As you can see from our attendance today, this is a compelling topic, and teaches us something very fundamental about who we are psychologically. The study of dreams teaches us about ourselves, and any person who is invested in exploring their dreams, awakening their potential, wants to discover something more, perhaps about humanity, or more importantly, about divinity, the divine, the truth.
Dreams teach us something about how we live in our daily life, who we are fundamentally, whether it be illusory, mistaken, confused, or perhaps illuminated, profound, spiritual.
Astral Projection, Lucid Dreaming, and Awakening
It is important to reflect on what exactly lucid dreams are. Some people confuse lucid dreaming with astral projection. An astral projection is when we physically go to bed and we as a soul, as a psyche, depart, enter to the internal dimensions, the realities of life and the mysteries of the divine, beyond the confines of the body.
As we have explained in this course, all religious traditions teach about the realities of existence beyond mere physicality, beyond the senses, beyond the mind, the realities of the spirit. Every time we go to bed, we enter the world of dreams, but without awareness, cognizance of that process. Astra projection is to fall asleep and enter that state. But for most of us, this is not conscious. It is not real. It is not realized.
A lucid dream is merely having lucidity, clarity, depth, vibrancy in color, and profound, extensive awareness, a type of high resolution within our perception. That can happen in the middle of the night, perhaps spontaneously, and often happens without us even willing it.
Some of us may be here because we had a lucid dream that we couldn’t explain, but more importantly, we couldn’t initiate or sustain. There are techniques in order to, first, initiate the awakening of consciousness, and then, second, there are techniques to maintain that state. It is the purpose of this lecture to explain that, the practical tools, the need to strengthen that part of us that has the capacity to know these realities.
We like to be very specific with our definitions in relation to the language or the definition of dreams. A lucid dream, in conventional language, again, is a type of expansive awareness. However, our purpose in this school, particularly, is not to dream. A dream is an illusion, a fantasy, a mirage. A dream in itself is often the conjuration of our own subjective tendencies like fear. Perhaps we had a dream of being chased by an animal, and then we reflect on our daily life, and we find that there is perhaps a situation in which we feel agony. We feel fear. We feel uncertainty. There is a correlation between dreams and awakening, our daily life, and the dream yogi seeks to understand the connection between our psychological states at night and during the day. But, as we have been explaining in this course, we want to understand our dreams, how we are mistaken in our perception of life.
Perhaps in our daily state, we are filled with anger towards someone, a person, a situation, and that anger has its logic, its reasoning, its ideas. We have explained that these types of feelings and sentiments themselves are types of dreaming. We may be fantasizing about revenge. We feel resentment towards someone, and we have frustrations, and plans, that churn in the mind, conflicts, sufferings, and instead of looking at our particular situation in life instead, we dream. Our mind wanders. We are never really present with our states, our ways of being, with who we are.
Awakening is different.
It is good to have more resolution to our perceptions when we physically go to bed. We have a dream. We have more lucidity. It is very powerful. It is useful, but it doesn’t mean we are not asleep, psychologically speaking, that we are not interacting with an illusion. We know perhaps, as we go to bed physically, after a long day, we felt resentment for someone, we wake up, or perhaps, we become aware in a dream that we are killing someone. We have anger, or again, any type of negative emotion that can saturate our daily life and make us sour people. These are dreams. These are illusions.
We want to awaken, not to perceive our own mind reflected back at us, but to see reality, to see what is actually there. That is the purpose of this course, to awaken, to not merely perceive what we want, but rather what is.
How Do We Awaken to Reality?
So how do we awaken to reality, the realities of the dreaming state, the internal worlds?
We have touched on the first point: curtail negative thoughts, emotions, and actions.
The second is to conserve energy psychologically, emotionally, and physically.
We also want to energize the consciousness. We also want to conserve our force, but also exercise the faculties of the soul, our perception.
We also seek to connect with divinity, the Being, specifically through superior states and superior centers that we have explained in our lecture “How Do We Dream?”
There are also things to enact in our lives that can help us develop our ethical discipline, performing services for humanity. This this might seem strange in the context of a lecture on lucid dreaming, but it’s actually very profound when you think about it or talk about it.
We also can create vehicles within the internal words so that we can navigate effectively. Some people call this the astral body or the authentic vehicle of the soul. In Christianity, it is the wedding garment of the soul, and there are many traditions that teach about a superior kind of vehicle that can help you explore those realities.
Lastly, we seek to eliminate what we call the ego, defects, vices, and errors.
How to Conserve and Accumulate Energy
It is important to conserve energy. Psychologically, we have a determined amount of capital in a spiritual sense. When you wake up in the morning, you feel an amount of quality of energy to fulfill one’s daily obligations.
We spoke a lot about different centers of our psychology: we have an intellect, where we process thought. We have an emotional center, where we focus on the expression of sentiment. We have a motor center relating to our spine. We have instinct leading to our impulses, reactions. We also have our sexuality, and all of these centers in themselves have a deposit of energy. They are like a bank, but how we spend our money, in a spiritual sense, if you want to awaken to your dreams, you need energy.
