President for the Association for the Study of Dream Interview

Here is the Interview transcribed from the original source: LDE 55 [PDF]

Lucid Dream Exchange Summer Edition Issue 55 June 2010


I first heard of Ian Wilson’s lucid dreaming abilities twelve years ago, and felt truly impressed. A self-taught lucid dreaming explorer, Ian Wilson, pushed, twisted and merged the boundaries of waking and dream realities. Read this interview and let your mind expand . . .

Ian, you have experienced numerous lucid dreams and OBEs. Which came first for you: the lucid dreams or the OBEs? How old were you?

The first wave of these experiences happened to me as a child, from the ages of two to five. I would experience many profound experiences during sleep, like a fusion of lucid dreams and out-of-body experiences. As I grew, this conscious awareness during sleep faded, but re-awakened when I was 15 years old with amazing lucid dreams.

What do you recall of your first lucid dream’s? What excited you about lucid dreaming?

My first lucid dream came about after reading an Omni Magazine article by Stephen LaBerge describing the reality of lucid dreams. This article fuelled my curiosity and changed my life forever. I was thrilled at the possibility of being awake in my dreams and controlling them. To my total satisfaction, the article proved true and I was suddenly awake in an unlimited world that appears as real as this one.

In this dream, I was working on a military base. I had to disarm a booby trap in a tank. The trap had some type of nerve gas and when I tampered with it, it went off spraying me in the face with this deadly agent. I remember climbing out of the porthole on the top of the tank, I was gasping and fell from the top onto the dry Earth. The nerve gas was killing me, and I started to spasm and gripped a handful of dirt. My hands clawed in the dirt and started to quiver until I could no longer move my fingers.

When I died in this dream, I woke up into another dream. The transition between this one dream and the next dream assisted in the reasoning that allowed me to become lucid. In the following dream, I was walking near Okanagan Lake in Penticton BC. There was a concession stand (shaped like a peach) located in the park, which is the wrong location for such a building. There was no attendant at the peach stand so I decided to help myself. I entered the stand and grabbed a bag of M&MTM candies.

At that point a voice echoed in the dream and asked me, “Isn’t that stealing?”

I thought about it and reasoned that somehow this was a dream and by that accord, taking the M&MTM‘s was in no way stealing. It was interesting to have this profound voice just crack open the dream and ask me such a relative question. The way it triggered my reasoning seemed to also link to the means by which I became suddenly aware that I was indeed dreaming. I remember answering back to the thought, telling it, “This is a dream, so I can’ t be stealing.”

The voice replied, “How do you know this is a dream?”

I thought about it. Certainly, I was somewhere in some experience and there was no questioning that a sense of reality was present. The bigger question was, if this assumed reality was a dream, or something else?

Then I remembered the previous dream where I had died. I remembered the switch to the now current dream.

My ability to connect these dots assisted in my affirmation, “This is a dream!”

This unknown voice in the dream then said, “Prove it!”

How does one prove such a thing? Not really knowing how to prove it, I looked at what was right in front of me. There was a steel green lamp post buried in concrete. I remember focusing on the lamp post and it started to rise. The concrete started to crack and break. When the lamp post levitated, with a fairly large chunk of concrete attached to the base, I realized fully, “I am dreaming!”

I used this telekinetic levitation of the lamppost as my proof, and the thought (voice) actually laughed, “You are right; it is a dream.”

There was this exhilaration that came with realizing I was dreaming. When I knew I was dreaming, I grabbed on to the lamp post and started to levitate with it. No sooner did that happen, than I started to fly. For a first realization of lucid dreaming, it was a very incredible experience. The start of many that would follow.

Can you describe any pivotal early lucid dreams that really blew your mind? What happened? What questions did those experiences create for you?

I am sure each reader has had their own experiences with dreaming something and then days later, the dream actualizes and comes true. This prepared me for the much bigger potential that was to follow — lucid precognitive dreams.

When I was 17, I experienced my first lucid precognitive dream. The dream unfolds in a very fun but mundane way. Imagine lying in your bed, and you start to fall asleep. The senses start to dim and the body relaxes. Suddenly you feel yourself rising upwards into this empty vast space, it almost feels like a void, that you are the only one who is there. It feels that way until a voice asks, “What would you like to experience?”

