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Last tended: March 8th, 2023
Where Demons Lie
Once upon a time I suffered from regular nightmares. They weren’t anything special. Just darkness, monsters and dread. I don’t know why I experienced them so frequently, but they were enough to keep me away from sleep and horror-inducing media. I didn’t think much of it back then: “I’m a coward…” Nothing I wasn’t already aware of.
I was afraid of more than just the dark, dear reader. I feared heights and crocodiles, judgement and failure… humiliation and rejection. These insecurities would indirectly lead me to learn the art of Lucid Dreaming֎. Ironically, the same place that robbed me of rest, promised to be a purveyor of fantasy.
Induction & Sustenance
To fly like Superman and maybe charm others like one too? Heh, where do I sign? Well, nowhere actually. You can’t buy your way into becoming an avid lucid dreamer; you could be born with a disposition to the skill, but, most likely, you would have to train. More dedicated hobbyists than I have intricately documented methods to induce lucidity while dreaming.֎ All of them valid and with unique pros and cons.
Induction, while clearly the key component, is only half the battle. Especially when you’re just starting out. Imagine: You’ve been putting in all this time and effort to get this singular event to manifest, and then it does! And you’re so ecstatic and ready-to-go and– Whoops. You just woke yourself up. Your body, it can’t really handle both sleep and excitement.
To induce lucidity, you practice mindfulness֎ / awareness֎. To sustain lucidity, you cultivate detachment֎ / calmness֎. These disciplines, they are the true treasures of the trade in my opinion. I’ve never had a lucid dream leave a mark on me as much as some of my more emotionally intense non-lucid dreams. I also believe that normal dreams have the potential to be useful windows into ones subconscious.
Not that you stop having regular dreams, mind you. It’s just that your perspective on them can change. When dreams become your plaything, your reverence for them can take a hit.
My nightmares ended shortly into my lucid dreaming journey. I sincerely believe it cured me. Once in a blue moon, perhaps I’ll have one, but surely that’s normal. More recurring however, is the tactic I employ to deal with dream dread. If anxiety begins to mount, I place faith in its source. The strategy has worked even in situations one might consider hopeless; like the monsters appearing, in their full terror 👾, just to have it turn out that they’re actually friendly.
Is that really what they are though? Or is that just what I compel them to be? Am I facing my fears or willing ignorance? Are my lucid lies not tainting my subconscious truths? Am I so obsessed with control that I suppress myself, reject myself, even in my sleep? Oh no, beloved visitor, the reality is sadder than that…
You see, the problem here is that I’m giving myself too much credit. I am not 50% truth, 50% lies. No… It’s like my ex-girlfriend (repeatedly) told me: I am 100%֎ full of sh*t.
All the way down to my subconscious.
Written for Solas
Solas: “Some of my fondest memories were found in crumbling cities long picked dry by treasure seekers. The best are the battlefields. Spirits press so tightly on the Veil that you can slip across with but a thought.”
Inquisitor: “Any place in particular?”
Solas: “I dreamt at Ostagar. I witnessed the brutality of the darkspawn and the valor of the Fereldan warriors. I saw Alistair and the Hero of Ferelden light the signal fire…and Loghain’s infamous betrayal of Cailan’s forces.”
Inquisitor: I’ve heard the stories. It would be interesting to hear what it was really like."
Solas: “That’s just it. In the Fade, I see reflections created by spirits who react to the emotions of the warriors. One moment, I see heroic Grey Wardens lighting the fire and a power-mad villain sneering as he lets King Cailan fall. The next, I see an army overwhelmed and a veteran commander refusing to let more soldiers die in a lost cause.”