Skip to comments.Did "Conscious Dreaming" Cause a Psychotic Break? ("Conscience dreams were a great study" -Loughner)
Posted on 01/09/2011 6:55:06 AM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas
Booklist review of "Conscious Dreaming: A Spiritual Path for Everyday Life," by Robert Moss, on Amazon.com:
This is more and better than just a book about how to remember and understand dreams, although it is that kind of book and as good as any such recently published. Moss covers all the expected terrain, from how to train the mind to recall its nightly narratives, through how to unravel meaning from them, to how to start and sustain a dream group. But his book excels because he extends its purview to include shamanic dreaming, dreams of dead loved ones, healing dreams, angels, and spirit guides. Moss explores these more esoteric matters with great skill. Taking his cue from ancient and tribal traditions that see in dreams more than a set of symbols connected to individual psychology, Moss offers evidence that in dreams we connect with the transpersonal. Thus, an angel in a dream could be the dreamer's better self--or a real angel, come to help the dreamer through life's challenges. Moss' unusual approach to a perpetually intriguing subject is likely to appeal to a wide spectrum of readers. --Patricia Monaghan
"Conscience dreams were a great study in college!" --Jared Leee Loughner
That quote interested me. What was Loughner learning in college? I looked through the Pima College on-line catalogue for "Conscience Dreaming" and couldn't find anything.
But when I googled "conscience dreaming," I found a lot of links to "conscious dreaming," which is also referred to as "lucid dreaming."
Lucid Dreaming --Wikipedia:
In a study of fourteen lucid dreamers performed in 1991, people who perform wake-initiated lucid dreams operation (WILD) reported experiences consistent with aspects of out-of-body experiences such as floating above their beds and the feeling of leaving their bodies.
It seems to be a New Age practice that blends Eastern meditation techniques with astral projection and old-fashioned "consorting with spirits."
Christians know that attempts to conjure up "spirit guides" and "dead loved ones" are occult activities that place the practitioner in grave spiritual danger.
Equally as frightening is this quote from the Booklist review: "an angel in a dream could be the dreamer's better self." Ideas like these, if taken to heart, can provoke profound psychological disturbance --even psychotic breaks-- as do New Age practices like "A Course in Miracles":
During a time of incredible loss, (the murder of her infant nephew and subsequent life sentencing of her brother, the suicide of one of her New Thought students, and the mental collapse of another; resulting in her being committed to a psychiatric ward) Sharon says she saw clearly, as if for the first time, the very real consequences of sin and the true teachings of the Bible playing out right before her eyes amid the tragic events surrounding her. With courageous honesty, she reveals how her "New Age" influence may have unwittingly played a part in these tragedies. --About Sharon Lee Giganti
From a review of the book on Amazon:
I loved this book, and found it to be a very "shamanic" dreamwork manual. It has wonderful exercises for both the beginning and more advanced dreamworker and includes everything you could imagine, from dream incubation, dream reentry and working with nightmares to shape-shifting, meeting deceased loved ones, angels and psychic self defense.
What are they teaching at Pima College?
Can we find out what courses Loughner was taking?
He was a violent pot user with drug infected mentality.
Mind. Just say no.
I would suspect he could have encountered a bad trip on LSD or another Psycho drug.
He’s just crazy, probably schizophrenic.
Lots of people have lucid dreams—it’s nothing more than a dream in which the dreamer becomes aware he is dreaming.
He is just plain mentally ill, nothing more than that.
His friend said he had alcohol poisoning so that could effect everything he thinks, up to the day he took it out on the folks at Safeway. He was nuts.
There are plenty of non-violent, non-insane pot smokers. I know. I lived with a bunch of Deadheads in college.
My guess is schizophrenia. But his psychosis could have been brought on, or exacerbated by, "Conscious Dreaming."
New Age teachings aren't simply daffy. They are often deadly. I've listened to Sharon Lee Giganti describe the horrifying mental unraveling of her New Age disciples on a Catholic Answers radio program. Absolutely heartbreaking.
“Did “Conscious Dreaming” Cause a Psychotic Break?”
You would need a psychiatrist to weigh in on this topic. Maybe Dr. Charles Krauthammer will address this when he’s on Fox News.
It’s also possible that Jared suffered from some type of drug induced psychosis. Or maybe he was having severe mental health problems all along, and the drugs only worsened his condition. As to the latter, his mother had a responsibility to get him psychiatric help.
Are you kidding?
He almost killed himself with alcohol.
Lucid dreams are not related to mental instability.
IMO those that have them are intelligent individuals far less likely to engage in violence than the general population.
