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1  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / idea for cainam_nazier on: April 05, 2002, 10:59:18

An idea popped in my mind the other day that your dream was likely your body telling you that it needed to shut down all psychic operations for a while.  This was probably in order to repair, & prepare for continued development later on.  The phrase, "Don't worry, he won't remember anything" was probably a way of saying that your being wouldn't remember any of it's psychic functions for a while. (so don't worry about damaging or interfering with the scheduled repairs-- kind of like highway-work; they don't just fix the road but also cordon-off the lanes affected by repair so nobody messes things up)
After about a year, everything fixed up, you swoon and come back on line with everything reconnected.

Could be wrong, of course.  Feels like a body-dream, though.  I think it might help to be aware that we get dreams from various sources.  Sometimes they are just a case of strange blood-chemistry, sometimes they are psychological, sometimes spiritual, and sometimes the body talks to us via a dream.  Ask yourself what source did that dream come from?  Best wishes.

2  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Dream tricks (reading in the dark) on: April 04, 2002, 18:22:52
Hey all,

I thought it might be fun if we got together and listed neat tricks that we've discovered that work in dreams.  It seems some things that work here don't work there and vice versa.  

I'll start with reading in the dark.

Everyone knows that trying to read while dreaming is a real pain.  The page just won't hold it's content steady.  I figured out a trick.  Don't look at the page. (pretend you already know it) Just hold the book and intend to speak it out loud.  One by one the words will come out of you before you even know what you are about to say.  Try it for yourself!

Who else has a good dream-trick to share?

3  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / forgetting to have limits on: April 02, 2002, 11:29:47
In dreams, can you forget to be damageable? Forget to keep your dimensions consistent with a human body? Forget to have to move to go from here to there?  Oh, and this one?  What if you have a nightmare and the bad guys forget to show up? (I waited a while and moved on!)

Let me share this gem with you:  In dreams, a stimulus may appear from outside your awareness/control.  Let's say a fire truck.  Ok, almost without recognizing it, you immediately respond to the fire truck with a wave of "unconscious" reaction/programmed expectation.  maybe like this
1. Fire trucks go to scary places to fight fire
2. Fire causes destruction
3. Containing fire is a dangerous activity fit for firefighters only
3. Stay away or I may feel pain.

This reaction is obviously going to have a dramatic and immediate effect on the development of the subsequent dream.  But note that this interpretation/reaction to fire trucks is just one possibility.  
Couldn't you also react to a fire truck this way?

1. Fire trucks are the front line of people helping others
2. Fire causes change
3. The management of change is a worthwhile activity that maximizes the happiness of everyone involved
4. Maybe I can help

That's gonna lead to a different dream, no?

So you'll agree that, for someone else, the subconscious programming for fire trucks might be different.  Maybe you'll agree that you can change your own programming for fire trucks.  What about for seeing an attractive person? A million dollars? A would-be mugger? Your significant other with someone else?  Are your reactions in those cases all hard-wired and automatic? Or can you (with work) go in and willfully, consciously choose a different reaction to each of them than the one you are hooked-up-to now? Well, can you?

In dreams, the real test becomes can you recognize your reactions/ make changes to your reactions on the fly.  Once you can transform the action or scenery in your dream by sending out some unconscious expectation/reaction energy, then you are really cooking. As a concrete example of this, if you become lucid in a dream try the following exercise.  Deliberately feel fear and generate an expectation that something bad is coming.  Notice how the fear you are sending out starts to feed back in to the dream environment.  Now stop generating fear.  Notice how the background continues to feed fear back to you a little while longer.  Learn to recognize this feedback effect.  It lets you know that you are dreaming.

Recognizing how fast this all takes place will give you an idea how much focus it takes to manage your dream-reactions.  It also helps to work on your reaction/expectations to common events in waking life, too. Are you automatically angry when someone cuts in front of you at the store? Hmmm...
4  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / Images of her on: April 02, 2002, 03:09:40
I have a deep connection with a girl that has kind of defined my becoming a man.  The connection is largely experienced in my dreams, as the girl has gone out of my life in any conventional sense.  An occasional shared moment, a smile, an argument-- it seems each of my dreams of her I can recall effortlessly.  Roughly 18 months ago, I dreamed that she had married and started a family.  That was later confirmed (the marriage, anyway). I had a difficult time dealing, but at least it made sense to me (that I had dreamed she was settling down with another man).

