When I was really young I had two strange dreams. In the first, I was deep inside a cave, so big I looked like an ant. And before me was this immense opening, leading deeper still, but as I approached it I felt something I can’t really explain, but if a single word could do it justice, then it felt hollow. The rest of the cave seemed bright compared to the path before me. A sort of dull terror seized me, and I woke up. In the next dream I’m crawling through a maze of plastic pipes, like the slides on playgrounds, but these tubes just went on and on and on, with no life, no point, just a strange maze that filled me with that same hollow feeling.
When I was a teenager the dreams took a strange turn. I don’t have many nightmares, thankfully, but bad dream or no, enough of them ended with me “waking up” but unable to move. Granted, there’s a perfectly good scientific explanation for this. We can become conscious while still under sleep paralysis, if you haven’t, Google it–it’s enlightening. I was 14 and quite ignorant when this started to happen, and encouraged by my dad to believe it was demons, and his only advise was pray until it was over. So that’s what I did for many years.
After I gave up religion I discovered a couple things about my strange dreams. For some odd reason, sleep paralysis happens to me most when I’m face up. Either I fall asleep on my back, or I end up that way from tossing and turning, I always wake with my eyes to the ceiling. I have no idea how that affects my dreaming, but it does. Also, it’s not scary anymore. I don’t actually believe invisible tormentors are waiting for me to sleep–and that’s when something really special happens.
A few years ago I had a dream that I was walking through a garden in a large greenhouse. Not an ordinary greenhouse because the panes looked like cut crystal–I was lucid dreaming at this point. Something caught my eye, I turned to look at it and my brain drifted back. I couldn’t move, I opened my eyes, and my room was light blue, as if it were dawn. I pushed my chest up as hard as I could, and I started to sit up when I turned and looked down at myself asleep, then I woke. The strange phenomenon is commonly called astral projection. For me it was just a long lucid dream, I don’t believe we have a soul, much less that we can release it to wander and affect others. Sadly, the experience hasn’t happened since then–next time, I’m projecting myself to the coast.