Lucid Dreamers and God

For those who wish to discuss the purely scientific aspects of sleep and dreams, including new research and future technologies.

Have you ever tried to communicate with God in the phase state (LD/OOBE/AP)?

Yes, and I was successful
3
7%
Yes, but nothing happened
2
4%
Yes, but what was encountered was a product of my mind
5
11%
No, but I am willing to try
21
47%
No, and I'm reluctant to try out of fear
0
No votes
No, and I never will (I'm an atheist who doesn't see any point)
14
31%
 
Total votes: 45

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Summerlander
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Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby Summerlander » 17 Jul 2014 19:02

Lucid Dreamers and God

I'm curious about the responses I'm going to get here. Cast your vote and feel free to elaborate. Post significant excerpts from recorded lucid dreams if you like! Feel free also to express your opinions just as I evince my Weltanschauung here (which is part of something I have posted elsewhere):

There is no God. The one you read about in ancient scriptures is man-made. People can protest all they like about my bold statement and even add that I can’t disprove God. But the onus is on the believer to prove or demonstrate the veracity of what he claims to believe in. Any Joe can claim flying pigs exist. Likewise, the belief that a supernatural being wants his followers to wage a holy war against infidels should be ridiculed. Religion, it seems, is a shogunate with a profound bogus licence and no justification for its existence apart from the excuse of its effectiveness as a tool to control and perilously manipulate minds.

This argument, of course, does not make its sermons true. Some religious people have asked me how can I be good without God. Well, I tell them that goodness should nobly come from the individual. One should not have to fear a god or crave heavenly reward in order to be good. In “Age of Reason,” Thomas Paine eloquently indicates how immoral it is to lie to yourself about an idea that if believed can bring comfort and in the minds of some it is an excuse for personal gain and the perpetration of crime. The book underlines how taboo it is to have an open discussion about religion. Have we learnt nothing since then when we tolerate a religion that is used as an excuse to kill non-believers in this day and age? Didn’t 9/11 make enough of an impact in our modern times? Or 7/7? Or the public murder of Lee Rigby while his killers chanted, “God is great!” What about the massacre of innocent civilians at a Kenyan shopping centre by the Islamist group Al-Shabaab? Men, women, and children were murdered for not being Muslim, for being unable to recite from the Quran, or for not knowing the name of prophet Muhammad’s mother. (If you don’t know, it’s Aminah bint Wahb - it could save your life!)

Meanwhile, in Derby, England, multicultural tensions arose as Muslim school Al-Madinah came under investigation for forcing non-Muslim female staff to wear the hijab, for replacing lessons with prayers (causing the children’s education to suffer as a result), and for enforcing the segregation of boys and girls. And it didn’t stop there as boys were granted privileges over girls and the word “pig” was banned. Where is equality and freedom of expression? By contrast, mathematician Bertrand Russell did not need God, nor the belief in free will, to express his pacifism during the Great War. Professor A. C. Grayling, as an atheist, can still promote a kind of secular humanism that includes moral precepts far superior to God’s Ten Commandments and religion’s garbled amorality. The structure of this world speaks for itself as a reflection of the absence of an intelligent, almighty architect.

The old Epicurean reasoning exposes the fact that no theodicy in the world can vindicate a good god in the face of evil. The concept of God, as a belief, has proved to be one of the hardest to let go of. But one only needs to assess the character of God in the world’s monotheisms to realise how improbable and incompatible it is with what happens in reality. As I said before, the evolution of the universe is so slow and careless that the Almighty would also have to be lazy and not much of an architect. Scientists can conceive of a far better universe and yet what we get in terms of its conditions is below slum. Today, DNA sequencing paints a mediocre picture of our species. Nature has the potential to stumble upon superhumans and geniuses, far better than the ones we’ve had, exceeding at everything - yet, what we get so far is mediocre Homo Sapiens. Poor quality is what we see which further evidences the accumulation of cosmic junk.

