Consciousness and Hypnagogia: Part V

Copyright © Sirley Marques Bonham, PhD


There are at present several methodologies - depending on what we want to do, to learn, to memorize, or to input into the unconscious mind with the goal of obtaining something in return. We have accumulated already considerable knowledge on the physical part of the brain and its resulting mind. However, we may have only facts on certain properties of the mind not clearly explainable (at present) by neuroscience. Telekinesis, telepathy, and remote-viewing, or any other extra-sensorial faculties are examples of phenomena that are not yet explained. Remote-viewing techniques on how to bypass the conscious mind are modern psychologically based techniques to obtain remote information.

List of Methodologies

- The 'Meditation' know-how - a good example is that of the Dream Yoga practiced by some Tibetan monks – who are able to lucid dream throughout their sleep period! (See ref. by Tenzin Wangyal Riponche (1998))

- Lucid dream mechanism of 'seeding the unconscious' – will bring about awareness during the dreaming state.

- Alpha-theta training - to learn to recognize, and change, brain-wave frequency (beta, alpha, theta, delta).

- Remote viewing protocol(s) - to reach for remote-information.

- Modern Learning Technologies – the use of technologies of learning to input a request or problem to the unconscious mind.

- The practice of self-awareness of the unconscious parts of the mind – or simply the building of a habit of purposeful self-awareness.

- Practice of Visualization – this is an important ability available, which when done with a purpose and persistence, can achieve results that appear miraculous.

- Self Experimentation - I believe a good example is that of Momir Maksimovic, who was able to develop his own method where he would 'astral travel' throughout his sleep period. There are others like for example, Robert Bruce and other modern writers on lucid dreaming and OBEs, who in the last fifteen years or so have developed creative techniques through self-experimentation.

The Problem of Seeding of The Unconscious

Every time we are learning something new we are doing a process quite similar to the 'seeding' of the unconscious. The idea of 'seeding' the unconscious was offered by Stephen LaBerge, along with other modern lucid-dreamers, as a means to produce lucidity within dreams. In general, the process of 'seeding' the unconscious with an idea or goal can be useful in problem solving, as it grows with input of knowledge or information; it is free-wheeling in creativity, except by the use of developed skills; it is tricky with lucid-dream and out-of-body experiences, as we need to become conscious while sleeping; and it is also tricky with remote-viewing, as information comes up 'fuzzy' when the person is awake or at the borderland of sleep. Research and experimentation with lucid-dreaming has led to the development of practical techniques for 'seeding' unconscious; the literature contains many examples of attempts, failures, and successes.

Unusual Outcomes of Intense Learning

The results of learning in general may excite the brain and central nervous system to such an extent that will cause the upsurge of hypnagogia, or may produce energetic-like events. Examples can be suspected in cases like John Nash's problems with schizophrenia, and in less extreme situations, in the many cases of a person's development of stress-related mental and emotional instabilities. Examples of stress situations are plenty from soldiers fighting a war, students overload with academic work, stress at work, or family or life changes. As an example, one of my family members developed a severe case of visions due to extreme stress at work, and they only disappeared when these stressful situations ended. Also, there are cases where instead of mental instability, there happen 'enlightenment' types of phenomena. I suggest that both types may be related to Kundalini syndromes, of the bad (mental and emotional instabilities) and good (enlightenment or Kundalini awakening) types.

Learning and The State of Trance

Entering what we could call a 'learning trance' is a natural event in all methods of learning, traditional and modern (academic) methods, because the focus necessary for obtaining information will naturally lead to a trance-like situation. There are also the methods of neurolinguistic-programming, which uses Ericksonian techniques of hypnotism, and neurofeedback for (re)-training of the brain-waves (alpha-theta training). The trances induced during a learning situation are mostly of the light types of trance, just like, as mentioned above, the driving of a car while busy with our thoughts is a form of trance. In learning, quite deep trances may be induced when the person is deeply into the subject, even if not fully recognized as such. The more focused the mind is during the process of learning, the deeper in the state of trance a person is.

