Lincoln Stoller wrote the book Becoming Lucid, Self-awareness in Sleep and Waking life. This book is your introduction to connecting with your subconscious through dreams and self-hypnosis. You can read an ePub version of his book & audio meditations for FREE by signing up to his email list here.
In this episode, we talk about how lucid dreaming is about understanding the continuous flow of conscious awareness that begins in your waking life. Lucidity is a scale and there are various levels of conscious awareness and dream control. By practicing mindfulness in our daily life, we can train our minds to become more lucid in our dreams. However, we need to remember that lucidity is a gift, and there is value in observing the dreams for what they are and trying to see the bigger message instead of always trying to control them for a certain outcome.
I feel like a visitor in my dream, even when I'm losing, I feel that the dream is doing something. It has an agenda, maybe it's extemporizing and creating it as it goes along, but it's its own agenda. In other words, the dream seems to want to explore its own territory that I would not. Be inclined to explore if I were lucid so that I have gotten the feeling that I can be an unwanted guest.
If I'm too lucid in my dream, if I'm too heavy handed in hijacking the dream, then it's as if my subconscious will say, how the hell with you. I can come back another time, have this dream. I'm going home.
I have two awesome gifts to share with you guys that are gonna help you become better Lud, dreamers, and also connect with other people who really love dreams. As much as we do the first one is the dreamy community. You can join for free. As my guest use the code dream 100, click the link in the description to download the challenge app and register for dream.
Dream is an awesome community of people. Everybody has their own gifts, and we share with each other and talk about dreams. And even our wins in our daily lives. You. In their challenge app for free use the link in my description. The second thing is actually created by the guest. In today's episode Lincoln Stoler.
He wrote a book called becoming lucid self-awareness in waking life and in sleep, and you can get a free PDF of his book, which is a really, really great book. He knows a lot about what he's talking about, so you can get the free PDF by signing up for his email list, and you can also get free audio recordings and meditations that he includes with his book.
So please welcome. Today's guest Lincoln Stoler.
I'm kind of fluid in defining myself, but I have come to appreciate my earth early years more as time goes on, I wouldn't say escaped, but I got out of a suburban life as a teenager by starting to go mountaineering. When I was 13 and it was a rough start, but I ended up all over the world and also pursued, uh, graduate school.
So I got a PhD in physics in Texas, and that was about the time when I started to scale back on the mountaineering too much time, too much, uh, risk. And I went into software. And spent a couple decades developing accounting software. I was interested in, uh, markets and I was told accounting would be a way to understand them.
And I knew computers. So I, I grasped that issue. Which was interesting because I'd come from an intellectual background where I was trying to figure things out and found myself in a business environment where answers were not as important as selling and process and who, you know, it in a roundabout way, took me to other cultures you in the mountaineering took me to other countries.
So I was interested in the cultures and I experienced religions and alternate views of the world. And reality. And you know, you question these things when you get to know people who think differently. So I was involved in, uh, ceremonies and psychedelics and meditation and stuff like that. And that drew me into psychology, which I was always reticent about.
Cause I thought it was BS. And now that I am a psychologist, I can assure you, it is BS. and, uh, I think, you know, it, it's fairly, at least from my point of view, easy to see that when you're thinking about the mind and reality and, uh, control of your world, you start to wonder about your dreams or more broadly dreaming style thinking, which you encount.
When you're dreaming, but also when you're being creative, also, when you're in an extreme situation, mountaineering started me on that path, but people who do extreme sports or do any sports to extreme encounter that altered state of mind, not exactly a dream state, but certainly ethereal. And sometimes, you know, it's called the flow state or various other things, and it's quite, it can be quite dramatically different from normal.
I then spent quite a bit of time in three areas related to psych. Neurology. I learned brain training and neurofeedback and hypnosis. I became a certified hypnotherapist and most recently I became a clinical counselor because that's sort of the, the standard path to therapy. And if you don't have the standard path, you kind of don't make it onto anyone's radar.
So that's what I am now a clinical counselor, hypnotherapist neurofeedback practitioner who understands that, uh, dreams are very fundamental or, yeah, I have to say it just to lead into that book. It's not just dreams. It's the understanding of your states of mind? It states meaning plural and the book, uh, becoming.
Was kind of my response to the notion that dreaming simply was either being out of it as in just a witness or being lucid, which meant you were aware that you're dreaming. And I wanted to say, no, that's not enough. First of all, there's all ranges of lucidity. You know, I, I remember typical dream that I would have would be I'm trying to fly and I would struggle and strain, and I would've managed to get myself off the earth by six inches.
You know, is that lucid or not? I wasn't in full control. I wasn't fully aware I was dreaming, but it was a strange experience of realizing I had self-control, but it was very limited. Other times I could fly better. Also, I kind of think most importantly, our waking life is not particularly lucid. It's just very regular.