Does this godlessness justify misbehaviour and cause good people to want to be bad? Of course not. The writer and humorist Mark Twain, who happened to be an intelligent and witty gentlemen fond of science and technology, was all for social equality and mingled with rationalist thinkers of the Enlightenment and atheists who wanted to abolish the slave trade (at the time) because it violated the rights of man. Twain once said: “It isn’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” I don’t know if the laws of man, if open to refinement, are enough to deal with the wicked, unscrupulous, and inhumane, but, we are certainly better off without the religious façade. When it comes to laws in a secular society, you are given the benefit of the doubt until you display your misdemeanour and face the consequences. With religion, you are deemed bad without its tenets even if you are innocent, and must seek salvation or face damnation (and the concept of eternity often goes with this). And although punishment is part of government legislation, it is not as prominent, or as emphasised, as in religion. Secular laws will not say, “You will burn in hell for all time,” or, “May God have mercy on your soul,” or “You will be reborn to pay your karmic debt.”

Personally, I think punishment is not justified when humans don’t really possess free will. But since we are not as advanced in genetics as one would hope to be in order to eradicate unwanted behavioural urges, we’ll just have to make do with what we currently have. The point is, while religion (mostly) claims to know that we have souls with free will and therefore deserving of punishment, science opens the door to new possibilities. Imagine a future where humans are genetically modified to be reasonable and more empathetic to the point where crime and punishment are things of the past. Imagine a future generation looking at the annals of mankind and regarding our current civilisation as barbaric in its methods. Imagine revenge and punishment being considered completely immoral. In our age we are yet to see the first step towards such goal. The first step would perhaps be the establishment of an enlightened utopia of secular humanism. A society that adopted the teachings of the Enlightenment movement. This is yet to happen. Instead, what we see so far in the world is leaders who either try to accommodate everyone in the hope of winning votes, or you get despotism.

Buddhism may have its valid philosophical points but it isn’t impervious to criticism. I dislike the word “karma.” It doesn’t exist in the way that is implied in Buddhism and popular mysticism. The idea of it almost alludes to a judgemental agent behind the course of events, people’s actions and their intentions. If a soldier kills the enemy’s child, either accidentally or purposefully, it does not mean that later something similar will happen to his, or that something bad will happen to him which relates to that particular misdeed for that matter. There is cause and effect in the Newtonian sense but that does not compare with the cockeyed religious idea. Buddhism, to me, becomes a sordid affair when it potentially creates a legion of zombies, or zombie wannabes. Like other religions, it starts off with the assumption that human beings are naturally bad and need salvation. It conveys this in a subtle way by romanticising the idea: We suffer with our egos but the “Buddha nature” can radiate from within us if we allow it to. That is our true nature, they say, therefore we live in a false, delusional state. The ego is something that deserves eradication and the goal has to be Buddha nature. I disagree. You make up your own goals and do what you like. A man trying to convince another that this one is not truly happy is never a good sign.

Meditation can be a beneficial tool to some (and indeed it can reduce stress) and it is true that the less we look at the world based on our likes and dislikes, the happier we’ll be, but some take this great philosophy to extremes. It should be used as a tool when necessary (and if the individual wishes to do so) and I’ll add that there is no lord Mara shackling you to rebirth and no punishment or karmic debt. And while you don’t have to be religious to practice meditation, usually, those who pursue it have a desire to improve themselves (clearly a self-involved or egocentric move) and this is not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but it stinks when it is claimed to be done altruistically. One must also be careful in claiming that meditation alone is responsible for profound behavioural changes whilst omitting external matters or even the enticement of a delusion of enlightenment. How much of the meditator’s new behaviour is a façade? Does it truly come naturally or are they constantly, and in some cases unsuspectingly, conscientious? Subjectively, the person may feel selfless, more compassionate, and feel oneself to have better overall conduct, but, in reality, he may come across as arrogant or holier-than-thou to others. He may even feel that the negative feedback from others stems from envy as he regards himself to be closer to enlightenment, nirvana, or even as a holy man.

