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Welcome

NP Journal for experimenting with ideas, Copyright © 2011-2017 LJ Frank. All Rights Reserved. 

 

Narrative Paths Journal

“We think we know but have yet to discover.”  Thomas Aquinas

 

NP Journal for experimenting with ideas was initiated within the context of experiences and rooted in treks, voyages, studies and work. The access, integrative content and design of the journal are evolving with the goal of enhancing the reader’s experience. The views and opinions expressed in the Journal are those of the individual authors.

 

“Narrative Paths Journal is a literary magazine focusing on new philosophies and ideas.”  Uriél Dana

 

CONTENTS

About Us

Brief overview of  the vision and people who offer their insights and expertise. Includes a list of NP Journal Group & Contributors: editor, assistant editor, guest columnists, writers, poets and photographers.

Contact: L J Frank can be reached directly at narrative.paths@gmail.com

Announcements

Introductions and links to evolving ideas, philosophies, trends with both narrative and poetic reflections on diverse issues.

Plus, we are now listing publications (books, articles, poetry, etc.), book signing events and links to periodical, radio, television, YouTube and film (interviews, talks, speeches, performances, etc.) by people who NP Journal interview including Guest Columnists as part of our efforts in getting to know and connect with people and their work.

Art

Includes some of Frank’s works of abstract expressionism.  Several of his paintings have been donated to nonprofit organizations. Numerous works are on display in business and professional offices and private homes.

Guest Column

We welcome guest columnists. With over 1,000,000 impressions & visits from over 90 countries being a guest columnist offers global exposure for your thoughts. We also supply links to your online sites, updates to your writings/publications, social media presentations – (see Announcements). Contact information is listed under About Us.

The Miracle of Learning & the Seasons of Change by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen.

Inquiries

Philosophical approaches to a variety of artistic, cultural, literary, political, religious, scientific and social matters. Thoughts about inerrancy by L J Frank 

Interviews

Strives to offer insightful and thought-provoking observations of varying lengths in areas that are engagingly diverse and leaning towards the paradigmatic. Most recent:  Tibetan Dream Yoga and Lucid Dreaming, Interview with Andrew Holecek.

NPJ Book Review

Books from the past to the present are reviewed that express the inquisitive and exploratory nature of NP Journal. All reviews are by L J Frank unless otherwise noted.

Publications 

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”  Lao Tzu, Daoist philosopher

Preview listing of L J Frank’s published books with links to retail availability. Frank is also working on two books including a philosophically oriented autobiography.

Rhythms

Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home — Japanese poet, Matsuo Bashō

Contrasting shapes of experiences, ideas, dreams and thoughts primarily in the form of poetry and essays. The words amusing, romantic, haunting, disquieting, nonlinear, obscure and existential are a few of the descriptors for these jottings. Rhythms is scheduled to be be phased out by summer’s end. NPJ Briefing will note changes in content and design. 

A Southern City with Modern Gothic Charm by L J Frank.  

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Index

Links to archived Contributors, Announcements, Guest Column, Inquiries, Interviews, NPJ Book Review and Rhythms.

NPJ Briefing

The Briefing includes updates on Journal plans, usage, visitors by country and miscellaneous website news.

The frank-logue

The frank-logue, for NPJ purposes, is an adaptation of a ship’s log or diary and refers to a type of discourse, as in thoughts & conversations with oneself, written in a chronological format.

 

Arab and Jew, Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land, Revised & Updated by David K. Shipler (2015)

Some works are read over weeks and not days. This is one of those journeys. It’s a substantial, poignant, disturbing, accessible work that reads like a journal. It’s in the category for which Pulitzers are given and been awarded.

Allow me to begin with the “end,” in which the author asks, “Who is the victim?” Voices are offered on all sides of the issues. What is the story that leads up to such a question?

