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?