I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Dr Rory MacSweeney’s new book, The Paradox of Lucid Dreaming - A Metaphysical Theory of Mind. I first met Rory in Milan as we were both sitting out from an Ayahuasca ceremony one night and got chatting. As it happens, a conversation that I found just as useful and enlightening as working with the teacher plant.
With a lot of books already sat on my shelf waiting to be read, I flicked through the contents. My intrigue peaked and the book got bumped to the top of the list.
Turns out this book is about much more than lucid dreaming and extends its enquiry into the very nature of our reality through an appraisal of modern day quantum mechanics and shamanism.
Unless of course you’re happy to accept the possibility that you are now in a dream as you read this. And then of course it becomes about lucid dreaming again. What is, what are you, where are you, who are you? Are you dreaming, by knowing you are dreaming, you are now lucid dreaming in the way that a person lucid dreams when they are asleep. Which would make you awake.
My apologies at this point if you’re unsure what lucid dreaming is. Let me explain. It is quite simply the concept of becoming aware of the fact that you are dreaming. Once you become aware, you can then decide what you want to happen, perhaps you’d like to take flight unassisted (personal favourite), eat a pizza, have an orgy. It becomes completely your choice, the reality is subject to the desires and decisions of your 'mind.'
Let's tackle the lucid dreaming bit first. Having a dream that you can then wake up in and orchestrate to your own beat is a lot of fun to those that can, and intriguing to the uninitiated. I have done it on a few occasions, and since reading the book it’s happened many more times. If you simply want some guidance on how to lucid dream, then this book worked for me - without me even asking it to. Simply reading the pages, allowed for lucid dreaming to become a common nocturnal occurrence.
Great, does what it says on the tin in a way then, but this book is so much more. It becomes clear very quickly, that Dr MacSweeney has spent a lifetime pondering and exploring some of the most fundamental questions we can ask ourselves as earth dwelling human beings.
You’ve probably done it yourself, pondered the nature of the universe and subjects such as space, time, infinity. No doubt getting to the inevitable dead end of a head that hurts. It’s nice to blow your mind open now and again, it makes life seem a bit more care free, a bit more fun, less of a slog, more of a dance.
Psychedelic plants will do that, and so too will this book. I get the impression this was his intention - mainly because he signed the book with the words - enjoy the trip.
And what a trip it was, it took me to the end of my current line of questioning and then took me further again. Things I’ve always felt deep down were there in writing to be intellectualised and understood by my brain. The language to explore and explain is handed to you on a plate, thanks to Rory’s unreserved curiosity.
Are dreams made of atoms? Ever thought about that one?
If you're after a journey down the rabbit hole and into wonderland that doesn't involve transcendental meditation, frog poison or our plant allies, then this book could well be your red pill.
To learn more about Rory's work visit his website http://www.wakeupinyourdreams.com