We've learned to appreciate it and accept it as normal. Except sometimes when things go awry, like you have a car accident when you know, the world falls apart or, you know, your romantic partner goes off the deep end, or you go off the deep end and, and reality seems to get bent. So I wrote this book called becoming lucid to.
What it is to be lucid in, basically for states of mind, you don't always have the same kind of dreams. There's REM sleep, where you have one kind of dream and there's non REM sleep where you tend to have another kind of dream, which we tend not to remember, but you sometimes do. And then there's the waking state, you know, be aware of what you're seeing.
And what's going through your mind. And then there's these two liminal states of falling asleep and waking up, which we kind of throw away, you know, falling asleep is kind of just waiting for the bus to arrive, to take you off to Neverland, but it doesn't have to be that you can. Meditate. And you can start to create images and the same when you're waking up, which is even more important if you're interested in remembering your dreams, because that's the only time you'll find their trace.
You know, if, if you don't remember dreams as you're waking up, you probably won't remember them much later. So that's what the book is about. Uh, really lucidity at its root and not specifically. Dreaming lucidity. Okay. That's my introduction.
I love it. That's really awesome. You know, it seems like you really know what you're talking about because yeah.
Anybody who has dreams or is into lucidity will realize, like you were saying that lucidity is a spectrum. There's various levels of it throughout our waking life and our dream life. I mean, like you said, you may know that you're dreaming, but you can't control it. You may be semi lucid. You may just have an inkling that something is off and that you may be dreaming.
You might just get taken away into the narrative of the dream and the same applies for our waking life. We can sleepwalk mindlessly or we can be mindful and make actual choices within our lives. So I think that's really, really awesome. It's good that you talk about that. And I love what you said about the liminal phases, which for anybody listening is known as hypno Gogia and hypno pomp Pia, when you're falling asleep and waking up.
And a lot of people think of those, like you said, as a transitional period, but it can also be a destination. There's so many dreams. And so many opportunities for creativity there. So that's super cool that you are bringing this stuff and writing about
it. It's funny, I've had a couple of dreams in my life, which seemed kind of, you know, dramatic at the time, but I wouldn't have thought that I'd be remembering them 30 years later yet somehow they turned out to be.
Important. It's sort of strange. So one dream I wanted to tell you about, and this was so long ago, I can't remember. It could have been 20. It could have been 40 years ago now. I don't think it was, but I think it was more like 10 hard to say was a dream in which I was wandering through a decaying and sort of horrible house.
You know, it was one of those. You can not sure if it's a horror story or just depressing typically in dreams. You're not quite sure what your emotions are and they're kind. All over the place or they can be, and people are different. Of course. Anyway, so this house was really UN unappetizing unappealing, and I would say it, it border lined horrible.
And I, I knew I didn't like it, but I didn't know it was a dream. So I was, you know, stuck with it, exploring passage ways that I'd rather not be in with a feeling of foreboding and despair. You know, anything you want. The point was that I entered the hypnopompic phase of waking up. I remembered the dream and I remembered how I was dissatisfied and I wasn't waking up entirely.
I was in that kind of floating phase. I mean, we could talk about those phases and how they changed with age and what you can do with them. But I was prepared to go back to sleep. So I said to myself, quite consciously in the waking state that I didn't want that. To end like that and I didn't want to, uh, accept it.
So I told myself, uh, not quite sure I would succeed that I would go back to the dream and I would destroy that house. I would just obliterate it. In fact, I think I imagined getting into a bulldozer while I was awake and creating an image of destroying this whole scenario that I, I did not like being in.
And then I fell asleep. And either I dreamed it, or I remember what I thought in a dreamlike way so that when I finally woke up for the day, I felt I had actually returned and destroyed the negative dream. Now I don't really know if I did or remembered it as I did, or it was something that happened in that hypno pomp space.
And that was enough. But like I say, I remembered this for, you know, decades. It was a very satisfying experience. It wasn't exactly lucid, but it was certainly intentional. And I don't know why, but it felt life changing. So I just wanted to throw that in because it shows so many things. You wouldn't have thought that such a small.
Action and idea would have such significance and maybe its significance was that it was more empowering than anything else that I could actually change my mood and, uh, memory with just taking advantage of that hidden a PO space to both remember the dream and what I wanted it to become and then doing something to make it happen.
That's really awesome. And you know, like most people would understand how a dream can really affect your mood for your day. It can have an impact on your psyche and all that. So what you're describing this dream reentry, it's, it's really great. You can intentionally go back into the dream and it can be done with imagination.
It can be done whether you're lucid or not. It's, it's just about, like you said, the intention, because our subconscious mind will, will listen to what we say and whatever intention we wanna set about what we wanna dream. It pays attention to that and that manifests, you know, so the fact that you were able to go back into the dream and using that liminal phase is, is a really good way to do it because you're kind of still teetering on the edge of consciousness.