Examine in your life: how do you waste energy in your intellect? Do you read too much? Do you debate, theorize, philosophize? Indulge in any fantasy in the mind, letting the mind wander, never being present, here and now? How do we spend our emotional capital? Do we feed it with anger, pride, resentment, impatience, negative emotion? Our modern society is glorifying these emotions, but we know from experience, after the moment of anger, we feel depleted.
The same with our motor energy, our vitality. Do we do too much exercise? Too many sports? Too many activities where we are always running around, never aware of our own body, our breathing, and our heart?
The same occurs with all of our functions. We have vital values. We have to conserve them by being alert, knowing how to be present and aware in ourselves from moment to moment.
It is not only important to conserve our energy, but also, we need to accumulate it. The human body, machine and psyche, is a marvelous antenna that can attract all sorts of influences. It is important to accumulate force, because the human machine, rather than being a passive instrument where life just happens, instead, if it is intelligently managed, can attract superior forces, energy, divine qualities. Nature is filled with it. The consciousness, the soul, what we call the Essence, in this tradition, needs to be activated. It needs to awaken to its reality, its own true nature, and a way it can do that is by first conserving the energy, but then accumulating it.
We have a practice in our tradition that we use, the following form of yoga. It is called the runes. The Nordic language is a symbol of principles in nature. Each letter of that alphabet represents a posture which, when you combine with sacred sound or prayer, literally your body vibrates with the type of energetic potential that sparks the consciousness. That energy can help us to be very lucid within dreams.
This practice is given by Glorian.org. They have a video which is linked in this PowerPoint. You can access it and learn it. It is a very useful technique.
But more importantly, whenever we perform any type of spiritual practice to accumulate energy, it is important that we learn to pay attention, to be aware of what we are doing, here and now, at all times, because as Samael Aun Weor, the founder of this tradition, stated:
Wherever we direct our attention, we spend creative energy. ―Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
Every thought, every emotion, every impulse, requires a type of energy. Everything in the universe is powered by energy. The consciousness is the same. But for the consciousness to be able to work effectively, we have to learn to divide attention. We have to observe ourselves, to be present, to be looking at our entire being. You divide yourself like an actor being filmed by a director, and you observe your reactions to life. You look at them, every thought, every feeling, every impulse.
That is because the soul does not waste energy. The consciousness does not waste our spiritual potential. Our defects do―pride, anger, resentment, lust. These qualities burn the fuel of our being. So by learning to observe that in ourselves, we save energy. The consciousness knows how to direct the car, whether in the physical world or in the astral world. But if we don’t divide our attention, if we don’t observe ourselves, it is impossible to awaken, because we are not actively looking at who we are, and what we are doing.
It is awareness, being aware of ourselves, being in remembrance of our real potential, the real qualities of the soul, whereby we activate consciousness. This is why Samael Aun Weor stated:
We can save creative energy if we divide our attention, if we do not become identified with things, people, and ideas. ―Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
We talked about dreaming. In a moment of crisis, maybe a conflict at work, we feel resentment, pride, or a conglomeration of reactions. If we invest our energies into those states, we deplete ourselves. But if you observe it, if you learn to pay attention to the whole process, you become like a battery. You accumulate energy. You save energy. The soul learns to drive the car.
We must not dream. We must not identify with problems. We should look at them, to see them, and not to give them so much of our energy.
The Key of SOL: Subject, Object, Location
One way to exercise that consciousness is a practice call the key of S.O.L. It’s an acronym for subject, object, location. This word Sol in Spanish relates to the Sun, such as the term “solar light.” It is a practice that we use during the day light so that when we fall asleep at night and in dreams, we are suddenly walking down some street, and we start to question our reality. I am sure that all of us perhaps have had an experience, a dream, where you were interacting with someone or something, you were in some place talking with someone, and maybe something unusual happened. You saw something out of the ordinary, maybe a person flying or floating in the air, or seeing some type of animal or creature that escapes definition. But usually because we don’t question our reality, we merely accept the dream, we wake up and we realize what happened.
The dream felt real, because it is real to a degree. However, we have not understood in the moment or questioned what was going on, because it felt real and we didn’t question it. That can change.
The reason why we lack awareness in dreams is due to our current state. Because we don’t question our reality, we are not really aware of ourselves in the daytime and we do not question ourselves when we dream. That is the connection. Our dreaming life is a mirror of our daily life, with an exception. In the dream state, you are free of the body. You can levitate. You can float. You can pass through walls. You can teleport. You can see things you can never see physically, but because in our daily life we are not trained in learning to pay attention, when we go to bed at night, we just follow the same trajectory.
So the key of S.O.L. teaches us how to question our reality, how to discern what is going on, and when you know and you are in the astral world, then the fun begins: the real investigation, the real exploration into our inner Being, we could say.
Subject: Self-Observation and Self-Remembering
We talked a little bit about this: self-observation, the subject. Awakening in dreams begins when we observe ourselves.
We see in this image a woman sitting in a chair looking at a mirror and who sees a reflection of a visible man. You do not see him standing by her shoulder, but you do see him in the mirror. We chose this image because it reflects a fundamental reality. Self-observation is a different sense than our common, ordinary way of being. It is looking into ourselves to see that which is not concrete, which is not visible to the physical senses.
