Can a Log Fence Teach Benefits of Lucid Dreaming?

3254451566_7a874c8651

This is not a dream about going lucid; it’s a dream about the motivations to go lucid – why a person may want to and what benefits they might receive from doing so. When we wake up in a dream, or in the morning, when we remember a dream, the next question is, “What are we going to do?” The answer Felix gives himself in this dream is not what most lucid dreaming literature will tell you is the function of lucid dreaming: “explore and learn in an environment that has no limits and where you cannot fail.” Felix had been attending a lucid dreaming workshop by a talented practitioner and teacher of lucid dreaming.  What he learned from his dream about lucid dreaming was not what he learned from that workshop or what he expected.

Felix dreamed, “I was in a university setting, attending a conference about medical businesses.  After a long conference of sophisticated people from academia and business, we decided to go for a ride along a beautiful mountain ridge with spectacular views like the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We were congratulating ourselves for our ability to understand what was going on in this medical conference because we could disseminate the information to less sophisticated people with a great deal of ease. We had some difficulty getting up to the road because there was a rough patch and the car was not made for it.  I was a good enough driver to get us around the rough patch.  When we got to the top of the ridge the road was completely blocked by six large vertical logs.  There were no roots on them.  They were like a six foot tall tree wall. They had been transported there and put there to block the road. They were very uniform.  The scenery was all green and then I saw these brown vertical logs straddling the two-lane road.  There was no possibility to go around them. Behind the vertical logs were three older American cars – Pontiacs, Oldmobiles, Mercury types from the late 70’s.  One’s red, one’s white, and one is blue.  I got really frustrated that I couldn’t get past. Then I woke up.”

Before reading further, take a guess as to why Felix had this dream.  If it were yours, what do you think it would be saying to you?

In commenting on his associations to this dream, Felix said, “This dream scene was quite vivid. Alan Wallace (a Tibetan monk and meditation teacher) had said in his lecture on lucid dreaming to become aware in your dream of your location, what you’re doing, what your role is, and how you are feeling.  I meditated on frustration for the next half hour. Everything that’s frustrating in my life came up.  How do I get my relationship with Alice on track?  She lives on a Ridge and works in a university setting.  I talked to her last night.  I have everything available to me to start dealing with my frustration and learn to be more lucid in my dreams and make my life more magical, to see that everything is a dream.  At that point I can start manipulating the dream.”

What do you think Alex’s dream was about? It’s important to recognize your assumptions and interpretations before reading the following interview summary.

Felix wanted to interview the stumps. Here is what they said:

“There are six of us. We are wood. We were uprooted.  As we were laying on our sides our root structure was cut off at what would be two feet underground, so our bottoms are flat.  Our tops are about six feet tall and very thick. We are cut off again at the top.  It looks like a crew cut.  We are uniformly lined up so we occupy the width of the entire street so no one can get by.  Felix tried to move us and got to the third one, in the middle, after he had successfully moved two. He tried to physically move me, like the first two.  Then he got a crow bar and tried to leverage me but I wasn’t moving.  He thought about using dynamite but he didn’t know where he could get any.  He tried to move me by pushing me with the car but that didn’t work, so that thoroughly frustrated him.”

“We stumps are good-looking, we are strong, we don’t move. When we are put somewhere we stay, like we’re supposed to. We don’t like that we have no flexibility or  “give.”  No nothing.  We are just here, like government regulations.  In time there may be termites, wood rot, old age, death, disease, and death, but at this point we are good and solid. We personify the part of Felix that puts up blocks when he allows himself to get frustrated. As parts of Felix, we wish we could be supportive instead of obstacles.  But we are fairly impersonal.  We do what we do because we are what we are.”

Why is this road blocked in the first place, Stumps?

“The people up the road don’t want to share.  There is another way out.  They don’t want through traffic.”

“On a scale of zero to ten we score ourselves ten in confidence because we know what we’re doing. We are also a ten in witnessing because we can sit and watch everything go by all the time. We score ourselves a nine in inner peace and an eight in wisdom as well as acceptance. Our compassion is only a five. We don’t care much about anything.  If we were a ten we would be more flexible, more able to move and be creative. We could become an arch or bridge or gateway or the interior of something.  We could become whatever form we wanted to be really compassionately helpful. We could turn ourselves into wings that one could put on the side of the car so it could fly.  We could help Felix.”

Weren’t you put there because you weren’t compassionate and because you had a firm structure?

“Yes.  We were put there as an obstacle.   We were put there because of our lack of compassion.  When we think about it, our acceptance is very low because of what we are doing.  It’s not true that we were high in acceptance. We are at 2’s or 1’s.”

