A Talk with Marc VanDeKeere on Lucid Dreaming, Brainwave Entrainment, Quantum Physics, Consciousness, and the Out of Body Experience
Marc VanDeKeere cannot easily be summed up. He’s a lucid dream enthusiast, a writer, an entrepeneur, a licensed hypnotherapist, a NLP practitioner, and, as he also proudly mentions on his website, a husband and a father. He’s the writer behind “The Ultimate Lucid Dreamers Manual” and the businessman behind Brain Wave Mind Voyages. He also put together the Conscious Dreaming website.
I had the pleasure of asking him a few questions on brainwave technology, lucid dreaming, quantum physics, out of body experiences, and consciousness.
In a nutshell, according to the scientific principle of resonance, vibrations tend to resonate or vibrate at similar frequencies when given the chance to do so. If you place two hundred pendulum clocks on one wall and random swing all of the pendulums at different rates, they will eventually synchronize their swings to “resonate” at a specific rate. In other words, given some time they all will be swinging in unison.
If you hold two tuning forks that are similarly tuned and strike one in close proximity to the other one. The other tuning fork will vibrate at the same frequency. It works with piano strings and almost all forms of matter to a certain extent.
You can aply these principles to your brainwaves by exposing your brain to certain types of audio stimulation. Much like the tuning forks, when you listen to binaural beat frequencies, monaural tones and other forms of audio tones then your brainwave “tune” to the specific frequencies. As a result, you can use brainwave entrainment technology to synchronize your brainwave to specific brainwave ranges for a wide variety of purposes: meditation, trancework, lucid dreaming or almost any form of inner work.
Is there a relationship between using brainwave technology and having lucid dreams?
You do not need to use brainwave technology to have lucid dreams, but it can be used in conjunction with your normal lucid dreaming methods to maximize your progress. Like any other tool, it can help beginners and advanced lucid dreamers find more consistent access to the proper mindstates required to induce lucid dreams. Much like the NovaDreamer or the new DreamMaker, it is not required to have lucid dreams by any means, but it is yet another tool that helps learn how to lucid dream.
What role has lucid dreaming played in your life?
I would not know where to begin explaining all of the benefits that lucid dreaming has brought into my life. I have had practical applications like enhancing creativity, solving waking world problems and exploring new ideas while dreaming. I have also had highly inspirational LDs. These mystic, ecstatic lucid dreams have profoundly affected my views of reality. I have developed a far more mystical view of reality.
It is impossible to overlook the perceptual limitations of waking life. For example, I have had lucid dreams in which my perception encompassed a complete 360 degree visual field so I was able to see all around me, all at once. Talk about expanding your awareness. Several times, I have experienced a sound-based sonar/radar perceptual system that was completely based upon sound. Much like a bat’s system of echolocation, I could not see visually but I could perceive everything spatially as and amazingly rich field of sound vibrations. I could “feel” where everything was and immediately identify the forms and spatial orientation based upon the vibrations that I was perceiving.
It is also difficult to view reality as being limited to the physical body when you have traveled out of body and perceived information that was later confirmed to be true. It is one thing to travel around in your lucid dreams but in the back of your mainstream-programmed mind, there is always that little doubt. There is that desire and pre-programmed need for proof. Once you have experienced the proof firsthand, you expand your current set of “knowns” which in turn allows your belief systems to become more flexible, more open-minded and more aware that there is so much more to reality than what meets the “I”.
The experiences themselves are well worth the trip, but I highly suggest applying the process to higher goals like expanding your consciousness, stretching your awareness, experiencing mystical states and exploring the fabric of “reality”. You begin to realize the old axiom: the more you know, the more there is to know, but it takes on new meaning when this newly found knowledge hints at the gateway to an endless world of possibilities, literally. It is a matter of changing your beliefs and removing the limitations imposed upon us by the current limited views of consensual reality.
You founded the The Dream Initiative project nearly 6 years ago. What kind of projects has the Dream Initiative spearheaded? Is the group still active?
It is still active with about 1700 members. Unfortunately, I have been too busy to be as involved as I would like to be, but the group remains active sharing experiences and answering questions for newcomers and long-term members alike. The Yahoo lucid-dreaming group is also still active with about 1700 members as well.
I saw on your conscious dreaming site that quantum physics is listed as one of your interests and that you sprinkle your advertisements with phrases like “Harness your Quantum Self.” What do you mean by “your Quantum Self” and how have the implications of Quantum Physics affected your worldview?