In a heart wrenching and searing narrative that reads like a diary of people’s intimate lives and the uneasy and complex relationship between diverse cultures of Arabs and Jews, there exists the meaning of among other things, property – land that is viewed as personal, cultural, community and core to a national identity and interlaced with the movement toward nationalism and religious fundamentalism and the search for reconciliation in which any number of Arabs and Jews claim they are the victims. And, it’s actually even more complicated than that where so many lives have been maimed, abused, tortured, misplaced and lost and where the divide between the wealthy and impoverished and the superficial and the deep, grows.

Survival is a writhing struggle even on the simplest levels of daily living.

For a number of people who wish merely to survive and have families in relative peace they are wedded to place with religion/culture secondary. The defense of one’s personal property as seen through one’s own eyes is a multilayered history. It’s personal. And the personal becomes political. The author observes that, “Ethnocentrism and religious arrogance feed a political mood today.” Optimism is in short supply.

This work points toward, in my view, the growing conflicts around the world, where the game of religion, nationalism, purposeful chaos, propaganda, fake news and the undermining of the human will and spirit are at play. But it’s not game. Human dignity is at stake. Morality and ethics have become politicized where any number of politicians and corporations are perceived to act and “perform” in whatever “clothes” they deem fit to wear for their personal best interests and with only token acts of good will to assuage the crowds and masses and to help them feel good about their own lives and feed their own coffers of money and power. So what’s new under the sun?

Illiteracy in all its forms and arrogance/ignorance in all its shapes are siblings.  Where is truth to be found? Perhaps the richness of diversity is part of the answer.

This is an excellent read that stimulates the reader to learn more about the world in which we live and to strive for an optimistic outcome.

The Philosophy of the Bed by Mary Eden and Richard Carrington (1961)

I’ve been reading this book while sleeping in different hotel beds. This is one of those books I classify as a gem and I brought along from my personal library for some insights into the sensuality and the realities of the bed throughout history.

The authors have offered up a spicy, thoughtful, documented and accessible look into the philosophical and social history of the bed – from ancient nomadic tribes in caves and forests, to those who made beds from  piles of grass and brushwood in huts and the use of straw that served as pillows to a myriad of other bed types in different cultures. The constructions of beds whether on wheels or mechanical or out of wood or metal this study offers an informative look at beds, bedding and furnishings that could be found in different levels of a society and the philosophy of bed design – from Ancient Greece and Rome to the Medieval ages and the present, the authors offer poetic, social, philosophical  and artistic insights.

Superstitions were attached to the many uses of the bed: such as the young losing their vitality by sharing their bed with the old, or the man who sits on the bed of his mother has committed incest, or importance in certain types of hunting expeditions and associated rituals to have intercourse, particularly with one’s spouse, the night before the hunt to achieve success and the bed being viewed as an omen for good or ill in a variety of relationships depending on one’s partner and circumstances.

Throughout history it was only those who had resources to have a bed for themselves while the masses of impoverished shared beds together especially while traveling. The smell of human odor was prevalent.  Infestations of lice, fleas and cockroaches was not uncommon.

The bed through the ages has been used for  sex in its varied and stimulating erotic forms along with the use of chastity devices, giving birth, reading, eating, writing, drawing, painting, personal and not so personal intimacies & conversations, breast-feeding, dispensing justice,  composing music, dying and sleeping with any number of marriage and death-bed sayings and confessions. With regard to sleep, snoring it was noted in some cases led to divorce and murder. Mistakes also were made at times as in the case of the chambermaid that mistook a guest’s wooden leg for the handle of a warming-pan.

This concise book is very well illustrated with photos, paintings and drawings. And I suspect given the many new designs and philosophies of the bed and its uses make for an opportunity for a 21st century social history update by an enterprising author as more information has been discovered. Until such time this philosophical and social historical insight will do. Enjoy!

Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech by Cass R. Sunstein 1995

Sunstein’s work is a reference tool to be intellectually chewed in morsels and one is provoked to think about applying James Madison’s constitutional thoughts about free speech and democracy.

