Usually lucid dreaming is discussed as dream control, but this is not the only approach. In a lucid dream of surrender, the dreamer intentionally stills the logical mind at the moment of lucidity, taking a receptive position.
This is not a new idea. In fact, the roots of this process can be seen in the ancient art of alchemy.
Many view alchemy as the origins of modern chemistry via the search for the elixir — the secret catalyst that would turn dross matter into gold. However, alchemy actually began in ancient Egypt as a means of communicating the mysteries of the inner world. The practice of alchemy was known as the “Great Art” or the “Sacred Art.”
Fast forward to the 20th century.
Alchemical emblems: tracking the transformative process
Psychologist Carl Jung recognised that —across cultures— alchemical stages and imagery reveal the process of what he called Individuation: the process whereby a person’s inner nature becomes realised in the outer world. From this point of view, the true alchemy is the Art of Personality.
Psychological health in this sense is aligned with the idea of wholeness: physically, psychologically, and psycho-spiritually through a relationship to the unconscious in dreams. Jung saw the transformation of the psyche mirrored in alchemical emblems and viewed dream imagery as depicting both personal and Transpersonal archetypes and qualities.
From a Jungian perspective, then, dreams are mini alchemical emblems that reflect a person’s psycho-spiritual condition and suggest what is needed for transformation. On one level, alchemical emblems track the inner transformation of the dross matter of lives into the true gold of personality. On yet another level, alchemical emblems provide a pictorial guide to healing lucid dream experiences. In the outer world, this analogy parallels that of the relationship between classical Newtonian physics and Quantum Mechanics.
Surrender in Lucid dreaming
In the unusual brain state of the lucid dream, the mind activates a balance between both sleeping and waking mental processes. The subjective experience of this state is translated into images that take on an objective reality for the dreamer — an experience of the intuitive mind that is often difficult to articulate in language. This healing lucid dream imagery has an internal symmetry that serves to collect the dispersed elements of the psyche and establish internal balance in the dreamer.
At the moment of lucidity, the dreamscape disappears as the dreamer takes a receptive pose. Here’s a recent example that emerged after having come through a challenging time at work.
The Crystal Tubes
Am by the sea in a dream and pass by a large granite stone with a streak of bright green moss running along the centre from top to bottom. I stop to admire the green. When I touch the moss, an intense joy runs through me as the thought comes: “The green is the Holy Spirit.” With this awareness, lucidity comes.
This time, as I bow my head, my being is pulled backwards onto the black winds very fast and hard. Sing a holy hymn. It is impossible to think or wonder. But then the speed slows and my being is in a space filled with cubes and other geometric forms of light. Two thoughts come: the first is “Here are the cubes.” The second, “Now I am in Plato’s realm of ideal forms” because these forms have appeared in other lucid dreams. However, at this point, the edges of the cubes angle out and surprise me by turning into crystalline shapes.
Then it feels my being is taken through a beautiful, immense, mine tunnel of light crystals. At the end of the “tunnel” there are forms of tubular light packed tight like crystal organ pipes. They rain their light down as music on me. When the light touches the crown of my “head,” all sense of separation disappears. The light fills me, purifies, cleanses, and renews me. But it is not just me somehow that is filled, it is Life itself. The feeling is of complete delight, wonder, and humility.
After some time, I sense a subtle shift in my awareness and feel my being lifted up as if from the bottom of a deep sea into waking consciousness and back into a dream with my dream teacher by the sea.
My intent is to add to the conversation on lucid dreams and to present a timeless perspective in contemporary terms. I look forward to your participation in this conversation.
About the Author:
Mary Ziemer is a psychotherapist in private practice as well as Service Director of HELP Counselling Centre in London. On the website www.LucidDreamAlchemy.com you will find more lucid dreams of surrender as well as free downloads about alchemy and lucid dreaming, including A Guide to Lucid Dreams of Surrender.
 Hobson, Allan J. (2009) The Neurobiology of Consciousness: Lucid Dreaming Wakes up. The International Journal of Dream Research. Volume 2, No. 2. pp. 41-43.
 Henderson, J.L. & Sherwood, D. N. (2003). Transformation of the Psyche: The Symbolic Symbolism of the Splendor Solis. Routledge: East Sussex. pp. 137-142.