Jurgen Ziewe used lucid dreaming to travel outside of his body and explore other realms of consciousness.
photo by: Jurgen Ziewe
I always thought lucid dreaming was baloney, until I had one myself. For several years my oldest son had told me about the wild escapades he orchestrated in his dreams. But Zack’s stories sounded like childhood fantasy, and I didn’t pay much attention. Then, I discovered lucid dreaming had become a hot topic among dream researchers and those attending weekend retreats “teaching” lucid dreaming. I decided to try it for myself.
As it turns out the most effective trigger for having a lucid dream is becoming aware it’s possible. Learning others have them is sometimes all it takes to propel us into these other realms of consciousness. It was almost that easy for me. Soon after researching lucid dreaming I found myself in an ordinary dream with the realization that “I” was somehow separate from the scene being played out in front of me. It seemed like natural and normal realization, “hey, this is a dream.” Once the idea sunk in I decided to take control. I did what most rookie lucid dreamer do — I jumped into the air and took flight!
It seems unlikely this simple experience that almost anyone can achieve during a weekend course at their local Marriott can turn science’s understanding of who we are on its head, but it can. Because as today’s guest on Skeptiko explains, lucid dreaming gives us the undeniable experience of being the observer of reality; and that’s a vantage point our current understanding of consciousness can’t accommodate:
Alex Tsakiris: Even though I’ve interviewed several very respectable people who have had similar out-of-body experiences… I always feel obligated to come back and remind us that most of the world is living in a reality that doesn’t allow for this. How do you balance that on a day-to-day basis? How did you deal with it for that long period of time when you really weren’t telling anyone that this was what was going on?
Jurgen Ziewe: I think the first thing of course is we are totally focused on the physical reality, nearly everybody is. And when it comes to our dreams we hardly pay any attention. We just dismiss them as dreams. But the moment you become aware in your dreams, which is what usually happens during lucid dreams, things start changing dramatically. When you have an out-of-body experience, and very often [this] happens from a lucid dream… then you suddenly are in a position to take control of the experience. And that’s what I did–I disintegrated or interrupted the dream narrative, which is a lucid dream–which usually takes its content from the subconscious. And by doing so, after you dismantle the dream narrative, you then find yourself in a new consensus reality, which is just as real as our physical reality. And this is where things become really interesting.
Alex Tsakiris: We don’t know about that extended realm. We hear about people who go and they meet these beings, and the being says, here’s my hand where I was crucified on the cross and I am Jesus… We don’t know what to make of that. And it really raises the larger question about your work: what can we really take out of these extended realms and bring back into our world? I always wonder and worry that maybe we’re looking through the wrong end of the telescope when we do that. And since that’s the larger reality over there when we try and jam it back into our reality it winds up being nonsensical in a lot of different ways. What are your thoughts on that?
Jurgen Ziewe: My explanation is that I have a strong experience and a strong feeling that when you start to move away from this physical reality, you get into a realm of consciousness which contains all the data that has ever been recorded or everything that is known or unknown about the universe. It’s like a massive databank. And that’s the only way I can explain it because what happens for example in this [extended] realm, and you for example want to materialize something by an effort of will–let’s say you want to have a cup of tea. You can actually manifest the cup of tea and then you wonder, how did this cup of tea come about? And what happens in my observation is [the cup of tea] is already in existence. I just focus the data right in front of me then it materializes. Now the interesting thing was when I did this experiment, which I also describe in my book Vistas of Infinity, I materialized the tea cup but I wasn’t very good at actually manifesting the tea which tasted a bit watery.
Alex Tsakiris: A while back I had an interview with Robert Bruce–this was episode #203 of Skeptiko. [Bruce] is probably one of the best known out-of-body experiencers in the world. He wrote the book Astral Dynamics which was hugely successful and many people have read it. So Robert’s account was of demonic possession. He was doing a healing. He encountered a demon. That demon possessed him in this world and he battled this demon in this world and this extended consciousness realm, and this demon was sent off. And he says that he’s had similar encounters with these other spirits in this other realm. Now this is the kind of issue I think that people are trying to fit into this framework that you’re laying out there. On the one hand, we can say that there’s this infinite field of infinite consciousness that we are creating our reality out of, but there’s another reality that’s very primal to people that is, I encountered Jesus, or I encountered Buddha, or I encountered Krishna. And that’s been the guiding force of their whole life. Or people are encountering, like Robert Bruce did, these demonic beings or evil spirits. So how do we sort this out? I don’t know that we can just blow by it and go, oh well there’s this consciousness field and it’s created out there. I don’t know if that really hits people’s experience.
Jurgen Ziewe: The moment we are born we are sort of endowed with some sort of genetic program or cultural program. And that determines the experiences we look for and we find [based] on our educational upbringing and so on. That takes us in a certain direction in our life and endows us with a certain type of belief. And it is this program which makes us focus our attention into distinct directions. For example, if we had a very strong Christian upbringing we may focus our attention into this aspect of the infinite universe which is endowed with Christian paraphernalia, environments, churches, belief systems, holy entities and so on. And we may well with our strong focus and passion draw essences of these entities into our awareness. And by the mere focus of doing so we may actually get a part or the essence of these historic beings [and] bring them into our reality. And they may actually act authentically–the way we would expect them to act. This is just a theory. The same thing may happen if you focus on negative aspects of our personality.
