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 Awakening Dreams
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Secret3
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:43 pm
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Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 73
Location: Colorado, USA

I actually started this story a year ago, wrote the first half and haven't had time to finish it. It is sort of written in the style of E.A. Poe since I was reading a lot of his stuff at the time, but the subject matter is more Lovecraftian.
I have the entire outline in my head, I just need to find time to write it down. At any rate, here is the first installment; if people like it I will try to get to the remainder soon.

Awakening Dreams;

And so it comes to this.

Only hours now remain before I am to be executed.
I am not afraid, I am not remorseful.
I do not find anything to feel about my situation at all- this is but a formality. I have been dead to this world for quite some time already. Not dead entirely, but to this world only. You see, I live and shall continue to live long after my physical heart has been stilled. Yet there are many whose hearts beat strongly and yet live not- not truly live.

The purpose of this writing is for any who wish to understand, to open their minds and comprehend; to learn as a child who desires to know the truth. Not to judge because these writings are those of a lunatic, a depraved mind- but rather to desire knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom with which one may be capable of setting one's self free.

As you, the reader, must surely know, I am a doctor of psychiatry. I was once esteemed highly by my colleagues before "the madness took me," although it is in my mind they who are ill, and not myself. They live in a world of haze and obscurity, blinded by their own belief in false knowledge and imagined wisdom. How can they be experts on something they scarcely can imagine? How can a scholar profess to be an expert on a culture he has never visited? So it is with the doctor of psychology who has never really seen the world of madness, as a visitor. Only firsthand can they truly see the whole landscape, observe the nuances, speak the native tongue and taste the cuisine.

Let me turn to the beginning of this tale, this account of my journey from sanity to psychosis and my decision to stay there.

Last September a gentleman visited my clinic upon strong urgings from his family. It seems that they were growing increasingly concerned about his odd behavior, to the point where they feared for his (and possibly their own) safety. He was reluctant to seek professional help, but agreed to do so only because they had agreed to cease their verbal harrassment of him if he did.

The man was small and mousey, quiet, and withdrawn, but altogether a pleasant fellow. He seemed upon first meeting to be highly grounded and fully as sane as I believed myself to be. He was also exceedingly intelligent. Himself being very well read, we had amusing discussions where he nearly confounded me on several occasions in topics wherein I am considered something of an authority. Indeed, he had a very keen, if somewhat unusual, view of the human psychi and of our role in the universe.

When I attempted to delve into the concerns of his family members, he expressed amusement and sarcasm. He laughed that they were worried about him because he enjoyed napping, frequently, often for extended periods. These naps frequently interfered with other matters that should have been very important to him, but which he apparently considered inconsequential, such as holiday gatherings, religious practices, and family responsibilities. He had lost his employment because of the numerous absences and routine tardiness. He often only awoke from sleep for meals and then immediately retired again to the bedchamber. He had been tested for drug use, for medical conditions and for depression and showed no indications of the presence of any of them.

He explained that he only wished to be left alone, that his desire for excessive sleep was not cause for concern- he merely enjoyed the world of sleeping more than the waking world. In his mind this was not "escaping from reality" any more than someone wishing to stay awake to avoid nightmares is escaping from another form of reality.

I was of course familiar with similar sorts of behavior, but in these cases there is usually a form of depression involved. Certainly the loss of his job could cause him to want to escape from reality into a world of dreams, but this was not the case- the loss of work was caused by his excessive sleeping, and not the other way 'round. Further he showed no sign of such a condition- as before mentioned he gave no indication of depression but seemed positively enthusiastic. He even argued most emphatically that I was deluded to consider myself more correct in my belief that facing reality meant facing the waking world. He truly believed that only in sleeping could he find purpose.

I was very interested in his case, and as I listened with what I tried to represent as an impartial ear, he agreed to visit me on a routine basis to discuss the nature of his behavior.

