I'm Not Who I Thought I Was

Cheryl Miranda

After thirty years of lucid dreaming, it almost always starts out the same. I become aware that I am formless awareness in a vast void. It resembles outer space but due to a lifetime of these experiences I have reason to believe that it only appears as outer space to give me a visual experience and a “place” to work from. In actuality, I believe I am floating in a completely nonphysical, non-visual world. Rarely are things as they appear so I don’t give much credence to what I see while lucid; I care more about what is experienced or learned.

I don’t do anything to cause myself to become lucid. It is out of my control. I do however keep a dream journal, read spiritual books before bed and think about the dream state a lot. In the beginning years I had numerous lucid dreams and OBEs on a regular basis. For the past five years, I only have a lucid dream or OBE every three or four months. 

I have a regular practice of rereading some of the more interesting experiences from my dream journal because they have become more complex over time; often too difficult to even write down. I use my journal entries to jog my memory of the experience and add and update my notes as my experiences make more sense and can be articulated in writing. Many of my experiences take months to integrate and some of them don’t make sense until years later. This is one I feel I have completely grasped. This experience is from sometime last year:

I am “Awareness” in an expansive void; stars sparkling in the distance. I am formless, intelligent and creative. I reflect on the existence of the life of a person called “Cheryl”. I see “Cheryl” married and raising children. I perceive her as something separate from me. I perceive her personality as friendly, energetic and analytical but, there’s underlying fear of dying and perhaps fear of existing. I see that clinging to the physical world causes “Cheryl” fear and anxiety. I sense the constriction in her body; like wearing a shoe that is too tight.

A question arises in the Void, “What is there to fear?”

There is an unexpected shift in my awareness and as half of my attention remains with my formless self, the other half of my attention begins identifying with “Cheryl”. I am both her and not her. I see “Cheryl” arises and takes form in the Awareness that I am. She comes from me! She is not separate like she first appeared. 

While my split vision and experience continue, many things are now simply “known”. “Cheryl” and everything else in the physical world arise within the Awareness that I am. Physical life is nothing more than a mirage; all phenomena only having a relative reality. I understand there is no physical death because there is nothing physical to die. 

Awareness stops identifying with its formless nature and is again completely identified with me. But, it is clear that my true identity is more than a physical expression. I had simply forgotten my true spiritual nature. “Cheryl” only arises as a type of mirage. I had perceived everything backwards. In actuality I am formless Awareness having a physical experience. I am not a physical body having a spiritual experience. 

As I lie in bed writing in my journal about how everything is a mirage, I realize I have to get up to go to the bathroom. What a very strange but wonderful mirage it is.

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