The words of the First Amendment remain essentially as articulated in the draft of the US Constitution. The Federalist papers show the heated discussion of the constitution’s difficulties with brilliant minds on all sides articulating their positions – one of the chief results was the First Amendment being viewed as a bulwark of American democracy.

Sunstein covers much complex ground (this is several books under one cover) and so I find it useful as a reference. In an early section the author discusses the absolutist position that government is the enemy of free speech and the First Amendment should be understood as embodying a commitment to a strong conception of neutrality, also…government may not draw a line between speech it likes and speech that it hates.” And so forth. How does one distinguish the difference between political and nonpolitical speech is more than a gnawing question.

The author examines various positions concerning what constitutes free speech and democracy and the resulting dilemmas. Whether one agrees with the author or not in all or part of his thinking, the reader is provoked to reexamine free speech and democracy in the age of – the art of the lie, post-truth and the resulting effect of chaotic thinking; and does free speech allow for purposeful lying or lying with intent?

The three branches of government – legislative, judicial and executive allow power to be balanced. When that balance is usurped by one branch over the others one comes perilously close to a dictatorship and the Founding fathers were weary of monarchies to the point of bloodshed.

Tangentially, when government is woven into the military industrial complex and where past privacies have been obliterated through the effect of high technologies the question is what next? The marketplace of thought on one level has affected the language of free speech and the nature of democracy? How does one go about having a reasoned opinion unless one deliberates with other people we feel are reasonable? Belief is a powerful tool of persuasion.

Given the marketplace where people are bombarded beginning in childhood are we able to reason with clarity? What is effect of money and power but to create an orthodoxy? Isn’t to resist a form of heresy.

Sunstein maintains and for good reasons James Madison arguments for free speech have a place in cyberspace and modern telecommunications but the times have changed dramatically in the first six months of 2017. If one wishes to be intellectually stirred then read this as a reference tool in the midst of change.

Michelle is a performing musician, composer, and music-book author based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Press Reviews

Vanessa de Largie, award-winning actress and author

Media about Vanessa has appeared in The Washington Times, Cosmopolitan Magazine (US), The Huffington Post, The Bolt Report, and many more.

Her one-woman-show ‘Every Orgasm I Have Is A Show Of Defiance To My Rapist’  premiered on the West End in April 2017 at the Tristan Bates Theatre.  

On July 15th, 16th & 18th Vanessa will be performing her one-woman-show at The Lambco Fringe Festival at The Lost Theatre.

Along with her books she is a regular columnist for Maxim Magazine (print edition) with her most recent writing in the July issue, titled Winter Sex.

Julia Tulupova is an actress, musician, writer and producer.

She is an alumnus of the acclaimed American Academy of Dramatic in Hollywood, California, and an international actress in both the United States and Europe.

 

 

Dr. Gloria Brame

Audio Books

Exercises to Uncage Your Erotic Voice

Grow Up and Get Sexually Intelligent

Male Empowerment

Master Sessions in Erotic Awakening

Myths that Sabotage Your Sex Life

Reinstalling Your Sexy Software

Techniques to Trigger Your Authentic Sexual Potential

Books

A Different Loving Too

A Fetish for Men

Naked Memory 

The Truth about Sex Volume I

The Truth about Sex Volume II

Ebooks

Male Empowerment

Master Sessions in Erotic Awakening – Complete Collection

It’s known for the Blues playing in the background in worried notes

under cobalt skies mixed with white clouds,

a prelude to the discordant sounds of the city’s traffic,

greeted by blood-shot eyes parched from the humid winds

of yesterday’s misplaced hopes and false smiles,

iced coffee with whipped cream and coffee beans sprinkled on top

dripping down the sides of a plastic cup,

the nasal sound of the tiresome Breaking News

that blares on a radio from the open window of a truck,

while a toothy politician wears a badge –  I’m running for office!

He pats an apparent friend on the back touching a scabbed over soft spot,

recognized in the side-glance of the man’s troubled eyes,

only to be interrupted by a large dog that raises his hind leg,

shudders and pisses on the hood of a mixed breed car,

while a boy yells at another across an alley – talk to my lawyer!