Nothing is (and I really dislike this word) “holy.” I’d rather say “wholly” or “complete,” but, even such words, despite being somewhat free of religious connotations, must be carefully applied. They imply a limit that one cannot go beyond and this alone is a recipe for disaster as people can have bad judgements about what is good, bad, sufficient or insufficient. In our mediocre mammalian condition we are not in a position to make such tall claims. Buddhism is another religion that has been exploited in a number of ways and gives certain narcissistic individuals the excuse to exercise their pharisaism. It has its extremists and its moderates and has also been used as an excuse for warfare. It is hypocritical to say Islamic moderation insidiously provides fertile ground for dangerous fanaticism whilst holding a different stance on Buddhism. What might be attractive now may not be so later. This is particularly true about Buddhism once we notice how its practice has evolved to include esoteric beliefs and schismatic sects. There is some truth in Buddhist philosophy, in particular when it teaches us that desire creates attachment and this leads to suffering when loss is experienced. But this should be counterbalanced with a little Epicureanism in order to preserve our humanity and still make the most of being alive.

In a nutshell, you can live according to the following philosophy and not be a Buddhist: Don’t have high expectations but if the good stuff presents itself, take it! And enjoy it! As far as we know, we only live once. So, live! Meditation is a tool with which individuals may acquire different perspectives if they wish to explore and perhaps expand their minds. The transcendental part of meditation is a bit misguided, or the adjective is a bit of a misnomer. You are really only accessing certain perspectives which are already innate or within your potential, even though some experiences may appear to be transcendental. The illusion of transcendence is created by the novelty of such experiences coming to the fore. Then, the aftermath brings excitement which prompts the meditator to think highly of the encountered mental state. As we cherish the insights we may assign great importance to them, often undeservedly, as the mind will further adorn the memory of the experience for the sake of beauty.

Some interpret their meditative states in such a way as to think of them as profound revelations of objective reality or that there is objectively more to life than what materialism proposes. Such types allow all manner of delusional thinking to overwhelm them as they believe that their apparent epiphanies somehow support or make room for their fanciful or biased misinterpretations. We are used to having all the lights on in our (mental) home, but, all of a sudden, and for the first time (or rarely), we only have one of them on. This causes us to really pay attention to the clarity as the rest has suddenly disappeared into obscurity. Rene Descartes got it wrong when he said: “I think, therefore I am.” What he really should have said is this: “I think I am.” And that’s the problem, isn’t it? The minute our evolution stumbled upon a gestalt of higher-order intentionalities and language, the illusion inevitably arose and was strengthened overtime. Hence, the awareness of self concept. As counterintuitive as this sounds, we are self-aware animate objects (most of the time). Maybe I’m being too pedantic about Descartes’ axiom but I would like to be precise and clear about the fact that I am referring to our thinking ability in the context of semantics. I exclude the word “therefore” to rule out his conclusive dualism and to make the following point: The self or self-awareness may have arisen as an illusion when we inevitably stumbled upon the thought, “I am.”

In a mental system that was growing complex and by the bye generating new concepts against old ones, conceiving not only synonyms but antonyms too, the developing imagination and the sense required for survival inevitably led to a sense of self because the concept can simply be formulated. Hence, the birth of such user illusion and the reinforcement of consciousness. So, literally, “I think I am.” In this phrase, the first “I” identifies with the physical body, and, therefore, refers to the primacy of matter; the second “I” identifies with the sense of self which is illusory and an epiphenomenon.

This brings me back to the argument against the existence of God. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He could make us all-knowing like Him in a fraction of a second. Yet, He apparently sends us to the slow and arduous school of earth realm. (Already, the Christian Tribulation concept - a period of hardship living to strengthen the soul prior to Christ’s return - appears ludicrous.) Some of us have relatively short lives. Stillborns don’t even make it to the world outside the womb and thus have no time to learn. If one assumes their premature death is a learning process in itself one should know that they are not even conscious for this nor would they have the capability of comprehending their situation if they could. Scientists tell us that, in “The Matrix,” the scene where Neo instantly downloads Kung Fu knowledge is possible in principle, though a lot of work needs to be done. Likewise, the “Total Recall” scenario, where memories, fantasies, and identities can be embedded in your brain. Science has the potential to make fundamental changes in individuals instantly. A skilled hypnotist can potentially put you in a trance and temporarily make you forget who you are. (All with the power of suggestion alone.) And yet, the Almighty is powerless to download supreme wisdom into your meagre soul.