You go back into the dream. That's really awesome that you are able to do that. It's cool how our dream memories, you know, are very similar to remembering our waking life memories. You know, they're impactful, they're emotional. They affect us. They stick with. So it's really, we spend a third of our lives there, so it's, it's cool.
How you're able to remember dreams 10, 20 years later. Do you keep a dream journal at all or write your dreams down?
No, because if I did, I'd have so many dreams, I wouldn't have time to have a waking life. I kind of have to plan it. If I wanna remember my dreams, I will. The question is where is the experience I need most accessible and I may be mistaken.
I probably am mistaken. I sort of feel that I have the most control in my conscious life. So when I want my world to change, I wanna do it consciously. That may be a mistake. And I sort of think it is in a general mistake that we make that we have so much conscious control and we undervalue our subconscious.
So I'm just admitting it, sometimes dreams break through without my intention. And I wake up with their memory. It's usually the important dreams that do that. Well, uh, I don't know they are important, but they feel important at the. And, uh, I'll make a very special attempt to review the dream, to file the dream properly in terms of what I feel its meaning is and return to it throughout the day to see if I get any more insight.
And then I just let it go. So I don't keep a dream journal. What I do if I wanna remember dreams, and this is what I suggest other people to do. If they wanna remember dreams is just keep a notepad and to be very careful not to write too much. When you wake up at night. Simply because you don't want to disrupt the dream to the point where you can't return to it.
And also because you don't need much to remember a dream, you just need a starting point. And it's like, uh, you know, pulling on the thread of a knitted sweater. It seems like it just comes out when you pull on it to a point. I think if you look at the geography of any dream, it has peaks and valleys, and there are sort of thematic roadways where it has some continuity.
And then there are these dis junctures where it flips from one theme to another. So radically that you have a hard time remembering what came before. So it comes back in bits. And if a dream is I'm, I'm not really sure about this, you know, what do I'd like to know what you. You know, when we wake up and we remember a dream that we know we've had obviously 40 minutes to 60 minutes of rapid eye movement dreaming.
Is it all one continuous dream or is it a series of little vignettes that are separated by sort of, you know, blackouts? Because when you try to remember it, sometimes it seems like you can step back. Oh, to another theme where things are quite different. You know, first I was in high school, then I was, you know, floating around in space, but the further you go back, it seems the harder it is to make those jumps to a.
Dream scene. Yeah. So I suspect that we have a lot more dreams than we ever can remember. Don't you
think? I completely agree. I think there's so much that goes on and we wake up remembering such a portion of it. And you know, the same thing happens to me when I'll remember dreams. I'll remember various little scenes and.
Sometimes I can't really make out if they're all together or if they're separate, sometimes I'll just group them together. If they feel like they were close together, or sometimes they transition into like a string of different dream scenes. And what I'll do sometimes is like you said, I won't wake up too much.
I just have a little notebook by my bed and I'll write down some key words, like some very basic bullet points without even moving my body or anything. Right. Because you know, your body position is linked to your dream recall and your. And I'll just, you know, reach my hand over, write down some keywords, like a location, an object, or a person.
And then that one word will help me remember it later. And then the rest of the dream sometimes starts coming back to me. And yeah, it can be definitely be confusing. I think that we remember little snippets of a whole bigger story and there's so much to
it. What do you decide, thought that you wanna put an effort into remembering a dream or do you.
pretty much always do sometimes in the morning when I'm still very tired. I always have this period of, oh, this isn't worth it. I don't really remember much. I don't really, you know, I don't really write it down, but then after like a couple minutes, I'm like, no, I remember significant amount and I wanna remember it.
And if I don't write it down now, it'll slip away. Yeah. And maybe something random during my waking life will trigger a dream memory. But other than that, it'll slip away if I don't remember it. So if I remember enough details and if it has a strong emotion to it, and if it's something that I want to go back and read later, I write down most of my dreams down pretty consistently.
And I'll go back later after I write the keyword, I'll go back and I'll write the whole story as much as I can remember later on during the day.
Yeah. So how long does it take you on average to, uh, write a day's journal
entry? Not that long. I mean, maybe like five minutes, not even because I'll have the keywords and then I'll remember the dream based off the keywords.
If it's like a dream, sometimes it's two or three dreams. And then I'll just write it out. Like a story. Like I was in my room, I, you know, saw this person. We did this, we did that. This is how I felt. And that's it. You know, I'll just write like a little paragraph about what I remember, you know, and I have had dreams that felt like super, super long that have taken me like more than 15 minutes to write down, because it felt like hours worth of a dream.