 

And a voluptuous woman dressed in a black leather skirt

with details like burgundy nail polish to match her purple blouse,

lightly slaps the ass of a slender woman wearing a collar and walking beside her,

a young couple with enigmatic features hold hands wearing headphone sets,

sitting on a bench at the edge of a cobblestone street next to a wharf,

a striking woman catches one of her four-inch high heels in a crack

and swears in the name of the Son and his relatives,

while a young man with a degree from a local college

holds a sign that reads “will work for food,”

and a short-haired man in a polo shirt and pressed khaki shorts

looks warily at a long-haired guy in blue jeans, t-shirt and a sports coat,

while faces from other parts of the country wait in line for a cold brew

at a century old tavern across from algae smelling water

and a wrinkled old woman wipes her forehead with a faded handkerchief

then touches the soft grin that quietly crosses her thick lips,

amid the aroma of grilled vegetables and fish that comes in waves

mixed with the fragrance of freshly planted flowers

touched by the Spanish moss that hangs from hardwood trees –

a Southern city with modern Gothic charm.

 

Also, posted in Rhythms

Image for Writings

Credit: Jean Philippe-Cypres, photographer

Inerrancy is a complicated subject. It implies that an object whether inanimate or animate possesses the “quality of being without error” or that it is free from error. It’s most commonly used to describe nature, theological literature and or scripture.

Is there anything in existence that is without error or free from error? If one looks closely under a microscope at the symmetry of flowers one can detect errors. Evolution is not perfect. Meeting with the Harvard paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Stephen J Gould in Syracuse, NY, around the turn of the century he and I talked briefly about inerrancy. He noted that within nature itself we find imperfections and diversity if we look close enough, though from a distance one may see symmetry. To gaze upon any flower one can find utter beauty as we hold it in our hands. Under a microscope it is a diverse and complex world. And one discovers the richness and beauty of the imperfect diversity and the diversity of imperfection.

The imperfections we view in life can easily viewed as perfection, especially when viewed from the human eye and the filters of our experience and internal wiring. Is it natural for us to seek inerrancy and perfection in an imperfect natural world? The idea of error free perfection apparently inspires man to reach for an idea beyond our own frailties and faculties. We apply our inspiration to our thoughts, literature and theological writings and whom and what we worship and the choice of words we use in corresponding rituals.

Once man observes that his inspiration is from a higher authority his language changes and writings are viewed as sacred. Man decides what is sacred. The decision-making that is arrived at for something to be decided as sacred can be convoluted with various language based theological, religious, spiritual, psychological, political and cultural roots.

Subsequent human action whether in the rituals of a cathedral, synagogue or temple or on the battlefield or in a corporate office are developed as a controlling mechanism. Language and thought feed off each other while our rituals serve as underpinnings to the beliefs that are incorporated into our daily life. Rituals have their place as they offer the illusion of constancy and consistency, obedience and discipline to a cause other than our own.

We might ask, as the John Wesley professor emeritus Burton L Mack at the Clairemont School of Theology, did in his work, Who Wrote the New Testament, The Making of a Christian Myth, “who made the bible the final authority” and who made it inerrant or free of error? The answer is, man did. Historically, the level of inspiration became substantially varied at times, especially when there was a transfer of power among rulers or want to be rulers.

The Bible, Torah, Koran and other sacred scriptures were written by men inspired by their own visions of a higher authority and putting those inspirations into a language written down and applied to an imperfect natural world. Man decides what is canon and what is non-canonical. The sacred is imperfect. During the “Middle Ages” gardens were designed in an ordered ritualistic fashion, as a way of dealing with the disorder found in the natural world, is just one small example.

Whether a higher authority, such as the human invented words “God, Yahweh or Allah” etc., suggest, actually exist or not, human language and the desire for inerrancy gets in the way of a deeper understanding of the existential and spiritual predicament/condition of humankind. Language is imperfect even when the writer and speaker are sufficiently efficacious with a given language. It’s the actions taken in the name of a word or words that acts as a stimulus with a consequential effect.

