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    Thread: Lucid Dreaming Book Club (May-June)

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      Lucid Dreaming Book Club (May-June)

      Dreamgates: An Explorer's Guide to the Worlds of Soul, Imagination, and Life Beyond Death by Robert Moss



      I found these sources online if you need help accessing the book:


      Ebook:
      Amazon

      Audiobook:

      Audible

      I also recommend checking the catalog of your local library. There's a good chance you could find it on CD / Mp3 player or just the physical copy.

      Happy reading!
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      I got my copy!

      Looking at the name of the chapters, I think I will not survive if I go into this with my secular/skeptical lenses. I do crave a book on dreaming that is both primordially spiritual and lets go of the need to make statements about metaphysical realities that we actually don't know... For example, I can see this book will talk about the afterlife, which none of us can know about but oh well... To have fun with this book, I will grab my tarot cards and embrace the spiritual aesthetic, maybe light some candles... and just have fun with it. Something I'm looking forward to do with Carlos' book eventually too.

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      Unfortunately I still haven't managed to gain access to a copy for the last book from the club, hopefully at some point I will, but I'll be having this book in-hand some time soon too as I managed to find a cheap copy for this.

      Also curious, how would you define "primordially spiritual"?
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      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      Unfortunately I still haven't managed to gain access to a copy for the last book from the club, hopefully at some point I will, but I'll be having this book in-hand some time soon too as I managed to find a cheap copy for this.

      Also curious, how would you define "primordially spiritual"?
      I meant, that focuses on the spiritual aspect of dreaming, that is, the subjective experience of it, rather than the objective science of it.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      I got my copy!

      Looking at the name of the chapters, I think I will not survive if I go into this with my secular/skeptical lenses. I do crave a book on dreaming that is both primordially spiritual and lets go of the need to make statements about metaphysical realities that we actually don't know... For example, I can see this book will talk about the afterlife, which none of us can know about but oh well... To have fun with this book, I will grab my tarot cards and embrace the spiritual aesthetic, maybe light some candles... and just have fun with it. Something I'm looking forward to do with Carlos' book eventually too.
      This is exactly how I approach all of Robert Moss' books that I have read. Understand he started off as a fiction writer, who later learned his passion was writing about lucid dreaming. He can be a bit dramatic, and can be a really good storyteller. But not a scientist, for sure.

      Where this book shines is with its great ideas for lucid journeying - and shamanic drumming embedded in the audiobook.
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      Thanks for the heads up, I prepared myself some shamanic drum music!
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      I've completed the first chapter and have now paused somewhere in the twilight exercises, to give myself the time to play along.

      With the shamanic drum music and Robert Moss' prose in my field of awareness, I was not restrained from but in fact aided in navigating the - twilight zone - in real time. Mostly, I have been setting up a new Mental Temple with spaces for relaxation, meditation, breathing, tai chi, and cleansing, with a great view on a great valley flanked with scenic mountains and luscious forest of deep green hues. Particularly, I enjoy the hot springs. They were the seed for this Mental Temple, a memory from hot springs up high in the snowy Pyrenees. Evidently, the temple is very unlike that place, but I like meshing mental temples with multiple memories that ground them in my lived experience, which help blur the line between visualization and remembering.

      Additionally, I have prepared a space for some guides, in particular, my cow guide. Also, since I manifested this place as a waiting room, kind of a threshold to dreams or the no-man's land in between wakefulness and dreams, as suggested by Moss, there is also a waiting room where I can just wait and read magazines.

      As advised by Robert Moss, I have assigned a home for my inner sceptic, her own library where she may indulge in her intellectual caprices. When I come to visit her, she walks down a grand staircase, symbolically humbling herself. Unfortunately, I've noticed the pragmatic worth of my intellect is impressively low. I don't use it much at work in my contribution to society, where I expected most to use it. In all honesty, "intelligence" is mostly just a hobby. I love to read and play with ideas, watch video essays on different topics, read critics of such and such. Leisure. On breaks, I have begun scrolling on reddit, rarely posting a comment, to participate. I've noticed, where the sharing of opinions is concerned, it is mostly just a platform to feel intellectual. Any view you may hold, someone will have an argument against it. There is not much room for a multifaceted and fleshed out conversation. People are just happy feeling intelligent by expressing their opinion based on - logic - . It feels good... Unless someone else is getting a high on slightly different idea. Anyway, even if it were a platform for the highest quality of discourse, it would remain leisure, and largely inconsequential. Not to be dismissive, it's just that observing the big picture, my inner sceptic is definitely of great importance to me, but can definitely take a step back and benefit from some humility. The sense of urgency that accompanies it is rather useless in the scope of my existence.

