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Thread: Kurt Leland's 10 levels of dream awareness

  1. #1
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    Kurt Leland's 10 levels of dream awareness

    0 No dream recall
    1 Remembering that you've dreamed without recalling that you have done so
    2 Recalling discontinuous fragments of dreams, feelings or isolated images
    3 Watching oneself in a dream as a passive witness
    4 Active involvement in the dream
    5 Long and elaborate plot lines
    6 Dream colours and sounds are especially vivid
    7 Touch, smell and taste may become active
    8 The kind of thinking that allows you to solve a problem
    9 Willing flight or intentionally shaping any element of the dream with your thoughts.
    10 Realising you are dreaming.

    Kurt Leland, "The Unanswered Question," Kurt Leland, 2002 p359.
    "A dream is a question, not an answer."
    (Therapist and dreamworker Strephon Kaplan
    Williams)

  2. #2
    I'm not sure why they are called levels.

    Realizing that you are dreaming can come before any control or active involvement.
    Alteration seems to be last of these for most.
    Sin nada (Nothing is impossible)

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    Yeah I was thinking the same thing- manipulating a dream only happens if you are lucid or have magical thinking in it.
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  4. #4
    kiwibonga Guest
    That's 11 levels!

    I think the parts about the different senses depend on each person... Some people don't dream in color, but I've never had a dream that wasn't as colorful as my everyday physical sight... Touch, smell, taste and hearing though, (usually) only manifest themselves when they have some meaningful relevance to the dream content, unlike in full blown OBEs.

    Also, complex (physical-like) thinking processes should perhaps be considered much lower level, as it's very likely they're managed by that big meatwad in our skull :p

  5. #5
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    Thought it might generate thought and discussion. I had similar thoughts to most of those already expressed (even that it was 11 levels ).

    I have often manipulated the dream environment and flown without being lucid though. In regards to lucidity, I'm still undecided about what leads to it. I've had ridiculously obvious cues in dreams, such as dream characters asking me if I've achieved lucidity in my dreams recently, and not twigged. At other times I've become lucid with much less obvious cues. I've never yet done a spontaneous reality check because of doing it in my waking life. I've only ever used reality checks to confirm that I'm in a dream after becoming lucid and they haven't always worked and I haven't always been fooled by them not working.
    "A dream is a question, not an answer."
    (Therapist and dreamworker Strephon Kaplan
    Williams)

  6. #6
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    There's also a level where you remember your dreams vividly, in whole (or nearly in whole). I do that most of the time.
    May the light surround you, may you be blessed. May the light surround us, may we be blessed. May love and light surround us all, and may we all be healed and blessed. And so it is, and so it shall be, now and ever after.

  7. #7
    Kurt Leland Guest
    Hi folks--

    One of my readers brought this discussion to my attention. Hope you don't mind my jumping in to provide some context.

    These ten levels of lucidity in dreams were given to me by a nonphysical guide in an astral projection scenario in which I had to prove that I was able to enter the astral plane in full lucidity from an ordinary dream. The whole experience is described in Otherwhere. The list that Beekeeper quoted is from the sequel to that book, in which I simply summarize these levels.

    I talked about ten levels because I don't consider "no dream recall" as a level of lucidity or awareness in dreams. That's why it's "level zero" in this list. We all have to start somewhere.

    wstein wondered why these are levels. I was told by my nonphysical teacher that they represent a graded continuum, from no awareness of dream recall to total awareness of presence on the astral plane.

    It's important to keep in mind that the purpose of these levels was to provide me with guidelines that would help me determine the level of awareness I'd achieved in any particular dream, and the signposts that would help me recognize higher levels, so that I could achieve full lucidity on the astral plane more often.

    I define full lucidity on the astral plane as having left behind self-absorption in private dream realities having to do with issues in my earth-based life--that's my usual level of awareness in dreams, in which I don't recognize that I'm dreaming--and becoming aware of the public areas of the Dream Zone, one of the major divisions of the astral plane.

    I sometimes see these public areas as a cinema multiplex. Most dreamers go there to watch the movies--their personal dreams, based on archetypal problems--and are largely unaware of the architecture or staff that surrounds them. A lucid dreamer might become aware of this architecture and interact with the staff. My teacher considered the ability to do so as a higher achievement than being able to control the content of a dream.

    Other people might well have other valid descriptions of levels of lucidity in dreams. For example, being able to control dream content could be the goal--and is, indeed, often preceded by the awareness of being in a dream. as wstein points out.

    But in the context of my astral adventure, the goal was becoming aware on the astral plane, using a lucid dream as a gateway. That feeling of being all powerful and shaping the dream to my will would have been a distraction.

    kiwibonga referred to the level of rational thinking, believing it should be lower on the list. What I meant was rational thinking about how to use the abilities available within the dream to solve a problem--for example, when we consciously decide to fly to flee a dangerous situation. As Beekeeper notes, flying can occur without full lucidity.

    Hope this helps.

    Kurt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Leland
    One of my readers brought this discussion to my attention. Hope you don't mind my jumping in to provide some context.
    We're honored to have you here, Mr. Leland.
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  9. #9
    Shannanigans Guest
    I can see this as a progression of dreaming at least in my case, although I skipped the no dream recall state
    Since I have been doing dream work more often, I see each stage getting more apparent.
    It's very interesting to say the least

  10. #10
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    Kurt Leland on our site. Cooooool.

    I apologise if I misrepresented by failing to provide more context, Kurt. I thought the shorter summary in the second book would work well as a stimulus to discussion. Many people skip over long threads.

    Anyway, those who read my posts know I'm a big fan of yours and that I do recommend people read your books (at least the two I've read).

    ************************************************** ******
    *Sometime later*

    Now I'm over the awe of having Kurt explain things, I thought I might look again at what he wrote.

    It's important to keep in mind that the purpose of these levels was to provide me with guidelines that would help me determine the level of awareness I'd achieved in any particular dream...
    That was the attraction for me in a list like this: that you could use it as an instrument to measure how you were doing.

    ... and the signposts that would help me recognize higher levels, so that I could achieve full lucidity on the astral plane more often.
    If I haven't completely alienated you, I wonder if you'd mind elaborating on this.

    I define full lucidity on the astral plane as having left behind self-absorption in private dream realities having to do with issues in my earth-based life--that's my usual level of awareness in dreams, in which I don't recognize that I'm dreaming--and becoming aware of the public areas of the Dream Zone, one of the major divisions of the astral plane.
    I've found myself in a number of public areas such as those you've described in your recounts (museums, train/plane terminals, malls and so forth). I'm fascinated by the relatively consistent appearance of these places in my dreams and the dream characters I interact with here always make an impact, but, how do you use this to attain lucidity more often? Is it just something that happens spontaneously?

    I sometimes see these public areas as a cinema multiplex. Most dreamers go there to watch the movies--their personal dreams, based on archetypal problems--and are largely unaware of the architecture or staff that surrounds them. A lucid dreamer might become aware of this architecture and interact with the staff. My teacher considered the ability to do so as a higher achievement than being able to control the content of a dream.
    Like many others I've experienced movie dreams but there is no sense of cinema or staff at all, just the movie. I guess I've got some work to do.
    "A dream is a question, not an answer."
    (Therapist and dreamworker Strephon Kaplan
    Williams)

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