Human language can fail us as does the acts or actions that follow when not used with discretion.  The cliché of  ‘actions may speak louder than words’ is comfortable to say, however, prior to the act, our language in the form of thoughts may loudly reverberate in the malleable and imperfect human brain. Does there exist within each human brain the wish for perfection and is it an obsession about self and other control?

 Nothing is inerrant. Regardless, one might ask, has the language of civility and the civility of language reached a crossroads in our technological age? Are we on the cusp of human like machines replacing the “God” or “gods” that we created and subsequently been inspired by? What will happen to that which has served as our inspiration? Will a technological “god” become an inspired obsession for perfection and inerrancy or will we revert to the imperfect natural gods that primitive men and women encountered in their myths over the centuries?

Still, as Joseph Campbell, a leading mythologist and Mircea Eliade, historian, philosopher and interpreter of the religious experience would on some level agree that myths have kernels of imperfect truths within them.

Intriguingly the language of inerrancy quietly and paradoxically communicates the fear of “aloneness” in an infinite universe(s)” and the subsequent quest for meaning and for a truth, regardless of how imperfect.

Citizens, A Chronicle of the French Revolution by Simon Schama (1989)

“In some depressing sense, violence was the revolution itself,” Schama states in the opening pages.

Simon Schama’s work comes across as that of an expert devoted to his subject and guided by the opinions and ideas of the day in streets of Paris, France with more than enough details, so much so, that I have returned to this magisterial work to read certain aspects of this “full- blooded” narrative with a different view.

Reading this book can be dizzying and enlightening. Peering into the late 18th century France through Schama’s eyes feels as if one is looking at the people and events as if they were alive. As one reads one cannot help but compare the “revenge of time” with the events of today’s unstable minds and events around the world and within the White House, the Congress and the Supreme Court and agendas at variance with the concept of a democratic republic.

Schama, know his subject well and gets inside the fabric of its characters and events of the Revolution and their individual roles and the anger and distrust played out in the theater, the revolutionary exhortations among various groups, the fervor expressed in works of art, the deals made behind closed doors in the halls of justice and the boudoirs of madams, the mocking of the King who saw himself and family as privileged, and the blood that spilled into the streets as chaos arrived without structure. The old regime of benevolent capitalism was dying and about to be pronounced dead. The grievances grew bold and death in the form of suicide and homicide grew as the number of victims mounted in number and terror spread through the streets.

Faith was eventually poured into the concept of liberty and the American Revolution was an inspiration. The threads between the French and Americans were an interweave of passion between leaders of both countries.

This remains an extraordinary narrative of the French Revolution and one wonders if between the American and French Revolutions whether another revolution is on the horizon as the end of democracy is now imaginable and the move toward authoritarian regimes is occurring as division and mistrust grows.

The Manipulated Mind by Denise Winn (2000)

This in an interesting book if one is seeking to know more about elementary aspects of mind control and social conditioning. There are any number of ideas built into the framework of the author’ discussion the least of which is, what do we mean by free will? That said the author offers insightful information as to the nature of how our minds are conditioned and how we are influenced to accept things that are not necessarily an actuality.

In the past decade or so there have been a number of books about brainwashing and conditioning that offer a variety of in-depth excursions into mind control. There are scholars that reject the popular understanding of mind control while others have exposed how people are easily influenced by religion and a belief in something bigger than themselves. William Sargent’s Battle for the Mind Physiology of Conversion and Brainwashing – How Evangelists, Psychiatrists, Politicians, and Medicine Men Can Change Your Beliefs and Behavior (2015) is a study in point.

The use of mind control experiments by various “intelligence agencies and psychologists around the globe is a book yet to be comprehensively written. The effects on individuals within religious traditions and ethnic groups is an example. People can be indoctrinated and manipulated to believe in almost anything where the facts would suggest otherwise as Wynn suggests.

