Would you like to arrive in the Americas with the Pilgrims, experience ancient Rome, or visit future, domed cities on Mars? Whatever time tripping fantasy you harbor, you can, with proper training and practice, attempt to fulfill it in your dreams.
Most of the time, of course, you probably don’t realize you’ve been dreaming until after you wake up. By then the dream has already come to an end. Some people, however, are conscious that they’re dreaming while the dream is in progress, a state of consciousness known as lucid dreaming. And, research now reveals, lucid dreamers can direct their dreams, much like a film director directs a film. They can create or eliminate characters, fly to distant locales, change their actions and the actions of others, even alter dream weather, scenery, or props. With all those capabilities, lucid dreamers can certainly teach themselves to dream of historic or future locales.
To the uninitiated, such mental acrobatics may sound difficult. But by the end of our 10-step program, you should be empowered to embark upon crafted, extraordinary dream adventures across the shoals of time.
Before you begin, we’d like you to think of dreaming in much the same way you think of driving a car. Remember all the times you’ve driven along the highway seemingly not paying attention at all. All of a sudden you’ve looked at the road and realized that someone has been exerting judgment and control — and that someone, you’ve recognized in a flash, is you. Dreaming works in a similar way. You usually aren’t consciously aware of your ability to control the action; but of course, right down to the exact words spoken by your dream characters, the very last brick in your dream house, and the precise number of petals on a flower in your dream garden, you alone are the author and designer of your dreams. Realizing this fact is much like suddenly realizing that you are driving the car. Waking up in your dreams, in other words, requires a subtle shift in attention, so that you learn to be more completely aware of what you’re doing.
In order to prepare for your adventure, you’ll need to select a historic period or future scenario, and begin to collect books, films, and other artifacts, foods, and materials that evoke that time and place. Want to be a Viking? Stream the series Vikings on the History Channel. Want to travel to ancient Rome? Get Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire by Simon Baker (2007) and Alberto Angela’s A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome (2007). Dream of settling a future city on Mars? We refer you to the writings of Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert Zubrin, and Elon Musk, as well as the Mars Society and Mars One projects.
Remember to visit museums, read scholarly articles, prepare the cuisine of the era and watch authentic films — do everything you can think of to fill your mind with details about the place and time you’re planning to visit.
We’ll present a ten-step program in nocturnal time travel, and we recommend that you take your time with it. Spread the steps out over a month or so to master the techniques in full. Allow your abilities to evolve gradually, giving you an opportunity to adjust. Moreover, since dreams, be they ordinary dreams or lucid ones, reflect your current mood, a balanced approach should increase the enjoyment and overall scope of your nocturnal adventures. Indeed, the best way to approach lucid dreaming is by not pressuring yourself to have lucid dreams. If you feel a sense of anxiety about having these dreams, they will be less likely to occur.
We will be posting the 10 steps one at a time over the next four weeks, with a new step added every 3 or 4 days. This will give you time to practice and master the skills in each step before proceeding to the next.