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Lucid Dreaming / It's All About the Chemistry

Lucid Dreaming

Ever since I first tried LSD, I had hoped to get a fully discontinuous out-of-body experience from it— a journey into another reality. It didn’t take long for me to realize LSD was not the answer to make this happen. I still kept trying to see if I could ever get a good trip, but even if I did, I was always aware of being in my body, in this reality, and I felt all messed up. Hallucinations were weird and scary, but I thought back to that night I floated out of my body and could see that I had still never reached the goal. I was very fortunate to find a copy of Lucid Dreaming by Dr. Stephen LaBerge in a bookstore. The subtitle read “How to Become Awake and Aware in Your Dreams.” Dr. LaBerge taught a technique called “Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming,” or MILD. First you had to start remembering your dreams, which involved staying completely motionless when you woke up. You would ask yourself where you just were and what you were doing. Then, you would replay the dream in your head, over and over again, only now you would imagine yourself noticing some strange, impossible detail and realizing that you were dreaming. Dr. LaBerge explained that any time you looked at something, looked away, and then looked back, if it was a dream it would change— and that was your best way of finding out whether it was a dream. While doing this, you would also mentally repeat the same sentence over and over again, putting as much meaning and feeling into it as you possibly could: “Next time I’m dreaming, I want to remember to recognize I’m dreaming.” Then, if you were lucky enough, you would fall back asleep and realize that everything around you had changed while you were still saying those words. At this point you could test your environment for changes and other impossible things— and if you found something, then you were now in a lucid dream. Best of all, once you found yourself in this state, you had full godlike abilities in the dream— including levitation and telekinesis. You could directly experience what ascension would be like in your real-time, waking life— and it was absolutely fantastic. I put a lot of time into reading LaBerge’s book, understanding the technique, and practicing it— and after only a few tries, I got spectacular results. I could soar through the air, walk through walls, travel anywhere I wanted, and lift huge objects with my mind. I could also completely change my environment just by thinking about something different. I felt a high that was much greater than anything I had ever gotten from drugs. The first time it happened, I found myself in the front doorway of the house, right where I had gotten lost for twenty-six years and appeared to have the facial features of a black man. Now there was a single, bare bulb hanging down from the ceiling, which was obviously different. A black man was sitting there, drenched in sweat and extremely upset about something. The bulb had been shattered, but light was still coming out of it.

I realized that bulbs could not give off light without glass around the filament— and suddenly I became lucid. It was a tremendously wonderful experience. I ran outside and levitated over my house, checking out how the trees and the roof looked from up there. After one lucid dream, I was hooked. I soon realized I could go wherever I wanted to go, do whatever I wanted to do, and create whatever I wanted to create. In my second or third experience, I found myself in a beautiful pasture, and I manifested a good-sized red barn that was filled to the brim with marijuana. I walked up to the doors, opened them, and was knocked over in an avalanche of sweet-smelling buds. I then manifested a six-inch-wide salad bowl, put a hole at the bottom, attached a bent pipe to the hole, and then created a blowtorch. I packed it full with weed and took a huge hit— but I did not get high. I already was. In another case, I created a magnificently futuristic car and went on a joyride, which included being able to punch it into speeds that were unimaginable in my waking reality. Each experience was magnificent, absolutely real, and would go on for what seemed like well over an hour in some cases. I would fly through windows, explore buildings, see people who couldn’t see me, and feel incredible. I needed enough time to get extra sleep, so I typically practiced this on the weekends— and the results were phenomenal. In one of these experiences I started writing everything down that was happening to me— and I was shocked to discover that all my words were in perfect French. I normally could not speak it that well in my waking life, but in the dream it was very natural, and I knew it was right. I didn’t always think clearly when I was lucid, though, and in that dream I had hoped to be able to bring all my written papers back with me. When I woke up, they were gone, of course. In another dream I ended up in the local CVS pharmacy, and put on quite a show, where I levitated a group of large trash barrels and started orbiting them around one another. It was a larger-scale version of what happened in the movie E.T. I was always trying to talk to people, show them miracles, and let them know we were in a dream and none of this was real— but I always had problems. They would listen at first, but then some force would come over them, they would blank out, and walk away as if they had no idea what I had just said.