We cannot say we can see the color of our anger, but you can feel it. It is a quality. It is an expression. It is also possible to be able to look and to separate from anger, or any other debilitating emotion or state. You can actually observe it in the moment, only if we are actively looking and if we divide our attention to the subject.
We are observing ourselves. We are looking into alert novelty. We are looking for what is new, what we haven’t seen before.
This is very different from the modern state of knowing. We may know we are angry, but how are we looking at it? This is a distinctive state that we test, again and again, through practice.
It is not an intellectual exercise, observing and thinking, “I feel anger. I feel fear.” This does not really involve concept. It involves attention. This is a fundamental capacity of consciousness: to look.
The continuity of attention throughout the day is what many traditions call mindfulness, to remember yourself, to remember your true nature, which is something essentially divine and transcendent, and escapes the limitations of our defects. In the book Igneous Rose, Samael Aun Weor gives a very interesting quote about the quality of this type of perception. He stated:
Discernment is a direct perception of the truth without the process of conceptual selection. ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
You do not think. You do not have to think about it. You look, and you know.
Thought, while necessary in life to navigate this existence, is not our fundamental reality. It can store information, identify between “goo / bad,” “yes / no,” “positive / negative.” It can label things, but the intellect is, as we stated previously, the obstacle to lucid dreaming. The thought process is like a stormy, cloudy sky, and it obscures the light. It is true, we need the intellect. We need it to function in society, but there are ways to look at the intellect without being dependent on it, a slave to it, but to be in command. If you need to use your thought process for something, you do it, but it doesn’t control you.
However, most people don’t know how to shut off the intellect when it is not needed. Try meditation for ten minutes, and you’ll find that the mind is all over the place. So it is wandering through memories, daydreams, preoccupations, anxieties, worries. The mind needs to be trained. You do that by looking at your mind, observing it.
In the process of it, we do not have to label anything. It is important not to justify or condemn what we see. Consider yourself a detective. You are looking for evidence, for your own particular mistakes. Other people often can point that out to us easily, but when looking at ourselves, it is difficult. This is a fundamental practice, to observe yourself.
You have a difficult argument with your partner you feel riled up. You say what you say. Maybe you regret it later. Rather than getting in those kinds of situations, in the moment, if you feel criticized, look at your reaction. Do an experiment. Do not justify it, and do not condemn it. Those are two extremes in a pendulum.
In the beginning, we often justify ourselves for our behaviors, but with practice, you begin to observe in yourself things you don’t like, that are very difficult, and the other extreme is to condemn everything you see. Neither of those extremes is right. The middle way is looking at it: not feeding it, not trying to push it away, but observing it.
As you are doing that, you start to remember yourself. You remember who you really are.
We talk a lot about the Being. The Being in our terms is the divine, our real nature, for a lack of a better word, God. The consciousness is a spark of that. It is a seed, and when you exercise self-observation and you remember that quality in yourself in every moment of your life, you are remembering the divine―not some old man in the clouds, but a state that is not limited to anything, to problems, to much of our daily existence.
This is important. This is the beginning, because if you practice observing yourself, throughout the day, you will start to remember yourself at night when you dream.
Most of the time when you have had a dream, perhaps, there is a vague notion that you may be someone or something. It is not entirely and necessarily fleshed out. You can have a dream about being someone else. You are in another country, that you have another identity, and usually, that is very vague. It is amorphous. It is cloudy. If you want to retain clarity in your dreams, practice self-observation and self-remembering during the day.
Observe yourself and be aware that you are in your body. You are walking around. You are talking to someone. You are exercising. You are cooking. You are washing dishes. Whatever you are doing, be aware of what you are observing, your states. Without that, you will not question or recognize yourself at night.
While we self-observe, we also have to expand our awareness. We have to expand to our environment, the objects we interact with. But why? Because in the astral world, you will see objects that don’t exist physically. You may see things in your home or room, or your work, that don’t have a physical reality.
Have you found yourself suddenly talking to someone at a desk, working in an office, and you look at the desk, so you start to question and remember yourself. You start to look at an object, maybe you see a glass butterfly, but its wings are moving. It has life. It is animated, and the question becomes “Why on earth is this inanimate thing moving?” So that should shock us: what is going on here?
You look at the object. You look at the object in your home, or wherever you find yourself, and you look for the unexpected. You have to be looking. You cannot be passive. Even in your own home, you have to look at things as you have never seen them before. Question it. When you do that in the day, at night suddenly you find yourself in your home, and you see things that you don’t have in your physical bedroom, and then you question, “Where am I? What is going on?”
Examine your environment and look out the window. Maybe you find that you are in your home, but you look out the window and you see that you are at the top of some tower in the 13th century, Medieval France. You see buildings that don’t exist in the world, and then you wonder, “How did I get here? What is this place? Where am I?”
