Transformative Dream Lucidity

 

There are many uses for lucid dreams. You can practice some skill, whether it is a death-defying sport, public speaking, or asking for a date, in a fail-free environment.  If you want to experience outer space without a space suit, journey to an imaginary extraterrestrial civilization, or swim deep in the ocean with the orcas, you can! If you want to meet some celebrity or great teacher, your can – if they are only your own projection of who that celebrity or teacher is. But these sorts of uses are rather superficial, based on a lack of self-confidence and attempts to compensate for it, or else perhaps a sense of boredom with life and a desire to entertain oneself in novel ways. These are purposes for dream lucidity driven by waking desires. They tell us nothing about the function of spontaneous dream lucidity. Why does it happen? What is its purpose? How can we use it? Such spontaneous dream lucidity which is not driven by waking interests is much less well recognized but is far more important. The following dream, which has a lucid portion, may change or expand your thoughts on the purposes of dream lucidity. The lucidity itself is not of particular benefit in the dream because it is neither understood by the dreamer, nor does it accomplish anything of lasting value.  In fact, its inability to create lasting change is itself an important part of its function. However, through the act of interviewing characters in the dream, the function of the lucidity is understood in ways that support healing, balancing, and transformation.

None of this is understood or appreciated until a character in the dream was interviewed.  Without the interview, the significance of the lucidity, as well as the dream, are largely missed.  You can test this statement for yourself.  Read over the following dream and make your best guess as to what it is about and what the significance is of the lucidity.  It would be best if you wrote down your interpretation/prediction before you even read the dreamers associations to the dream so that you can’t go back later and say, after you have read the interview, “That’s what I thought all along!”  Either you wrote the correct interpretation and therefore knew it in advance, or you didn’t write it and you didn’t know.  

Comments follow the summary of the interview, followed by a transcript of the interview itself …Feel free to add your own comments!

Sara told the following dream: “I was on a small property, all very green. There were two very big, bright red geckos with black triangles on their backs.  Very big, very fleshy, but they were kind!  I wasn’t afraid of them.  In the dream I thought, ”Amazing!  How beautiful they are!  How fascinating!”  I think I had my cell phone in my hand.  One of these lizards sprang up and had a tooth like my shark’s tooth hanging out of his mouth.  He went for this cell phone but he scratched my wrist in the process. In my dream I looked at this cut.  It didn’t even bleed.  I thought, “That’s not a big cut.”  I kept walking and every now and then I would look at my hand.  The cut opened up more and more, each time I looked at it.  I could see my flesh, my arteries and veins. My whole wrist opened up until I could look down at the bone.

In the dream I then told myself that this was a dream. “I am dreaming this!”  I was trying to shake this wrist injury off.  I was sitting in the green grass, telling myself, “I’m just dreaming this.”  Then the injury was gone.  Sitting in this grass, I looked around myself and said,”I’m still not awake…”  Then I looked at my wrist and the wound had returned!  I thought, “Oh no!  It’s disgusting!”  “What‘s happening here?”  Why is this wound on my wrist?”  I woke up shaking my wrist and trying to get rid of the wound again!

So, before you read any further, write down what this dream would be about if you had it.  What would be the significance of the episode of lucidity for you if you had this dream?

Here is this dreamer’s initial answer to those questions, before she did an Integral Deep Listening interview of her hand.

“This one I’ve been kept busy thinking about for the last week and a half.  I haven’t written it down because it’s so disgusting… It was the night after I got this shark tooth present from Claudia…I think it was disgusting!  There was a fear that my hand might fall off.  A fear of being disabled.  This was my left hand.

Sara chose to interview her hand. Here is what it said: “I look good, then I get hurt!  Then my cut becomes bigger and bigger! I like that I can do so many things!  I can massage, I can cook, I can clean, I can touch, feel. I don’t like my wound!  I can’t write.  Maybe that’s a weakness. I personify the inner open wounds that Sara has, such as humiliation since childhood, the wounds that were caused by her mother making Sara have a bad conscience all the time, feeling guilty all the time.  The wounds of silence, of (her mother) not speaking when she addressed the sexual abuse of Sara by her step-father. I would just like to have my wound closed.  I want to be healthy and flexible without this wound.”

Next, in an attempt to get another point of view, the Gecko was asked, “Why did you jump up and attack Sara and open her wrist?”

