Charlie Morley is a bestselling author and teacher of lucid dreaming, shadow integration and Mindfulness of Dream & Sleep.
He has been lucid dreaming for over 20 years and was “authorized to teach” within the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism by Lama Yeshe Rinpoche in 2008. Since then he has written four books which have been translated into 15 languages and has run workshops & retreats in more than 20 countries.
He’s spoken at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities, the Ministry of Defence Mindfulness Symposium, The Houses of Parliament (on Buddhism & youth culture) and the Mindfulness Association Annual conferences.
In 2018 he was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship grant to research PTSD treatment in Military Veterans and continues to teach people with trauma affected sleep a set of practices called Mindfulness of Dream & Sleep. His 2021 book Wake Up to Sleep is a practical guide to these practices. Charlie has been the lead consultant on scientific studies into lucid dreaming at both Swansea University and the Institute of Noetic Science.
In 2019 he created the first Lucid Dreaming for Therapists course which trained a group of hypnotherapists, meditation teachers and therapists to use lucid dreaming with their clients. Charlie formally became a Buddhist at the age of 19, lived at the Kagyu Samye Dzong Buddhist Centre for 7 years and completed a 3 month meditation retreat at Tara Rokpa Centre in 2016. In his past life he trained and worked as an actor & scriptwriter before running a hip hop collective and touring Europe with them throughout his 20’s.
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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 073
Charlie Morley 0:00
And it got younger and younger and younger and sadly it was me as a baby and I remember the last thought I had before the blackness as I call it was I went what happens before baby
Alex Ferrari 0:21
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Have you ever been dreaming, and all of a sudden taking control of your dream while you're in the dream? I don't know about you. But that's something I've always wanted to be able to do at will. Today's guest is going to do just that. We have lucid dreaming expert, Charlie Morley. And we're going to get deep into how you can control your dreams and have a better understanding of how to create and activate lucid dreaming in your life. Let's dive in. I'd like to welcome to the show Charlie Morley. How you doin, Charlie?
Charlie Morley 1:25
I'm good thanks man. How are you?
Alex Ferrari 1:26
I'm great. My friend. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I am been really looking forward to this conversation because I think we're going to talk about lucid dreaming is something I think we've all done at one point or another, but really have no understanding about and understanding how to control it, what to do with it, what it means what the science behind it, and so on. So before we get started into that, into that those those murky waters that is lucid dreaming, how did you begin your spiritual journey?
Charlie Morley 1:53
Well, I remember it beginning when I was in my teens, it may have begun earlier, I think often with children actually then stuff you can find from way earlier. Like, just as I said that I remembered, like when I was 10, I used to spend my pocket money on incense. And I sit in my room burning incense and kind of like, wafting the smoke in my face. I remember doing that my dad telling me it wasn't good for me. And now looking back on it. I'm like, Oh, wow, after like living in a Buddhist center for eight years and stuff. Maybe that was some weird past life connection. There's 10 year olds in there wafting incense into his face. But anyway, I think the real The answer here is when I was a teenager, about 15 16. And I read this book called Sophie's World, which is a super cool book, especially with someone interested in stories and scripts and stuff like that. Because it's kind of a work of meta fictions as a book within a book. But it's like a book within a book, where the author of the book within a book is The narrator. It's like, like meta as fuck. So I'm reading this when I'm 15. And the book itself is kind of blowing my mind of kind of the narrative of self. I've started to think about that, like, well, what is the self what is the kind of inner Narrator here, and in that book, this young girl, Sophie is exposed to different forms of philosophy. And each kind of each chapter is dedicated different form philosophy, and one of them is Buddhism. And I read this chapter on Buddhism. And I was like, that's kind of what I believe, like, out of all these different forms of philosophy, that's the one that I think I believe in. So I read that book. And then I started to read other stuff about Buddhism, I got this book called The Art of happiness by the Dalai Lama. Very soon after, actually, it was I kind of I was into Shaolin Kung Fu. And I thought that the Dalai Lama was the head of the Shaolin Kung Fu guy. So I thought it would be like a book that maybe taught you like, like martial arts as well as happiness, or
Alex Ferrari 3:41
The one inch punch, like the one and I was like, I have confused it.
Charlie Morley 3:44
I thought it was all the same. So it turns out, it's not about martial arts. It's about happiness. As the title suggests, I read this book, The Art of Yeah, the art of happiness. And, again, everything started chiming. I was like, wow, I just everything's due saying, I'm like, Yeah, I totally believe that too. And I read on a long journey, a flight to Australia, actually from the UK, which is like, Oh, I don't know, more than
Alex Ferrari 4:07
Charlie Morley 4:10
And the story I tell myself and the myth that we create about our journeys, right, the myth I tell myself, is that when I arrived in Australia, I was a Buddhist, but I read the book cover to cover. Of course, it wasn't I still had a lot of crazy times to have and literally Sex, drugs and rock and roll and gangs and all this crazy stuff that happened between like 16 and 19. It was almost as if part of me knew that one day I would get really into the spiritual Buddhist stuff. But I was still young. So like, give me two to three years of like full on hedonistic partying. So I kind of did that and I hit it pretty hard. And in part of hitting it so hard, I had like a near death experience and a big drugs overdose. And I guess that was actually even more powerful than the books I was reading because I really faced death, and also had the trauma afterwards, I was having panic attacks and nightmares. And it was the nightmare that got me really into lucid dreaming to try and stop those. And it was the panic attacks that got me really into actually practicing Buddhism not just reading about it, because you know, I was having panic attacks. So yeah, I guess it started when I was 50. And that's a long, rambling answer. And I'm sure it changes every time I tell it but that's how it feels today.
Alex Ferrari 5:25
And just to touch on it with your near death experience did you actually have like a quote unquote, official near death experience where you saw the light and you saw your life review and all that kind of stuff or the whole thing?
Charlie Morley 5:38
Experience Yeah, so this tunnel of light, it was like a purple tunnel purple light, I remember that. Not white. And then the purple light kind of got darker and as it got darker the tunnel I was going to I didn't have a body or just a point of awareness was like, lined with photos. Like as if someone had stuck photos like almost to the wall of the tunnel. And I'm seeing these boom, fucking fast photos. And then I see their me and I'm like, Whoa, they're me. And then I see their of my life and it's me when I'm younger. And then me when I'm a child, that when I saw the child, I kind of understood what was happening. I was like, oh shit, and it got younger and younger and younger. And so it was me as a baby. And I remember the last thought I had before the blackness as I call it, was I went what happens before baby I remember that was what happened to her baby. And that was the only time I felt a bit of fear that what happened and then there's the tunnel ended in this like, huge, not even huge, just infinite beyond beyond kind of a spatial dimension. of blackness. We're not blackness as in like dark, just blackness as in like, even light was a thing that wasn't there. This was a place of thing. lessness you know, it was pure. Avoided. Yeah. Yeah. And in that space, this voice, it was my voice clearly my voice my accent that completely neutral. Like, spoke in the voice that went, Charlie, do you want to live? Or do you want to die? Like that neutral? And I was like, Whoa, we get a fucking choice. And it's us. 17
Alex Ferrari 7:17
Oh, Jesus, because you would say fog that would be the that would actually be the act that the exact term you will use it
Charlie Morley 7:27
Yeah, I still at 38 I'm still using these terms. I apologize. And yeah, I realize you have a choice and that the God or my God at the end was was kind of you or maybe God speaks in your head. That's cool. Maybe God speaks in your voice. Maybe God speaks in your accent everyone. But anyway, I remember like yelling again not physically yelling but with intention yelling like live and yelled, live. But everything's sort of recalibrated. Like the space the sense of self and then like, and then my eyes opened and there are people gathered over me standing over me so I guess I was like can well I don't know what was happening in real life.
Alex Ferrari 8:06
Now when you were when you were in the void you didn't feel anything but the second you went back to the body you felt everything.
