In case you missed it, I am a Oneironaut. Since the term may not be familiar to you, here’s the definition: A “oneironaut (plural oneironauts) is person who explores dream worlds, usually associated with lucid dreaming.”
It is both a blessing – and a curse.
The blessing part is being able to “lives two lives” while many people, probably most, get through life with only one experience track: The waking-state.
This is the life experienced between the alarm going off in the morning and when you lose “consciousness” (and leave the here and now) at night.
The second life is the one that is experienced in dreams, especially the lucid ones.
You see, lucidity in dreams can be ultra-intense. Among the most intense I’ve experienced, there is no difference between the “clarity of recall” of an intense lucid dreaming experience and a “normal day awake.” Effectively, lucid dreamers have an expanded experience base from which to draw. Might it be a source of creativity? Perhaps.
The curse part is that in the lucid state, you scan perceive your senses and behold things, emotions, and events the likes of which you’d just as soon not have known about.
When an emotionally-impacting event is ahead in the oneironaut’s waking-state, there is often a warning. If someone from Elaine’s past, for example, tries to contact her, I get “the word” that the event is coming and so I ask Elaine (in advance) “How should we handle this?”
Two weeks back, I got exactly this kind of “heads up” and sure enough, last night – exactly as warned – here comes an attempted contact. Not that it is a specific knowledge of the future…but just the advance knowing that a phone call would be coming is…umm, how to say it? Useful.
You might – for reasons totally unknown to you – have “at-a-distance” awareness of some person’s health condition, imminent danger to them from something they fear…But, it may be a person you’re not really familiar with because even knowing someone in passing can “entangle” you. Non-local entanglement is one of the main research fronts in quantum physics these days.
I had an interesting experience last week yields another sense of how this “second life stuff” works.
In “The Realms” – as I call them – people don’t sit around playing harps and sing music of praise in some twisted versions of “Heaven.” No, they have jobs and in this particularly lucid experience I was working on finding a replacement employee. Because I was in a media management role of some kind. It was time to move on from that role…retirement of some sort.
There were a number of candidates, but I’d made my choice and it was finally time. The day )in The Realms) was spent with last-minute decision-making in my “other side, media role.” Wrapping up at work, I’d gone out with friends for dinner.
As the dream unfolded, a marvelous time was had by all. Come evening, I found myself back in the condo that Elaine and I have – in an area similar to, but a stylized “steampunked” version of Issaquah, Washington’s “Little Alps.” It’s an area I regularly frequent in my lucid dreams. I described it in my book Psychocartography (book tab, top of page, go ahead buy it…).
Here’s the useful learning part: Even in dream states, you get tired. So, after this full day of planning for my next “adventure” and having a marvelous high-rise office and going out with friends for dinner after – then coming home to Elaine and sharing our adventures for the day…well, I was just beat...
I laid down in the soft, comfortable bed, closed my eyes and immediately went to….
Wait…what happened to sleep? Well, I popped from the dream of going to sleep to instantly fully 100% AWAKE?
Turns out that “going to sleep” on that side (in the lucid dream state) is what we call AWAKE back on this side! Wow! Bit of a mind-twister, isn’t it?
Weirdest damn thing ever. I mean think about it: Being tired in a dream, going to sleep in the dream and then just as sleep arrives in the dream? BAMM! Being slammed fully awake, totally recharged and ready to rock another day in the nominal shared reality waking state.
I’m posting this as a peek at the Other and because it lays out a puzzling aspect of dream psychology. It revealed that I need to work more on softening and slowing the transitions between worlds. Because about half of the important spiritual work is done in-between states.
The trick, near as I can figure it from reading about the Sleeping Prophet, Edgar Cayce (and to some extent listening to how poster Andy describes his meditations) is there’s a way to pause in the “state between waking and sleep.”
Except, for people like me, it’s not that easy. I slam wide awake here and at night as I go to sleep here, I’m pushed wide-awake there (over in the sleep worlds –The Realms).
I’m not sure how to slow down the transitions, except by trying to spend more “near sleep” time. This is accomplished by holding consciousness just lightly-enough so you can hear between “sides.”
In “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” Jaynes offer the notion that humankind’s past hearing of “voices of Gods” may have been due to right-left brain communication. Bicameralism as such deities may be processing artifacts from right-left brain communication. Who moderates the artistic and logical minds? Or, is genuine Spirit present? Or, is that just what we call it because we don’t know exactly what is going on?
Experientially, it seems the Creator/Universe operates most directly in this “shadow zone” – the borderland between World 1 (waking state) and World 2 (or World X of…n) which are the dream state realms. Interesting place to hang-out to be sure.,. but people like me see it only as a flash. Like going through Penn Station as rush-hour. Without the TSA dogs, lol.
The waking brain wonders how this borderland/station is dimensioned? Is part of it The Bardo? Part Hell? Part Heaven? Part Purgatory and maybe part “Just passin’ through?”
Frankly, I had never looked at the topology of the psychosphere in this way before (with thanks to Andy, though, for the hidden pointers).
One of my favorite books in terms of spiritual development is Edwin Steinbrecher’s “The Inner Guide Meditation: A Spiritual Technology for the 21st Century.” It’s a more structured route into this “middle zone.”