      Still guided by Robert Moss, I have manifested a gate to travel, a large kaleidoscope, which to me represents the reflective mosaic of dreams. Each association is a tool for travel. Each reflection and multiplication a portal to the next content of awareness. I was emboldened to choose a kaleidoscope as a gate by Moss' suggestion to use a mandala.

      Last night, I went to bed, went through the breathing, muscle relaxation, and light exercises until my body felt disconnected. I made my way through the memories of the day and then the memories of the last night's dreams. I visited my intentions for the upcoming dreams. Whereas I would generally hang around in my memory temple or my memories, I was now ready for Moss' exercise: to scan my psychic field.

      Luckily, I am keeping my inner psychic in her library because the chorus of Moss' credo is that there is psychic information accessible via no physical intermediary. To invoke this sense, I focused on meditation's teaching that the contents of my awareness come and go unprompted. Whereas this does not necessarily mean to me that these contents don't belong to my corporeal form, I definitely do feel that I do not consciously manifest them. I can thus feel the duality between my consciousness and its contents. While the imagery that appears in the twilight zone is somewhat random in nature, I like to think of a dice. Whether it falls on a 6 or a 3 is up to chance but it's not so completely random because those numbers were etched into the dice in the first place. In that sense, whichever face the dice of my consciousness falls on, however random it may seem, it's something that's etched there. It is a reflection of something. It's responding to something. It's alive and real. Connected and changing.

      So this was my mindset as I began scanning the psychic field. Immediately, I saw an unfamiliar ceremonial mask. I could feel it looking at me, from up close way inside my personal bubble. For a moment, I imagined it had always been there looking at me from so close and I only just now noticed it. That felt a bit surreal but I simply continued observing it without judgement and after a bit I decided to do as Moss instructed and did some light work to cleanse the room.

      Tonight, I will go at it again, perhaps scanning and also adding scouting. I should finish Chapter 2 this week and mostly play in the Twilight zone.
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 05-10-2021 at 06:47 AM.

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      Wow, that's super cool, Occipitalred. It sounds like you're having quite the adventure, and I enjoy reading about it.
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      I only got my copy today (with heavy amounts of underlines on many pages) as it came from pretty far. I will be starting to read it later when I get a chance.
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      Based on the descriptions above, this sounds like the complete opposite of what I normally read when it comes to lucid dreaming. I love that! I think I'll pick up the audiobook and have a listen even though I'm a bit late to the game. Thanks for the interesting suggestion Moonage!
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      I still haven't read more so I can continue practicing the breathing, muscle relaxation, light visualization exercise, and then scan the psychic field. I want to do the scanning exercise a few times before I 'scout' and 'dialogue' and then move on to the next chapter.

      Here's an attempt at scanning the psychic field:



      I set myself up in the twilight zone. I see a horse's eye. I lean in to that image. I see only the horse as if I'm riding it. The images of horse eye and riding alternate a bit. I remember my goal: I'm looking for psychic objects. All I see is the horse. Especially, the eye. Since eyes are often the first thing I see closing my eyes, I wait for something else. Meanwhile, I continue watching the horse. It has a donkey’s facial features and color. It has a unicorn’s horn in the shape and texture of a corn candy. The horn grows longer and sparkles. Eventually, it enters and walks across my field of vision and I notice a blanket on it’s back. It is brown and, thick, prickly and humble. It is completely unfamiliar to me. I grab it off the donkey’s back satisfied. This is my psychic object. I return to my mental temple and place the blanket on a pedestal outside. I do this to symbolize that I am not taking ownership of this psychic object. I wonder what could be my next goal of what to do with the psychic object. I think Moss would like me to do a light ritual with it so I go and do that. I let the light flow through me for a bit and then through the blanket. I watch it glow.

      Later that day, I was still thinking about it as I was showering. I was thinking about the brown blanket and the horse. I get out to get dried off and grab my... brown towel. And then it strikes me that the image on the towel is a horse. I never paid much attention to the towel I was using at the moment and I cycle through lots of different towels so it definitely was a fun coincidence.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      ILater that day, I was still thinking about it as I was showering. I was thinking about the brown blanket and the horse. I get out to get dried off and grab my... brown towel. And then it strikes me that the image on the towel is a horse. I never paid much attention to the towel I was using at the moment and I cycle through lots of different towels so it definitely was a fun coincidence.
      I hope you did a reality check!!
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      I've read about a fifth of this so far, mixed feelings. Still, want to share a few thoughts.

