Definition of LUCIDITY
1: clearness of thought or style
2: a presumed capacity to perceive the truth directly and instantaneously: clairvoyance.
A lucid dream is a dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming.
Being aware of the dream. Do we live, sleep and dream? Or are we dreaming this life and the dream state is actually our existence?
“Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration – that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There’s no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we’re the imagination of ourselves.”
Somewhere in his career comedian Bill Hicks described Rick Astley as a “banal incubus”. I think Hicks was a much more advanced human than most of us.
William Burroughs had his own take on dreams. And thumping around the internet I found this:
“What a horrible loutish planet this is. The dominant species consists of sadistic morons, faces bearing the hideous lineaments of spiritual famine swollen with stupid hate. Hopeless rubbish.”
~from My Education: A Book Of Dreams (Burroughs)
If we can control a lucid dream then it stands to reason that if this life is a dream, or ‘the imagination of ourselves’, as Hicks said, can we not rise above those ‘faces bearing the hideous lineaments of spiritual famine swollen with stupid fate?’ One might argue yes, but if we cannot, then life must not be dream. Or maybe it was, and now, because this imagining has gone out of control, we no longer dream this life clearly…we are observing this imagination through a glass, darkly…the perspective skewed…all gone horribly wrong?
And now, to hoist a phrase from Monty Python, for something completely different:
“There is no route out of the maze. The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive. ”
~Philip K. Dick, from Valis
Or this one from PKD:
“If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication … and there is the real illness.”
My man Thomas Pynchon once wrote:
“It’s been a prevalent notion. Fallen sparks. Fragments of vessels broken at the Creation. And someday, somehow, before the end, a gathering back to home. A messenger from the Kingdom, arriving at the last moment. But I tell you there is no such message, no such home — only the millions of last moments . . . nothing more. Our history is an aggregate of last moments.”
~from Gravity’s Rainbow
Our history is an aggregate of last moments…The inverse from this macro view is our own individual life: we are only lucid at those last moments, on the cusp of each event, straddling from an argument to reconciliation, from ignorance to knowledge, from uncertainty to confidence, from hate to love, from self-loathing to self-love. The old adage: our lives pass before us as we die is not true. It is only last moments that blur the penultimate ones.
Etymology: < Latin lūcid-us, < lūcēre to shine. Compare French lucide.
- Bright, shining, luminous, resplendent. Now poet. and techn.Entomol. and Bot. = Smooth and shining. Astron. Of a star: Visible to the naked eye.
Visible to the naked eye…shining, luminous, resplendent…these are qualities in a life not meant to be experienced continuously…what makes us human is our capacity to experience lucidity in small doses…the alternative is reserved for angels…unless they are deranged angels, as PKD says, then they are simply men…