Today we'll explore an important mental exercise, a fundamental philosophy that underpins lucid dream training.
Lucid dreaming can become quite a complicated topic, but behind all the techniques and training lie some core principles, certain philosophies and mindsets that act as important foundations upon which all else is built.
One of the most important foundations is the ability to foster a humble and honest state of mind. Essentially, we're exploring the importance of truth.
The Importance of Humility
In our modern world, humility is often seen as a weakness - we can feel awkward and anxious when facing situations in which we have to admit that we don't have all the answers. As a result, the vast majority of human cultures foster a mindset that lends itself to forms of conceit, misplaced confidence and self-deception.
Simply put, most of us feel far more comfortable when giving, or believing, any answer, even when we're uncertain. Rather than simply admitting what we don't know.
Such a mindset is deeply counterproductive for lucid dream practice; it's also an unhealthy approach to life itself. After all, we live in a universe in which there are infinitely more unsolved mysteries than there are answers. The human race has barely even begun to scratch the surface of what there is to be known.
For the purpose of lucid dreaming, this is reflected in the nature of our non-lucid dreams. We are all so very used to making excuses for the gaps in our knowledge, that it has become second nature to explain away the inconsistencies in the dream world through faulty logic and improvised stories.
To become lucid, we need to be prepared to be honest and humble - to admit, without shame, that "I don't know". Accepting the limitations of our knowledge is the very first step in expanding it. Indeed, this very principle is the core of both scientific thinking and many Eastern philosophical systems. As the famous Shakespearean quote goes:
"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."
So, if you wish to develop a mind that is prepared become lucid - one of the very first steps is to accept that you can, and will often, be wrong. In fact, your dreams alone prove this - every night of your life you have made the same mistake again and again - you have mistaken the dream world for the waking world.
Unweaving the Web
In order to foster a lucid mind - attempt to catch yourself during your waking hours whenever you attempt to lie, tell half-truths or cover-up gaps in your knowledge. This applies equally to conversations with others as it does to your own private thoughts. Importantly, it is also necessary to reevaluate and question all those things you already believe.
Remind yourself that honesty and humility lead to a clear perception of events, whereas the alternative creates a web of confusion and self-delusion. As a positive side effect, you will find that your life becomes lighter and more carefree - as the tangle of cognitive dissonance is slowly unwoven. In fact, you'll discover that not-knowing becomes a source of joy and excitement - as you face the mysteries of the cosmos head on - filled with the potential of discovery and adventure.
Additionally, you'll have a clearer grasp of your true motivations and desires, you'll more honestly assess your own development and you'll avoid spreading misinformation.
This simple change in your interaction with reality may take a long time, it certainly is at odds with a great deal of our social programming. However, if you persist you'll make huge advances in your lucid dream practice - it will also massively increase the potency of your reality testing.
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