This practice is like taking multiple mirrors and juxtaposing them, noticing that from the subject, you start to augment and to expand, and to devote your attention, your awareness. It is like taking a candle and reflecting it into multiple mirrors. The original light of your self-observation expands. You are in your body. You are observing yourself, and then you pay attention to your locale. You look at the objects in front of you. You question, “Is this real, or is this a dream? Where am I?” Look around you!
You may find you are walking down the street somewhere in an unfamiliar city, and you ask the question as you look. You see, perhaps, cars, or different types of vehicles than in the US. They’re different. So you look at your environment, and you ask the question, “Where am I?”
This for me is the fun part, questioning, doing the reality check. Do you want to know if you are dreaming or not? In a discreet way, take your finger, grab it lightly, and pull it slightly with the intention that it is going to stretch―not too hard―you don’t want to hurt yourself, but you should have the intention and the motive that your finger is going to stretch.
The reason is in the astral dimension, your astral body is subjected to different laws. The astral body can become elastic. It can stretch. It can become small. It can fly. It can come apart. The matter of that vehicle, of that body, is not as material as this physical world. It does have a type of material, energetic substance, and so if you find that in your dream your finger is stretching, you got your answer. You know you are in the astral dimension, and this is the beginning of knowing how to investigate the higher worlds: when you recognize that you are out of your body, and you’ve verified it.
Another way to do it, to check your reality, is to jump in the air. You might not want to do this at work or someplace too public, but if you are in private somewhere, you can jump in the air with the intention of flying, physically, obviously. But in the dream state, if you are levitating, you have got your answer.
You can also ask the people around you in the dream, “Excuse me, this may sound like an odd question, but what city is this?” Maybe they’ll tell you, “Boston!” looking at you kind of funny and walking away because they do not know that they are dreaming. But now you know your answer! “How is it that I was in Chicago walking around the city, and I find myself in Boston?” Then you are awake, now you can take advantage of exploring many mysteries.
One other way you can also do reality check is, since astral matter is much more ductile and elastic, you can put your hand in the window and can pass it through an object. You can take your hand in some kind of glass and put your hands through with the intention of going through it. It would be like the glass bending and you will hear a crackling noise, but it won’t break, and then you know. Different ways to check yourself.
But the only way that you can do this is if, in the day time, discreetly, when you see something very unusual, something out of the ordinary in your daily physical life, you pull your finger, or if you are somewhere alone, jump in the air. See if you float. There is this advantage to being very mechanical, meaning, we kind of repeat past behaviors unconsciously. If you train your unconscious behavior to check yourself all the time, when necessary, when convenient, when you dream, you do the same thing. It becomes automatic. You train yourself, so that now, you are awake. You know where you are and what you can do.
Connecting with the Being
The Being is the divine, our real nature. Often times when we think of a type of religious experience, as something as a matter of belief, in reality, it is fact. It is an experience. It is a perception in which the consciousness knows, within the internal dimensions, the divine.
We have talked about this quite frequently, how as a divine abstraction, that truth becomes material within dreams. It manifests in different symbols and forms. It comes to be as a type of symbolic language, an archetypal and allegorical form. So when you are lucid in a dream, you can ask, “My Being, my divinity, teach me what I need to know.”
Then suddenly, many things can happen. Maybe the scene changes. Maybe a figure emerges out of nothing in front of you. Maybe you are transported to some other place, taken to a temple of universal brotherhood, and sisterhood, where you can be instructed about how to know reality and the truth, and how to live life more effectively.
But connecting with the Being is not just that. We have to taste it in the daily life: when we are washing dishes, when we are driving a car, when we are talking with a loved one. This is self-remembrance.
When the mind is still and passive like a lake, when there is no ripple, and when the emotions are calm, then divinity can express. The Being can manifest, and divinity’s qualities are like all of the virtues and ethics that religions have taught: selflessness, compassion, conscious love, patience, altruism and happiness for others. These are things that we might taste sporadically in life, but it’s something that we can develop as we are remembering our Self.
What is that real Self? It is the Being. It is the consciousness. But that state has to be cultivated. It occurs through practice, through discipline, and often in a moment in which we don’t think. Maybe we are doing something and suddenly we just have a profound presence of being in the moment, in which there is not thought, no negative emotion, no instinct, no obscuration, but just pure presence. That is a functionalism of the divine, awareness and profound attention in oneself, that doesn’t involve any type of contamination of ego. It is selflessness, in the sense of how we think of the self in our modern conceptions.
The real Self, the real Being, doesn’t have a sense of a “I,” “me,” or “myself.” It isn’t a terrestrial identity, an individuality, an integrity. It is super-transcendent, and it doesn’t have any sense of personality, or difference. But knowing that quality takes a lot of work. It is not easy. You will not learn it in one day, or even after many years, but over time, as you train with exercises like meditation, self-observation, self-remembrance, the key of S.O.L. It becomes something natural.
Service and Sacrifice
If we want to really awaken in dreams, we should earn to develop service. Again, this might seem unusual, but the truth is that we receive in accordance with what we give.
The law of reciprocity is the law of the divine. It is compassion. It is kindness. It is giving, in whatever ways. It is natural and correct to us, according to our skills, talent, disposition or abilities.
