In my life I have probably had 50 people tell me that if you are falling in a dream and hit the ground you will die in real life. I always ask these people how they know this to be true and they almost always reply that they "heard it somewhere.” Well let me tell you, it’s simply not true.
How do I know? I’ve done it. A lot. Actually, back in grad school I began having a series of dream with vampires chasing me. No not the lame Twilight teeny-bopper vampires – some really mean ones who wanted to kill me. I have no idea why I had these nightmares - my guess is that I was really stressed out about my coursework.
Normally, the vampires would chase me in my dreams and would annihilate everyone around me. There would be some semblance of a plot going on but the end result was the same… everyone died and then it was just me left. The vampires would come for me and just as they were about to attack me, I’d always wake up.
This happened over and over and over. Until one night, while running from the vampires I spotted a cliff in my dream. Now I had fallen in my dreams many times but I had never hit the ground before. I would, like when the vampires attacked, always wake up just before impact. But for some reason, in this dream when the vampires chased me I went straight for the cliff – and I jumped off.
I started falling faster and faster. But mid-way through the fall I realized that I was dreaming – but I didn’t wake up. Instead I chose to hit the ground. After all, I at that point knew that I couldn’t die. I hit the ground very hard and dust rose in a puff all around me. I then got right up and remember looking up at the vampires on top of the cliff looking down at me. I was safe.
So, as it happened, every night as I had the vampire dream over and over – I would mid dream realize that it was a dream and find my way out of whatever the specifics of the current predicament was that I was in.
And, after a while I got tired of running, so I started fighting back. I would drive stakes through the hearts of the vampires (cliché, I know) saving my friends and then we’d start off on other adventure.
Eventually, the vampires went away altogether and as I entered my dreams I would recognize immediately that I was dreaming and began to transform the dreams around me, creating environments and situations that were favorable. If the dream started to take a “wrong turn” I would simply interrupt the sequence and formulate a new path. This was happening virtually every night. I really started looking forward to going to sleep at night.
As it so happened, I later enrolled in a sociology class with Dr. Richard Fenn and the topic of dreaming came up in class. I explained to Dr. Fenn what I had been experiencing and he seemed fascinated by this. He posited that this might seriously be some form of “spiritual enlightenment” that I was experiencing. This was intriguing to me mostly because, while God has certainly blessed me and has helped me to do things outside of my own ability or power, I tend to think of myself as a pretty mediocre human being.
I guess Dr. Fenn’s accuracy in such a statement all depends on how we want to define “spiritual enlightenment”. If by this we mean that I was somehow tapping into an unusual or under-utilized ability that human beings have then I was certainly being enlightened to such an ability. Additionally, the capacity to create (environments and situations) that I was experiencing reminds me of a movie that I would later see and vividly relate to titled - [What Dreams May Come](
I still lucid dream, but not all the time like I use to. I have found that several things seem to induce/prevent such a state.
First, I think I only lucid dream when I am in REM sleep and I tend to go into REM sleep more often when I sleep on my stomach. This seems to be the case because when I sleep on my stomach I will often times put my arms under my chest or pillow and when I wake up my arms are completely numb – sometimes unmovable because – the blood has been forced out of them. I postulate that when this happens the extra blood somehow increases my ability to go into a REM state.
I base this not on any tested science, only via experience (observational science), but it seems that almost 100% of the time that I come out of a lucid dreaming state, my arms are numb and I have been in a deep sleep.
Second, I tend to go into REM sleep in the morning just before and after the sun rises. This may sound strange but I can literally feel the pressure increase in my forehead as the Sun comes up. When I awake, the blood comes back into my arms and the pressure decreases in my sinus region.
Third, because I have been prone to sinus infections over the years I now take a prescribed nasal spray before I go to bed during heightened allergy seasons. I never lucid dream when I use the nasal spray which seems to be a result of relieved sinus pressure.
So all this is like a full on double rainbow, right? What does this mean?
I don’t know for sure, but for me it indicates that our bodies certainly have amazing abilities and potential that we have yet to fully grasp. These experiences for me have further solidified my belief that there is certainly more to life than meets the eye. When I can experience a whole creative/alternative reality that looks, sounds, smells and feels real, while I am sleeping in my current one, it helps to remind me that God’s creation is layers deep with complexity and I am just still on the very front end of its exploration.
Reality Changing Observations:
Q1. Why do you think humans dream?
Q2. If you could learn to regularly lucid dream would you want to and why?
Q3. What value, if any, do you think having control over our dreams provides people?