Now, I am dreaming that she is coming back to me.  A few months ago, I dreamt that she accidentally got on my bus and said, looking in my eyes, "I am so glad to see you."  Then, last night, I dreamt that I saw her at a reunion of my singing group, and she had deliberately shown up so as to get back together with me.

The reason I bring this to the forum, is that I feel kind of out-there, having such faith in dreams. Actually, what I feel weird about is the total sense of certainty I feel about them.  That given the source of the information, I am unable to muster even a respectable amount of skepticism towards the information.  My mind tries to doubt, but even it gives up easily in the face of the center's serene knowing.  That last comment may not make sense to those who haven't experienced such conflicts firsthand.  

I don't really want to spoil the surprise by having anyone tell me whether I am in for a miracle or for a dissapointment. I just feel that maybe someone reading this will benefit from my experience.

5  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Messages I've gotten during sleep on: July 11, 2002, 04:12:39
My sense of this dream is that "higher orgasm" refers to something so natural and familiar to most of us that we will have trouble recognizing it.  It is closer to us than our clothes.  I am referring to our minds.  More specifically, there is a function that a mind can perform very easily.  That function could be vaguely labeled, "desire."  In the old days of Buddhism, "desire" was the only way to describe the problem.  In time, language changes, and new expressions are possible.  "Higher orgasm" captures an aspect of that old topic in a way that has been mostly overlooked before.

I will attempt to explain clearly.  In the body there exists a natural potential for sexual feelings.  These feelings can occur without any conscious input from the mind.  The mere sight of an attractive individual can trigger a small amount of such feelings.  There is nothing wrong with this process.  Until our minds become involved.  Unsatisfied with the natural process of attraction, a mind can "amplify" the sexual feelings with a desirous thought.  Such a thought immediately increases the feelings present in the body.  

How often have we seen scenes of attraction portrayed on TV such as the following--  once smitten with attraction, the protagonists are unable to say anything coherently; all of their actions are "off."  This is an example of human functioning under amplification.  Perhaps they are thinking, "Oh, isn't that person wonderful.  What I woudn't give to get him/her to like me. blah blah blah"  Use of the mind along such lines (to increase the feelings of attraction) is an example of the principle of "higher orgasm."  Under such conditions nothing functions properly.  Not speech, not movement, not judgement.  

Patty's discussion of clothing fits neatly into this topic.  Like the lipstick in the dream, our clothes are often used as a stimulous for others to desire us.  In so doing, we encourage the minds of those around us to fall from their natural state to that of amplification.  Rather than trusting in our natural process of feeling attraction, we seek to fuel that process with our minds and we seek to fuel that process in the minds of others through our clothes and self-presentation.

The most misunderstood part of this topic is that it is not moral.  It is not necessary to view desire as "evil."  It is sufficient to recognize that a mind caught up in amplification can not function properly.  Not functioning properly, the individual harms self and others, and this is the evil of "higher orgasm."  

I have addresed this important topic thinly and lightly.  It is the nature of our culture that too much frank discussion would be innapropriate.  Hopefully, enough has been represented that those who have ears to hear, will.

r. orb
6  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Problem solving or creative LDs anyone has had on: July 09, 2002, 01:19:31
Right on, Steve!

As Steve points out, regular dreams are where the psychological work gets done.  Messages are sent.  Some are life-and-death important.  Others are just a matter of improved mental health and hygiene. Pretty much all the regular dreams are more important than the "aren't-I-wonderful" lucid dreams.  

Lucid dreaming is a sign that conciousness is getting too facile to be "held" in the illusion of dreams.  That the mind starts to recognize and manipulate the environment, an environment made of information. In Lucid dreams, you fundamentally come to recognize that every interesting object is a message, every interesting scene a parable.  Recognizing this as it occurs, one can begin to learn firsthand about the source of the messages.  Developing one's connection to the source of dreams remains the most important aspect of dreaming.  Conscious control over the dream process is of secondary importance to that.  All the new skills-- such as flying and inflicting your will upon events, are beneath the primary goal of establishing contact and understanding with the sender of information.   Through this communion, the true problems are addressed and laid bare for the mind to see.

fruitful dreaming,
r. orb
7  Integral Philosophy / Welcome to Integral Philosophy! / Fear on: July 05, 2002, 16:07:38
One way to evaluate a fear is to ask yourself, "What is the right thing for me to do?" Then check your gut for an answer.  Following that little voice will give you all the tolerance and "feeling" for fear that you could possibly wish for." border=0>

8  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Real World thoughts during an LD on: July 05, 2002, 15:25:21
It's certainly possible to come back to your physical body and feel where "it" is at.  This can result in sleep paralysis, which I may be only the person who considers fun.  