Moreover, in His chauvinistic and bellicose nature, He is unable to prevent us from having certain thoughts He deems criminal (according to scripture). How can an all-merciful god be so judgemental to his “children” when these never even had a choice in how they are made, how they are made to feel (remember, He is omnipresent), and what happens upon them? He can’t even be compared to us earthly parents when we punish our children for their infractions. We are not omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. In “Spiderman” the following axiom was uttered: “With great power comes great responsibility.” God, who should be responsible for everything, appears to be capricious and evasive. He is so infinitely good and merciful (using sarcasm in case the reader misses it) that He’d rather smite His delinquents than magically fix them out of the kindness of His divine heart. It seems He is absolutely powerless (!), or unwilling, to make His bad seeds see the light. Instead, second-hand revelations are spread through public figures who incite war, hatred, and appear destined to be exalted on unconfirmed merit.
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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nesgirl
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby nesgirl » 18 Jul 2014 01:22

...
Last edited by nesgirl on 20 May 2015 01:09, edited 2 times in total.
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Summerlander
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby Summerlander » 18 Jul 2014 18:17

It won't start a fight if we maintain decency and consider every individual's worldview objectively. Don't worry, nesgirl, we won't be insulting anyone - but we may get them to ask themselves whether they are being accurate in what they believe - and this is fine. Ultimately, we can't really force anyone to walk through the proverbial door. As Morpheus says in The Matrix: "I can only show you the door..." ;)

Every subject should be open to discussion, revision, and criticism. Religion is no different. Freedom of speech should include all forms of expression and ideas. Some are free to expound religious beliefs and ideologies. And others should be equally free to criticise such ideas especially if they are perceived to be bad. Everything is open to debate. Religion is even open to scientific scrutiny as we attempt to determine its origins and evolution. :ugeek:

The fact that the topic of religion was banned in your multimedia class reeks of fear and submission to religious fanaticism and the strange creed that religiosity is immune to criticism. Such cowardly move equates with succumbing to the threat of antisocial behaviour and imposing a gagging order in a society that should be first and foremost free. It is as though a dictatorship has been established after the fact whereupon critics and irreligionists alike are forced to remain silent while religious dogma is aired like it should have priority above everything else. It is also an insult to secularists and atheists who won't even be considered for the Oval Office unless they profess a religious belief. Did you know that poppies honouring British soldiers were nearly banned in the UK after Lee Rigby was murdered by two Islamists? Do you think the soldiers who risk their lives battling terrorists should be deprived of a great reception, honour and celebration on their return out of fear that some religious lunatic will do something? Thankfully enough the public stuck together on that one. :x

And if you ask me about what I would do if the school where my kids go to suddenly forced them to subscribe to a monotheism such as Islam or else they go to hell, I would gladly protest and willingly die in the process if I had to. I would also be distraught with grief if the government decreed the banning of educational books like George Orwell's "Animal Farm" in schools because some of the characters in the allegory are pigs - an animal regarded as devilish and impure in Islam, and the pronunciation of its name widely deemed to be haram. If nobody does anything, children will continue to be brainwashed and won't be allowed to think for themselves. :!:

Imagine a world where Nazism wasn't open to discussion because any criticism of it would further induce the decimation of Jewish sympathisers. Imagine a parallel universe where WWII never took place and the Third Reich spread throughout the world because people chose not to challenge Hitler and the adherents of his philosophy. Today, ISIS is becoming technologically more powerful and more influential to the young while those of us who oppose their radical brand of Islam are all considered to be infidels deserving of death and eternal hell fire. Is this what we want or do we want to send out a message to these people that their beliefs are dangerous and their recipe for a way of life is detrimental to mankind? :idea:

All it takes is for some of us to admit that we are wrong in the face of evidence and let go of an irrational ego. Your multimedia class should have sent out a message that violence and other crimes against humanity are unacceptable and that criticism is important for our intellectual growth. They should also append that there is no reason for anyone to be offended as what is often criticised during noble discourses are ideologies and not the people themselves. People are quite welcome to believe in God and be religious in the privacy of their own homes. They are free to do this and ignore scientific truths that render their beliefs untenable. They are welcome to be happy believing in what they do as long as they don't force the tenets of their religion onto others, quit looking down on unbelievers, and give up their proselytism in the process. And it should also be said that the biggest mistake people make is to blindly identify themselves with ideologies that, when shown to be wrong, cause deep offence. :(