Charlie Morley 8:11
Yeah, I had no idea when my body was was in the void like complete dissociation, no pain, no pain, no, no, no pain and no fear. Ya know what fear wasn't the only time I felt slight fear was when I went what comes before baby. But actually in the void, there was no fear. And then when I opened my eyes and realize like, very quickly what had just happened, and my friend was gathered over me trying to I don't know what they were trying to do. Maybe not dead anymore. Then the fear came. And that was really traumatic. And I had none of the you know, we can define trauma as any experience that overwhelms our capacity to cope. And at 17 I did not have the capacity to cope with what just happened to me. So I had trauma and that manifested in classic PTSD nightmares. Well, now I can see them as you know, somebody who works with people with PTSD nightmares, I can see that with classic textbook, PTSD nightmares, and I had those for about three or four months. And I had been lucid dreaming at that time and bought a few books when I was 16. Now just using it for like, you know, I just have loads of sex in a lucid dream skateboard about go surfing, just like have fun. And I read in these books, all of them always had a chapter on lucid dreaming for nightmare treatment that apparently if you could get lucid and the nightmare and like be in the nightmare, you're Oh, wow, I'm in a nightmare. I'm not really backing that traumatic events, I'm in a nightmare about it, then you could turn to face the fear. And apparently you could integrate the nightmares and stuff like that. And I tried that for a few times, maybe the first three or four times I could get lucid in the nightmare because it was recurring. So I always knew what to look out for. But I just bailed I was like, maybe the fourth time or even the fifth time. I got lucid and the near death thing happened again. It was always symbolized by this little dwarf guy like a dwarf with a shaved head. He would just like be in the dream looking at me. Oh it doesn't sound that scary, but it was terrifying. Terrifying. It was like and don't look now you know the girl with the in the red coat kind of thing, I believe red coat or yellow coat. Yeah. And he would just stand there. And then in the fourth or fifth one, he was there. And I saw him. And I know I talked about in the TED talks of all you should embrace them and hug them and show them love. I was 17. I didn't know that. So I was like, basically, like, eff off, like, fuck you. Like, this is my dream. It was kind of empowering. It was aggressive. But it was it was the point was I realized it was my dream. And I was setting my boundaries are not the I'm not having this anymore. And, and the dream transformed into this kind of like vision of paradise. And then I woke up and I never had that nightmare again. It's so fun early on, I knew it was that lucid dreaming could do that.
Alex Ferrari 10:40
It's funny, because I remember when I was a kid I had, I must have been in seventh grade or something like that. Seventh grade would be what 1213, I think in that world. And I had this dream, and I was in my apartment where we were living at the time. And I opened the door, and there was this giant. I mean, I thought it was giant, but she has a large dark figure outside like in a trench coat. Didn't see his face, because faceless. And then I said, Wait a minute. This is a dream. I have controlled here. Yes. I said this to myself as a child. And I'm like, You know what, I'm going to kick this guy in the balls. And so I want to kick him in the balls and he blocked me. And I said, I'm out. I'm like, Nope, that was the end of that conversation. Because I'm like, wait a minute, you just blocked me. I'm probably not gonna win this fight. I'm out of here. But I never. I never forgot that dream. I never forgotten. It was just such a. It was one of those moments that I've had. I've had lucid dreams. before. That was just the one that I remember so vividly. Because it was just the moment I kind of think that was the first time I said, Wait a minute. I am in control here.
Charlie Morley 12:01
So brilliant. Because you've just defined lucid dream because I know the first question to be what is like?
Alex Ferrari 12:06
Well, I was I was about to ask, we've been talking about this.
Charlie Morley 12:09
You said, Okay. When you're in a dream, you realize, Wow, I'm dreaming. And then not only do you realize you're dreaming, you realize you have volitional influence, so you can choose to do something. So in Alison's case, you realize you're dreaming said, Hey, wait, I'm not having this. I'm going to act. Now. Of course, would it be better to hug the demon and show love to it? Because it's simply a wounded part of ourselves? Yes. Take it in the bowl.
Alex Ferrari 12:32
I was 12 Cut me some slack. I was 12 years old. I could barely know but I wish I just never.
Charlie Morley 12:39
Overpowering you know, it's like me telling the demon to eff off. It's theirs. Even when I when we talk about hugging things in the dream, you know, I'm not talking about like in a frame hug like more? I'm talking about more bear hug a bear hug. Yeah, like, you know, imagine if, you know I wouldn't epileptic friend and he's told me you know, if I do have a seizure, one of the best thing you can do just just hug me, like, keep me close, like so that I'm not lashing out not hurting myself or others. So it's that kind of hug you know, I'm talking about hugging demons. I'm not like and by demonized, it's been something scary in your dream, you know, wounded part of ourselves. It's not that we're hugging them to, to be subservient to them. So we're hugging them to show up warm. This is my dream. I'm bringing you in, you know, no more harm. And with that, too, there's a sense of a kind of a, there is a sense of love, there is still a hug, you know, the symbol of love. But it's there's power there, there's volition.
Alex Ferrari 13:32
Now, there's a concept called Dream Yoga, which I know you you know a lot about, can you define and tell everybody what, because I never heard of Dream Yoga before. So what is yoga?
Charlie Morley 13:44
So the term dream is actually a direct translation from the Tibetan, the Tibetan is Milan analogical. So Milan means dream. And now Joe, is translated as yoga and the direct translation is actually natural state now draw natural state. But let's say yoga has maybe that's quite a good definition of yoga to the natural state. And Dream Yoga is a series of practices found within Tibetan Buddhism that contain lucid dreaming. What in the West would refer to as astral projection, which is what my ex wife teaches, and what in Tibet, and they don't use that term astral projection, the term for that is special dream body. So if you ever read any kind of Tibetan texts, and he talks about special dream body, that's astral projection. So lucid dreaming, astral projection, and again, what in the West would refer to as conscious sleeping practices. So being conscious not just in the dream state but also in deep sleep and other kind of non REM stages of sleep? So yeah, it contains lucid dream but it's not limited to lucid dreaming. And whereas in the West, that kind of wouldn't say the goal but one of the kind of aims the reasons why Western psychology is favorable towards lucid dreaming is because lucid dream can be used to integrate trauma to work with phobias to work with PTSD, some move into a kind of a wholeness of the self what Carl Jung would call individuation. However, from the Dream Yoga point of view, the aim is to move beyond the self. So although the techniques kind of start very close to lucid dreaming and Dream Yoga, they actually diverge very far and you get to the higher practices because one is looking for completion of the self in Western psychology, individuation, the other is looking for moving beyond the self into the the non self of unity with all things. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 15:30
So what are the four stages of Dream Yoga?
Charlie Morley 15:33
You have been doing your homework, great. Once they did reveal yoga, this was, well let's look at where they come from the four stage of Dream Yoga come from this dude called Padma Sun bhava will Guru Rinpoche and he was a historical figure. He was like, now kind of a Buddhist saint, born in what's now Afghanistan. So the Swat Valley, and he was the dude who really like Buddhism had been in Tibet before, but it hadn't really kind of taken root. Tibet was a really wild place, like, there are, you know, wild, it was very to go into Tibet and be like, Oh, peace and love. Some of the Tibetans were like, okay, and then others were like, born we'll chop your head off as soon as possible.
Alex Ferrari 16:14
When you think of Tibet, you don't think of, you know, Wild Wild is not the word you think of when you think of
Charlie Morley 16:21
Like a now you think, Oh, it's so peaceful. And that alarm is off know, back in the day, like, Tibet was wild. I mean, my Buddhist teacher, his he's the abbot of the first Tibetan monastery in the West, which is in Scotland. And I often asked like, why Scotland? And they said, Oh, kind of similar energy to Tibetans now don't have you know any Scottish people but they're quite warm. They're very forward thinking and you don't want to fight a Scotsman you know, they these guys are hard, guys. So that kind of mountain people live.
Alex Ferrari 16:47
So I've seen moving, sir. I stopped Braveheart. I mean, come on.
Charlie Morley 16:52
Okay, let's look at that vibe. Yeah, maybe the Tibetans are a bit like that, you know. So it had been in Buddhism had come to Tibet before but hadn't really taken root. They realize. For Tibet, you needed to present Buddhism in a certain way. It needed a certain form of Buddhism, and the vadra JANA teaching the tantric forms of Buddhism that were flourishing in Northern India at the time, it's about 1000 years ago, maybe a little bit longer than that, but around 1000 years ago, were very forced, very powerful practices. These were these were very young practices, you know, they're very kind of they have this masculine energy, of course, beyond gender, but the energy perhaps we could say was, yeah, so Guru Rinpoche, okay, so this is good Rinpoche, this is Padma Sun Bhava
Alex Ferrari 17:33
He looks, he doesn't look like the man to be trifled with. I'm just, I'm just the energy off of that photo alone just does not
Charlie Morley 17:41
Look like a triad and a flaming triad. And, and he's got his skull cut the human skull cut, you know,
Alex Ferrari 17:46
Just just just the goatee situations got going on. It's pretty intense.