Often times, we can get lucid experiences because as we start to practice, we try to give help to others, and divinity rewards that. We receive those ecstasies in the clouds when we lift up our poor and humble neighbor who is suffering, who cannot help him or herself. In whatever ways possible to us, we should give. It could be our time. It could be our energy. It could be our pride. Maybe we help someone, or do not want to help someone because we think we are better than them. For some, it is money. For some, it is their ego, doing the very thing you do not want to do because it hurts. But you know, in your conscience, it is right.
To be someone like Christ, selfless. There are many figures in religions, many prophets and beings who were awakened to those internal realities. They did it because they learned how to be of service, because if you give to others in your capacities, the internal worlds open, and you can often receive gifts like astral projection, samadhi and mystical experiences because we are being ethical.
Another thing to remember too is that we need to give birth to something inside of ourselves.
We have often talked in these studies about solar bodies. People talk a lot about the astral body, but often with very vague definitions. There are a lot of people who think that we automatically possess an astral body, in the authentic sense. There are really, we can say, two forms we talked about earlier. We have the lunar astral body, which is the gift of nature. The theosophists call it the kama rupa, the body of desire. We are born with it. We use it whenever we dream, mechanically, unconsciously.
But if you want to know the higher worlds, you can create what is called the solar astral body, a vehicle that is made of a different type of energy. It is a different type of vehicle. Compare a skateboard to a rocket ship. That’s the difference between the two. With the lunar astral body, we go through our mechanical life and dreams, repeating the same behaviors and states. We wake up, and then we realize that we were dreaming. It is possible too at the beginning to learn how to use this lunar gift of nature in a conscious way, but if we really want to access much more elevated states, we can create what is called the solar astral body
This is a work related to the creation of the soul. As I said, it is called the Wedding Garment of the Soul in the Christian Gospel, to be born again, beings that have a solar astral body, a vehicle that can navigate the heavens.
The Egyptians depicted in many myths and symbols, like a sparrow hawk rising above a mummy in one of the cards of the Egyptian tarot. It is a vehicle of the stars. It belongs to heaven, to the higher worlds. To create this vehicle, one can use the greatest energy that is fundamental for life. It is creative energy, sexuality. Just as a couple can give birth to a physical child, through a work of what known as alchemy, that energy can be conserved and saved to give birth to these vehicles.
The way one knows one has them is by having worked in this path. Some people call it initiation. It is a very profound work, very difficult, but it can grant you great frequency, sustainability, and more profound experiential depths of inner worlds, because it operates on superior energy. It gives you different senses, and abilities to travel not only in the astral world on this planet, but to other planets themselves, to be a citizen of the cosmos.
If you want to learn more about how that is achieved, you can study The Perfect Matrimony by Samael Aun Weor, where he explicitly discusses the methods of how to do this.
Also of importance is the spiritual path of mystical death.
If you want to lucid dream more frequently, with greater resolution as we were saying, eliminate pride. Eliminate anger. Comprehend the emotions and defects that waste energy and cause pain for people, for loved ones, and for our communities, for ourselves.
It is the most unpleasant aspect of this work, giving up, removing, and eliminating everything that makes us weak, which makes us suffer, and makes other people suffer. This path of mystical death is taught in many courses and books, and the primary method to achieve purification of the consciousness is through meditation.
We deepen our self-observation practice. We gather data about who we are, about our real faults, and then we take them into meditation, and we review them. We can imagine scenes in our life in which we saw certain defects arise like fear, resentment, or pride, and we examine them and comprehend them. Through comprehension and reliance upon the divine, we ask to remove these faults and end them. When we do that, we free the genie from Aladdin’s lamp. It’s the myth. It’s the meaning of it.
Anger traps a certain quanta, quantity, and quality of our potential, and when you eliminate the defects, you free the genie that can do all the magic. You can astral travel, awaken in the internal worlds with greater capacities. You see more. You also know how to navigate those states intuitively. You do not have to think about it. You just do it.
Simple analogy: break the bottle, you free the light, because every defect, every ego, is a cage, and once removed, you integrate the psyche and become wise. You also become illuminated. This is taught symbolically in all religions, in an allegorical form.
Tips for Awakening in Dreams
So something that we can study ourselves, we have a couple of tips we can use for awakening in dreams.
Remember why you are practicing.
Why do you want to lucid dream? What’s the motive? I studied lucid dreams because at the beginning I was curious. I had an experience when I was very young, in which I had a type of awareness that was more real than the physical world, and it mainly raised questions, because if that reality was more real than this, why I am here, what’s the purpose of life? Why explore that part of ourselves that modern culture ignores?
For many of us this can be a longing to know why we suffer and to want to change. For some, it can be an inspiration to enjoy heavenly states beyond this material world, and for some people, it can be a religion in the true sense of the word, the reunion with the divine. It is good to question ourselves: “Why do we practice? What do we want? Do we want to be guided internally?” It is possible, and it will happen if we are sincere.
Establish a goal for how often you check yourself.
We can also establish a goal for how often we check ourselves. Maybe in a day, you want to set up ten stopping points on your watch, or your phone, to remember your practice. Some people use an alarm at certain times of the day where they will hear the alarm, and they will also remember to pay attention, so it is one practical tool.