Open-mindedness does not equate with faith or a sympathy for it. Open-mindedness is allowing yourself to grow and accept that what you think you know is always open to revision. Religious dogma is the antithesis of that and it is my right to make this observation whether people like it or not. Perhaps they should question the origins of their discomfort. If I worried about offending every single person on the planet every time I opened my mouth I wouldn't bother opening it at all, and, if everyone followed this erroneous principle, nobody would ever learn anything and communication would regress. :|

Conversely, people who have something to say here are free to espouse a different approach to mine and even voice their religious views in conjunction with lucid dream reports. (I have none regarding God.) I might have gone out on a limb explaining why I have not tried to communicate with God in a lucid dream and elaborating on my atheistic justifications, but you (everybody) don't have to do the same. You may be curious and agnostic. You might be an atheist and still be curious about what sort of experience an attempt to meet with a lucid dream deity could yield. You might be a Christian and believe that communication with God is possible via dreaming. It's absolutely fine. Express yourself here in the name of fun and implicative statistics. 8-)
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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nesgirl
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby nesgirl » 18 Jul 2014 22:46

...
Last edited by nesgirl on 20 May 2015 01:09, edited 2 times in total.
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HAGART
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby HAGART » 19 Jul 2014 08:22

Funny how nesgirl started out by saying they didn't want to talk about it, and yet look what happened... ;)
If anyone has an objection with this topic, simply ignore it and don't reply

So far, looking at the poll, I am the only one who has done this Lucid Dream Challenge. I did it twice: January 2013, and again last night, July 18, 2014. I'll tell two lucid dreams and nothing more. It's just for objective scientific reasons, and consider it Exhibit A and Exhibit B. (Of course reading them will cause others to label me, but I'm above that. I'm just a child of the Universe who likes to explore, and I don't care about groups, or which one I am suppose to be in.)

(This one may sound familiar, Summerlander, from a year and a half ago. I remember talking about it in another thread.)
Jan. 3, 2013.

It started out with some sleep paralysis and I was in a bed, with invisible hands touching and groping me. Not new to it, I remained calm and just let it happen before they finally disappeared and I got up and began to walk. (It was a little creepy, I won't lie, and that never happens to me anymore). After leaving the house, I remembered the experiment about finding God. There was nobody around and I was alone outside. I called out, "God are you there? Is anybody out there? Can you hear me?" Then a guy showed up and he was about 15 or so. I told him I was looking for God and wondered if he knew where he was. He said, "yes". I asked, "can you show me?" He said, "yes." I held his hand and let him show me the way. It was like we were zooming in to somewhere and I got tunnel vision and everything was zipping past me, elongated like when the Millenium Falcon goes into light speed. Just streams of colors zipping past me. He was now ahead of me and I tried to 'fly' beside him, but couldn't catch up.

After a few other images I was finally in a solid 3D environment again. I was in an urban street devoid of people and saw trash and old beat up furniture littered everywhere. There was a wide, flat rock almost like a table and he said God was in there. He dove right in and disappeared. I wanted to follow. I got on it and tried to dive in, but it was solid rock. I thought, how did that guy do it? He seemed to do it in one single motion like diving into a swimming pool. So I did that too without hesitation, without worrying if it was solid, and it worked! I was now 'inside'.

I saw an analogue clock and it was 8:15 and started to try and interpret other numbers and texts I saw posted on the wall, but then I remembered what I was there for and walked away to go find 'God'. I felt like I was making this God guy wait.

I entered a large room with a high ceiling, and large bright windows to the left. There were two people sitting in comfortable, cushioned chairs with armrests. One of them I instinctively knew was 'superior in rank' to the other and he was the 'God' I was looking for. He reminded me of an old friend of mine who was Indian, in his twenties.

