Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I've been fascinated with lucid dreaming—the idea that we can be aware that we're dreaming when we're dreaming and thus take command of our dreamworlds—for years; especially because it's such a powerful reminder of the fact we can be lucid here and now in this dream we’re dreaming in the so-called waking world.  But for all my fascination with the concept, I’d never actually experienced a lucid dream.  Until...

I woke up at five the other morning, my mind instantly deep in worry mode, endlessly dissecting a personal issue that had been weighing on me (I’ll save the details for my therapist).  I eventually jettisoned the worry and spent some time in prayer—which helped considerably—then slowly drifted back to sleep and had an astonishing dream (I’ll save those details for my therapist, too—but I will say that, for the most part, the events unfolded at the Meher Baba Center in South Carolina and included, among others, Disney’s Tinker Bell, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and a galloping creature out of Dr. Seuss).  At the climax of the dream I was in a museum, walking past a marble rack—Grecian in style—with a note Scotch-taped to it.  I studied the note—on closer inspection, I saw that it was some kind of receipt—and started to read the words on the paper.  And, as I was reading, something shifted in the core of my being and I suddenly understood:  This is a dream.  I'm dreaming.  And then the deeper, thunderous revelation:  And I can do ANYTHING.  I can FLY!  And, with that thought, I started to lift up, out of my dream-body (as if there was an astral body beneath the dream body), feeling exhilarated, extraordinarily powerful—and a little frightened, too, by the realization of the limitless power I possessed.  The world in front of me exploded into white light...

...and I awoke:  electrified, uplifted, consciousness expanded beyond all boundaries.  It was one of the most wonderful experiences, one of the most wonderful feelings, of my life; and, as I digested the experience, I realized that what was true in the dream is true here and now:  This is a dream.  I'm dreaming.  And I can do ANYTHING.  I can FLY!

Those words flooded my cells with magic, my heart with hope—and every fiber of my being with the certainty that, whatever our apparent troubles, this world is literally a dream of our own making; and, if we embrace our roles as lucid dreamers, we have the ability to change the dream, utterly transform it—and make it into anything we desire.  (Did I believe this before?  Yes.  Do I know it in a whole new way?  Absolutely.)  So now I have my new mantra, repeated, again and again, throughout the day:  This is a dream.  I'm dreaming.  And I can do ANYTHING.  I can FLY!

And so can you.

© copyright 2011 J.M. DeMatteis


  1. What a wonderful experience! Thank you for sharing. I've only had lucid dreams two times in my life that I recall (recounted here: http://richard-melendez.blogspot.com/2009/01/dreams.html), and all within a period of a few months about two years ago. It truly is a unique and liberating sensation. In both instances, once I was aware that I was dreaming I used that knowledge to will myself awake. I wish I had the presence of mind to use that awareness to manipulate the dream. Perhaps next time!


  2. That's what I'm looking forward to, Richard: becoming lucid and then playing with the dreamstuff, creating miracles and magic within the dream experience. Awake or asleep, that's the goal!

  3. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, a Seuss creature and Tinker Bell? Very cool! Thanks for sharing.

    One of my favorite biblical passages comes from the book of Romans, where the apostle Paul says that God "calls those things which are not as though they are." It's something I feel God empowers us to do, too--calling peace out of the war realms, joy from pain, and life from the jaws of hell until everything and everyone dwells in God's perfect love.

    And while I can't speak to your dream-life, I will say you've brought miracles and magic into the world through your work and your blog.

  4. Thanks, David. Your kind words are PROFOUNDLY appreciated.

  5. Great dream. We should talk about lucid dreaming some time. I spent good while reading up on it and what Meher Baba has to say about the various dreams states. The fact that you've been thinking about it and finally had a lucid dream are not coincidence. I also love the cast of characters in your dream. It would make a great scene in... anything.

  6. I'll take you up on that talk, Eruch. I'd love to hear your insights.

  7. It seems relevant to this discussion that TOTAL RECALL is getting a four issue comic book sequel:


  8. Ah...Philip K. Dick: one of the most unique, and consciousness-altering, writers of fiction ever.

    If you haven't read UBIK, David, I urge you to do so.

  9. JM, do you keep a dream journal? I did so for close to 10 years, though I've slacked off recently for one reason or another -- but those were 10 of the most transformative years of my life, both inwardly & outwardly -- and my dreams revealed a great deal. I even had a couple of lucid dreams, one of them involving flying as well -- in my case, I realized that a piece of paper in my hand enabled me to fly, and I took off from a lovely but snug & secure garden behind a house & across immense landscapes with titanic, archaic figures inscribed in them, huge earthworks from the dawn of time, sigils or symbols that spoke on a soul level, until I seemed to be approaching the edge of the world, into a setting sun ...

    Yeah, that one stuck with me! :)

    It strikes me that you're one of the few comics writers today whose work seems dream-informed & genuinely dreamlike when that's the sort of story you're telling, really rooted deep within the psyche. "Blood" especially strikes me that way.

    That used to be more popular in the 1970s, I guess -- Steve Gerber, for instance? (I just read his complete run on Man-Thing again & was moved as much as ever -- when are they gonna wise up & publish an omnibus of that work?)

    As always, a pleasure to read your blog!

    David: let me second the recommendation of "Ubik" -- absolutely wonderful!

  10. What an amazing dream, Tim. Thanks for sharing that.

    Yes, BLOOD was very consciously written from the unconscious (if you know what I mean and I'm sure you do) -- and, like any dream, it's not so much that logic doesn't apply, but that a DEEPER logic applies.

    Yes, it's long past time for a Gerber MAN-MAN THING OMNIBUS. Some of the best comics ever. (Especially the issues illustrated by my pal Mike Ploog.)

    Thanks for checking in, Tim. The pleasure's all mine.

  11. Oh...and in answer to your question, Tim -- no, I don't keep a dream journal, although there have been periods in my life when I've written down all my dreams and it's been very enlightening. And, of course, if a particularly powerful dream shows up, it demands to be written down. On another level, you can say that all my work is a dream journal.

    Another thing I've found very helpful is using hypnosis for journeys that are very much like lucid dreams: the unconscious is wide open and washing up potent imagery, but you're very much aware in the center of it and consciously interacting with the dream-entities and dream-worlds you encounter. This kind of hypnosis has been part of my inner work for decades and I've found it incredibly valuable.

  12. nice to meet you at the US embassy today - of all places! Here is a link to my relative, Owen. I think he was just before your time, though. http://marvel.wikia.com/Category:Owen_McCarron/Inker

  13. Nice to meet you as well,John. And thanks for the info on Owen! Best -- JMD

  14. JMD,

    I hear Ralph Macchio, JMS and Walt Simonson got a cameo in the new THOR film. (I don't know what any of them look like, so I'm not sure I'll know when I see it tomorrow.)

    Any chance we'll see you teaching one of Peter Parker's classes when the new SPIDER-MAN film hits theaters next year?

  15. Nope, no SPIDER-MAN cameo for me, David; but I'm hoping to be a background vampire once BLOOD starts filming in the fall.

  16. As far as cameos go, you just about can't beat vampire!


  17. If it comes to pass, David, it should be great fun.