Putting it all together: Mind Situations

In the above diagram I have put together the situations we have been discussing up to now. Note that the position of the conscious and unconscious mind in the diagram is artificial, as the division is arbitrary and normally there is no clear delimitation between the two parts. In this respect, the part of the mind we call the conscious mind is just the tip of the iceberg. The conscious mind appears to direct the whole 'play' of behavior, but which is (or can be) frequently deceived, as it is demonstrated by the many histories of the phenomenon of hypnotism.

Reviewing the Basic Information on the Unconscious

The unconscious is therefore understood as:

unconscious mind: includes our memories, our habits, and the physiological processes necessary for the living organism

The super-conscious mind: includes our 'wisdom' – the part that knows the past and the future, what the organism needs to be healed, and when to jump-start the next step of evolution, by upgrading the Kundalini process.

More on the 'Super-Conscious' Part of the Unconscious Mind – Reaching for The Source of Wisdom

Here is a list of examples of situations where I believe the super-conscious mind is in action:

- Surprises in 19th-century explorations of Mesmerism - The somnambulist brought out 'the healer within'. Again, Edgar Cayce provided many instances of this 'wisdom' that came while he entered a profound state of trance.

- Everyday intuition and creativity springs from the wisdom of the super-conscious mind.

- Difficult problem-solving: Remember Kekule's famous dream!

- Dreams of events in the future! Perhaps the influence of a common human wisdom, which would pervade and influence each human mind, in a process quite like Jung envisioned.  

Wisdom and Synchronicity

So, we understand that the super-conscious mind is wise. I propose that the super-conscious part of the unconscious may also bring about events of synchronicities. Synchronicities involves situations or events that bring up opportunities for the resolution of problems, or to learn knowledge pertinent to a question or search by the conscious mind.

An example of synchronicity is related to my own experience with 'the light on my forehead' as told above. The synchronicity is how I found an explanation for this oddity. In 1993, I acquired a copy of OMNI magazine (see Patrick Huyghe (1993)) because it contained an article about lucid-dreaming. However, there was also another article that I decided to read, which was about difficult experiences people could have due to the practice of meditation. While reading this article I was immensely surprised that among other phenomena there described, due to the Kundalini phenomena, was the perception of lights during meditation. I immediately connected with my problem, and soon understood that the method I was practicing, supposedly for the development of out-of-body experiences, was in fact quite related to the practice of meditation.  

A Two-Way Interaction with our Unconscious

I propose that a two-way communication means with our unconscious is possible:

  • By reaching to the unconscious (sub & super parts of it) through the continuous practice of any protocol or method that includes techniques similar to meditation.
  • By posing questions, requests, or intentions, then 'by listening' - preferably while in a meditative state, or in a state of trance. The 'listening' is an attitude of relaxed expectation, or of trust that we will receive an answer from our unconscious.
  • By the choice of a special timing in going to sleep and/or getting up, so as to favor periods of rapid-eye-movement (REM), when dreaming is more likely, and also by taking purposeful naps. By repeating the process of meditation before falling asleep.
  • By practicing exercises to increase awareness, through 'reality testing' (also from lucid-dreaming techniques), as suggested by LaBerge.
  • By practicing 'energy-type' exercises, as for example, the ones proposed by Robert Bruce, or any other technique that produce the development of this 'energetic,' or Kundalini related property of the nervous system.
  • By practicing purposeful visualizations of the desired outcome.