I forget what was said first. I started to recount how I started the dream and how I got there. I told them about the hands that were touching me during the sleep paralysis I was getting at the start of the dream. I said, ..."but I just let it go and relaxed". He joked that how was I sure those hands were NOT real! One day they might be real and how do I know my body is not being mistreated still at this very moment by home intruders. I looked out to my left were the windows were. I just saw white light, but felt there was a vast world out there. I thought about what my body was doing at that moment, feeling so distant from it. Like my real body is just out there somewhere. I said not to worry, I have two dogs and they will let me know if someone is in the house. I continued to tell him how I found him. Then in the middle of talking, I started to speak in my head only all of a sudden. I asked in my head, can we speak telepathically? I forget if he said no, but I got the feeling anyway that no I could not. I felt like I was meeting with someone else on a different plane who was also lucid dreaming and we had to verbalize our thoughts because their minds were separate from mine. The other guy attempted to read my mind but could not. I told them how a boy showed me the way and then we reached a stone table and I couldn't pass. Then I realized I was outside now and saw some debris and explained the place looked a lot like this. There was a round stone table near us now and I told him how I couldn't dive into the stone before and had to pretend to dive into water. I may have said something like it was a mental block, but he said no. All you have to do is think it is liquid. I looked away and noticed I was inside now and there was a bare white wall to my left. I pretended it was water and punched it and it made a slapping sound and felt just like water and I pulled my hand out again. I said, "I learn fast!" I wanted him to teach me more. Then I saw a guy walking and I thought to myself, there is no reason why I cannot feel from a distance. I tried to touch his hair without my hands, but with my mind from a distance, but could not feel it. I tried to pull it, but to no avail. I then wondered why there were some people in the realm that were not lucid dreaming themselves the way we were. How do they get here I wondered? Then a woman showed up, and felt like she was like a zombie who inhabits others dreams and then she saw some food on a table and she slobbered and drooled like a mindless zombie, but looked happy and normal otherwise. I felt like she was a party crasher, but it didn't bother me this time because I was just leaving, to go back outside anyway.

I think I lost lucidity, but continued to dream for a few moments later. When I awoke, it was still dark in the room, but I could just feel that I was back.


---------------------------------------------------------------------

July 18, 2014
I was already lucid for a while, and it faded, but I remained relaxed and (long story short) eventually got back into a vivid lucid dream again. I was in a house, but none I recognized, and immediately remembered this LD goal. I walked around, keeping the brand new dream scene stable, and saw some steps leading to the floor above. The bottom step was missing so I had to lift my leg high to get on the spiral staircase, and I noticed it was made of wood, and the bolts holding it all together were corroded with white/green deposits built up on it. Much like an old car-battery gets a build-up on the terminals. As I climbed the steps I felt like I should get as high up as I could before calling out for God just like I did in my last dream when I attempted it. (Which is actually a false memory, because I never did that. Get those all the time!)

The whole time I was doing this, I heard very rhythmic breathing sounds, not coming from any direction but like it was coming from everywhere. On the second floor of the mix-matched, twisted, dream house, I called out, "God?" When I said it, it was barely audible, being drowned out by the heavy breathing. I realized, that the breathing I was hearing was my own physical body and I was hearing it intrude on the dream from 'the real world'. I called out again, and I was starting to hear my voice louder now as I focused more on the dream instead of 'that outside real world'. (That's how it feels when in a lucid dream for me). I called out again, "Are you there? I need some help!"

Then suddenly from around a corner a person showed up. He was short and heavyset, wearing a black, sleeveless muscle shirt, and had red hair and was clean shaven. Not an attractive guy, a little geeky, but cool, and I got the feeling he was into biker culture.

Me: "Are you God?"
DC: "I am your God."
Me: I placed my hand on his shoulder. "Do you have a name, or is it just God?"
(I don't remember a response).
Me: "I need help growing a tail."

(Growing a tail was what I was trying to do earlier in the lucid dream, and got the idea from another topic, by Jacob46719)

Then to my disappointment, just as it was getting good, I started to hear real life noises again and it collapsed, faded, and I woke up. At first I was upset, but then realized, it was already a light lucid dream since I was hearing my breathing (which is another new thing for me!). It was the end of a lucid dream I had kept prolonging for a while, so it was already an accomplishment to even have it in the first place.


