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Chapter 2. The dream in which I stopped running.

After my first experience,lucid dreams kept occurring more and more frequently. Soon, I became a realarchitect, a creator of dreams! The world around me obeyed my thoughts andchanged according to my design. Sometimes it was easier, sometimes moredifficult, but I could always finesse or force the plot of the dream in thedirection that interested me.

An important milestone inmy pursuit of self-awareness was the dream in which I stopped running. Have youever had a nightmare, in which you are fleeing from someone, but you seem to bemoving too slowly or are stuck in oneplace? That's what the dream was like. I dreamed of a village where I stayed fora couple of weeks every summer to see my grandfather and grandmother. It was avery picturesque place. The house was situated on a hill, at the foot of whichlay a meadow, bordered by a stream and on the other side, there stood trees. However, in this dream, Iwas trying for a long time unsuccessfully to escape from a pursuer. No matterhow hard I tried, I could not run faster, even though I felt my silent pursuerclosing in behind me. He was so close, he was almost touching my back. Andthen, fed up with this futile situation, right there in the meadow, headingtowards the house, I began to understand the nature of the dream. The fact thatI was diligently attending karate classes at this point in my life must have given mestrength because I stopped running and turned around. I still remember thatstunningly beautiful landscape, the pinking morning sky above the river, themeadow in a soft mist. And in front of me, at arm's length, there was somethingelse. Something completely shapeless. Its only defined feature was the outlineof a purple head from which many limbs emanated. I struck, as I had beentaught in karate, first with my right, then with my left. The figure, however,did not react. Like jelly, it absorbed the full force of the blow, afterwhich it returned to its previous form. A smile appeared on the figure, as ifit knew that I could not accomplish anything, but it did nothing more. Having let off some steam, I caught my breath and lowered my arms. I felt like the victor.

The reason for this was that, even though I had notdefeated the figure, I had managed to overcome my fear. Then I turned towardsthe house, knowing that the figure would no longer follow me. It was my fearthat had attracted it. It was a lesson welllearned that when you feel fear in a dream, even if it is only a shadow of a fearfulthought, someone or something might attack you and this immediately provokesthe dream to become a nightmare. By having this realization, I overcame mynightmares entirely. Even the most terrible sight did notfrighten me anymore, once I had realized the nature of the dream. Sometimes,these horrors even amused me.

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