Electric Dreams

An Excerpt From The Lucid Dream Exchange
Lucy Gillis, Editor

Going To The Sun:
Religious Beliefs And Psi

Linda Lane Magallón

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Magallón, Linda Lane (2003 January). Going To The Sun: Religious Beliefs And Psi.
(An Excerpt From The Lucid Dream Exchange, Lucy Gillis, Editor.) Electric Dreams 10(1).

I've been flying to the "sun" for quite some time. Although I might consider this bright spot in the lucid dream as a piece of scenery to explore, I also seem to have my own religious and philosophical associations with it. However, neither first hand experience nor symbolic interpretation rules out the possibility of psi. Even group psi. The last dream in this article had resonance with my own waking life and with the visualization and dream of two other dreamworkers.

The Room Above The Sun, 4/24/83

Second-hand, I see myself come out of a small house and walk towards a large tree. Since I'm above and slightly to the right (of the dream scene), I view mostly the head of the self below. She has dark hair and is wearing a dress. She's also walking with another dark-haired woman.

As I become lucid, I shift to first-hand perspective. Now I can't see the other woman, although I can feel her on my left. From this perspective, the tree branches distract me because they completely fill my view. I want to see beyond them. Reaching with my mind in that direction, I spontaneously take off flying into the blue sky, headed for the sun. Closing in, I discover that the "sun" is actually a stack of books pressed against the "ceiling" of the dreamscape. The books have titles like "Rationalism" and "Catholicism"!

I climb, or rather pull myself hand over hand, up the bookstack to the top. There's a trap door here. Pushing the door upwards, I stick my head through the opening. On the other side is a room with rows and rows of what look to be small computers on tables. From my viewpoint just above the flat, grey floor, I can see a white-clad man leaning over one of the computers. His loose-fitting attire makes him look like a combination scientist and mystic.

"Is this the control center?" I ask him. He turns and indicates that I'm half-right. This "higher plane" is also a learning center. Yes, I can see the school desks in the room off to the right.

Levitating Is Against the Law, 5/3/87 (False Awakening)

Beyond the room where I'm located, I can hear a group of people at a birthday celebration. I levitate up off the floor, then downward and land, yelling at my son, "Go tell mother!" I want a witness to this super feat (since I think I'm awake in physical reality). I try levitating upside down while standing on my head, but there's too much weight. I jump up and don't come down, floating into the bedroom. "See? See?" I call, "Let mother know!" I float out of a sliding glass door.

Now I have the heavy, foreboding feeling that someone wants to keep me here. Is levitating against the religious law in this time and space? I float up to the roof where I can see cars passing quickly on a narrow, windy road. I hadn't heard them before, because of the celebration inside.

I continue floating upward in a feather-light storm of snowflakes or white puffs to circle around a brightly lit "sun." It attracts, then zaps me. I get out of the way, to the other side.

Flying To An Exploding Sun, 12/11/90

I find myself outside, lucid, in a flat area with tall trees in the distance. I especially notice the warmth and light of the dream scene and look around in the sky for the source. It's the sun. Even though I know it might not be the actual sun, I decide to fly to it. I launch myself into the air and streak directly towards it.

Then I become concerned about the heat that I might encounter in the inferno (who knows how similar it might be to the physical sun?) and I start to veer off. But I steal my courage and force myself back on course. The "sun" doesn't get any larger than, say, a garbage can lid, but I fly directly into it with my outstretched hands. It separates into a fireworks display, exploding from a small yellow center. Sparkles shoot off in all directions, in an irregular but balanced circular pattern.

There are several dreamworkers mentioned in this fourth dream and its aftermath. Here's a bit of information about them.
  • Kent Smith founded the San Francisco Dream Training Institute and helped create the "Dream Definition Dialogue" interview method of dreamwork.
  • Fariba Bogzaran is a lucid dream artist who teaches arts and consciousness studies at John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California.
  • Fred Olsen co-founded the Bay Area Dreamworkers Group and created and practices the "Waking Dream Re-entry" technique.
  • Françoise Boucher is a psychic dreamworker from Marin County, California.
  • Tore Neilsen is a lucid dream researcher from Montreal, Canada who found that wearing a blood pressure cuff in the lab produced dreams of falling and flying.
  • Barbara Shor was a mutual dream researcher from New York City who co-wrote "Shared Dreaming: Joining Together in Dreamtime" with me.
The correspondences between people are marked in bold blue font.