It's also possible to have a pseudo experience of the above and not really get your awareness fully back into the physical.  Lots of levels are possible.  The first is like one of those peepholes in a medieval castle; you get right to the edge of waking-up and look-in on the body (your eye becomes the eye in the painting, if you will).  The second is like a guard in a security center.  You stay well away in dream-land but take a remote glance at your body.

9  Integral Philosophy / Welcome to Integral Philosophy! / Fear on: July 04, 2002, 17:55:08
Listen to fear when it is Right. Don't listen when it is Wrong.

10  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / Vivid images on: July 01, 2002, 16:57:01
By "virtual music" do you mean hearing music as you fall asleep or in dreams?  That's something i enjoy from time to time.  

As to your vivid images, fall asleep.  Only sorta joking.  I've had it happen exactly as you describe once not that long ago.  It did start to get annoying the way it just went on and on and ...  At some point I rolled over and went to bed.  And that was after what felt like a 30-40minute viewing.  Try to have some patience with the phenomenon, however.  Maybe go to bed sooner so if you lose an hour to images you can still wake up fresh for the new day.  Set the alarm an hour early too, and if you don't get the images that night, you can get stuff done in the morning hour.  If you do get the images, just snooze on through till your regular wakeup.

I wouldn't recommend trying to increase these experiences.  I would encourage you to accept them, however.  There is nothing to fear.  I can understand that it is a little trying on your patience and belief system right now.

Did you see Minority Report? You'll probably sympathize with the female precog when she says, "I'm tired of the future."  These images have a high proportion of unpleasant scenes, I think.  The energy behind those events makes them easier to view.  View what you can and go to sleep when you must.  Remember that these images are for you.

Best wishes,
11  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / what scares you the most?FACE YOUR FEARS HERE on: July 01, 2002, 16:35:20
I fear not being loved.

I think a fish eating me from underneath fits into that category." border=0>
Maybe a little nibble is ok." border=0>

12  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Lucid Weirdness on: July 01, 2002, 16:21:49

I wish i had more personal experience with your problem, but I've read about it in Casteneda's books.  He called it "immaturity of the energy body."  (or nearly those words).  That phrase meant that the energy body is interested in everything and flits about from object to object with no control until it develops.  He  was even given a practice for fighting exactly that problem.  The practice consisted of keeping his dreaming-attention still on one scene by moving his awareness around the scene in a loop.  He would choose several items in the scene (including his hands) and glance at each of them in quick succession.  He repeated the pattern many times, preventing the dream from advancing.  Since you are using his hand technique, I figured you may want to use his follow-up technique.

There is a reason i don't recommend that you go "gangbusters" down that path.  It can lead to a state where the concious mind has silenced the subconscious mind.  This leaves the conscious mind the undisputed king of the dream environment, but at what a price.  Development in this direction is like a child holding fingers in her ears and saying, "Na na na na na, I can't hear you"  The prize is that you'll get to play alone in your room.  That is also the punishment.  I say that because, even though I traveled a different road, I pretty much got to that point and I know what that's like.  I had years where I dreamed lucidly almost every night.  It got in the way eventually.  Stepping away from the reward/punishment analogy, I'd say it's like a child directing a movie.  That can be cute, but becomes annoyingly juvenile over time.  That job is best left on a permanent basis to the adults.  The dreamer's role is to act and learn more than to direct.  (Learning about directing is useful, though) Investigate his training, but be aware that it might not be the best long-term solution.  That's my two cents worth on that.

Other ideas for you:

I focus on the physical sensation of multiple appendages.  Not on seeing all around me.  To stabilize walking, a feeling of extra legs is useful.  To stabilize sight, I think the FEELING of an extra point of view is enough.  You don't have to SEE out of that point of view.  Feel the POTENTIAL to see.  Like having  eyes that are closed.  You can feel the sight that WOULD well-up from them if you were to open them.  

Thinking about it this way I probably have 4 points of view "on tap" / by that I mean I can feel their potential/  at the same time.  Straight ahead, 15 degrees left, 15 degrees right and Straight behind.  Not a feeling of four sets of eyes; just a feeling at all times that I might look in any of those directions without preamble.