“If Felix scored like we do he could do lucid dreaming.  That would propel him down the road of understanding that he wants to do really quickly.  It’s a very creative way of dealing with what is in front of him.  He would know the illusory nature of existence and could experiment with it on all forms and levels.  It would all be play, like being surrounded by fifth graders.  (“I used to teach fifth grade.”)  He’d have so much fun!”

“I would encourage Felix to become more and more creative in everything he does.  That is the hallmark of being alive and staying alive.  That helps others to do the same – to stay alive.  When it comes time for them to die it helps them to do so with constant awareness and to go into their next life with love and compassion. If I were in charge of Felix’s waking life I would handle his frustration with awareness and lucidity.  He would be able to be highly creative very quickly now, in real time.  Frustrations would be tools to help him become more creative rather than be perceived as obstacles. If Felix is creative Alice will be more drawn to him. As Felix becomes more lucid, his access to creativity becomes more pronounced and becomes a circle that feeds on itself.”

“Felix would benefit from becoming us vertical logs when he’s dreaming, in order to recognize that frustration is a key to creativity.  Also when he’s awake for the same reason.  If he does so, things change!  His perspective changes and the perspectives of those who he is talking to changes. Then he can help people more!”

“We vertical logs came into Felix’s life because we represent those frustrations he hasn’t figured out how to deal with. We are an opportunity for him to address these issues.”

“Felix forgets and ignores us by falling back asleep! He forgets that everything is a dream!  When he gets frustrated, angry, and hurt he draws back and pulls back in, when the opposite is what he needs to do. He should instead take several deep breaths, relax as much as possible, and let us clear the road by ourselves. We’ll move out of the way.”

What about those red, white, and blue cars, vertical logs?

“They have their keys in the ignition!  They won’t be that much of an obstacle. They are vehicles!  They will carry him where he needs to go!  He needs to go to a patriotic place.  He needs a larger vision of what it means to be an American.  It’s been built too much around economics.  It’s a further barrier that he needs to address.  The medical conference was about sophistication of finance and how Felix was self-congratulatory about how much he knows.  It’s where Felix was most comfortable with his expertise. I think Felix had this dream because he is in the position of opening up relatively quickly to new ideas and to be more aware of blocks to awareness.  We are just another thing in the road that needs to be addressed.”

“The residents down the road remind Felix of Jupiter Island, Florida, an enclave of very rich people who don’t want a road running all the way through it.  It’s well guarded.  You only see vegetation or a driveway or mailbox.  You rarely see a house.  We are tools of the people down the road. They represent a part of Felix that has used his awareness of economics to defend the system in order to let him live on “Jupiter Island.”  But now that doesn’t seem to be working for him.  It’s now blocking him toward more creativity.”

When Alex was asked what he heard the vertical logs say, he said, “It rings very true.  I have used my economic knowledge as a tool to think like these people to hang out here.  But once you’ve gotten there, so what?  It’s not creative.  You can just get more stuff.  And stuff is stuff. Whereas the real creativity is within.  The real healing of oneself and others is within and doesn’t have much to do with that stuff.  I’ve got to unblock myself and that can help others as well.  It has to do with becoming more aware. Then things emerge.  People tell me I’m an inspiration.  I have more support than I realize.  I am just not aware of it.  It’s pretty humbling (cries). I just overlooked this.”

Vertical logs, what are Felix’s humble feelings and his tears about?

“Recognition that he’s just ignored and not appreciated and not taken into account how much love and kindness there has been in his life.”

If he had, what difference would that have made?

“He would have had a much richer interior life and been much more aware of what was going on around him. Felix needs to treat himself with loving kindness much more than he does.  He tends to be much harder on himself than he needs to be.  He responds to that so very, very strongly. Just to treat himself as a human being.  It’s something he has to work on a lot. He needs to remember that he’s loved!”

What lessons can the rest of us take away from Felix’s dream? We all have obstacles in our lives. We can fight them or we can treat them as wake-up calls to be listened to, like Felix does with his vertical logs. Notice that listening does not mean “projecting our interpretations onto our experience or those of others.” This is a bad habit. Professionals get paid to do it, which means that a lot of self-esteem, control, and validation is associated with making interpretations. Integral Deep Listening believes that there is a place for professional interpretations, after an individual has made theirs and after one or more internal sources of objectivity, like these vertical logs, have been heard. This order also has the advantage of keeping professionals from embarrassing themselves when their interpretations are contradicted by the wisdom of interviewed emerging potentials. Notice that Felix is not really wanting to lucid dream. He is wanting to love himself, accept more love from others, and be of greater creative service. Felix sees learning to lucid dream as a means to that end. We can also use this dream to reconsider whether we need to waste a lot of energy trying to break into a lifestyle that we don’t need and that is largely a distraction. In the dream Felix is blocked on a road that carries him to a restricted, exclusive lifestyle that he no longer wants or needs, but which he still moves toward out of habit. Instead of substituting a lifestyle for the love we seek, why not simply learn to both love ourselves and openly accept the abundance that the world holds for us? This is a type of lucidity that involves waking up within life, not just dreams, in order to focus on priorities that reflect those of our inner compass. Integral Deep Listening interviewing quickly and effectively identifies these, thereby saving a lot of time and energy pursuing goals that we neither want or need, and that only make us frustrated.