Charlie Morley 17:53
Oh, yeah. And he's got the three severed heads on his triad. You know, this is this is kind of hardcore Tantra Jana stuff. So Guru Rinpoche goes into the bed. And with that kind of energy, he manages to what's called subdue the local demons. Now, what does that mean? It's, you can take this literally, or you can see it as subduing the energy, you know, going in there with kind of a forceful energy, and showing that, you know, although Buddha's and also peace and love, it's also about transforming the energy of the body. And it's the yoga is of sexual yoga business, Dream Yoga is and it's, it's, there's a practice to do when you're when you're, you know, 24 hours a day. It's a there's a real kind of Yang practice to this. And this dude is the guy who wrote The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Wow, that's not quite true. He dictated it. And his wife, who was like a brilliant spiritual practitioner yesterday. So she actually wrote it down, he kind of dictated it, and then his wife wrote it down. And they put it into a I mean, again, this is total Harry Potter stuff. He put it into a time capsule. So you can see this as either literal, but there's some of them were literal time capsules, which hundreds of years later within dug up, or you can see it as kind of metaphorical time capsule, but it was placed in a time capsule. And then hundreds of years later reincarnations of his students revealed those terms, those treasures, those time capsules, and it was in one of those that you find the four stages of Dream Yoga. So that was really long answer to that. But I think it's kind of cool to know about its history, and it's rare. I get asked that as a first question. Great. Podcast. Okay, cool. So the four stages of Dream Yoga, are part of the Bardo teachings from the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Why would you link death and dreaming? Because the main reason to practice lucid dreaming within Tibetan tradition is preparation for death. It's believed that if you can train the mind reliably recognize your dreams during your life. Then when you die and the dream like apparitions and hallucinations of the body, just like the near death experience I had, it was like a dream. Being in that tunnel and all the things emerging in the void. It was like a dream. If you have mastered Dream Yoga, lucid dreaming by the time you die, then you might be able to recognize those after death apparitions rather than being like, Oh, wow, I'm dreaming. It'd be Oh, wow, I'm dead. And if you can go, oh, wow, and dead conscious dying, that's like the highest achievement of the OD. So, right off the bat, you see how different the aims of Dream Yoga and lucid dreaming are, you know, once they kind of have an integrated self, the other is to prepare for the moment death, it's like, you know, they diverge quite a lot. So in these four stages of Dream Yoga, which are found in these Bardo teachings, the first stage is recognition, basically means lucid dream, learn how to lucid dream, recognize the dream state. And I spoken to my teacher about this who's a full on, you know, Tibetan Lama, and I, and he said, use any techniques that work, the Tibetan ones, or the Western ones, whatever gets people lucid, those are the ones to use. So it's not like the Dream Yoga teachings are better, or the Western ones are better. It's like, anything that helps you get lucid. So for most Westerners who haven't been exposed to Buddhism, yeah, the Western techniques slightly better. You know, like, I've got a technique that I kind of invented or whatever made up called the Colombo method. And it's based on detective Colombo, you know, the late 1970s. Now, that's actually a direct Dream Yoga practice. But I've given it a funny name. And I've given it a funny metaphor of way to, you know, being a detective looking around and searching for evidence of whether you're dreaming or not. But that's actually a full on Dream Yoga practice. But I'm not concerned with using the Tibetan names I'm concerned with, like, does it help people get lucid? So the first stage is recognition, train yourself to become lucid. The second stage. So pretty much the first thing that Guru Rinpoche says to do, once you become lucid is not fly about is not heal the body is not work with, you know, spiritual practice or whatever might come later. It's actually to do stuff that scares you. And the second stage is called transformation, but specifically transformation of fear. So he's like the first time you get lucid, first thing you should do is transform fear. And the texts, the Tibetan texts, say things like, go to places that scare you.
Jump from a high place, knowing that you cannot fall walk into fire, knowing that you cannot be burnt call for the tiger, knowing that the tiger cannot harm you, but basically saying do scary shit. Because in Tibet, what will people scared of like 1000 years ago, out of high places, snow leopards, tigers, and fire, you know, a kind of universal human fear. So I think we can update that nowadays. And see, you know, what is your Tiger? What is your thing you're scared of what is your high place, and for many people that could be working with their trauma, it can be working with the PTSD, it can be working with their childhood, phobias or experiences. And the reason that comes at stage two is because it's believed that in order to have the energy, the kind of Chi energy, the internal energy required, for the latest stages of Dream Yoga, you have to integrate fear. Because fear is two things. Number one is a huge block in our psychophysical system. And we know this just from like basic psychology, like how much of our lives are limited by fear, fear of what people might think of us fear of, if I do this, I'll be rejected by my tribe. Fear of if I do that, I'll be rejected by my family. Fear of what if I fail, fear of self doubt, you know, whatever it is. So fear, we know is a block in our psychophysical system. But also fear is like made of energy. Some of the biggest energy we can have is fear. You scare someone and look what they do. You know, there's a big reaction in the body. So if you can transform fear, if you can move towards fear and transform it into fearlessness, you get that energy back. So you become supercharged every time you transform a fear. And again, we felt this to you know, the person who's scared to go on the on the roller coaster. And then they finally go on the roller coaster and they get off it and they've survived that energize. Wow, I can't believe I did it. Oh, wow, I waited so long. I feel so great. I went on the roller coaster, you know, we know that integrating fear gives us energy. So the second stage of that transformation of fear. The third stage is called multiplication. So this is where, again, the the Tibetan teachings, say, Make big things small, make small things big. Make one thing many make many things. One, it's basically like doing impossible things in the dream. And when I first came across this I was like, Isn't it just a kind of an ego trip like playing God in the dream? Now I realize it's completely opposite to that. The reason why you want to do impossible things in the dream is because we bring into the lucid dream, our sense of possibility. Like if you try and walk from one side of a room to the other side of the room, in a lucid dream, most people can do that like 100% of the time of course he is walking right. But you asked someone to walk through a wall in a lucid dream and Most people, the first time they do it, they won't be able to get through the wall feels solid, they'll get like, they'll start, they'll hit their head and wake up. And you're like, That's nuts. Because you know, the wall isn't real, you know that it was not made of anything, but you bring in your expectation into the dream that was a real that was a solid, right? So by doing impossible things in a dream, like walking through a wall, you're working against impossibility. And again, how much of our life our daily life is limited by impossibility, or what we think is impossible. Oh, I could never do that. That's impossible for me. Well, how could someone like me ever reach those heights of success or spirituality, whatever it might be, again, it's about these limits. So it's about doing impossible things in the lucid dream. And that's a way to kind of free up the shackles of egotistical impossibility that we bring into the dream from the waking state. And then the fourth stage is unification, which is unification with our Buddha Nature, which is like our inherent divinity. It's our it's the Buddha Nature is the probably the most optimistic spiritual teaching I've ever come across. It says that every living being has enlightenment within them. In fact, every living being kind of already is enlightened. But the veils of ignorance, so obscure that we can't see it. So the spiritual path is not so much about becoming enlightened. It's about removing the veils of ignorance, or stop seeing that we are already enlightened. And in the lucid dream state said, it's easier to connect your Buddha nature than it is in the waking state. So in the lucid dream state, if you do certain spiritual practices, you can unify with your Buddha nature,
Alex Ferrari 26:39
Is it because I found this happened to me, sometimes I'm a deep meditator, I meditate two to three hours a day, I try. And in my meditation practice, I will go, sometimes I will go deep to the place where I time doesn't exist. I'm gone. To the point where like, when I come back out, I'm like, What time is it? Oh, shoot, I was under 40 minutes extra that I didn't expect to be on. You know, and it's that sleep because there's a there is a very distinct difference is, in those deep stages, sometimes, certain things happen. It's not a dream. I don't dream, but sometimes you'll there'll be situations they'll pop into your mind. I hate to use the word visions, but the word visions, something that will start coming in. Is that a form of lucid dreaming if you're doing it through meditation, or is it a different thing completely?