Those are really fun. And I definitely wanna remember those because those are P powerful. I always feel like there's so much information in there and it might make sense later. So I, I. Don't wanna miss any details. I try to remember as many details as I can,
you know, as a therapist, I encourage everybody to, I suggest that they consider dream work, which usually requires a little explanation and some instruction about how you might do it better.
I don't press people to do it well because it can be difficult for some people and it can be disturbing or it can be personal. And unless I feel that it's important, I don't want to distract whatever their agenda is, but I get some people whose dream life is predominant and they write me copious reports.
So I asked you how much time you spend, because I wonder how people's recollection reflects their actual dreams. So that are, are the people who have mild recollections having mild dreams. Are they. Writing them to a short extent. I have not got a good answer to that. Cuz some people report you've mentioned sometimes you have detailed dreams.
I, I think, well it it's been said. I use the word cautiously. When I say scientifically that your dreams operate in real time. Which is to say what seems to take five minutes in your dream actually took five minutes to dream so that if you're, if we know that you're spending, so the way that dreams dreaming works is that you go through these phases, rapid eye movement phases that get, you know, you have several of them before you wake up.
And I think it's, it's probably accurate to say that you only remember dreams from the phases you wake up in so that if you've had three dream phases and you wake up at the last one, You know, you've lost, whatever dreaming went on for the previous first two. I don't know how detailed are people's dreams when we remember a detailed dream, is that because we didn't remember the details of the other dreams or that they didn't have details.
What do you think? What do you think?
I definitely think it's a recall thing. Um, what I've noticed, it's kind of like awareness when you're going through your life. Are you paying attention to the small things to what's going on around you? How consciously aware are you of your surround. I think the same is in a dream.
And you know, for me, like the time in my dream never matches up. Like sometimes I'll go to sleep, I'll pay attention to the time. I'll have a dream that feels like an hour, two hours. Like I'm in the dream doing things for a long period of time and I'll wake up and it's been 10 minutes. So I think that the time can be totally random.
And, but sometimes it definitely depends on my level of awareness and my level of intention when I'm lucid, especially when my consciousness is fully there, I'm fully aware. I'm more mindful. I purposefully and intentionally look around in my dreams. I read details. There's so many things in my dreams.
There's colors. It's more vivid than real life. I like to say because there's colors. I read things sometimes it's gibberish. Sometimes it's legible. There's, you know, little people have interesting clothing, um, houses like objects. It's just full of things. I'll be like in a room full of things. Like somebody lives there full time.
And when I'm loosed, I love to just like, just observe, I'll look at all the details. I'll feel all the little textures down to like the carpet fibers, and I'll just be in awe of how detailed it is. Um, and sometimes it's so detailed that I can't even remember all of it. And while I'm lucid, I'll try to remember my keywords because I know that I'm in the dream and I'm like kind of mentally rehearsing it so that when I wake up, I can remember as much as possible.
And that helps me because I, and I just fully accept while I'm lucid. Like there's, this dream has been so long. There's no way I'm gonna remember every detail. And I, I don't, but I remember as much as I can.
I feel like a visitor in my dream, even when I'm lucid, I feel that the dream is doing something. It has a, an agenda, maybe it's extemporizing and creating it as it goes along, but it's it's own agenda.
In other words, the dream seems to wanna explore its own territory, that I would not be inclined to explore if I were lucid so that I have gotten the feeling. That I can be an unwanted guest. If I'm too lucid in my dream, if I'm too heavy handed in hijacking the dream, then it's as if my subconscious will say, how the hell with you.
I can come back another time, have this dream I'm going home. And then I'm left with just sort of like an empty imagination where I can fly through walls and, you know, blow things up and it ends up not. The kind of deep meaning that my subconscious could put into the dream.
What I've noticed, you know, you're completely on track because what I've noticed is we have our dreams and our dream space is its own entity that communicates with us in whatever ways.
And when we're lucid, you know, we exert our ego into the dream. So we, instead of going with the narrative of the dream, we, okay, I wanna do this. I wanna do that. I wanna change the sky. I wanna go here. You know, you're not going with the dream anymore. You're exerting your control, which is fun. And. But you know how many people I've talked to myself included that say like, oh yeah.
When I got lucid, they told me to lay low or they kicked me out of the dream or, or some police figures woke me up or whatever. This has happened to me multiple times, they've told me like, oh, this place is not for dreamers. And there's this saying that I really love it goes when you're dreaming, you can control the ship, but not the sea.
And what that means is, you know, you can have fun and you can control. But at the end of the day, this is not our space. We are humans. Like the waking world is our space. The dream world, you know, it's kind of like therapy, you know, we go there to work things out to get answers. And sometimes when we're too lucid, like you said, we miss the bigger picture of the dream.
