I'm in a dark, silent house at night, bare feet cold on the kitchen tile. Starlight pricks down through the immense skylight above, my only illumination. This is a dream, I know, and a peculiar one at that. Standing motionless, alone in the blue-blackness of the kitchen, I listen for any sound besides the slow draw of my breath. The air seems a little thin and I surmise that this house is at an appreciable altitude. As soon as the thought occurs to me, I can smell the clean, cold mountain air. Every surface is cut into a quilt of shadow and colorless night-light, but I can make out the wooden beams angling near the top of the ceiling and the stout logs framing the room along all vertices. Stepping carefully to a doorway, I open it and walk outside. My movement is like Dorothy's from the Wizard of Oz leaving the silent and dim interior of her recently-crash-landed house for the surprise dazzling vision of Munchkin Land. In my case I find myself beneath the most magnificent star-scape I have ever seen. The Milky Way's swath burns in white fire unattenuated by galactic distance, all frequencies equally visible to my dream eyes. In fact the entire universe of galaxies, globular clusters, pulsars, quasars and every other variety of fusion fire hangs transparent above me as I stand in the photon rain. Perched on the cliff edge of an invisibly deep darkened valley, the mountain cabin and gnarled pines are my only companions. I intuit from the jagged silhouettes breaching the constellations' light that unseen giants hold an unfathomable gathering through the million-year night. Peering off into the depths of the mountains I give a silent wish for a daytime view of the panorama. And there was light.
In an eye-blink I am standing beneath glorious Sol drinking in sunlight with my skin. The austere mountains stand revealed to me in dramatic grandeur, painted with snow and bathing in an ocean of fog that fills the valley so whitely opaque. Never in my waking life have I beheld a more spectacular view of mountains; a scene such as this must exist only in the high crags of the Himalayas on the clearest of days. Calm and reverent, I step gently over the edge of the cliff and float like a cloud out over a fog-sea thousands of feet below. Despite the beatific vision my thoughts turn inward, focussing on the most delightful self-awareness--a novelty in the often hazy dream world. We take self-awareness for granted as humdrum in the banal course of continuity consciousness, but here it is something to grab tightly ahold of and turn to alignment with the will, lest it escape with your memories and lucid dreaming endeavors down the rabbit hole of the unconsciousness.
With my sense of Self firmly centered in mind, I let my consciousness expand slowly to encompass the surrounding scene. Transformations are wrought instantly wherever thought touches: a mountainside is abruptly replaced with a street scene, pedestrians and cars going about their business. Some of the faces I recognize, most I do not. A brief mental consideration of the unlikelihood of seeing what I am seeing and the mountainside is at once restored. How can I communicate to you, dear reader, the astounding verisimilitude of the situation? To put it simply, I am witnessing a world made of my own thought patterns--a visualization of my mental processes. Again a street scene appears, larger and more detailed this time so that I find myself standing on the cobblestones of a great plaza surrounded by colorful multi-level buildings like out of a village on the Italian countryside. I can only laugh soundlessly as the town and eventually the entire mountain range are replaced in pieces or in whole by a sequentially evolving collage of landscapes and locales. Again, how do I convey the exceedingly subtle gesture by which these manifestations found their genesis? I must tell you that the seed of each was a mere thought in my mind, blooming at once into three-dimensional reality. As long as my mind lingers on the existence of something, equally long does it persist. As soon as a person, place, object, emotion, or abstract concept enters my stream of consciousness, so does its visual representation manifest. Some visualizations are more metaphor than literalization. For instance, the mountain scene reappears whenever I consciously return to a state of peaceful reverence. I float weightless for most of the experience, occasionally flying in a particular direction for a closer view of something.
As time goes by the feedback loop of thought manifestation gives me increasingly greater control and, ultimately, greater insight. Dream characters, living and imaginary, reflect my ego. So entering into a particular mental state shows me the friend who reflects that state. Landscapes reflect the subtler aesthetics of my emotional makeup and temporal events reflect the patterns of my thought stream. It is a peak experience--an unadulterated vision of my self, and the Self who sees through my eyes, hears through my ears, and listens to my thoughts. Floating like a cloud in an infinite sky, the only invariant knowledge is that I AM.