Daoist Magical Transformation Skills

II. Magical Projection –

3. Dream-Magic


II.3. (pp. 75-93) Dream-Magic

p. 75b the nature of sleep

"every individual is forced into the spirit realm each day – it is called "sleep." At this important moment, as the individual’s mind detaches from the five senses {false! during dreams one senseth things (of the dream-world) at least as much as one doth (of the waking-world) while awake}, his or her consciousness leaves the mundane physical realm and enters into the subtle magical dimension of the spirit realm. The Acquired Mind is programmed to differentiate between the waking state and the dream state."

pp. 75b-76a how to control the world


control the world


"the sorcerer understands that if the waking state is in reality only a dream, then surely it can be manipulated just like the sleep dreams of the night. ...

{inaccurate! the waking-world is somewhat manipulable by deities, to whom appeals may be directed for this purpose; the dream-world is (rather differently from the waking-world) under an absolute control by deities, who, however, may permit just enough illusion of control of things there by the dreaming mortal, for that mortal to imagine that such illusion is real. (Neither the waking-world nor the dreaming-world is by any means itself unreal : it is merely the dreamer’s sense of being in control of the dreaming-world that is an illusion). It the dreaming mortal should fall into such self-deception (as to imagine being oneself in actual control of the dream-world), then severe condign punishment for such insubordination must surely follow, after subsequent death of the dreamer.}


By mastering dream magic, the sorcerer embraces the power and potential to change his or her waking environment at will. Once the sorcerer realizes that the world is just an illusion generated by the mind, then he or she can change the nature of the illusion through the manipulation of the mind."

p. 76a yin-dreaming & yan-dreaming

"A Yin ... spiritual dream state occurs within the body. A Yin Spiritual State of dreaming is considered to be the "normal" type of dreaming, and it can be energetically controlled or program[m]ed For example, a sorcerer can focus on a particular question before sleeping, and the answer will then manifest within his or her dream." {Actually, any answer thereby received will be a free-will gift (to the dreamer) from the deities who control the dream-world; this is not an instance of any "control" exerted by the dreamer : neither upon those deities nor upon their dream-world. Indeed, any arrogant supposition by the dreamer to be in control of them or of their world will eventually be punished, after the dreamer’s death.}

"A Yang ... spiritual dream state occurs outside the body. {projection of a subtle-body : astral projection, or projection of the aitherik-double} A Yang Spiritual State of dreaming is considered to be the "external travelling" of the Yang Spirit. In this altered state, dreams have form and substance and the spirit can be projected ..., by energetically projecting Qi and Shen outward through the natural energetic portal of the Yintang point (Third Eye)."

pp. 76b-77a dream-energies & their interrelations : dreamings are distinguished by directorship


if __ be in the forefront of the dreaming

__ may be director of the dreaming

and __ may be behind acting as propelling force










(76a) jin

(76b) s^en


p. 77b-78a the hun in dreaming




"According to the ancient Daoist text Upper Scripture of Purple Texts Inscribed by the Spirits, written by Yang Xi during the Jin Dynasty ..., ... Dreams that deal with "Transcended" or "Perfected" beings indicate a healthy orientation on the part of the wandering Hun, and should be encouraged.

The Hun are easily controlled through the visualization of an energetic restraining net constructed of fiery Qi summoned from the Heart and


encircled over the body surrounding the three external Wei Qi fields. ... this visualized energetic net of fire directs the Hun to wholesome destinations ... : "If you wish to fly, you are permitted to only visit the ‘Palaces of the Grand Bourne’ (a celestial palace ... accessible to the spirits who are able to travel back in time to the origins of the Dao) or to the ‘Upper Clarity’ (the upper celestial level of the Heavenly realm).""

p. 78a the po in dreaming

"According to the Upper Scripture of Purple Texts Inscribed by the Spirits, when the Po (who are generally confined to the body) wander, they join in lascivious embrace with demons, spirit entities, and ghosts, and they provide the sexual content of dreams. ... The Po must be controlled through ... spirit guardians (traditionally imagined in the form of Jade Maidens) who stand guard and are stationed at any likely exit point in the body."

p. 78b rogue ghosts in dreaming

"These rogue spirit entities then feed off of the intense ... emotional energies produced by the implanted nightmares."

p. 78b-79a progression in dream-states




"First ... experiences dreams arising from Karmic Traces (sometimes referred to as the Coarse Dream State). ... .


Once the sorcerer awaken {dream of false awakening?} within this common kind of dream, he or she is able to progress to the Lucid dream state. This dream state is also known as the Clarity of Mind dream state ... .


... he or she will begin ... remembering Forgotten Dreams (... within the Lucid dream state).


Eventually, ... will arrive at the Clear Light dream state (also known as the No-Dream state). Once the sorcerer has reached the No-Dream state, he or she will experience vivid daytime visions while sleeping; these are considered to be waking manifestations of the Clear Light Dream state. At this state, when the sorcerer goes to sleep, he or she will immediately progress into a state similar to being awake, existing in a bright luminous state of sensory awareness."

p. 79b dreams originating from praevious lifetimes

"Dream are sometimes used as vehicles that reintroduce the individual to relevant experiences and impressions from one of his or her previous lives. In these kinds of dreams, the individual may experience unfamiliar things, such as visions of another country, strange people, unfamiliar customs, or foreign languages. These types of dreams may repeat so often that the dreamer eventually becomes familiar with his or her once forgotten past."

pp. 80-81a progression by the dreamer through types of dreams




"When first falling asleep, an individual’s spirit descends into the Sea of Marrow. ... Then, ... his or her Qi and blood enter deep into the liver. ... As the individual’s consciousness internalizes, emotions and attachments stored within any of the Five Yin Organs (or their associated tissues) must be processed and release their stored energetic charge before an individual can experience a Clarity of Mind dream (also known as a Lucid dream). ...