In these visits I tried to impart to him how much he was missing by sleeping excessively; the birth of his niece, July 4rth fireworks, walks in the park, the smell of rain. He responded in turn by trying to convince me of all that I was missing- in dreams he could fly like a bird, swim with leviathons in the deep, visit strange and colorful worlds in distant planes of space. Arguments that these visions were not real were shrugged off without any hesitation- to him, they were at least as real as the chair upon which he sat. He didn't simply pretend to believe that they were as real, he truly knew it. He felt that every moment squandered in this grey and depressing world was a painful waste of his time. A necessary evil to obtain physical nourishment in order to fuel his mind for the next nap.

Our discussions seemed to be going nowhere; it was obvious to me that I could say nothing to change his mind about the importance of "reality", so insistant was he on his position. So I assumed the new strategy of playing the Devil's advocate. I assumed for his sake that the dreams were as important as the waking world. I posed to him the suggestion that dreaming accomplished nothing, for in dreams we are subject to whims of our imagination as a piece of flotsom is tossed by the ocean currents. What we dream one day will be forgotten by the next, and upon our next slumber we begin in exactly the same position as before. Nothing is gained, no experience to grow upon.

But here again he disagreed with me most strongly. He informed me that he had a real life in his dreams. In it he was esteemed by a host of characters, each complex and individual in behavior. They had discussions as meaningful as the ones he had with me, and they represented viewpoints as diverse as any individual in the waking world. He had wealth, and power, and it grew with experience. He had real friends there, friends he had both met in his dreams as well as ones he had known in life before they had deceased. He even claimed to meet people from the waking world there, although they seldom remembered such meetings themselves. This he explained was due to their inexperience with living in the world of dreams and their lack of practice in remembering dreams. He even told me that we had both had a similar discussion in this world of dreams just the night before, but that I had awakened before he had explained to me the method for recollecting the meeting upon returning to consciousness.

This was such an influx of delusion that I was a bit taken back, but I dared not call it into question. I simply asked him what he meant by this method of which he spoke.

He explained that he had practiced for many weeks before he finally grew capable of remembering his dreams reliably. Now he could recall every dream as clearly as if it happened in the waking world, if not more clearly. He also explained that it was exactly as difficult to recall the waking world in the dream world, but that this method also improved this ability at the same time. Further, he was able to remain fully lucid in the world of dreams, but that it was sadly impossible to become as lucid in the waking world.

I was fully familiar with the concept of lucid dreaming. This is the ability of some people, with practice, to recognize that they are dreaming, and taken a step further to control their dreams. In a normal dreaming state, one is not capable of controlling the dream. They can often make decisions about their own person, whether they will respond a certain way to the events which they dream are occurring, but they are usually limited to observing the dream as if it were a movie being played out before them- at the whims of their own imagination and psychi.

To be lucid during dreams- fully aware that one is dreaming and able to make conscious decisions- is very rare, but with practice it can be done. When one finds this successfully accomplished, they can often perform feats not possible in the waking world, such as self-powered flight, or superhuman strength. But such a condition is always transient- it is not long before the dreamer sinks back into the dreaming mindset and forgets the power they had found.

I asked him what he meant by the statement that such lucidity was not possible in the waking world. Were we not both fully lucid? Could I not decide, with fullness of conscience, what I would do or say at any time?

He explained that when one perfects such a state in dreams, one finds one's self in a state of existance incomparable in the waking world or even in normal dreams. One is aware of senses that are not discernable in the waking world, of other planes of life, of abilities and wisdom which can not be explained to those who have not experienced them in person.

It is at this point that he mentioned a book. It was not a book I had ever heard of before, its author was likewise unfamiliar to me. He said that he had used the methods described in this book to achieve this state of lucidity in sleep. He praised this book very highly- so highly that it was akin to worship. He spoke of the author with a reverence usually reserved for religious leaders, and in fact once the topic of this book was brought up he simply couldn't stop expressing accolades of its wonders.

I decided to do some research into this transcript myself. It was apparent that it had affected him deeply, and as such I was curious that I had failed to be familiar with it as it was not a new publication, having been described by my patient as an antique manuscript. Indeed, it was not a simple matter for me to locate any information on the transcript, let alone track down a copy of it.