I managed to lucid dream after doing just a few exercises. It was actually a lot of fun. My son only has lucid dreams and he does this naturally. I think that he manages to do this because he suffered terribly from nightmares from age two until he was about six. He got control of his dreams and he’s steered every bad dream into a good one since.
This guy was a nut. He probably has schizophrenia. He was obviously into just about every conspiracy theory out there.
It’s impossible to understand crazy. That’s why it’s crazy! Trying to link his insanity to music, political ideology or anything else is tilting at windmills. Sane people will never be able to really understand insanity. It’s the very nature of the thing.
And yet, for some strange reason, we all want to try. We don’t want to accept that some people just have broken brains and that’s all there is to it. That he’d be driven over the edge if he’d been exposed to nothing more than videos of playing puppies. He’d manage to act out if he’d had access to nothing more than plastic butter knives.
That's my first choice, but New-Age-induced psychosis is a close second.
Lots of people have lucid dreamsits nothing more than a dream in which the dreamer becomes aware he is dreaming.
Check the Wikipedia entry for "Lucid Dreams" that I posted above. "Lucid Dreams" is much more than being aware of one's dreams. This is a full-blown New Age meditation/astral projection practice involving out-of-body-experiences, consulting "spirit guides," etc.
Since he was taught this in college, we can assume that he was getting the full course. Robert Moss (the author cited above) offers extensive courses in this.
I'm not saying that I have the definitive answer. But consider the following from the Wikipedia entry on "Lucid Dreams":
Another theory presented by transpersonal psychology and some Eastern religions is that it is the individual's state of consciousness (or awareness) that determines their ability to discriminate and differentiate between what is real, and what is false or illusory. In the dream state, many experiences are accepted as real by the dreamer that would not be accepted as real in the waking state. Some religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism describe states of consciousness (i.e., Nirvana or Moksha) where individuals "wake up", and discover a new or altered state of consciousness that reveals their normal waking experience to be unreal, dream-like, or maya (illusion).At the very least, don't you think that this could push an already-unstable person over the edge, and induce psychosis?
This is straight-up New Age teaching, which has been known to induce psychosis. See my link to Sharon Lee Giganti above.
I have some past experience with lucid dreaming. It’s not all fun and games. For me it was not a positive experience, it was very disturbing.
Look into Carlos Castaneda, in particular his personal life and that of his close associates, to see what can happen.
It’s opening a door that should remain closed, imho. I can see how it would send an already disturbed individual over the edge. The bounds of waking and sleeping, fantasy and reality can and do get obscured.
Read Loughner’s rambling screeds again knowing this, and the one thing that shines through is that he thinks he’s as able to manipulate and control waking reality as he is in the fleeting unreality of his dreams.
Some dream beings persist, though. You’re not in control of them. This is a time honored and known experience of practically all who attempt to practice lucid or conscious dreaming, to the point of being regarded as “spirit guides.”
Castaneda advised embracing them. Very bad idea, imho. Particularly if you’re Christian. I am, now.
I am acquainted with an individual who is involved with the New Age nonsense. Amazing to see a bright and educated individual become so brain fogged from their practices that they loose the ability for critical thinking. ‘Their reality’ and point of reference becomes a matter of that which they experience in their minds/imaginations, thru these practices, and their point of reference in how they view pretty much everything and everyone.
The tragic part of the above is they become so dependant on these experiences that it does not take long before they live for the next one...and the next. Isolation is not uncommon..Job loss..family loss..but even with this they “believe” their path is real though they are indeed in a fantasy land ‘of their minds own making.” Very sad.
When you add New Age practices to this guys apparent lack of stability in the first place, nothing good would come from the path he choose.
He had alcohol overdose in ‘06, which can most certainly cause brain damage. Importantly, he seemed to have a fixation on literacy and language, which is interesting because two parts of the brain that are readily damaged with oxygen deprivation are involved with language.
Has anyone considered that it could have been Meth and/or SSRIs ???
When I first heard the bit about âconscious dreamingâ (lucid dreaming)I wondered if he was under some mind-controlled, MK Ultra type psy ops. I’d like to know more of his background, including who his parents are. Some are recruited by their parents. His history reveals that he was somewhat of a loner. Maybe he had been manipulated for years. It did happen at a most opportune time for those trying to usher in a “transformation”. Sacrificing a moderate, so-called Blue Dog would get them a lot of mileage.
So very glad you got away from this stuff RC....it seems to take people deeper and deeper into dangerous areas they have no control over....fear happens frequently but those who instruct or teach this often preach to move thru the fear. Nasty business and dangerous to play even on the edges of.