The author perceptively notes that” People do not make their own decisions based on their own, and collective, standards of behavior always, because few have the resources to resist authority. Circumstances can affect our actions more dramatically than we could ever allow ourselves to believe.” Our minds can be more easily manipulated than we can possibly imagine.

The author in her overview does add some fascinating examples such as prisoners of war in Korea and how the Turkish prisoners used humor to deflect or channel mind control. This is not a comprehensive study but a tantalizing taste of the nature of brainwashing, social conditioning, conversion and the need for approval. It’s a fascinating look into how easily our minds can be manipulated and how we need to test our assumptions especially our language.

Our technologies and malleable brains only add to the textured layers of manipulative conditioning.

NPJ Book Review: Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, translated by David R. Slavitt (2008)

This is one of several, and my preferred translation, of this brief but substantial work between a man, awaiting execution in the year 524, and his intimate yet dispassionate conversation with an imaginary woman, Lady Philosophy.

Boethius was a Roman patrician, senator, educated in Greek and philosophy, which placed him in good stead towards the end of his brief life. His suffering was not unique (for the untold masses of people in the lower classes), but his educated voice was able to articulate the struggle between the spheres of both the meaning of life and of death.

It is a thought-provoking work that transcends any particular religious belief though its does offer a theological taste in his references to an eternal God and I am reminded at different points made by Qoheleth (see Ecclesiastes). For example, In Book II Lady Philosophy observes that the “desire for happiness is inborn, instinctive in the minds of men. But they are led astray by false ideas of good.” What does a man gain through work, whether honest or not and accumulates wealth and power and pleasure? “These are the things all men want-wealth, high office, power, fame and pleasure…” as his imaginary lady friend observes. She speaks from a position herself of once having power (through the mind of Boethius). The impoverished suffer daily, and so perhaps think differently and only wish to have one good meal each day and a roof over their head. Regardless,  the only gain a man achieves  through work or play or the pursuit of pleasure, wealth and power is but death. None of it heals the man from within.

Lady philosopher does question whether he is any better than the weak regardless of whether he thinks so? For life ends on the same note for everyone with little hope for recovery so one is wise to seek the spiritual if they wish to be truly happy…further, ”things are known,” Lady philosophy suggests in Book VI, “not according to their natures but according to the nature of the one who is comprehending them.” Self-awareness has a Buddhist feel.

This brief, provocative work might be considered an essential read for today’s politicians and corporate and religious leaders. From a literary and philosophical perspective Slavitt’s translation is excellent.

Carmen Browne’s Music

https://carmenbrowne.bandcamp.com/track/insomnia

https://carmenbrowne.bandcamp.com/track/you-will-know

Everett Bradley (touring member with Bon Jovi and former member of Bruce Springsteen’s Band),  who produced her debut EP Cloud Ballet, and she is currently working with Everett and producer/musician Joe Chester (Coronas, Waterboys) on her album Sublime Light due to be released in 2017.

Browne Towne

For access to her blog

Prayer Flag, Holecek

In response to the numerous questions about the interview with Andrew Holecek and the effects of lucid dreaming on any given person that undertakes the experience, including the applications such as the power of belief, the role of intention, yoga techniques/postures, meditation and other methods the following links may be helpful. For those individuals wishing to incorporate Tibetan Dream Yoga into their life, Holecek offers information for further exploration. Here’s a small sampling from Holecek’s work with a reminder that there’s no quick fix but rather it requires discipline to realize results in any aspect of one’s life:

What is dream yoga and how do you do it?

https://www.lionsroar.com/waking-up-from-the-dream-of-a-lifetime/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grlnGklIgMk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkq-X1MmWp\

 

Andrew Holecek, is an ardent and knowledgeable teacher of Tibetan Dream Yoga and Lucid Dreaming, with over 30 years of experience in the field – he is a spiritual teacher and philosopher, humanitarian, author and a student of Buddhism. He offers conversations, talks, online courses and workshops in the Unites States and abroad.

