Lucid Sleeping

Angela Marcus

What I mention here is just part of an experience I had which remains one of the more profound “peak” experiences of my life. It is nearly impossible to put into words. That said, it begins with a brief, seemingly mundane dream: I am alone inside a dark, unfamiliar house. I am quietly looking towards a window in anticipation of someone or something. A light is shining in from outside. It is nighttime. The next recollection is a dynamically choreographed, continuous flow of events.

Awareness of my self dissolves; there is only perception. First comes what sounds like rushing water, quickly turning into a strong, chaotic, pulsing “river” as it flows into the foreground of attention. The deluge intensifies, then subsides and slips into the background as another event of “sound” emerges into the foreground - a slow, rhythmic wind which instantly turns into an incredibly forceful, loud gale. The overwhelming windstorm then subsides and falls into the background.

I am not separate from this experience, I am it. As everything moves into the background, some aspect of the observer, the “I” emerges, but “I” am located at some minute point inside my body. I then transition from being to observing. With amazement I realize that what I was, and am now observing is blood rushing, pulsing through my circulatory system and breath powerfully flowing through my windpipe and lungs.

I’m suddenly aware of what seems to be happening. In that instant I realized that (my?) consciousness had seamlessly moved from a dream into some kind of non-differentiated state of consciousness, into my “I” identity, into a normal awake state. I had consciously experienced the transition from the “sleep” state into a fully “awake” state. I then understood in a deeply experiential (not intellectual) way, that the distinction between those two states - sleep and wakefulness is an illusion and is nothing more than a subtle shift of perspective.

In the moments that followed I felt a profound sense of reverence and gratitude, but the experience continued with a series of “downloads” - information, a confirmation of a deeply familiar, yet forgotten sense of connectedness with everyone/everything, a fleeting sense of profound fearlessness, power, humanity… it goes on.

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