Charlie Morley 27:46
It's a different thing, because lucid dreaming requires like you to be asleep. So no, it's not lucid dreaming, but it does sound very much like a term I would use lucid living, you know, where you're, you're awake, but you can have these incredibly lucid experiences. And what's the way in just like you said, meditation, you know, if you can go deep enough into a state of meditation, you can get to that same state of lucidity. But you're awake. Because you're seeing through the dream of this, because this is kind of dreamlike,
Alex Ferrari 28:15
This is. Yeah. This is all very dreamlike and intact, very intoxicating. The physical worlds extremely intoxicated.
Charlie Morley 28:23
Exactly. So if you like, imagine if we were dreaming right now. And then we became lucid. And I was like, whoa, I'm having a dream about doing the podcast with Alex, this is nuts. And then suddenly, I'd realize that you're not you're not a separate being. You're me. And have you like, Oh, cool. Look, he's wearing a hoodie like me? Oh, yeah. Maybe he's like, part of my own masculinity. Like, yeah, we're kind of like maybe he's a little bit older. But we're both wearing a hoodie. And he's got his, you know, at start to interpret you as me. And suddenly, all the barriers of a race of gender of different partners will just evaporate, right, and won't be in this moment of lucidity. So it's said, and this is theoretical, because I'm never in that state. Hardly ever. But it said that that's what it feels like, when you reach that kind of unification in the daytime, is that it feels almost like you get lucid in a dream. And you realize that what you thought was outside of you as part of you?
Alex Ferrari 29:18
Well, and I know a lot of people consider lucid dreaming. It's almost intoxicating, as well, because you have, you're going to places different that you can obviously controlling and doing amazing things within your dream state. But for me, meditation is extremely intoxicating to the point where it calls me to like literally, it's like, it starts calling me like I have to meditate like I'd rather be meditating than almost anything else because it's, it's become a drug. And then I spoke to someone who studied Dawson church who actually studied the science of meditation like truly and studied it from Yogi's and everything and the The hormones that are released, it starts to rewire your brain to just like if you started taking a drug that you are always wanting to hit, meditation does the same thing. And it just like you start wanting more of it and more of it, and to the point that the brain is like, no, no, I want that hit again, because it's blissful. It's once you start getting deep into it, and I imagined that once you're in the lucid dreaming state, it could it can help also rewire your brain, correct?
Charlie Morley 30:30
Yes. rewiring your brain, I think the only thing you wouldn't, I totally agree with everything you said. The only thing I think would be different with lucid dreaming is the ability to enter it at will is so difficult for most people, right? That the possibility of kind of like, there is a part of you that like always wants to hit. But to be able to get the hit from meditation where you can sit and you go through the process, and you're done. Maybe nine times out of 10, you couldn't you could you could reach that state who knows. Whereas lucid dreaming, it may be nine times out of 10. You don't get lucid, and it's one in 10, that you have the lucid dream. So there's that kind of difference to it. But as far as that's really interesting what you said there about kind of this idea of addiction to it, because
Alex Ferrari 31:18
I'm assuming I'm assuming that you
Charlie Morley 31:19
Sound like it's really good for us is great, you know if we can if we can transform the craving that naturally exists within the unenlightened mind to crave stuff that's really good for us, like craving vegetables, broccoli, times have you had craving broccoli, and cravings. Meditation, I guess, is the kind of craving of broccoli of the spiritual world, then that's a good thing, right? And yet an ultimate level, we want to move beyond craving. And yet if you do enough meditation, the craving will subside. So I guess it becomes a kind of a chicken and egg scenario.
Alex Ferrari 31:50
It's very interesting. Because yeah, because when you start going deeper, if you start craving the meditation, then you go, you want it more and more. But then the term the concept of craving, and addiction, if you will, is a concept of the physical world, not of the spiritual world. But yet, the more you do it, the less it becomes quote, unquote, dictum, addicted, like an addiction, and more of just being and more of just doing and just you know, then you are the I am state, but it is the thing that gets you there. And it's such a weird concept. It's kind of like I'm addicted to broccoli. And now because I eat so much broccoli, I'm healthier. It so it's like it's a good addiction.
Charlie Morley 32:41
Something that the Dalai Lama said he talks about selfless selfishness. No, sorry, selfish selflessness. Right, which is being kind to others does help you really good by being kind to others, and you generate the good harm or being kind to others. And also, you give them the gift of kindness. So there's something quite selfish about it. I intentionally being kind, but he's like, Yeah, but it's selfless selfishness. And if at the beginning of the path, we need to intentionally kind of, you know, intentionally be kind to others, because we know it's going to give us happiness, that's fine. But do that for long enough. And eventually, it will become habitual. And you'll find kindness has become your default mode. So maybe that reminds me a little bit of what you were saying there with the meditation is that it can start with this kind of craving. But yeah, if you're going to be craving craving for broccoli,
Alex Ferrari 33:31
Exactly. You know, and you know, and so you're you're so right, because, you know, at first you you're kind because there is an actual hormone that gets released in your mind, in your, in your, in your brain, when you are kind to somebody because that is part of our evolution as a species, we needed to be cooperative. That's why the Tigers didn't win. And that's why you and me are on Zoom. And the Tigers are. Because we learned how to cooperate. And it was like wired in us to cooperate. So the more we give, the more feels better. I know, there's a whole scientific study done, where they gave $100 to a group of people, and half the half the group kept the $100 and book by whatever they wanted, and the other 100 had to give it away. And at the end, the people who gave it away felt so much better than the people who bought himself some cool stuff. You know, it's so it's, it's inherent in us. But after a while, because I've been, you know, I tried to be as kind as I can. It's not even a thought anymore. It's like, when a situation presents itself, you you just you are kind. It's not like I'm doing this because I'm gonna get a hit. No, it's because it's just the thing. It's my default. So meditation will be that same thing. And then eventually lucid dreaming will be the default of like, hopefully you get, instead of one out of 10, you get five out of 10, you get to the point where you can now go in and out at will
Charlie Morley 34:51
On that term default, I believe the brain network is in fact called the default mode network, which is like where the brain kind of goes to read. Actually, I'm getting out my depth here, but I I believe the default mode network might be what we're talking about.
Alex Ferrari 35:02
So does lucid dreaming affect your normal sleep cycle?
Charlie Morley 35:08
No, I mean, well, lucid dreaming, it's like having a lucid dream is really good for you. It's good for the brain, the brain goes into gamma, people wake up feeling more refreshed, not less refreshed. Often they have amazing insights. And they're lucid dreams. So the act of of lucid dreaming is 100%. Good view, like almost no contraindications. However, learning to lucid dream, doing all the things that leads Elysium Yeah, that disrupts literally disrupts your sleep cycles. I mean, if you do some of the techniques, there are some techniques that intentionally disrupt the sleep cycle, to engage something called REM rebound, which is where you kind of push all your REM periods to a certain point. So that when you kind of wake up, and you stay awake for like an hour, and then you drop back to sleep, and throughout that hour, you've been creating this pressure in your sleep cycle. So when you drop into sleep, you've got like a big chunk of RAM, which makes it easier to lucid dream. So yeah, learning to lucid dream practices sometimes literally, intentionally disrupt your sleep cycle. But there are lots you can do with don't, you know, there's just a counter that there's another lucid dreaming technique where you just stay in bed two hours longer. And you can double your chances of having lucid dream by staying in bed for two extra hours. So horses for courses, you can either do one where you kind of disrupt your sleep cycle, to get looser and other just stay in bed longer. And you'll have lucid dreams. You know, when I do this stuff with the veterans, a lot of the time will teach lucid dream where not all of the time, the veterans, I'll teach lucid dreaming as the last of the five practices I teach. Because, first of all, we just need to stabilize people's sleep and make sure they're getting enough sleep because you're only getting like four hours sleep, your REM periods are going to be so short, because most of your REM happens in the second four hours. So with people with trauma somehow need to stabilize the sleep cycle, first of all, and then once it's stable, then you can start doing the lucid dreaming techniques. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 36:56
Now, you said something that sometimes people have insights in lucid dreaming, do you? You know, what do you think that is? And why is it that in our dream states in a deep meditative state, that veil that we have on top of us that that the masks all the all the physical gunk that we deal with? All of that starts to get pulled away. Because when you're dreaming, there's none of that. You bring some of it in, like you said, you walk into a wall, you believe it's a wall there isn't but there's no wall there. Do you believe that is because we are starting that we kind of put all that away, the monkey brain shuts down. And you can kind of I call it dipping the toe in the universe. You get to kind of dig get in there a little bit. And that's when certain things that have a problem getting to us information, insights, intuition that is blocked by our own crap, gunk that we carry around with us on a daily basis. When that when you're in the lucid dream. All that kind of falls away. And that opens the window or the door a little bit to get that information.