Holecek’s teachings demonstrate the opportunities that exist in obstacles, helping people with hardship and pain, death and dying, and problems in meditation.

An acknowledged expert on lucid dreaming and the Tibetan yogas of sleep and dream, he is an experienced guide for students drawn to these powerful nocturnal practices.

He has authored several works including:

The Power and the Pain: Transforming Spiritual Hardship into Joy, Preparing to Die: Practical Advice and Spiritual Wisdom from the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, Dream Yoga; Illuminating your Life Through Lucid Dreaming and the Tibetan Yogas of Sleep, Meditation in the iGeneration: How to Meditate in World of Speed and Stress, and the audio programs Dream Yoga: The Tibetan Path of Awakening Through Lucid Dreaming.

http://www.andrewholecek.com/

http://www.andrewholecek.com/biography/\

 

NP: One thing is certain, after listening to you the curiosity, expertise and passion you bring with you is engaging and inspirational.  In general terms how would you describe a dream, lucid dreaming and Tibetan Dream Yoga?

Holeck:  I view a dream as any manifestation of the mind. The nighttime dream is just the mind released from external sensory restraints. On one level the nighttime dream and the waking reality are both illusory. Tibetan Dream Yoga is a philosophical and spiritual method that allows the mind to awaken to the dreamlike nature of reality, diurnal or nocturnal. Inherent to Tibetan Dream Yoga is lucid dreaming, which acts as a platform to Dream Yoga, but in and of itself is a method that can lead to self-fulfillment. Lucid dreaming is more psychological than spiritual. The entire process of lucidity leads to spiritual awakening whereby our daytime reality and our nocturnal dreams are interwoven into a whole. For one truly awake, there is no difference between day and dream.

NP: A colleague of mine, during the 1990s when we appeared in a stage play together, suggested what might be considered an analogy of lucid dreaming – like being on stage and at the same time being in the audience watching oneself perform. That experience leads me to ask about the triggers of lucid dreaming.

Holecek:  Interesting. Everyday we experience events that might be described as incongruities, or dreamlike. At night we might experience a similar incongruity in our dream, an anomalous event that can clue us into the fact that we’re dreaming. For example, during the daytime if something odd or dreamlike occurs and we jump up, we’ll come back down. This “state check” allows us to confirm we’re awake, we’re in the waking state. But if we do the same thing at night when something weird happens, we might keep going up. That will clue us into the fact that we’re dreaming, we’re in the dream state. We can trigger lucid dreams by our actions during the day so they carry over to dreams at night.

NP: What inspired you to pursue this path?

Holecek:  In my early 20’s, which I explain my recent book, I experienced a profound awakening that I built on over the years. I always had a rich dream life but my experiences led to a spiritual awakening and I began to view later events within the framework of that awakening.

NP What are the implications of lucid dreaming and the effect on lifestyle and work?

Holecek with the Dalai Lama

Holecek: In essence lucid dreaming leads to lucid living. As we gain insights during the night, those insights lead to “outsights,” or practical applications in daily life. Lucid dreaming is a method of shaping our life by shifting changes in how we respond to life rather than react. The neuroplasticity of our brain allows for mindfulness and meditation, as part of lucid dreaming, to reshape our brains, which can affect how we relate to anxiety, anger, stress and so forth.  We use the night to transform the day.

NP: The future of Tibetan Dream yoga and lucid dreaming?

Holecek: I envision Tibetan Dream Yoga and lucid dreaming as methods for gaining greater insight into human potential and capability. It could represent the pedagogy of the future. As just one example, it can be used as a form of therapy. When you’re in therapy, the person you’re trying to resolve an issue with doesn’t have to be there physically, they only have to be there phenomenally – they only have to appear to your mind. In a lucid dream, you can work out unresolved issues, even with those who have died, by engaging in therapeutic role-play. You bring them to mind, which means they appear to you in your lucid dream, and you can process issues in that medium. In the future we may be able to bring about any number of physical, psychological, and spiritual transformations by what we do in our lucid dreams. That’s no small thing.

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