Introduction: My Hands in a Lucid Dream

I am a lucid dreamer since childhood and dreaming was always very important to me. Still I only started to read about lucid dreaming and to look closer into the topic around 2014. Intrigued by the subject I started a dream diary and began to take my lucid dreaming further, by exploring the instructions and insights I gained from the literature on the topic. I started out with Castaneda’s task to look at one’s hand while lucid. I was fascinated by the appearance of my hands in the dream state, the deformations that would show up, a phenomenon other lucid dreamers experience too.

I decided to create an art work on this curious phenomenon. For the collage I used a surrealistic image as background (Nude on the Plain of Rosas, 1942 from the artist Salvador Dalí) and turned it upside down. I painted on it, removed elements, added new fragments of imagery, depicting quickly changing scenery in the dream world, landscapes dissolving into one another, making space for new figures and landscapes to appear. My hands painted in life-size show all the weird features I saw, when looking at them in lucid dreams. Except for the translucent element, which I added in my artistic freedom and which represents the test. Fingers are glued together, parts of fingers are missing, too many or not enough fingers appear on the hand. In one lucid dream I even perceived very longue, snakelike fingers. Looking at my hands was the starting point for me to go deeper and to explore the extraordinary experience of lucid dreaming with more intent, clarity and creativity. 

The Surrounding Dissolves

One of the first very transformative and impressive lucid dreams occurred on the 24th of December 2015. As in countless dreams, I enjoyed flying while lucid. I flew over some unknown town with my cousin. When I looked at her flying to my right side, I realised that she would just stand there, upright, like standing on the street. I, on the other side, was flying in a horizontal superman like style with my arms stretched out to the sides, as most of the times. I called out to her, “What are you doing flying like that?” I thought it looked ridiculous and I wondered how it works out for her. But it did and she had a happy smile on her face and looked very relaxed. Then I realised that I was dreaming, and I remembered what I recently read in Robert Waggoner’s great book Lucid dreaming. Gateway to the Inner Self

In dream reality the physical laws of waking reality do not apply, and that the dream is a mental space. So I decided to assume an upright position too, and to shift my focus away from my body to the space around me. The effect was immediate and powerful. Suddenly I felt light, weightless. We were flying fast through the clouds. The feeling was amazing, it was as if some exterior energy pulled us through the air. After a while I lost the orientation of where was above and below. The earth seemed to have vanished; there was just blue sky and the clouds. The flying tempo increased. I couldn’t tell anymore if it was us who flew or if the space around us moved. Until suddenly there was nothing around us anymore, just black, empty space.

The dream reality resembling physical reality had dissolved. I was alone now, in this endless, huge space. I stayed calm although it was overwhelming to be in this empty space. I decided to call out to the dream (the awareness behind the dream). Before sleeping I didn’t prepare a question to ask or a task to fulfill while lucid so I asked the question that was on my mind at the moment. I asked the dream why I didn’t have a romantic relationship, having recently experienced yet another disappointment in my love life. Something golden started to float towards me. When it got closer, I recognized a bunch of keys. All keys, around 20, were golden and had a plaque attached to them. I seized the bunch of keys and looked at the plaques. The words on them were blurry and seemed to be written in a foreign language I couldn’t read. I thought that it might be names of men. I woke up. 

Only some time later I realised the full meaning of the dream. After a disappointing and hurtful experience, I stopped believing in love. The limiting belief that love does not exist for me, endured in my subconscious mind for many years. The bunch of keys in the dream didn’t mean that there was somebody else who had the key to my heart. I myself closed my heart, and it was up to me to let go of the past, to truly heal my pain and to change the sabotaging beliefs into positive ones that match my intentions. 

In most of the dreams I had since then, a similar experience occurred when I engaged the awareness behind the dream and felt that I reached it. The surrounding dissolved. Sometimes I am a bit scared because of the outlandish experience of "loosing" ground and the familiar environment. Meditating helps me to trust, to let go and to increase awareness. When meditating I connect to the space around me, the energy, the universe. Feeling the sensation of being part of something bigger, feeling love and joy. So instead of asking questions I sometimes just try to feel the same connection and positive feelings when calling to the awareness behind the dream. 

This article was released in issue from

June 2020

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