I had a lucid dream last night.
As always, the experience itself was incredible. I mean, what’s not to be amazed at when you find yourself in an alternate dimension, somehow warped from basic reality?
I am starting to become a bit frustrated though, because I semi-regularly become lucid within the dream only to have the dreamscape fall apart or my awareness dissipate.
For example, last night I became aware of the dream-state, tried to center myself by rubbing my hands together and feeling my body, shouted out “clarity” at the top of my (dream) voice. All of this helped somewhat and I became more stable, more aware.
But still I couldn’t seem to realize that all of this was, in fact, a dream. It’s all in my control, if I only reach out, believe I have the power to change and understand the nature of this world.
This has been happening again and again. I know, however, that every second of lucidity within the dream-state is a step toward further lucidity and development of awareness. Frustration can’t be helped. All I can do is keep walking the path of ever-expanding consciousness.
I can no longer look past the incredible similarities between dream and “real” life. In fact, I’ve started to view waking life as a form of dream. Sleep-dream and life-dream.
What you believe you can do in the dream sets the limits for what you actually can do.
In a less obvious but more profound way than in dreams, belief also shapes the life-dream. What do I mean by this?
In sleep-dream, becoming lucid to the fact of the dream isn’t enough to facilitate change.
Only when you truly believe, truly know, that you are the dream can you achieve the impossible. This is well known in lucid dreaming circles.
When a novice lucid dreamer attempts to walk through a wall in a dream, most likely he’ll bump into it and fall over. It might even hurt.
An experienced lucid dreamer, however, will most likely have plenty of direct experience with the malleability of dreams. She will be absolutely certain of the fact that the wall is, in essence, an illusion, and will proceed to walk straight through it.
In waking life, there are rules. Rules that are difficult to bypass.
Gravity, for example, is particularly unforgiving. If a coconut falls on your head, it will certainly knock you cold. There are certain needs of the physical body, like food, shelter and companionship, that must be regularly met.
If you truly, truly believed with full certainty that you could stop eating and still thrive, maybe you could. I would say that I doubt it, but I don’t even know anymore.
There are very salient examples in mainstream consciousness of the power of belief, not least of which is the notorious placebo effect.
In simple terms, the placebo effect refers to this:
Three people, A, B and C, have a life-threatening disease, which is certain to lead to death if left untreated.
A recieves standard medical treatment, and with a 99% recovery rate, he recovers in a matter of weeks.
B goes to the doctor to recieve treatment, but the doctor gives her anti-fungal pills by accident. B goes on to take the pills as prescribed, and she has a full recovery as well.
C goes to the doctor to recieve treatment, but the doctor tells him that unfortunately the standard medicine for this particular illness is finished. He recieves anti-fungal medicine instead, the doctor insisting that it must be better than nothing. C takes the pills as prescribed, but dies within days.
So what’s the difference between B and C?
Well, B believed that she was recieving standard medicine that should have been effective for her illness, and that alone allows her to recover. The anti-fungal medication has no effect.
C, however, knew that the pills he was taking would have little or no effect. With this belief firmly etched in his mind, he was certain he was going to die. And so he did.
The placebo effect is well established in medical science, though it may sound pretty out there.
The power of belief manifests in all aspects of life, not always in such a life-or-death fashion.
The athlete who is certain that he can compete with the best is way more likely to do so than the athlete who doesn’t.
A person who is sure that she can write a novel is one step closer to actually doing it than the person who believes they don’t have the talent, time or energy.
It may not always become reality, but belief is certainly the first step to accomplishment.
I can’t help but wonder how deep this rabbit-hole goes. If I were absolutely certain that walking through walls were possible, would I be able to do it?
The only way to know would be to try it, but changing our beliefs is easier said than done.
I think the easiest trap to fall into is listening to other people. All to often we take the opinions of others as holy gospel, especially if they’re “experts”.
Direct experience is the only way to go, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Haha, got you there. You shouldn’t listen to me either. If this sounds like bullshit to you, stop reading. I don’t mind.
We need to get out of the habit of giving other people permission to tell us what to think.
I’m going to keep expanding my limits, increasing potential in my life. Meditation is one way of doing that. Journaling is another.
I’ll conclude with this: You already know, deep down, what you need to work on to overcome limiting beliefs. Do that.