I know an individual who played too close to the edge and fell off. Has great difficulty focusing on reality so much so many job loses in just a years time. And yet still the individual thinks he’s in control!
I got stuck with the spelling errors and never made it as far as you did. “Conscience dreaming” is a bit removed from “Conscious dreaming”...
So there I sat...trying to imagine - does one dream about Jiminy Cricket? How does one dream a conscience? Wouldn’t someone without one not know they didn’t have one? Do sociopaths wish they had a conscience? I became tired trying to grapple with the whole idea.
IMO it’s not the conscious dreaming that is the problem, it is that the subconscious that creates the dreams is messed up by drug use and physical brain malfunctions. There is little we can do to control our subconscious over the short run (in the long run it is easy: live a virtuous life). What we cannot do is let our subconscious control us as this guy is apparently advising us to do.
I have some past experience with lucid dreaming. Its not all fun and games. For me it was not a positive experience, it was very disturbing.Thank you! That's exactly what I'm talking about.
Look into Carlos Castaneda, in particular his personal life and that of his close associates, to see what can happen.
Its opening a door that should remain closed, imho. I can see how it would send an already disturbed individual over the edge. The bounds of waking and sleeping, fantasy and reality can and do get obscured.
Read Loughners rambling screeds again knowing this, and the one thing that shines through is that he thinks hes as able to manipulate and control waking reality as he is in the fleeting unreality of his dreams.
Some dream beings persist, though. Youre not in control of them. This is a time honored and known experience of practically all who attempt to practice lucid or conscious dreaming, to the point of being regarded as spirit guides.
Castaneda advised embracing them. Very bad idea, imho. Particularly if youre Christian. I am, now.
I'm particularly interested in what you said here:
Read Loughners rambling screeds again knowing this, and the one thing that shines through is that he thinks hes as able to manipulate and control waking reality as he is in the fleeting unreality of his dreamsI didn't discern that. What's stands out to you? Is it the wierd repetition?
Losing control of one's subconscious can eventually infect the conscious mind. The problem is that we sometimes cannot distinguish those thoughts that result from observations of reality and reason from those thoughts that bubble up from the subconscious. This is more likely as the mind gets more screwed up in general. Like I said in my previous post, it's simple in the long run, live a conscious and virtuous life. But that won't work in the short run, in the worst cases the demons from the subconscious are overwhelming.
Not uncommon those with mental instability are drawn to these practices though...and for that it increases the chances for Psycotic breaks.
Those who are intelligent often times loose that edge the deeper into this practice they go. Though they themselves aren't aware it's a slow downward slope...or that they appear less intelligent to those who know them well. They "believe" they are still in control....but obvious to others they've lost their edge of "intelligence".
I think that’s an accurate assessment.
“Conscious Dreaming” is an open invitation for demonic influence.
I guess my perspective on it is that I don’t regret doing it, I learned a great deal. For all my past dabbling into things that could have led further down a road that neither I nor anyone else should travel, I didn’t. An increasing number of people lack that inner compass anymore, though. I often wonder if this isn’t the beginnings of the lawless generation.
I still have my spacey moments at times, they do linger on, which can actually be beneficial in my career. I’m in a design-related field and have been my entire adult life. Maybe Paul appeals to me so strongly for this reason, he can give flight to some pretty cosmic, metaphysical stuff at times himself, such as I Corinthians 15. Love it, it’s so beautiful and so powerful. Seeds.
I still don’t buy it. By all accounts, this guy has been broken for some time. Again, you’re trying to find a “boogy man” to blame this on, when the guy was just clearly sick.
I can’t even see a normal person going this nutz with drug use. I do know that many psychotics turn to drugs in an attempt to self-medicate.
Dreams may have been the only place that anything made sense in his world.
I’m sorry STA, but we’re only dealing with the rantings of a mad-man. We can blame it on the fact that he read “The Communist Manifesto” or “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. He obviously felt pretty passionate about the gold standard being left behind.
Oh, I know! He’s a radical member of the “Grammar Police” who was driven mad by my terrible punctuation and spelling! ;-) (I know my husband is.)
I think that we’ll find out that he was insane long before he started college.
The *only* thing that I might see as a cause would be SSRI’s. But even then, we’re talking “chicken and the egg”. Which came first?
Many of mine are.
I think it may be a case of how logical your thought processes are. If I find myself having trouble running because I am naked and up to my knees in syrup, I think, "Whoa....that's crazy and unbelievable. I'm dreaming".