Reviewing The Process

Therefore, the suggested process includes the regular practice of any method similar to meditation, and I have stressed the importance of this practice, due to its ideal condition for the appearance of hypnagogia. It includes what is known as 'seeding' of the unconscious mind (from lucid-dreaming techniques). It is important to remember here that this 'seeding' is similar to the learning process followed by our brain-mind to learn a new skill. The process also includes a 'listening' or 'expecting' attitude: the relaxed posture within the right condition (meditation, sleep threshold, alpha-theta session, remote-viewing session), which should be taken as an attitude of trust on the wise part of the unconscious we call the super-conscious mind. Another important contribution by Wilson Van Dusen, came in the form of his book, The Natural Depth in Man, first published in 1972. In short, Van Dusen's suggestion is that we are in constant contact with our unconscious, and that therefore, we can practice this interaction while fully awake in our everyday dealings. The practice of meditation, or of purposefully entering a 'trance', or other technique of focusing our attention inward, will help bring out visuals not easily obtainable while awake (except for a few who see 'visions'). The 'seeding of the unconscious' and the practice of 'reality testing' will increase awareness in situations where it is too low, as when in a too deep state of trance or sleep onset, or when in dreaming situations within sleep.

It is Important to Make it a Habit!

It is critical to make a habit of the listening or expecting attitude, which should follow our everyday activities. When the habit is established, it means the mind has incorporated this new skill. The problem-posing is already naturally done during our everyday activities. More awareness (or purposefulness) of this process means better results. This is what I have referred to above as the purposeful 'seeding of the unconscious'. As suggested by Van Dusen, we are constantly in contact with our unconscious mind while awake, even if not aware of it. Then, it will be to our advantage to increase awareness of this contact, which is done by 'reality testing' during our waking period.

The Format of The Messages From The Unconscious

It is well known that frequently the unconscious will send us a message through symbolic imagery in dreams, or through synchronous events. This is of utmost importance, because if we do not understand the message, it will be lost. Remote viewing uses the method of imagery, and records the messages from the unconscious through the use of drawing and other artistic methods to translate the information, taking advantage of the use of various channels. In this case, the images sought are information from a remote location or person; what was important to know was the details from the target, not its symbolic meanings. However, frequently our hypnagogia or dream imagery that are messages from the unconscious will be symbolic, though with a flavor that helps us relate the imagery to the related event. It is implicit here that the person must have some mechanism to interpret these symbolic imageries, or should be an accomplished intuitive to get to the point of the message.

I myself have many times failed in the intuition part of understanding the meaning of the imagery sent to me by my unconscious; later, when the event happens, I realize that I missed the point altogether. That is one issue that comes up frequently, and is one main reason for a person not taking the unconscious message too seriously, or abandoning listening to the messages altogether. The understanding of the meaning of the message included in the hypnagogia is important, but there is no sure way to develop this intuition, as the logical mind is always interfering with the interpretation. However, I trust that with practice the intuition necessary to understand the message eventually bypasses the logical mind to get to the heart of it, bringing in the full content of the message. I have not explored too many ways to overcome this problem, as I have not fully dedicated myself to that goal. The remote-viewing experience has brought to light many of these problems and how to deal with them. I consider their protocol a prime example of how to solve the problem of reception of 'fuzzy' information. Otherwise, we must find our own way in this path. Eventually, we will all arrive at a consensus.

After reviewing the facts, situations, and experiences that support the claim that hypnagogia is important in our interaction with the unconscious mind, what is new?

What I have attempted to convey in this article is the unified UNDERSTANDING of the process involved in the messages from the unconscious, and the need for a rational and persistent use of a method, a protocol, or a schedule for contacting the unconscious. I have also attempted to communicate that a learning process is implicit within these methods. I have attempted to convey the understanding of the global and far-reaching aspects of the meditative techniques, or the state of trance, as well as its 'energetic' consequences, which are implicit within the brain and nervous system within our physiological mechanism. Our participation in the process is dual, conscious and unconscious at the same time. However, there's nothing really new. There is only a panorama presented here that may help us to be more efficient in our dealings with the conscious and unconscious parts of our mind.

About The Author

About The Author

Rebecca Casale is a lucid dreamer and a science writer with a special interest in biology and the brain. She is the founder of World of Lucid Dreaming and Science Me.