Read Dreaming While Awake: Techniques for 24-Hour Lucid Dreaming by Arnold Mindell Free Online
Book Title: Dreaming While Awake: Techniques for 24-Hour Lucid Dreaming|
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Reader ratings: 5.5
The author of the book: Arnold Mindell
Edition: Hampton Roads Publishing Company
Date of issue: October 1st 2000
ISBN 13: 9781571741875
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.57 MB
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I read this book via the suggestion of a Facebook friend (thanks Nathan!). The core concept of this book is to encourage you to develop your ability to experience lucid dreaming 24 hours a day. To people who are heavily tied to objective logic, this book is completely irrational and does nothing but suggest that people develop inner delusions. I wouldn't recommend it to Ayn Rand fans for example. But to those who are willing to forgo logic and perhaps even language, and move into the realm of feelings and emotions, this book is quite interesting.
On the surface the book reads like many other new age self help books. Mindell points to many non-western cultures and how the most important part of reality is the dream world. Aborigines, Buddhists, various native American tribes and many eastern cultures, all have some belief system that can roughly be translated to represent a dream or dreamlike space from which reality arises. Although he would like to dispense with east vs. west, it's a handy set of terms to discuss the cultural differences that cause westerners to de-emphasize or marginalize (his preferred term) our dream in waking life.
We've all done it, fleeting and irrational thoughts of all sorts enter our consciousness every day and we discard them as illogical or having no basis in reality. It's what our culture rather strongly encourages us to do. Say, you're walking along and you get a strong feeling that something bad is going to happen, but you have no logical reason for thinking that. You try to suppress it or forget it. Five minutes later you find out that something bad did happen within that time frame. This is part of what Mindell refers to as the dream. Many times these dreams during the day are "non-verbalizable" (his term). That is to say, you can't really describe them with words or speech. At least not in any way that others would be able to take in and relate to.
Going further, Mindell suggests that we've fooled ourselves into focusing on the "little I" instead of the "big I". We are too concerned about our individual selves that interact with the concrete happenings and objects around us when we're awake. He refers to the reality that we all perceive as being real as "consensus reality" or CR for short. Instead, we should learn to be the "big I" which is your relationship to everything else in the universe. That is, we are the force between every person, animal, object, star, etc... (I'm sure I'll lose some people at this point because it is, frankly, a very far-fetched notion. But I'm still willing to work with the idea myself, so I pressed on)
As you become more aware of your "big I" and your connection to everything else, your perspective shifts. You are no longer the active participant in reality. One example of this he uses is the simple act of sweeping the floor. You are no longer moving the broom and sweeping the floor. Instead the broom is moving you. It becomes a dance in which the dirt is swept away. You ARE the broom. The broom is you. There is no longer any separation. This really is a very difficult concept to pass along the experience from without sounding a little crazy. I don't blame anyone for thinking it's flaky. But, it is still a very interesting mental exercise.
In each chapter, he adds successively more and more layers at which this kind of mental framework can be used to resolve problems. First at the level of the little and big "I". Then he extends that into your relationships with those who are close to you. Following that he moves up the chain to groups (employers, causes, political parties). Finally ending with the world itself and how each nation relates to another. In each case he takes what he's spoken about in the previous levels and adds a little to the ideas so they work at larger scales.
As I read the book, I tried shifting my perspective as he suggested. It was very interesting and quite relaxing. But even more startling was that sometimes it would lead me to better performance in what ever task I was engaged in. I don't have any scientific proof of that, but I did see definite differences. This comes as no surprise to me because I've been experimenting for decades with the effect that changes in mental perspective have on my relationship to reality. This is part of what I see in his ideas, a simple change in perspective that removes your consciousness from CR and places it in the dream time.
I've developed my own notion as to what he's tapping into and it has nothing to do with anything that resembles mysticism. The key points he mentioned which resonated with some information I read in another book called Emotional Intelligence are that the dream field that is the "big I" is non-verbalizable and lacks any concept of time. There is one part of the human brain that lacks language and a concept of time and it happens to be the part of the brain that is fully formed at birth: the amygdala. This is the main reason that most people have no memories of being born or being a newborn or even the first few years of life. There is no language at that point in time. But the amygdala still has it's own set of language and time free memories. I believe that what he's really encouraging people to do is to bridge the communication gap between your "reptile brain" and your logical "conscious" brain. It's yet another form of being "whole brained".
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