This is the start of my first lucid precognitive dream. The voice felt familiar and I remember this vast yet void like space with rivets of blue energy flowing like a vast ocean, or perhaps nebula. I remember thinking to the voice, “I want to experience people setting aside their political, religious, and social beliefs to just enjoy each other’s company.”

The voice or being then replied, “Very well,” and a two dimensional square window appeared before me. In this scene, I could see myself on a beach in a setting that was familiar to me. I remember from that state projecting into the 2D square image that suddenly became a fully lucid dream.

There are a lot of details here to cover, but what I will do is just pick out some key events that shaped the quality of such a lucid dream.

In the dream, I had my friends from high school with me. Also, there was this biker and his girlfriend who pulled up with a guitar. They began to play a really great Pink Floyd song called, “Wish You Were Here,” that I remember singing along to. Another group appeared; they were some traveling Christian group that was putting on plays for kids at schools. At one point in our discussions in the dream, they wanted to show me the play and then performed their play.

You might think all of this is pretty mundane and commonplace for a dream, but what made it spectacular is that it did come true in the most exact, perfect detail.

The lucid dream actualized into a physical event. When the dream came true down to the finest detail, I felt the same thoughts, the same emotions and the same events unfolding as they did in the lucid dream. When the lucid dream time and space synchronized with the waking moments, it brought about an aura of Déjà vu unlike anything I had ever experienced. This merging of the duality of dreams and reality clearly demonstrated to me that dreams and reality share a very intimate relationship with each other and are somehow interconnected. Moreover, waking reality itself may stem from the process of dreaming.

This made me begin to question everything. I had to question who I was, what I was and what reality was.

About twelve years ago, you appeared on the internet with a very interesting website. On the website, you had photos and witness statements which appeared to show that you had “marked” friends with a geometric symbol while lucid. Right? Tell me how this experiment got started.

This is something rarely seen in our dream literature. While lucid and using my intent, I changed a dream that had precognitive potential and involved another person’s body. Later in waking reality, the dream “materialized” or came true. Over the years, I have done this many times. I will provide some details and a bit of theory and methodology should the reader wish to pursue this avenue of exploration.

My personal theory suggests that like the electromagnetic spectrum, dreams also exist within a spectrum composed of layers, which have their own properties and purpose. Within the dreaming spectrum, there is a layer that I call the precognitive layer. In this specific band width of
dreaming, the dream creation then becomes the basic framework that we later experience here as waking reality.

So if a lucid dreamer could arrive at this layer of the dreaming spectrum, then he or she could perform an action that would later appear in waking reality. When lucid during 1996-1998, I decided to test this idea through “tagging dreams,” where I would lucidly make small marks such as geometrical triangles, circles, squares, and even hearts, when I felt like I was in the precognitive layer. The tagging shape would be the identifiable marker to then appear in waking reality.

You discovered after waking from these “tagging” lucid dreams, that when you re-enacted the dream scenario in waking reality, that the mark would then appear on their skin, right? Then you often took a photo of the mark and had your friend write up his experience.

In the beginning, I had no idea that it was even possible, but my experiences with lucid precognitive dreams did allude to this as being quite possible. All I needed to do was try.

In the dream, I remembered becoming lucid and recognized my current work place. Behind a concession counter was a person I saw and recognized from my waking life. I remember in the lucid dream thinking that this moment, this dream could have precognitive potential. There was clearly enough indication that the dream at least took place in a setting very familiar to me as it was my workplace and things looked as they normally do. My intent was still to map out the layers of the dreams and to isolate the precognitive layer. With no way to tell if I was in the precognitive layer of the dream spectrum, and only having a small window of opportunity, I decided to lift my finger in the dream and make a triangle appear on his forehead.

The triangle formed effortlessly with an uncanny precision on his head. This would be my tag, and help me practice mapping out the dream layers. The lucid dream lasted around 5 minutes.

Why I chose my friend and his forehead as the target merely reflected a quick impulsive decision that I made with no real thought of consequences, should it actually manifest and actualize as a precognitive dream in waking reality.

