In my previous blog (October 22) I discussed lucid euphoria, which can occur at the beginning of many lucid dreams. An even more profoundly intense experience can occur within and during the lucid dream. I call this lucid ecstasy.
Lucid dreaming lends itself to depth experiences, I feel, because it involves both the awareness of the waking mind with the vastness of the unconscious mind. This combined awareness of waking conscious and unconscious naturally leads to deep, unparalleled encounters with the mystery of the larger Self. As Carl Jung noted, however, even the light of the numinous must pass through the lens of each person’s unconscious, resulting in a multiplicity of manifestations.
Lucid ecstasy can have many forms in the lucid dream, yet primarily appears as an overwhelming sense of beauty and thanks, or a spiritual or religious knowing, initiation or comprehension, and sometimes an intense physically oriented sensation.
Once in a lucid dream, I consciously wandered the nearby streets in the sparkling darkness, admiring the beauty and seeming aliveness of the dreamt houses, the sidewalk, the trees with their near perfect details and uniqueness. At that moment, I could feel something welling up inside of me, and I spontaneously began expressing my deepest, sincerest thanks for being alive and aware in this incredible place at this wondrous time. Suddenly, the outpouring became a gushing of thanksgivings, a bursting forth of praise for the miracle of this created reality, like years of pent-up, unexpressed joy found an outlet and shot into the skies of my mind with exploding fireworks of happiness.
In the morning, I sought to understand what had happened. Lucid ecstasy was the only way to describe it.
Discovering this deep joy in lucid dreams has been noted by many lucid dreamers. The author of Pathway to Ecstasy, Patricia Garfield, commented that along her lucid dreaming path, she found changing levels of emotion, activity and content. She writes, “At the first level, we are total victims of our dreams figures. . . . At the second level, we are active participants in our dream struggles. . . . At the third level of interaction, we are conscious and peaceful participants in our dream adventures.” She then concludes, “At the fourth level of interaction, we move into a full-blown mystical, ecstatic experience within the dream.”
Garfield suggests that at this fourth level, where ecstasy arrives, the lucid dreamer finds, “Forms disappear and all is radiance. We are part of a single life force. I glimpse the brilliance of this level fleetingly, at one with the universe. These are the dream experiences of light.”
For many of us, these ecstatic experiences of “a single life force” or oneness will materialize in various ways. Some will experience pure light – a knowing, compassionate, positive light, in which we find deep support, acceptance, knowledge and love. Others may find this light emanating from lucidly dreamt figures or buildings or objects, sometimes holding religious or spiritual significance that prompts an extraordinary realization within the lucid viewer. Still others may find themselves as a pinpoint of light, hurtling through the cosmos, or comprehending its connection to all other points.
However experienced, a feeling of lucid ecstasy often emerges, as the lucid dreamer consciously connects to the “radiance.”
Perhaps most common among lucid dreamers is the sense of lucid ecstasy that derives from a dreamt physical experience. It may be the sense of enormous freedom felt when lucidly flying through the dreamscape with mastery. Or, it may be engaging in a deep sense of oneness while lucidly and passionately coupling with another. However expressed, it seems the lucid senses heighten the beauty and joy to a crescendo of intensely felt sensation. For a brief moment, the lucid dreamer feels transformed by the intensity and reaches a momentary sense of ecstasy.
I recall a lucid dream in which the breakthrough was visually experienced. Frustrated by some impediment in flying, I felt lucidly determined to go as fast as possible and cast aside any constraint to flying. As I willed myself forward, propelled by emotion, the imagery slid by quickly until it became a streaked blur of color – then suddenly, like breaking the sound barrier, I seemed to break the visual barrier, and burst into a darkness where the light existed in myriad capsule forms which scattered in front of my perception, like so many pieces of broken glass. I marveled at this shattering of imagery, as bits of light tumbled through the darkness.
In many regards, lucid ecstasy points to the breaking of typical constraints. For a moment, the lucid dreamer allows an expansion, an outpouring, a breakthrough of consciousness and sensation. Then, radiant joy rushes into the openness, which the lucid dreamer experiences as a kind of ecstasy.
Next time, we will bask in the lucid afterglow, which many experience for hours or days after their lucid dream.
Until then, best wishes,