The Lucid Dream that Self-Destructed

Last night I had a lucid dream. It lasted for about 15 seconds, alas.

It’s interesting how it played out. The dream was set in a hotel — kind of a cross between the Denver Radisson Graystone Castle and the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, only my dream hotel was older and seedier than either of those fine establishments. I had walked in the hotel from the rear parking lot, and stumbled across a pile of documents and materials that were cordoned off and being held by lawyers who were involved in a lawsuit. I stepped over these items, and noticed that some of them had to do with a band I liked. I walked up to the front of the hotel where a photocopier sat, next to a couple of pinball machines. I was working on a project for a marketing job I had, and as I got ready to photocopy one of the sheets in my project, I realized I needed a photograph of the band. So I immediately started walking through the corridors of the hotel to go back to where the lawsuit materials were. As I walked down the corridor, I realized I was dreaming. “Hey, this is a lucid dream!” I thought to myself. “Cool! I can do anything I want!” But, alas, this realization proved to be my undoing. Suddenly I felt as if, no matter how hard I worked my legs, I couldn’t make any progress walking down the hall, as if some invisible force were holding me back or keeping me “mired” in the spot where I stood. I tried to work my legs harder and faster… and woke up, thrashing my legs in the bed.

Sigh. So much for my adventures in lucid dreaming. Now that I am fully awake, I feel more amused than perturbed by this nocturnal psychic process. Perhaps I was my own worst enemy here — if I had just gone with the flow of the lucid dream, allowing my subconscious to guide me while I just enjoyed the unfolding story, perhaps it would have lasted longer. But it appears that I have an irascible and unruly subconscious, not to mention an arrogant and overweening ego. And so, as soon as my ego got involved — “I can do anything I (i.e., the ego) want” — the subconscious just threw the circuit breakers and brought the show to an untimely end.

I suspect there’s a moral in there somewhere.

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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • trev

    I love lucid dreaming. I had two of them last night.