Tell us about your early dream life? When did you first learn about lucid dreaming? What did you think when you heard about it?
My first introduction to lucid dreaming was actually from my father, I was 11 years old at the time. He studied it for years, before I even knew about it. We both were obsessed with The Matrix when it first came out. It triggered and reaffirmed so many questions I had already been asking myself. So one night I told my Dad how I wished I could fly around like "Superman" or "Neo". And he said, "You can." He explained lucid dreaming to me and I was hooked from there. The simple idea that it was possible to experience flight was enough for me.
Did you have immediate success with lucid dreaming, or did it take a while? What happened in your early lucid dreams?
I wish lol. It took a few months before I became lucid in a dream but when I did it was life changing. It started out with me in my room:
I "wake up" but before I put my head down I sense that something is off. My bed is not in the right place. Instead of being placed in the corner of the room like it usually is, it's now facing the window. I look out the window and all of a sudden Agent Smith from The Matrix"slowly starts to rise up. He says, "Mr. Badgette, we have some unfinished business to take care of."
At that moment I say to myself, "IT'S HAPPENING!" I float into the air and thrust both of my feet off of the wall behind me. I fly towards Smith until I'm out of my window and begin to tussle with him in mid air. After a while I feel like I’ve had enough and as soon as I have that thought we stop.
I find myself in front of my house staring at the street. I became mesmerized at how real everything feels, I am even more mesmerized that I was asleep yet my mind was able to capture such detail. All of a sudden, I end up on top of a gas station, then I wake up.
As you went along, did you have lucid dreams that surprised you? Or led to unexpected events? Tell us about those.
I think every lucid dream is unexpected but the one that always stands out for me is the one I had while walking with a man at a camp I used to work at. It's called Highbrook Lodge and it's a camp for the mentally challenged and visually impaired. As we were walking in the dream the man said, "There is nothing you can do tomorrow that you can't do today." When I woke up and thought about it I took it as a sign for me not to hold off and procrastinate on things. I never forgot that. There have been plenty of others but that one stands out the most.
What was it about lucid dreaming that you found interesting?
There are so many things! Just the fact that you can experience another reality that's built from your subconscious (and possibly other places) and be fully aware that you're not in your waking life. To have the freedom to simply fly. There's no feeling I can compare it to. After the excitement of base level experiences like flying and other things, I found myself staring at a blade of grass. Mesmerised by its beauty. The fact that this blade of grass and everything around it is a part of me in some esoteric magical way. Everything and every person...isn't that how we should always view the world, even in our waking life? As a character said in one of my favorite movies Waking Life, "The trick is to combine your waking rational abilities with the infinite possibilities of your dreams. Because if you can do that you can do anything."
What techniques were you using to become lucid? Which did you find most helpful?
At first I used a lot of well known techniques like staring at your hands, flicking a light switch, and wearing a dream mask that flashes red lights when you have rapid eye movement. The one that works best for me is something that formed out of a personal habit. When the air and temperature feels right I tell myself, "This is a great night to fly." When no one is looking I get a running start and leap into the air looking upward. Within those milliseconds of me in mid air I imagine what it would be like to keep going up. Of course gravity pulls me back down but I've done this so many times that it has found a way into my dreams. When dreaming I do the same technique and 8 times out of 10 I end up flying.
Did lucid dreaming seem to have rules? Or did it seem random and chaotic?
At first it seemed random and a bit chaotic. It's not until I became more familiar with it that I started seeing "the rules." One of the rules I picked up on was to be aware of my thoughts. In the dream world whatever you think will most likely happen even if it's a passing thought. I also learned to stop always trying to control it and just go with the flow. Some of my best lucid dreams have happened when I just surrendered to the experience.
How do you come to "surrender to the experience" in a lucid dream? If you would, share an example of a lucid dream where you decided to "surrender".
So I used to have a recurring dream of me driving down a road. As I'm driving the road starts winding. A lot of turns start to happen but for some reason I'm unable to press the brakes. Suddenly the car begins to spin and keeps spinning. I'm bracing for impact and then eventually it happens and I wake up.
After a while I got used to having this dream and was able to use those moments waiting for impact to become lucid. I tried steering and taking control of the car, I tried making the car fly and flying out of it myself, but nothing worked. It's not until I accepted that I was lucid and surrendered to the experience did the car stop. I never had that dream again.
When you think about this idea of surrendering in a lucid dream, who or what do you feel like you are surrendering to? Also, why do you think lucid dreams where you "surrender" sometimes end up being some of the more incredible lucid dreams?
It sounds cliche but I feel like I'm surrendering to God or the universe. The flow. We try so hard to control everything that happens in our waking life and when we first hear about lucid dreaming we are taught that the whole idea is to "control" your dreams. When you surrender to the experience sometimes you get more out of it. How fun would this life be if you had total control or were able to change everything that challenged you? That's the journey.
Was there a lucid dream that touched you so much that you decided to create your comic book series, Lucidity?
To be honest it wasn't a particular dream. The inspiration came from a collection of lucid dreams. In some I was flying and using super powers to fight off bad guys. Some were me just letting the dream take me wherever it wanted me to go. I just knew that lucid dreaming was a great foundation for a story about a hero. The thing about my character Michael is that he can't save anyone. He can show them the door but they have to find their own key to open it.
Do you think the lucid dream presents one of our 'fears' because it wants us to resolve it, or because it just happens to float around in our subconscious mind?
There is a scene in one of the upcoming episodes of Lucidity where Michael has encountered a certain fear and his dream guide Zyaire tells him, "We attract what we fear." I believe the fears and some of the nightmares we come across in our dreams is our subconscious mind letting us know there's a problem that needs our attention. Out of all the data it takes in every second of everyday, it's bringing this fear to the forefront. I think that means something and I think we should try to embrace it instead of running from it.
In my books, I've mentioned the complex nature of dream figures. Some seem hollow, while others seem very aware and act like 'independent agents'. Have you had any lucid dreams where you seemed to encounter dream figures that knew as much (or more) than you did? What did you make of it?
To be honest I really haven't had any exciting interactions with my dream characters. They always seem like they are just going with the flow. But I do feel as if I'm subconsciously influencing their actions. I didn't realize this until I started writing my dreams down again. I love becoming lucid and asking them how it feels to be a dream character in my dream though. They are always at a loss for words and try to change the subject lol.
When it comes to dream figures, have you ever met deceased relatives or ancestors in dreams or lucid dreams? What do you make of that?
I had a friend who passed away at the age of 26 and I dream of him often. It was a tragic death (that I wish not to get into) but when I see him in my dreams he never says much. At first he seemed sad but the more I dreamed about him he seemed to be more at peace. Maybe him seeming to be better as time went on is parallel to my own feelings of accepting his passing. Some people have told me it's him visiting me but I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm always happy to see him though.
Where would you like Lucidity to go? And how can readers support your comic book series?
I would love for Lucidity to be made into a live action or fully animated series. That would be amazing! Until that happens my goal is to build my fan base and develop relationships with my audience. I want to make people more aware of lucid dreaming and all the amazing things that come with exploring your mind.
You can support Lucidity by visiting my site www.Luciditycomix.com or join my Patreon page at Patreon/Luciditycomic. There's a lot of behind the scenes access and cool offers you can get by becoming a patron.
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