Genuinely and consciously question your experience.
It is also important to genuinely and consciously question our experience, question what it is we are seeing at all times, or develop a type of inquisitive investigation like a child. A child does not have perhaps the conditioning of adult life, always seeing life through the past. A child looks at everything with awe and joy, spontaneity, intuition. That is why in the Christian Gospel they talk about becoming little children. It doesn’t mean to become naive or gullible. It means to be like a child, always looking, examining the world, seeing what is new, and finding a universe in a raindrop―the awe and the joy of being in life, and seeing it and questioning everything that is happening.
Consistently and safely enact reality checks.
We should also consistently and safely enact reality checks. I would say, if you want to try jumping in the air, it is important not try anything dangerous, like physically jumping over a cliff into a river or something. You obviously want to be safe. Do a safe jump, or reality check frequently, and you can even do so with your clock, your timer. Maybe you question yourself then, or again when you see something unusual.
Be aware of your surroundings and how you got there.
It is also important to be aware of our surroundings and to ask, “How did I get here?” Question that. Maybe you went to bed, and suddenly you found yourself at work, and you questioned, “How did I get here? What was my method? Did I drive? Did I take the metro or the bus? Why am I suddenly here?” Question that.
Use unusual moments to question reality.
Also, use unusual moments to question reality. If you see something out of the ordinary, you can even try, like every time you see a plane in the sky, pull your finger. Pick something concrete. Earlier today, I remember I’ve seen a military helicopter. I do not usually see this, and I pulled my finger. Pick something. Maybe something in the sky. It can be a certain kind of car. It can be an object. Use unusual moments.
Set frequent reminders and utilize multiple checks if necessary.
Set frequent reminders. You do so in your clock as I said, and you can do multiple checks if it is necessary.
Continue to practice self-remembrance and self-observation.
Important is to continue to practice self-remembrance and self-observation. This is the fundamental key to knowing the internal words, to develop these skills, moment by moment, every day.
Investigate how attention and awareness work in mundane activities: eating, washing hands, walking, etc.
You should also see how attention and awareness work in mundane activities like eating and washing hands, walking, etc., because at the beginning, it is unusual. Often times we have the attitude that we know, again, as I said, we know what we are thinking or feeling while we do things. But are we actually looking at it? Are we observing the act, seeing what’s new?
Maintain your awareness so you no longer dream but remain conscious.
It is also important to maintain our awareness throughout our day so that we no longer dream but remain conscious. It may be difficult in the beginning when you are walking down the street. Maybe on Michigan Avenue you see something attractive in the window of a shop, and as you are observing yourself, you finally find your attention being drawn to some kind of place, and as you get invested and identified with the shopping experience, you go about your day. Suddenly you remember: “I was supposed to be observing myself. I was supposed to be attentive.” We lost our state, and we forgot what we were doing. It is good that we recognized that in the beginning, because we will find that often, in the beginning, there are gaps in our memory. We forget what we are doing, and we have to remind ourselves again and again.
Cultivate equanimity, a receptive mind, and an active consciousness.
It is also important to cultivate equanimity, to be at peace, even in the worse situations, because those are the best defense, we can say, against getting caught up in the world. It also has to do with having a receptive mind and an active consciousness. Let thought be passive and the consciousness attentive. Be aware.
The Three Degrees of Cognizance
There are three things we can look at as we are studying dreams life. There are three degrees of cognizance to consider when we wake up in the day or wake up from night and we go about our day.
It is important to become aware of time. How long do we remain cognizant? We practice self-observation. We keep note of how conscious we are and how familiar we are with that state. Keep a mental note.
It is also important to measure the frequency. How many times have we awakened our consciousness? Maybe at night you have a few dreams, in different points of nocturnal hours. How many times we’ve woke up? It is something to keep track of, to remember.
Also, the third: amplitude and penetration. What was one cognizant of? What did we actually perceive? What did we actually experience?
These are three things that we can consider as we are studying our dreams, but also studying our waking states.
Resources for Awakening
There are a couple of resources that we have available to study that expands upon many of the instructions that were given today.
There is a course called Meditation Essentials on Glorian.org, which is very effective for teaching how to develop concentration and meditative experience, and learning how to meditate is going to go hand in hand with dream yoga. If you learn to meditate practically, you will awake in dreams very frequently. It takes a type of work.
On our website, we have free courses: Gnostic Meditation, The Sufi Path of Self-Knowledge, and Sufi Principles of Meditation, where we talk about different religious traditions that teach this science. The first course is more about the Buddhist way of teaching this discipline, but the others are Middle Eastern, and they can give you more instructions if you are looking for more.
Questions and Answers
Question: Meeting people in your dreams, most of the time it is like your own projection of them. But is it possible to say meet someone who is also conscious in their dream? Is there specifics for how to engage in such?
Instructor: Yes. Some people will often experience people and places and things, but many times those dreams can be very muddled, very vague, or obscure. There may be a type of thread or logic to the dream and experience, but it does not have a type of cohesion. You wake up, and you question the validity of what you saw because you sense that there is something nonsensical about it.