About three weeks later, the lucid dream actualized. Like my first lucid precognitive dream, I felt an amazing synchronicity and Déjà vu like aura as waking time and space synchronized with the lucid precognitive dream. In this reality, I stood six feet away from this person and I simply went with the flow of the lucid dream. My hand just lifted and the triangle formed as it did in the dream, perfectly on his head. It was visible enough for others to clearly see it. I remember him looking at me, as I pointed at him. Then he asked me after the fact what I did. I told him I placed a triangle on his head. A cashier next to him saw it, then she screamed and ducked behind the counter.

He ran to the bathroom and looked at it in the mirror. When he came out he was definitely shocked at the visible mark. I took a Polaroid and another follow up picture of it to have physical evidence of the experimentation. Later he wrote a statement of the account. Also he had to explain the mark to his mother who asked him how he got that strangely shaped bruise on his forehead. She saw it clearly. There was no question this was a very profound event for all of us involved.

So tell me – in the lucid dreams of marking, how did you do it?

It is all intent. There is no other means by which we can direct and focus our thoughts. Intent and dream control would be the best descriptor for this technique. If dreams are anything, they are organized thoughts.

How did people respond when you went public with this? Did people accept it or dismiss it as the power of suggestion (meaning that your friends developed marks simply because you suggested they should have a mark due to your lucid dream)?

The person in question didn’t know about my lucid dream action, until the mark was left. In no way were they a willing participant in this particular experiment either. I think that eliminates suggestion. A newspaper published an article about my experiments and I published the accounts on the Internet, but the response was little impact. The lack of interest was no surprise to me. It may simply sound too crazy for people to accept as being true. My purpose wasn’t to prove something to the world as much as to prove it to myself and learn from it. This event was real, it did happen and the photographs serve to remind me.

What is more important is developing a viable process by which other dreamers may attempt to explore this precognitive potential that exists within the lucid dream experience. I hope at least to inspire these types of people to dig deeper and go further in their own exploration of lucid dreams.

How did you explain it to yourself?

It was 1998, and I would be 27 years old at the time. I already had 10 years of experiencing lucid precognitive dreams and had tried mapping marks a number of times. The person who experienced the triangle on the forehead would be the first and last person that I would ever target in a dream during this mapping phase. After 1998, I was completely satisfied that I could influence change on a dream that had precognitive potential and those changes would happen here. There was no need for further personal evidence.

I firmly knew and understood this covert relationship between dreams and reality. Also, I had placed a mark on my left hand, which is very subtle. It serves as a reminder to me, like a string on my finger should I ever doubt any of this.

Later, your website showed something equally incredible. The local paper ran an article in which you stated that you had become lucid and intended an unusual cloud configuration, right? Then, sometime later in waking reality, the unusual cloud configuration appeared. Please tell us about that.

This event with the cloud was the most spectacular phenomenological experience that I had witnessed to date. As a lucid dreamer, I often prove to myself that I am indeed dreaming by changing the dream. Changing a dream acts as a form of personal validation. In this particular lucid dream I was standing on a street close to my home at night. There was a small cloud, probably a couple of football fields long and oval shaped.

In the lucid dream I affirmed I was dreaming by causing this cloud to form a perfectly shaped triangle, which it did.

There was no indication that this would ever come true. Like all of my precognitive lucid dreams, it wasn’t until it actually came true and I could experience that synchronization that I would then be dumbfounded by the experience. I remember walking home from my friend’s house at night. When I got to the point where the dreamt event was actualizing, I had the same realizations and lucidity that I had in the original dream.

What made the physical event a little different was I hesitated for a couple of seconds, enough to allow the cloud to move a little further than where it was positioned in the dream. When the cloud formed the triangle, it actually moved backwards to the focus point I had in the dream and formed the same triangle. I am sure many people will not believe this and I seldom share the story.

I know it happened. There were some other occurrences like this, not on the scale of this particular event. During my mapping phase, I had lost track of how many lucid precognitive dreams actually actualized. Suffice it to say, it was a lot. Now you might ask, how does one express intent?

How do any of us change a dream we are aware of?

A real life example is to move your hand left or right, or in a direction you intend to move. That same act of thinking and intent is how intent is also used in a dream.

Your early experiments very clearly indicate that a talented lucid dreamer can influence what will happen later on in waking reality while consciously aware in the dream state. How did you feel about that? What issues did it raise in your mind?