      I have to admit this type of read is always difficult for me, as it was with Sageous' book from the other recent book club period. I think it's probably because I have always gravitated towards reading very technical or encyclopaedic books (the type of books I read cover-to-cover in a couple of days), it's just difficult for me to try and not take things at face value in a book.

      Somehow if this were a fantasy or crime novel I wouldn't have an issue with immersing myself in that novel's world/context. When it's a book that has a direct link to day-to-day life and in this case relates directly to the author's life experience, I find that it reads (to me) as a bit too authoritative. I am not trying to dismiss the author's experience, I just don't personally align with a lot of it.

      Still, so far I have managed to remind myself that I don't need to take everything literally and that if I take things only at face value I'll be left with a pretty narrow and pointless view on what I'm reading. There's stuff I simply don't believe in which is being mentioned in the book, though if I take a moment to think "how could I re-read this from my own perspective, based on what I do know?", I do get further with not dismissing something entirely and get to recontextualise it for myself. I think it's probably a case of "we're talking about the same thing but in a different way", and I'm still learning to adjust myself to not read something exactly for what it is.

      This is especially interesting though because my copy is SO heavily underlined, almost every page has several sentences underlined by the previous owner of the book. It really makes me think about how someone else was reading this, what parts they were focusing on, that I'm not. The previous owner definitely had a much stronger interest in specific parts of what is said than I do.

      What I did really like so far was the "Stepping into a picture" exercise, which sadly I haven't found a quiet opportunity for yet (I think I will in the next two days) because I recently made a painting that has it's own embedded frame as part of it. It will be a perfect candidate for me to try this exercise on. Generally I do really like these bits in the book so far that are essentially about what I consider "visualisation", even if they're called something else here.
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      I'm there with you but I think even I write my opinions as if they were authoritative so I find it difficult to hope we can one day all share our thoughts like showing pieces of art we've made. That's why I did a lot of groundwork to be receptive to this book, haha. I still haven't progressed. I've had a lot to think about dreams and ideas recently to really take the time to visualize psychic scans and conversations with otherly paras. But soon.
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      My take on Robert Moss is this: really great ideas for lucid dreaming, too much significance on dreams being more than they are. Taking them literally, rather than metaphorically. Personally, I take a more Jungian view, however, I still like his books.
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      I've been practicing the twilight exercises, often informally. I'm not sure I distinguish the difference between what I call lucid daydreaming, immersive daydreaming, visualization and the twilight zone. While this is an activity I already thoroughly enjoy, Moss invites me to focus on the receptive element of visualization. To clarify, visualization sounds very active: "I choose to visualize an apple and eat it. I bring about that experience in my mind". But I can also manifest a sense of receptivity, to reach out to my "creative source" if you will, as Moss would say, and let my mind take the reins, only helping to move along by further feeling receptive, not trying to grasp so strongly to anything firmly, and allowing for movement. As I read Moss with the accompaniment of throat chanting and drums and I play in the twilight zone, I am only vaguely connected to the physical world via the words I read from his pdf file. I haven't taken the time to write down every exercise but here's my attempt at the "stepping into a picture" with the intent to "speak with spirits":

      While still reading and listening to the drums and throat chants, I choose to visit a Tarot card. He suggested a Trump card but it's a Minor Arcana that comes to mind. I can clearly picture the Queen of Swords. While there are many Tarot cards that I have a deeper connection with, this is not such a one. Swords represent thoughts and the Queen represents the Highest feminine wisdom of her suit. So for example, the King of Swords may represent truth while the Queen of Swords may represent a sharpness of mind and wit. Both are intellectual archetypes, but the King is also associated with authority and power whereas the Queen is associated with complexity and cunningness. One of the reasons I generally don't connect with the Queen of swords is that she is also associated with cold-heartedness, perhaps merely because the sword suit is associated with cognition and not emotions.