The Divine Within, 6/23/88

I become lucid in a room that has several people at the far end, some sitting, some standing as if in a scenario of a shoe department (I especially remember one slender, dark-haired man). I take a deep breath and call out to my recurring dream character, "Willie! Willie!" Previously the people had been fairly immobile, but the energy of my voice raises them to activity. They jump up and/or begin walking rapidly away toward my left, except for one. That woman, who has long, curly, light brown hair, comes forward to speak with me. We talk; I ask her, "How do I find Willie? Should I stay here? Or spin and go someplace else? Or what?"

"Do what you want," she replies. I remember hearing this reply before in lucid dreams. So I decide on a new tack. "What do I want?" I ask her. In a voice so low I almost think I imagine it, she replies, "Love." She's sure right about that, I muse.

I decide to go ahead and spin my way-clockwise-into another scene, calling out, "Willie! Willie!" I find myself in another room. The people here seem shorter, younger, and definitely more playful. They crowd behind what looks to be a rather large dollhouse placed on a table. I peer at them through the open front door. "Do you want to play with me?" I call, trying to encourage them to come forth.

Then I look around at my surroundings. I peek behind a mirror attached to the wall, trying to find a doorway. "Aha!" I exclaim when I see just the wall, as if there is some significance to this fact. I walk further down the wall, searching for a way out. I realize my concern over the possibility of being trapped is creating this continuous wall, so I let go of it. In response, a door suddenly appears. I can peer into the next room and see that just inside the door, to my right, are seated three Black men. "Now we're getting closer!" I say to myself. This is the first time I've come across Black people in this dream.

I walk across the room, up to a bar where women are seated or standing. I talk with a rather tall Black woman standing there, asking questions like, "Do you know Willie?" She responds, "There's somebody I'd like you to meet." She gestures at another Black woman seated at the bar who turns towards me. I am struck by how large her eyes are. As I continue to gaze, her features metamorphose to become more Caucasian, yet the pupils stay with the same wide-eyed look.

(During this dream sequence, I almost awaken several times, but force myself to gather strength and continue the dream. As I am finally awakening, during the "blank" period of hypnopompia, I hear a voice state, "Create the conscious..." Waking fully, I wonder if that meant "Create the consciousness." As I am pondering this, I suddenly remember that I want to participate in Fariba Bogzaran's spiritual lucid dreaming project. Heading back towards the dream state, I "freeze" the flickering hypnogogia. In a grey space, I form the intent she suggested to "Seek the Divine Within" and immediately have the distinct impression that Willie is standing unseen, off to my left. Then movement propels me into a brief dream scenario.)

I find myself walking forward, carrying the back end (right side) of a large mural which dips and sways as we pace (Willie is carrying the other end). The mural is covered with a swirling abstract of red and hot pink colors, juxtaposed with highlights of white and charcoal or chocolate brown. I awake again with the strong impression that the "Divine Within" is something that Willie and I create together.

(I tell my husband bits of the dream, then fall slowly back to sleep, holding onto the intent that, for Fariba's project, I will be seeking the "Divine Within.")

This time when the scene springs up, I am in a room with lots of people, not immobile but moving around the room. My impression is that this area is very much "on the surface" so I form the intent to go deeper. I look for an exit and discovering none, decide to go through a wall. Instead, as I near the wall, I find rows of bright, colorful curtains waving as if caught in a breeze.

Just before I enter, however, I suddenly notice the person just passing by is Fariba Bogzaran. Fariba is skating around the hardwood floor counter-clockwise, as are most of the other people (I've come clockwise, as have a few others). My sense is that Fariba's motion is "getting things going" or revving the people up for her project.

