Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Significance of Family

Out of all of my dream experiences, I do make it seem as if I am alone. But I must let you know that I am most certainly, not. I have a great litmus test through generations of dreamers that I can come to for advice, spiritually, emotionally and scientifically, and I honestly believe this is why my ability to lucid dream has developed so strongly over time.

She loves cards and puzzles.
My grandma (on my white side, not my Salvadorian side) has played a huge role in raising me. She is one of my best and closest friends and knows nearly everything about me. She is a prayer warrior in every aspect and is highly conservative, but smart and never judges anything. That being said, she will stick up for what she believes is right and tell it like it is, in her shy and bashful way. I love my grandma so much, but she is fraught with constant worry and that, in turn, worries me. She has had prophetic dreams throughout her life, but asked God to stop giving her these types of dreams as the visions they portrayed were often too horrible to bear. She's been there, and places a high priority on dreams, but also doesn't pay much attention to it like I do.

Honest to God convo with
my mom about Star Trek.
My mom is probably the most skeptical person I know (besides the two Shawns in my life), but her skepticism mostly comes from a lack of willingness to observe and confront areas of mysticism rather than from a logical, hard and fast mindset. That being said, she has had many a crazy dream and even some shared dreams with me and my sister, which I will get to later.

Probably my favorite pic ever of my sis
taken on Halloween in Chicago.
My sister is the constant rock of dreaming and mystical exploration in my life. She's 4.5 years older than me and has a completely different perspective on life than me, but more often than not we find ourselves in the same boat on any given issue. She is alarmingly brilliant, and no offense to her (I believe she would agree) has a darkness about her spirit. It's hard to put into words, but it is a very strong manifestation of melancholy. That being said, she is one of the single most hard working people I know and has this resilience about her that I admire every day. She is the only person in my life who really gets where I come from. If you have sisters you know how special that bond is.

My great aunt used to have people come from miles around to hear her religious prophecies and receive prayer. My cousin has the same strange dream patterns that I do - specifically the powerful fear accompanied by feeling forcefully pressured back to sleep by some invisible hand. My dad and uncle, when they were kids in El Salvador, had multiple mystical experiences they never could explain. My aunt sees angels. My other aunt has revelations from God where she prays from the Spirit, and dreams of people's future children. While I rarely see a lot of my relatives and have had very few times to actually talk to them about their experiences, I see a pattern in my blood of both sides that can't be denied. We have some serious spiritual mojo going on. And as for the religious part? They are mostly Southern Baptist, Catholic or Agnostic.

I wanted to talk about family today because they are huge indicators of your dreams and the potential there. In my family, on both sides, there is a long history of prophecy and dreaming, but not a huge emphasis. They don't talk about it unless I bring it up, but I know it's there because they always have something new to say and share. I do believe in generational blessings and curses, and biological tendency, so knowing that my family has this thread in common gives me empowerment and support, for something the world tends to shun, almost wholeheartedly.

More specifically, many times I have a dream that I will share with my family and will find some significance in that connection. We will see the same symbols around the same time, have vital information that impacts each others dreams, or just be able to speak to the lack of truth or veracity in a dream that felt super present. And yes, we do tell each other that we are getting carried away sometimes. What kind of support network doesn't call you out?

The next blog post I write will be specifically about instances where I feel my family's presence has been incredibly important, and I may even talk a little bit about my family's past and strange supernatural happenings that have gone on between us. Maybe if you're really lucky, we can get my sister to share some of her experiences with us via a guest blog.

Tell me, do any of you have familial experiences that influence your dreams? I'm interested to know.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Background Update!

So last time I wrote about myself was a good two years ago. Here's a quick snapshot of the basics that haven't changed.

"Generally when I tell people the experiences I am about to share on my blog, I'm afraid they will think I'm crazy. More often than not they take it in stride knowing my character but it's very hard for them to relate. I think it's important to note that I have a few stress related diseases that you may argue contribute to my dreams, but given their nature, I doubt it. I have mild colitis, TMJ, and Raynaud's syndrome. All of these things are mild cases, but the most prominent disabler is TMJ.
To typify myself, I am a classic choleric/sanguine. I've been kicked out of Baptist churches, events, and mission trips (but still consider myself a Christian).  I'm positive there are people out there like me who haven't been taught these things, who aren't making it up, and who just know how to lucid dream. I am also positive that there are people similar to me who will at least find this blog interesting simply because someone took the time to write all of this down."

