Jump to the following topics:
- What is the dreamscape?
- The dreamscape is real.
dreamscape has a different set of dynamic laws.
- The dreamscape
is very subjective.
dreamscape might include various types of characters.
can describe the characteristics of the "plot" of dreams.
What is the dreamscape? The
"dreamscape" is the field in which our dreams occur. (The concept of
"field" is used in the idea of a magnetic field, a gravitational
field, or an archetypal field; a field is an area of influence and
related activity.) The personal dreamscape is within our own psyche;
however, many lucid dreamers have experiences which extend beyond the
personal dreamscape into other realms, via experiences which have
been called "astral travel," or "out-of-body experiences (OBEs)," or
"soul travel." (Note: This book gives instructions only for dreams
and lucidity, not for astral travel; however, the occultic topics
must be examined somewhat, because lucid dreamers often encounter
them as they purposefully or inadvertently cross the border between
their personal dreamscape and the other realms.)
The dreamscape is real. It
is as "real" as our physical world, and it is as "illusory" as our
- It is real in the sense that:
It is illusory in the sense that:
- The dreamscape contains objects which respond to dynamics.
For example, if we strike a match in the dreamscape, the match
will probably generate fire, just as it would in the physical
- The dreamscape is a world which is to be taken seriously if
we value knowledge, awareness, and psychological and spiritual
growth. We can gain information and experiences which are as
valid and important as the information and experiences which we
could gain in the physical world.
- The dreamscape's objects and dynamics are merely
representations of something else; they represent
- The dreamscape is a world in which we create scenarios
where we learn about archetypes; when we are finished with our
lesson, we abandon the scenarios, while we retain only memories
and our new archetypal-field elements. We realize that the
scenarios were not permanent things to be experienced forever;
instead they were temporary matrices of the elements for the
purpose of our education regarding archetypes.
dreamscape has a different set of dynamic laws. In the physical
world, we are familiar with the principles of gravity, time, space,
energy, matter, etc. But when we explore the dreamscape, we learn new
rules: gravity does not exist; matter can be manipulated by thought;
etc. During lucid dreams, we can experiment with the physics; for
example, we might be walking on "solid ground" as though we are bound
by gravity, until we realize that "this is a dream, so I can fly." In
one lucid dream, I was flying inside of a building until I crashed
into a wall; if I had challenged my assumption that the wall was
solid, I could have flown through it.
The dreamscape is
very subjective. We can compare the relative objectivity and
subjectivity of the dreamscape and the physical world:
- The physical world. In the physical world, the primary reality
is the objective environment of people, buildings, cars, etc. The
secondary reality is our subjective experience of those things
(i.e., our feelings and thoughts about them); the items generally
exist regardless of the subjective coloring through which we
- The dreamscape. The dreamscape is dominated by our subjective
reality; our feelings, thoughts, anticipations, apprehensions, and
desires create nearly our entire experience. For example, a dream
character "exists" only because we have the archetypal-field
elements which support it. In the dreamscape, there is little
objective reality, which would be defined by:
- Laws of physics (e.g., the law of gravity, which we all
experience). During a lucid dream, we can decide, for example,
whether a wall is an impenetrable object or merely a veil which
we can walk through. However, the dreamscape's dynamics are not
totally subjective; a lucid-dream technique which works for one
person is likely to work for another person.
- Common experience (e.g., a physical house which we all
agree exists). In the dreamscape, we are the only people who
have the experiences; no one can say that the experiences never
happened, or that our interpretation of the experiences is
dreamscape might include various types of characters.
- Personifications of archetypal-field elements. These charged
thoughts, images, and energy tones (e.g., emotions and feelings)
appear to us as the people, objects, and circumstances of our
dreams. According to some schools of dreamwork (including Jungian
and Gestalt), all parts of the dream are aspects of ourselves;
these parts express themselves as everything from the main
character to, for instance, the car which we are driving.
Frequently these aspects are psychological components which we
have denied or combatted; they are our "shadow," and they take the
form of other characters so that we can interact with them, and so
that they can express themselves and be integrated into our
conscious psyche. Even if the character represents someone
familiar (e.g., a parent), this is not the person; instead, it
could be a representation of our feelings toward that person (or
toward another person for whom we might have similar feelings).
- Autonomous entities. Many writers have described "dream
characters" which do not derive from our own psyche; instead,
these characters are separate beings which have lives of their own
in this world or another. We don't need to be overly concerned
with the question of whether our dream characters are mental
projections or foreign visitors; we can include them in our dream
interpretations, just as we could similarly "interpret" our
wakeful life as an interaction between ourselves and an
- "Angels." Some religious books contain accounts of dream
visitations by angels.
- The "dream-bodies" of humans. Some people have experienced
"mutual dreams," in which the "dream-bodies" of friends and
other people have visited them in their dreams.
- Ancestors. In some cultures, people believe that their
ancestors visit them in dreams; for example, the Australian
aborigines say that their dreams are attended by "Dreamings,"
which are said to be powerful ancestral entities. A friend told
me, "I have had numerous dreams in which I am certain I made
spirit contact with deceased relatives, because what they told
me came true."
- Spiritual teachers. In some Eastern religions, spiritual
teachers are said to have the capability of teaching their
students during dreams (even if the masters are no longer
living). Students of some groups claim that they leave their
bodies during sleep (via a type of out-of-body experience) to
interact with spiritual teachers.
- Unknown beings. A friend told me, "I have come to assume
that when I am in a lucid dream, I am not alone; I often feel
presences during lucid dreams." Another friend said, "In the
lucid state, I often sense presences, discarnate voices, or
We can describe the characteristics of the
"plot" of dreams. Dreams seem to be stories, as in literary fiction,
with characters, plots, and themes. Dream plots have the following
- Randomness. Actually, dreams are probably no more random than
wakeful life. We might think that our wakeful routine is orderly
and linear but -- if we note the moment-by-moment reality of it --
it is filled with distractions, diversions, and inconsistencies;
the brain simply filters out much of that trivia and it presents
us with a neat synopsis to give us a sense of cohesiveness. Our
internal wakeful life is even more random; we concentrate
on a topic for only a few seconds or minutes and then start to
think of something else, just as we do in dreams.
- Absurdity. Dreams are absurd in some ways; wakeful life is
absurd in other ways. Some of the dreamscape-occurrences which
seem ridiculous from our wakeful perspective are sensible from the
viewpoint of the dreamscape. There is nothing inherently ludicrous
about flying, or a character changing its form, or a
dreamscape-scenario suddenly altering to a different scenario;
during wakefulness, we fly in airplanes, we change our form as we
grow from childhood to adulthood, and we alter scenarios when we
walk through a doorway into another room.
- Spontaneity. To an extent, dream plots might be planned in
advance by the mind. But after a dream begins, the dream seems to
have "a life of its own," moving in directions which are
determined by our response to the images and by the psychological
interaction of the characters themselves.
- Compressed passage of time. Although some dreams seem to
continue for considerable durations, the longest REM period is
less than one hour. Dreams express the passage of time in the same
manner which is used by movie directors: they jump from a scene to
a future scene. In experiments, lucid dreamers tested their
experience of time; they signaled to the technician, and then they
counted to ten and signaled again. Their estimation of ten seconds
during a lucid dream was very similar to their subsequent
estimation during wakefulness.