NPJ Book Review: Dreams of Light, The Profound Daytime Practice of Lucid Dreaming by Andrew Holecek

Dreams of Light, The Profound Daytime Practice of Lucid Dreaming by Andrew Holecek (2020)

My take: To be conscious and awake to the reality and illusions around us requires us to move beyond our egos. The practice of lucid dreaming begins with the unwritten assumption of a healthy brain. My question about Holecek’s otherwise very thoughtful and insightful works is to what degree can a disabled or damaged brain perceive the real world around it let alone the illusions. The “reality” has to be brought to that brain in that person who suffers from a physical and or emotional damage. If a person in authority has an unhealthy brain, things can get complicated very quickly.

The core to understanding lucid dreaming is in effect appreciating the idea that we have the ability with a relatively healthy brain to utilize the dreams we have during the day to modify our dreams at night and the converse, among other things. The thought is to use our dreams to enhance our understanding about the life we are living as well as the death we all will experience someday.

Being conscious is being awake to the beauty of the world around us as well as the brutality of it and not to be manipulated by our ego-based perceptions but awake to the splendor. Transformation as many Eastern philosophies have observed comes from within and not outside of us. The reality we think we see on the outside can be very deceptive and purposefully so.

We can become conscious of the confusion of life. The brain can practice the techniques of lucid dreaming to improve our daily existence. We become our own visionary as to the possibilities and not limited by the perceptions thrust upon us. Do we limit others by our own limitations?

Lucid dreaming is an opportunity for personal/mindful growth. “States of consciousness” can be quite subtle. Developing techniques and a process of lucid dreaming requires effort. Holecek through this work takes the reader down a number of steep steps into process of how we dream and think and our emotive responses. “Turning on the light” and becoming conscious is his interpretation of centuries old practices in a modern setting. This process isn’t for everyone, rather it’s for the seeker whose journey never ends until his or her death…yet in the darkness of thought one can train oneself to find the light – bringing together both consciousness and dreaming into one unifying state.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet said to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, that nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so. Yes, to a degree. Suffering during the day can effectuate bad nights and transforming the bad nights into enlightened days of inspiration requires training one’s brain. It’s not easy even with a physically healthy brain. The journey continues as we realize our dreams are not solid and as real as we might think. Much of life is dealing with illusions.

Holecek’s work can be viewed as self-empowering – viewing our life and the world around us as an opportunity to transcend our inhibiting egos and see the world as it really is and who we really are…what we see, what we hear, what we think, what we dream…how we speak.

Holecek writes: “how you relate to your mind naturally extends into how you relate to your speech, your body, and your body’s actions. How you relate to your speech and your body also extends into how you relate to your mind. These three aspects of illusory form lift each other up. The better you get at one, the better you’ll get at the others. With practice, you can discover a dreamlike eye consciousness that sees dreamlike forms, a dreamlike ear consciousness that hears dream- like sounds, and a dreamlike mind that perceives dreamlike thoughts.”