experiential landscape

The Landscapes of Dreaming

Much has been written about dreams. From Jung to Spare and Lovecraft to Chumbley dreams have haunted all those who look behind the veil in their own way. We have yielded to its great unknown every night, not understanding as a culture its true role and relationship with that which we call reality.

In the night time slumber we ride across mountains, we visit sabbat and explore lost caverns, we yield to forbidden passions and succumb to prehensile fears. Yet so little beyond conjecture exists even now in the teen-aged years of the 21st century.

I have always been what is called a lucid dreamer. Born out of years of reoccurring nightmares as a small child I awoke within my dreams at the age of five. By my early teens I had discovered the term “lucid dreaming” and the research of Stephen LaBerge. I experimented widely with dream sharing, dream divination and out of body projection during sleep states.

When we talk of dream we speak of it through the lens of cultural perception. The Aranda of Australia do not see that time of rest in the night the same as an American or a European. The role that the events of the sleeping play on the lives of the people is clouded and obscured in contemporary culture. It hides it purpose under a motley group of narrative constructions hedged in pseudo psychological mumbo-jumbo and badly cribbed neurolinguistics. We have built a cage out of language that we force dreams into, robing them of the experiential landscape they have been for eons and reducing them to plot lines and archetypes of story telling and cinematic techniques.

But dreams are not the things we imagine in the night. Not the movies with odd plots nor the video game hallucinations of sleeping. Dream is as much a time and a place as it is an experience. More shared than we realize or are willing to admit in our overly technological world. Dream is an abstraction, beyond language, an emotional landscape made of appropriated forms and concepts shuffled before our mind’s eyes like the cards in a tarot deck. The chaos that reigns over us merely an order of a magnitude we can not perceive.

To those who ride the night dreams are complex beyond the imagination of the mundane. Initiatory visions, rituals of impossible space, divinatory and prophetic, punishing and purifying, ultimately cleansing us of that which hinders and binds. Aided by entheogenic spirits, calea, sinicuichi, henbane, and mandrake, the hedge dissolves before us revealing that secret land between the edge of the world and the realm beyond the veil. We stand before the dweller naked of our social constructs and face that poison which leads us down the crooked path.