Martial Art Pt. 2
Leigh J McCloskey
I had a remarkable period from the early 80s to about ’86, where I lucid dreamt and had out of body experiences, really quite every night. But before that, from the ages of 14 to 23, I had had nightmares every night.1 In my early life, and luckily it was before the pre-medicating, because my parents never would have gone for that anyway, but I was just plunged into all this unconscious material, and the reason I remembered my dreams quite often was because they were so horrific. But really, it was almost like learning a martial art, because by the time I’m 22, 23, I’m dealing with them much more in a sense in a co-creative or conscious way.2
I’m not being overwhelmed by them. I also would suffer from what’s called hypnagogic paralysis or sleep paralysis, which still affects — but my dream life really has been a returning mentor. And what’s very intriguing is that I was never attracted to like an outer guru or someone to follow, because to me no one can perform for you. You have to figure out your tools, how do I convince myself? And so, I found that the dream state, these inner energies were actually quite a remarkable training session, because they never did it with a type of guide figure saying, oh follow me, I’m doing this for you.
But much more I would find myself in the circumstance. I’d find myself being mentored by the difficulty of the circumstance itself. And I thought well, really that’s how we develop craft in anything. You work with wood, the wood teaches you ultimately.3 And I do feel, because also my path — I was immediately told early on, I was not to take the path of hallucinogens.4 And so, I didn’t and I found that my dreams in a way took me into many worlds, because a lot of people that have and use that in their work, their traditions and what not, see a lot of these things, and I think that for me, what my job here, was to create a stable framework, to actually create a type of fixed environment where these deeper energies are able to manifest through the creative process.5