Unconscious dreams are fully formed and you’re fated to play them out unless you wake up into them. In an average dream you are unconscious, rolling through the motions, and the dream is about you. The characters are you; the setting is straight out of you. Unconscious dreaming is self-absorption—but healthy self-absorption that provides lessons about you, clues to your insecurities, the nature of your neuroses. Basically, unconscious dreaming unpacks your psychological baggage for you to deal with. It seems, then, that it would follow that the more conscious you are in dreams, the less self-absorbed. But actually, both metaphorically and literally, you run the same risks of being asleep while appearing more awake than you just were, and than the average person is, that we find in spiritual hierarchies.
Dreamtime machinations parallel the wake state. In the wake state, mental health is defined as gradations of self-absorption. Those most inside their own heads can’t determine inner hallucinations from physical reality. The people talking to them in their minds feel as real, or more real, than you or me talking to them.
What’s all this about, then? Individuation. You are this dilemma, or process, whichever word you choose, of individuation. You are this through and through, awake and asleep. If you can’t get beyond yourself in wake time, why should you in dreamtime?
And yet many of us know lucid dreamers who can be fully conscious in dreamtime, but are self-absorbed in the wake state. It would appear that they are actually more conscious when dreaming than awake, which we sometimes put on a pedestal as “spiritual.” Such is our loathing of the word “ego” and our reverence for, and willful ignorance of, heart cultures that have mastered dreaming in ways we can only… well… dream of. We hear them. We parrot them. We assume all lucid dreaming presents the same calibre of freedom, but it doesn’t. And here is one unacknowledged issue Westerners run into….
We’d rather say that the wake-state self is just this thing, this it, this fraud. This mask we mistake for the true, divine self. The lucid dreamer? That’s the true self. Let’s concentrate on building that and ignore the wake-state self. But have you noticed that even the lucid dreams of really self-absorbed dreamers tend to only be transcendent, important, and exciting for them? This is because, as with their wake state, their lucid dream state is one of self-absorption. It is self-absorption on another level, where they pretend to be shamanic super heroes who have risen above personal psychology. But their self-denial contains a trove of psychological baggage. They may claim to travel far and wide but they don’t pack light and it weighs them down.
There is a type of lucid dreaming that transcends the personal mind space; alas, such a one never enters it. They have been taught to come consciously clear in dreams as the damaged goods that they are.
When you deny psychology, call it lesser or egoic, you avoid you. You avoid your psychological problems, which are actually you once-removed through denial. When you avoid your problems, you tend to cover them over with the lie that you’re just fine, which is yet another layer of denial keeping you from wholeness. Because you know it’s a lie, you are choosing to live it, and when you choose to live it, you must double down on it. You must become self-important, self-involved, and you must draw others to your magnificence in order to feel amazing, to block out the fact that you’re lying to yourself. It’s a mouthful and you live it where simplicity will do.
And so, while you may fancy yourself a shamanic super hero because you’ve learned to wake up during dreamtime, your lucid dreaming reflects your narcissism, not your travels. Your narcissism puts you in control of wild situations, with you as hero and/or discoverer, that amount to nothing more than bragging rights, which anyone outside of your head doesn’t care about.
Tragically, they will hear all about nonetheless.