In the Clarity of Mind dream, ... the dreamer ... can now meet with real beings, receive teaching from enlightened masters, and discover information helpful to him or herself and others.

{All beings in all dreams are actually "real beings" and "enlightened masters"; the realization (by the dreamer) that the scene is a dream (and thus is a divine realm which must be populated by divine beings) is what (after the dreamer’s consequent announcement to the dream-beings that the dreamer is aware that they are deities) is able to induce them to disclose overtly their divine identity and to behave accordingly.}


One example of a Clarity of Mind dream, is a "mystical dream" in which a sorcerer is able to receive advanced energetic and spiritual practices while deep in the dream state. As the sorcerer goes deeper into this type of Lucid dream state, he or

{These dreams wherein spiritual knowledge and spiritual practices are received from divine beings, are well-known to anthropological literature as "shamanic dreaming". Anthropologists (being usually unacquainted with the term "lucid dreaming" and its implication), however, do not tend to detail this type of dreaming as that wherein the dreamer hath recognized being in a dream – a rather gross omission on the anthropologists’ part.}


she is able to acquire specific knowledge and methods of practice to which he or she has never before been exposed."

pp. 80a, 81a Acquired-Mind, Original-Mind, and Original-Energy actuate, respectively, Coarse-Dreaming, Lucid-Dreaming, and Clearlight-Dreaming


typology of dreamings


"partial visions being to emerge." [This is the same as the Coarse Dream State, wherein (p. 79a), "In these types of dreams, the images constantly shift and change."] These are associated with "Shen Zhi, the acquired mind".


In a "Clarity of Mind dream", "the clarity of the Yuan Shen can more easily manifest itself."


"he or she is able to experience Clear Light dreams. This type of dream originates from the Yuan Qi (Original Energy) that emanates from the ... center core Taiji Pole".

p. 83a dream entailing revelation

dream which reveal the __

often appear on a __ background





p. 84a dream-training

train the __

to __







pp. 85b-86a developing the clearlight-body




"The Clear Light Body is developed when the sorcerer separates the energy body and spirit body. As the sorcerer begins to separate these energetic fields, it causes an inner radiance and clarity to reveal itself. This is known as the "Clear Light Body." The ancient Daoists believed that when developing the Clear Light Body, the sorcerer will observe energetic manifestations like vaporous smoke and glowing lights ... . Once the sorcerer has developed the Clear Light body, he or she will be able to see visions, observe the Pure Realms (energetic and spiritual worlds), see inside the bodies of others, observe [the souls of?] beings who are either dying or reincarnating, and observe the actions of sentient beings living in [distant?] villages, town and cities. The Clear Light Body also enables ... to visually penetrate solid forms (i.e., buildings, mountains, etc.) and observe all ... existing within".


"Just as the sorcerer begins to fall asleep, ... the brilliance of this five colored sphere will begin to intensely radiate from deep with the sorcerer’s Heart. At this point, the sorcerer’s life-force energy enters into the center Thrusting Channels, and the Qi of the Taiji Pole fuses with this sudden influx of surging energy. The sorcerer’s Yuan Shen (Original Spirit) now begins to manifest itself within the Lucid state as the Clear Light Body."

p. 86a creating multiple meditation-bodies

"In dream guided Shape-shifting (used to duplicate multiple images), the ... quiescent state frees the spirit and activates the ... subtle energetic sensations. These subtle sensations are considered to be the energetic bridge that exists between spirit and form. ... In ancient Daoism, a sorcerer was traditionally taught to duplicate his or her energetic form. {These multiplied subtle-bodies are mentioned by Carlos Castan~eda.} ... After the sorcerer could duplicate his or her image in all five directions, the sorcerer would then divide each of these five directions into five additional directions ... . At this point, each of the sorcerer’s duplicates could be assigned a specific magical practice."

p. 86b acquiring knowledge & guidance

"At this stage in dream training, the sorcerer may receive teachings in dreams. Often these types of dreams come in sequence, with each night’s dream starting where the previous night’s dream ended. In this way, complete and detailed secret teachings can be transmitted until a precise and appropriate point of completion is reached."

"Knowledge and Guidance dreams may also be used to diagnose illness, locate lost items, or establish relationships with specific deities".

p. 87a dismantling of dream into emptiness

"the sorcerer looks into the reflection of a mirror ... while in a Lucid dream in order to fully master the dream state. As the sorcerer obtains mastery over the dream state, he or she is able to dismantle the patterns of Jing, Qi, and Shen within a dream. ... . ... the sorcerer is able to transform dreams into emptiness, ... to combine the daytime visions of the waking state with the visions experienced in the dream state."

p. 88 herbs employed to induce lucid-dreaming



its effect



Ai Ye = Mugwort (Artemisiae argyi)

"to induce lucid dreams"

"once a week"


Gan Son = Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

"to experience prolonged dreams"

"two weeks at a time"


Yu Ji = Turmeric (Cucurma longa)

"to enhance dream imagery ... and initiate dream recall"


p. 91, Fig. 1.88 differences between the energetic states of dreams and soul-projections




normal mental activity

"is experienced"

"is transcended"

reasoning capacity

"is diminished"






"will not affect"

"will affect"

impression of "takeoff"

no "takeoff"

unique "takeoff"

prolong the experience

"difficult to"

"possible to"

sensory excitation


return to body



"higher intensity"


"easier to remember"

"more difficult to remember"


Jerry Alan Johnson : Daoist Magical Transformation Skills : Training in Daoist Magic from the Zheng Yi School. Temple of the Celestial Cloud, Pacific Grove (CA), 2006.