So I always tell people, lucid dreaming is fun and everybody should do it, but all your dreams are important. And sometimes we have to really just accept the message and go with the dream so much that when I'm lucid, sometimes instead of doing things, I. Observe. And I just see what the dream is trying to tell me instead of trying to change
Right. Right. Yeah. I, I do find that the most exciting, you know, it's like, what do they say? You know, you couldn't make this stuff up. That's what I feel like if I tried to make up the dream consciously, it wouldn't nearly be as wild as what the dream shows me without my intention. Not only does the dream tend to.
More than I could have thought of, but in many cases it's more chaotic, more disruptive, more uncomfortable, not because it evokes images of discomfort or horror or, uh, unpleasantness, but because it explores things that don't fit together anymore. So I, I remember another one of these old memories where I was having some amorous encounter with some figure.
I don't even remember the figure, but then they turned into a pig and that was just. That was just disturbing, you know, because it upset my expectation, even as a dreamer, I just wasn't particularly lucid. And I remembered the disturbance that I felt, and I sort of felt the dreams purpose was to say, look, these are the patterns you've made and look how they don't fit together.
And it was very, it was, I felt like a child who had their, uh, pacifier taken away. I was just gonna sort of, yeah, just sit there, sucking on my preferred image. And the dream said, no, that look at all the other things you've attached. You know, I wouldn't have thought of doing that. And I probably wouldn't have, if I did think of doing that.
But the dream put me there. And like I say, I've remembered that stupid dream for, you know, God knows how long it,
sometimes the dream will just do something completely opposite of what you want. And it's almost like to tell you, or to remind you that, you know, we can't always be in control. We have to be able to release that.
And you know, like lucidity is a gift. It's the way I see it. It's not something that we should just take advantage of and, and everything will always go our way, cuz even when you're fully lucid and you're good at controlling your dreams. You know, even sometimes I try to do one thing and something completely different happens and I'm just like, okay, well let's try something else.
So people say that dreaming, uh, what did I say? Sleeping works to consolidate your memory? I don't really know what that means. So I've been trying to understand that. And, uh, I've been thinking in order to understand that concept of consolidating your memory. I think about memory. And I think memory is to a large extent, the combination of facts and associations.
So if you just have facts and no associations, it makes as much sense as a, a library card filing system without any content. In other words, not much, doesn't take you anywhere. And if you have content without any associations, which is to say, uh, you just have memories and you don't know how they relate to each other, you're equally lost.
So what I'm thinking is in dreaming, and this is just sort of me theorizing. In dreaming. I think I'm trying to put things together. I think I'm trying to putting, put disparate things together and similar things together. And I feel that my dreaming experience, what little I remember of it is an exploration of how things relate to each other or don't.
So what I'm trying to do when I wake up and remember my dreams, and to some extent, as you know, it bleeds into your dreams, what you consciously try to do bleed into your dreams. I try to look for associations between things when I'm in my dreams or when I'm thinking about my dreams. And I find there are a lot of associations, a lot of similarities.
What I find is the images and dreams are often reflections of each other. So if you're in a. A turbulent dream. You'll find a lot of turbulent details or maybe it's your state of mind will find turbulence in the details. And I find this helps me understand the dream, not as a narrative, but as a, uh, a platter.
Of related ideas in which I'm just sort of bouncing around between them again, not as a narrative, just as a exploration. It's like, if you, if you come to a meeting of people, you don't know, you don't necessarily create a narrative between them. You try to get to know each of them. And I, I feel sort of satisfied.
Have accomplished understanding my dream characters and scenes as different points of view on some whole. What do you think? Does that make any sense?
Yeah, I think you're spot on. I I've noticed that my dreams will kind of be a mixture of. Sometimes things that I'm thinking of, things that I'm thinking of before bed, especially things going on in my life.
Sometimes even random things that I saw in the corner of my eye that I didn't even realize I picked up on. Right. And then mixed in there will be some messages of things I've been stressed about and messages from, you know, new things as well. So I definitely think there's a, a combination, like you said, of a lot of things going
How do you use intention to shape your shape or guide your dreams? Do you, yes.
Most, definitely two ways. And one way is as I'm falling asleep, part of my night routine, you know, I do my little prayer affirmations, whatever, and I kind of think about, okay, I wanna dream about this and not like a specific, you know, scene, but more so, like, I want clarity about this topic or, you know, I need guidance, you know, with this project or.
And the second way, which I know maybe you talk about in your book a little bit is mindfulness throughout my daily life. You know, a lot of people forget that dream work starts in your waking life and yes, that mindfulness of what you focus on and where you drive your attention to will affect your dreams.
So I, I try to be very mindful and intentional with everything I do during my daily life. And I even think about my dreams as I'm going throughout my day. I'm like, , you know, my dreams maybe tonight I can think about this or ha you know, I'll, I'll ask for guidance during this. So I kind of set the intention throughout my day as well.