My own forward movement and intent is so strong that I almost lose the dream trying to stop myself. But before I take off to my adventure, I want to tell Fariba what I am doing. With a supreme effort I manage to turn around to call out: "Fariba! Fariba! I'm going to seek the Divine Within!"

"OK, Linda," she responds in her usual high-pitched voice, "Good luck!" I turn once again to go through the swinging drapery. I walk through several rooms and corridors of various shapes and sizes, not all of which are rectangular or square. Some are curved -I remember a corridor made of a series of semicircles spaced one after another which narrows to allow for only the passage of a single person. I pass people everywhere I go, sometimes stopping to chat with them.

One dark-haired woman seems quite lucid herself, almost a guide figure, until she says to me confidentially, "For a buck you can pass over." I know she means "passing over to the other side," that is, dying or being reborn. I get the impression this opportunity is a particular point in a game, like passing "Go" in Monopoly where you can collect a monetary amount before going through another cycle. "Oh, no! Not again!" I exclaim. I know this is the fourth time in a dream I had been offered such a "deal" (dreams unrecalled upon awakening), but this time I'm not going to be tricked into taking her up on this game, not for such a paltry amount.

It's at this point that I am in the semicircular corridor, following a blonde haired woman as the corridor narrows. I realize that before long I'm really going to have to squeeze through. I pause and make an adjustment in my thinking (like taking a breath and creating more mental space). The scene shifts and I find myself in a larger rectangular room where people are coming and going-it's like a crossroads. I talk to some of the people.

Finally, after going through all this restricted space, I find myself outdoors in a huge grassy field. After walking in a semicircle I come upon a group of people seated in a rectangle, as if around an Olympic-size swimming pool. I join the "end of the line" and sit down, too. In contrast to the minor frustration I've felt in the rest of the dream, I feel that I've finally "come home" to a bunch of like-minded people. I briefly wonder "Sethians?" but they seem to include and go beyond that designation.

I feel so right and comfortable that I'm not at all upset to turn and discover that the three "people" who've come to sit after me, aren't people at all. They're colorful geometric crustaceans, cartoon-like lobsters and crabs. We don't talk in English, but our non-verbal communication indicates that they are in agreement with my views. Suddenly, directly in front of the critters, appears what seems to be an immobile bus (no wheels). The double doors swing open and a man steps out and points his finger at the three crustaceans. "You've got to go!" he orders. I wonder-why? They weren't doing anything.

Before I have a chance to develop this line of thinking further, my attention is drawn to the right. I stand and discover that a new group of people, including a blonde haired man, have intruded smack into the middle of our group's space. They are busily setting up some weird construction in the center of the grassy field. The outside is made up of straight-edged planes crossing each other at acute angles, but the main piece is an organic cylindrical structure, curved like the casing of a snake, but larger at the base than at the top. The sun is a small circle in a wide blue sky and its diffused light illuminates the entire vividly colored scene. But the structure's top opening is only large enough to admit the sun's blinding light. The hole is too tiny for anyone inside to see the blue sky. Nor anything else, for that matter.

I get the sense that this inverted cone-like structure is built to attract and gather the Light, like a telescope. The cylinder is painted bright yellow, to better reflect the Light. The structure is only large enough for one person to stand-their shoulders would be scrunched if they were tall. There is little room for movement and they'd be mostly surrounded by darkness. But these disadvantages would be ignored because of the attraction of the Light. With head raised, the person would gaze directly into the blinding brilliance collected at the topmost opening. Captured by the ecstasy of the sensation, they would rise and be sucked into it and disappear into the Light.

The symbolism is so powerful and so clear that I immediately and intuitively understand what these people are about. And I get angry. "You mean to tell me that I have to join some religion in order to reach God? The hell with that!"

I wave my hand in rejection and the intruders and the structure vanish. All I see is the field with people fleeing from me, back in the direction from which I've come.