      Anyway, so I picture the Queen of Swords as in the Rider Waite deck. She is sitting on her throne, facing right, holding a sword, and wearing a crown of yellow butterflies. As I enter the picture, I imagine my body in that same art style. Somehow, I imagined her throne to be in the middle of an ocean, which is more where I imagine the Queen of Cups' throne to be. Regardless, I just wade in the waves, barely touching the steps underneath me that climb to her throne. I visualize her turning toward me but she remains mute. I introduce myself. Nothing. I try to visualize her say something without choosing the words for her. She says "So you are" but not so smoothly. It echoes. She is still just staring stiffly from her throne (for my lack of creativity, and not because she is uncomfortable). I become intimate with her. My corporate form barely existent, I snake around her and my cheek presses to her cheek, facing in the same direction as her. Letting the daydream become more vibrant, less stiff. More personal. I tell her I don't connect with her brand of cold-hearted intellectualism. She becomes somewhat more responsive, putting her sword to our necks, and me holding my own in the way of hers. She reminds me of every time in my life where I was talking to people about my feelings and they, surprised by all my thinking, claimed that I was a very analytical person. Those memories quickly alternated in my mind. Times where I discussed my feelings and my complexity only for people to be amazed at how "analytical" I was. I've always responded to this by being surprised and feeling misunderstood. I always understand that claim to make me out to be cold-hearted and thought focused whereas what I am usually doing is trying to express in words my very vibrant emotional life. I realized I have judged her in the way that I perceived others judged me. People in my life strongly think I am the Queen of swords. Maybe they don't even judge me the way I judged her. Maybe they don't think my complex analysis of my feelings also means I am not emotional. Because I am emotional. And I never asked if that's what they meant. Anyway, this all happens quite quickly because I am still slowly reading Moss, and by then, the Queen and I are fencing, floating/flying above her throne, wearing puffy yellow butterfly dresses. And we're just playing by then, because I realize I like her quite a lot. I reflect then, that she is not cold-hearted intellect. She is mindfulness (in a reflective sense). And she agrees.

      I find it funny that in the Task of the Year, my Superhero persona is Dimwit and in this twilight exercise, was made to realize that I connect a lot with the Queen of Sword who could also be called Quickwit. After all, lucid dreaming is generally a mindful exercise. And as I have discussed in another thread, a great flaw of the superhero trope is their lack of mindfulness. Often responding to situations in the simplest of ways: using violence, and without much mindfulness for the source of the problem, which in the case of superheroes and crimes, is the structure of society and nature, and not individual villains and criminals. So, I think I will bring all of this reflection to my subsequent attempts at the TOTY.

      EDIT: I went and checked my Rider Waite Tarot deck box. I always leave one card faced up in the box at random with the intention to reflect on that card. I had forgotten but it was the Queen of Sword.
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 06-19-2021 at 11:37 PM.
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      Wow, how neat! Love the synchronicity with the card. It sounds like maybe this character is an aspect of your shadow? A part of you that needs validation, acceptance, and understanding.

      Really great work getting the unconscious to play with you.
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      Occipitalred, I guess I was in need of reading this because until today I had actually been feeling somewhat unmotivated to continue reading the book. I enjoyed reading about this moment you had. I ended up going back quite a few pages and re-reading the parts I'd last been reading, some twenty odd pages or so. And I also ended up having a short and pretty casual moment myself while I was re-reading one of the exercises I'd already read before.

      My visual imagination had been pretty lacking for a few months now but has slowly been returning a bit, which is why I found this moment with the exercise to be quite enjoyable even though I really had no initial intent for it, since I'd been feeling a bit "blocked" lately. I still don't find myself very agreeable to some of the wording or certain things said but I feel more motivated to read than I was before, even so.



      On the point about lucid daydreaming, immersive daydreaming, visualisation and twilight zone... Personally, I think that these are all essentially the same or similar things and how you see one of these "things" probably depends on your own contextual use of language. In my view for example, meditation and prayer are nearly the same thing and are very close to the rest of ideas anyway. And what I've personally been calling "visualisation" for a while now is probably a bit like the "active imagination" mentioned in the other bookclub book we had recently, I forget the title of it now... In any case, all of this for me is more about going with the flow of whatever presents itself and making subtle, maybe non-verbal, suggestions/intents (like I would in lucid dreams) than to necessarily choose/demand for something to happen from a "normal" level of consciousness.
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      I'm happy you were inspired to go back and have that short and casual moment! For sure, his stories seem to suggest there is no doubt that he has a paranormal connection to the world. The possibility that his dreams synchronicities might be due to subconscious pattern recognition and prediction is never acknowledged. But I'm trying to get through this book with this attitude, that is, without trying to understand how synchronicities might come about logically (leaving my sceptic at home) but instead focusing on the otherness of dreaming. Dreaming and daydreaming may be active (it's my imagination. I manifest them) but also passive (I experience the dream as it is manifested by my subconscious and psyche). For the purpose of this book, I'm trying to treat my psyche as other. So yes, my active daydreaming is active... but I'm particularly interested in what arises without my intent. I want to feel the otherness of my imagination. "scanning the psychic field." I'm treating the light magic as a subtle and vague intent. Once I scanned something, that is, once an image arises in my mind, I might bring my attention to it passively, receptively. And eventually, I might light it (subtly, vaguely, intending goodness to it). I find it pretty easy to observe images manifest themselves. What I find challenging is about the "communicating with spirits."