I can see some similarities, but I will let others ponder it first.
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.

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nesgirl
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby nesgirl » 19 Jul 2014 22:56

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Summerlander
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby Summerlander » 21 Jul 2014 19:06

@ nesgirl:

There is no law that prohibits people from discussing their privates or even their sex life. If the more prudish crowd don't want to hear it, or see it, they should avert their eyes and ears. There are also places where people can go commando if they so wish - and the prudes are free to stay away. The point I'm making is that both extroverts and introverts have (or should have) the freedom to express themselves. In an ideal world, different parties tolerate one another, without attacks, provided that there is a right time and a right place to do what they do. There should only be intervention when we observe that an ideology or a way of life can be detrimental to human beings. For instance, a cult that recommends sustained sleep deprivation to its followers has a lot of answering to do. Science has established that sleep deprivation can be noxious - one of the many examples of how science can and has helped us to establish an improved set of human values and it can provide us with a better brand of morality than religion, too, if morality is derived from facts about what makes conscious creatures fairly happy and fulfilled. (If anyone is interested in this topic, I recommend the Sam Harris book I've just finished reading, "The Moral Landscape.") :geek:

When it comes to religion, for a lot of people, there is never a right time or a right place for criticism. Equally, even if secularists bend over backwards for the sake of keeping the peace, you will find that the pious are hell-bent on imposing their dogmas on unbelievers in a bid to "save" them. Hence the reason why the business of proselytism continues. :roll:

I share your sentiments about religious leaders and cult chieftains, by the way. I was raised a Catholic and sent to a school run by nuns who subjugated children on a daily basis. I believe I was no younger than seven when I experienced a profound moment of agnosticism. Allow me to explain how this came about: I witnessed a couple of nuns urging a boy to persuade his parents to get him baptised otherwise he would burn in hell. Then, after having demonised him, the "women of God" apathetically walked off leaving a perplexed and melancholic child behind. Subsequently, the other kids only made matters worse by reinforcing the supposed seriousness of the young pariah's pseudo-predicament by exclaiming, "You're going to burn in hell!" :shock:

The boy burst into tears, and, at that moment, I felt that there was something deeply wrong about what had unfolded. He was not guilty of anything. I could see the sadness in his eyes as he was being ostracised and I did not think it was fair. Surely God, in His all-loving and understanding nature, could make an exception of the young pariah's case and change His mind about the penalty of eternal damnation. What didn't occur to me at the time, but then played on my mind later, was God's absence as the boy was being threatened with hell. God had also been absent in those instances of racial abuse from the nuns when they dealt with interned black girls. I can only imagine the repercussions of such abuse and how it could affect or mould anyone to become readily callous and suspicious of everyone. :cry:

In my case, I was only lambasted a few times, but, coupled with what I had seen, it was enough to push me towards agnosticism. Eventually, over the years, as my interest in science and the nature of the world deepened, the more I explored the less agnostic I became - landing me in de facto atheism. :|

@ Hagart:

In the first lucid dream (Jan 3, 2013) you mention having trouble catching up with an adolescent dream character. I can't tell you the number of times I've experienced this difficulty but I've noticed that a good dose of confidence suffices to surmount it. The key is to avoid doubt (the trouble is when doubt arises in our minds willy-nilly in a lucid dream - it's a tricky affair!) :twisted:

The emergence of the flat rock in your mental world makes me wonder if it's part of a mnemonic Biblical schema perhaps stemming from a childhood exposure to the Book of Genesis - namely the story of Abraham and his son who is nearly slain on a stony altar on God's orders. The god in your lucid dream reminded you of your Indian friend, which brings me to ask you whether he was religious or exuded an air of religiosity. Finally, on this particular lucid dream, I'd like to point out that it's also a good example of an out-of-body experience. You experienced the sensation that your physical body was lying asleep far away from where you (the self) was. You perceived yourself to be somewhere else whilst clearly remembering your sleeping body. (In reasonable terms, this is the perfect definition of the OOBE.) 8-)

