Lucid Dreaming and Consciously Exploring the Unconscious


Lucid Dreaming and Consciously Exploring the Unconscious

February 19, 2021
Robert Waggoner

“Who are you? Who are you?”

At the time, it seemed a simple question, which I posed to the young woman in the lucid dream. But this simple question led to profound lessons in lucidity, and taught me much about the nature of transformation in dreams, lucid dreams and waking.

As the dream began, I found myself in a farmhouse kitchen in the South. The farm wife cooked on the stove and I sat at the kitchen table with my oldest brother and someone else. When the farm wife placed a pile of cooked beans on my plate, it all struck me as too strange. Suddenly it hit me, ‘This is a lucid dream!’

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Immediately, I could feel the energy of something behind me. Realizing that the ‘Shadow’ (or the denied, ignored or repressed aspects of the self, according to Carl Jung) often remained behind the person, I turned and discovered an attractive, young black woman there. Picking her up, I brought her directly in front of me, and asked her an open-ended question, “Who are you? Who are you?”

She returned my gaze, and replied, “I am a discarded aspect of yourself.”

How do you respond to “a discarded aspect of yourself?” What does “a discarded aspect of yourself” even want? For a moment, these questions bounced around my mind. And then I just knew that a discarded aspect wants acceptance — complete, heartfelt acceptance. From my heart, I sent complete and total acceptance to this dream figure, or this discarded aspect of myself.

Then, something magically unexpected happened. As I sent complete and total acceptance onto this “discarded aspect”, she began to shrink towards her center point, and then completely transformed into wisps of colored light that headed straight towards my torso, and entered me with an energetic jolt!

Accepting a Dream Figure Transforms It

Upon waking, I knew the ‘light’ energy had changed me somehow.

A week later, the answer became clear: Ever since this lucid dream, I thought daily about trying to write a book on lucid dreams – a project I started two years earlier, but discarded. Now it made sense! The energy of the “discarded aspect” or discarded book project had now re-integrated with me, through my complete acceptance of the dream figure. Moreover, that energy propelled me forward to write my first book, Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self.

So what ‘lessons in lucidity’ emerged from this brief lucid dream? Here, you can see a few:

  1. Many (but not all) dream figures exist as projections of your mental energy.
  2. Shadow-type dream figures (ignored, denied, repressed aspects) appear able to re-integrate with you ‘if’ you totally acknowledge and accept them from the heart.
  3. Totally accepting such a dream figure often results in it returning to its natural state of mental/emotional energy, experienced as light and energy.
  4. A lesser acceptance by you may result in the dream figure changing; for example, shrinking, or becoming less threatening, etc. Because they change as your mind changes, you see that they ‘connect’ and ‘relate’ to your mind-stream.
  5. Reintegrating energy in a dream or lucid dream can dramatically change your waking life experience.

When you think about ‘transformations’ in lucid dreams, you often think about transforming yourself into something – a bird, a rock, a tree.

But lucid dreaming shows you that if you transform yourself or your response, then the lucid dream (or the figures in it) may change dramatically. This change can serve to transform your waking experience, helping you to live more lucidly and more compassionately.

Years ago I met a lucid dreamer at a workshop who told me my second book, Lucid Dreaming Plain and Simple, had totally changed his life. I asked, ‘How?’ He told me that he grew up in a dysfunctional family and had lots of nightmares. When he read that you could send dream figures love and compassion (instead of fleeing from them or fighting them as he had done for decades), he began doing this in his lucid dreams. As he healed these inner dream figures and watched them change, eventually his dreaming world changed and became peaceful.

Even more amazing, according to his wife, he became a “changed person” in the outer world. He related to his extended family with more love and compassion, and then they changed. The wife told me his entire family began a process of changing, which feels transformative.

Respond lucidly; respond with compassion, and see that as your mind changes, so will your experience.

Robert Waggoner ©2020. Used by permission.

About the Author

Robert WaggonerA lucid dreamer since 1975, Robert Waggoner wrote the acclaimed book, Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self, and the award-winning book, Lucid Dreaming Plain and Simple with co-author, Caroline McCready. His books have transformed readers understanding of lucid dreaming’s potential and been translated into Chinese, German, French, Korean, Finnish and Czech. Learn more about Robert at his website:

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