This is Part II of the BIG “Lucid Living Topic”
One of the outcomes of my posting on dreaming boards has been defining and describing the state of awareness that I experience in Lucid Dreams. After doing it several times I got a good feel of what lucidity was for me, and I began trying to re-create that feeling as much as possible in my waking life. And I coined the term Lucid Living. This topic already has two threads devoted to it and pasQuale was kind enough to make part II a sticky again.
I am personally convinced that defining and describing lucidity along with the practice of Lucid Living is invaluable both for dreaming and daily living. I have demonstrated it for myself and have had some positive feedback from others on this board.
In the past 6 months I took up the study of Quantum Physics; strictly as an amateur and involving no math. That study lead me to many an interesting place, including a new look at Lucid Living.
In the book “The Self-Aware Universe” by Amit Goswami he made reference to a psychology experiment that shed some light on the idea of unconscious perception. Excluding (for the moment) perception thru the 5 senses, the experiment tested human conscious activity regarding ‘thought’ ‘feeling’ and ‘choice’. Using subliminal images (pictures flashed too fast to see) they test to see if “unconscious perception” had any effect on these three aspects of consciousness.
It was found that the subliminal images had an effect on both thoughts and feelings. In other word the “unconscious perception” produced thoughts and feelings that couldn’t be explained by the people being tested. But in the case of choice there was no effect.
I think that these results show that the vast majority of our behavior is stimulus/response, like Pavolovian dogs. I think the unconscious/sub-conscious etc. is nothing more that a memory bank of our past experiences that get re-activated when our perception of the environment approximates something stored there. If you are allergic to cats and you see a cat, you sneeze, even if the cat is across the street. You might even sneeze at the picture of a cat. There is of course a great deal of subtlety and complexity to this idea, but I think if you take a close look at all the thoughts and feelings you have during the day you will find that there aren’t too many that you actually choose to have. Can you imagine waking up in the morning and deciding: “Today I’m going to sneeze at cats, get angry at my boss, feel embarrassed talking to the waitress, and depressed when I open the mail.” Yet this is the kind of day most of us have. We don’t choose our thoughts and feelings, they ‘just happen’.
Now for the good part; using our power of choice, our free will. I believe this is the only time we are truly alive, and truly in control of our lives. And this is what Lucid Living is all about. It’s living in the moment, and creating your life experience by choosing, rather than going unconscious and letting routines dictate your experience. I know that when I am Lucid Dreaming I must constantly work at staying in the moment, maintaining a level of awareness that could almost be defined as “free will”.