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In Melinda Powell’s new book on lucid dreaming, she continues to make creative contributions to understanding the mystery of dreams. Lucid dreaming has been a bit of an enigma that has in recent times been given more scientific attention. Melinda takes into account current scientific studies, including the growing literature and findings of the American Psychological Association. In addition to the scientific literature, she is well aware of the long-term recognition and value given to lucid dreaming in a number of depth psychological and spiritual traditions, including the practice of Tibetan dream yoga. Although resonant with Jungian, alchemical, transpersonal and other perspectives, she offers her own individual insights and discoveries into the world of lucid dreaming.
Lucid dreaming has been described as entering into the experience of a dream while feeling oneself to be conscious within it. Courageously, Melinda explores her own lucid dreams by releasing her ‘ego will’ — what she comes to call ‘Lucid Surrender’, a process through which she progressively enters into the Black Light and dark illumination of her dreams. The result of this release leads to an experience parallel with what the alchemists referred to as the lumen naturae, the light of nature or the light of darkness itself — a primordial phenomenon that links light and darkness into what Jung called a coniunctio oppositorum, or unity of opposites.
For Melinda, ‘Lucid Surrender’ and moving beyond binaries open a pathway into the depths of the soul, an alchemical-like and poetic descent, a spiritual journey through which she explores the mercurial wisdom of dreams and advances new ideas that have both personal and archetypal relevance. With remarkable hermetic discipline, Melinda captures and shares her dream experiences and personal life in a way that gives substance to her insights. A remarkable aspect of Melinda’s work is the positivity she discovers in her research: the fullness of the void, the awakening and freedom of the heart, and the healing, holiness and illumination she finds in her dreams.
In my own work on the alchemical black sun, I have noted similar experiences of positivity, but have also encountered the darkest aspects of suffering, despair, and hopelessness. What I find so valuable and resonant in Melinda’s work is her recognition that by entering deeply into this darkness rather than turning away from it, one can discover the light within the darkness itself. Melinda’s emphasis on ‘Lucid Surrender’ into this darkness is a wonderful contribution to understanding the mysterious depths of dreaming, lucidity, and life itself.
Lucidity signifies being suffused with light — glowing, effulgent, bright, translucent and clear. Such statements are a fitting description for Melinda’s contribution and this new book is a gift to all those interested in the mysteries of dreaming, the depths of psychological and spiritual life, and the process of soul making.