There is a lot to be said about having dreams that come true and a lot more for changing them before they come true. I have no ego attached to the experience; it was a learning experience for me. I think once a person fully digests the reality that they have dreams that come true, it’s a big turning point in how they start to view the world. I know when I was 15 the reality of precognition frightened me and I was scared at the slightest thought that a dream somehow could predict the future.

The lucid precognitive dreams took this precognitive experience to a whole other level with a much larger scale factor to deal with. It presented the same experience with the added logical and analytical cognitive faculties that come with being lucid in a dream. This really changed my life forever. I crossed a bridge that cannot be undone. Once traversed all there is, is a grand dream of which we are all participating in.

To further explore this truth, if you are a person who has experienced firsthand your own dreams that have come true, then perhaps you may find what I have shared far more plausible than if you lack this experience. All I can do is share my experience and point the way. Changing a precognitive dream when lucid follows a very natural progression with the precognitive potential. This experience has altered my own belief systems; which brings me to what issues it raised in my mind.

The first issue is a belief society holds that dreams do not have any relationship with this reality. Knowing that dreams do have a relationship with this reality then begs the question, what is this reality if it is at first a dream?

Dreams if you break them down are really just organized thought projections and they have no physical matter or energy behind them. Our society is very dream illiterate, and the skill itself is very atrophic in most people I meet. Most people treat dreams like they are garbage thoughts the mind produces and are not worth remembering. It seems to me that dreams are a gateway into a much larger system of reality.

We may find that all reality stems from this process of dreaming, and that our Universe is built on the principles of organized thought and consciousness. Physical reality may be a sub-system within this much larger nonphysical reality.

Oftentimes, people reading an account like this feel shock, if not disbelief. Even simple ideas, like healing one’s self in a lucid dream, strike some unexperienced people as bordering on the bizarre. You obviously sought to provide evidence for these lucid dream/waking world interactions. What does this evidence suggest?

Let me share one dream that literally set in stone how I believe people react to the truth of my experience. In this one dream, I was on a train feeding coal into a fire. The train had come to a stop as it caught on fire and started to burn. We all exited the train and I was in this beautiful open field deep within a forest. There was a river and I went to drink from the water. In the river bed there was all of this quartz, and in some of the quartz was gold. I was excited to have found gold, and pulled a piece of it out from the quartz.

I went over to a person to show him the gold. When I passed it to him, the gold turned into fool’s gold, and he replied, “It’s fool’s gold.”

What this dream metaphorically taught me was that one man’s truth is another man’s fool’s gold. That truth has to be experienced to be realized, it cannot always be handed to you. Each of us must find our own gold, our own truth.

Some experienced lucid dreamers have used their intent to perform lucid dream healings. Have you ever tried to heal yourself or another in a lucid dream? What happened?

I’ll share the first healing that I experienced when I was 18 years old. It was in November of 1990 and I woke up late at night with a burning fever, inflamed lungs with lots of mucus, and a severe headache. The terrible cold flashes, and the clammy feeling of the fever was making me angry. I just wanted to sleep and wished the whole illness would go away. I laid in bed coughing, dreading how terrible I felt. Finally I was fed up and my anger aided in a fast instant projection outside my physical body.

I felt much better since I was in an out-of-body state observing my ill body lying on the bed. Almost as if instinctive, I sat down on the floor in a meditative position, and strong waves of white light with blue/green hues poured from my hands and flowed from my hands like a fountain and bent towards my physical body forming a balloon of light around it. My whole focus was to heal my body. The whole room fluctuated and several humanoid shapes appeared around me. They had no color, no visual details other than the fact they maintained a humanoid shape.

I observed them and acknowledged their presence and entered my body. Still sick with flu, I woke up. I felt worse if not better for the moment; then it happened. Instantly the nervous pins and needles that the flu was causing instantly turned off. Then, the hot and cold flashes followed. Third was the headache. It felt like someone literally stuck something in my head at that point and drained the headache from me. At this time, I was in denial because it was spanning over seconds. Fortunately this did not stop the healing. The final phase was all the mucus in my nasal passages and lungs. It felt like they were just bubbling away inside me. One moment I could not breathe, the next moment I would not have known I was even sick with the flu.