The gecko said, “I don’t know what I was going for.  It was something in her hand that I thought she shouldn’t have in her hand.  I don’t think I was trying to hurt her…

But it doesn’t sound like you were successful…

Yes, I was!  I knocked it out of her hand!

What do you think about this wound that wouldn’t heal but kept opening, Gecko?

I think that’s strange!  I was gone, so I can’t tell you about the rest of the dream…

Gecko, why did you want to knock this telephone out of her hand?

 It got on my nerves!

You’re a pretty irritable Gecko!  Why did it get on your nerves?

I was in the vicinity with my pal.  I was close to Sara and I felt very good.

So what got on your nerves? Was it the ringing?  Was it Sara’s mother’s calling?

Yes, very probably!

So are you implying that Sara shouldn’t be communicating with all people or only particular people?

Only particular people, like her family.

Who is getting on your tooth, Gecko? (In German, to get on your nerves is to “get on your tooth.”)

It is getting on her nerves that Sara has a guilty conscience about breaking off the contact with her mother and with her family.  It’s her family calling, saying that it may be the last chance Sara has of spending time with her mother before she dies!

What do you think of this message from Sara’s family, Gecko?

It makes me want to puke!

Hand, what do you think about what the Gecko just said?

He’s pretty right!

How do you feel about the Gecko wounding you now, Hand?  Worse?  The same?  Better?

Actually, I feel quite good about it at the moment!  I think that we sometimes need a real good kick, both I and Sara!

In what sense?

To really change things!

What do you think needs to be changed, Hand?

Both I, left hand, but also right hand, think Sara needs to stop having a guilty conscience.  Who knows when I will die? No reason to spend time with her mother just because she might die!   We need to take care of ourselves, more than ever.  That’s what Sara and I should do.  It does not mean becoming megalomaniac and selfish.”

Next, the hand was asked how it scored itself, zero to ten in the six core qualities of enlightenment. It scored ten in all but wisdom, which scored eight. The and said, “If Sara scored like I do in all these qualities she would definitely have far more inner peace about everything….She has to stop this worrying about her mother, family, and daughter!  It’s not true compassion and love!  It’s an inner fighting with inner conscience and feelings of guilt! If I were in charge of her life she wouldn’t think about having a bad conscience. She wouldn’t listen to her family that tell her that she should spend time with her mother while she is still alive.”

Gecko, what do you think of what the hand just said?

“Perfect!  I couldn’t agree more! Fact is, Hand has to tell Sara these things and Sara has to put them into practice. It recommends she pursue training to be a Sauna master, take her daughter to see a counselor. She needs to continue to avoid contact with her mother.  Sara needs to learn to give and take, to say “stop,” without fear, like I do. If she becomes me, the Gecko, in confrontations with her boyfriend, Bob, she will find it easy to leave! I recommend that Sara become me when Bob announces that he is going to go on vacation with her and then takes his laptop along!  I would knock the laptop out of his hand!”

Hand: “I don’t do drama because it is tiring, superfluous, and doesn’t do anything for inner peace! I am just a Hand, doing what I want to do!  I was the one who blocked two Skype calls in the last couple of days!”

“The wound on Sara’s hand kept getting worse in the dream, even though she was aware that it was a dream, in order to show deep inner wounds that are coming to the surface now. Sara is working on them. She’s accepting them. She’s letting them be out in the open more and more! Some recent incidents have attached to these old wounds and made them come to the surface.   They became bigger because she contacted her mother herself because she (Sara) wanted to take her daughter to Lancerote (in the Canaries) over the holidays.  The response was to ask if Sara had a screw loose because Sara asked her mother to partly pay for her grand-daughter’s trip.  Sara’s mother said, ‘I have enough money to go on holiday any time I like but if you ask me for money to go on holiday with your daughter, you won’t get a penny.’”

 “The lucidity in the dream indicates that what is required by Sara is self-confidence and that the wounds can just close and heal.  The way I see Sara in the dream is that she is getting more self-confident so she can just shake off the dream of those wounds from her childhood.”

 What did Sara hear her hand and Gecko say? “The Gecko snatched the cell phone out of my hand because it didn’t want me to be exposed to messages from my family or to react to those messages. I am being told to find my inner peace!  To let my wounds be my wounds. They may never finally go away completely. Go my own way despite my inner wounds.  Walk my own path without a bad conscience.”