And I call that lucid living.
Yes. I, I wanna take off on that, you know, if you're in a dream and, uh, you're taking control of the dream, as we said, often, Impetuous or childish in your intention because you, you know, here, the dream is, is gonna give you some sort of bizarre Shakespearean plot and you want something simple and, you know, recreational and, uh, you know, it's sort of a struggle as to which way the dream will go.
And you can imagine that in a dream, if you, if you prevailed and insisted that, you know, I'm not going to go into a house of mirrors, I'm just going to go to an amusement park and I'm gonna have fun. You know, you'll have this dream in which you have fun and it will be relatively. Not memorable, whether you remember something, but it won't be challenging.
And then, you know, you might think, gee, what did I miss? I, I missed having a good critique of my life, or I missed seeing all the subconscious elements that are playing in my life. So, you know, that would be one attitude of. Having a lucid experience in a dream. And what I importantly want to say is that operates exactly as your real life.
You know, if you're encountering something in your real waking life, I shouldn't say real. They were both real in your waking life. And you insist that you're going to experience it in an amusement park frame of mind. Uh, you know, you might call this asserting a false personality. Insisting that you take people's comments in the way you want them to be received and not exploring mm.
With some conflicts that might be latent in other people or yourself. And then at the end of the day, you'll have to say, well, I had an amusing day and I missed most of the informative content that could have been consciously available. So. What I'm saying is that I I'm following your comment. That lucidity is something you do during the day.
And, uh, as what I tried to do in this book is to say that dreaming and setting your intention and having your intention influence your experience is something you do in the daytime. And it definitely affects what you're left with at the end of the day.
Yeah, no, a hundred percent. I completely agree with you.
Um, I think that's fascinating, but I wanted to ask you just like how you got into lucid dreaming and that led you to write the book in the first
place. I think I got into it through trance work. I feel there's not a great deal of difference in the goals of trans work from the goals of dreaming. I mean, the context is different.
It's more intentional. So trans work has involved a number of things that are dream. Like one was, uh, as I first encountered climbing mountains, there's a lot of discomfort in mountaineering. A lot, obviously it's uphill. Uphill is boring when you do it for 15 minutes, it gets even more boring when you do it for 15 hours, especially under heavy weight.
High risk and other difficult circumstances. So you tend to go into an altered state of mind. You, uh, find less pain, you know, you just sort of shut the pain out, cuz there is all kinds of soreness and various other things. And it's often funny after a day of mountaineering, you look at your hands and they're all bleeding and torn up and you have no recollection of hurting them.
And you, they never felt uncomfortable. They looked like they've gone through a garden shredder. And this is typical. It's almost funny. And I think any athlete would say, you know, the same thing, you have an accident on the field and you often don't know it until you get off. So I started to experiencing altered states.
And what we might call altered states of lucidity in those extreme experiences. And then I attempted to follow the sort of shamonic and I don't know, somewhat religious path. I don't call it religious, spiritual, you know, where you do sort of journeying and, uh, walkabouts. And there was a school of, of spiritual thought called Eureka, which, uh, I don't hear much of anymore.
It was a little, a little ridiculous. But it was invented by the same guy who invented the Enneagram, which is still quite prevalent and popular. He had a whole series of exercises and a whole philosophy that is basically shamonic. He had an exercise called the desert, which he described as basically sensory deprivation.
You go and lie down and you fall asleep and you don't move for three days. And when you go into this, you say, well, you know, I'll have to get up to pee and I'll have to get up to. And it's true, but after a while you stop peeing and you stop eating and you stop drinking and there's nothing else to do.
And after 18 hours you can't even sleep anymore. And that's when you move into a liminal state and you, you constantly flip in and out of dreams. You know, we talk about waking up the hip pop state last about five to 10 minutes to the beginning of your day. But in this exercise, it lasts for 36 hours and some totally weird stuff happens more psychedelic, more distressing, but more psychosomatic than anything I've ever done.
In cases I would get feverish, you know, physically I would have dreams, I guess they were dreams. You can't even tell at that point, you know, that have never left me far more impactful than any psychedelic. Chemical psychedelic had taken, as I say, with one exception, but with that stuff in mind, and you start getting involved with dreaming and psychotherapy and counseling and other people's stories, you start to appreciate dreams more, cuz you know, they're always there.
In fact, you're doing them, whether you're aware of it or not, and you're not even sure whether you're welcome. In the dream or that you could be helpful. So I've taken the approach. I, I try to tell other people to do this, but I'm not sure I can explain it to them of requesting access to my dreams. So rather than saying, I'm going to remember my dreams or I'm going to be lucid in my dreams.