Charlie Morley 38:01
And I agree with everything you said I would just say maybe everything you say can be applied to normal dreaming, not even lucid dreaming. You know, so often the insights that come to us in a normal dream state, you know how many inventions and findings have been found when people have liked us dreamt and suddenly the dreaming mind kind of work through the process and present some of the answer. So even in non lucid dream, absolutely everything you said, the cool thing about lucid dreaming, lucid dreaming is that you've got that process going on. But now you can kind of you can make it more swift you can go directly to it. The way I think of it is like the unconscious mind of this huge library of wisdom, not as wisdom as library of information, like we know from neurological studies, that the unconscious is storing everything. It's like this huge hard drive of information. So every book you've ever read, every spiritual teaching you've ever heard, every experience you've ever had from this life, and perhaps other lives we're into that stuff is stored in the unconscious mind. If we could access the unconscious, it would be like getting the keys to that library of knowledge. And there's loads of ways you can get the keys like through hypnosis, through meditation, through psychedelics, for some people through shamanic journeying through dance for other people. But one of the kind of the master key if you like, the key that can unlock the deepest, I believe is lucid dreaming. Now, that's not because lucid dreaming is better than any of those aforementioned techniques, but simply that you can't get more unconscious than asleep. So when you access the library when you're totally asleep, which you are, you know, someone wants to know what a lucid dream it looks like. They look like this. With account you're not in the hypnogogic you're not in a shamanic journey, you're not in light sleep, you know you're in REM that's like at the end of the sleep cycle. You are totally out for the count in RAM your body's paralyzed, you know you're asleep. So because you can't get more unconscious than asleep lucid dreaming seems to unlock kind of the deepest part of the library. But you still have to ask, you know, people often kind of get lucid, and they're just walking about. So I didn't get any insight. I'm like, but what did you ask for? And they went, Oh, I didn't know, you could ask I might do that. In lucid dreaming, you can literally I mean, the last time actually did this for a big one. Oh, yeah. About a year ago, actually, well, maybe less than a year. But I know it was during a lockdown. I became lucid. And I asked a question to dream. So I became lucid, and I called out to the dream, I was actually lucid on my balcony here. I was in here in the dream. And if you've got a question to ask, in the lucid dream, don't ask the dream characters, you know, they are tiny representations of tiny aspects of you. So if you ask, you know, like a dream character, you're gonna get a very limited answer. So I asked the dream, I call your question out to the sky or the space. So I went on my balcony here, and I called out the dream, how can I be of most benefit? Now? That's a very cool question to ask anyone, if they get lucid tonight, and probably a few people will just by listening to this or seeing this podcast? If you get lucid tonight, you think, what shall I do? Call out to the dream? How can I be of most benefit? And you'll often get an answer very direct. So I call it how can I be the most benefit. And then all these lights appear in the sky was like dark in the dream. And I'm like, oh, lights. And this is another thing, if you're into dream interpretation, in a lucid dream, you can interpret the dream while you're in it. Or you're in it. So these lights are appearing, I'm in the dream you are what are the lights mean? What does that mean for my How can I be of most benefit? Then I realized the lights are forming like shapes. And I was like, what are those shapes, and then I realized they're pumped trees. And it's like a world imagine a flat world map. But the countries are drawn out in like stars, like bright light. And then these countries start highlighting and like South America highlight, and then like North America highlight, and then Africa highlight, you kind of lit up, and then suddenly the whole world lit up. And I was like, what does this mean? How can I be of most benefit? And then the kind of answer came in the dream? In it said, Take it global, that was taken global home, and then I wake up and walk? What does that mean? How can I be of most benefit, take it global. And I kind of sat with a dream for a couple of days. And I thought we'll just do it every time you get an opportunity to do to spread this to a country you've never been to, or anything that might support this dreams, advice of taking global take the opportunity. And within a couple of months, I ended up doing a workshop in online workshop in the Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, in Peru, in Mexico, to Peruvian dreamers to Mexican dreams. All these countries I had never taught in before suddenly just started manifesting the emails out of nowhere, like, Oh, would you consider coming to teach us in the Congo? And I might yet definitely take it global. Now, whether it was a self fulfilling prophecy, or whether it was the dream coming true? Who knows? But what I do know is they ask a question to the dream, I got an answer. And acting on the answer brought nothing that benefit you in that workshop I did in the Congo man, it was like, there were like 100 people in this Buddhist center. And you could see the roof of the Buddhist center was like corrugated iron. You know, these guys had done their best to make this Buddhist center out of like local materials. Now it's actually they raise money, they've got this beautiful place. And there's, you know, I'm through like two translators. And I might while I'm teaching to the Congo, a place that's been so affected by war and trauma, and here I am providing a practice that really might help people who've been through that stuff. And that's all from that dream, or from that dream. Like, what I've still got the email if I hadn't had the dream, maybe but what I've said yes, so fervently, maybe not so who knows?
Alex Ferrari 43:45
I mean, I mean, if you if you go down, if you want to go deep down the rabbit hole, I mean, once you opened up that door, in your own mind, you allowed that energy to come towards you. Because it happens all It happens all the time. It's happened to me a million times, like the second I just put something out there. I'm like, I'm ready for this. Then opportunities present themselves that the doors that were closed for long times, all of a sudden, wide open. So it was I do I do kind of believe that because I've just seen it so much in my own life that when you open yourself up, it's so funny when you saying that, you know, answers and things come to people in dreams. You know, a very famous one is James Cameron, the famous film director, who did Titanic and Avatar and stuff. He had a he was in Italy. And he had just got kicked off his first movie Parana to the spawning, which was a horrible movie that he was the very first thing he directed. And he was trying to sneak into the editing room because he got kicked out trying to get to the editing room, he would re edit things at night. That directors were gone. So when they got in the morning, it would be his cut that they were working on. He was such a he was a crazy man then, but he got deathly ill like a big Very high fever in Italy. And in a night, one of those fever driven nights, he had a dream. And in the dream, he saw a terminator.
Charlie Morley 45:10
I never heard that story before.
Alex Ferrari 45:14
So he heard it, he saw the Terminator. And he woke up in the morning and sketched out the exoskeleton in fire. So in the dream the exoskeleton, which is the Terminator, the metal is, is in fire coming out of fire. So literally that is in the movie, the first Terminator and launched his when he's walking out the fire. Yeah, when we get one explosion in Arnold's gone and it's just the machine. Yeah, that was a dream. And from that point, he, you know, and he'd already been playing with future stuff, because I saw some of his short films. But that was the moment where the Terminator was born. And it came completely out of a dream. Like I'd never thought about it prior to that
Charlie Morley 45:54
So cool. That's the way my workshop. Absolutely. That's really cool, though.
Alex Ferrari 46:00
It's such a great it's such a great story. I mean, Tesla had dreams. You know, I mean, there's so many Einstein, all of them the like you. Yeah, I mean, everybody, you know, dreams do come in handy.
Charlie Morley 46:16
Terminator one I think is I really will share that because because everybody knows. molecule and stuff like that's like, yeah, when I do was years ago, it's like, everyone knows that. It's a really good one that will stick in people's heads.