I was finally able to learn only meager and relatively useless information regarding the author (whose name I shall intentionally not mention); that he lived at the turn of the century and that there was some mystery surrounding his death in 1906. He was not regarded highly, but was thought of as a harmless quack. He was a self-proclaimed psychiatric specialist, he claimed to have the cure for many mental disorders but failed to produce any evidence of these claims. He finally was thrust into complete obscurity after investing all of his savings into the publication of his book, "Awakening Dreams". The book did not sell well. Little else could be found about him until his death, which was something of an enigma itself. Both he and his wife dissappeared, and it was not known whether they lived at all for over a fortnight, until a group of boys stumbled accidentally upon their bodies. By this time sufficient decomposition had occurred to make their exact cause of death difficult to determine, but it appeared that they had been killed by knife to the throat, and the knife in question lay near the victims. Some claimed that the man had killed his wife and then his own self, but this was never verified.

Despite my best attempts, I could not track down a copy of the book itself.

One day I recieved a call from the patient's sister. She was growing anxious about her brother's behavior. As late he had begun making overt and frightening statements which had made her fear for her own safety, as well as that of her other family members. I tried to reassure her that although her brother did indeed require further examination and therapy to help him, still I felt his delusion was not directly harmful to others. His desire was to sleep, and so long as he was permitted to do so he could not harm anyone. But she seemed nonetheless very fearful. She told me that he was becoming agitated as late, eager to impress upon her the importance of learning to dream properly. His urgings were becoming rather forceful, and he made one comment that especially concerned her, that she was "as good as dead unless she bothered trying to live".

I told her that this statement probably was meant only to impress upon her his deluded belief that living was only accomplished through dreaming, but she was not easily consoled.

The next session with her brother proved somewhat unusual. He brought his book with him. In fact he transferred it into my possession, saying that he no longer required it. It was a physical object that no longer had any meaning to him. He told me that he had nothing more to gain from our discussions here, but that he would be happy to meet with me in the world of dreams where meaningful discussions could transpire. I tried to convince him to continue therapy, but of course I could not force him to do so and he was resolved in his decision. I hoped that his sister and I could work together to get him to seek further help, but as he had not yet posed a danger to anyone, it was not in my power to make him continue therapy.

After he had thus departed, I was by supreme curiosity drawn to peruse the book of which he had spoken with such awe. It was an original publication from 1902, very old yet in good general condition save for the yellowed and brittle pages and general wear on the book spine. There was a large section at the back of the book filled with pages for personal notes, and there were notes scrawled there in several hands. It appeared that the book had been owned and used by at least 3 different people before coming into my possession. The handwritten notes made no sense to me upon first perusal. It seemed that the book itself might lend clarity to some of the entries, while others seemed to be notes of a personal nature that had nothing to do with anything. Examples of the notes are as follows;

"Finally maintained awareness long enough to find the doorway, but was interrupted before I could reach it. Next time no distractions!"

""Made it through the first trial. I found him! He looks exactly as I imagined him to look, save for the moustache."

"I passed the second test, tomorrow if there is time I will search for father."

Since the handwritten notes meant nothing in particular to me, I decided instead to make a brief examination of the book's contents. It was apparently a study of the concept of lucid dreaming and it outlined a very complex and unusually specific plan for mastering the skill of controlling dreams. I gathered that some of the notes in the back refered to steps in the process of developing this skill.

It seemed to me that these steps were highly symbolic in nature, and that they could probably be substituted with other similar steps. For instance in one step the author suggested (once one had developed sufficient skill to attempt it) that the reader dream into existance a door. They were then to proceed through this door into a narrow hallway. Through this hallway they should create further steps, each in succession. One step might be someone they would meet, an obstacle to overcome, or something valuable that they should find. On any given night the reader might be able to follow the progression another step further, thus gaining more control over his dreams and more practice and skill in his ability to dream lucidly. But it seemed to me that the doorway might just as easily have been a particular color of ice cream or a certain path on a trail. The door was simply a metaphor for the dreamer to use, as it was easy to recollect and thus the dreamer could easily practice the technique of obtaining conscious control during a dreaming state.

