Thanks for the input and comments all.
Randy, you have really got me thinking about the Roman Catholic meaning of the word.
My hunch is that I just didn't have the experience/knowledge to get the message clearly.
Ted, really great comments. Thank you.
Could you share a little bit about how your dream/lucid experiences have evolved? Like how was it for you in the beginning? And did you notice if certain lifestyle choices affected your experiences?
I began having lucid dreams after starting a dream journal. Then came frequent sleep paralysis, then some classic "OBE's". These types of experiences have evolved like molasses over the years with many peaks and valleys in terms of frequency. In the beginning, most of the experiences were mind blowing simply because they were so shocking and forced me to rethink everything. Sleep paralysis haunted and terrified me for years. I dreaded it like nothing else. Now I embrace it when it comes (though I do prefer to just sort of slip into an experience).
In terms of lifestyle choices, two things stand out for me personally: having a strong desire to grow (evolve, become better, more loving, etc), and getting plenty of rest. The desire could help for many different reasons: The system might be responding to my desire, I might be putting more effort into instigating such experiences, etc, etc. Never easy to pin point. Getting plenty of rests seems to help because I do not sleep as deeply and I tend to be more present in my dreams and during the awakenings that occur between sleep cycles. If I am tired or under rested, I don't remember squat. I have begun working toward Tom's "consciousness diet", but I don't think that I am far enough along in all of this to notice any substantial differences yet.
P.S. Thundercats was my favorite cartoon as a kid. I hear it is coming back.