Hope that helps,

13  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Lucid Weirdness on: June 18, 2002, 03:47:13
You're very welcome.

The suggestion to create additional, backward-facing limbs was something that a mental voice told me during one of my recent lucid dreams to help me with a problem.   When you described your difficulty with unstable awareness, I immediately got the feeling that you might benefit from the same suggestion.  

Best wishes.
14  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Lucid Weirdness on: June 17, 2002, 16:39:10
The following mental exercise can help you adjust to 360-degree view, I think.
It came to me in a dream, so it may have some validity.

Sit or stand somewhere and imagine that you have a second body growing out of you that is back to back with you.  This body has a face that looks the exact opposite direction, extra arms, and extra legs but the two torsos are joined.  Think of Hindu images of multi-armed, multi-faced deities.

The exercise is to move the awareness limbs and physical limbs in unision.  This gets tricky.  If your left physical arm goes forward, so does your right awareness arm behind you. It is best not to think in such terms as "front-left" and "back-right".   Just divide yourself along your center line into a left half and a right half.  All movement in a half stays within that half.  

Start by moving only one limb.  First make the physical limb the master and make the awareness limb the slave.  Move always in synchrony.  Then reverse the process; initiating motion in the awareness limb, making  the physical limb the slave.  

I think this will help you stabilize the possibilities within 360 awareness.  
15  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Buddhism on: June 12, 2002, 03:33:31
Earlier Tom (i think?), mentioned that one of the great appeals of Buddhism is that it doesn't require you to believe in something as a starting point.  It just gives you some observations that you are expected to work through and test for yourself.  

A second appeal is that it doesn't claim to be the absolute truth.  From the very beginning of Buddhism, students have been taught at their level.  That means that the spiritual kindergarden-types get nice easy stuff like "All life is suffering."  For a person in spiritual kindergarden this remark is rather accurate.  As the student develops, so does the sophistication of the teaching, but no one text/phrase/word is considered to be absolutely true.  At least not by me, heh heh.  Some people take their buddhas very seriously.

I have a friend from China who was initially interested in Christianity because he saw how rigidly and dogmatically some people take Buddhism there.  I'm from America, and I was initially interested in Buddhism because I saw how rigidly and dogmatically people take Christianity here.  Want my best advice?

In every culture, you can probably do well  by meeting with the most unorthodox spritual seekers in that country.  They may be Buddhists in America, Christians in China, or Muslims in Ireland.  Even better, ignore the superficial labels and learn what you can from those people who are balanced, humorous, warm,  giving, and spiritual, regardless of their religious affiliation.  I've found such people in every major religion on the globe, which leads me to think that God won't be too picky about which religion helped them to become that way.  

Best wishes!

16  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / can anybody help me figure this out? on: June 11, 2002, 19:40:53

In response to your question about controlling negative energy, I happen to be
doing some work on this topic that I feel might give you something interesting to consider.  Not a definitive answer, just a jumping-in point.

I've noticed that I can sense something other than mind or body at times when I am in danger of doing something that I would regret.  Let's not worry about the metaphysical implications of such right now-- be it thoughtforms that I've created coming back to influence my behavior or whatever.  Let's just focus on the moment of temptation.  First, I try to clear my mental chatter and mental imagery so I can feel my body very carefully.  Second, I listen to my mental chatter and view my mental imagery to see what is there.  Third, I keep both my mental and physical processes under my observation.  What I find is that the temptation begins in neither the body nor the mind.  Rather, it originates in some "place" that's between the two.  Between is the best that I can describe it.  

I find it synchronous that you are trying to get help for this issue at the same time that I am researching it myself.  Hopefully we'll both get the job done.

Note that this is an energetic way of dealing with negativity.  I would highly recommend developing some cognitive tools for dealing with these issues as well.  I know one lady, who, whenever she gets cut-off in traffic, always says,  "I wonder if there's a pregnant lady in that car?"'  

Best wishes.

17  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Dream, "projection and death" on: June 08, 2002, 23:41:51
Agree with your assessment that the dream is all messed-up." border=0>

Seriously, though, I think you have at least two totally different events going on here.  One is a pretty complicated psychological dream about what you are "supposed" to be doing (in spirit, i think).  That includes the part about the girls singing and the part at the end with the crashing and thinking you are dead.  