What do you get out of Felix’s interview? Let us know!

Here is the transcription of Felix’s interview:

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1. How to deal with frustration and turn it into a useful tool.

2. Dealing with Alice

3. Lucid dreaming more.

Tell me a dream you remember.  It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand.

I was in a university setting attending a conference about medical businesses.  After a long conference of sophisticated people from academia and business we decided to go for a ride along a beautiful mountain ridge with spectacular views like the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We had some difficulty getting up to the road because there was a rough patch and the car was not made for it.  I was a good enough driver to get us around the rough patch.  We were congratulating ourselves for our ability to understand what was going on in this medical conference because we could disseminate the information to less sophisticated people with a great deal of ease. When we get to the top of the ridge the road is completely blocked by six large tree stumps.  There are no roots on them.  They are like a six foot tall tree wall. They have been transported there and put there to block the road. They are very uniform.  This dream scene was quite vivid.  The scenery was all green and then I saw these brown tree stumps straddling the two-lane road.  There is no possibility to go around them. Behind the tree stumps are three older American cars – Pontiacs, Oldmobiles, Mercury types from the late 70’s.  One’s red, one’s white, and one is blue.  I got really frustrated and then I woke up.

Why do you think that you had this dream?

Alan Wallace (Tibetan monk lecturer on lucid dreaming) had said in his lecture to become aware in your dream of your location, what you’re doing, who you are (role), and how you are feeling.  I meditated on frustration for the next half hour. Everything that’s frustration in my life came up.  How do I get my relationship with Annie on track?  She lives on a Ridge and works in a university setting.  I talked to her last night.  I have everything available to me to start dealing with my frustration and learn to be more lucid in my dreams and make my life more magical, to see that everything is a dream.  At that point I can start manipulating the dream.

If it were playing at a theater, what name would be on the marquee?

Stumped Again!

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?

The tree stumps.

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are this or that character in your dream and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Tree Stumps, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing? 

There are six of us. We are wood. We were uprooted.  As we were laying on our sides our root structure was cut off at what would be two feet underground, so it’s flat.  Our tops are about six feet tall and very thick. We are cut off again at the top.  It looks like a crew cut.  We are uniformly lined up so we occupy the width of entire street so no one can get by.  Felix tried to move us and got to the third one, in the middle after he had successfully moved two, that he couldn’t move me.  He tried to physically move me, like the first two.  Then he got a crow bar and tried to leverage me but I wasn’t moving.  He thought about using dynamite but he didn’t know where he could get any.  He tried to move me by pushing me with the car but that didn’t work, so that thoroughly frustrated him.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

 We are good-looking, we are strong, we don’t move. When we are put somewhere we stay, like we’re supposed to.

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

No flexibility.  No give.  No nothing.  We are just here, like government regulations.  Termites, wood rot, old age, death, death, disease. But at this point we are good and solid.

Stumps, you are in this person’s life experience, correct?  He created you, right?  Tree stumps, what aspect of Felix do you represent or most closely personify?

The part of him that puts up blocks when he allows himself to get frustrated.

Tree stumps, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

As part of Felix, we wish we could be supportive instead of obstacles.  But we are fairly impersonal.  We do what we do because we are what we are.

Why is this road blocked in the first place?

The people up the road don’t want to share.  There is another way out.  They don’t want through traffic.

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

(Character), how would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: 10 We know what we’re doing.

Compassion:   5 We don’t care one way or the other.  We’re just here.

Wisdom:   8

Acceptance:   9 We’re here just because we’re here.  Our self-acceptance is high.

Inner Peace:   9

Witnessing: 10 We can sit and watch it all go by all the time!

Tree stumps, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?

Compassion was low. We don’t care much about anything.  If we were a ten we would be more flexible, more able to move and be creative. We could become an arch or bridge or gateway or the interior of something.  We could become whatever form we wanted to be really compassionately helpful. We could turn ourselves into wings that one could put on the side of the car so it could fly.  We could help Felix.