Now, the second lucid dream (July 18, 2014): I find the spiral staircase interesting as it reminds me of the Fibonacci sequence - which is sometimes believed to be God's signature in His design of the universe. On a different note, false memory whilst lucid dreaming can be common with me, too. And what is your take on the breathing that was firstly all-pervading and subsequently emanating from you? Symbolically meaning you are the living, breathing god of your mind before projecting ("outwardly") a weird representation of such in the form of a nerdy DC, perhaps? :mrgreen:
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Karin
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby Karin » 21 Jul 2014 20:25

Summerlander, I might post a more detailed reply (there are so many things you say that I totally agree with, even though I am not an atheist anymore), but I just had to post this immediately:

I was raised a Catholic and sent to a school run by nuns who subjugated children on a daily basis. I believe I was no younger than seven when I experienced a profound moment of agnosticism. ... landing me in de facto atheism.


I heard someone say recently (though I can't remember who right now), that Catholic schools are the best atheist factories. :D

I wasn't raised Catholic, but my husband was, and he had the same experience as you did: he was told his very best friend, who was a Jewish boy, would burn in Hell. He was very young, but there and then he decided he wanted nothing to do with the church.

Also, how many times during my atheist years have I been asked the exact same question you were: how can I be a good person if I am an atheist? Because being good makes me feel good, that's why. I am not trying to be a good person because I am afraid of divine punishment, I am good because if I hurt another person, I feel awful. I was always shocked that people could not grasp this concept.

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Summerlander
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby Summerlander » 21 Jul 2014 21:39

Wow! What a gem of a reply and you certainly got me captivated! :o

Summerlander, I might post a more detailed reply (there are so many things you say that I totally agree with, even though I am not an atheist anymore), but I just had to post this immediately:


Please do reply in detail if you get a chance, you are very welcome! It's hard for a reasonable person to disagree with most of what I said, and I fear that there are good people blinded by faith who would because they want the fantasies they've been sold to be true.

I'm also curious about how you came to abandon your atheism. Have you found a good reason to be a Deist - or even a pantheist? Perhaps like the strange old man in Scott Adams's "God's Debris" (where a particular brand of pantheism is strangely compelling). I open-mindedly look forward to your reply! You got my full attention there. :)

I heard someone say recently (though I can't remember who right now), that Catholic schools are the best atheist factories.


This rings familiar. I think I came across this person, too, but I can't remember who it was either. It seems like a fair comment to make. I mean, who would have thought that a little boy from the English Church would grow up to become a Darwinist, a great scientist, and one of the most famous atheistic voices (having authored a book called "The God Delusion") in the world today. His name is Richard Dawkins. 8-)

I wasn't raised Catholic, but my husband was, and he had the same experience as you did: he was told his very best friend, who was a Jewish boy, would burn in Hell. He was very young, but there and then he decided he wanted nothing to do with the church.


What a coincidence! Having left the Church, is your husband an atheist or agnostic now? (or the same as you - I'm really curious about your current position!) 8-)

I was always shocked that people could not grasp this concept.


Tell me about it. When I come across that sort of response I ask them, "Is it really that hard to see?" :roll:
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Karin
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Re: Lucid Dreamers and God

Postby Karin » 21 Jul 2014 22:03

I'll try to find the time for a detailed reply. Actually, I started the other day, and it became so lengthy that I kind of gave up and erased that start, thinking I would bore the hell out of everyone :roll: . There is so much to say on that topic.

My husband was never an atheist; he used to be an agnostic, and recently it evolved into something more (I hate to put labels on this, it is always misinterpreted). Actually, we have had many heated discussions, me being an atheist and not even seeing the point of discussing God or philosophies, anymore than I would have liked to waste my time discussing Santa Claus, and him being more into philosophical views of the universe (as opposed to me being into a 100% mechanistic/materialist view of the universe).

There are no labels to fit what my views are now (it certainly isn't any organized religion or any belief in a God 'out there') but I'll try to explain as well as I can.

It is one fantasy of mine to have a time machine and go meet my old self two years ago and tell her what I think now, and just watch my/her shocked face!! :D :D Maybe one day in a dream, I'll do just that!


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