Alex Ferrari 46:28
Yeah. And it launched his career and the concept of the Terminator. And that storyline is, is genre defining into the concept of the future and AI and robots coming. Like it opened up so many concepts for humanity, literally that movie, I mean, there's nothing before it like it, it was very, it's kind of like an idea that needed to be put out into the ether. It's kind of like when the matrix showed up. Like, what? Like, it was the first time in the entire world saw that movie, and they said, Is this real? And that's a very deep question. Yeah, there's some cool kung fu in it. And it's a computer but if you deep into the ego deep into the philosophy of the matrix, which I do talk about on the show quite often, because I feel the matrix, one of the more spiritual movies,
Charlie Morley 47:19
Oh, definitely. References in there and 1000s of lucid dreaming references. I mean, it's like, he gets lucid in the matrix, and then suddenly, he can fly and you can do stuff
Alex Ferrari 47:30
But then he brings that lucid the, into the real world. That's what's all this kind of thing. But yeah, that's, that's it. I would love to I would love to talk to those directors one day just to go, how did you guys come up with the matrix? Because it is such a deep, deep? You know, it's so on the, on the surface. It's a cool kung fu action movie. But man, you start, you start digging deeper into that film, and there's been books written about the philosophy of the matrix alone and going into what is reality? That question had never really been answered, asked in the zeitgeist had been asked in Buddhist temples.
Charlie Morley 48:16
It had been asked, never in a mainstream Hollywood movie, right?
Alex Ferrari 48:20
Yeah, we're now the entire world's going, Wait a minute, are we what is this? Is this real? And then you could like some people think we're in a computer simulation. And we're just again,
Charlie Morley 48:31
The odds are that we are I mean, Elon Musk tweeted the mathematics for the guy from the mathematician, which is, the odds are in favor of us being in a simulation right now. I was like, oh,
Alex Ferrari 48:41
Some 15 year old kid who coded us somewhere. Some alien kid is doing that.
Charlie Morley 48:46
Hey, mate, Donald Trump president That'd be funny.
Alex Ferrari 48:50
Right, exactly, like, let's see what's gonna happen now climate change, you know, and so who knows, but that concept of what is reality AR what is real, what is not all that kind of stuff. Those concepts are such a powerful concept. So the Terminator also brought in some very powerful concept and it all came from a dream. I don't think it was a lucid dream, but it was a dream nevertheless.
Charlie Morley 49:14
But I think that's really important though, to make that point Alex is that sometimes we get so concerned with lucid dreams, we forget the power of non lucid dreams. Like if you ask me my top five dream experiences of all time Yeah, number one is a lucid dream super, super powerful, lucid dream. But number like two, three and four are all non lucid. These would be what in Tibet, the Tibetan tradition they call a clarity dreams, which are where you're not lucid, but their dreams like deep spiritual significance. You know, not an everyday dream where you receive a really big teaching, but you're not necessarily lucid. It's almost as if the dream is like got such a big message to give you. It's doesn't want you to be losers like Charlie shisha. Just sit in the corner. Don't fly about Don't hog anything. This is our message for you. It's almost as if it's blocking lucidity. because it doesn't want your interaction, it's got such a such a gift to give you it doesn't want to be like interrupted almost.
Alex Ferrari 50:07
Let me ask you because you're an expert in dreaming and lucid dreaming. What do you think? What do you believe that when we have dreams? What are the spiritual ramifications of dreams for us? Because, you know, I'm not talking about literally Jesus or Buddha showing up. That's that's a different kind of dream. But I'm talking about more of the messages that get sent to us by our dreams. Is it our subconscious working things out? Sometimes it is trauma, no question. Sometimes it is things that you're dealing with in your life, and there's that. But there are those moments where you have clarity, there is a message that is being sent, there is a warning, there is a loved one, a deceased loved one who's just hugging you. Because you need a hug at that moment in your life because you're going through a stressful time. Like what? What is your interpretation of that?
Charlie Morley 51:08
Like everything you just said basically, exactly that that yes, sometimes dreams are just kind of downloading our daily events. And sometimes they're because we ate food too late at night and stuff like that, you know, sometimes dreams can seem random. But in the same way as if I was sitting in a cafe next to two people speaking Japanese, I speak no Japanese, by the way. And I was watching I could easily in my ignorance, say oh, they're just saying random sounds. They're not saying random sounds. That is a incredibly sophisticated language, which I simply don't understand. So I may say, Oh, they're just random. If I gave time to either learn Japanese, or until that happens, just watch their body language. Listen to the intonation, maybe I don't understand every word, but I can get the energy of what they're speaking about. I bet I could probably tell you maybe even roughly what those two Japanese people were talking about. Whether they were having an argument or a friendly conversation or debate, I could at least get that information. Even if I don't understand any of the words, the kind of the same with a dream. I think so often, we throw the baby out with the bathwater, because there are a few random things in the lucid in the dream and we say oh, it's all random. Maybe some dreams are random. But a lot of the time it's not we interpret it as randomness due to our ignorance of what the dream is speaking. And often the language of the dream just like I, from what little I know about Japanese language compared to English language actually is way more sophisticated, and way more advanced. But because we don't understand it, we call it random. So I'd say that first of all, and secondly, I think the spiritual ramifications are so much of what little I know about the kind of spiritual path is it's about getting to know who we are, like the Tibetan term for meditation is gone. And gone actually means that we're like to become familiar with something like so literally, you would say I'm sitting to do some familiarity practice, not some meditation practice, like, isn't that cool? That is very familiar with who we are, you know, who am I really beneath these veils of ignorance and ego and conceit and who I think I am and limitation and self doubt. If that's so much of what the spiritual path is about, then dreams offer that OS on a plate, you want to know who you really are looking at your dreams. Like if someone like if I was like a detective, and I had to do a kind of character analysis on someone, and I'm sneaking around their apartment to try and find out who they are. And I find their, you know, their daytime, or their daytime diary. I read through and it says what appointments they have and who they're meeting and stuff. That's who they think they are. But if I go to their bed table, that's so terrible. I find that dream diary. If I was a detective who wants to know who someone is, I would read their dream diary because that thing doesn't lie. You want to know what traumas you've got, who you're secretly in love with? What anxiety is still getting you down? What are your fears, your phobias, your, your literal dreams of the future. That's all in the dream diary. So by looking at our dreams, we really get to see who we are. And sometimes that does reveal ourselves. Yes, complete neurotic masses who are traumatized and who are scared and who are wounded. Yeah. But thank goodness, let us learn that we are that so then we can work with it. Rather than the daytime running around pretending we will get it together, we will know what's happening. Like we are on a rock spinning around at a gazillion miles an hour around the solar system. Nobody knows what is happening. And yet we're all walking around acting like we like this is normal. Like we know what's going on. Come on. We're all of us lost walking each other home. We're all of us wounded and enlightened human beings or I am at least trying to find my way towards peace and love. And I think the dream is a much more honest revelation of that than our waking states. So there's so much to learn from our dreams so much.
Alex Ferrari 54:57
So first of all, kudos for having a paper date. planner. I have to say that I haven't seen one since 97. So that was
Charlie Morley 55:09
I spent so much time on my phone I don't want to have my appointments in my phone. I want to have like flick throughs Oh, here I'm with Alex.
Alex Ferrari 55:15
I like I looked I was like Is that is that a day planner? Physical day planner fed? Look at that solid. There's no digital. There's no There's no technology, no RAM. No. Would you? Have you ever studied what is actually happening in the brain when someone loses dreamer? Had there been studies done or what what is what is happening in a neuroscience standpoint.
Charlie Morley 55:42
So when you're having a normal non lucid dream, the back part of the brain is really active. So the brainstem, the occipital lobe, visual cortex, lows, activity, front part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, which is whether the brain scientists believe your sense of self, your sense of agency, your sense of like Alex Ness, or in my head Charleen is, is like, act when the prefrontal cortex is activated, that's when you have those those senses of agency and sense of self. So in a non lucid dream, that front part of the brain is almost entirely switched off. And that would explain why you can dream your other people, how you can dream, you're a kid, if you're an adult, how can you dream that you live on another planet, when you live on Earth, or whatever it is, you know, the reason you can have such crazy dreams and believe them is because your sense of self is almost entirely offline. When you dream more, it's much more flexible, at least. What happens when we get lucid as you might expect, is that the back part of the brain stays active. But suddenly, boom, the prefrontal cortex lights up and you can literally see it later. You know, they managed to get this guy in 2011, a guy at Heidelberg University to fall asleep inside a brain scanner. Now I've done some of the meditation studies and my brain scans. I'm sure I've, I've completely messed up their study, because I've made little or no changes to my brain. But anyway, they wanted to see if you couldn't have to go into the brain scanner and try and meditate. And they're loud, man. It's like this magnet spins, fMRI.
