Saturday, 18 March 2017

Book Review: Dreaming Wide Awake; Lucid Dreaming, Shamanic Healing and Psychedelics. By David Jay Brown

This book review first appeared in New Dawn Magazine issue 160 January - February  2017.
© Brett Lothian.

Book Review
Dreaming Wide Awake: Lucid Dreaming, Shamanic Healing and Psychedelics.
By David Jay Brown

Dreaming Wide Awake is an outstanding and in depth guide to Lucid Dreaming, altered states of consciousness and the potentials that they contain for healing, psychic development and spiritual awakening. Combining the latest scientific research, ancient wisdom and personal experience, the author takes us on a fantastic voyage through the realms of the conscious unconscious, exploring the many archetypes and spiritual dimensions that lay just beyond our ordinary perception of reality. Not only will this book give you a fascinating insight in to the dreaming mind, out of body experiences and alternate realities, but it will teach you the techniques that you need to explore them yourself first hand. 

The author is extremely well researched and his easily accessible style makes this a great book for the beginner, whilst covering such a broad range of subject matter that it will keep even the most experienced inner traveller turning the page. Coming from a western scientific approach, the book manages to remain balanced and grounded, whilst discussing a range of varying perspectives on the lucid dreaming experience and other related altered states of consciousness. Drawing upon both ancient and modern schools of thought and incorporating various aids such as plant allies, psychedelics and modern technology, the author gives us a true in depth modern manual to an ancient mystic art.

Dreaming Wide Awake is particularly helpful for those suffering from post-traumatic stress, night terrors and recurring nightmares, as it teaches us how to take control of our dreams, to change them and how to use lucid dreaming to heal the past traumas that lie buried deep within our subconscious. Lucid dreaming offers a safe, effective and outright exhilarating alternative therapeutic option for those suffering the torment of revisiting their worst nightmares on a nightly basis. With this book you will even learn how to develop super powers, from soaring high above the clouds like an eagle to shape-shifting and becoming one, if you so desire in the dream realm. Learning this ability to take control of your reality in waking dreams, also transfers over into waking reality, effectively training you to be more confident, adaptable and successful in making your hopes and dreams become actual reality. 

This book will be of particular interest to the psychonaut, the mystic and the spiritual seeker. The author skilfully takes us through the parallels and similarities between Dreaming Wide Awake, the psychedelic experience, shamanic healing and visionary states of consciousness, discussing everything from archetypes, spirits and disembodied entities (and how to communicate with them) to psychic phenomena, shared experiences and alternate realities. For those that are new to journeying beyond ordinary reality and wish to develop their confidence and abilities, to contact someone on the other side or simply to vision quest, Dreaming Wide Awake provides a fantastic way to safely train yourself to have better control and to maintain your intention when in an altered state of consciousness, whether lucid dreaming or in a shamanic healing ceremony or sweat lodge vision quest.

Of particular interest to me is the use of technology to enhance lucid dreaming and other altered states of consciousness. I think this is a vastly under studied area (outside of the MKUltra program that is) that holds tremendous potential for allowing everyone access to the other realms outside of ordinary reality. The author takes us through his experimentation with various devices and aids, bravely plunging into the depths of his own mind in what are truly fascinating experiences, revealing the power over the mind and perception that technology can have. Whilst obviously there is the potential for these types of technologies to be used for nefarious means by our friends at the various alphabet agencies, they also have the potential to be used for great good and healing when used by the practitioner at home. 

Dreaming Wide Awake will plunge you headlong into the very nature of reality itself and forces us to question our widely accepted notions about existence, our place in the universe and our power to shape reality. Whilst always staying grounded, evidence based and easy to understand, David Jay Brown has created a modern masterpiece in psychonautical exploration. Ultimately, this is a book about healing, seeking our true nature and spiritual empowerment. If these are subjects of interest to you, you will not be disappointed in Dreaming Wide Awake, an instant classic.

By Brett Lothian

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