The Metaphysics of Lucid Dreaming – Visionary Fiction for Kids
by Brandon Bosse
There are plenty of books written about lucid dreaming, but most of them are written for the adult reader a]nd aren’t intended for children or young adults. Many younger readers aren’t interested in reading dry, philosophical, non-fiction books and easily get bored. Yet, young readers are nonetheless (often indirectly) exposed to the underlying morality and metaphysical aspects of the fictional stories they read. Taking inspiration from stories like Harry Potter, Matilda, Alice in Wonderland, and Wizard of Oz, I began writing The Dreams of Phillip Aisling in 2007. It is a story designed to introduce younger readers to safe and confident exploration of the rich and exciting world of lucid dreaming. It is told from the perspective of a 13 year old boy who is struggling to understand what his dreams mean. I wanted to present lucid dreaming in an entertaining way that kids would enjoy. Readers of all ages are invited to join Phillip in learning to take control of their dreams. The book also explains, from a kid’s point of view, possible theories about the metaphysics of dreams and how they can be interpreted as glimpses into alternate realities within Hugh Everett’s multiverse.
Before we delve into the metaphysics of dreaming, you may be wondering “what is lucid dreaming again?” The term may sound familiar, but perhaps you have forgotten exactly what it means. It is simple enough really.
Lucid dreaming is simply being aware that you are dreaming while in a dream.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever been dreaming when you noticed something strange and then suddenly you realized that you were dreaming?
It has happened to me several times and is as though a wave of awareness washes over me, and I realize that I can be or do anything within my dream. Even more amazing is that I sometimes have complete control over what happens! I can leap into the air and fly high up into the clouds. I can move objects just by thinking about it. It really is like having superpowers!
And that’s just the beginning. You can do whatever you can dream of…literally! Your imagination is your only limitation.
The Metaphysics of Dreams
But just what are dreams, anyway? There are many theories about what causes dreams, but still they are actually quite poorly understood. One current theory popular among neuroscientists and psychologists is that dreams are the way your mind makes sense of the events of the day and strengthen memories. Another theory is that dreams may allow you to play out possible scenarios in a risk-free environment, which may be beneficial to survival. If you are ever confronted with such a scenario, you will have already encountered it before in a dream and will be more prepared to react.
There is also a theory that dreams are glimpses into alternate realities tucked away in the higher dimensions. In the following video physicist Michio Kaku discusses how string theory points to there being 11 dimensions not the basic 3 (or 4) we are used to. He is careful to point out that it cannot be proven yet, but the math hints at an eleven dimensional multiverse.
To begin thinking about what an eleven dimensional world would be like, I recommend this less rigorous but nevertheless thought provoking video by Rob Bryanton, Imagining the 10th Dimension:
At a certain point, this imagining of the higher dimensions is purely speculation and fantasy, which is why it makes for good fictional material. I especially like Rob’s clear explanation of the fifth dimension as our probability space. Quantum mechanics tells us that the particles that make up our world are derived from waves of probability influenced simply by the act of observation.
In Everett’s Many Worlds Interpretation, all possible realities exist whether you are there to experience them or not. Alternate universal constants can also allow strange worlds to form that would look very dreamlike. When we dream, we often see and experience strange worlds and events and are left wondering where they came from and what it all means. The main premise of the book is that dreams are a result of your consciousness untethering from your physical body and moving about in the higher dimensions in the many different worlds. In this sense, dreams are brief glimpses into alternate realities. I have incorporated these concepts into my book in chapter 13 where the Metaphysician explains the higher dimensions, using floating green shapes to make it easier to visualize:
“There exist an innumerable number of alternate worlds where everything is exactly identical to your world except one thing or another is changed. This is just an example. The possibilities are endless on what can be the same and what can be different. Even the so called “laws” of physics and nature can be different, causing all sorts of things that would seem strange to you but completely normal to beings living in those worlds.”
