I was still a kid when I learned that for people on “the other side”, maintaining an awareness or connection to our reality (Waking Physical Reality, or WPR) is optional. I had some very profound dreams that took place in a cemetery where the tomb stones are arranged in concentric circles. I was in elementary school when these started and had never heard of Stonehenge or stone circles and their relationship to my Celtic ancestry – I was quite surprised to learn about this later on. Another odd quality these dream tomb stones possessed was that if you touched them, you would “know” all about the person connected with it. In one of the dreams I went exploring in the woods behind this cemetery and was quite surprised to find more tomb stones hidden in the underbrush. Those ones were cold – if I touched them I got nothing. In the dream I asked my great-grandmother, Susan Grant Black, about it. She was more or less the grand Poobah of this particular dreamscape. She told me that they “no longer had a connection to this world.” I took this to mean WPR.
I will distill a few decades of dreaming on this into a concise point: in order to manifest in WPR, a spirit (ghost) who is in the light needs two basic things: Intent and a Point of Reference.
Not long before Christmas in 2011 I went to Macy’s in Downtown Pittsburgh to pick up a box of fancy candy for someone’s Christmas gift. The building was built between 1885-1887 and used to be Kauffman’s – a name recognizable to pretty much everyone in the Pittsburgh area. This store, along with two others (Horne’s and Gimbel’s) were THE shopping destinations in the early to mid 20th century. From what I remembered the candy department was on the top floor. It has since moved. While searching for it I found something else really interesting though – an antique escalator! As the guts of the elevators are original to the building my best guess is so is this wood and cast iron escalator. As I stood there marveling at the thing something occurred to me. If a spirit can use something like this as a point of reference to come here, then shouldn’t I be able to use it to go there?
I decided to test this theory. During a meditation I sent a message to my family on the other side. “I am going to incubate a lucid dream and I am asking that someone – will leave that choice up to you – will come and take me shopping at Kauffman’s in the 1940’s.” They all know I am enough of a fashion expert to know how to dress, and enough of a historian to know how to act, so as to not draw a lot of attention or embarrass them.
I did this as a WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dream). I lay in bed and imagined my 1940’s outfit in extreme detail. Shoes, pantyhose with seam up the back, underwear, slip, blouse, suit, hat, white gloves, purse. Check. Ready for liftoff. The dream materialized and I found myself standing in front of the antique escalator. And it was moving! I got on and rode it up one floor, then went around and rode it back down. On the way down I crossed into the 1940’s. And who do you think was waiting for me at the bottom of the elevator? My DAD! Wearing his WWII uniform, looking about 20 years old, smiling and leaning on the base of the escalator, completely at ease.
What surprised me about this situation was that at the time, my father was still alive! He was developing dementia, and I have been told that the more of it they develop the less time they spent in their bodies. This is the first time I’d ever seen it myself, and the first shared dream I had with my father.
We went shopping for a long time. One of the problems with long lucid dreams is that it is hard to remember all the details when you wake up due to a phenomena known as State Specific Memory. If you want to remember something you need to wake up right away. I was in this more to just experience it so I stayed in the dream as long as possible. We browsed a lot and bought some clothes (memory fuzzy) and then he took me to the bakery. All I can say is the quality of baked goods has definitely gone down since the 1940’s. I ate tons of it since you can’t gain weight eating dream food!
Given that my dad usually couldn’t tell you what he ate for lunch on any given day, I didn’t really expect him to remember this dream. I did ask him about it and there was a brief flash of recognition that crossed his face, but he couldn’t remember anything specific. He listened to the dream report intently and was very happy about it. This became the typical reaction I got when I had one of these otherworldly dreams with him.