The middle part, though, is an actual visit from your friend.  He was the one who called and was having trouble getting through the interference of your dream.  He also left the strange caller id-- you only misguessed that it was related to the previous dream.  Remember when, in the Matrix, Neo wakes up and is getting strange messages on his computer?  The page is just like that, an interruption of one level of reality by a higher level of reality.

The mind struggles to incorporate it all, because they both happened on top of each other, and the dream picked right up when you returned from visiting your friend.  Logically you tried to take the key back to your friend, but that was not useful, because the two things never had any connection.  They were on totally different planes of existence.  That's why the end is particularly confusing-feeling.  You had con-"fused" the two experiences.

Hope that helps.
18  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Balloon Effect on: June 08, 2002, 23:09:26
I've had this happen during sword-fights and other dreams but only rarely.
My sense is that this happens during a dream that's like a video game.  What I mean is that in video games only certain moves are allowed; in some games you only go left to right in 2D.  Others allow movement in 3D, but you are still limited by the moves "programmed" into the game.  This balloon sense, imho, is one error mode when you try to make a move that's not in the physics engine of the dream.  Like using an XBOX controller to play a playstation game, ok?

I can sometimes snap out of the balloon state by just relaxing (no inputs on the controller) and observing how the people in the dream are moving.
Then I have no problem if i move the same as them.

I don't know, that theory may be wrong, but the procedure has worked for me. Best wishes!

19  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / An odd dream, Lucid? on: June 07, 2002, 21:46:10
Taking your sense that the dream is a warning as to current situations in your life, i translated the dream as follows:

The pigs represent sexual energy.  As you said, most of the dreams that you
recall are sexually charged.  That energy is on your side in the war.  More on that later.

You are You. No surprise there.

The undead are memories.  They are easily blocked out with enough emotional energy.  (or flamed out as you described)  They are for no one but themselves-- they want only to be recognized.  

The rail station symbolizes the coming together of you and your subconscious. (that which you fail to remember about yourself).   This is the result of the shiny device, which symbolizes the memory work you are doing; pushing the buttons of  your psyche, see?  The pigs and the undead are both concerned.  So, it seemed, were you.

The queen of the undead was telling you that now that you have done some work regarding memory, and are starting to remember your dreams, you have found the source.  As such, there is no hurry to develop this skill.  In fact, it would seem the dream has a feeling about this.

Briefly back to the pigs-- they are on your side in that the dreams with
sexual content are helping you to reconnect with your subconscious.

Hope that helps.

20  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / idea for cainam_nazier on: April 15, 2002, 03:38:47
Yes, one function of some dreams is to provide an "executive summary" of the state of physical health.

A second important function may be to prepare the mind for changes that are happening in the body.  From a spiritual point of view, both elements must be addressed.  If your body had made a necessary and proper "shut-down" to initiate its healing process, then spiritually you were supposed to get better. But what would be the point if you lost your composure in dealing with the sudden loss of your sense of reality and did something foolish to disrupt your life? Both sides needed protection in this case; your body and your mind.  If that's the case, then it was important for you to know about the change before you woke-up and felt that your whole world had gone away with no explanation or warning.  

This seems to me like a case I saw about a guy who was in a coma for months following an auto accident.  In his dreams he had lots of "body" dreams.  The effect of these dreams was that when he woke up months later he already knew about his injuries.  He had to deal with the shock of discovering how long he had been in a coma, but at least that wasn't compounded by discovering at the same time the extent of his injuries, too.

Best wishes!
21  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Idea... on: April 10, 2002, 03:18:24
One thing that I use to become lucid is the way that things don't work quite the same in dreams.  For example, in real life, if you see a bunch of hooligans, it is usually a good policy to leave them alone.  That NEVER works in a dream, does it?  You can feel how "reasonable" actions are starting to turn out badly in a dream, and that should cue you to think, "B.S! why is my reasonable decision turning out so badly? This must be a dream."

One reason that above strategy works so well is that it capitalizes on energy.  What do I mean?  Mostly in dreams you just go along in a kind of daze without a lot of focus to your awareness.  That all changes when something bad starts to happen.  Your pulse races, your breathing accelerates, and your mind focuses.  That's a lot of energy that's available to fuel a light bulb along the lines of "Hey! what's going on? This is working out strangely. I wonder if i'm dreaming.."  You  normally don't think precisely enough while dreaming to make such a logical train of thought.  You do at a tense point in a dream, though. So you should learn to use that energy. I even just become lucid to handle the tough parts of the dream and then go back to regular dreaming.  That's the technique of a lazy guy, for sure.    

