I’ve been meditating for about 5 years. I am able to remain for long stretches in what seems like a deep place within. Thoughts, feelings, and visions manifest and then dissipate, like rainfall causing ripples in a still pond. My awareness is clear and spacious.
But there are obstacles. For example, an impulse will arise and I will have a reaction. I will not attach to the impulse or the reaction, but the pattern is there, endlessly revolving like the Earth around the Sun.
The mind and psyche is in a perpetual process of identification. We rely on this process to function. It’s how we recognize faces, symbols, language, etc. This is normal. This is the basis of the ego, and it can never disappear.
Most people live inside this prison until they are dead. For some, light shines through the prison bars and they glimpse what is truly Real.
But this is usually a temporary state.
How to turn a temporary state into a permanent one?
To see the prison bars as they really are – translucent, empty, without substance?
Lately I’ve seen a few posts on lucid dreaming. I also asked Samsaran to provide some insight into his own experiences with it, which he kindly shared.
My dreams have varying degrees of lucidity. For example, the other night I dreamed a friend of mine was very angry with my father. My friend was screaming, whereas my father seemed dumbfounded and slightly amused.
So I spoke calmly to my friend, and tried to explain my father’s point of view (whatever it was). As I continued to speak, the voice in my head grew stronger and more coherent. Eventually I became fully conscious of myself talking inside the dream. I began to choose my words carefully, as I would if I were speaking to someone in “real life” (as I am right now typing these words).
In average dreams, you aren’t really aware that you’re dreaming. You only become aware of the dream after you wake up and recall fragments of it. Then you piece together those fragments, and most certainly alter the dream, or invent a supporting narrative.
In my most recent lucid dream, I wasn’t aware that I was dreaming, but I was aware that I was formulating thoughts. I would consider that an average lucid dream.
Lucid dreaming a natural outcome of consciousness expansion. You’re becoming aware of a mind state typically withheld by the unconscious.
Whether I believe it has any significance - that remains to be seen.
This morning I was abiding in a deep state of absorption when suddenly a loud crash emerged from the street just outside my window. As the sound reached my ears I felt such a jolt of terror!
Instead of allowing habitual reactions to kick in – “What was that?!”; a gasp; quickened breathing; a desire to move past the unpleasant feelings – I steered directly into the unpleasant feeling, inhabiting it as completely as I could. This process continued for about a minute, maybe more, uncovering deeper and deeper layers of the feeling.
Gradually my awareness moved away from the feelings and began fueling my analytical thoughts on the matter. The spell had passed, and there I was, again snagged in the web of habit.
Paraphrased from WIKI:
This was a term coined by Roman Roland and popularized by Freud to criticize the psychological feeling of religion, the “oceanic” feeling of limitlessness. According to Roland, this feeling is the source of all religious energy which permeates in various religious systems. It is a sensation of an indissoluble bond, as of being connected to the external world in its integral form. This feeling is an entirely subjective fact and is not an article of faith.
Freud argues that the “oceanic feeling” is the preserved “primitive ego feeling” from infancy. The infant has no concept of “self” and considers the breast (for example) to be part of itself. The ego, in contrast, comes into existence when the breast is taken away, and involves the infant’s recognition that it is separate from the mother’s breast, and therefore, other persons exist.
Presence gives a sense of immediacy, of fullness, or hereness. It suffuses the experience, pervades and fills it, so that our awareness, our consciousness, is not only observing from a removed place but also from within it.
It is as though our nerve endings were inside the experience, outside the experience, and in between; they are everywhere and feeling the experience in all its possibilities.
If we have that kind of awareness, then we recognize that to be aware of something is not just a function, and it is not just a capacity. The awareness, in fact, is our essential presence, our hereness, our substantiality.
|—||From the section called “Indivisible True Nature” in The Unfolding Now by A.H. Almaas|
Part of this podcast is about test pilots being subjected to up to 12 Gs of force. To give you an idea of what that’s like – normally on roller coasters we are subjected to 2 Gs. It’s hard to imagine what it’s like to feel 6 times that amount of pressure.
Actually the test pilots experience different stages of blackout – first something called a “gray out” where everything gets hazy, next they experience tunnel vision, then they blackout with consciousness. Finally, they blackout with complete unconsciousness. As the G forces increase, the blood leaves the brain and pools mostly in the abdomen. During these blackouts, some of the subjects reported strange phenomena – visions called “dreamlets”, the well-known “white light at the end of the tunnel”, and various out-of-body experiences. One subject said that after the tests, as he walked down the hall to the recovery area, his perception hovered several feet above himself. This effect lasted for several minutes after regaining consciousness.
The program drew no conclusions on these phenomena, and merely said, “The brain does strange things to create meaning when it loses connection to the body.”