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Letters & Essays
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When I met Professor Griffin of the Oxford University philosophy appointments board to discuss how I might get onto a salaried university career track as an academic philosopher, I did not attempt to conceal my bitterness at the fact that the book on lucid dreaming, which I had written under duress because I had no other way of advertising my need for funding to do laboratory research to force my way back into a university career, had provided academics around the world, already safely on career tracks, with advantageous areas of research.
He hastened to defend them for doing nothing to improve my position by saying that once a piece of work had been published it was free to anyone to work on it. And of course there is no law asserting that anyone should recognise the socially disadvantaged position of someone else, or do anything more than is strictly prescribed by law to help them. But spontaneous decency is not illegal, even where not socially prescribed. It is not explicitly recognised that it is socially proscribed. There was no law against Professor Griffin himself, having recognised that he had become aware of someone so seriously disadvantaged in life in comparison with himself, donating to me half of his own salary, or any other fraction of it, from that time forwards. Or he might have wished to make a mailing to all academics around the world known to have worked on lucid dreams under university auspices, in which he could have expressed to them his own recognition of my disadvantaged position, and his own hope that each of them would make a significant annual donation out of their own salaries towards compensating me for my continuing lack of salary and advantageous circumstances provided by a university career, despite the fact that there was no legal obligation on them to do so.
Many years ago an international conference on lucid dreaming was held at London University and I was invited to contribute by giving a paper, although no one had shown any sign of wanting to provide me with funding to contribute by way of research.
At the conference someone informed me that he was sure I should be really pleased that some more of my ideas for research were going to be tried out at Stanford University. I felt about as overjoyed as if I had been slapped in the face, and it just illustrates how insensitive to my predicament those who themselves benefitted from my work on lucid dreams have always been.
I was (and still am), in my grievous and destitute position, very embittered that it did not occur to any of those who worked on lucid dreams, salaried as nearly all of them were, to send me money to relieve my unsalaried position. If each of those concerned had sent a contribution of £1000 per annum (even if only while they were actually working on lucid dreams) my position would have been significantly improved and by now I would probably have been able to publish enough research to force my way back into a university position. It is not too late for my position to be relieved in this way. In fact the urgency that it should be has only increased with the decades of delay, since I am still physically alive, and needing to get started on my forty-year academic career.
So I am appealing to anyone who has derived advantage from lucid dreaming, either as a field for academic research or a topic of personal interest, to contribute either a lump sum towards the £1.5 million which I need to set up a residential college, or to contribute not less than £1000 per annum towards endowment for my research institute and my personal salary. Legacies of any size are also requested. There is no upper limit, as the endowment required for residential colleges and research departments is considerable. Please note that any donations or legacies should be made direct to me, and not to any organisation with which I may seem to be associated. The latter leads to so much complication that the benefit is severely reduced, and probably completely aborted.
I address this appeal particularly to the individuals listed below, who are known to have made use of the concept of lucid dreaming in their careers.
List of lucid dream researchers