Photo by Ryan Brohm via Iowa State Daily
Lucid dreamer, musician and videographer, Eike Swoboda, has a deep interest in lucid dreaming and its creative potential. Though he lives in Hamburg, Germany, you can check out his incredible music and videos at https:// www.youtube.com/user/ einAstronaut. Welcome, Eike!
When did you first learn about lucid dreaming? What did you think when you heard about it?
I stumbled upon it in late 2012 while surfing the Internet. It had been a hard year for me. I suffered from writer‘s block and caught one cold after the other, which also made it impossible for me to sing. I was looking for ways to deal with this depressing mood and situation. At first I couldn‘t believe something like lucid dreaming was possible but it immediately caught my interest. Could this be a way out? A completely different approach to accessing my creativity again? So I did some more research and ended up ordering Exploring The World Of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge. This was the beginning of a journey I would never even have dreamed of at that time. The same day I ordered the book, I went and bought my first dream diary. I had read that it should be appealing to you, so I bought a quite expensive notebook. Today after having written down several thousand dreams, I‘m happy that my family has decorated a beautiful folder for me so I can use simple ruled paper – much cheaper and still very appealing! I have found out that handwriting works like a dream recall booster for me; that‘s why I don‘t use digital devices to record my nightly adventures.
As I recall, the first night that you tried to become lucid, you had success and became lucid! What happened in the lucid dream? And why was that important in your life?
Yes, it seems like I‘m one of the lucky people who hear that you can do it – so they do it! Another reason might have been that I also read about sleep paralysis, and how it might occur as a ‘side effect’. At the time I was very scared about all the horror stories about sleep paralysis, so I woke up very often during that night. I later discovered Ryan Hurd‘s book, Sleep Paralysis, which finally helped me overcome that fear.
Anyway, my first lucid dream went like this:
I wake up in my bedroom because I see something sparkling at the ceiling. When I look closer it‘s gone. This strikes me as odd so I want to check my hands but it‘s too dark. I remember that I could also try to jump to see if I‘m dreaming. I get up, jump and start floating. I can‘t believe it! I‘m dreaming! It‘s an amazing feeling – (I‘m sure most of your readers will remember how it felt becoming lucid for the first time!) I‘m floating through our flat. The rooms look similar but slightly different. It‘s a calm and peaceful atmosphere…
The dream continued for a while before I woke up – this time for real. The amazing feeling of this calm and peaceful atmosphere stayed with me for a few days. I started practicing lucid dreaming induction techniques and my dream recall skyrocketed quickly. The next lucid dreams would follow in the coming weeks. It was during those days that I started writing songs again. The melodies just started pouring out!
Do you believe that becoming aware in dreaming naturally ‘broke’ the writer’s block? Or was it something else?
It felt like entering this ―dimension‖ consciously had opened a door inside of me. It showed me that creativity isn‘t something we really can create. It‘s more like an energy that flows through us. If we keep ―the door open‖ and don‘t block it with our thoughts or beliefs, then it will run freely. Before that, I‘ve experienced writer‘s block on a regular basis, some longer and some shorter. They haven‘t returned yet since that first lucid dream. Now I can access creativity whenever I need it in most cases. I don‘t have to rely on being ―kissed by a muse‖ anymore. I just open the door and it will flow.
Since that time have you used lucid dreaming to help you as a musician?
Dreams and lucid dreams are an endless spring of inspiration. The whole practice of lucid dreaming asks us to become more aware of what‘s happening right here and now. It asks us to take a step back from the ―story mode‖ of our minds and to become aware of what actually is. For me that‘s been and still is a huge change. It‘s changing the way I perceive myself and the ―world‖ around me: thoughts, emotions and sense perceptions. It‘s also affecting my music a lot. I‘d say all of the songs I‘ve written since then deal with either my experiences in (lucid) dreams or with the things I‘m learning from this journey. I don‘t even need to ask for inspiration in a lucid dream anymore because I feel inspired nearly all the time! That‘s really true!
So strange and amazing!
I recall reading that Paul McCartney dreamt of the music for his hit song, Yesterday. He jumped out of bed and immediately ran to a piano to play the melody, and could not believe how beautiful it was. Do you have an example of a lucid dream, which helped you create a song or music?
It has happened to me several times but in most cases I would forget the melody upon awakening. I remember this one though:
Becoming lucid in my childhood home because I hear someone whistling and can‘t find the source. I keep searching all the rooms for a while, but the house is empty. Then it occurs to me that I could try to wake myself up and remember the melody – and it worked! I got up and recorded the whistling on my smart phone. Later I composed a little song with it.
Do you have this song on your YouTube Channel?
No – but this song has been used in an online commercial for Yamaha Music Europe and you can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/YamahaMusicEurope/ videos/990193827716999/
Can you give another example of a song that was inspired by a lucid dream?
A while ago, I had a dream in which I met a good friend of mine:
The doorbell rings and I open the door, and she comes in without a word. I immediately feel a vibe of intense sadness coming from her. I hug her and we just stand there in silence until I wake up.
After waking, I felt that sad vibe was still with me. It felt so intense that I thought about calling her to ask if everything‘s alright. But then I thought,”This might sound a little weird,” and so I didn’t. A few minutes later she texted me, telling me her mother had died unexpectedly. She‘s had a very close relationship with her mother, so this was a big loss.
The following song was inspired by that situation.
Her mother liked birds a lot, too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXNQbO6guYc
I remember that once in a lucid dream, you announced to the dream or your subconscious mind, “Show me something beautiful!” What happened?
I once had a lucid dream in which I was trying to play my piano:
After a while, I recognize that the keys don’t match the notes they’re supposed to trigger. I then stop playing, realize it is a dream and say, “Show me something amazing!” At first nothing happens but just as I prepare to leave, the piano starts playing itself. It is a very beautiful, complex and complicated song. I am amazed, watching the keys dance up and down. The feeling is very hard to describe.
Unfortunately, I forgot to wake myself up right after this, so when I finally did wake up, I had forgotten most of it.