In the event you are not a metaphysician-in-training, the Wiki entry on Steinbrecher is a good introduction to what follows:
He was an American astrologer, lecturer, teacher, metaphysician and an astrological data collector, noted for works related to meditation and his precise Steinbrecher Collection, entered on John Woodsmall’s Pathfinder Program. He taught and lectured on the occult sciences, specifically in relation to practicing meditation and wrote the book titled, The Inner Guide to Meditation. The book has been referred in works of authors, in their books on esoteric subjects, meditation and intuition
Steinbrecher’s approach begins with a week, or so, of physical purification. No weed, no booze, well-rested, plenty of sleep, no drama in life, and so on.
Then you enter a soft visualization (meditation). See yourself outside a cave. As you begin to deepen your experience of the place, you move forward into the cave. Eventually, moving into its cool depths, Steinbrecher guides you to move ahead and to the left where you will see a doorway, portal, or entrance. Going through this and then moving ahead and to the right, you eventually emerge onto an inner landscape.
In this surreal place, you meet various animals. One of these, perhaps a mouse of a deer, will lead you to meet your True Spirit Guide. The Guide is always a wise old man. The fellow’s dressed in what looks like old Greek toga-like clothing. Staff and sandals.
He must be challenged though, as to his authenticity, by the meditator asking “Are you my TRUE Spirit Guide?”
For reasons unclear, the question must always be answered honestly. And, if the figure is not the “real deal” they will simply dissolve away. (This is how you avoid possession and other soul-endangering risks that may accompany such work.)
Eventually, after a complete emotional release (since, having at last “met yourself – your True Self” you may cry for a while) the Guide will, perhaps in future visits, begin to “call down aspects of your personality.”
These are aligned with the Zodiac and Tarot’s major arcana.
The True Spirit Guide will offer all kinds of “moderation” which helps people work through bumps and quirks of their persona. Followers report a growing sense of “wholeness” from this work. External changes follow as it becomes clear the New Age “As above, so below” is really an “As within, so without” but who are we to quibble? “As There, so Here” works, too.
I can’t recommend Steinbrecher’s book and practice highly enough; reading Steinbrecher’s book and at least giving it a good try.
What has become clear to me is that everyone alive has a “way” they live that is quite unique. Some, living intently on this side (waking) don’t ever dream. So attached they are to the waking state illusion. Others, like me (oneironauts) delight in exploring The Realms where we have useful projects and many types of learning which we’re free to move over to this world. (Trafficking knowledge between worlds is one way to think of it.).
The meditators, though: They work the middle with Universe may act most directly.
For me, the adventures continue: One is meeting up with my wife Elaine (over there) so that when we die (on this side), we will be able to continue adventuring over there. Understand that in your most enjoyable dreams, you can also have friends along.
Is this all just an ‘effect’ of DMT, the spirit molecule? We sure hope not because that one inescapable drug trip might explain wasting 20 percent of global resources over time. DMT, released near death is a powerful hallucinogen. This reinforces the importance of the “spirit life” question: Is there something we can eat to create more entheogen experience? They are quite delightful…but how real?
Elaine and I are not precisely sure how to do meet-up over there, yet. It’s not a “touch” and it’s not the Castaneda-like “slap of the assemblage point” that connects people. Instead, seems like two people have to agree to “work or build a common world” they can journey to both in sleep and whatever comes after (this side) life.
I’m pleased to report that we’ve making some progress, though. Last week, Elaine had a dream which described scenery that was very similar to the spectacular mountains of my favorite world. In hers, she’d gone to a resort – a high-rise of some kind – with floor to ceiling (and part of roof) windows viewing magnificent mountains. Jagged, snow-capped, and almost “reach out and touch” close.
Interestingly, she was putting something on the windows – a film of some kind – because it was needed for “privacy.” That gets into a whole other area of dream work and it brought many questions about telepathy into focus.
Because in telepathy, there’s a very down-deep “spiritual undressing” that necessarily occurs as part of the deepest-levels of human communication (a kind of soul-level communion) is approached. When you think about it, “getting naked” in the physical/waking world is no biggie; after all, that’s a single input –visual.
Telepathy and close spiritual bonding goes far beyond the ‘visual/clothing’ part. and maybe – just possibly – it’s why humans don’t presently enjoy telepathy. For it to work, there has to be far more honesty at all levels between people. I’m talking open to the point where all past pain and joy, suffering and learning, is shared. Personal hell to heaven range sharing on all levels. Think you could handle that?
No risk of it (telepathy) in this waking-world, though. We have evolved a world of lies and self-deceptions, facilitated by an odd kind of contextual honesty.
Maybe there’s a transition path I’m just not seeing: Maybe the Internet (and social media) is how we all learn to communication more widely and deeply as a stepping stone to breaking down the barriers between people so telepathy can arise. But, I don’t think it’s the “true route.” Instead, a life partner seems an easier path. Baring one’s soul to a mate is one thing, but to 4,000 followers on FB? Thanks, but no thank.
There you have it…a few Oneironaut Notes to ponder… Maybe some useful things to “reflect deeply on” should you find some down-time over the holidays ahead…
In this season, the presents that matter most are the ones to our selves and our partners.
Write when you get rich,