      I find it particularly difficult to hear thoughts (arising spontaneously, perceived as other). That is, I find it easy to observe thoughts arise and go in my mind but I perceive them as my own thoughts. I perceive myself thinking them. But I'm trying to get that experience of perceiving thoughts, messages, voices coming from my psyche as I do with images. As of yet, I can only experience this soon before or after sleep.

      Soon after my last post, I tried again and saw a porcelain clown. I waited, receptive to listen to him. But he never spoke. In fact, after a while, he just brought a finger to his mouth in a "shhh" gesture. I tried at different times. It's just been a diverse parade of silent characters. And they started to exhibit the pattern of bringing their index finger to their mouth. They are silent. I'm patient so I decided to interpret the "shhh" gesture as "be patient, quiet for now. We will speak later."

      In the meantime, I decided to use the "stairway exercise" in this endeavor. Except, I removed the space part. It's just an endless spiral staircase. I climb it, step by step. It's simple, repetitive. Everything is white. Until it's not. In honour of the "shhh" silence, I silently climb the steps, observing. And sometimes the stairs lead to rooms and I just search for a new set of stairs to keep climbing. When an image arise, I observe it, and then proceed to climbing. Sometimes use light magic to... lighten the mood.

      Last time I went up the stairs, I saw a red blur pass me by as I climbed. It passed by quickly but I decided to focus my attention to it. It passed me by from upstairs going downstairs over and over. By then, it was a red medieval lion mask. I listened for it to say something but it didn't. Just kept passing by. Eventually, it was a red sun with a face. And then a big red lion monster. And then nothing. Never spoke.

      So, for now, I decided to use this silence to my advantage.

      You know, when we go through past discussions over and over again in our mind. There's a few people for whom I have this sense that I need to justify myself to in my mind. And I replay past or future conversations with them. This happens instinctively. But, I perceive both my interlocuter's words and my words as being my thoughts. I'm playing both parts. Well, now, I put myself in those scenarios but really just listen to the other person, waiting for them to speak instead of me filling in. And they stay silent. Because this felt a bit out of my control before, I thought they would be chattier. But turns out, I'm really struggling to imagine someone else speaking. I can only imagine myself speaking. So, I guess, I can now silence anybody in my mind by just really listening to them.

      And I'm just on page 50
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 06-26-2021 at 05:18 AM.
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      I have tried some of the exercises casually so far and the experiences have been entertaining, and interesting. For example, while reading about the "ascent to the masters" and the "exploring of the inner temple" I engaged casually with some weak visualisations and found my dog with me again (having first appeared here, a few days ago) and this time whenever I encountered any of the character archetypes in a manner like what was described in the book, my dog would attack them. I felt content with this, I guess because it's an expression of both repressed aggression but also defiance.

      To me this has felt important, because I found myself not particularly enjoying the "Paleopsych" chapter, although in retrospect it did have some interesting ideas. I might get into why I didn't like it so much at some point...

      In any case, the main importance for me was that it prompted some non-conscious imagery to express some of my disagreement with some ideas, not only ideas mentioned by the book, but ideas I've considered myself. In a way, it's a relief because it suggests that my non-conscious mind doesn't have sabotaging intents towards the more "conscious" parts, something I've had some doubts about in the past and given some thought to. In the last year or two I've had my sub-conscious really try to motivate my conscious willpower forward.

      You know, I have really wanted to finish reading this and still haven't. I thought I was going to be so turned off from reading after that chapter, but the chapters that followed have actually been interesting to read and I'm almost at exactly halfway into the book now and I'm actually quite enjoying this part, which I will probably be re-reading sooner rather than later.

      I wanted to comment more but it's been a long day and I just wanted to report some progress on my reading so far.
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    21. #21
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      I heard about this great author...I might check it out
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      I got the free audio book and heard chapter 1, so far great content! Have to catch up with some of ya'll posts, I see great insights from everyone!
      I even recalled few segments from last night dreams related to ancestry, offerings and lots of symbols!
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      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      I have tried some of the exercises casually so far and the experiences have been entertaining, and interesting. For example, while reading about the "ascent to the masters" and the "exploring of the inner temple" I engaged casually with some weak visualisations and found my dog with me again (having first appeared here, a few days ago) and this time whenever I encountered any of the character archetypes in a manner like what was described in the book, my dog would attack them. I felt content with this, I guess because it's an expression of both repressed aggression but also defiance.