I was interested in this idea, and admittedly it aroused quite a curiosity in me. This book was written ahead of its time, when there was not much interest nor background in such a topic. I imagined that the author must have been quite visionary, and that his peers did not appreciate this fact simply because his subject was too radical for them.

The technique began easily enough; the author suggested that the first step was becoming aware of when you are dreaming and when you are not. This he suggested could be done by making a mental habit, about ten times a day, of looking up at the sky and making careful observations of the celestial objects. He cautioned against reliance upon a clock or friend for a reminder to do this; it was important that the one performing the experiment develop the habit of remembering to do this himself. It was submitted that by so doing, it would become habit and that this habit would eventually be carried into dreams as well. When gazing upon the heavens during a dream, it is almost without exception that oddities will be discerned; the moon will appear much closer than normal, the clouds will move with rapid fluidity, the sun might burn a strange color. If any such oddity is detected upon observation, then the experimentor may safely determine that they must be in the act of dreaming. Thus conscious of the fact, they may begin to take the steps needed to gain control over their dreams.

Resolved to make an experiment of the techniques described in this book, I had begun making this habit of observing the heavens regularly. In fact, nearly every time I stepped outside or walked by a window I took a moment to observe the sky. I had been doing this for two days' time, without any definitive result as yet, when I was contacted by an attourney, calling on behalf of the husband of my ex-client's sister.

I was horrified to learn that on the day of our last meeting, my ex-client had visited the house of his sister, and there he had shot and killed her, then turning the gun upon himself he took his own life.

It should not be necessary for me to state that I was absolutely shocked. The patient had exhibited no aggression, no latent tendencies for this sort of behavior. I could scarcely believe it, yet at the same time I felt an eerie horror and guilt for not having heeded his late sister's concerns. Clearly she could see the danger wherin I could not. I had failed them both, but even in retrospect I could find nothing other than her conviction to have indicated that this tragedy was truly likely to occur.

The suddeness and finality of this event filled me with an uneasiness that I could not shake. It stayed in my mind throughout my day and I could not put it out. I discussed my client's visits to my office with his brother in law (his sister's husband) and attempted to console him for his loss. He did not blame me for what happened, but he did take great interest in my thoughts on the matter. My attempts to console him were awkward because of my own feelings of guilt in the matter, but he likewise attempted to console me, stating that he also did not perceive there to be any real danger, even when his own wife expressed grave concern.

Perhaps it was the weight of these events on my mind and the direct relation of them to the topic of dreaming that triggered immediate results in my own experiments. That very night I was tossing in fitful slumber, when the events of the day penetrated my dreams and made me recollect my client's obsession with dreaming. I immediately wondered whether I was in fact dreaming, and turning to look outside my office window I perceived that the city was ablaze. Every building in the city was burning, the entire landscape a crimson inferno, yet I smelled no smoke, felt no heat, and my own office was not engulfed in flame. At first I felt a terrible sense of panic, but this fear was quickly put aside when I again regained composure and realized that this was in fact confirmation of my suspicions that I was dreaming. I decided to perform the simple experiment of controlling my dreams in small measure. I told myself that the city was not burning, it was a beautiful day. I looked out at the city and saw that it still burned. I tried again to force my mind to imagine the flames gone- and watched as they vanished. I imagined the crimson sky blue, and it changed in a twinkling. Details I had not predicted could be seen- wispy pink clouds whirled high in the stratosphere, yet appeared close enough that I could touch them.

Before I knew it I was no longer in my office, but standing in a field gazing at the sky. This I had not intended, and before I should slip away into the dreaming mindset I again resolved to regain control. I remembered the doorway from the book's experiments. Although I had not yet practiced all of the earlier methods described in the book, I tried to call to mind a wooden door. There stood the door before me, in the midst of the field, as though it had been there all along. It was large and rough hewn, with an antique brass handle. It stood in a wooden frame, but it was not attached to any wall. I reached forth my hand to open the door but found that my hand had become intangible, like a wisp of smoke.