I agree. Which is it? Sarah Palin or Lucid Dreaming? or is he mentally ill? I vote for mentally ill. It really is that simple. His mom must feel terrible that she didn’t help him. Does he have a father? maybe it’s fatherless child syndrome. (We could play this game all day. However, the media will continue to blame Sarah, Glenn, Rush, Tea Party, Republicans, and let’s not forget BUSH.)
it seems like both he and OZERO have “DREAMS”...hmmmmmmm
Because the practice breaks down the boundaries between imagination and reality, it can also bring about psychosis.
It's an extremely dangerous combination.
That's fine. I don't claim to have the answer. But I think it's a line of investigation that's worth pursuing for two reasons. First, it can help to explain his behavior and perhaps help to prevent cases like this in the future. And secondly, it can help to expose the dangers of New Age "conscious dreaming," as demonstrated in posts #13 & #14.
Just read his Wikipedia entry. Uh... Wooooow.
In his book The Art of Dreaming, Castaneda describes an encounter during a lucid dreaming session with a supposed conscious entity that was trapped by other inorganic beings. The trapped entity was named the Blue Scout because its "energy" appeared blueish and it was an energetic scout (meaning it was outside of its original realm). The Blue Scout was apparently bait used by the inorganic beings to trap Castaneda as well. But instead they (Castaneda and the Blue Scout) escaped by supposedly merging their energies.
The alleged result of merging their energies was that the Blue Scout followed Castaneda to our world. Furthermore, Castaneda claimed that he gave the Blue Scout a human physical body by helping Carol Tiggs give normal birth to her.
A real girl was brought forward at various public sessions held by Castaneda and Tiggs and was introduced as the Blue Scout, and Tiggs was referenced as her mother. This is strange because that girl was someone named Patricia Partin who had real, known biological parents other than Castaneda and Tiggs.
The remains of Partin, sometimes referred to by Castaneda as Blue Scout, Nury Alexander and/or Claude, were found in 2003 near where her abandoned car had been discovered a few weeks after Castaneda's death in 1998, on the edge of Death Valley. Her remains were in a condition requiring DNA identification, which was made in 2006.
The two women were part of Castaneda's inner circle, which he referred to as "The Brujas", and both assumed different names as part of their dedication to their new beliefs. They were originally both graduate students in anthropology at UCLAGood old college.
He put it into words, or didn’t. Therefore to him it is, or isn’t.
Didn’t Carlos Castaneda admit he told an entertaining story not based on any real life experience?
Con-science dreaming. Makes sense to me. Al Gore? The Leftist mentality in general? AGW? Government is the answer?
Here’s a documentary that gives interesting insight.
Low, You may need a murderer.
Alan Sparhawk of the band Low is featured - great band, brilliant musician, but a few years ago he had what can be labeled a psychotic split. He began acting oddly, with mental issues likely from drug use, and began to ponder the biblical stories where God orders killings and other tasks of faith (Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, etc.)
It’s meant to be a band documentary, but in context is an interesting study in lucid dreams, OT vs the modern day, etc.
I think it is possible that Jared may have experienced a psychotic break and confused that with “conscious dreaming”
When you read his “mind control” stuff he seems to think he is God controlling others
As to what he was studying there was a mention of poetry
Maybe the left should attack poetry for a while and see if that flies
vert trippy movie
vert = very .....my mind is going
Exactly what I’ve been wondering.
The Inception movie is about Lucid Dreaming, you know, like ‘Conscious Dreaming’........just saying.....
There was a lot of ‘shoot ‘em up’ in that movie yet barely anyone died, this murderer thinks he’s a walking, conscious dreamer....I wonder if there’s a ‘movie going’ connection.
It is curiously topical - I’ll say that.
Not to my knowledge. He did have issues with separating reality from fantasy.
That's the central teaching of "A Course in Miracles," the idea that you create your own reality through your own thoughts. The "Law of Attraction" is that you attract good or bad things by having good or bad thoughts, or good or bad "energy."
It is this belief that causes depression and psychosis, because people who suffer from disease or misfortune are taught that they are the cause of their own suffering. The only logical escape is suicide, as Sharon Lee Giganti, a former New Age guru, experienced with some of her disciples (see my original post above).
Castenada recounted a dream where a spirit guide revealed this teaching to him:
Castaneda is told that all he has to do to stay is to state his intention to do so out loud, because "[e]verything you say out loud in this world is for keeps." Id. Castaneda is suspicious that he is being tricked, but the voice tells him, "I cannot lie to you, because a lie doesnt exist . . .
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