22  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / OBE or AP as opposed to Lucid Dream? on: April 09, 2002, 03:07:23
With apologies to RB, I think the problem lies in part with his definitions-- that an OBE/AP has conscious separation/exit sensations and a lucid dream is any other experience. An astral projection should be defined as an experience in the astral regions, and a lucid dream as an experience in the lower areas, such as the collective-unconscious/ training area/ personal unconscious etc.  How you get there is less important than where you go; I certainly expect to feel that way when I die, so why not now?

In that schema, I know that a lucid dream can become an astral projection (that you CAN leave the lower regions from a dream state). I haven't done it often, though.  It is necessary to get the dreaming to end first.  In dreams, as soon as you think or feel, those energies get processed and fed back to you in some form as a training mechanism.  While that is still going on you are stuck in the lower areas.  One way to get around this phenomenon is to wait until you are almost awake (after dream-class ends) and then relax deeply and intend to have an astral experience.  This can happen without technically waking-up.  A related method is to wait a dream to death (get the teacher to end class early on account of your boredom) I'm guessing that you could also ask for your dream-session to stop. That seems more responsible than the passive-aggressive waiting approach.  I 'm excited to try it!  

As for the second question (identifying entities as part of your psyche or external in nature) Inguma and I had a good back and forth on this topic under the thread, "A voice I heard in bed" (general metaphysics).  Inguma's term of "mental spark" is a rather nice concept for help in evaluating the origin of a communication.    

[Read that first and then come back]  Dreams aren't very big.  How to explain? Well, on an old video-game console, for example, only a small area of the game world is loaded and ready for interaction at any given moment.  When you move towards the edge of the active area, the game has to load the next area and get it ready for interaction.  Dreams are like that.  So at any given time the boundaries of the dream "stage" are fairly close at hand.  If you learn to feel those boundaries it makes flying really easy-- just push off the boundary with your mind.  For external communications, I can often feel the mental spark pushing-in from "outside" the dream boundary. I wonder if some mystics do the same thing in waking life.  Life's boundaries, where are they?  

Let me know what ideas this, ahem, sparks.  
23  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / To add on to my post noone ever talked about.... on: April 08, 2002, 22:45:55

Congrats on your experience!  Friendship seems to be more strongly experienced in the astral than even here in regular life. Thanks for sharing your experience.  I see it clearly, in the way that it evokes a deep sense of the joy in friendship.
24  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Subconscious power - created thoughts from objects on: April 08, 2002, 16:00:58
Some of your questions Inguma and I were dealing with on a different thread, "a voice heard in bed." Is that the correct reference? I'm not sure.  Inguma was using the term "Mental Spark" to refer to the mental energy that accompanies any communication in a dream/astral experience.  That accompanying energy can be felt and analyzed to get a darn good sense of whether the source is your own subconscious or some outside source.  An actual outside communication you can probably feel the mental energy pushing-in to your astral/dream experience.  These are things that you can tell at the time of the experience.  Very vivid communications are likely to have an outside source also.

After returning to regular conciousness, I can sometimes decide whether communications are from within or without by examining the within possibility first.  If there's some useful psychological function that the experience provides then it can often be seen as my subconscious (cleaning up mentally).  If not, and my recall is extra sharp, I tend to lean towards the second explanation.  

Unsurprisingly, sometimes it gets a bit more intertwined than just a case of one source or the other; it's a little of both.  Work on the basic distinctions first, and the more complex experiences will make sense in time.
25  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / idea for cainam_nazier on: April 07, 2002, 22:25:18
You have heard the term "monkey mind?"  It's a Buddhist (Zen, i think) term that refers to how our waking mind tends to jump around from one idea to the next without almost ever shutting up.  "What will I do about the project at work, oh ratz the coffee is terrible, jeepers I'm later than I wanted to be, doesn't anybody notice I'm running late and say... blah blah blah".  Like a monkey, jumping from one "branch" to the next.

How is that relevant? Well, at night it shuts up.  Finally, feelings of parts of the body that were ignored all day get to take center stage.  Little, hard to notice feelings suddenly get a louder voice (seemingly) as the other noises quiet.  Not too much of a step from there for the "body dream" to be born, right?  Don't think of it as a body dream, so much as a "mind-quiet" dream.
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