[easy-tweet tweet=”I disintegrated or interrupted the dream narrative, which is a lucid dream — Jurgen Ziewe”]
Alex Tsakiris: Robert Bruce is saying I didn’t just form this out of a thought form, I was interacting with another individual and there was this third entity that was this spirit entity that was interacting with both of us. And I had a similar experience–I interviewed this woman Marilyn Hughes who I thought was really interesting. She’s an out-of-body traveler. That’s what she reports, similar to you. We actually did an experiment because this was during the time when I was investigating medium communication. And we did somewhat of a demonstration I should say rather than an experiment. It was controlled and she did a very convincing job of accessing this other realm of deceased people. And she assisted this woman who lived in Texas whose daughter who committed suicide. And [Marilyn] was able to go–this was her report–find the daughter and bring back information that was extremely significant to the mother who was completely blinded from the reading. I was in the middle so she didn’t have any way of knowing any of this. So if we’re going to say where’s the proof, Marilyn Hughes provided proof to me that she had gone to some other realm, accessed some other spirit being–that being this deceased daughter–and bring back the information and transfer it to me, and me [relaying] it to the mother. So I always wonder when I hear your talks and your work which I find very fascinating and important in so many ways, but I wonder if we’re missing the point when we talk about this huge field of consciousness and we’re creating all these islands of our consensus reality. Maybe we’re really missing the point. That’s what Marilyn would say–she would say the point is that there are these beings out there on these other levels. So are they important or are they just being created by us and they’re not important?
Jurgen Ziewe: No she’s absolutely right because these are tangible realities made out of individuals. The only difference is people given up the physical body and now they’re living in another dimensional reality. And I have met fairly sinister people myself perhaps similar to what Robert Bruce has described. They are basically people on a much lower dimensional level with very negative atmosphere and persona but my experiences were probably different. One thing I can confirm is over the years I have met my mother who died in 1997. I met her on several occasions and I’ve re-met her and I’ve had conversations with her and I’ve watched how she’s progressed and developed. I’ve [also] had conversations with my wife’s brother who died in 2006 and I met him again. And we discussed at great length where his life had gone wrong and so on. And I could even confirm afterwards with my wife and I gave her some details that I couldn’t have known that she confirmed. So I’m absolutely convinced that there’s no such thing as death or disappearance of individual people once we are stripped of our physical body. I would even go so far [to say] what we experience here on the physical level is only a tiny percentage of the greater reality which we enter into once we leave our physical body behind. So I think what I’m saying is not in contradiction to what you’ve just mentioned.
Alex Tsakiris: Great. So now let’s tackle some of the really big questions: destiny or free will? Are we as you said programmed at birth or as many others have suggested from the reincarnation experience before birth? Or through a period of many births? Are we playing out a destiny in our life or are we shaping our destiny as we go, or both?
Jurgen Ziewe: I think it’s a bit of both really. We are sort of programmed by our personal experience, our environments and parents in order to act in a certain manner. But on the other hand we also have a free will and I personally am not 100% convinced that we are totally enslaved to karma or to a past program.
Alex Tsakiris: Does this suggest a hierarchy? Does this suggest a moral imperative? Are we driven by some evolutionary force in a direction, be it towards good if we want to put it in those terms or some other way? Is there a God I guess is the question.
Jurgen Ziewe: The idea of a hierarchy is perhaps not the best way of expressing it because before I had my out-of-body experience I was told there are seven levels of the astral plane and so many of the mental plane. And very early on in the beginning I was out of my body and I met people who were actually permanent inhabitants there and one of the stupid questions I asked was what level am I on. And of course they looked at me as if I was mad because they didn’t know what I was talking about. So we create abstraction from actual experiences in consciousness in order to make it understandable. But I think there is no such thing as hierarchies which you can define in a numeric system. When I talk about higher states of consciousness I mean more awareness, more light, more power, more energy…this sort of thing. The consciousness is more expanded, more inclusive. And also a higher consciousness to me means you are closer to the source level of who you are. So there’s a feeling that you are–you feel at home. This home feeling to me is the best way to describe how close I am to the source consciousness.
Alex Tsakiris: How are we supposed to understand what our purpose is here? It doesn’t seem adequate to say we’re here only to transcend being here.
Jurgen Ziewe: This is exactly what I feel. This is why I sort of part with the idea that we are here in order to transcend our state we are at, and then sort of escape from it and become enlightened beings to be in some sort of celestial dimension, and be relieved of all the hassle and pain. That is not how I see it. My understanding is exactly–we are here because we are here. We are part of this reality. To me that is absolutely fine. And if you experience hardship and all the other things the best thing we can do with it is bring a higher state of awareness into this reality and make it illuminated in a sense…. so we don’t feel the extremes of suffering we do normally. We still suffer but the mere fact that we are physical beings and have this physical body and experience pain, we are not associated with it any longer with this limited shell which we carry around. And it think that’s the next stage in our evolution if you like as human beings … that we are able to use the energy forms we carry around with it but from an enlightened or luminous viewpoint. So it’s nothing really I feel that we need to get away from, quite the opposite–we are here to embrace it properly with the greatest level of consciousness and awareness.
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