I began to panic, to forget that I was dreaming. Again I thought of the day's events, and this pulled me back to my senses. I regained control to find myself back in my office. I again tried to call to mind the door. In an anstant it was there, against a wall where I usually would find a large shelf of books. Again I reached towards the handle, and as before my hand became nonsubstantial. This time I remembered that I was dreaming, and told myself that my hand was as solid as I wanted it to be. I gripped the handle firmly and felt the cold brass in my fingers. I turned the knob, and felt the mechanisms move inside the handle as the knob turned. I opened the door and saw the dark hallway inside. The walls were smooth and featureless, and it extended to an indiscernable source of light. The end of the hallway was blurred, I could not see how far it went.

I felt a sense of uneasy thrill as I set first foot into the hallway. As I pondered upon this, I found that my ability to think was clouded from my current state of being in a dream, but I also felt that it was getting easier by measures to maintain this lucid state. Again, I don't know if it was the weight of the day's events coupled with their relation to the subject of dreaming that made it easier for me to focus on the experiment, but I was nonetheless surprised by my resoundingly rapid success. I had not expected such results for many days, perhaps even months. But this was to be the extent of my success on this first experiment. For although I remembered that imagining a doorway to a dark hall was one of the first steps, I could not recall with any certainty any further steps in the procedure from the book, and thus my mind began to wander and I soon found myself waking in frustration. It was the early dark hours of morning, but try as I might I could not regain slumber by daybreak.

That morning found me without appetite or energy. My wife detected something was amiss, and I confided in her the difficulty I was having in resolving my feelings about the tragedy my patient. I told her of his sister's worries, of my neglect to address them, of my experiment. She listened intently, but she expressed her concern that I would attempt these experiments on my own self. I tried to explain to her that the experiments were not at fault for my client's abnormal psychosis, that the book was not at fault for his behavior any more than Oswald's neighbor's dog was responsible for his own acts. Insanity takes many forms, and often there is a delusion on the part of the madman to cling to a fetish, a peculiar focus upon which to transpose their madness. The book did not cause his condition, it was merely the focus of his obsession. I answered her urgings of caution by telling her that I had no plans to continue the experiment.

In fact it was true that I had not intended to proceed with the experiment any further, but that night I again found myself in the position of realizing that I was dreaming, and I reflexively thought of the door. There it stood before me. I didn't think twice about it; I instinctively reached for the handle and opened the door. Again I felt a sense of terrible wonder. It was a mingling of nameless fear and inexpressible excitement. I could hardly refrain myself from entering the hallway. I thought of turning back, but the desire to press forward was overwhelming. I took a few slow steps down the hallway, when I remembered again that I did not know what I was supposed to find there.

I immediately awoke, this time it was still quite early, well before the midnight hour. I tried to return to slumber but to no avail. I could not put the dream out of my mind. I could not get back to sleep because the question of what I should find next in that hallway was too prominent in my thoughts.

By dawn, I was thoroughly exhausted from lack of sleep. This coupled with my sense of depression over the tragedy of a few days earlier was enough to convince me to stay home and try to rest. I thought that perhaps if I could obtain sleep, that I would be able to get my concerns out of my mind and feel better. I tried sleeping aids, but they only added to my misery by amplifying my exhaustion- they did nothing to aleviate my condition. The morning came and went with myself tossing sleeplessly on my bed.

At the passing of the noon hour, I finally resolved to read the next step in the experiment, that I might cease to obsess over it and thus rest peacefully.

The next step I read was that of imagining a stairway, descending downward in a spiral. At the bottom of this stairway there was to be a great blackness, an open and vacant space where it was required of the dreamer to make a leap of faith. This seemed very symbolic to me of descending into the realms of deeper dreaming, and of gaining confidence of one's ability to control one's own dreams. After this leap of faith the dreamer was to imagine himself flying under their own power, and the book then instructs the reader to read no further until they have attempted this portion of the experiment and discovered where it is that their flight will take them.