"The hell with that!" I repeat, setting my legs akimbo and slapping my fists against my hips. I have the sense that my colleague Kent Smith is off to my left, supporting my conviction that such a narrow religious pathway to Godhood is totally unnecessary.

Here in this green, grassy, open field with buildings in the distance and clear, blue sky stretching to the far horizon, I've a wonderful feeling of expansiveness. I stand centered in the midst of the diffused sunlight that covers the entire space and allows me to see the beauty of the whole world. I awake with the same great feeling of self-confidence about my stance.

The next day I took a meditational walk through the nearby park. As I was passing the playground, I did a double-take. The essence of the curved children's slide was the same as the structure in my dream.

When I shared this dream with the Bay Area Dreamworkers Group the following weekend, Kent Smith shook his fist and said, "All right!" No one else seemed to react too much, no one that is, until we all painted pictures of images in recent dreams. Then, as I was hanging my painting on the wall, a visitor to our group took one look and told me about a waking re-entry he'd just done a day or so before. It had the same image.

The following is a transcription of a taped interview with Tore Neilsen on July 2nd.

Tore: "This is a waking image-I was doing it during a clairvoyant re-entry with Fred Olsen and Françoise Boucher about a week or so ago. I was focusing on the image of a black hole in space and the question was: "What's in this black hole?"

I looked inside and there was this yellow image. At first it was just an incoherent image-it was like a pile of yellow ice cream, except it was two-dimensional, thicker at the bottom and thinner at the top. It was standing straight up. I felt like I didn't know what this was. The next instruction was, "Well, go with that."

So I kind of threw myself forward into the image and suddenly it was no longer straight up, but it was a slide, that was down and sort of pointing ahead. I was sliding down along the curves of this yellow object. And I slid and slid right to the bottom, from side to side, right to the bottom.

And at the bottom, I was in a valley overlooking an area like Big Sur. There was a big gong in the image and I sat in front of the gong and starting sounding, with a steady hum, "Wahhhhhh." I was sitting in front of it and meditating. That's where we decided to stop."

Linda: "How did you get to the black hole? Was there any particular theme you were carrying through or particular life issue?"

Tore: "I was focusing on some part of my body-I'm not sure. Yes, I think coming down from my head and trying to see what was in the way..."

Linda: "So it was a body-symptom type of re-entry?"

Tore: "Yeah."

Linda: "And you were feeling pain or maybe pressure someplace?"

Tore: "I think it was a stuckness kind of thing. I got to a place where I was really stuck and what seemed to be there was a black hole."

At the ASD conference next week, dreamworker Barbara Shor told me a dream of a black rock. Deja vu. I showed her my painting and she confirmed that hers was the same shape as the structure in my dream.

Finally, I was sitting with Barbara at the "Night's Worth of Dreams" presentation, in which Fariba Bogzaran was participating. And what did we see on stage? Fariba and others gliding around and waving a curtain of plastic material to imitate the rolling sea! And, as a series of slides were being projected against the stage backdrop, one especially caught my eye. Barbara turned to me in sudden recognition, too. It was a curved rock of sandstone, with base wider than the protruding top -the dream image come to life! An eerie shiver went down my back.

Each dreamworker had his or her own associations to the image. Mine, I knew instinctively, both in the dream and afterwards. The image was a perfect illustration of my ideas of something which had concerned me greatly and about which I had addressed in a Letter to the Editor of the "Lucidity Letter". It related to the issues surrounding lucidity which emerge from a particular spiritual/philosophical framework that emphasizes kundalini arousal and "going to the Light."

My contention was that the fears, worries and overwhelming experiences described by the dreamers were inherent in the practices of their particular philosophical/religious structure but not in LUCID DREAMING per se. My belief was based on knowledge of those lucid dreamers, including myself, who do not experience that framework and its accompanying problems.

As my dream so blatantly states, it is not necessary to adhere to a particular religion in order to have a spiritual lucid experience. Furthermore, the format and content of the lucid experience is related directly to the pre-dream expectations, values and mores of the dreamer.

So there. :-)

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