Slumberland is a new Netflix movie, and it’s a lucid dreaming fest.
Wonderful dreamlike visuals and a soulful concept based on a comic strip created in 1905, “Little Nemo In Dreamland” by Windsor McKay.
Deep topics are explored, from lucid dream communication with deceased loved ones, to soul retrieval, near-death experiences (NDE) and how to face terrifying nightmares.
The big question of the film is, “When we lose the most important person in our life, how do we go on?”
(Slight spoiler alert in this paragraph, but nothing major.) Young Nemo lives in a lighthouse with her beloved father when he drowns in a storm. In her devastation, the only way Nemo can imagine living is to go to sleep and try to find him in her lucid dreams. She is sent to live with her dad’s brother, who never recovered from a much earlier loss. Their stories become intertwined along with that of dare-devil lucid dreaming bad-ass, Flip, who Nemo meets in her lucid dreams. Nemo always lucid dreams with her stuffed toy and power animal, Pig.
The lucid dreaming “rules” in Slumberland
Of course, just like Inception, some of Slumberland’s “rules” have nothing to do with regular lucid dreaming – such as:
“Rule One: stay focused. If you slip up, you’ll never see the waking world again.”
The idea in Slumberland – chosen to raise the stakes – is that if you die in your own dream, you’ll survive, but as Flip warns Nemo: “If you die in someone else’s dream, you don’t wake up. Ever.”
Well, fortunately that doesn’t happen in regular lucid dreams.
Learn how to lucid dream with global lucidity teacher & author, Dr. Clare Johnson. Video classes, guided lucid audio journeys. Lucid Dreaming Ocean Retreats.
“If I die in a dream, will I actually physically die?”
Some people do have a fear around dying in a lucid dream. In my workshops, people sometimes ask me: “What if I die in my lucid dream – will I actually physically die?”
I reassure them that they will wake up safely in their beds!
A lucid dream is simply a dream in which we are aware that we are dreaming.
Take a moment to examine your conscious awareness in this moment, right now. And now imagine being this conscious, this aware, in the dream state. That’s it, that’s what lucid dreaming is.
There is no danger of physical death or of somehow “getting stuck” in an eternal lucid dream. Imagine – if every time someone died in a lucid dream, they actually died, then people would be found dead in their beds all the time.
It doesn’t happen. We can throw ourselves off towering dream cliffs as Nemo and her friend Flip do in Slumberland… and we will wake up safely in our beds. It’s always good to float before you leap, though – just to be 100% sure of which reality you’re in. Like Slumberland, lucid dreaming looks and feels incredibly real, with amazingly sharp sensory perceptions.
Slumberland and lucid dream communications with deceased loved ones
One beautiful moment in the movie is when Nemo understands the reality-creating potential of Slumberland. Her face lights up as she exclaims: “I could see my dad again!”
Yes – this is how lucid dreaming works.
Our thoughts, intentions, expectations, emotions, and mental focus influence the dream. If we think about something in a lucid dream, we may well manifest it instantly.
Have you ever tried to connect with a beloved person or pet who has died?
We can do this in liminal states of consciousness, such as that golden moment when we float on the edge of sleep.
We can also incubate (ask for) a dream with that person.
Or we can simply call out to them when we become lucid in a dream: “Please come to me now, X!” It helps to confidently expect them to show up, but without getting stressed out about it, or we might wake up before we want to.
What is really possible in lucid dreams?
Many lucid dreamers report meeting their loved ones who have died. This can be an incredibly powerful, cathartic and deep experience. Very often, the loved one looks to be in vibrant health, filled with vitality, exuding their unique personality.
Sometimes in dream reunions with deceased loved ones, we are given a message or even a health warning – one woman was told by her deceased father, “You have breast cancer.” She had no symptoms but went to a doctor and in fact, there was a small lump of cancer in her breast. Luckily, since it had been discovered in time, it was easy to treat.
