I’ve just finished reading Gateway to the Inner Self and can’t begin to express just how much I enjoyed it. I wondered whether you might be able to give any advice on changing my dream expectations.
I’m really interested in lucid dreaming to heal/find out more about my mind, which for quite a few years now has been subject to lots of strange and debilitating anxiety-related behaviours. I experience them constantly during my waking state, and feel as though they may relate to a subconscious belief in them that’s very much out of my conscious control. I find that the one time I’m typically not effected by all these intrusive thoughts and overactive startle reflexes and the like is during my dreams. However I feel that deep down there’s a part of me that worries about all this stuff coming into play once I become lucid.
I realise that this probably isn’t a productive expectation to have considering the role that you say expectations can have in lucid dreams, but I have no idea how to change this. It feels like an anticipation that itself is being held onto by my subconscious, and in that sense paradoxically something which I imagine I could address in my dreams.
I wondered whether you might be able to give me any advice on any of this? Hopefully it’s not too unclear.
Thanks for reading my first book, Lucid Dreaming – Gateway to the Inner Self. While I have expertise in lucid dreaming, I am not a therapist (and these comments are my own personal viewpoint, which may not be applicable to anyone else’s situation).
In lucid dreaming, we see that ‘expectation’ does play a role in ‘creating’ one’s experience. If we ‘expect’ trouble from a dream figure, then the figure becomes troublesome. But if we flip our expectation and expect assistance from a dream figure, then the figure becomes helpful and friendly.
Lucid dreaming teaches us to become aware of our own ‘mind’ and its belief, expectations, etc. — so that we can claim our authority to change our own mind and thereby, change our experience.
Now, this also seems the case in waking life (and lucid dreamers call this Living Lucidly). In waking life, you can begin, bit by bit, to change your own mind (and therefore, change your own experience). So you pay attention to your Beliefs, and self talk. When you hear the worry and concern in your self-talk during the day, you stop and become aware of it. Then you may question the beliefs — or suggest to yourself a different belief with a small change (that moves you towards your desired goal of being free).
To me, lucid dreaming seems to show that the ‘ego’ self brings these things (fears, worries, anxieties) to the subconscious. 😉 So there seems no need to blame the subconscious for what the ego dumps into it! The important thing seems to involve the ego becoming more aware and thoughtful about its own thoughts.