My Lucid Nightmares and Lucid Dreaming Stories
A Brief Summary of Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreaming is getting more and more attention these days. If you're reading this, I'm assuming you probably know something about it. Just in case you don't, here's a quick summary. In a lucid dream, the dreamer is able to realize, during their dream, that they are having a dream. By practicing certain techniques, a person can start to lucid dream frequently. With more practice, a person can then learn to control almost every aspect of these dreams, creating their dream-world however they like.
I can personally attest that the power of lucid dreaming is indeed amazing. The experience itself can be more enjoyable than many things, particularly if you are the type of person who would enjoy flying like a bird or having sex with whomever you wish, or having sex with whomever you wish while in the process of flying like superman/superwoman. However, my dreaming story also had a different, darker side. I feel it my duty to offer a word of warning.
Lucid Nightmares Are Not Unstoppable
Please note that my frightening lucid experiences when I was young probably would not have happened if it weren't due to the facts that in my youth I had an anxious personality and was ill-equipped to encounter the subconscious in so direct a manner. I believe that, if caution is exercised, lucid dreams can be put to many good uses, and can potentially benefit humanity in many ways. In fact, I myself have been able to have amazing mystical/transcendent experiences in lucid dreams in the past few years. I do not, therefore, intend for the frightening lucid experiences that I am about to describe to discourage people from practicing lucid dreaming. I'll describe these experiences just to caution people to practice it for the right reasons, and to be cautious when delving into these layers of the mind. I also want to share my experiences so that others who are suffering from terrifying lucid dreams can know that they are not alone in having these, and can understand why they happen. I also want to comfort such people by assuring them that I have only pleasant lucid dreams now, so it really is possible to stop having lucid nightmares and begin enjoying lucid dreams.
Before the Lucid Nightmares
The world of dreams is a doorway into your subconscious mind. I even consider it to be a potential doorway into spiritual realms. However, the thing about your subconscious that you will do well to remember is that it is rather alien territory to your conscious mind, and may well contain things that will confuse or terrify your conscious mind.
Here's my story. When I was about ten or eleven years old, I thought up the notion of learning to know when I was dreaming. I'd experienced a few naturally occurring lucid dreams, as many people have, and I thought, "What if I could learn to do that all the time?" I had never yet heard the term "lucid dream" or read anything on the subject. It was just an idea that popped into a child's head. Well, I was a child who had a voracious appetite for knowledge, and whose favorite hangout spot was the public library. So I did my research, and I discovered that I wasn't the first person to think of learning how to control my dreams. I obtained a book on how to do that, and immediately began to practice its techniques with a vengeance.
I quickly developed the ability to lucid dream every night. At first, lucid dreaming was a dream come true. Every night, I would float up out of my body, up through my bedroom ceiling (looking down on my sleeping body), and then I would fly out over my neighborhood, through my town, and then anywhere in the world I wanted to go. I could change my entire landscape in the blink of an eye, or manifest any object or person I thought of.
Enter the Red Monkey
At this point, I want my reader to do one thing for me: do not think of a red monkey. If you are like me, chances are you just thought of a red monkey. That's how the mind works. Now if you had been dreaming, and had thought of that same red monkey, that monkey would have become a real part of your dream. And if instead of thinking of a monkey, you think of, say, a demon... well, you have the makings of a bad lucid dream. Once scary lucid dreams begin, it can become impossible to bring them under control.
My Terrifying Lucid Experiences Begin
About a week or two after I started regularly making myself lucid dream, my mind began to unwillingly go to dark places while I was in lucid dreams. After the first time this happened, with fearful results, I could no longer stop it from happening. The simple reason for this is that I would go to sleep afraid that I might have more lucid nightmares, and this very fear planted all the seed-thoughts needed to make the experience repeat itself. What is more, I was unable to stop lucid dreaming. I no longer had to try to lucid dream, or practice any techniques to make it happen. It happened naturally, although I no longer wanted it to. I would fall asleep, begin to dream, and immediately know that I was dreaming. Everything would go fine for a while, then something would happen. The sky would turn red, and Christ was returning to condemn me to hell eternally for my sins. Demons appeared at my back, in close pursuit. Terrified, I would wake up in my bedroom in a cold sweat. Then I'd feel relieved. It was only a dream. "This time," I would think, "I'm sure that I'm awake".
But then my bedroom window would smash inwards, sending in a rain of shattered glass. Someone was coming in through the window with a long knife. He'd waste no time in rushing over to where I was lying, paralyzed, helpless. As I'd begin to feel the very real pain of him stabbing me over and over, I would scream and try to shake free. I'd close my eyes tightly. And then I would wake up. Or so I thought. But it would only be the beginning of another scary lucid experience. This would happen over and over again, lasting all night.
My lucid nightmares lasted for a couple of weeks, and then they slowly went away. I stopped becoming lucid in my dreams. I think that this happened because my subconscious mind finally registered the fact that I no longer wanted to lucid dream.
Between fifteen and twenty years later, I started to slowly explore lucid dreaming again. This time it was different. For one thing, I no longer wanted to lucid dream just so I could fly around and have a lot of sex. I was more interested in lucid dreams for the sake of my own psychological growth and spiritual transformation. Also, over the years I had worked through most of my anxiety disorders and fears. I had matured. I'd already begun the process of spiritual development, and that had changed me radically. I was no longer a fearful person, and so my lucid dreams as an adult turned out to provide me with some of the spiritual learning that I sought from them. I now have quite a few lucid dreaming stories that are amazing, mystical, and awe-inspiring. But I think I will save those stories for another article, as I feel that this article has already explored the things I wanted it to.
To all you dreamers and would-be dreamers out there, I say, "Keep on dreaming, but dream for the all the best reasons". I believe that your dreams will lead you along bright paths if you hold on to that advice.
Questions & Answers
Wow, your Lucid Dream story is very interesting! Would you say that it is alright to try it if we are curious to do so, or would you recommend for us to stay away from it?
Thank you. First, I am not a licensed mental health professional, so I am not giving any kind of mental health-related or medical advice here. Consider everything I say here as for entertainment only. That being said, I think that a person should use caution when it comes to exploring as deeply into the mind as lucid dreaming allows one to do. What I mean is that a person should ask themselves how well they really know themselves, and more importantly, how well have they come to make peace with themselves. The deeper levels of the mind contain things that, by waking-consciousness standards, are wild, primitive, and unruly. Are you willing and able to see those aspects of yourself? Are you prepared to accept those parts of yourself, or have you already done a lot of work towards doing so?
Also, if you deal with a great deal of anxiety during your waking life, I would especially advise caution. If that is the case, I would suggest that one first explore ways to find more inner peace while one is awake, rather than venture too deeply into mental spaces that one barely knows. For example, I would suggest learning how to meditate and practice mindfulness, and to establish a daily habit of doing such things until they become a natural part of one's waking life. If, however, you feel that you have a lot of peacefulness in your day-to-day life already (particularly if that peace is the result of a consistent spiritual/mental discipline), and that you are willing to look at and embrace the wilder parts of yourself that exist beneath the surface (or you have already done so to a considerable extent), then I would say that the risks involved in deeper exploration are much less, and that they might be outweighed by the potential benefits of personal and spiritual growth that can be accomplished through a spiritual lucid dreaming practice. But only you should be the judge of if you think you are ready, or if you think the risks for you are smaller than the potential benefits. This is because, first of all, hopefully you know yourself and your particular situation much better than I do, and second (and more importantly), you will be the one who will face the outcome, whether that is positive or negative.Helpful 7
© 2010 Justin Aptaker