Alex Ferrari 57:08
It's hard. Data, data, data and data. Horrible. Yeah. And an MRI on my back when I was a kid.
Charlie Morley 57:16
Oh, okay. So you know exactly what? This whole big man, I had a panic attack. And I was oh, God, I'm supposed to be meditating. How can you meditate? Like, he's a panic attack people funny, dude. So I go in there, right? And they've gone to they come to the Buddhist center, and they've asked all the monks, can they do it and they can't do it. And then like, I'm their last resort, right? Oh, he lives in the Buddhists and he's probably good meditator. I might do. You don't mean your study. Anyway. I go in, and I didn't know how claustrophobic it was. And I didn't realize I was claustrophobic because like, as an adult, I'm not in small spaces a lot. I guess, as a kid. I did used to be scared. So they put this thing over you and it comes in and the tube was right there. And I just went, Oh, God, I'm just scared right now. Oh, God, and I was like, kind of just calm myself down. Okay, stay calm. Cool. You're staying steady. And then I hear through the headpiece. You're right in that Charlie? Yeah, yeah, I'm totally fine. So if I'm ready to start whenever you're on there, oh, we're actually scanning already. Are you sure you're okay? And I was like, Yeah. And they went right. Because your brain says you're in panic. I was like, oh, no, you can't lie to them. They literally saw my panic centers lit up. So funny. That Oh, anyway. Alright, so this dude in Germany managed to fall asleep and lucid dreaming dude falls asleep in a brain scanner. And they get this live image of what happens in the brain for the first time. That was 2000 hours before inception. So maybe it's 2009. Because I remember thinking that brain science came out the same year as Inception came out. And it was just such a good year for lucid dreaming. So they see the front part of the brain light up the prefrontal cortex. And of course, that makes sense because in a lucid dream, you go, I am dreaming. And now I can choose to have agency and volition and choose what to happen in the dream, right? So they know exactly what part of the brain that sets the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex first discovery. Second discovery is where the really cool stuff happens. They realize that once you become lucid, the brain doesn't think you're dreaming anymore. The brain thinks you're awake, because from the brain's point of view, wakefulness is not predicated on having your eyes open. wakefulness is predicated on prefrontal cortex activation. That's an interesting philosophical thought, for another time. So once you become lucid, the brain doesn't think you're dreaming doesn't think you're hallucinating. The brain thinks I'm actually awake right now. And because of that, it lays down neural pathways and engages neuroplasticity in exactly the same way as when you are awake. Now in non lucid dreaming, neuroplasticity is not engaged to anything like the degree because the prefrontal cortex is deactivated. Once that activates, and your brain thinks you're awake, it's going to rewire itself as if you are awake. Meaning and the first study they did this was people they got people to do squats in their lives. The dream so they check how many squats and how many press ups they could do in the waking state, then they wanted to go into the lucid dream and do the same exercise during the exercise in the dream was so realistic to the brain, that it rewired itself and lay down the neural pathways towards squats and press ups, meaning that in the waking state, they could do more, they will beating that PCB. I mean, this is sci fi crazy stuff. But it is true. They got better at athletic discipline by training in the lucid dream. And this was not not psychological. This was physiological. You could make physiological changes to your brain, once you are lucid. And I was in the last study for this. It was a martial arts one in maybe I don't want since but it was quite recent one 2019. And we had they needed people who are into martial arts and lucid dreaming. So I was like, Yeah, and we had to do a certain kick sequence in the lucid dream. And then they'd see Did you get any better in the waking state at 1.3% of participants got better increased performance by training in the lucid dream. They got better at martial arts at 1.3%. That's nuts. If like 20% of them got better. That would be like headline news at 1.3%. Or better. That's insane. And the reason I can talk such boat so boastfully about that because I was one of the 19% it didn't get any better do I did I did the kick thing. I got lucid I like completed it, but I just did not get any better. So that's good for you.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:28
That's amazing. That's, that's amazing.
Charlie Morley 1:01:32
Sorry, just to bring about a kind of like something really something much deeper. So think about healing trauma, right? You know, if you can embrace a phobia, or heal a trauma or work through grief, in the lucid dream, the brain doesn't think you dreamt about integrating that phobia, the drain that the brain doesn't think you imagined integrating that trauma. As far as the brain is concerned, you did that. And the brain will rewire itself in favor of that integrated trauma. And that is why lucid dreaming is one of the most powerful methodologies for PTSD and nightmare integration.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:05
So is there a way to use lucid dreaming to help with health issues and heal yourself? Physical stuff? Yeah, I've heard I've, I've heard of that. So I'm just curious if you have any
Charlie Morley 1:02:20
Anecdotal, we've actually applied for funding to see if we can do this as the next study. So the study we did with the veterans with was with ions Institute of Noetic Sciences, and that gets published is supposed to be published next month, that we've actually presented the results, but the paper will be out next month, so soon. And this was kind of a a one with PTSD. And just the long story short, we check the PTSD, everyone had PTSD to be on the study, 100% PTSD. And we checked their PTSD scores, which kind of got to the level of their trauma before the study. And then after the one week, lucid dreaming study where they had to get lucid and then embrace their fear or transform that trauma, or whatever it was, at the end of the one week study, the average PTSD score had dropped so low, it was beneath the PTSD threshold, it did not count as PTSD. Three weeks later, the follow up study was one point below. There, that has never happened before. There have been lots of lucid dreaming studies that have shown that lucid dreaming can be used to treat PTSD. But we've never had such obvious stats before that you learn lucid dreaming, and you engage it and your PTSD score drops. And this wasn't just for the 70% of people who managed to have a lucid dream in that one week, which, by the way, a super high percentage, even the 30% of people who did not have a lucid dream that one week, their PTSD score dropped two. Now the scientists didn't like that, because it kind of messes up the results of it. I frickin loved it. Because I was like, there we have proof that just learning lucid dreaming, just knowing it's a possibility to heal your trauma, and crucially, hearing from others in the group that they had healed their trauma to lucid dreaming had such a powerful, empowering effect that
Alex Ferrari 1:04:03
It's almost a it's almost a placebo effect, almost just not thought of others are doing it so I can too.
Charlie Morley 1:04:11
Yeah. So I love that. But sorry, and answer your question. So our next hope is to get received funding but working with the same scientists to look at physical healing and cannot be done. Lots of anecdotal reports on my books. I've got kind of maybe half a dozen people they mentioned Robert Wagner's but another kind of dozen in his books. I'm sure there might be hundreds, probably not 1000s. But hundreds of cases that I've come across. Have I heard of anyone like healing cancer in a lucid dream and stuff? No. But minor ailments like one guy had kidney disease. He did this lucid dream healing and his preoperative level, which is like something to the health of the kidneys stabilized for six months, after six months it stabilized. So again, lucid dreaming, didn't cure him, but it did kind of seem to provoke an immune response, very powerful immune response for a solid six months. So I think that's a good example. The someone I work with in therapist training, she had really bad knees and ankles, when in the lucid dream did a healing on her knees and ankles. And then was showing me she could do squats and the Cobra knees are, oh, I had one recently in the last six months. So I have something called plantar fasciitis. It's, it feels like they're kind of like, spears in your heels. It's from running incorrectly. I do a lot of running over lockdown, right. And it really hurts to walk. And I went to the lucid dream, I became lucid. And I put my dream hands on my dream heels. And I remember the mantra clearly because it was kind of a tongue twister, my heels are healed, my heels are healed, my heels are healed. And as I was saying that mantra in a dream, I was imagining, and just imagining manifests in the dream, white light was coming out of my hands, and I was tapping that you just want to heal my left heel was cupping the heel as my heels are healed, my heels are healed. And then it kind of all burst into white light, and I woke up so not very long, but like the healing engage. And I still run I do not have plantar fasciitis anymore. I don't know it was unscientific. You could say there were changes to my diet, or maybe I got different changes. Maybe just went away, right? Maybe it just went away. Or maybe it was a lucid dream. What I want to do is put that under scientific rigorous studies and see if we can prove that because I think there's enough anecdotal evidence to say at least at least, it's a very powerful placebo. And even if it is just a placebo, great. Placebo is like the only replicable aspect of all medical trials. So placebo, pretty consistent, right? So anyone who says it's just a placebo effect. It's kind of like yeah, it's not just it's like, wow, the placebo effect. So maybe it's just a form of very powerful placebo healing, maybe there's something more occurring. What we want to see is we can check it scientifically through anti inflammatories in the bloodstream. So we do a split test, before people go to bed, and you see how many anti inflammatories in the bloodstream. They go into the lucid dream and any healing, they could do their elbow, they do the heart, if you do the head that it doesn't matter. Most healing will lead to anti inflammatories being released into the bloodstream because that is the basis of physical healing. So if after the lucid dream, we take another split test or blood test, but split tests are easier. And if we could prove there's an elevated level of anti inflammatories, we've got pretty solid proof that whatever they did in the lucid dream led to an increase of anti inflammatories. So we can see that as a healing response. So that's the kind of methodology we're looking to work out but we need money. So anyone out there who who like an angel investor, you know, the way we got money for the PTSD study was me making the same joke. I looked into the camera went, Hey, anyone who's got a spare 50 grand and wants to give it to us, haha, here's my email. And some dude emailed me, like this really cool guy who I won't name him case doesn't want to be named, but our Bitcoin investor, had a lot of money and has made some very good investments. And he was like, Were you serious? And that podcast where you said, Haha, we need 50 grand. I was like, Yeah, man. And he went, Okay, like, should we talk, and he ended up sponsoring the whole project. So maybe that can happen again.
