Something happened . . .

Midway through my 16th year a major shift in the way I perceived the world and myself occurred.

I started to have various types of astral/lucid dreams. And it suddenly occurred to me that I was not, at least not primarily, a physical being.

Oh that sounded so New Age. Sorry about that . . .

Anyway, lucid dreaming really threw me for a loop. Before this time I viewed dreams as pretty pale echoes of waking reality.

But everything changed when I began to have lucid dreams. They often seemed more real than waking life. (Lucid dream reality is usually less stable than waking reality, but the lucid dream experiences themselves are often richer – more colourful, more vibrant, etc. . .)

Have you ever tested your dream senses in order to see how real they are? Reading in a dream is very hard because the printed dream page rarely stays constant for long enough to read more than a few words. However when, in a dream, I feel the texture of a brick wall, or taste the sweetness of a piece of chocolate cake, or say listen to the beautiful sound of a Mozart piano concerto, I am frequently amazed by the depth and richness of the experience.

Lucid dreaming was a major turning point for me.

Before having lucid dreams I think I always defined myself pretty much as my brain – as the physical. But when I was fifteen I began to realize that what was most intimately me were my experiences.

Even though I more or less still believed that my brain created my experiences, I considered that the moment to moment experiences themselves were more me than my brain – for my experiences were really all I could know directly; and the source of my experiences, whatever that might be, a brain or a soul, seemed secondary to me.

Primarily, I identified myself as whatever I happened to be experiencing in any given moment.

I understand myself a little differently today, but that shift 19 years ago was, I believe, one of the most crucial and necessary steps along my “spiritual journey.” It was the shift from the outer world to the inner world. (I very loosely define the inner world as ‘experience itself’ and the outer world as ‘physical/spiritual reality.’) (Transcending the inner world of moment to moment experience is another matter altogether and I’ll save that topic for future posts.)

What about you – do you identify primarily with the inner or the outer world (or neither)? Is this even the right question? Anyway, before I make this question too complicated, what would you say – are you an inny or an outy?



  1. You have a beautiful blog. Seems like you have come far in your journey! Keep sharing and writing about your experience!

  2. I've always been a very internal person with intense internal experiences. I think I'm understanding how you mean that here, and using it in the same way. I had the opposite experience with lucid dreaming - I stopped doing it around the same period in my life when it began for you.

  3. dragonfly,

    Thank you for taking the time to understand my ‘inner’ vocabulary. I very much look forward to reading your writings at Yoga Journeys. Lucid dreaming: why did you stop?
    My own interest in lucid dreaming lasted for a few years. After that there came a time when the most fulfilling thing to do while having a lucid dream was to sit down inside the dream, close my dream eyes, and meditate. I had no time for silly dream experiences, becoming enlightened was serious business!

    Anyway, that approach didn’t work out so well. Today I think I’ve learned to embrace my dreams once again. (or perhaps for the first time.) I really enjoy them. I love talking with all the strange creatures I meet in them. I love the colours. I love, while in them, forgetting who I am, and then remembering again.

    So I’m still curious, why do you think you stopped having lucid dreams? Was it a case of “been there, done that?” Could it be time to embrace them again, (for the first time)?

    That’s all I ever really say to anybody, including myself: “Tallis, don’t forget to both Transcend and Embrace.”

    I bow with deep respect to you dragonfly.


  4. Hi Tallis,

    have you seen the movie called "Waking life" I wrote a post in my blog about it a year ago if you want to check it out:

    Take care!

  5. Uku,

    Yes I have seen the movie, and read your post about it. It is one of those movies, isn’t it? Thanks for thinking to pass it on to me. And congratulations on studying at Helsinki University and on the birth of your daughter. Take care. Tallis