Dreaming Wide Awake
When it comes to books on lucid dreaming, astral projection, out of body experiences, or psychedelics, it is hard to find anything original. That is why it was a relief for me to have found Dreaming Wide Awake: Lucid Dreaming, Shamanic Healing, and Psychedelics, a book that not only brings my interest back into the subjects I have been exploring for ages but somehow relates all of the topics I enjoy into one cohesive view.
David Jay Brown’s book Dreaming Wide Awake is a book that while I was reading it, I would often think to myself, “This is the book that I would want to write if I was going to write a book!” I don’t believe that David somehow hijacked my consciousness when writing his book, but it relates to my psychology so well that his book made a significant impact on how I see the world. I felt genuinely connected to it.
David’s book is what I should have read when I was first inspired to start exploring my consciousness because it would have given me the framework needed to ground myself in a diverse overview of consciousness.
In Dreaming Wide Awake, David takes us on a journey through the exploration of psychedelics and how modern research is showing their effectiveness in not only changing our minds but also healing us spiritually. He discusses many shamanic traditions which have used psychedelics for thousands of years to treat the ailments of those who were sick both physically and mentally.
Not only does David talk about those who he has personally known and interviewed who have used psychedelics – such as the late great Terrence McKenna – and other profound influencers of the psychedelic movement, but David goes into great detail about his own experiences with these fantastic tools. I noticed very quickly that this wasn’t another book about someone else’s experiences, but a story about David’s personal life with consciousness.
David Jay Brown holds a master’s degree in psychobiology from New York University. A former neuroscience researcher at the University of Southern California, he has written for Wired, Discover, and Scientific American, and his news stories have appeared on The Huffington Post and CBS News. A frequent guest editor of the MAPS Bulletin, he is the author of several books including Mavericks of the Mind and Conversations on the Edge of the Apocalypse. He lives in Ben Lomond, California.
Lucid Dreaming and Out of Body Exploration
If psychedelics aren’t your forte, David also explores a number of dream-related topics including developing a connection between shamanism and lucid dreaming. He goes into the history of dreams through ancient societies then dives into the science behind sleep and dreaming which touches on the psychology of dreams and reviews the researchers behind prominent lucid dreaming practices.
David continues his exploration into lucid dreaming through discussing the ways that individuals can have lucid dreams and Out of Body Experiences. He provides the reader with a how-to guide on lucid dreaming and even investigates some of the more advanced ways to delve deeper into dreams. He talks about supplements and electrical devices that have shown promise to promote lucid dreaming and deliberates the positives and negatives of their use.
Dreaming Wide Awake does not end where typical lucid dream books do. David continues talking about the more strange situations that can arise out of these elaborate and reality smashing altered states. He goes into topics that focus on parapsychology, including remote viewing, astral projection, hauntings and ghosts, and parallel dimensions – even quantum physics. As a born skeptic about some of these experiences, I personally never once felt that David was taking me off the deep end, as he always keeps a level-headed view on these experiences while also maintaining a nonjudgemental open mind.
Both Sides of the Debate
Dreaming Wide Awake never provides us one skewed view as to what is right and wrong about exploring consciousness. He gives a scientific view and the more spiritual aspect equal attention. Throughout his book, he provides a very intimate view of his relationship to what he is writing about. His openness and open-mindedness is a relief of fresh air when it comes to books focused on lucid dreaming, psychedelics, and spirituality.
Dreaming Wide Awake isn’t all about David and his experiences. He reaches out to countless authors and experts in their field to discuss their personal views on these complicated topics. David’s book takes us into some deep and dark areas as he explains death and sleep paralysis. He brings us back into the light as he discusses rebirth, spiritual awakings, and how to overcome fearful experiences while dreaming. There is never a dull moment when it comes to Dreaming Wide Awake.
A Book Worth Reading
Dreaming Wide Awake is a book that I will continue to go back to reflect on and to see how my overall view on the vast amount of subjects discussed changes over time. This is not a book that you read just once and forget. It provides us with some challenging questions that have forced me to face my own shadow and to see reality from the point of view that I have never seen before. As a mirror into my soul, David’s book has provided me with a glimpse into my psyche – something that has impacted me enough to last a lifetime.
You can get a copy of David’s book from his publisher at Inner Traditions as well as other great books to continue learning about lucid dreaming, consciousness, and beyond.
Lee Adams is a Ph.D. candidate in Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute and host of Cosmic Echo, a lucid dreaming podcast, and creator of taileaters.com, an online community of lucid dreamers and psychonauts. Lee has been actively researching, practicing, and teaching lucid dreaming for over twenty years.
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