We often do repeat our daily lives within the dream world. If you work at a car mechanic shop, you may find you are fixing cars in the astral plane, and you will often see your coworkers. The way to tell if you are seeing a projection of your mind and seeing what’s actually there is to follow your intuition. The power of intuition is the ability to discriminate what you perceive, and at the beginning, for most of us, it is very difficult to tell what’s what. That’s because our heart needs to be exercised. Intuition is the ability to know without having to think. You do not necessarily have to go to a dream dictionary, right, and find some type of intellectual answer that is going to corroborate what you’ve seen. That’s very often the case for most people. You have a dream, and then you want to know what it means and what’s the reality there. You discern what’s real from what’s false by using your intuition, your hunch, your conscience.
Conscience is like a little voice that tells you, “This is this,” and “this is that,” right from wrong, good and bad. But for most of us, we tend to smother that with our actions. In the daytime we may know certain behaviors can be wrong, but we don’t tend to discriminate between our own fantasy, what we want from the situation, and what is actually there. If you want to discriminate in your dreams you have to develop that in the daytime. Discriminate your own mind, because there will come a time when, when you’re deepening self-observation and self-remembrance that in the dream state you suddenly are able to see. First you might be able to see perhaps people, places, and things, but which you know are illusory. They’re a mirage, or some kind of projection of your own mind. If you have enough separation from yourself because you’re dividing your attention but also remembering your Self, suddenly you know, “This is an illusion,” and you can walk away from it, step away from the conversation with some nonsensical person or figure or place or thing. You see the illusion, you step away, you go do your investigations. You discriminate based off the heart.
A simple practice to develop the heart is with mantra. So we explained in a previous lecture on Mantras for Astral Projection the vowel O. It vibrates in the heart. You also find syllables like Om in Hinduism and Buddhism especially. It is a very ancient mantra, sacred sound, which can charge your psyche. You feed your heart with superior emotion with that mantra, ethical behavior, where you start to follow your sense of what is right or wrong, and to follow that. You exercise that muscle and it gets stronger, so that we have a sense of integrity in our actions.
If we do something we know is wrong, we are haunted by that. Our own sense of right and wrong will chase after us. You cannot run away from it. Rather than run away, it is better to follow it. That is what it means to become a real spiritual person. It is to be independent. It does not require allegiance or groups, institutions. It requires ethical integrity. The more you follow your inner discrimination, the ability to tell right from wrong, when you’re dreaming at night, you can sense and be awake and discern what’s real, what’s false, and then you can go from there.
Question: Typically when I dream, I only remember the very end. A few times I have been able to lucid dream for a bit or be aware that I am in the dream is like when there’s a stopwatch and everything’s falling apart. As soon as I know I am dreaming, it ruins… it wakes me up. I don’t know how. I’ve done that thing like checking that I am dreaming during the day and I’ve been like, “Oh, I am dreaming right now!” But then I do not know what to do and I awake.
Instructor: Sure. You can often lose an experience because of an emotion, possibly. A lot of people report talking about in the middle of a dream, you suddenly become aware that you’re dreaming. A lot of people become excited. It is a common sentiment. It is like, “I am out of my body!” But the thing is, your fear or any type of strong emotion can (snaps finger) take you out, snap you back to your body.
This is why meditation is so effective because with equanimity, with dispassion, with not getting alarmed or worried about or overwhelmed by what one is seeing, or the realization that you are out of your body, you can maintain stillness. The consciousness can effectively navigate the internal worlds by learning to be serene.
It does not mean that one does not feel emotion, because the consciousness has its own capacities for emotion which are very divine, like really positive sentiments. You can find that reflected in music by Beethoven. Very strong, intense soul, but from the heights, superior emotion. But commonly, my experience has been that when people get snapped out of the dream it is because one is either overwhelmed by a negative emotion or a sentiment that takes you out, or that the consciousness is not trained enough. In the beginning you can get sporadic moments where you are suddenly dreaming. But the question becomes, how do you sustain it?
The way that you do that is by establishing concentration and self-observation, observing yourself, maintaining your mindfulness throughout the day, and not getting carried away by maybe the mind, which gets distracted. Like when you get distracted by an emotion, an emotion like that can pull us out. I do not know if that is your experience, but typically that’s been my observation, especially in the beginning. Sometimes during the realization you get excited.
Another Instructor: Also our instructor taught us a technique where you can click your heels together and hold them. Sometimes that works to ground you in the experience, but the more you get comfortable with it and the more regularly it is happening, the less likely you are to wake up from it because it becomes kind of normal. You don’t get too excited or confused. You can try clicking your heels together and holding them together. See if this grounds you in the astral plane.
Instructor: Yeah, if you’ve also seen The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy clicks her heels three times. She says, “I wish I was home!”
Another Instructor: But it is our real home, right?
Instructor: Well, the real home is the internal worlds. Part of the mythology in that story, which is symbolic of these types of phenomena, is when you click your heels together, there are two chakras in your heels that when you bring them together, they form a kind of lock, so that energetically, your physical body may be trying to pull you back, because your body wants to wake up. But with this you can maintain attention and awareness in that state. It is very effective. So, perhaps if you’re having an experience and you want to learn more about something, click your heels.