Alex Ferrari 1:08:03
Hey, let's let's help him pray. Let's have a break. We've talked so much about lucid dreaming and dreaming and everything. Can you give us a one technique tonight for everyone listening to try to do a lucid dream.
Charlie Morley 1:08:17
So I got this thing called the Four DS, which is what often given on podcasts and people like what some takeaways we can do today. So the four days the first day is Dream plan. So make a plan for what you want to do and your first or next lucid dream. This is the most important technique, you can get lucid tonight with no other techniques. As long as you know the reason you want to have a lucid dream, like if you're thinking, Oh, I just wanna have a lucid dream to fly about and have sex with movie stars. That's probably Well who knows, but probably for most people isn't as much of a motivation. Whereas if you're going wow, I want to use lucid dreaming to heal my inner child or to work with trauma or to heal my you know, recurring knee injury or whatever it is, you have a really good reason why that for many people is enough to get them lucid. It's almost as if the dream will just invite you in or that knows you're coming to kind of serve it to help it heal. So first thing dream plan know what you want to do. Don't go in there blind. Second D dream recall. So practice remembering your dream if you don't remember your dream it's gonna be really difficult to get lucid. So the first thing is remember your dreams. Everybody dreams every night there's no way to stop the human brain from dreaming so that's the first thing to know. But many people if they don't remember their dreams, I would say When did you last try and offer now say oh well I didn't think I dreamt so I haven't tried for like years I'm not well now you know your dream. Tonight try like fall asleep with the intention fall asleep saying tonight I remember my dreams I have excellent dream recall over and over again as you fall asleep through the hypnagogic. So that strong intention. The third D is keeping your dream diary. So once you've set the intention to remember your dreams. The second thing is to write them down. The reason we write down the dream is not to interpret them as a different cup of tea or a great cup of tea but different cupboards So, the reason we write them down is to spot patterns. So you set the intention to remember your dream, then you write down whatever you can remember. Now if you do that for like a week or so, the end of the week, you'll look back and you'll start to see patterns. There'll be a lot Oh, yeah, I always dream with that kid from school. Or I often dream of my dead grandma or I often dream, I'm back in my family home, I always have that house I grew up in but no longer live right. And that leads the fourth day, which is Dream science. A dream sign is any part of the dream that can indicate to you that you're dreaming. So by keeping a dream diary, you will start to notice your dream science. What only happens in your dreams? Well, my dead grandmother appears she doesn't happen in my waking life. Being back in my family home, that doesn't happen our waking life, that kid from school I haven't seen for 20 that doesn't have my waking life. So you start to create these triggers that lucidity triggers, and then you can go to sleep and tell yourself, well, the next time I see my dead grandma, I must be dreaming. Or the next time I'm back in my family home where I grew up, I must be dreaming. Now once you start falling asleep and saying that, then you can actually kind of encourage that into your dreams. So you might fall asleep looking at your dead photo of your dead grandmother saying, tonight I dream of grand when I dream of grand. I know I'm dreaming tonight, I dream of grant and I dream of brown. I know I'm dreaming. So you set these triggers, which encourages the dream signed into the dream. And then you can become lucid. And that's actually the kind of most when most people say they had a Spontaneous lucid dream. It's usually what's called the dream sign initiated lucid dream. So that one way you were the lucid dream you had at 12. That was dream sign initiated. You were in the dream and you're like, hang on, this can't be real. I'm dreaming. Now whatever it was, you spotted a dream sight. Maybe it was the place you're in or it was in my apartment. I was in my apartment. There you go. But you're like, wait, I must be dreaming, right? That was a dream sign initiated lucid dream. So yeah, the dream plan, dream recall, Dream diaries and dream signs. Those are the kind of four easy steps. And then of course, there's kind of dozens of other techniques to all I'm doing real life retreats now. So for the first time, in a couple of years, I'll be in the East Coast, Omega center in Halloween, and then I'll be on the west coast in California in December. And pretty much every month I got another lucid dreaming retreat around Europe. And us like four day retreat, we wake up in the middle of the night, do the practices I dropped you back asleep. It's like lucid dreaming bootcamp. They're really fun.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:16
Oh, that must be a lot of fun. Now, I'm gonna ask you a couple questions. Ask all of my guests. What is your mission in this life?
Charlie Morley 1:12:23
Oh, I know exactly what that is, weirdly, I have a very strong mission to spread the dharma of the dream state in the West, just as Padma Sun bhava did in Tibet. And that's so weird that you've asked me that we've literally got his photo right there. So yeah, in the same way that Padmasambhava spread the dharma of the dream state in Tibet, I want to spread it in the West.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:41
Definitely. And you're not nearly as intense, sir, as he is.
Charlie Morley 1:12:44
There with like some severed heads or
Alex Ferrari 1:12:49
Some severed heads or something. And what is the ultimate purpose of life? Wake up. It's simple, but yet profound.
Charlie Morley 1:12:58
Yeah, but I mean, I don't mean that as as something theoretical were found. But I mean to literally to wake up from this dream of separateness from this dream of difference from this dream of that we're not part of the same hole from this dream of tribalism, from this dream of nationalism and racism and the dreams of boundaries. Like it's all dreamlike. It's all insubstantial. It's all illusory. And if we can wake up from that, I think that's the that's probably the aim. The real goal of life,
Alex Ferrari 1:13:26
I hope, and where can people find out more about you the work you're doing and your courses and retreats and books and things?
Charlie Morley 1:13:34
Sure. So my website, Charlie morley.com. Or apparently, if you just put into Google, Charlie, lucid, and all my stuff comes up, and I'm on Instagram or Facebook and all that. Yeah, I'd be a very bad spy. I'm very easy to find.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:46
Charlie man, it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you, my friend. I am looking forward tonight to do my my lucid dream, lucid, lucid dream training. See if I can get in there. Hopefully a figure in a trench coat won't show up. If he does. I'm gonna hug him. I'm gonna hug him. I'm not gonna kick him in the balls. I'm gonna hug him. But my friend, thank you so much for everything you do. I appreciate you my friend. Thank you again.
Charlie Morley 1:14:11
Thank you so much, Alex been a pleasure. You know, sometimes these podcasts people just ask the same question and I give the same answers. And your first question was tell me about the four stages of Dream Yoga. Alex has gone in. I said I was like so tired before this podcast and you energize me pleasure. Thank you.
Links and Resources
- Earthing.com: End Inflammation Today – Discover the Science-Based Healing Powers of Earthing/Grounding
- FREE Mindvalley Spiritual Masterclasses
- MUSE 2: The Brain Sensing Headband – Meditation Tracker Headset Device
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