      To me this has felt important, because I found myself not particularly enjoying the "Paleopsych" chapter, although in retrospect it did have some interesting ideas. I might get into why I didn't like it so much at some point...

      In any case, the main importance for me was that it prompted some non-conscious imagery to express some of my disagreement with some ideas, not only ideas mentioned by the book, but ideas I've considered myself. In a way, it's a relief because it suggests that my non-conscious mind doesn't have sabotaging intents towards the more "conscious" parts, something I've had some doubts about in the past and given some thought to. In the last year or two I've had my sub-conscious really try to motivate my conscious willpower forward.

      You know, I have really wanted to finish reading this and still haven't. I thought I was going to be so turned off from reading after that chapter, but the chapters that followed have actually been interesting to read and I'm almost at exactly halfway into the book now and I'm actually quite enjoying this part, which I will probably be re-reading sooner rather than later.

      I wanted to comment more but it's been a long day and I just wanted to report some progress on my reading so far.
      Right, the paleopsych section was probably more problematic because it focused less on subjective experience. Instead it tried to explain the metaphysics of the world, somewhat like the fictional author of Sageous' Simply Pay Attention.

      There are two things I found interesting about the paleopsych section still.
      1. The idea that the body is within consciousness instead of consciousness being located inside the body. In my own worldview (so not, in the real world, but instead how I imagine the world to be, for what that's worth), consciousness is not an emergent result of the physical world. I imagine consciousness is a fundamental entity that's timeless and spaceless. Always present, everywhere. I really sort of mostly believe there is only one. And that we experience our consciousness as separate not because it is separate but because our bodies are separate and consciousness experiences the subjective experience of all bodies simultaneously and so it therefore experiences this separateness. So, Moss' first principle of astral projection that consciousness can move out of the body simply because it is not in the body to begin with but merely happens to be focused on the body generally aligns with my own worldview. However, I can't reconcile that in my worldview, the conclusion is not the same. While I also believe consciousness is not inside the body but that it's attention is on my body... I also believe it's simultaneously and infinitely already focused elsewhere. I just can't experience it from the perspective of my body here... But consciousness is experiencing all of this in all the other bodies. I don't know what it would mean to me if consciousness were to astral project... Because it's always the case already... But it's not from my body's perspective so it's not accessible. For Consciousness' attention to experiences outside of my body to be continuous with my experience inside this body... how could that be done?

      I've been thinking a bit more about Sageous' ideas of the soul as an aggregation of experiences that we build up over life (also described in Simply Pay Attention). This idea of the soul as a creation instead of an innate unchanging permanent entity. And I feel like this could reconcile my and Moss' view. While I struggle to imagine consciousness as an emergent quality of the physical world, I can more easily agree to "souls" as an emergent quality of consciousness. What if consciousness is the omnipresent subjective entity, but that through it's different bodies experiences, something more is created. The soul aggregate that Sageous suggested. And whatever this creation is, perhaps, it can account for continuous experience out of the body and back. Well, I'm not sure how exactly, but it seems like a fun idea.

      2. Moss discusses something that I've seen in other worldviews. This idea that there is a difference between the mind, the soul, and the spirit. I really don't get it, but it's interesting to me, that our self is divided in all these categories. Again, it's making me think back to how I reconciled my worldview with Moss' using Sageous' : the mind refers to our subjective experience in the body, the soul refers to some continuous, creation that is less strictly defined by one body, the spirit refers to the divine consciousness that is omnipresent and the source of all soul, that experiences all bodies.

      Anyway, that was the extent of my playful metaphysics session while reading the paleopsych.

      ___________


      Clearly, I've made it past the Twilight exercises of the book and I'm now in the Astral exercises. This means, my active daydreaming activities won't cut it. As I progress through the book, I really ought to make it to the Astral. Literally if it is a place or figuratively, otherwise. While dreams are set in subjective dreamscapes, these dreamscapes are still structured by our psyches, and I want to go to that place that my mind identifies as the astral. To help me in that quest, I will alternate by viewing this quest from these two different perspectives: 1. with little thought, simply focused on the idea of going to the astral without thinking much about what it means to me. 2. Interpreting astral projection as a continuous experience with my created aggregate of thought form energy that is not so strictly attached to my body, the metaphysical theory from above. It doesn't matter whether it's true or not. I want to see how this worldview will affect my experience.

