Lucid Dreaming Defined:
Simply put, lucid dreaming means that you become consciously aware that you are dreaming, while in the dream. Lucid dreamers often report that they can control actions within the dream, though this isn’t a requirement. There is an article on Psychology Today, which includes an interview with lucid dream expert Beverley D’Urso. It offers far more insight into the why, how, and possibilities than can be covered in the scope of this post.
I wish I could tell you that I am whisked away to a tropical island, festive drink in hand and swaying to the alluring beats of island music. With a simple thought that takes control of my dreams. But alas, this hasn’t been my experience. Though I am eager to learn how to control the dream state to this degree…it has alluded me. In every single case of lucid dreaming, in my experience, it is random and without warning. Far from being a desirable experience, these have genuinely been nightmares.
One really intense experience combined awareness in the dream state, with an episode of sleep paralysis. I have suffered from both for many years. It started out oddly enough and then became even more bizarre as dreams do. My sister and I were visiting our childhood home, the feeling I had is that we were thinking about what to do with it now that our mother had recently passed. She had died a number of years before I had this particular dream. When we arrived the outside looked very much as her more recent home does, where our step-dad currently lives. This place even now is the focus of family dinners and celebrations. When we walked inside though it became the home we grew up in. We began moving through each room which were similar to those I remember when I last was in them. Yet there were also other details. It was as though I saw the rooms furnished as they were when we dwelt within the walls, yet I would eventually see them with furnishings that I understood to be from the previous family who occupied the place for a few generations prior. As I moved thru the house each room began as I remembered it, then it would transform into what appeared to be a more antiquated time (less modern furniture, even a hand pump for the well). My sister and I were moving slowly across each room marveling at the differences and talking over fond memories. Looking out the kitchen window to the rear of the property, we did notice that the old pump house, the outhouse, garden plot, and orchard were still there. We did use well water but the house had been fully plumbed by the time my grandmother had purchased it. The outhouse I suppose offered some character.
Very quickly things shifted. I realized I was walking alone in the house as if my sister were never there. As I moved thru each of these rooms, I begin to realize that there are people occupying them. I am seeing the rooms with proper dimensions, the furnishings are not contemporary nor the simple older furniture I saw in the dream before it is more Victorian style, antiquated but very well cared for it seemed. It was very clear to me that the people I was seeing were celebrating something. At some point I begin to join in the celebration laughing and chatting with these jovial folks who were clearly enjoying themselves. Making my way around shaking hands and reminiscing with seemingly everyone in every room of the house. There were 5 bedrooms, a dining room, living room, kitchen, a parlor (my mother had used for card reading), what became a laundry room and 2 bathrooms. Nothing significant in the dream with the laundry room nor the bathrooms, although I had gone thru them.
Enjoying the festivities and the memories and laughter I begin to recognize several of the people in the party, because I had known them in my life. Yet many others I recognized, and knew who they were, yet I had never met them nor seen pictures of them. This…is when I become aware. This is the moment I understand to be the trigger point, where your conscious mind realizes it is in the dream state. As I look around at the laughing faces and people patting me on the back and shaking my hand, I realize none of this can be possible. All of these people are dead. Several of my own relatives including my grandmother who was at the kitchen table. I saw several of my great uncles and grandfather. I never saw my mother in this dream though she has appeared to me in others. But as I become aware I remember distinctly the sick feeling you get in your stomach when you are experiencing something disturbing, even traumatic. Not only had these people been dead for many decades, a century in some cases, this house, with which I was intimately familiar, having spent my formative years there…had also burned to the ground 35 years prior.
So now I am worried that they will realize that I shouldn’t be here. I begin somewhat rapidly making my way toward the front door. The entire time I am doing so I am worried they will become suspicious of me trying to leave, fearing the horror that had to be on my face might give my intentions away. The last thing I wanted was for them to show me my place in this hell. It seemed to take an eternity as I am telling myself this is just a dream, once you reach the door…you will wake up. Perhaps more willing my body to wake and not just reassuring my terrified mind. Eventually, I do reach the door. After I exit I am out of the dream and now in the all too familiar state of sleep paralysis. While I am there, trapped this time in the decidedly darker version of my room, I am fully aware of the shadows…and yet I still hear the laughter from the lucid dream. Eventually released from the grip of this fiendish condition, I spend another sleepless night watching comedy.
I continue to write down the things I remember from that dream as it is full of what I perceive to be symbols. Things that have meaning in regards to choices made and those yet to transpire, as well as stages in life. I routinely have dreams that offer symbols and clues that may only make sense to myself, or my sister and our aunt. Both my sister and aunt, who is our mother’s sister, have a much stronger connection to the meanings and sometimes prophetic offerings found in the land of dreams.
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