Photo by Ryan Brohm via Iowa State Daily
Lucid dreamer, Jeff Peck, has focused on engaging the inner awareness in his lucid dreams. Welcome to the LDE, Jeff!
Tell us a bit about your early dream life. Anything interesting or unusual?
From an early age, I remember vivid dreams and vague memories of having random lucid dreams, but I never thought of dreaming as anything more than just a strange nocturnal experience. Between the ages of 8 to13, I can recall flying dreams, dreams of interacting with my favorite cartoon characters, and sexual dreams (representative of my budding prepubescent focus and desire). I didn’t start considering lucid dreaming as a serious practice until about ten years ago at the age of 14.
Between the ages of 8 to13, I can recall flying dreams, dreams of interacting with my favorite cartoon characters, and sexual dreams (representative of my budding prepubescent focus and desire). I didn’t start considering lucid dreaming as a serious practice until about ten years ago at the age of 14.
When did you first learn about lucid dreaming? Can you recall your first lucid dream/s? What prompted your lucid dream awareness?
I came across lucid dreaming very indirectly through my primary interest in OBEs (‘out of body’ experiences). Even though I didn’t have much of a ‘dream life,’ I did have a heavy interest in the mystical/spiritual/esoteric. By the age of 14, I had an extensive knowledge of Theosophy, Advaita Vedanta, and general eastern spirituality with a little taste of Jungian psychology and western occultism to gain an overarching perspective on all of ‘it.’
I also experienced sporadic sleep paralysis episodes in which I would always see or hear strange figures in my room or noises in the house. In some rare cases, I could initiate an OBE from that state of sleep paralysis and float around the room with little to no control.
My intent at that age was to try to ‘OBE travel’ and prove the various esoteric concepts to myself and to others. It took me three years before I tried every technique and almost gave up. I distinctly remember reading Robert Bruce’s second edition of Astral Dynamics with updated information and concepts. In his book he talked about how an easy way to get into an OBE is indirectly through lucid dreaming and also about how to communicate with and engage your ‘Higher Self.’ If my memory serves me correctly, he states that a person must become lucid, then fall backwards in their lucid dream, and their awareness would automatically shift from a lucid dream to an OBE in an instant.
Because I already had vague childhood experiences of lucid dreaming, I think I ‘believed’ that lucid dreaming would be much easier to initiate than an OBE. So I indirectly gained an interest in lucid dreams as a way to initiate OBEs. That interest in lucid dreaming led me to deeply research into it (which naturally caused one to four lucid dreams a month). In those early lucid dreams I used the Castaneda hand technique and reality checks which then led to me becoming lucid in my dreams by seeing my hands or doing reality checks.
Do you remember any of those pivotal early lucid dreams that inspired you? What happened?
Near the end of 2010, I read a comment on a lucid dreaming forum about using lucid dreams to communicate with and have mutual lucid dreams with other dreamers. I felt excited and relieved that I didn’t have to use OBEs but instead could use lucid dreams to contact my friends (plus I had a much easier time initiating lucid dreams than I did with OBEs). After doing a little research, I came across a lucid dreaming book that had a chapter on mutual lucid dreams. That book just happened to be your first book, Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self.
Reading your first book opened my eyes to a new psychological perspective and changed my belief system in very dramatic ways. I started to reconsider my Higher Self as being more of an ‘Inner Self’ and shed my mystical/esoteric beliefs for some beliefs grounded more in transpersonal psychology and the exploration of the nature of reality (which came later).
My priorities changed from wanting to contact my friends and fly around in an OBE to interacting with this Inner Self. Before I could engage the Inner Self I had to think of what I would ask It or what experience I might ask for. Coincidentally, around that time I would experience a numerical synchronicity in which I would see the numbers 144 or 911 about ten times a day for reasons I did not know. My first ever lucid dream experiment involved me asking my Inner Self what exactly ‘that’ meant.
This lucid dream occurred in the summer of 2011. I was in a dream watching a short classmate from school lunge at least 20 feet into the air to dunk a basketball. The sight of him leaping into the air acted as a prompt to make me lucid. The moment I became lucid I looked up into the dream sky and asked aloud to the awareness behind the dream (Inner Self) why I kept seeing the numbers 911. A booming voice responded by telling me that the numbers meant “I was looking for something spiritual!”
I woke from that dream completely astounded that I had received a response from another Awareness beyond my own. That dream served to inspire me to engage this larger Awareness (Inner Self) and engage Its Knowing, Creativity, Intelligence, and relationship to myself.