Is Dreaming Like Tripping?

17 Aug

Sweet Home Under White Clouds by tipiro

Sweet Home Under White Clouds by tipiro


Today’s discussion question is a great one and touches on the sneaky relationship between different states of consciousness.

Here’s the big Q:

“Is dreaming like tripping?”

I think the answer is simple:

yes, there are definitely similarities between the two states.

In my own experience studying and working with my dreams, including taking drugs (mushrooms, etc) inside a dream in order to “dream trip”, and my own experience with taking drugs, I can say with certainty that yes, in my own experience at least, there is a strong parallel between dreams and tripping. So yes, I would say the dreaming is like tripping and vice versa.

This is an experience that many people have confirmed. I’ve even talked about it some here before. In my interview with friend and fellow psychonautic explorer Chad Watts, he discusses the relationship between entheogens and lucid dreaming. (And it’s fascinating stuff – please check out this interview!)

Some drugs lend themselves very much to the dream world experience. My experience taking diphenhydramine years ago was incredibly dream like (and not in a positive way, BTW) and many psychonauts have long noted the relationship between various substances such as LSD and mushrooms and dreaming, as well as the more recently popularly entheogen, Salvia Divinorum, and it’s similarly dream-like effects on the brain.

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What does this all mean?

For one, it doesn’t mean that taking any of the aforementioned substances should be taken lightly since it’s “just like dreaming.” Dreams can’t kill you…. but putting substances into your body can kill you at worst, and reasonably put you at risk both in a mental sense and physical sense if you’re being foolish about it. <steps of soapbox>

Secondly, it’s doesn’t mean that the experiences are the same. It’s just that, yes, there are parallels!

SO what are some of the parallels? How is dreaming like tripping?

In my own experience, I’ve noted the following:

1) The ability to think of something and have it happen. In a dream, this meant making something appear when lucid because I intended for it to appear. While tripping, it meant hallucinating (and not realizing I was doing so) after thinking about something. (Kind of scary, in retrospect.)

2) The fluid nature of both reality and time in both circumstances. And by this I mean the general disconnect between “scenes” in dreams and the disconnect between one minute to the next when tripping.

3) The amazing ability to trip within a dream by taking drugs only in the dream. So-called “dream tripping” fascinates the hell out of me and it’s something I’ve done a few times in my dreams. In every instance, taking the substance had a big effect on me and resulted in an altered state of consciousness, very much like tripping for real, yet it all occurred in the dream. (For more on this phenomenon, watch this fascinating Neurosoup video on dream tripping.)

4) An absence of logical thinking, as well as the ability to intuit importance and emphasis on situations and feelings beyond their ordinary meaning.
This is hard to put into words. Maybe a pointer here is that dreams can seem more “real than reality” and when taking a psychedelic, the resulting experience can seem “more real” than every day reality. This is certainly a common theme to both the psychedelic experience and the dream world – especially vivid dreams and lucid dreams. Somehow, the user feels the experience is “more real” than their normal experience of reality.

What Do You Think?

Those are 4 points I can see where there’s a consistency or blending of experiences in regards to tripping and dreaming. What about you? What you have experienced? What do you think about these ideas?

Please share your own thoughts and experiences as it relates to dreaming and tripping in the comments below. Thanks!

Photo bytipiro.

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