Comment: I had dreams where I am flying. I am flying downtown around the buildings and then I would be, “Oh! I can’t fly!” And then I would be falling. During that fall I would realize, “Wait! I am dreaming now, so I can do anything I want!” Then I would go back and dream and it would be sort of be like all over the place. I want to keep doing more of that.
Instructor: Sure! Again, to maintain that state requires equanimity. You develop that with meditation, but also trial and error, repeating the experiment.
Question: But how do you start that, like when I go to sleep? How do I initiate that, when I am in my dream, in my sleep?
Instructor: We gave a lecture on our website you can listen into that is called Mantras for Astral Projection, which is actually how you can go into that state consciously, and to maintain it requires familiarity. Try again and again, because you learn how to maintain that state through practice, so the more you experience it and the more you meditate, and acclimate your consciousness to that dream reality, such as when you are meditating, you gain more stability, the ability to be grounded.
Now with meditation we combine it with drowsiness. Meditation in a wakeful state is actually harmful because part of meditation is that when you’re relaxing your physical senses, your consciousness needs to be active. So that when you’re physically drowsy, you’re willingly maintaining that state, you start to enter your own dreaming states. Meditation is a threshold between the physical and internal worlds. We do the same thing every time we try astral projection. You are meditating while physically falling asleep, and you allow your body to become calm. As you are attentive but falling asleep―it is an interesting mixture―you start to perceive things that you wouldn’t physically: maybe sights, sounds, voices, places, environments. The more you get familiar with that threshold, and you allow the process to unfold of itself, without trying to control it perhaps with desire, like “I want to do this and that,” you just let it happen.
There might come a moment where you are projecting out of your body, or there is a moment where you can’t leave your body, or you will sense intuitively, “This is the moment that I have to act.” It is an interesting dynamic, where you have to know when to let things be, and then knowing how and when to act is a moment of knowing ourselves. Is it our consciousness that longs to do certain things, or is it our desires? We have to question that.
Another Instructor: Will you give us a mantra for him to try?
Instructor: Yeah! One mantra I found particularly successful is Egipto. It is from Egypt. You sing it. You prolong it, each vowel. When you are falling asleep, you can do the mantra, sing it aloud for perhaps ten minutes, fifteen minutes, then you can whisper it, and then you can do it mentally. The mantra sounds like this:
You sing the mantra, let your consciousness swim in it. Be like the bee that is making honey. The vibration has a soothing effect, but also activates what we call the chakras, which are the faculties of the astral body. That physical vocalization not only helps our physical glands to vibrate with that type of superior force, but also the astral body vibrates. So when you activate that energy, you will go out.
Another Instructor: Visualize the pyramids. That helps. You can, after awhile of doing it physically for a few minutes, start to pronounce it mentally, because it is really about feeling the vibrations in the chakras in the energetic bodies as well, so that it starts to move inward, and visualize the pyramids. This mantra is usually used to try to go to a temple in the astral plane, that is within one of the pyramids of Egypt. It is spelled E-G-I-P-T-O, with a Spanish pronunciation. [Note: See also the practice of Fa Ra On.]
Question: I’ve had a couple of dreams where it is like something bad happened and I wanted to wake up, and then I wake up in another dream. It has happened to me almost three times. I do not actually wake up.
Instructor: Sure. Nightmares are common. It happens to a lot of people. Couple of reasons for that too. One of them can be for some people, eating a heavy meal before they go to bed. Often can produce nightmares. We explained that when you eat heavy foods and are digesting that when we are asleep, going to bed, it’s taxing on your body. It also activates chakras of the abdomen, relating to negative states.
I know I talked a bit about heavenly dimensions, but often times we can awaken within infernal ones too, as symbolized within different religious cosmogonies. Dante’s Inferno, for example, where he describes a journey through hell to heaven, it is a symbol of that state. If you struggle with nightmares, I recommend doing the runic practices, the runic vowels, the ones we initiated with earlier, the seven vowels, in which there is a video in the PDF.
When you energize the consciousness by taking positions, doing certain prayers, vocalizations, and you make these postures in the symbols of the Nordic runes, and you vocalize certain the vowels, seven vowels. I know in English we talk about five. But a vowel in esoteric language has to do with a nucleus of meaning. You have vowels which basically form the nucleus of a word, unites consonants. Spiritually there are seven nuclei in your spine, centers of psychological and spiritual activity, relating with the seven chakras. A lot of spiritual schools talk about that.
You do the runes for however long you need. Get a sense of it. Experiment with it. That energy will help strengthen your consciousness. I know one person as a kid who used to suffer nightmares. His father knew this teaching and would do the runes with him for like two or three hours, because his particular nightmares were very intense, and it got rid of it. The reason is you are invoking the energies of nature, the divine, to circulate through you, so when you’re consciousness is vibrating at a higher level, you are not going to be so necessarily attracted to go down into, perhaps, nightmares, which are reflections of our own hell realms, so to speak. There is a way to transcend that. So, very effective!
I thank you all for coming!
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
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