People report hugging their beloved parent in a lucid dream, or visiting a shared special place with their deceased partner. Others recount delightful reunions with excitable pets. Often, the experience feels deeply meaningful.
“I can’t get lucid – how else can I connect with departed loved ones?”
There is an easy way to enter a lucid dreamlike state of awareness to connect with loved ones who have died.
All we do is lie down, relax completely, but stay aware. We can do this listening to a guided meditation, with calming music. At a certain point, we will no longer be able to feel our body. This is a golden moment – we are conscious, yet our body has fallen asleep.
In this powerful liminal state, we can ask to meet with our lost loved one.
Whether we wish to connect with a deceased animal or a beloved person, a soulful reunion can be experienced.
Dr. Clare Johnson’s video & audio course, Reunite With Lost Loved Ones, has 3 guided lucid dream meditations to help people connect with the people or animals whose loss they mourn. There’s a video on healing from grief and moving into a more joyful life again via lucid dreaming and conscious journeying.
Nobody is ever really “lost” to us
We don’t need to feel bound by the rules and assumptions of waking physical reality. There are infinite possibilities for healing from grief when we embrace lucid states of consciousness and set our intention to connect with those we love who have left this life.
The loved ones we have lost are much closer than we think – nobody is ever really lost.
Our deceased loved ones may no longer walk the earth but they are vibrantly present in dreams, lucid journeying, and profound meditative states.
It is a huge comfort to understand that we can say what we need to say to them, and express our love for them. In turn, we can receive their loving support and guidance as we continue to find ways to live on this earth without them by our side.
Slumberland explores this idea of connection beyond the grave via lucid dreaming.
Navigating the Sea of Nightmares
In the movie, nightmares and the power of fear are explored. When a hideous, smoke-like black octopus monster materialises in one lucid dream, Flip turns to Nemo and says accusingly: “YOU brought the nightmare! It can smell your fear!”
This is so true of how fear can cause a perfectly fun dream to distort, grow uneasy, and rapidly become terrifying. The thing to remember about dreams is that they are highly thought-responsive environments. Just as they react to our intentions and expectations, so they react to our fear.
Let’s say we dream of exploring an old house. Things may seem fine until we start to think, “What if this is a haunted house?” Suddenly we hear the rattle of chains and a ghostly moan! Then we think, “Oh no, something horrible is going to get me!” Lo and behold, in response to our fear, out leaps a ghoul. And so, in the space of mere seconds, we have turned our house dream into a screaming nightmare.
In Slumberland, Nemo and Flip have to navigate the deadly dangerous Sea of Nightmares in order to reach the treasure they seek. So it is in life – when we face our fears, the metaphorical gold and jewels manifest.
The healing power of dreams and sleep
We spend one third of our lives asleep. Unfortunately, many people still undervalue this time. Our eight hours of sleep a night become eight dead hours. We spend them largely unconscious, and forget our dreams the moment we awaken.
But when we illuminate our sleep and dreams with lucid awareness, anything is possible.
This movie will help children and adults to embrace the huge creative and healing potential within the third of our life we spend slumbering.
Discover more about the amazing potential of lucid dreaming for healing, creativity, and consciousness-expansion. Lucid video courses, blissful guided lucid dream visualisations, and how to create the life of your wildest dreams.
Dr. Clare Johnson was the first person in the world to do a PhD on lucid dreaming as a creative tool. For over 25 years she has been researching, writing, and teaching on diverse lucid dreaming & sleep-related topics. She is past President and CEO of a global dream community, the International Association for the Study of Dreams.
Thousands of people all over the world now use Dr. Clare Johnson’s original lucid dreaming techniques. She recently taught a lucid dream video course with over 5000 participants, and she leads amazing Lucid Dreaming Ocean Retreats. She is the author of seven lucid dream books, including the highly acclaimed Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Lucid Dreaming, The Art of Lucid Dreaming, & The Art of Transforming Nightmares. She is the founder of DeepLucidDreaming.com