States of Awareness in Sleep & Dreams: Who Paints The Dreamscape?

Check out this public talk I did in benefit of the Rhine Center on April 12, 2019… it’s currently available for free on the second page of results:

Talk Summary:

We are witnessing the advent of consciousness technologies that make formerly esoteric-sounding states of awareness and mystical experiences reproducible both in the laboratory and in the comfort of our own homes.

Similar to humankind’s first steps on the moon less than a century ago, humans are currently reporting back consciously to researchers from within the REM dream state. In this presentation, Benjamin will synthesize current research on states of awareness in sleep and dreams with phenomenological first-hand accounts from long term meditators and those who experience out-of-the-body experiences, sleep paralysis, and other forms of conscious sleep on an ongoing basis. Drawing on these experiences and current research, he paints a picture of how the realities we traverse during sleep and dreams are co-created. From landscapes that immediately reflect our thoughts to visitations from loved ones and encounters with the extraordinary, we will consider the basic nature of the phenomena encountered during sleep and dreams.

Included in the presentation

a) Recent lucid dreaming research and descriptions of studies focused on technology-based induction of lucid dreams using electrodes; improvements in signaling technology and techniques between researchers and lucid dreamers interacting consciously within their dreamscape. What does the possibility of conscious communication to awake researchers while lucid during sleep imply about the nature of REM dream states?

b) Research on sleep paralysis, discussing both the biological aspects of why the body can’t move during sleep in addition to widespread accounts of using sleep paralysis as a springboard into out-of-the-body states and lucid dreaming. We will focus on the questions this raises, for example, why are out-of-the-body experiences, sleep paralysis, and lucid dreaming experienced as three distinct states or phases of awareness? What do these accounts imply about the coherent realities one experiences in these states?

c) A number of books have been published over the past few years describing the first-hand accounts of long-time meditators and others who experience lucid dreaming, out-of-body-experiences and other forms of conscious sleep on an ongoing basis. Ben proposes to weave the experiences from these authors with my own experiences, the experiences of audience members, and also with current research on dreams, lucidity, and sleep paralysis to provide an evidence-based map of the nature of the phenomena experienced during sleep and dreams.

d) As a point of focus, Benjamin will provide examples of how to discern among phenomena that are reflections of our own mind (“thoughtforms”) and phenomena that appear to be part of a consensus-reality dreamscape, in which we might experience visitations, shared dreams, precognitions of physical-world events, and other phenomena not attributable to our own thoughts.

This is a charitable event, in benefit of The Rhine Center. All proceeds will go directly to supporting The Rhine Center’s mission to explore the frontiers of consciousness and exceptional human experiences in the context of unusual and unexplained phenomena.  The Rhine’s mission is to advance the science of parapsychology, to provide education and resources for the public, and to foster a community for individuals with personal and professional interest in PSI. Please consider becoming a member of The Rhine Center.