This happened to the entire crowd of people who saw me levitate the barrels, and it was very bizarre. It appeared that I was not in full control of my environment. At least two different times, I was flying around having adventures and got pulled into a highly advanced spacecraft. People with robes were talking to me and we were standing in front of gigantic picture windows. Absolutely fantastic spaceships of unimaginable size drifted past the window. Dr. LaBerge’s book had taught me that everything in a lucid dream is created in your brain and none of it is real— and since he was a scientist I felt he had to be right. So, even though I found myself on these magnificent craft, talking to these robed wise men like the old man from my childhood dreams, I believed they were all a product of my subconscious. I would tell them they were illusions right to their faces and they would just laugh and smile politely. They were always very kind to me and encouraged me to continue practicing this technique. I was also congratulated for losing weight and was told I had the power to completely transform my life. They complimented me for the things I had done to help others. I was told that this was what really mattered where they were. No one ever shamed me or told me I should quit using drugs. I couldn’t imagine that any of this was actually real, despite how vivid it was, so after I woke up from such an experience I would always laugh about my “weird dreams,” and say, “My subconscious sure has a vivid imagination.” By the year 1996 I had established direct telepathic contact with these same people— and I was absolutely shocked to discover how real all of it had been. They ended up making house calls, and appeared in front of my brother and one of my clients who had received spiritual counseling from me, in order to prove they really did exist.

It’s All About the Chemistry

I found out that happiness doesn’t just come naturally to the body. Happiness is not like a thought or an idea. You only feel happiness when the brain creates certain chemicals and releases them into the gaps between brain cells. Happiness occurs during the time these chemicals remain in your synapses, before they break down and get reabsorbed. Your brain only makes a small amount of these chemicals at a time, and stores them at a steady rate— like water filling up in a tank. We then get addicted to various things that cause an unnaturally large amount of this “water” to splash out of the tank all at once. Some people get addicted to sex. Some people get addicted to work, stress, or fear. Some people get addicted to bullying and creating drama, such as in an intimate relationship. Some people get addicted to staying up late and pushing themselves, so they don’t get enough sleep. Some people get addicted to sugar, wheat, dairy, and other unhealthy foods. Some people get addicted to caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol. Some people get addicted to prescription drugs. And some get addicted to other drugs— including marijuana. Any of these addictions can create a situation in which our brain is eventually burning these chemicals faster than they can be replenished. Once this happens, you reach what psychologists call depression. If you then develop five or more of the following symptoms, you have what is called clinical depression:

Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty, or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as constant irritability) Significantly reduced interest or feeling no pleasure in all or most activities Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite (in children, failure to gain weight as expected) Insomnia or increased desire to sleep Either restlessness or slowed behavior that can be observed by others Fatigue or loss of energy Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt Trouble making decisions, or trouble thinking or concentrating Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or a suicide attempt32

Other than suicidal thoughts, I was having all the classic symptoms of clinical depression. In order to fit the diagnosis, the problems needed to “be severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in day-to-day activities, such as work, school or social activities.” All this applied to me. I still was unable to feel confident around women. My work, school, and social activities had all suffered dramatically. As I was learning in my psychology classes, most psychiatrists were handing out prescription drugs like candy, telling their patients that nothing was really wrong with them. It was all just a chemical imbalance— and there was a drug to treat that. Thankfully, this was not what the article suggested. Some people could be helped by taking these prescription drugs, but it could also become another addiction. If people suddenly tried to stop taking them, they could have such a bad reaction that they would become suicidal— and might actually go through with it. The article said you needed to cut the problem off at the root. You had to identify the addiction that was causing you to destroy certain chemicals called enkephalins and endorphins— such as serotonin and dopamine— and find a way to stop repeating the pattern. In my case, it was very simple. Although I had a variety of addictions, the main way I was destroying all my serotonin was through smoking weed. I had finally reached the point at which there was so little serotonin left in my brain that even when I smoked, I could barely get high— and the rest of the time I suffered clinical depression. The article discussed this exact situation in detail, and said the only way out would be to completely stop using drugs. Once I finally freed my brain from the torture of being chemically forced to release serotonin in huge amounts, I would have to go through a period of time where I did not feel any happiness whatsoever. During this time, my brain would refill the water tank, as it were. Once I had healed my neurochemical system, normal things in life— like a blue sky, beautiful trees, a long walk, playing music, a nice conversation, or an attractive woman— would make me feel good, without any drugs. Many people were never able to wait long enough to see what would happen once they had healed.

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