The Metaphysics of Lucid Dreaming – Visionary Fiction for Kids
by Brandon Bosse
First, I want to wholeheartedly thank the VFA for the opportunity to share my story and ideas. I am grateful to be able to share my passion. Thank you to my fellow VFA members for the kind words in response to Part 1 of this blog post. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, I recommend starting there.
Visionary Fiction for Kids
Kids are naturally curious about the world. With the Internet at their fingertips, they are even more informed about the way the world works than any generation before. I think that teens crave new ideas and a deeper understanding of the world around us. That is why I think that young readers are up to the challenge of understanding such complex concepts presented in The Dreams of Phillip Aisling and the Numinous Nagwaagan. I hope that I’ve been successful at taking these concepts and presenting them in an entertaining way.
The VFA is transforming human consciousness, one book at a time, and this transformation is most effective if it starts earlier in life. I think it is important to introduce younger audiences to the ideas in visionary fiction before they become stubborn old adults, set in their ways. This book was a middle-grade/young-adult novel from the onset. Even though it is written for younger readers, it is not over simplified. I think kids are smarter than they are often given credit for. The book presents the metaphysics of dreaming not directly to the reader, as most self help books do, but instead the reader learns from watching someone else (Phillip) learn. In this way, it is less pressure to grasp the concepts, which instead of being lessons for the reader to absorb they are simply part of the story. I think this makes it more approachable for younger readers.
3 Reasons Why Lucid Dreaming Is Good For Kids
First of all, I should point out the obvious fact that having dreams where you have superpowers is just pure FUN! I mean who wouldn’t like to be in a world that appears just as real as the waking world, but you are able to do and be anything?! It doesn’t get much more fun than that. But, besides just being heaps of fun, why else should you encourage kids to learn to lucid dream?
1) Lucid Dreaming Can Stop Nightmares
Nightmares are a common childhood problem. Just ask any parent and they’ll have a story about how many times they’ve been woken up in the middle of the night by a crying child afraid to go back to sleep. What most parents do isn’t very helpful at all. Common ineffective consolations are “it was just a dream” or “try to forget about it”, which really just invalidate the child’s very valid fears. Instead, show interest in their dream. Then teach them about lucid dreaming and how to recognize when they are dreaming. Explain that when they know they are dreaming they can control it and make scary things go away. That way, when the boogieman appears they can banish him with lucid dreaming! The following video explains this concept for kids:
If your child has frequent nightmares, I would also encourage you to hang a dreamcatcher above their bed. Not because it has any special magical powers like Phillip’s numinous nagwaagan (which means magical dreamcatcher), but because it can be part of the bedtime ritual. When it is bedtime, you can remind them that they are protected by the dreamcatcher, which often times will be just enough reassurance they need to feel safe and sleep soundly.
Once your child realizes that lucid dreaming puts the power in their hands, they will be much less anxious about falling asleep and having nightmares. It will give them confidence that they can handle any bad dream that might come up and the dreamcatcher hanging above their bed just adds a little extra reminder that they are safe to freely explore their dreams.
2) Lucid Dreaming Improves Creativity
As kids become comfortable with lucid dreaming, they begin to let their imagination run free. Dreaming allows us to tap into our unconscious source of information. Some of the greatest ideas came to artists and inventors in their dreams. Learning lucid dreaming helps kids connect to their unconscious mind by learning to pay attention to their dreams. This will translate into increased creativity in waking life. Lucid dreaming is a lifelong skill. If you encourage your children to develop the skill while they are young, it will stay with them into adulthood. Just think of all the amazing things they can create!
3) Lucid Dreaming Improves Critical Thinking Skills
The key to lucid dreaming is being able to recognize unusual things in a dream that trigger you to become aware that it is a dream. In order to successfully do this regularly, you’ve got to get in the habit of questioning everything. As kids begin lucid dreaming, they learn to question reality and what is really possible. They learn the importance of not taking everything at face value and to not believe everything they see or hear.
How to Teach Your Kids to Lucid Dream
The best way for kids to learn lucid dreaming is by regular constant encouragement and reinforcement from their parents. Actually, kids are naturals and pick up the skill relatively quickly. If you follow the following tips, you may find that they are having more frequent lucid dreams than you are!
1) Frequently Ask Them If They Are Dreaming
As I already mentioned, the key to becoming lucid is being able to recognize when something strange happens and then ask yourself if you are dreaming. Get into the habit of asking your kids if they are dreaming. When something unexpected happens, make it a game to ask if they are dreaming. This will help you and them question reality more often. It also teaches them critical thinking skills and the importance of always questioning everything. The more often they question reality, the more likely they will become lucid while dreaming.
“The way that you can tell if you are dreaming is when you see things that can’t happen in real life.”
– 5 year old explains lucid dreaming to 2 year old sister.
2) Encourage Them to Draw Their Dreams
Another useful tool in having regular lucid dreams is the dream journal. The kids’ version is a book with blank pages where they can draw their dreams rather than write about them. The idea is to help them remember their dreams, so it doesn’t matter if they write or draw them. The point is to take time to remember dreams and pay attention to them, giving them more importance.
3) Give Them A Magical Wand
If your little one often has nightmares, try this great idea. Give them a plastic toy magic wand and tell them that it is a very special wand. Say, “right now this wand is just a toy, but if you put it under your pillow, you’ll have it when you dream. It becomes a real wand with magic powers in your dreams and you can do anything you want just by thinking it. This technique works best with young dreamers.
4) Try Virtual Reality
Finally, I can’t help but mention an idea I’ve ran across recently. I’m a huge Virtual Reality fan and so I’m working on creating a VR Game based on Phillip Aisling’s dreams. During my research I read some reports online of people who started having more frequent lucid dreams ever since they began using virtual reality. So, this is another reason to run out and buy a VR system just in case you needed an excuse. I’m sure you kids will love it! And it might just help having more lucid dreams, too.
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!
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!
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