Who came courting me in the dark, with transcendent rather than tragic results:
And yet I wish but for the thing I have.
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep. The more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
Published in the Lucid Dreaming Experience, Vol. 4, No. 4, March 2016