I take the attitude that I ask permission to play a role in my dreams. So give me a role, give me a small bit part in this dream. I'd like to have as much awareness and control and recollection as possible. But I see my subconscious as the director and author of the dream and that I, my conscious self am just a kind of a stand in.
And if I'm good and I do my lines properly. I'll be accorded more insight, recollection, power, directorial, power to make changes, perhaps. And I just like that feeling. I feel in consonants with my dreams when I take sort of humble approach. And so this is what I say. I, I would like to tell other people to do this, but I'm not sure I'd be understood.
What do you think?
Yeah, I completely agree with you, you know, it makes complete sense and it's kind of like what we were talking about earlier. I like how you said a humble approach, because I think the dream wants us to understand that there's way more beyond our physical body and that we are so small in terms of the scale of the universe.
And sometimes, you know, when we go into the dream and we think we know everything and, and we have this attitude, like we miss out on the bigger picture. It's good to just really understand that something is coming to us, you know, instead of us creating the dream, it's not our dream. It's a dream that exists, you know, and we are experiencing it.
And if you remember it, that's like a gift. It's like something special. So I definitely cherish my dreams. I. I always try to take that humble approach, you know? Um, it's hard to explain, but I know exactly how you feel. It's interesting what you were saying about, um, the de deprivation and how you were exploring your consciousness in that way.
I thought that was super fascinating. How, you know, dreams is one way that we can explore our consciousness. People do things like you were saying, hypnosis meditation, you know, um, liminal dreaming, psychedelics. There's so many different ways to understand what our consciousness really is. And, um, Yeah, I think that's super cool.
Um, it's very humbling for sure.
I get people who say, and I think many more people think, but don't say that they'd like a miracle cure for whatever their ailment is. That's not unfair. I mean, who'd all like our problems to disappear somehow, uh, magically. And there are people who have, especially as you get older and accumulation of problems or regrets, And an accumulation of desires.
And I encounter these people and I listen to their story and I think to myself, just how much are they willing to do for their miracles? You know, do they think that, uh, this is a lottery and if they just keep entering it long enough, they're gonna win. Because that's not true. I think you have to work on making miracles happen.
Definitely. And I only call them miracles cuz they're miraculous. Not because I, I know anything about how they operate. I try to push myself. It's sometimes hard. Again, we get back to lucidity. Do you really know what's going on in the, in your world? I try to push myself to do what I resist. So for example, every day I go for a walk for an hour.
That's a long time when you're a busy person. There's an inclination to put it off. There's something valuable in just doing it in just saying, I'm not going to follow my obsession religiously. I'm going to deviate and give myself some other time. And it, it, it has a cumulative beneficial effect. So when I deal with clients therapy, clients who say they need a miracle.
I'm usually struck by the fact that they're not taking any risks. I don't want to tell them to take risks. Cause I don't, I don't wanna be responsible for the risks they take, but I would suggest to them, you know, maybe if you want something unusual to happen, you're gonna have to invest in something unusual with the understanding that these things often don't play out.
You can't hold it against them, but you've gotta try. And I would say, you know, to sort of wrap things up. That if you want to experience the miraculous in this context, you have to make the effort to become more involved with your dreams or your subconscious in all the various ways you can do that. And the more you can do the, probably in a kind of statistical sense, the more likely you'll have a positive experience that often isn't what someone wants to hear.
They want a solution to their problem right now. And. That's not the way solutions come. They come after a lot of openness humility experience, you know, the kind of pain of growth, you know, the kind of pain you get after exercise, you have to distinguish pain. That's positive from pain. That's negative.
Sometimes hard to do. The biggest problem is like heartbreak. Everybody thinks heartbreak is bad, but I tend to think heartbreak is. Actually a very positive opportunity. Uh, so that's pretty farfetched, but anyway, anyway, uh, that's kind of my attitude toward dreams. You have to be really an adventurer. Yeah,
And it's really about building your own personal practice. You know, there's so many different techniques and, and routines and things you can do. It's about really tapping into your. Finding what works for you? What is your routine? You know, and that's kind of why I love having these types of conversations because we're all so different.
All of our minds work differently and you know, it's really about consistency and being so tapped into your waking life and your dream life. That it's a. Continuous. Yes. Flow of consciousness continuously. Right. And it's not easy, you know, we're, we're still human. It's not easy. We still get caught up in emotions and de desperation.
Um, but it's definitely a lifelong journey. And I think that leads me to one other thing I wanted to ask you before we finish off. Because I've noticed, you know, throughout the years, sometimes I'll have droughts and I won't dream for a few years even, or I'll go through things and I'll stop caring and then I'll come back to it and get re into it again.
How have you noticed that dreaming has changed as you get older? How does your dream life change and evolve and you know, like the ebbs and flows of life, have you noticed that at all?
