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Open Letter to Dr. Stephen LaBerge

Date: 31-Aug-2008/13:54+3:00


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Stephen LaBerge is one of the obvious figures I probably should be speaking to, like Richard Linklater (who directed Waking Life and Scanner Darkly). Dr. LaBerge is one of the key people responsible for validating the reality of lucid dreaming in laboratory experiments in 1977. A trained test subject with remarkable skills named Alan Worsley was able to--in the depths of dream state--signal researchers that he was aware and communicate with them despite being in REM sleep. This suggested that many other lucid dreaming accounts may have substance and not just be made up after the subject awakened, or come from a false sense of "thinking in the moment"
I've always wanted to write Dr. LaBerge, although a key problem has been that his focus is really on the "dream as subconscious experience" as opposed to "dream as potential modality to contact external forces as valid as one's own mind". That, plus the idea that I feel he's probably overwhelmed with contact from naive new lucid dreamers, has kept me from trying to communicate directly with him and ask him what he thinks. But I've decided to finally write him.
Letter is here in draft state until we can make it most effective, suggestions welcome on how to maximize response probability.

Subject: Thank you letter, and a request for guidance and direction
Dear Dr. LaBerge,
I appreciate that you must be a busy person. For this reason I have held off from writing you for a decade, because I'm sure that the nature of your work has attracted the attention of a lot of people with loose grips on reality, and I wanted to get some validation from smaller research studies first. :) But after 10 years of no interest in me, I am now throwing caution to wind and writing you directly to seek your guidance.
Before I talk about myself and why I think I may be useful to study, I would like to give profound thanks to you. Your work on validating the phenomenon of lucid dreaming in the laboratory has been instrumental as support that I'm not lying about my experiences. Without you, I'd be one step further removed from being taken seriously by those who do not have lucid dreams!
I'm sure your research was difficult to fund--especially because it would have been tough for most to imagine what could ever falsify a lucid dream report. It's amazing that the linchpin could be particularly skilled lucid dreamers controlling their eye movements. This points to the great importance of linchpins, and "freaks"! People with unusual talents (like Alan Worsley) can make a huge difference in scientific breakthroughs.
I suspect that my lucid dream abilities could be the bridge to yet-unrealized findings as well (!)
You might ask what I think makes me different, when there are many accounts of lucid dreaming, e.g. in the ASD forums. I believe I'm more consistently able to interview dream characters, disassemble objects, and generally query the environment. I've been able to stabilize phenomena like reading or lightswitches, which seem elusive for others. I'm lucid nearly every time I sleep, despite never purposefully trying to develop the ability.
The stories I bring back from my often-solid dreamworlds are intense. I get to ask a lot of questions, and I get surprising things back which I truly do not feel are coming from 'inside my mind'. In a sense, some might look at me as a "high-functioning schizophrenic", though I somehow still cling to rationality and curiosity. In fact, my electrical engineering education leads me to wonder if I have unique brainwave patterns that could be detected with a sensor.
I have NO interest in exaggerating my lucid dream reports to sell books or get famous. I'm happy to let my day job pay the bills and let this be a pure pursuit. All my hundreds of dream logs are available for free online, and you can browse them by date or by tag:
My parapsychological uniqueness doesn't seem to be catching anyone's attention. So I'd very much appreciate anything you have to say on these matters. If you know someone else I should talk to, that would be very helpful as well.
Thanks again, and best wishes!
I did send the letter, and I did receive a response from someone on his staff to register to attend one of their Dreaming and Awakening Retreats in Hawaii. Given that I was planning a trip to visit a friend in Maui anyway, it would have possibly been able to work out--although a bit expensive.
But I got the feeling it would have a little more of a "know-thyself-through-yoga-and-meditation" focus, as opposed to "locate-the-alien-transmission towers" focus. Not that I couldn't do with some more inner peace and all that, but really what I'm looking for is something which involves a "machine that goes ping", in the quest to learn something more than that I probably could do with a bit of relaxing.
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The accounts written here are as true as I can manage. While the words are my own, they are not independent creative works of fiction —in any intentional way. Thus I do not consider the material to be protected by anything, other than that you'd have to be crazy to want to try and use it for genuine purposes (much less disingenuous ones!) But who's to say?