The whole process occurred nearly instantaneously. That was my first and last taste of this potential. I guarantee many a fever has come and gone where I wished for similar results and had none. Clearly a skill that may exist but I suck at.

In lucid dreaming, we all encounter dream figures or dream characters. In my book, I suggest that dream figures are actually much more varied than normally supposed. Also it appears that some dream figures have an awareness equal to or beyond that of the lucid dreamer. What’s your take on dream figures? Are they all symbols from our mind, or something else?

This is interesting as we are embarking on the more collective nature of dreaming rather than the subjective nature that we assume exists. When we encounter intelligence in dreams that appear to be greater or beyond our own current understanding of ourselves, that intelligence may show you that you are a part of a greater whole, that you are in fact interconnected within the scope of an entire Universe. What can be revealed is an epic truth, that we are part of a greater consciousness, a greater reality. That we are all one.

This may be the most shocking truth. Personally I think it is more profound than all of the phenomenological experiences I have had to date. That realization alone should aid us in seeing everything as aspects of a greater self, whereby everything exists as individualized parts. Everything is connected and self-similar.

The profound nature of this oneness, as hard as it is to believe or accept, is at the core of what we all are. Each of us exist as an individual part of a Universal Consciousness, self-similar to how a cell is an individual part of our body, and a part of us. The whole Universe functions on these interconnected principles. The reality that exists in Dreams is a gateway to a larger system of reality by which we will find parts of ourselves
on a scale factor that dwarf human consciousness and human intelligence. We may call it God or whatever label, the fact remains… bigger fish swim in this ocean than just human intelligence.

Quite a red pill in my opinion, but one worth swallowing and realizing.

Lucid dreamers toss around the idea of mutual lucid dreams and how to validate those experiences. Have you had a mutual lucid dream? Anything about it that suggests a valid, consensual encounter in a dream space?

This is all part of the dreaming package. I hope more people connect with their friends and family in these mutual dream states. My first mutual dream was with my best friend, again when I was still in high school. The first time it happened, I was totally oblivious to this potential and of course totally blown away when we realized we both shared a dream. When we had this mutual dream, I called him that morning and I would tell him part of the dream, he would tell me other parts… in no time we realized that we had shared a dream.

I would have several mutual dreams with this person and other friends as well. In one case, I actually drew a picture from his dream and when we met one day he told me about the dream. To totally blow his mind, I drove right over to my house to show him the picture which in turn, blew his mind because there was the dream he was describing all drawn out in comic cell form.

In another case, I was at work when some girls started talking about a dream they had only to find out that all three of them had the same dream. I remember the dream had some very unique and exaggerated features like an over sized picnic table with engravings on it. The girls were all talking about these unique features confirming and remembering the same details with one another. It was awesome to be there watching people come to the realization that they may have shared a dream.

Dreams are a far greater part of reality then we give them credit for. Our planet suffers from dream illiteracy, and perhaps one day I can help others overcome this limitation, and I do feel that sharing in our experiences will help. People need to remember they are dreamers down here… get back to the core of who and what they really are.

What kind of experiments would you like to see conducted in lucid dreaming, and why? What lucid explorations do you find yourself doing nowadays?

That’s a good question. A lot more personal experimentation is needed. My current lucid exploration has become limited as I have had so many lifestyle changes. I tend to sleep a lot less, 2-4 hours a night due to workload and family demands. My dreaming schedule has become less stable for the level of lucid dream exploration I am accustomed too. However, I do manage to get out and sometimes I stretch clock time during sleep where two hours of sleep may yield days of dreams. Clock time and psychological dream time do not need to tick side by side.

Have your lucid dreaming experiences affected your views on spirituality?

Absolutely. I had no spirituality until I woke up and realized there was a far greater reality than just the limited box I was stuffed into called a physical body. Now I know in a full-spectrum way, that there truly is a greater reality far beyond the reach of just this world. We exist in an amazing Universe. It’s epic!

Any final advice for our readers about lucid dreaming?

Yes, get lucid… be conscious during sleep. You possess the keys to an amazing vehicle that you can drive when your body is asleep at night. All it needs is you to take the wheel, put the key in and drive out into the vastness of dream reality.