There are some other wonderful things about me that have changed though. I graduated from Baylor University in December of 2011 with a BA in Film and Digital Media and a minor in entrepreneurship. My last semester I started a business that has two iterations, VideoGram and HDListing. While I still work on those businesses, my main focus is Real Estate investing in the Knoxville, TN area. Yes, I just packed up and moved from Waco 16 hours away because I missed some of my friends who had moved there. I've never lived around mountains before so it's been a big change in mentality for me. Spiritually and physically, I honestly feel like I've transformed since I started writing this blog. I've been through a lot of trials and major life events, but the little pulsing crystal of light inside of me that can't be broken is still glowing an emitting a me that is as constant as it is changing. 

Oh, and I also like to make music too. I have a soundcloud so feel free to listen to my weirdness.

If you're new to my blog, a great place to start would be at the beginning

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Level 5: When Dreams are More Normal Than Reality

So this is the last installment of this series about how my dreams are trying to take over my reality. The previous entries have been about the different depths that my dreams have gone. They have used a few other tricks as well. Before I tie up this end, I’ll give you a quick explanation of those tricks.
            First off, taking a page from inception, I decided to find myself a totem. I went upstairs when I was home visiting and started looking through my old toys. I found a marble that I thought would be perfect (since I used to be obsessed with marbles) and the second I found it; I held it up to the light. It was still the beautiful green I had always known. But then, I dropped it and I couldn’t see where it had rolled. As I was trying to find it, I woke up in my dorm at college. I hadn’t gone home – I hadn’t looked for a totem, heck – I have never even played with marbles. All of that had taken place in a dream space. If that’s not a dirty trick I don’t know what is.
            Second, I started pointing out things in real life that I don’t do in my dreams. Such as constantly check my phone or adjust my glasses. That next night, you guessed it; I was texting people all throughout the dream and cleaning my glasses regularly. And I firmly believe the normality and routine of those things kept me from even realizing I was dreaming. I didn’t have one iota of lucidity that night. Now, I regularly use my phone in my dreams. It’s actually kind of convenient sometimes.
            Third, and this is the title of the post, my dreams started being way more normal and way less fantastic, and my reality started being more and more dreamlike. I know - it seems like a difficult task for my subconscious to pull off, but I’m a sneaky one through and through. My dream was simple, I walked around my dream hometown with my good friend, Sean, and we ran into these two girls that I made a fool of myself in front of. I called them fat, thinking they wouldn’t hear, which they did, and then proceeded to call me fat. Yeah, yeah I know. But I probably would do something like that in reality. Then I forgot my wallet at home, ran back and grabbed it, and made plans to meet Sean at a local diner. I walked in to the diner, ordered a glass of water, and waited for Sean. That’s it. That’s the whole dream, plain and simple.
This is us in front of the store. It's real!
            Now reality, that’s a completely different story. My friend Sean was moving to Chicago so I offered to go help him activate his electricity. We had to go to a town two hours away from Chicago with a population of about 500 in order to do this though, and meet someone in a grocery store. Which we did! We passed a weird old museum in this town, got lost, ended up at an abandoned store, found our way to the right store all in order to get told my a grocery store employee that they don’t do activations anymore. However, they do them in a nearby town. We proceeded to this town and found the store in between a shady liquor store and what can only be described as the old person depot – complete with special made toilets!
            We walked into the back of the store that was filled with old greeting cards and fake pies and asked the clerk at the back if he could help us. He was obviously clueless as to what we needed, but I was entranced by his big blue eyes and couldn’t stop staring at them. Finally, we got it sorted out after Sean found out he could have done all of this online and the people at the company had simply lied to him. We started the drive home and talked about conspiracy theories and religion and then I got horribly sick at a restaurant we decided to eat at. End of day.
            I started asking myself, why does reality feel more like a dream? Why do my dreams feel more like reality? If reality is indeed the totality of all things possessing actuality, existence, or essence, wouldn’t the place where my existence has more sensation, more action, more essence be a better indicator of reality? In that case my dreams win out every time. Would the better indicator of reality be the detail, the amount of every second that I remember? Then dreams win out every time. Would the better indicator of reality be the closeness of my relationships? The hardship, the adversity, the difficulty? If that’s the case, then dreams win out every time. There may be more to our dreams than we know. They may hold a key to essence, existence, and reality that we have never given a chance. Maybe they are two halves of the same coin. Maybe dreams are just dreams and that’s the end of it.
            So let me ask you, which of my realities is actually reality?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Level 4: 12 Dreams Within a Dream