      I feel like I have quite a lot of dream goals right now, but I'm prioritizing completing the superhero tasks and going to the Astral, in particular, I will go to that clocktower place.

      I want to add that that I find it interesting that while there is a lot of talk about the astral (on Dreamviews, in the wider dreamer community, in my life), it's not something I would have come up with myself. While I pay close attention to the patterns in my dreams, I haven't found that any of the astral dream patterns often discussed are very present in my own dreams.

      For example, I was watching this movie "Long Day's Journey into Night" by Bi gan. It's a long slow movie but I really liked it. It is about a man looking for a long lost lover. Kind of a mystery, detective story, where there's some flashbacks and he investigates to find her. But most of the movie (the beginning and the second half) is a dream. And he begins the movie by saying that this lover is a dream sign and he knows he's dreaming when he sees her. And such a dream is called an out-of-body experience (OBE). So, in the first sentence he pretty much says OBE = Lucid dreaming. And it made me think, there are so many people for whom the OBE experience is an iconic lucid dreaming experience. It's just not for me. I've had tons of lucid dreams but I've never particularly felt the OBE. I did sometimes... Like once, I died, and it felt like an OBE, as I thought I was experiencing life after the death of my body. But well, that's what it was. A dream about dying and not being dead.

      I'm thinking maybe it's very common for other people to experience feeling that they're leaving their body and seeing their body in bed... And that's why they talk about OBE a lot. Like, authority and dream police is a pattern a lot of people talk about and that I experience as well. But we're not all the same and I guess OBE is not an experience I have. Astral dreams might be the same. I've definitely had a few dreams that felt like interactions with the astral. I've posted one in my dream journal here where I felt like the guardians of the astral told me they were keeping me out of the astral lest I cause destruction because of my lack of control and lack of a clear mind. And that once my mind was clearer and my power was controlled, I could be allowed in. So sure, I've had some of those dreams. But I've also had dreams where people talk to me with such apparent wisdom. In those lucid dreams, I've felt perhaps those DC could be entities of their own. But upon waking up, I realize it's all nonsense. So I know my mind can simulate this feeling of interacting with external entities. So who knows. But watching Bi Gan's movie made me realize maybe OBEs and Astral dreams are just other people dreams that don't really resonate with me for some reason. Who knows.

      Anyway, I've been writing a lot. For this astral quest to be continuous with my previous dreams, I guess I'll also have to reflect on how I can show my mind is now clear enough and my power controlled enough for me to find admittance into the astral, or into the clocktower at least.

      Oh, and to add some other thoughts about Bi Gan's movie. In the end, as the dream concludes, it's a dream. So there is not an objective resolution of finding the lover. But instead, there is a resolution of a dream reaching a cathartic end that resonates with the past experiences. I think there's something meaningful in there about dream quests.
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 07-07-2021 at 08:06 AM.
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      I finished reading the book today, surprising myself. I was expecting to slog through the last bits over a week or two but ended up becoming engrossed reading the last fifty or so pages in one go.

      There are aspects about the author's writing and his reports that I do not particularly appreciate, as I mentioned before already anyway, so I don't think that's worth repeating. In all honesty, despite remaining the pragmatic sceptic, I primarily found a lot of ideas in the latter third of the book to be quite agreeable.

      I too found that the book as a whole had an element of familiarity that I associated with some of what I recall reading in Sageous' book that we've read here so far, more specifically in regards to concepts of time and space and overlapping existence. Regardless of whatever validity I personally give the recounted stories on Otherworldly encounters, I think that there was a genuine concern from the author about leaving people with the "right" feeling in terms of moving on and acceptance. On a similar topic, I also appreciated his safeguarding view on Karmic beliefs, because it clashes in a positive way with the ones I've encountered (primarily in my family) regarding past lives and their debts and so on.

      One thing I did really appreciate was the way that, regardless, he was able to get me "visually" invested with his descriptions and I did quite like the creativity around the exercises put forward throughout the book. I also liked how he jumped between different cultural examples, especially because I was not familiar with some of them and I think this feeds back into the provided exercises in an interesting way. His descriptions and manner of writing suggest to me a lot of "open-endedness" on his part, which I personally find value in because on the opposite end, I dislike being left with a crystallised or solid visual idea from a description; there's a certain vague-specificity to be appreciated.
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      Unfortunately the edit window has expired and I want to add some thoughts to my previous post. They are somewhat tangent and weren't even very formed at the time when I posted before.