“It could be said that the assemblage point is the lens through which we experience life. It is the point where your mind assembles all of your senses to form your conscious experience. Anything that comes to your attention, even if it is only subconsciously, passes through your assemblage point. Really it is more than this. It is the point through which the infinite energy of the multiverse passes through you, as a sentient being. And for a brief moment, you have control over that infinite flowing energy and can assemble reality.
“This is a profound message, my boy. And it will take time and experience to really understand.” The old Dreamer pauses to study Phillip’s face for signs of confusion. Phillip’s gaze is focused intently on the floating green rectangles full of timelines.
Lucid Dreaming is for Wizards and Muggles Alike
I’m especially excited about sharing the story of Phillip Aisling because of how accessible dreaming is to everyone. Everyone sleeps and everyone has had dreams before. Unlike other fantasy novels that present magical powers that you either have or you don’t have, Phillip Aisling explores lucid dreaming which is open to wizards and muggles alike! Unlike fantasy magic, lucid dreaming is a real life ‘magical’ power that anyone can learn if they are interested and willing to put in the effort.
Phillip’s Future Timeline
As Phillip discovers, It does take practice and training to remain calm and focused enough to control the dream completely. Book 1 (Numinous Nagwaagan) is about Phillip discovering lucid dreaming and learning about the metaphysics of dreams. Book 2 (Lessons of Lucidity) will pick up where the story in the first book left off but focus more on practical tips on exactly how to control dreams. The lessons in Book 2 are based on extensive research I have done on controlling dreams. For instance, it can be quite difficult to change a scene in a dream simply by willing it. But, it can be more easily accomplished using a few clever tricks. One trick is to fly high up in the air and then land back down into the scene you want. Another trick is that you can change the channel on a TV until you get to the scene you want and then enter the scene through the TV screen. I have made many notes for the future books in the series that I am excited to incorporate into the story.
The benefits of paying attention to your dreams have been well documented in many nonfiction books. I think it is important for younger readers to have access to this same wisdom so they can benefit from it as well. It is my intention to provide younger readers with an entertaining story that explains lucid dreaming in an exciting and relatable way.
Thank you for reading. I hope I have sparked some interest in lucid dreaming and perhaps even provoked some interesting ideas. Please check out the exciting content planned and coming soon:
- Virtual Reality Game – A VR Game for Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear called Phillip Aisling’s Lucid Dreams is currently in production. It is designed to give the player an inside look into Phillip’s dreamland. It will also be a fun way to learn and practice lucid dreaming skills.
- Audio Book – The audiobook is out now! Featuring professional voice actor Fred Wolinsky, who has done an amazing job of bringing each character to life with unique voices.
- Ebook – The ebook price has dropped from $7.99 to $2.99! I hope to be accepted to Bookbub.com soon where I will run a free giveaway promotion.
- 5 Paperback Giveaway Contest – There is a contest running right now on Goodreads for 5 free copies! Sign up for it today!
- Thunderclap.it – You can also win a SIGNED copy of the paperback by supporting the Thunderclap campaign. By supporting the Thunderclap you are entered to win a free signed copy and you also help me spread the word of the upcoming free ebook giveaway on August 27th.
THANK YOU! And remember to always dream big!
[This is a the first of a 2-part article. For the second part, click here.]
Brandon Bosse is a computational cognitive neuroscientist, biomedical engineer, and visiting scholar at UCSD. He has worked in the field of retinal implants for the past 10 years, including prior work in Germany and Australia. During this time he wrote The Dreams of Phillip Aisling. He was inspired to begin writing the story after awakening from an unusually vivid dream in 2007. He is a Lucid Dreaming and Virtual Reality enthusiast and is also working on a VR Game called Phillip Aisling’s Lucid Dreams, where the player can learn lucid dreaming techniques while exploring Phillip’s dreamland.
Follow Brandon at facebook.com/phillipaisling, twitter.com/phillipaisling, and instagram.com/phillipaisling to get regular updates about the VR project, the upcoming audiobook, and the next book in the series!