This one gets a little personal, but I feel it is necessary to demonstrate just how far my dreams are willing to go to convince me they are reality. I went to bed just like any other night, except my boyfriend at the time was still at my place. Thank the Lord he was there this time because if he wasn’t, I might still be stuck there (joking).
            The dream I entered was a Sherlock Holmes type narrative where I was just watching Holmes and Watson solve a mystery. It was initially kind of boring since there was very little back-story and I wasn’t involved. All I knew was they just had to go find this old lady because she had some information they needed. Just as they were leaving the run down London house they were in, I woke up.
            My room was bathed in darkness with just a little bit of light coming in from my window. I looked around and tried to get up, but couldn’t. It wasn’t like sleep paralysis; it was more like my legs had turned to jelly. I tried to think but my brain was slow and my thoughts jumbled. I just knew something was different. I fell back asleep in to Holmes dream, and the two characters were now walking across a snowy London. I awoke again, more panicked, and my boyfriend looked at me and said, “you okay?” Then he grabbed my legs and pulled me down onto the floor (I had a raised bed so this was a long drop) and I started to scream. I fell asleep again and noticed a little ticker at the bottom of my field of vision. It was a semi-circle with 12 little dots on them and several of them had already been lit up. I oscillated back and forth between this dream and waking up for quite a while after that.
I only wish this woman was Madea: unfortunately
it was much more unsettling

            Notably, one time I woke up in my room and dragged myself out of bed. I couldn’t move very well (my body still felt like jelly) but I managed to crawl to the door. I looked around. It was so eerily spot on to reality. The dirty clothes over there, bathroom door slightly open. I started to scream for help, panicking. Then my body turned to pain. I fell back asleep. I woke up again to my boyfriend staring at me with dark, empty holes where his eyes should be. I saw Holmes and Watson talk to the old woman, who labored with every step but when you looked into her eyes you saw untold mysteries revealed – wisdom I have never seen before. I woke up again to throw myself off of my bed and slam my head into the ground, thrashing about in order to wake myself up from whatever interminable hell I was in. I quietly woke up and leaned over to my boyfriend and whispered, “Please, please pray for me. Something is really seriously wrong.
            12 times this happened, the panic getting worse and the ticker at the bottom filling up higher and higher until I actually awoke into my room bathed in darkness, sitting up perfectly straight in my bed and hyperventilating. I couldn’t catch my breath. I couldn’t see straight. I was blinded by panic. My boyfriend at the time grabbed my shoulder and just sat there asking me if I was okay. I finally regained composure and told him the tale, just as I have written here. He got very quiet – I could tell he was debating whether or not to tell me something. I asked him if I was indeed awake – if this was reality. He quietly replied, “Yes. Although, Casey…” I looked at him. “What?” “You did wake up one time as ask me to pray for you. I was scared, you looked petrified.”
            I started asking myself, what is the true nature of reality?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Level 3: The Fight

Actually a cool site for retrogamers
           As blatantly hostile as the party was, this next dream takes hostility and magnifies it tenfold. At the beginning of the dream, I was not lucid at all. I was with two young girls, presumably my younger sisters, (why I always get trapped with helpless little ones is beyond me) and we were being held captive by a scary, faceless man in a small room of a big house. I was formulating an escape plan as I was packing our bags for escape. When I realized that I was packing up old N64 games, my lucidity factor kicked in and I immediately switched gears entirely. First off, I removed the two little girls from the dream completely. Then, I ran out into the building, which had a largely unfinished look – as if my brain was creating it as I ran along it. As I came out into the amazingly large entrance way of the house, I was stopped by a menacing voice from the balcony above. I turned around.
Like this guy, probably because of my
obsession with the Phantom Tollbooth
            “Nice try escaping.” Said the faceless man as he laughed, filling up the entire room with a billowing echo. Not taking time to play into his drama I simply summoned four party members to help me with what I knew what the inevitable boss fight. (If you’re wondering why I didn’t just change to something else in my lucidity – it was because I was really curious to see how this dream would play out now that I had my wits about me.) To counter my strength in numbers strategy, the man floated down to the bottom of the ground and started taking his gloves off. He walked towards me very menacingly and I just hastily responded by yelling, “Instead of fighting, we are going to have to race to assemble the silver monkey! (you know, from Legend of the Hidden Temple. I always wanted to play that game.)
So Close!
            In a flurry we started racing through the temple and trying to collect the pieces, when the faceless man just shook his head and pointed to the bottom of my field of vision. A timer appeared there with a two-minute clock. Frantically, we traversed the obstacle course and threw the pieces down to the podium where we had to assemble the statue. Just as I was about to put the last piece on, the timer ran out and the faceless man ran towards me, hand outstretched as if he were going to strangle me.
            My party members attacked about as ineffectually as they do in every video game, but they gave me just enough time to get free. I went all Assassins’ Creed and starting laying into this guy with throwing knives, one after another. But he didn’t slow down at all. To my surprise, he was unaffected by any of my attacks. So, boldly, I just walked up to him, put my hand on his shoulder and said, “you’ve taken way too many throwing knives to still be standing.” And he crumpled to the ground, defeated.
It felt this epic.
            I removed the party members from the room and ran outside. I crossed the empty road turned around as I heard a familiar, but weak voice. I realized in that moment that the dream had never intended this character to leave the building; so most of his power resided in the structure. But as this persistent villain walked through the doors he turned into an old man, limping in pain towards me. I am a villain in my own right though, and as he entered the road I summoned a giant bus that wiped him out for good. I woke up. 
 I started asking myself, how do my dreams know how to respond to me?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Level 2: Trapped