Like you mentioned, the dream life is not disconnected. It is connected to your conscious life. So part of the answer is how did your conscious life change as you get older?
I think for most people they become more focused. Their opportunities become more limited. Their behavior becomes more regular. And I think their dream life responds. I wouldn't say it parallels, but it responds. What I think is the main difference between the dreaming and waking life is that the waking life perceives time as linear and life as a series of.
Scenes, and it tries to organize them and direct them and predict them and the dream life, the dream world, undos that and sees time as largely irrelevant. And it takes all the memories and experiences, projections and hopes, fears. And it, uh, lays them all out horizontally and starts to play a game of Scrabble with them.
Try to make scenes words, themes, emotions out of them without any regard to the narrative. Although when we remember the dream, we're trying to put it in a narrative form. I don't think the dream is particularly narrative, you know, they're ideas that we express in sentences and paragraphs, but they're, they're not linear, sequential or serial.
And I think that's the important. Function that the dreams are doing and that we can in our waking life. Look at our lives, more horizontally and less serially if we want to. So here's the answer to your question. If you live, as you get older in a more limited serial defined and restricted way, which almost, well, I don't wanna say almost everyone, but it's true.
Almost everyone does. I mean, not me and not us perhaps, and maybe not the listeners either, but my most everybody else. True. And then your dreams are gonna reflect that. And I don't know if that means they'll become more linear or they'll do exactly the opposite cuz a lot. I think one of the things that happens to older people is they get depressed.
In a different way that younger, younger people get depressed because they can't, they can't make the future the way they want older people get depressed because the past wasn't what they wanted it to be. And I think in both cases, you have to become broader in your conscious life and try to expand and explore those horizons and possibilities in your dreaming life.
Maybe that's becoming Luci. Or maybe it's becoming, uh, letting go and just letting the dream take you because that's a kind of lucidity too, you know, uh, you know, show me the unknown is a lucid question that is not demanding any particular response. And from the report of dreamers, that's often the best question you can ask in a dream to show me what I don't know.
And sometimes the dream can just explode into detail. Of wonder. So that sort of gets back to the idea of miracles as well. But anyway, to answer that question, how does the dream change with age? I struggle against becoming constricted in my life, in my waking life. I'm always looking for new opportunity.
And I think my dreaming life appreciates that. In other words, I'm doing what I say the dream is trying to do to find associations and new meaning in putting things together. And I try in my waking life not to be hung up on saying what has to happen, uh, and to, to accept who I am. You know, this is like the, probably the, the central struggle of every human being is to accept who they are and that they are.
Or would be completely correct if they didn't try to change themselves, that's sort of contradictory, but, um, you could, it's like loving yourself. It's one of the big themes that's keeps coming up in my interviews with people and my therapy with clients, learning to appreciate yourself without guilt and anger is a critical part to your path.
I don't know. Now, now I keep feeling like I'm falling off the deep end, but there it is. Yeah,
that's deep stuff, honestly. You're totally right. It's very inspiring. I think that's a good message for everybody. Um, and it's part of the reason why I love dreams so much. I hope that I can always, you know, as I get older, remember why I got into it and continue to cherish every moment and yeah.
Not, not be so hard on myself. So I definitely needed to hear that too. And I'm sure a lot of listeners did as well. To close off. I mean, why don't you talk a little bit about where people can find you where they can buy your book and any other closing statements?
Sure. I appreciate that. Thanks. I always forget about that.
At the end. I have a blog. You can subscribe. I have a website it's very deep in the, uh, clickable sense and it's at mind strength, balance.com. Mind strength, balance.com. And it's laid out in topics. Sleep is one area therapy is another area. Coaching is a third learning is a fourth and neurofeedback is a fifth.
I think that's pretty much it and they're all related. So if you would go and subscribe to my blog, you'll get this stream of blog posts on these various topics, trying to pull them together. There's a free subscription that gives you a, what is it? Monthly? Post and a paid subscription, which gives you weekly post.
And I've been reading everything, narrating everything, because some people like to listen to these rather than read them. I appreciate that. And then these interviews we do with people, podcasters, I put on there too. So mind strength, balance.com. And if you find interesting, I have, uh, virtual meetup once a month and everyone's free to join.
And I offer therapy or counseling or coaching or consulting. And I really don't distinguish those. I'm really against the idea that you have to be in one category or the other. So I invite you to, uh, check it out at mind, strength, balance.com. If you sign up, you get a link to a free digital download. I guess I'll change it today to becoming lucid since that's what we talked.
So I, if you sign up for the free blog, you'll get a link to becoming lucid and you can read it. And it has audio Hy self hypnosis that you can download.
Wow. I'm gonna sign the for a podcast on Instagram and also follow me on TikTok Amina's dream world. I post some really awesome content on there, and you can also find it on YouTube and Pinterest.
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