      Something that took me a little by surprise, was reading Moss mentioning Rollo May's "The Courage to Create", a book I acquired only one year ago. I have read that book fully, once so far, and have returned to parts of it randomly, at times - including this week. Honestly, I have thought of suggesting this book to the lucid dreaming book club, but unfortunately, while I personally think that dreaming is topical within the book, it does not really relate directly to the sense of lucidity whilst dreaming, which is why I have not suggested it to the club.

      In any case, what strikes me when thinking about that book and this one is that one could argue there is a greater discussion at work in literature and otherwise, surrounding exploration of the Self and its role in our age. I think all the more so as many of us exist in societies and as part of systems where we can easily feel "powerless", i.e. unrecognised, unacknowledged, within the bigger collective of minds that often seems to go in a direction different from the one that we may ourselves find to be agreeable.

      While much has changed in recent decades regarding repression of thought and lifestyle, the general tone of things to me still feels much the same as it did, in many ways. For example many people may now feel comfortable about openness regarding their sexuality but I feel that in reality there is only just enough widespread acceptance - through law and other civil mechanisms - that actually, it may be that people feel safe that aggressors against them will be prosecuted or dealt with through law in some way, not necessarily a feeling of actual safety in being open, i.e. the feeling that one won't be attacked, for being open. Perhaps this is simply my view when I am feeling particularly pessimistic and ironically I find myself thinking about the thread on pessimist thought, now.

      I feel I must have had a daydream because I could swear there to be a paragraph in May's book that really made me think about repression and its role in creativity and exploration of Self. This seemingly imagined paragraph, suggested to me that there is still a large repression of thought that manifests itself in contemporary society through extremes, such as violence. And on the other hand, a real paragraph in the book makes a distinction that a person of virtue might have the ability to choose their passions rather than letting their passions choose the person.

      It made me think of times in recent years when I have seen extremes portrayed in artistic work, artistic work that on some levels I found myself thinking to be distasteful. In all honesty, I imagine not many people encounter this in their lives. This may be a product of me trying to find artwork that makes for interesting reference or that is otherwise outside my comfort zone. Maybe a reminder of how there is so much in terms of personal exploration that is subjective, especially when it is projected outwards through some medium, for others to see.

      Personally, I don't think that externalising extreme feelings should necessarily be stigmatised, because I recognise that the feelings are valid to the person feeling them, but I do wonder why I see extremes (mostly relating to violence or repressed feelings in some way) come up as they do in artistic mediums. How is it that an apparently open society, which allows for these extremes to be portrayed, still seems to output so much culture that borders on extreme? In my mind, openness should breed more tame and social behaviour (I mean this in a positive way, unrelated to thought control, to be clear), it should not be breeding more extreme or partisan behaviour but somehow seems to be.

      In this regard, I think there's some praise for Robert Moss again, because of the way that positive growth is apparently almost paramount to him, versus all of these; non-positive, destructive or self-containing growth. Moss and May have this in common, I think, in that they (in my mind) want to nurture very positive traits in others, traits that are non-destructive for others' lives in the long run. And those parts that are destructive, can be explored too, primarily on an internal level.

      Moss encourages the aspect of confronting fears and indeed, death, despite the fact that it's largely possible to ignore said fears, something made evident within the context of Self-exploration and dreaming by the fact that sometimes people choose to use lucidity to escape rather than to confront or integrate. Both authors do encourage facing and possibly working with the unsavoury or unwanted aspects of ourselves in order to bring forward a different understanding about the whole of Self, possibly integrating those aspects in a way that benefits us and others.



      The other tangent of thought I had on the book was that at some point near the end, a certain creation myth is mentioned and reading its description I thought that it really related very closely to a reproduction I have of an unknown painting, which depicts what seems to be a tribal creation myth. I was disappointed to find that the cave paintings referred to by the description had nothing to do with the reproduction I have here at home, but it did get me to think about it in a way I hadn't thought of before.

      Fairly frequent mention of myths and other cultural references, as I mentioned in my previous post, I think is a point to be highlighted in the book because it brings about Symbolism to normal and common people in a way that is not orderly and neat. Orderly and neat can be quite boring to most people, I think. And the book does so in a way that comes through feeling and storytelling, a different aspect than what I'm used to for Symbolism but one that I think has a lot of value because it really is closer to the original and more natural way of approaching the subject.
      Last edited by DarkestDarkness; 07-16-2021 at 06:19 PM. Reason: clarity
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