There are many interesting things about this dream.  The shark’s tooth, used by the Gecko to both knock the cell phone out of Sara’s hand and to cut her, was given to her as a present by her therapist.  It implies that what looks like a destructive act is in fact, not.  This is borne out by what the Gecko and Hand say in the interview.The shark’s tooth may also relate to the German version of, “To get on one’s nerves.” It seems to be a reference to the fact that both her mother trying to call her and her conscience about ignoring her calls were getting on Sara’s nerves.

If we assume that dreams are basically wake-up calls, we find several aspects that support this theory.  The lucidity in the dream is itself a reflection of the increased awareness Sara was developing about how she was a prisoner to her guilt about not pleasing her mother and her family. The wound is a wake-up call;  that it keeps getting bigger is a wake-up call.  Becoming lucid in a dream is a form of waking up, to be sure, and the failure to maintain lucidity is associated with a return of the wound.  It is evident that the purpose of the lucidity in the dream is not for lucidity in the dream, as it is in dreams in which lucidity is consciously induced. The lucidity is for the purpose of depicting what the dreamer needs to learn to do in her waking life: wake up to the damage she is doing to herself in opening old wounds when she contacts her family. However, in addition, it is clear that the lucidity is also an attempt by Sara to escape from the damage to herself, which frightens her. It is such an exaggerated wound that she knows that it must not be real, and so she attempts to escape its reality by waking up out of the dream. But notice that Sara will not let herself escape the reality of her wounding by waking up! Being aware that there is a wound as a form of wakefulness is not enough; she has to do something about it she is going to become lucid in a useful sense.

Notice also that none of this is particularly obvious to the dreamer or to you or me. We are used to viewing dreams and dream lucidity from our waking perspectives, but those are not the perspectives of the hand or gecko.  Sara’s normal waking perspective is stuck in patterns of guilt, avoidance, and conscience; you and I are strangers; we can only venture educated guesses that are not party to the interior of Sara and never will be to the extent that the interviewed hand and gecko are. While you or I might encourage Sara to forgive, forget, love, and focus on building a new relationship with family, and in particular with her mother (who denied the reality of Sara’s childhood molestation by her step-father that Sara’s mom knew about at the time and ignored, and who also constantly manipulated Sara into feeling guilty for bringing it up), hand and gecko are not so understanding.  They view mom and those family members that encourage Sara to contact her mother as toxic for Sara.  They want her to cut off all communication with them – at least until she can get over feeling guilty about not talking to them.

Notice that hand and gecko are interested in Sara and Sara’s welfare, not in what other people think she ought to do.  Hand scores very high in the six core qualities, which implies that it has greater access to them than Sara does, and therefore deserves to be listened to.  This judgment is validated by the gecko, which supports and agrees with the assessments made by hand.

Whether or not Sara is able to make her wound go away in her dream is not important.  If she could maintain lucidity and keep the wound gone, what would that solve?  Would that mean that she had the ability to do the same with the wounds from her childhood?  That is unlikely.  What is much more likely is that she would be using her lucidity to repress the wake-up call that the dream depicts.  She would not only not be understanding the dream, but she would encourage the externalization of the nightmare of the wound in some other, more difficult to ignore/repress form in her life, like an accident, illness, or interpersonal conflict.  Fortunately, Sara is choosing to listen, which is a way of practicing upstream prevention that reduces the likelihood of waking suffering and stress.

Lucidity in dreams serves its own purposes, ones that are often difficult to recognize unless you interview one or more character in the dream. If you do so, you will support waking up in your life, out of the delusions of your day-to-day thoughts and feelings, which is the approach to lucidity taught by integral deep listening.

Here is the transcript of Sara’s dream and interview:

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 on a small property, all very green. There were two very big, bright red geckos with black triangles on their backs.  Very big, very fleshy, but they were kind!  I wasn’t afraid of them.  In the dream I thought, ”Amazing!  How beautiful they are!  How fascinating!”  I think I had my cell phone in my hand.  One of these lizards sprang up and had a tooth like my shark’s tooth hanging out of his mouth.  He went for this cell phone but he scratched my wrist in the process. In my dream I looked at this cut.  It didn’t even bleed.  I thought, “That’s not a big cut.”  I kept walking and every now and then I would look at my hand.  The cut opened up more and more, each time I looked at it.  I could see my flesh, my arteries and veins. My whole wrist opened up until I could look down at the bone.