Thus feeling satisfied in my curiosity, I put the book down, ate some soup, drank a glass of milk and retired back to my bed feeling that I no longer needed to worry about my mind obsessing over what I should find down that hallway. Thus I was confident that I should at last get the sleep I needed.

Sleep did come, and as before I found myself almost immediately standing before the door. No sooner did I see it than that same feeling of intense excitement again came upon me. I felt a compelling desire to open the door, despite my resolve that I should no longer proceed with the experiment. I tried to ignore it, but the door seemed to be always before me, and the desire to open it was so great that at last I could not resist it. I opened the door with a feeling of ecstatic guilt, and there before me was the dark hallway. This time I could see the spiral stairway at the end of it, and I walked towards it without thinking. As I approached the stairway I felt that I could not contain my excitement.

I ran down the stairs, eager to see the blackness at the bottom. The stairway descended steeply, the steps were rough and uneven. I thought for a moment that I might fall, and thus slowed my descent. As I descended, a feeling of calmness began to overtake me. I felt a sense of peace replacing the excitement that had been there before

At length I did reach the bottom, or rather the termination, of the stairway. It ended abruptly into the middle of nothingness. There was no floor, no walls, nothing to be seen except blackness. At this point one might have expected me to feel fear for the dark void before me, but strangely I did not. I possessed a feeling of confidence that can only be described as the knowledge that this was what I was supposed to find. My thoughts were more clear, my emotions more intense than in the waking world, and I had a conviction that there was nothing here which could harm me.

I scarcely even knew that I had decided to do so when I leapt from the terminal step into the inkiness of the void. The blackness engulfed me completely as I fell. I tumbled and could not tell whether there was an up nor down, or if I was actually falling or merely floating. I chose to imagine that I was floating, and this feeling was easily believed. Thus my floating was transformed into flying, and I imagined myself flying through the darkness. In the darkness I began to see stars, as in the night sky. Below me I perceived a body of water, and I knew it to be ocean. Moonlight glimmered from it, and the moon itself loomed overhead, huge and luminous. I flew down low over the water and smelled the sea. The feeling of flight was ecstatic. I saw a distant shore, and I rapidly approached it. I lit upon the sandy beach as the sun began to break on the horizon. The sky instantly set ablaze in a fiery palate of colors; reds, oranges, purples and golds unlike any seen in the waking world. In the first light I saw a man walking the beach, apparently engaged in seashell hunting. As he approached I hailed him; he smiled and extended his hand.

He bade me welcome and greeted me warmly. He had a moustache which curled up at the edges, and his dark hair was plastered to his head. He wore an old-fashioned suit which was light in color, the cuffs about his ankles had been turned up to avoid the water.

He told me his name, and I recognized it as the author of the book which I had been examining. He asked me mine and I gave it, and he said he had been told I might arrive but hadn't expected me so soon. I asked him what he meant, but he merely smiled and said that I would find out everything in good time, but that it was now time for me to wake. No sooner had he said these words than I was immediately thrust into the waking world.

I was deeply impressed by this vision. I can not impress adequately how much peace I felt upon waking, and I had the greatest desire to return to my dream- but try as I might, I could not. My mind was fully rested and I was completely awake. I pondered over the dream. I wondered about the power of suggestion; the notes at the back of the book talked about someone with a moustache. Was this statement what prompted my mind to envision the author of the book possessing of one? Obviously the fact that I dreamed of meeting the author was due to my own excitement over his book. I mentally analyzed all that I had dreamed and what I thought it must mean.

At length I got dressed and despite my promise not to, I returned to the book to continue the experiment.

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Jesus Prime
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:20 pm
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No offense, but I'm not starting it until you've it finished. I hate cliff-hangers.

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sTango
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:26 am
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I liked it very much. Cant wait for the rest of it!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:11 pm
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Mi-Go Brain-Bait
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If you want to sell your property in a short time, please use the offer http://www.home-buyer.co.uk/ . The buyer quickly values ​​every home or flat, arranges formalities for the client and transfers cash even within a few days.
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