When I was about 15 I read an article in an old OMNI magazine about Dr. Stephen LaBerge and his work with lucid dreaming. I promptly went out and stole a copy of his book, “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming.” I had this idea when I was a teenager that if it was a book for self improvement, it was ok to steal it. (I’ve since bought numerous copies of the book for other people who were interested in the subject and I tell myself that semi-atones for my crime, heh). Anyway, it's a wonderful book which is a must for anyone who is seriously interested in lucid dreaming. Since then, I’ve done some lucidity practice on and off over the years and while never having gotten to the point where I can have them at will, had at least had them more frequently and been able to try out cool new stuff in them.
So. One of my New Years resolutions (which I take rather seriously) was to teach myself to have lucid dreams more or less at will within 6 months.
A couple weeks ago I bought a knock off of the NovaDreamer. A brilliant stroke of genius this device, invented by Dr. LaBerge to aid in lucid dream induction. I’ve wanted one since I first stole the good doctor’s book years ago. It’s a mask that goes over your eyes which you wear while you sleep. It has a microprocesser built into it with a tiny ifrared sensor that sits just above your eye and senses when you enter REM (because the eyes move under the lids when one is dreaming). When this little robot senses that you’re dreaming, it flashes lights at your closed lids at an intensity just strong enough to enter into your dream without waking you up. The idea is: see the flashing in your dreamscape, recognize this light flash pattern as a signal from your dream mask, recognize that you are dreaming and become lucid.Unfortunately, Dr. LaBerge and the Lucidity Institute stopped production of the NovaDreamer a few years ago. You can find them used on ebay once in a while but usually for no less than three to four hundred big ones. (They have a new one in the works but it’s not available yet. No telling when it will be on the market.) Following the laws of supply, demand and capitalism, luckily somebody else started making one. They call it the DreamMaker, which is the one I purchased. I got it in the mail about a week ago.
One of the things that really interests me about lucid dreaming this time around is it’s possible application to RV. After reading some of Joe McMoneagle’s accounts in “The Stargate Chronicles” of his LD/RV experiments with Dr. LaBerge in the sleep lab at SRI, how could any viewer not be intrigued? Of course it’s not at all practical for regular RV use. First you have to fall asleep, then recognize that you are dreaming, then remember that you have a job to do, then try to view the target in the dream. But it still sounds like some far out stuff and I theorize that with sufficient LD practice, while it might not be practical for everyday RV, it may have it’s uses. We shall see.
For the past couple weeks I’ve had a blind target in a security envelope pinned on the wall above my bed so when I did become lucid, that would be the target I was going to try to view in the dream. (While completely unnecessary to have it pinned up there of course, it was more of a goal-reminder.)
After a few weeks of exercises from the Dr’s “Exploring…” book and 3 or four trial runs with the dream mask, I had my first lucid dream last night since I made the resolution a month ago. I’ll spare you all the bizarre details of the dream (I joke that if anyone ever read my dream journal they’d find out just how crazy I REALLY am lol), but the short of it is this:
I saw the flashing light pattern and recognized it as the signal from my dream mask. It was so strong it nearly woke me up (which has happened a couple times before). I struggled to stay in the dream for a few seconds and managed it this time. I interacted with a small group of dream characters for a moment (one of which was J.F.K. -don’t ask me. I don’t know where he came from.) and then decided to try and view the target that was pinned above my bed.
I go outside and spin around in a circle while focusing my intent that when I stopped spinning I would be at the target site. (Spinning is a basic technique in LD practice used to change the scenery or stay in a dream when you feel yourself waking up). When I stopped spinning it didn’t look like I had gone anywhere. I was still standing on the street outside except now there was a tree and a large black bull next to me that was looking rather agitated. The bull started coming towards me so I decided to fly out of there. Flew strait up into the air and kept on going until I could see the curvature of the earth and it started to get dark. Kept going. Passed a layer of stars until I was just flying in pitch black space. Decided to come back down and just let myself free fall back to earth. Pass the star blanket again, blue sky again. It was truly beautiful. Came back to the ground with a soft landing and after a few other trifles, decided to spin to the target again. This time, when I stopped spinning I was in a bedroom of some sort with uneven brick walls and a bed with an odd headboard. I looked around for a few trying to soak in some details in case this was the target and decided that was enough and it was time to wake up, and wake up I did.
I wish I could tell you guys that the target turned out to be a big black bull in a bedroom with uneven brick walls and a strange headboard. Unfortunately though, it had nothing to do with any of that. It was the famous Terracotta Soldiers in China. I know, a bit anti-climactic after the build up.
I remain excited though and will continue until I have a fifty martini session in a lucid dream (or until I’m convinced it’s useless, whichever one comes first).