In the dream I then told myself that this was a dream. “I am dreaming this!”  I was trying to shake this wrist injury off.  I was sitting in the green grass, telling myself, “I’m just dreaming this.”  Then the injury was gone.  Sitting in this grass, I looked around myself and said,”I’m still not awake…”  Then I looked at my wrist and the wound had returned!  I thought, “Oh no!  It’s disgusting!”  “What‘s happening here?”  Why is this wound on my wrist?”  I woke up shaking my wrist and trying to get rid of the wound again!

So, before you read any further, write down what this dream would be about if you had it.  What would be the significance of the episode of lucidity?

Why do you think that you had this dream?

This one I’ve been kept busy thinking about for the last week and a half.  I haven’t written it down because it’s so disgusting… It was the night after I got this shark tooth present from Claudia…I think it was disgusting!  There was a fear that my hand might fall off.  A fear of being disabled.  This was my left hand.

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

1. Further training to become a sauna master. I am hoping I’ll be granted this training by the authorities.  I’ll be told tomorrow whether this has been financed for me.

2. Amy, my daughter.  I would love to be able to support my daughter regardless of her father to become more self confident and do things on her own.  Her father won’t allow her to do things on her own.  Instead of protecting her he’s making her incapable of dealing with life.

3. I will not concentrate on Bob this time. The issue is my family.  The second time my mother tried to contact me by Skype and for the second time I blocked her, but with a bad feeling.

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

 The Opening Wound

 These are the characters in the dream, beside yourself…

Geckos, Grass, Property, Cell Phone, Hand, Wound

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

 Hand

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!

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

I look good, then I get hurt!  Then my cut becomes bigger and bigger!

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

 That I can do so many things!  I can massage, I can cook, I can clean, I can touch, feel.

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

I don’t like my wound!  I can’t write.  Maybe that’s a weakness.

Hand, you are in Sara’s life experience, correct?  She created you, right?  Hand, what aspect of Sara do you represent or most closely personify?

The inner open wounds that Sara has.

Such as what, Hand?

Humiliation since childhood, the wounds that were caused by mother making Sara have a bad conscience all the time, feeling guilty all the time.  The wounds of silence, of (her mother) not speaking when she addressed the sexual abuse by her step-father.

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

I would just like to have my wound closed.  I want to be healthy and flexible without this wound.

Gecko, why did you jump up and attack Sara and open her wrist?

I don’t know what I was going for.  It was something in her hand that I thought she shouldn’t have in her hand.  I don’t think I was trying to hurt her…

But it doesn’t sound like you were successful…

Yes, I was!  I knocked it out of her hand!

What do you think about this wound that wouldn’t heal but kept opening, Gecko?

I think that’s strange!  I was gone, so I can’t tell you about the rest of the dream…

Gecko, why did you want to knock this telephone out of her hand?

It got on my nerves!

You’re a pretty irritable Gecko!  Why did it get on your nerves?

I was in the vicinity with my pal.  I was close to Sara and I felt very good.

So what got on your nerves? Was it the ringing?  Was it Sara’s mother’s calling?

Yes, very probably!

So are you implying that Sara shouldn’t be communicating with all people or only particular people?

Only particular people, like her family.

Who is getting on your tooth, Gecko? (In German, to get on your nerves is to “get on your tooth.”)

It is getting on her nerves that Sara has a guilty conscience about breaking off the contact with her mother and with her family.  It’s her family calling, saying that it may be the last chance Sara has of spending time with her mother before she dies!

What do you think of this message from Sara’s family, Gecko?

It makes me want to puke!

Hand, what do you think about what the Gecko just said?

He’s pretty right!

How do you feel about the Gecko wounding you now, Hand?  Worse?  The same?  Better?

Actually, I feel quite good about it at the moment!  I think that we sometimes need a real good kick, both I and Sara!

In what sense?

To really change things!

What do you think needs to be changed, Hand?

Both I, left hand, but also right hand, think Sara needs to stop having a guilty conscience.  Who knows when I will die? No reason to spend time with her mother just because she might die!   We need to take care of ourselves, more than ever.  That’s what Sara and I should do.  It does not mean becoming megalomaniac and selfish.