Level 2: Lucid, but Trapped.
            Trapped, but not in a sleep paralysis sort of way. I had fallen asleep normally and entered into a dream state. I was in my dorm, exactly the way it was when I had fallen asleep, and there was some sort of fire drill going on. It was at that point when I realized that I was dreaming and became fully lucid. I tried to change the location but… nothing happened. I was simply in my room, trying to open the door. I thought to myself, “now, isn’t that strange?” and proceeded to walk out into the hallway. My whole dorm was completely empty – I could feel it. I started looking around and wandered out into the main hallway. As I tried to change anything about my surroundings… it remained constant. Even with lucidity I could not leave this building.
Imagine these guys entering your dream
            So I started to get a little dramatic. I yelled (to my omniscient subconscious I guess), “Is that all you got?! You’re PATHETIC!” And started running through the main area, smashing things and trying to break anything I could find. I summoned a bunch of tables to fit inside one room and yelled, “PEOPLE!” as tons if generic looking extras filled in the chairs by each of the many tables I was cramming in to the place. I screamed, “CRAFTS!” as thousands of copies of identical tiny red and pink pieces of paper flooded the room. I picked up some of the paper and yelled, “Oh really? You’re going to have to better than that. How original.”
Felt a lot like this guy
            Finally, I closed my eyes and concentrated as hard as I could on rearranging the space. I opened my eyes to find a great hall with clear glass walls looking out onto a mountain range. I sighed a sigh of relief – too soon. A crowd of people ushered me onto a platform and started congratulating me for the wonderful party I had created. I was so angry and frustrated at this point in being trapped that I started wishing I could just smash the whole building against the mountains in the distance. I saw an old friend in the room and looked at him with pleading eyes, and he just nodded his head as if he was trapped to but could do nothing to change it. I had to sit through the rest of the party, being celebrated for my creativity and action oriented personality. A great satire party custom made from my brain to no positive end. 
I started asking myself, what’s the point of lucidity?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dreams Taking Over - Level 1

So last blog I mentioned that my dreams were taking over. It seems silly to be warring with your own subconscious, but alas, that is the point I am at. Ever since my freshman year of college, I’ve been having some weird experiences that lead me to believe that my mind is trying to convince me they are reality. Since my dreams keep leveling up in craziness, I’ll explain them starting with the most demure and ending with the most convincing.

Level 1: Sleep paralysis

I’m no stranger to sleep paralysis. I’m well aware of the reasons and exit strategies that revolve around this phenomenon. However, there are some occasions that are notably… different from normal sleep paralysis. These times are when I don’t just hallucinate, but I predict the future. Hallucinating is easy to explain – and terrifying. For instance, I once was paralyzed and hallucinated that someone came into my room, talking to me normally. I sat up on the bed and watched them leave. As I tracked their movement, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I saw myself clawing at my own face and screaming in my reflection. I knew I was paralyzed, so the fact that I was moving without being able to control it was terrifying.
            But predicting the future in my sleep paralyzed state? That’s a new level. Level 1 of my dreams taking over. In this sleep paralysis, I was in my dorm room and I had taken a nap while some of my friends were over. Suddenly, I woke up into my darkened room, completely frozen. Since this often happens when someone experiences stress of different sleep patterns, I remained calm and just hoped that someone would come in and wake me up. (Pesky friends could be my saviors for once!) And thankfully, one of my friends did. He walked up to my bed, tapped my shoulder and said, “Case, Case are you okay? Wake up.” And I did.
            Awake. Into my darkened room being fully paralyzed. That was all just a hallucination of some sort – and I started to panic. But just at that moment that same friend walked up to my bed, tapped my shoulder, and said “Case, Case are you okay? Wake up.” And I did. For real. It was so exactly the same that upon waking up I immediately started to freak out. Big time.
            I’ve had prophetic dreams before, but usually they are layered with symbolism. This was the first time I’d ever experienced anything like verbatim prediction. I started asking myself, what is the nature of prediction?