David Lorimer, Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network, reviewed Lucid Surrender for the SMN publication, Paradigm Explorer, No. 138, May, 2022.
Last year, I reviewed Melinda’s earlier book The Hidden Lives of Dreams. In this important new interdisciplinary study, she delves more deeply into the alchemy of the soul in lucid dreaming, drawing on mediaeval manuscripts as well as the work of CG Jung. In a sense similar to Chris Bache’s psychedelic journeys in quest of wholeness, this exploration of the inner landscape through lucid dreaming is a bold and archetypal work of great personal courage and dedication, illustrated with many significant dreams describing encounters with the Black Light described by mystics such as St John of the Cross. The book is in four parts, explaining the nature of Lucid Surrender (se rendre or to ‘give oneself over’ in French), lucid dream alchemy, the mirror of the heart and the nature of light, love and laughter in dream lucidity. Stanton Marlan rightly identifies in his foreword themes such as ‘the fullness of the void, the awakening in freedom of the heart, and the healing, holiness and illumination she finds in her dreams.’ Entering into the darkness enables the discovery of light within this very darkness.
The author’s sacred devotion, intent, trust and commitment come through very strongly as an inspiration to readers as she penetrates the mysteries and finds herself known, sustained, loved and nurtured in the process. Lucid Surrender opens the eye of the heart and aligns our consciousness with a higher will and service in humility through loving-kindness. There is a pervasive sense of grace, even in uncomfortable transformative encounters of purification and renewal. This is exemplified in ‘Citrinitas’ where union with the divine enables us to ‘develop the qualities we need as individuals to become servants of life itself.’ (p. 56) A chapter is devoted to the stages of the alchemical process, symbolically illustrated to great effect, where we ‘know our individual nature to be part of an infinitely greater whole’ (p. 88) and engage in distilling our essence to generate the fragrance of the soul. Other experiential metaphors include the mirror and the wormhole conveyed in series of dreams as encounters with the mystery where we may need to lose our life in order to find it in such holy places where we are guided by subtle beings. This profound work acts as an archetypal portal and calls us into a deeper sense of wholeness so necessary in our fragmented time.