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

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

Confidence: 10

Compassion: 10

Wisdom:   8

Acceptance: 10

Inner Peace: 10

Witnessing: 10

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

There wouldn’t be a big difference…

How would Sara’s life be different if she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

She would definitely have far more inner peace about everything….She has to stop this worrying about her mother, family, and daughter!  It’s not true compassion and love!  It’s an inner fighting with inner conscience and feelings of guilt!

If you could live Sara life for her, how would you live it differently?

She wouldn’t think about having a bad conscience. She wouldn’t listen to her family that tell her that she should spend time with her mother while she is still alive.

Gecko, what do you think of what the hand just said?

Perfect!  I couldn’t agree more! Fact is, Hand has to tell Sara these things and Sara has to put them into practice

If you could live Sara’s waking life for her today, would you handle her three life issues differently?  If so, how?

Further training to become a sauna master. I am hoping I’ll be granted this training by the authorities.  I’ll be told tomorrow whether this has been financed for me. I think it’s a great aim and a great job for me!Further training to become a sauna master. I am hoping I’ll be granted this training by the authorities.  I’ll be told tomorrow whether this has been financed for me. I think it’s a great aim and a great job for me!

What would you suggest Sara do if tomorrow she is turned down for further training?

I would just continue my job until Sara can finance it for herself!

Second life issue: Amy, my daughter.  I would love to be able to support my daughter regardless of her father to become more self confident and do things on her own.  Her father won’t allow her to do things on her own.  Instead of protecting her he’s making her incapable of dealing with life. Sara should take Amy by the hand and go see Claudia together!

Why, Hand?

Sara has been changing quite a lot. She has been mentioning Claudia in talks with Amy.  Amy gets this mirrored by other people too. Staying together at Kähnsdorf (Claudia’s country cabin) this summer was a very important time.

Third life issue: I will not concentrate on Bob this time. The issue is my family.  The second time my mother tried to contact me by Skype and for the second time I blocked her, but with a bad feeling. Keep still.  Do nothing!

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

I definitely support all these aims.  Bob does have some importance.

What would you concentrate on, Hand?

I give or I take without fear.  I can say,  “stop” without fear.  I think Sara can learn to do these things too.

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Sara to imagine that she is you and act as you would?

Where these three life issues are concerned!  If she becomes me in confrontations with Bob. Then she will find it easy to leave!

Gecko, in what life situations would it be most beneficial for Sara to imagine that she is you and act as you would?

Change into me when Bob announces that he is going to go on vacation with her and then takes his laptop along!  I would knock the laptop out of his hand!

Hand, do you do drama?  If not, why not?

No! Drama is tiring, superfluous, and doesn’t do anything for inner peace!

What is your secret for staying out of drama?

I am just a Hand, doing what I want to do!  I was the one who blocked two Skype calls in the last couple of day!

Why do you think that you are in Sara’s life in this dream with this wound that kept getting worse?

To show deep inner wounds that come to the surface now.

And what do you think Sara should do with these deep inner wounds now, Hand?

She’s working on them. She’s accepting them. She’s letting them be out in the open more and more!

How is Sara most likely to ignore what you are saying to her?

She doesn’t any longer!

I think Sara had this dream because

I think that some recent incidents have attached to these old wounds and made them come to the surface.   They became bigger because she contacted her mother herself because she wanted to take Amy to Lancerote (in the Canaries) over the holidays.  The response was to ask if Sara had a screw loose because Sara asked her mother to partly pay for her grand-daughter’s trip.  Sara’s mother said, I have enough money to go on holiday any time I like but if you ask me for money to go on holiday with your daughter, you won’t get a penny.”

The lucidity happened in the dream because…

It means that what is required is self-confidence and that the wounds can just close and heal.  The way I see Sara in the dream is that she is getting more self-confident so she can just shake off the dream of those wounds from her childhood.

What have you heard yourself say?

The Gecko snatched the cell phone out of my hand because it didn’t want me to be exposed to messages from my family or to react to those messages.

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?

Find your inner peace!  Let your wounds be your wounds. They may never finally go away completely. Go your own way despite your inner wounds.  Walk your own path without a bad conscience.

 

Posted in Lucidity

Leave a Reply

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

*