I am occasionaly gifted with a lucid dream–those instances when one awakens within a dream, realizing they are dreaming. This is different from the false awakening type of dream, when one seems to have awoken from a dream, starting their daily routine of getting showered, dressed and ready for work, only to actually wake up from this dream to their real-life alarm clock.
In lucid dreams, which for me usually happen when my back is against a wall, I’m in some kind of desparate scenario, usually dangerous or life-threatening, or I’m confronting a bully or menacing character, and I just get pissed off and fed up. OnceI realize I’m dreaming, I undersand that I have complete control, and that the only real thing in the dream is my awareness. I never have the urge to awaken from the dream, or leave the dreamscape. I’m perfectly happy to remain there as long as I’m calling the shots.
Then I have recurring dreams in which I’m aware that the scenario is one of my recurring dreams, and I’ll even say something like, “I’ve had dreams about this!” But that doesn’t jar me into lucidity. I’ve even had the same recurring dream so many times, the dream where I see my ex-boss/friend in a public place, and we have the awkward meeting before embracing and declaring that we’ll ‘let bygones be bygones’, that now I say, “Wait a minute–I have to make sure this isn’t a dream…” I actually stop myself, check out the situation for anything “dreamy”, and I still believe, absolutely believe that I’m not dreaming. Even in my dreams, I’m certain that I’m not dreaming. Funny.
So how do I know I’m not dreaming now? How do you know that you are genuninely awake? I realized yesterday that authentic lucidity isn’t the experience of thinking you’re awake, but knowing that you’re dreaming.