Weren’t you put there because you weren’t compassionate and because you had a firm structure?

Yes.  We were put there as an obstacle.   We were put there because of our lack of compassion.  When we think about it, our acceptance is very low because of what we are doing.  It’s not true that we were high in acceptance. We are at 2’s or 1’s.

How would the life of the person who created you be different if he naturally scored high in all six of these qualities all the time?

He could do lucid dreaming.  That would propel him down the road of understanding what he wants to do really quickly.  It’s a very creative way of dealing with what is in front of him.  He would know the illusory nature of existence and could experiment with it on all forms and levels.  It would all be play, like being surrounded by fifth graders.  (I used to teach fifth grade.)  He’d have so much fun!

If you could live the life of the person who created you for him, how would you live it differently?

I would encourage him to become more and more creative in everything he does.  That is the hallmark of being alive and staying alive.  That helps others to do the same – to stay alive.  When it comes time for them to die it helps them to do so with constant awareness and to go into their next life with love and compassion.

If you could live this person’s waking life for him today, would you handle his three life issues differently?  If so, how?

Frustration: With awareness!  With lucidity!  He would be able to be highly creative very quickly now, in real time.  The frustrations would be tools to help him become more creative rather than be perceived as obstacles.

2. Annie: by doing the above – it’s the nature of what she does – if Felix is creative she will be more drawn to him.

3. More lucid dreaming: As he becomes more lucid the access to creativity becomes more pronounced and becomes a circle that feeds on itself.

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of his life?

They would stay the same.

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for this person to imagine that they are you and act as you would?

Whenever he’s dreaming to recognize that frustration is a key to creativity.  Also when he’s awake.  Things then change!  His perspective changes, that of those who he is talking to changes. Then he can help people more!

Why do you think that you are in this person’s life?

Because we represent those frustrations he hasn’t figured out how to deal with. We are an opportunity for him to address these issues.

How is Felix most likely to ignore what you are saying to him?

Fall asleep! Forget that everything is a dream!  When he gets frustrated, angry, and hurt to draw back in, pull back in, when the opposite is what he needs to do.

What would you recommend that they do about that?

He should instead take several deep breaths, relax as much as possible, and let us clear the road by ourselves. We’ll move out of the way.

What about those red, white, and blue cars, tree stumps?

They have their keys in the ignition!  They won’t be that much of an obstacle. They are vehicles!  They will carry him where he needs to go!  He needs to go to a patriotic place.  He needs a larger vision of what it means to be an American.  It’s been built too much around economics.  It’s a further barrier that he needs to address.  The medical conference was about sophistication of finance and how Felix was self-congratulatory about how much he knows.  It’s where Felix was most comfortable with his expertise.

I think this person had this dream because

He is in the position of opening up relatively quickly to new ideas and more aware of blocks to awareness.  We are just another thing in the road that needs to be addressed.

 I think this dream event happened or (some character) was in the dream because…

The residents down the road remind Felix of Jupiter Island, Florida, an enclave of very rich people who don’t want a road running all the way through it.  It’s well guarded.  You only see vegetation or a driveway or mailbox.  You rarely see a house.  We are tools of the people down the road. They represent a part of Felix that has used his awareness of economics to defend the system.  That lets him live on “Jupiter Island.”  But now that doesn’t seem to be working for him.  It’s now blocking him toward more creativity.

 What have you heard yourself say?

 It rings very true.  I have used my economic knowledge as a tool to think like these people to hang out here.  But once you’ve gotten there, so what?  It’s not creative.  You can just get more stuff.  And stuff is stuff. Whereas the real creativity is within.  The real healing of oneself and others is within and doesn’t have much to do with that stuff.  I’ve got to unblock myself and that can help others as well.  It has to do with becoming more aware. Then things emerge.  People tell me I’m an inspiration.  I have more support than I realize.  I am just not aware of it.  It’s pretty humbling (cries). I just overlooked this.

Tree stumps, what are Felix’s humble feelings and his tears about?

Recognition that he’s just ignored and not appreciated and not taken into account how much love and kindness there has been in his life.

If he had, what difference would that have made?

He would have had a much richer interior life and been much more aware of what was going on around him.

If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of who you are, what do you think it would be saying to you?

 Tree Stump: Treat Felix with loving kindness.  He responds to that so very, very strongly.  He needs to treat himself that way much more than he does.  He tends to be much harder on himself than he needs to.  Just to treat himself as a human being.  It’s something he has to work on a lot.

Do you have anything else you want to say to Felix right now, Tree Stump?

Remember you’re loved!

Posted in Lucidity

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*