One of the ways I’ve decided to engage with the current historical moment is by participating in the Adopt-a-state initiative by the Vote Save America folx; the idea is to do things (from home) to help with political campaigns in key battleground states in 2020. For reasons that have a lot to do with lucid dreaming, I’ve decided to help the Arizona campaign. Tonight is the first training session.
I used to edit non-fiction anthologies for young adults, and back in 2011 was working on the book Traumatic Brain Injury (Perspectives on Diseases and Disorders). For the introduction I focused on the brain injury suffered by representative Gabby Giffords at the hands of a deranged man who was obsessed with lucid dreaming and who believed he was asleep and dreaming at the time that he shot Giffords and a number of other people (killing some of them, including a child). This event led to a lot of articles mentioning lucid dreaming, unfortunately in association with a horrific mass shooting event.
This article in CNN talks about the shooter’s obsession with lucid dreaming, and mentions dream yoga. Overall this particular article is quite balanced and presents lucid dreaming in a positive light. From the article:
A lucid dreamer is a person who is aware that he or she is dreaming and is able to manipulate the plot and outcome of the dream, like a video game. It is not uncommon, and in children it can happen frequently, even as an expression of creativity, said Gary Schwartz, professor of psychology and neurology at the University of Arizona.
It appears that Jared Loughner, allegedly responsible for the shooting at a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday, took a keen interest in the phenomenon. In the YouTube video called My Final Thoughts: Jared Lee Loughner! that is said to belong to him, he talks about conscious dreaming and reflects a blurring between waking life and reality – “Jared Loughner is conscience (sic) dreaming at this moment / Thus, Jared Loughner is asleep,” he writes.
Loughner likely was referring to lucid dreaming, experts said, which has been studied scientifically and shown to be a real phenomenon. In fact, humans have known about lucid dreaming for centuries; Tibetan Buddhists began practicing “dream yoga” more than 1,000 years ago as a means of attaining a purer form of consciousness through awareness in dreams.
By adopting Arizona and helping move things in a positive direction there perhaps I can counter some of the “bad karma” associated with a dark side of lucid dreaming that manifested in the killer’s actions. I also like that Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly is running for senate there; he is an astronaut who has spent over 54 days in space! I imagine that would give him quite a dose of the Overview Effect. Having more people in office who have seen the Earth from orbit and come back to effect positive change seems like a good thing to me.