Beyond Our Dreams... A Season of Lucid Living (Part 1)
“In my dreams I walk the winds,
I climb the stairs of open space; In my dreams I float …Unfettered By myths of connectedness that limit…”
(Excerpt from the poem “Surreality” by the author)
While We Sleep…
We all dream during sleep. Some of our dreams we remember, others we don’t. Our dreams represent the conscious and unconscious symbols of our waking states. Dreams are the short stories of the aspirations, secret and otherwise, that motivate the many actions through which our lives and realities are expressed.
Our dreams are sometimes predictive, revealing to us events that will come to pass in our futures. At other times they are purely symbolic; representing the existential agents of our hopes and fears, and revealing the emotional depth of our involvement with those symbols. Some of our dreams seem to come “out of the blue” of our world. They seem not to have any basis in our conscious experiences. Others are a direct result of the outstanding impressions of our daily lives.
Our dreams come and go as we sleep. We remember some of them, and we endeavor to understand the symbols that occur and recur in them. Most of our dreams occur seemingly without conscious input from us. On the other hand, there are dreamers who predetermine the content of their dreams. These persons dream so much that they, in the course of a dream, are actually aware that they are dreaming, and can direct the course of events of that dream. This is what is called “lucid dreaming”. As one who has had such experiences in my sleep, I can attest to the interesting nature of lucid dreaming. My dreamscape became a virtual wonderland for the exploration of fantasies that I dared not share.
As a young boy growing up in a rural district in Jamaica, I was a frequent dreamer. In a place where we didn’t have very much… and where many had much less to look forward to… the long, silent, dark nights provided the perfect opportunity for dreaming. I looked forward to my dreams. They provided for me adventures in symbolism and thrill-seeking that unlimited me in so many vital ways. We had no electricity or running water. Without radio or television, and with very few reading resources in the very simple place we called home, the adventures in my sleep were a welcome escape from a sometimes dull reality.
Many of my dreams were predictive in nature. It was not unusual for me to have a dream that foretold in precise detail the return of a family member who had gone on a trip to some distant destination. One of my more unforgettable episodes had to do with a dream that predicted my younger brother’s accident in which he broke a leg in a fall from a tree on my grandmother’s property. This unfortunate event, like others in my dreams, happened the very next day after I dreamt it. As astoundingly sad as it made me to share the fact that I had seen such a thing in my dreams, the predictive aspect of dreaming has always been a source of wonder to me. I have come to regard it as time-traveling in my sleep… a forwarding to the future you might say.