Who is aware? - the question and it's effect

Tell us about your first lucid dream - and your latest. We want all the juicy details. Also share results of dream challenge experiments.
substrate
Posts: 1
Joined: 22 Jan 2012 19:31

Who is aware? - the question and it's effect

Postby substrate » 22 Jan 2012 19:34

Dear Oneironauts,

This morning I went through a series of short to medium lucid dreams, of which I would like to share with you my experience with Stephen Laberge's suggestion - ask: Who is aware?

(as documented in my journal)

The questions 'Who is aware?' comes to mind, and that I wanted to ask it - for it's effect. Immediately the disintegration of the dream environment starts, the dissolution of shape and color happens spontaneously, and, as many times before, I fall backwards, upside down, into darkness, into a dimensionless black hole, with an intense sensations of precipitating, heading down at increasing speed, into a bottomless, non-spatial abyss, accompanied by extreme waves of anxiety and fear of dying, sudden bouts of a shouting, screaming, an eardrum-bursting loud voice coming from a place nearer than my own ears/head, very unintelligible and threatening, deafening. Simultaneous glimpses or a fore-feeling of sheer timelessness, spacelessness, of the eternal witness. Every now and then I remember to keep asking the question 'who is aware?' even during the dramatic, gripping, visceral terror and overwhelming sensory stimuli, and as result intuited this ever-present, silent, non-conceptual, non-attached 'seeing' or observing or 'knowing' modality of consciousness, i.d. pure awareness. There was no body-image while falling into the paradoxical abyss. Still, sound and feeling came - is this proof of the concept Mind-Space, or awareness as absolute space, where everything appears and fades away, but which itself is neither born, nor will die, has no name, quality or anything 'objectifyable'? What does this mean for our fundamentel identity (issues)?

Does some of this resemble psychosis, ego death, bardo states, transpersonal realms (as described in psychotherapeutic literature, traditional religious and spiritual scriptures, scientifically documented experimentation with psychedelics/entheogens, shamanistic ritual paradigms)? The vividness and reality of perception and proprioception is so strikingly similar to ''normal'' waking life that it is fascinating and puzzling to ask: Can the brain just perfectly emulate and create innumerable 'virtual'/artifical/synthetic/mind-made universes which are structurally often so close to conventional reality that the majority of people will not even recognize the difference, and thus do not become lucid in their 'illusory' dreams? And what does this amount to ontologically, neurologically, existentially, phenomologically?

Has anyone experience with the effect of asking the question 'who is aware?', while lucid in the dream, or even as a cue to become lucid? And was this in some respect comparable to the 'falling into darkness'?


I am very curious to hear from you.

Thanks!

Metta,

Mick
17-10-1987

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Peter
Posts: 1951
Joined: 26 May 2011 08:02
Location: New Zealand

Re: Who is aware? - the question and it's effect

Postby Peter » 22 Jan 2012 20:40

I have had that experiance quite a few times but not asked the question of who is aware. It is a lifechanging event and one I will repeat when I next get the chance.

Can your brain create this - it did so yes it can

I think one of the issues is that we wil try to describe these states and experiances with a belief of some sort and in words of our time. As these are new experiances and in a new reality this falls short of anything useful. Its very hard and I try to simply describe what happened and what I felt but NOT what it all means. I leave my mind open to discovery and in time the gaps will get filled.

Great post and this one will get a following

Cheers
Peter
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

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lucidinthe sky
Posts: 1135
Joined: 10 Dec 2011 22:37
Location: Sacramento, California

Re: Who is aware? - the question and it's effect

Postby lucidinthe sky » 22 Jan 2012 21:08

I think the question "who is aware" goes to the heart of the existence of consciousness being a separate entity and shows the separation of mind and consciousness. I think it would also be useful for meditation. It's kind of interesting how in a lucid dream there is the "you" that is the conscious participant in the dream and then there is the dream itself that goes on whether you are aware of it or not.

substrate wrote:The vividness and reality of perception and proprioception is so strikingly similar to ''normal'' waking life that it is fascinating and puzzling to ask: Can the brain just perfectly emulate and create innumerable 'virtual'/artifical/synthetic/mind-made universes which are structurally often so close to conventional reality that the majority of people will not even recognize the difference, and thus do not become lucid in their 'illusory' dreams?


Lucid dreams have confirmed what I was already beginning to understand. I think that our consciousness is literally creating our "reality" by the act of conscious observation and intention which forms reality out of what exists only as a field of possibilties. We take the raw material of the universe (whetever it is made of) and manifest it into a physical world and that's why we can do it in our dreams with no external inputs. We are all participating together to create this environment we live in. I don't think the brain is doing it, at least not alone, but is more like the receiver on a radio or television. All of our experiences here are part of a huge database of experiences and we are all connected to the source where these are stored. We can draw on this resource to make anything, in dreams or waking life. I also think that when we leave this life, we will use these abilities without the limitations of our human life to make realities that are beyond our wildest imagination. This might sound crazy, but that's what I think at this point.
Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world? Morpheus


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