- Mental Health
The Dreaming Mind
Have you ever had a dream in which you knew you were dreaming?
Nobody can deny that they seek fun in life.
The primary reason I got into dreaming is that when I was about ten years old my brother described a dream he had while taking excess vitamin b6. He was 14 at the time. After waking up he excitedly told me about how he was driving a monster truck through the mountains with his best friend. The colours were amazing, the details were incredibly vivid and his experience was euphoric and full of awe and wonder. It was the first time I ever heard someone describe their dreams with such a twinkle of fascination and joy in their eyes. I was captivated. He gave me some vitamin b6 and I was off having my own dream that night. It was an alien invasion, I could see the silhouette of extraterrestrial beings peering into my window. I was terrified and crawled under my bed, but I quickly realised I was dreaming and I stared deeply into the eyes of this creature. I was dumbstruck and filled with bliss. It was my own sci-fi in the middle of the night, and it made Independance Day on DVD look like garbage. But being the jumpy unfocused middle school student that I was, I forgot all about dreams until I was 18. Sure I would have the odd dream but I would pay no attention, I was all too focused on school, video games, biking, quading, hanging out with friends, and doing flips and parkour, working, and research.
Ever since January 2016 I've been having lucid dreams on average every other night. Back then my younger brother told me all about how he was getting into lucid dreaming. He described epic fights and matrix like pwnage of dream characters. Again I was captivated but then I had the focus and maturity to see the value and I made dream journalling and reality checks a habit, and before I knew it I was having all kinds of wild adventures between my ears. I'm still learning to be in the moment at night, to pay attention and be aware of my dreaming mind. Its an art, a simulation, a personal second life which can be enjoyed at no cost. In fact, the relaxation, euphoria, and stress relief of a vacation simulation anytime you want can help out quite a bit, increasing your overall productivity and health.
This morning I was doing barspins on my bike in a dream. In real life I'm struggling with that trick so I do it in a dream to train the muscle memory without worrying about getting a pedal to the shin or nearly impaling my nuts on the end of the handle bar. On top of that I can ride an infinite skatepark and do backflip triple tailwhips and the kinds of stunts that require a couple decades of riding a bmx. Yea, its fun. Assuming you have a passion, I bet you would enjoy having no limits every night.
Hypnagogic imagery can be seen each night as you fall asleep, and as you wake up in the morning. It begins as slow fading movements of colourful blots and goes as far as vivid images of places, people, and things. However, you have to be paying attention, if you allow yourself to get lost in thought you will lose consciousness of your senses and fall asleep. This is essentially the transitional state between waking and dreaming. In this state of mind your thoughts may be sporadic, eccentric, and lose. In fact, many writers and creative artists take a nap or allow themselves to enter into this state before engaging in manifesting an original piece of art. It is enjoyable and peaceful to observe the bubbling of the subconscious.
But there is a darker side to this transitional state. As you ride the wave of hypnagogia you will enter into sleep paralysis. Some people report a feeling of sheer terror as they are unable to move a muscle or for that matter control their breathing. The mind is now disconnected from the body and hallucinations may be seen. This is what it is like shortly before dreaming, so when one remains calmly observing the transition of their mental state, they can enter into a lucid dream.
Common Problems and Solutions
The problem with being fully aware of hypnagogia is that your mind will send signals to your body to test if you are asleep or not. This can include itchiness, aches, and a general intense desire to get more comfortable or to get up. The key to overcoming this is to master your mind, know that you can observe all of the sensations while being unconcerned and almost disconnected. Practicing meditation during the day can help out immensely. To enter the kingdom of heaven you must come again as a child, live moments without words, allow yourself to experience the magnitude of detail in a moment. Listen, feel, see, and you will lucid dream.
There are two reasons that you should go through all this trouble. Firstly, the subconscious is consciously accessible, or at least visible in the dream state and the transitions around it. When the subconscious speaks, you need to listen if you value your mental health. What your ego, or character structure represses during the day, can be found fully alive in your subconscious. What you resist persists, so when the subconscious speaks, listen. Secondly, the freedom and creativity found within the dreaming mind is unparalleled. All possible experiences can be experienced. Without conscious ego or self judgement, countless inventions and artistic expressions can be rendered with ease, whereas in waking life it can be much more difficult.
At around four in the morning after briefly awakening, my mind is conscious but my body is still game for a few more hours of sleep. So I allow my body to fall asleep while fully aware, then I remember to walk into my art gallery. In this imaginary place within my dreams I find beautiful works of art that would take me days to make in real life. Not to mention I can hardly doodle nevermind paint. I am blown away by the originality and I think everyone can do this, so I decided to write about it because anyone would enjoy the experience.
When The Subconscious Speaks
The value of being aware of your subconscious is undeniably priceless. 1 in 4 people experience depression and anxiety, and many of those people are not even fully certain of what ales them. But when you can go into a dream and have a conversation with the part of yourself that is depressed, you can become aware of the problems in your life that need to be solved. It sounds odd, but give it a shot before you forget about it.
When I visit my grandma I repress my desire to talk to her about her smoking. I know that expressing my pain would likely only cause her guilt, which she would probably medicate with more poor health choices. And so I unconsciously forget all my emotions and upon visiting her I am smiling and easy going. When I go to sleep and dream however, I find my dreaming mind hugging her and crying, broken by the sight of her self harm and being fully real about it. I wake up thinking that I should be real with her, for after all, respect and love are about honesty and emotional vulnerability, realness, simple truth in the moment. In this way I maintain my mental health and the authenticity of my relationships, I am constantly being updated on the emotions and thoughts which the ego represses.
Dream big and enjoy the most advanced virtual reality known to man.