I am fascinated by quantum physics and all related subjects. I try to read as much as I can find on the subject (Brian Greene, Fred Alan Wolfe, Michio Kaku, Fritjof Capra, Michael Talbot, Goswami, Dean Radin, What the Bleep, you name it…). What fascinates me most is how these new sciences will eventually confirm that there is so much more to reality than a classic Newtonian universe composed of dead matter that is simply ticking away without any known purpose, cause or origin. As this field matures we will surely find more amazing discoveries that will slowly seep into mainstream consciousness.
Everyone and everything is interconnected to everything, everywhere. That is where your Quantum Self comes in, at least as I use the term. You are only limited by your beliefs and your ability to transcend these so-called limitations. By believing in the fact that we are all connected, you can harness the powers of your Quantum Self to accomplish goals that might otherwise seem unattainable. Even things that might contradict the laws of nature like faster than light communication can occur in the quantum realm. We are every much a part of this quantum world as we are part of the larger macroworld which we erroneously assume is the only world.
Whether it is termed Bohm’s Implicate Order, Non-Locality, Multiverse, Hyperspace, Eastern Mysticism, Aboriginal Dreamtime, Shamanic Spirit Worlds or any other name, the fact remains that “reality” is not a collection of fixed, static clumps of inert material coincidentally forming sentient beings. We can interact with this reality and co-create our experience in this physical plane of existence. In fact, this co-creation is why we are all here. We are all multi-dimensional beings participating in a human experience. Accessing your Quantum Self is but one way of interfacing with the dynamic, conscious universe that surrounds us and supports us.
In your writing you talk about astral travel and out of body experiences while sleeping. Where do you draw the line between lucid dreaming and astral travel? How do you know you’re not simply dreaming? When having these OOBE where are you – in the non-dreaming waking world (“everyday reality”) or in a different place altogether i.e. some sort of “astral realm”?
For me, it is a subjective evaluation that is best reflected by your thoughts at the time. In other words, if you are thinking, “Wow! I am dreaming!” then you are most likely in a lucid dream. The same hold true for having an out of body experience which can much more intense so it would be more like “WOWWWWW! I AM OUT OF BODY!!!!”. In fact, you can use this principle to alter your experiences in non-physical reality. Change your thoughts and your experience will alter accordingly.
While lucid dreaming, you can consciously intend to have an OBE by thinking that you are having an OBE. This localized intent acts like an experiential catalyst in the non-physical world to create experiences that match your thoughts. As a result, you can alter your experience by simply changing your thoughts. As a result, your lucid dreams can take on OBE-like qualities of increased intensity and the realization that you are in fact having an out of body experience.
It sounds like your interest in brainwave technology, dreams, lucid dreaming, NLP, hypnosis, etc are all rooted in your fascination with consciousness itself. What do you think consciousness is? Do you think our sense of a unified self is merely an illusion? Is consciousness present in other animals and on a similar note, what do you make of the idea of one day creating conscious machines?
Consciousness is the root of all creation, and it seems to be the common thread that underlies must of my interests. It is present in everything from humans to animals to plants to every individual atom that creates our human form. It may not be the “SAME” form of consciousness so animals may not experience “human” consciousness like we do, but everything possesses consciousness even the tiniest pieces of yet undiscovered subatomic particles. Without consciousness in its simplest form, a simple form of self-awareness, there would be no ability to survive and no ability to form or combine with other forms of matter. No molecules means no world as we know it. The world is not filled with dead, inert matter that randomly interacted and formed the complexity of life by happenstance. These different forms of consciousness exist everywhere even within our own bodies.
The biggest illusion in my opinion is the commonly held belief that consciousness is a byproduct of the mind which implies that consciousness arises from matter. Truth be told, it is matter that arise from consciousness and in due time as the rapid advancements in quantum physics and consciousness research evolve in accordance with our technological advancements, we will begin to learn how to “peer into the looking glass”, so to speak. We will be able to measure and, more importantly, understand how the manipulation of consciousness affects our reality.
We truly are co-creators of reality, and this is not simply a catch-phrase or an inspiring quote. It is true whether one believes it to be true or not. Unfortunately, we often overlook this truth by falling victim to the illusory limitations imposed by consensual reality. Which reminds me of a great message I received in a dream recently:
I was having trouble flying so I asked a nearby man why it was so difficult for me to fly when I can normally fly with such ease.
The man looked at me and asked doubtingly, “You can fly?”.
I replied, “Of course I can.”
He then rolled his eyes and said, “I’ll see it when I believe it!”. He winked at me playfully and then flew off into the sky himself!
“I’ll see it when I believe it!”
So profound, and so true.